Amy Farrah Fowler (girlfriend)
Sheldon Lee “Shelly” Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D., is a Caltech theoretical physicist who shares an apartment with his colleague and best friend, Leonard Hofstadter. Originally from East Texas, Sheldon started college at the age of 11, receiving his first Ph.D. at 16. Sheldon was involved in numerous experiments as awunderkind, such as his plan to provide free electricity for his town by building a nuclear reactor – a plan stopped by government pen pushers claiming it’s illegal to store yellowcake uranium in a garden shed! Unashamedly geeky, he has no qualms about speaking Klingon, wearing vintage t-shirts sporting superhero logos, or spouting various historical and cultural anecdotes (e.g., his account of the introduction of the fork into Thailand). While he might claim to be the perfect human specimen, Sheldon does have his faults. Sheldon is characterized by: a strict adherence to routine; an overtly intellectual personality; a tenuous understanding of irony, sarcasm and humor; and a general lack of humility or empathy, the former of which is demonstrated in the fact that he has no problem voicing to his peers his admiration for his superior intellect. These qualities, along with his penchant for pranks, are his character’s main source of humor and occasionally cast him as the primary antagonist of the series. He has been described as the show’s breakout character.
Sheldon was born in Galveston, Texas to Mary Cooper, a devout Evangelical Christian, officiated at Lawrence Memorial Hospital though he actually “fell out” of her at a K-Mart. His father, George Cooper, was a Texan Homer Simpson who died quite a while ago due to an unknown cause. He has a twin sister named Missy and an older brother named George Jr., both described by their mother to be “dumb as soup.” Sheldon was raised according to his mother’s beliefs, e.g., learning how to pray and becoming the co-captain of the East Texan Christian Youth Holy Roller Bowling League Championship team, seven-to-twelve year-old division. Meanwhile, he was forced to watch football by his father.
Like the typical nerd, Sheldon was bullied a lot as a child, mainly by his classmates, neighborhood kids and his siblings. Not so much because of his looks, but because of his expressing intellectual superiority to them and being a complete Smart-Alec. He would get a lot of beatings from the neighbor kids and would get swirlies all the time, even in church. There were also noogies and wedgies. He would have some of his stuff taken away from time to time, like his lunch money or his kites. Luckily, he only had to cope with this until he was eleven, as he then went straight to college, but that didn’t stop his siblings. Sheldon tells Amy Farrah Fowler, that his childhood was “hell.” Further anecdotes reveal he built a so-called “Sonic Death Ray” that didn’t even slow down the neighbor kids (all it did was piss off the dog), and constructed an armed robot, using homemade integrated circuits from ceramic semiconductor substrates cooked in his sister’s Easy-Bake Oven which he modified, to defend his room from Missy (Missy got her eyebrows burned off as a result of a malfunction).
Sheldon entered college at the age of eleven, right after completing the fifth grade. At age twelve, filled with disappointment at not receiving a titanium centrifuge to separate radioactive isotopes, he had to be flown to a hospital by helicopter to be treated for radiation damage following a mishap when he built a CAT scanner (which also resulted in the death of his sister’s guinea pig, Snowball) and conducted experiments involving the height of stairs only to deduce that if a step on a staircase is two millimeters off or more, a person is likely to trip – his findings evidenced by his father breaking his clavicle. When Sheldon was thirteen, he attempted to build a nuclear reactor in order to provide free electricity for his town but it failed after a government agent informed him that it was illegal to store yellowcake uranium in a shed; he then had a big tantrum as a result. When Sheldon was fourteen years old, he graduated college summa cum laude, began graduate school, and was the youngest person at the time to receive the Stevenson Award at “fourteen and a half.” He received his first doctorate at the age of sixteen and he then spent four years on his second dissertation, before obtaining his current job.
Dr. Sheldon Cooper is a senior theoretical particle physicist at the California Institute of Technology, focusing on string theory and its alter ego M-theory. He has held this position for three-and-a-half years at the outset of the show. Previously, he was a visiting professor at the Heidelberg Institute in Germany at age fifteen and examined perturbative amplitudes in N=4 supersymmetric theories leading to a re-examination of the ultraviolet properties of multiloop N=8 supergravity using modern twistor theory at age sixteen. For his contributions to theoretical physics, he won a Caltech Chancellor’s Award for Science.
Sheldon’s work on string theory is concentrated in several different directions. Notably, Sheldon has refocused his research from bosonic string theory to heterotic string theory. He wrote a paper on the decays of highly excited massive string states and illustrated mirror symmetry in the footnote of a publication. He determined that three-dimensional string-nets provided a unified picture of fermions and gauge bosons and reconciled the black hole information paradox with his theory of string-network condensates following a breakthrough in showing how neutrinos emerge from a string-net condensate. He also designated time for solving the spacetime geometry in higher spin gravity and worked on time-dependent backgrounds in string theory, specifically quantum field theory in D-dimensional de Sitter space.
In “The Monopolar Expedition“, Sheldon received a grant from the National Science Foundation to lead an expedition to the Magnetic North Pole in the Arctic Circle for an experiment in search of slow-moving magnetic monopoles, with Leonard, Raj and Howard as his support team. In the experiment, he detected what he believed was significant monopolar magnetic charge, validating one of the chief predictions of superstring theory. Though Sheldon publicly announced he had confirmed string theory and would receive a Nobel Prize, he learned that the charge detected was actually static electricity from the others’ electric can opener, forcing Sheldon to issue a retraction to his announcement and severely damaging his reputation at the university. Soon after, National Public Radio with Ira Flatow from Science Friday interviewed him by phone from his office, regarding the recent so-called discovery of magnetic monopoles in spin ices.
Sheldon did work in quantum loop corrections, but he hadn’t considered a Lorentz invariant field theory approach. However, he believes string theory better unites quantum mechanics with general relativity than does loop quantum gravity. He neither gives credence to the notion that quantized spacetime will manifest itself as minute differences in the speed of light for different colors (as he expects matter consists of tiny strings) nor that only loop quantum gravity calculates the entropy of black holes.
Dr. Cooper’s research spans particle cosmology and studies the interplay between particle physics and cosmology during the early history of the Universe. With Rajesh Koothrappali, he explored the string theory implications of gamma rays from dark matter annihilations and considered methods of optimizing a particle detector for 500 GeV particles to this end. At a San Francisco conference, he tried to initiate a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning physicist George Smoot by presenting him his paper on astrophysical probes of M-theory effects in the early universe. The famous physicist Stephen Hawking reached out to him during a lecture stay at Caltech after Sheldon’s brilliant mind was revealed in a reading of his fascinating, though wrong, paper positing that the Higgs boson is a black hole accelerating backwards through time. Sheldon also maintained a correspondence with cosmological physicist Elizabeth Plimpton for years about their mutual interest in gravitational wave signatures of inflatons in the early universe. When Caltech received a new open science grid computer, he attempted to schedule time to run simulations of structure formation in the early universe. However, he no longer preoccupies his time with investigating why the predicted mass of the quantum vacuum has little effect on the expansion of the universe.
Moreover, Sheldon is active in the field of particle physics phenomenology at high-energy colliders such as the LHC. Sheldon came close to figuring out why the Large Hadron Collider has yet to isolate the Higgs boson particle. Though, he was refused clearance for a very prestigious government research fellowship at a secret military supercollider, located beneath a fake agricultural station 12.5 miles southeast of Traverse City, Michigan.
Sheldon also engages in condensed matter physics research on occasion and has lectured on topological insulators, as well as given a seminar on thermodynamic fluctuations. With Leonard, he coauthored a paper entitled Paradoxical Moment-of-Inertia Changes Due to Putative Super-Solids, to be presented at an Institute for Experimental Physics topical conference on Bose-Einstein condensates. He discovered that electrons traveling through a graphene sheet on hexagonal pathways possess zero effective mass since they coincidentally exhibit the same dispersion pattern as fermions and must be considered as a wave. In addition, he had a minor epiphany regarding the polymer degradation phenomenon.
Sheldon has grappled with Gedankenexperiments (i.e., “thought experiments”) to illustrate the quantum measurement problem. He produced four out of the five Gedankenexperiments he thought necessary for a cogent restatement of the quantum measurement problem, before the information was lost.
Aside from his idiosyncrasies, obsessions, and extreme narcissism, Sheldon is logical. He possesses an eidetic memory and an IQ of 187, although he claims his IQ cannot be accurately measured by normal tests. Sheldon has an overly extensive general knowledge, such as shown by his comments regarding various details of anecdotal knowledge (for instance, about the introduction of the fork into Thailand).
Sheldon also has qualities associated with being a prodigy, such as an inflated ego, social ineptitude, and an inability to relate emotionally with others. Despite his intelligence, he has a distinct lack of emotional maturity and is often baffled by even the most common social interactions. He not only fails to understand the simplest sarcastic jokes made by Leonard, but also regards Penny’s sadness over one of her breakups with blatant confusion.
However, recently, he has begun to understand the concept of sarcasm, attempting unsuccessfully to employ it himself towards Penny in the second season, and successfully employing it towards his friends in the third season. He appears to have a complete disinterest in romantic relationships, and his eccentricities, direct remarks, and demanding nature put him at odds with his own friends and especially Penny. Sheldon’s expression of his more advanced intelligence has gotten him fired from his job, and even Leonard is surprised to learn that Sheldon is conceited enough to believe that Isaac Newton is intellectually inferior to himself. Sheldon hates it when someone stops him when he is trying to explain something. If this happens: a tic starts on his face until he can complete what he wants to say. He cannot and will not drive, and thus someone must always drive him. (Except when he drives Penny to the emergency room in “The Adhesive Duck Deficiency“.)
He also has symptoms of obsessive compulsive personality disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, e.g., when he finds Penny’s apartment messy, he sneaks in during the night and cleans it up because he can’t stand being in the same hallway with something so disastrous, he refuses to sit anywhere other than his designated spot on the couch and follow set routines, and the running gag of the show is that when he knocks on Penny’s door, he has to say Penny’s name every three knocks (he does this thrice everytime).
Sheldon occasionally uses slang (in a very unnatural fashion), and follows jokes with his catchphrase “Bazinga!”. He is not entirely sure how to hug someone, and avoids human contact whenever possible. Despite his egocentricism, Sheldon appears to be somewhat aware of his social ineptitude, particularly his lack of understanding of sarcasm. He mentioned that he keeps a record of his daily conversations after Penny snapped at him and Leonard asked him why, to which he suggested that Leonard check his conversation records “to see if I messed up anywhere.” Sheldon is also a difficult person to work with and generally displays apathy to the world around – in “The Toast Derivation“, Sheldon was revealed to have criticized Bill Gates for focusing on his charity work rather than Windows Vista, a remark that earned him a punch in the face.
Sheldon does show on rare occasion interest in relationships, which was most prominently seen with Amy Farrah Fowler. However, he does not express it directly, instead devoloping strange behavior patterns such as buying cats or refusing to open dicussion to the matter.
Sheldon also possesses many childlike qualities. For example, even though he is unaware of it, Sheldon is extremely stubborn. Examples of this include naming the Caltech Physics Bowl team or deciding to go to San Francisco by train instead of flying (due to his fascination and love of trains), and his needing of his mother (or Penny) to care for him when he is sick, which involves singing “Soft Kitty” and rubbing Vicks on his chest. He cannot stand to be interrupted, concede when he doesn’t know something, or hear people bicker or argue, crinkling his lips with intense frustration when any of these events occur. Sheldon has not attempted to obtain a driver’s license (although he does possess a learner’s permit), and needs his friends to drive him everywhere; he refuses the bus. He attempts to learn to drive on a simulator. However, he fails instantly. Sheldon’s defense is that he is “too evolved” to perform plebeian tasks; driving.
In Season 5′s “The Pulled Groin Extrapolation”, Amy asked Leonard to attend a wedding with her. Leonard asked why she did not ask Sheldon to go instead. Amy answered that Sheldon behaved like a child the last time so he is out. After Amy left, Sheldon said in a sing-song tone to Leonard; “Heh heh, you have to go to a wedding!” as he was unwrapping his newly-bought toy train set, further emphasizing his childlike qualities.
However, the majority of these problems can be traced back to his root personality fault of stubbornness, which many fans believe is because of Aspergers and/or OCD.
Like his friends, he is scientifically inclined, and is fond of comic books, costumes, video games, and science fiction, specifically Battlestar Galatica, Doctor Who, Stargate, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly, although he strongly dislikes Babylon 5. He has claimed to be an honorary graduate of Starfleet Academy, and is an avid fan of science officer Spock. Other favorite characters of his are Batman, The Flash and The Green Lantern.
He likes playing Halo every Wednesday and paintball on the weekend with his friends. He can also play the piano and theremin, and seems to be a very good Tuvan throat singer, but would be better if not for a part in the roommate agreement denying him practice.
Sheldon often wears vintage T-shirts adorned with superhero logos specific to the DC universe, among them the Flash, Superman, Aquaman, and the logos of the various Lantern Corps. He usually wears a long sleeve shirt underneath it along with plaid pants. Sheldon is tall and thin (setting him apart from his shorter colleagues), with Penny, and later Leonard, saying he looks like a giant praying mantis.
With few exceptions, Sheldon refuses all drugs, including alcohol and caffeine, as a promise to his mother. In addition, when Penny mixed alcohol into his drink, he began to play the piano and sing To Life from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” in front of an audience. A small amount of coffee made him extremely hyperactive, but unproductive in another. Taking valium also affected his behavior. Probably the most infamous time of him being drunk was when he had to give a speech in “The Pants Alternative” and he acted like a comedian due to the abundance of wine he drank to calm his nerves. The scene was uploaded on YouTube where it is revealed Sheldon also took off his pants and mooned the audience. Howard has once drugged him to get him to stop talking, but was unsucessful.
While it is argued that Sheldon drank beer in the Pilot, it is actually an orange soda (clearly seen when Leonard holds up his bottle in the hallway).
He does enjoy a Mountain Dew in “The Vengeance Formulation“, one of the more caffeinated sodas, even calling it “refreshing”. He also likes “diet virgin Cuba Libres”, which is essentially a Diet Coke with a slice of lime and virgin Pina Collates. It appears that he can drink caffeinated beverages to a certain point, but not to the extent of coffee.
Despite his strange behavior, Sheldon has, at times, demonstrated a much softer side to himself. However, these moments are rather rare, and usually only reserved for those closest to him, such as Leonard, Penny, and Amy. Although his friendship with Leonard is usually strained because of Sheldon’s quirky behavior and habits, Sheldon has called Leonard “his little buddy” or something of the sort on multiple occasions. He also shows an obvious unease whenever his friendship with Leonard is threatened. Sheldon has also showed friendly acts of caring towards Penny. In one instance, when Penny was low on money, Sheldon let her borrow a large amount of his savings, but while she worried about paying it back, he was entirely unconcerned as to when he got it back. Sheldon’s willingness to lend money to others was later described by Leonard as “one of the few idiosyncrasies that doesn’t make you want to, you know, kill him”. Also, after Penny let him stay at her place when he locked himself out of his apartment, Sheldon sincerely thanked her for it. When Penny fell and dislocated her shoulder, Sheldon spent the entire night taking care of her, including driving her to the hospital despite the fact that he does not know how to drive. He finished the night by helping her into bed and singing soft kitty to her after she asked him too. He also hugged Penny again when she said she would talk to Leonard about having him take Sheldon to Switzerland rather than her. This prompted him to sincerely thank her and hug her. With the exception of his family, Penny, Wil Wheaton and Amy Farrah Fowler are the only people Sheldon have hugged. With the latter he specifically cuddled with in the episode The Isolation Permutation, after a discussion to console a weepy Amy who was craving human intimacy and physical contact. After turning down Amy’s previous proposals of getting into bed together and french-kissing, Sheldon agreed with her final offer to cuddle, though he got upset over it later, by yelling at Leonard and Howard to keep Penny and Bernadette in line and have them apologize to Amy since consoling Amy had caused him to miss the time he had designated to solve Spacetime Geometry in Higher Spin Gravity and building his Lego Death Star. This particular event of him cuddling with Amy Farrah Fowler is a huge development of his personality since he is not shown to have much empathy or sympathy for others. His caring attitude towards Amy is also exemplified when he buys her a diamond tiara as a form of apology after having a fight regarding the importance of Amy’s accomplishment when her research made the cover of a noteworthy science magazine. In another instance, Sheldon acted disrespectfully in Amy’s laboratory when he was taking his required vaction time. The next day, however, he returns and after a few attempts, meekly apologizes to Amy, showing a vulnerable side of himself that isn’t usually seen considering his egotistical attitude.
In contrast to his profoundly religious mother and devout Christian upbringing, Sheldon has no interest in religion – he tends to ignore or express dislike for religious celebrations such as Christmas, and wastes no time in bringing up the Pagan origins to each festival. Additionally, his scientific beliefs often come into conflict with the spiritual beliefs of his mother, Mary. Nevertheless, he has an agreement with his mother to attend church once a year, and once exclaims “Thank you, Jesus!” upon getting a strike in a bowling match against Wil Wheaton (his arch-enemy). His attitude towards God has been hinted at being of an Agnostic nature, when in the episode The Zarnecki Incursion he says “Why hast thou forsaken me deity whose existence I doubt…” Raj stated that one of the instance where Sheldon got food poisoning and he was “praying to the god he doesn’t believe in to end it quickly”.
Sheldon also appears to have problems understanding societal laws at times. He is shown to drop objects out his window into traffic without regard, in addition to breaking into buildings. He has also been seen going into various places, such as a kid’s play-area and working at the Cheesecake Factory, without being granted permission. He has expertise with picking locks and disarming alarm systems. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security notifies his mother when he acts contrary to federal law. As he states later, “Apparently, you can’t hack into a top-secret government supercomputer and then try to buy uranium without the Department of Homeland Security tattling to your mother.” This implies that Homeland Security is familiar with him, as instead of arresting and questioning him, they simply inform his mother and let her deal with him.
Though Sheldon has never been confirmed as having Asperger’s syndrome, many of his traits and much of his behavior exemplifies it. These qualities include social ineptitude, a lack of empathy, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, and many more traits which make him the most eccentric and bizarre of the characters in the show. Many of these traits are the reasons why Leonard finds him hard to live with and his friends find him so hard to be around. These include:
He also keeps a record of what he considers faux pas “strikes”, which he allocates to those who violate his self-imposed conditions. Upon receiving three strikes, Sheldon gives them the choice of either apologizing, being “banished” from the apartment, or taking a “class”. For many of the aforementioned characteristics, Sheldon’s friends often consider him “insane” or “crazy” despite Sheldon’s repetition of another catchphrase “I’m not insane/crazy! My mother had me tested.” His mother later confirms this to Leonard; the doctor said he was sane, but she regreted not following up with a specialist in Houston. Despite Sheldon’s personality disorders and difficult habits, his friends usually just do what he says because it is easier. It has also been revealed that Sheldon has a bifurcated uvula, something which he is self-conscious about.
The most notable feature of Sheldon’s obsessive-compulsive disorder is his refusal to sit anywhere other than his designated spot on the far left cushion of the couch in his apartment, which he considers his “single point of consistency in an ever-changing world” and “the singular location in space around which revolves my entire universe”, exceeding his love for his mother. He describes his spot on the couch as being his point 0, 0, 0, 0 if his life were a Cartesian coordinate plan. Sheldon regularly reproaches Penny and other people for sitting in his spot. Even disruptions to this location are enough to disturb him. Although he did allow Penny to sit in his spot in the first episode, as well as Howard, for a short time in “The Apology Insufficiency“, only 94 seconds later, he reclaims his spot. As well as his designated spot in the apartment, if Sheldon is ever in a different area where he is going to sit down, such as Penny’s apartment, he has to choose the best sitting location based on such things as optimal television viewing, lighting, airflow, and cushion density. In “The Werewolf Transformation”, when his barber was ill and chaos ruled his life, he didn’t object to Penny sitting in his spot.
Sheldon is the best friend of Leonard, as they live together and are accustomed to tolerating each other ever since Sheldon put out an ad for a roommate with a list of criteria to follow. Despite Sheldon sometimes making remarks to the contrary, he appreciates Leonard and assures Leonard that his friend will not die alone. He even once told Leonard that he platonically loves him, when Leonard had to face his old high-school bully, Jimmy Speckerman. When Penny asks Leonard why he deals with Sheldon, he explains that Sheldon has actually saved his neck a few times, such as when he stopped him from being incinerated by his own improperly formulated rocket fuel and didn’t tell on him to the landlord, the police or the Department of Homeland Security. This incident also lead to the destruction of the elevator, as Sheldon had just enough time to put the explosive contents of the container into the elevator before it exploded. Leonard also, more than all of Sheldon’s other friends understands him the most, as viewed in many scenes where when all hopes failed to get Sheldon to participate in something, Leonard will be the last resort to come up with something successful. When Penny and Sheldon had a spat due to Penny sitting in his spot and touching his food and later refused to apologize to him, which resulted her being banished from the apartment, Penny came up with her own set of revenge, including banishing Sheldon from the Cheesecake Factory and messing up with Sheldon’s Laundry Night. When things got really ugly between the two, a fed up Leonard secretly gave Penny Sheldon’s mother’s number, telling her it is Sheldon’s Kryptonite. The feud ended after that, with Sheldon, clueless to the fact that it was Leonard who helped Penny, told Penny that she played well. Another instance was when Penny tried her hands at opening her own business by selling Penny Blossoms. When they had to stay awake all night to help Penny meet her order, a sleepy Sheldon refused coffee and decided to head to bed instead, leaving the rest to finish up by themselves. A frustrated Penny looked on to Leonard to do something and Leonard did, by saying to Sheldon that without his insight and leadership this entire enterprise will surely fail, which prompted Sheldon to change his mind and drink coffee.
Despite Penny not being a knowledgeable person nor sharing many of the group’s interests, and having constant fights with Sheldon in the early episodes, they became close friends, such as when Penny cares for Sheldon during illness or when Penny takes him in when he is locked out of his apartment while his friends are in Las Vegas. Sheldon returns the favor as he cares for Penny when she dislocates her shoulder. In all of these instances, the story line ends with one of them singing “Soft Kitty,” a song Sheldon’s mother used to sing to him when he was sick. On the one hand, Sheldon and Penny spend a lot of time getting on each other’s nerves: Sheldon often mentions how uneducated or untidy Penny is, while Penny likes to irritate him by sitting in his spot, messing with food, and they once started a futile war (Penny blocked Sheldon from doing his laundry on his laundry day, and he responded by exposing her clothes and underwear outside the window). However, they also efficiently team up, for example to plan Leonard’s birthday (Sheldon only participated when Penny blackmailed him into helping) or to develop Penny’s “Penny Blossoms” business, singing along to sailors songs to motivate each other. They end up spending a lot of time together as two close friends to help each other and give each other advice (Penny helping to find a suit for Sheldon for an awards ceremony, or seeking Stan Lee’s address for him because he couldn’t meet him as the other members of the group did; Sheldon teaching Penny physics to help her in her relationship with Leonard). On a few occasions, they also appear to share a sort of intimacy that Sheldon doesn’t have with anyone else: they both take care of each other when they don’t feel well; they stayed together in the flat, cranky and grumpy, as they had both caught the flu after a hug they had exchanged; Sheldon has an immediate, very nervous and alarmed reaction when he hears Penny calling for his help from her flat; they sing together “Soft Kitty” as a round in a kind intimate moment; Sheldon adds an amused “Bazinga” to one of Penny’s jokes, to which she replies with a tender “Hmm…” Often when Sheldon seeks advice or help from Penny he begins his request with “you’re so good at….” one of her faults and ends up insulting her though she usually let’s it pass with a “WTF” expression.
Sheldon acknowledges Penny as one of his closest friends (along with Leonard and Raj), while he considers that Howard is a “treasured acquaintance,” though he has known him a lot longer than Penny. Also, when Penny and Leonard break up, Sheldon still considers Penny a friend and makes dinner plans, which he tries to hide when Howard informs him that it is inappropriate behavior and “bros come before ho’s.” He actually goes through a lot of trouble (hiding frozen hot dogs in his pants, confronting a huge threatening dog … ) just to dine with her, though he’s already been forced to eat a whole meal with the boys. In the end, Leonard and Penny in a way share custody of Sheldon, taking him to Disneyland and out to buy new shoes.
The interaction between Sheldon and Penny has been praised by critics. James Chamberlin of IGN wrote: “Cuoco and Parsons are great in their own right, but when put together, they truly shine.” Matt Roush of TV Guide said that Sheldon and Penny’s “scenes and episodes together are usually Big Bang at its best.” Todd WanDerVerff of The A.V. Club wrote that they “made such an inspired odd coupling that at times, it seemed as though the entire show were about them” and their chemistry “has some of the rattle and rhythm of the great comedic duos”. Chuck Lorre stated that Sheldon and Penny have “become a natural comic pairing” and they “bounce off each other beautifully.”
Sheldon and Raj’s relationship is rather complicated. Sheldon once offered help to Koothrappali by giving him a job under his supervision, which Raj reluctantly accepted to save him from getting deported back to India. Raj is easily annoyed with much of Sheldon’s antics, but has grown accustomed to them. Before the boys went with Sheldon on the Arctic Expedition, Raj explained to Howard that the reason he puts up with Sheldon is because of his religion; 3 months of suffering at the Arctic Circle with Sheldon would mean he (Raj) would be reborn in the next life as ‘a well-hung billionaire with wings’. Raj, as much as he hates Sheldon’s opinions on every certain situation and his behaviour, considers Sheldon as a good friend.
Sheldon and Howard’s relationship is purely existent, albeit extremely complicated. Sheldon often makes fun of Howard for not having a Doctorate. In “The Apology Insufficiency”, Sheldon angers Howard by revealing details to the FBI that prevent him from obtaining a much needed security clearance. Howard refuses to accept Sheldon’s apology, until Sheldon gives Howard his spot on the couch, prompting Howard to forgive Sheldon. Howard, much like Raj and Leonard are quite unused to his inflated ego. On the other hand, he and Sheldon are shown to get along well – He tried to help Sheldon drive on a simulator he created, and did help with Howard’s creations. Nevertheless, the relationship between the two has its ups and downs.
Growing up, Sheldon idolized Wil Wheaton. Wesley Crusher, Wil Wheaton’s character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, had an eidetic memory just like him. Sheldon was such a fan that in 1995, he travelled ten hours by bus to the fourth annual Dixie-Trek Convention in Jackson, Mississippi, wearing his Star Fleet Academy cadet uniform in order to meet Wil Wheaton and get him to autograph his mint in-package Wesley Crusher action figure. However, his arduous journey, during which he had to twice violate his personal rule against relieving himself on board a moving vehicle, was for naught; although advertised to appear, he did not show up. It was at that moment, he vowed eternal hatred for Wil Wheaton.
In “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary,” Sheldon entered a Mystic Warlords of Ka’a tournament with Raj atStuart‘s comic book shop in hopes of battling Wheaton, and put his name on the sign-up sheet as “DIE WIL WHEATON DIE”. During this tournament, Sheldon utters in Klingon to Wheaton from across the room, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” When Raj and Sheldon get to the final round, they must face Wil and Stuart. Sheldon explains logically what cards must be in Wheaton’s hand and how he is able to beat them. After Sheldon informs Wheaton why he hates him, Wil claims his grandma had died, knowing that Sheldon shares a special bond with his grandmother and would empathize with this plight. Sheldon falls for the ruse and throws the game, only to learn shortly thereafter that he had lied, causing him to reaffirm Wheaton’s status as his mortal enemy in a display of rage akin to Adm. Kirk’s reaction towards Khan’s threat of marooning him on Regula in the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. His true reason for not showing up is revealed in “The Russian Rocket Reaction” — he was on ‘Hollywood Squares”.
Wheaton messed with Sheldon in a bowling game in “The Wheaton Recurrence.” During said game, Sheldon named his team “The Wesley Crushers”. In this encounter, Wheaton also managed to cause Penny to break up with Leonard through guilt.
Wheaton appears again in “The 21-Second Excitation” at a showing of the movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” with 21 seconds of deleted footage. After Wheaton and his crew were allowed to cut in line by the security guard, Sheldon exclaimed with his impersonation of Patrick Stewart’s accent, “As Captain Jean-Luc Picard once said, the line must be drawn here… THIS far, NO farther!” Wheaton later boasted about his great seats and told Sheldon to ‘suck it’ via Twitter. When Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard were eventually denied entrance to the theater, Sheldon stole the film cans containing the footage, resulting in an angry mob led by Wheaton chasing the four out of the theater.
In “The Russian Rocket Reaction,” Wheaton invited Leonard and Sheldon to his place for a party. Here, Wheaton gave Sheldon his last mint condition, autographed Wesley Crusher action figure. While Sheldon forgave and hugged Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner (who played Data in Star Trek: Next Generation) approached them, saying he “hadn’t seen one of these [Wesley Crusher Action Figures] in ages,” and proceeded to take it away from Sheldon. After tearing the packaging, Spiner became Sheldon’s new archenemy.
Of all the main characters of the show, Sheldon is presumed to be asexual and has displayed the least interest in pursuing a sexual relationship with anyone. He tries to avoid all human physical and emotional contact. He has, however, had a few opportunities to “get it on” – maybe more opportunities than the other characters. Being true to his personality, though, he never seems to realize it. However, the introduction of Amy Farrah Fowler into the show has changed this aspect of him, at least slightly. Even though Amy used to be a girl, who was his friend, but not his girlfriend, and now is his girlfriend, she is the closest person who may be romantically-linked to Sheldon. Though, their relationship used to be nothing more than that of friends, or, as Sheldon put it, “a relationship of the minds”.
Lalita was arranged to be married to Raj. They went on a date together which gradually deteriorated as alcohol made him obnoxious. When Sheldon arrived at the bar, he thought she looked similar to an Indian fairytale princess from a bedtime story his mother used to read to him when he was sick. When he told her, she was flattered and ended up dumping Raj and going out for dinner with Sheldon. When he was asked about it the next day, he simply said that they ate and discussed dental hygiene. He didn’t seem to realize that he technically was on a date with her and when Leonard asked him if he was going to see her again he looked puzzled said “why would I see her again?, I have a dentist”.
Ramona was a huge admirer of Sheldon and had an obvious crush on him, which he didn’t seem to notice. In The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem, she asked him out for dinner and brought it to his apartment. After that, she began spending more and more time with him, haunting the apartment night and day walking around like the T-X terminator from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. She prevented Sheldon from doing anything recreational like playing Halo, paintball or watching Battlestar Galactica so he could focus on his work that he was so enamored with. Eventually, he made a breakthrough. When she suggested they share credit, he simply responded “Get out!”, after which she angrily left.
When Raj brought Sheldon to a faculty mixer to act as wingman, they picked up a girl named Abby and her friend, Martha, brought them to Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment and played Rock Band with them. While Abby and Raj hit it off, Martha became interested in Sheldon. The two enjoyed a few stimulating discussions together at their second meeting, during which Raj and Abby “[got] busy,” Martha visited Sheldon’s room in the middle of the night and asked to come in, hoping for sex. Misinterpreting this, Sheldon went to sleep in Leonard’s room and left Martha alone in his. She apparently lost interest in him after that.
Sheldon first met Amy via a dating site where Howard and Raj sneakily set up an account for him in the season 3 final, “The Lunar Excitation”. Eventually, they found a perfect match for him and agreed to meet her at a cafe. When they told Sheldon, he refused to do it, believing dating sites to be “hokum”. However, he was blackmailed into doing it when Raj said he had hidden a dirty sock in his apartment and would not remove it unless Sheldon went on the date. When they arrived, Sheldon had doubts until he met Amy, who acted exactly like Sheldon. She only agreed to come on the date as she and her mother have an agreement that Amy would date at least once a year. Sheldon noticed they had a lot in common and bought her a beverage of tepid water. Raj and Howard regretted what they had done, with Howard saying, “Good God, what have we done?”.
In the season 4 premiere, “The Robotic Manipulation,” Sheldon reveals that he has been talking to Amy for four months online and via text messaging, after they first met. Penny is amazed that Sheldon has a girlfriend and Howard and Raj call Sheldon and Amy, “Shamy.” Sheldon denies that Amy is his girlfriend and that they mainly talk about Sheldon’s theoretical physics, Amy’s neurobiology and the possibility of having a child together via in-vitro fertilization. Penny convinces Sheldon to go on a proper date with Amy first, before he actually decides to have a child. She eventually ends up on the date with them, as she had to drive them to the restaurant. While there, Penny tries to make conversation, but fails. After the subject of Sheldon’s first date comes up, Sheldon calculates the number of men Penny would have dated. He ends up with 193, with 31 sexual encounters. Amy then asks if Penny feels like a “slut” and reveals that she has had 128 sexual encounters (if you include stimulation of the brain to induce orgasm). Eventually, Penny convinces Sheldon to not have a child with Amy after threatening to tell his mother since his highly-reglious mother would frown upon a test tube, surragated, out-of-wedlock grandchild.
In episode 3 of season 4, Amy and Sheldon break up for a period of time after an argument over whose field of science is more superior. This results in Sheldon buying a clowder of cats, which worries Leonard. So he calls Sheldon’s mother, who is unusually surprised at what she sees with Sheldon. She then calls Amy and usesthe technique of reverse psychology which Leonard instantly picks up on, but Sheldon is completely oblivious to. She tells Sheldon that it was a good thing he and Amy broke up because they are completely incompatible. Sheldon is instantly offended, so to prove his mother wrong, he offers Amy to reconcile, which she agrees after a negotiation on the amount of responsibility Sheldon has to accept for the break up (Amy offered 80%, Sheldon countered with 40%, settling at 65%).Afterwards, Sheldon gives away $20 to anybody willing to adopt his cats.
In episode 5 of season 4, Amy requests Sheldon to meet her mother, which terrifies him and he tries many ways to avoid her, as he thinks she has fallen in love with him. However, Amy says that she only wants to be friends with Sheldon and wants to pretend to be Boyfriend/Girlfriend to please her mother so that she will be silent on that matter. Sheldon freaks out Amy’s mother a bit, which is what Amy wanted him to be, when they tell her about their “fake” sex life. Her relationship with Sheldon is complex; it began as a purely intellectual friendship which consisted solely of text messaging, but, at some urging from Penny, develops into a platonic friendship with dynamics similar to a romantic relationship, although not sexually intimate.
They later pretend to have had a sexual encounter (the made-up details of which included Amy becoming pregnant) as an experiment to see how long it would take the gossip to spread throughout their social circle,
which Sheldon notes was “less than 24 hours.” In The Agreement Dissection, she became drunk during a “girl’s night” with Penny and Bernadette, at which Sheldon was present to escape Priya, and danced with Sheldon, after which Sheldon walked her home. She invites him in and, after advising him on how to deal with Priya, flirts with and then kisses Sheldon to which he responds “Fascinating”. After she throws up and passes out, Sheldon puts a towel under her head as a pillow and leaves (but before doing this he regulated Amy’s kitchen timer, which was making him go crazy) .
The next morning, a hungover Amy video-calls Sheldon, and he informs her of the kiss, and when Amy admits she is unsure where to go from there, they agree to pretend the entire events of the evening never occurred.
Later, she invites Leonard to a wedding, explaining that she’d invited Sheldon before, but he “acted like a child.” She and Leonard end up having a rather good time, though by the end of the night he’d sprained his groin dancing the Hokey Pokey and she’s convinced he’s in love with her. However, when Leonard tells Sheldon about the night, the way he describes it makes it seem as though he and Amy had sex. Sheldon bops Leonard rather hard on the shoulder, and states very firmly that Amy is not Leonard’s, leaving his friend totally confused.
In The Isolation Permutation, Amy got depressed after Penny and Bernadette went bridesmaid dress shopping without her and Sheldon ended up comforting her. First she asked for sex due to wanting physical intimacy and the couple made counter offers and settled with cuddling, something Sheldon was erelucant to do.
A recurring topic for discussion among audience of the show is whether Amy may be the first person that Sheldon may have developed romantic feelings for, though he himself may not have realized it yet. It is clear that Amy is attracted to Sheldon, as witnessed in her many attempts to have some form of physical contact with him, such as kissing him while she was drunk, holding his hands and said that it was an experiment, and during the counter offers, she attempted to get Sheldon to agree to get into bed with her and french-kissing. Amy had also, in a scene in Season 5′s “The Pulled Groin Extrapolation”, told Leonard at a wedding that he has “a kinda-sorta-boyfriend playing with a model train and you don’t hear me bitching about it”, a clear reference to Sheldon. In “The Ornitophobia Diffusion”, when Sheldon finally overcame his fear of birds and appeared infatuated by the bird, to the point he called him his little “Lovey-dovey”. A slightly jealous Amy replied “guess you gotta have hollow bones to get some sugar around here”.
Sheldon, while his feelings for Amy remains ambiguous, clearly cares for her at least. In “The Isolation Permutation”, several events highlighted his care for Amy. When a devastated Amy wanted to be alone and did not respond to any form of communications Sheldon attempted to reach her, Sheldon grew worried and distracted, till Leonard suggested that they go over to her place to check up on her. While getting ready to leave their apartment, Sheldon shared news that a bob cat was spotted near Amy’s place and Leonard responded that he does not think that Amy has been eaten by a bob cat. A shocked Sheldon said that he was only sharing a piece of news and now, thanks to Leonard, he is worried whether Amy has indeed been eaten by a bob cat. Later, at Amy’s apartment, when she told Sheldon that she wanted to be left alone, Sheldon asked, rather awkwardly whether Amy would like to talk about what’s troubling her, though he did add that he has no problem if Amy says no. Afterwards, when Amy counter offered with him regarding human intimacy and physical contact, Sheldon eventually agreed to cuddle with her. When a drunk Amy called Sheldon as he was building his Lego Death Star, he and Leonard went to see her at the parking lot near the licquor store when she called Leonard “Lil’ Leonard” and Sheldon “Cuddles”, a term which earned a frown from Leonard. Sheldon quickly retorted with “Yes Cuddles, we cuddled, grow up Leonard”, showing that he no longer cares about what his friends may say regarding his relationship with Amy.
In “The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition”, Sheldon at first claimed he was fine with Stuart asking Amy out on a date. But later, when he went to the comic book store with Leonard to return Leonard’s Wild West and Witches expansion pack and found that someone else has replaced Stuart since he is out for coffee with Amy, he started feeling jealous. Leonard asked him whether he was okay but his reassurance on the matter looked doubtful. At the university cafetaria, as the guys were discussing the Wild West and Witches deluxe set, Sheldon was checking Stuart’s Facebook page, and the guys were surprised to see that he has actually friended Stuart. Raj suggested that he did so just to keep tabs on Stuart’s date with Amy. Leonard told him to acknowledge his feelings for Amy while Howard told him to challenge Stuart to a fight. Sheldon said that he could not care less about the date but ended up unfriending all three of them. Later, he went to Penny’s apartment and asked Penny out on a date, to signal that he did not care about Amy and Stuart. When Penny told him that he only wanted to do so to make Amy jealous, he denied and wondered why everyone else is obsessed with Amy and Stuart and added whether those two have more pumpkin lattes or will have intercourse, showing that he did keep himself updated with the details of their date(s). Penny told him to buck up and talk to Amy.
Sheldon ended up interrupting Amy and Stuart’s date at the movie by going into the movie they were watching and sitting next to Amy. When Amy asked what he was doing there, he covered up by saying that the thought of Amy sitting in a darkened theatre with a character like Stuart is repellant. Amy apologized and influenced him to man up to his feelings by saying that their current relationship status allows her to be in any repellant situation she likes. This was when Sheldon decided to propose an alteration to their relationship paradigm by saying he would no longer object if they characterize her as his girlfriend, but other than that nothing will change in terms of physical or otherwise. Amy pushed Sheldon to try saying that again without the negative but he refused so she provoked him by sliding towards Stuart and saying hi to him, following which Sheldon relented and asked properly if Amy is willing to be his girlfriend. She agreed and he left immediately. Later on, Sheldon waited inside Amy’s apartment as she finishes her date. When Amy and Stuart was conversing outside her apartment, Sheldon told them to quickly wrap things up and when Amy and Stuart gave each other a friendly hug, Sheldon immediately retaliated by asking Stuart to take the hint that Amy has said goodnight. When Amy asked him how he entered her apartment, he complained whether she will keep nagging like this now that she is his girlfriend and introduced her to the Relationship Agreement. Amy did not seem to like the agreement although she said it is romantic. Sheldon told her she could get herself a lawyer. Amy agreed to the agreement anyway. As of now, the two have officially become a couple.
In “The Beta Test Initiation”, Amy helped Sheldon with his YouTube series on vexillology entitled “Fun With
Flags”. At the beginning, she even made a suggestion which he described as brilliant, which was highly unusual since he normally dismisses other people’s comments about his work. In one episode where Sheldon was describing the Bavarian flag, he even dressed up as a Bavarian and made Amy dressed up as a pretzel.
In “The Friendship Contraction” , Sheldon asked Amy to take him to the dentist after all of his other friends refused, and Leonard had signed the clause on The Roommate Agreement to reduce his and Sheldon’s relationship to mere acquaintances. However, Amy was busy with work and could not drive him. He tried to make her guilty by telling her that as his girlfriend, she had to cater to his needs, and even to the extent of asking her “where has the magic gone?”. Amy looked upset at his comments and Penny ended up defending her.
In “The Vacation Solution” , Sheldon decided to work at Amy’s laboratory with her for a week, after he was forced to undergo his mandatory vacation. Once there, he was appalled by the tasks Amy told him to do, which were menial given his standards, such as washing the beakers and counting spores. Surprisingly, he could not accomplish any of the tasks right. Eventually, he confronted her on the matter. Amy reasoned that even if he was a genius, she could not assign him difficult tasks because he had no experience working in Biology. Sheldon retaliated by telling her that she was just afraid that he would be better than her. Annoyed, Amy let him slice the brain specimen she was working on. He ended up cutting his thumb and fainted at the sight of his own blood. After talking to Penny, Sheldon went back to apologize to Amy for his behavior, however, being Sheldon, he could not offer a sincere and direct apology. Amy downright refused to accept anything but a real apology so finally, he managed to mutter up a short “sorry”. Amy accepted and told him to start washing the beakers again.
In “The Werewolf Transformation” , Sheldon missed out on his regular haircut schedule, due to his regular barber being hospitalized. This event affected his daily routine because he could not get over not getting his haircut on time. When he was over at Amy’s apartment, on their scheduled “girlfriend-boyfriend sing-a-long night”, he could not concentrate. Amy suggested he go to Supercuts but he refused, equating Supercuts to “Sodom and Gomorrah with mousse”. She then suggested he grew out his hair, because she thought he would look sexy with long hair. He refused to that as well. Later, Sheldon spiralled even more out of control by playing bongos at 3 a.m. and went to her apartment. The next day, when Leonard and Penny came over to pick him up, Amy revealed that she initially thought Sheldon’s presence last night was a musical booty call. Sheldon finally relented to have his hair cut by Penny, after Amy convinced him by saying that there was no hair on her body she would not let Penny trim.
In “The Weekend Vortex”, Sheldon agreed to go to Amy’s Aunt Flora’s 93rd birthday party. He began to have doubts on going after the guys told him that they would be having a 48-hour Star Wars online gaming marathon, like in the old days. He tried to persuade Amy to let him stay instead but she refused, saying that she followed all his protocols in The Relationship Agreement. Sheldon gave in, albeit unwillingly. The next day, when they were about to begin their journey, Amy discovered that Sheldon had brought along his laptop with him. Sheldon told her that he had found a way to compromise, by being physically present at her aunt’s party, but virtually present for the online gaming. Amy told him that it would make him appear rude since her family would want to talk to him. He told her that he will have his headset on so that he could not hear them in the first place. Upset, Amy sarcastically told him that if gaming was more important to him than his commitments to her, he could stay. He did not get her meaning and opted to stay. Amy was later seen upset and having gone to the party alone. She confided in Penny and Penny persuaded her to make a scene. The girls later barged into Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment, while they were still gaming. Amy told Sheldon that she was going to embarrass him in front of his friends. She told him that she was leaving him for Arman, the miniature horse breeder. He asked her who Arman was but she tripped up on her words and failed to continue the ruse. Penny helped by telling Sheldon he hurt her by backing out on his words. Sheldon finally understood, and offered her Cooper Coupons to make it up to her.
In The Launch Acceleration, Sheldon came over to Amy’s apartment for their scheduled monthly Date Night for a home-cooked dinner, despite his idea of a hot date is crossing the street and going to the Lego store to buy a tiny Indiana Jones Lego. He found out that the reason Amy requested to have their Date Night at her place was to get their relationship moving forward, just like their friends’. He was reluctant because he thought that considering he has known her for two years and he was already at her place after dark, their relationship could not go any faster. However, Amy, having anticipated his response decided to achieve her goal by using her skills in neurobiology. She wanted to try to create his emotional attachment to her, just like his attachments to his
his mother and superheroes, by making him happy. Their Date Night was full of the things he likes, such as Super Mario Brothers’ theme song as the background music, drinking strawberry Quik, and being served spaghetti with hot dogs cut up in it. Amy’s plan seemed to be going well because Sheldon immediately responded with they should do it more often. After the night, it was shown that Sheldon had become distracted and he admitted to Leonard over their game of 3D chess that he was starting to develop affectionate feelings for Amy at inappropriate times, though not in a sexual way. He also revealed that Amy took her campaign even further past their Date Night by arranging for him to become an Amtrak junior conductor, something extremely special since it was only open for kids. He even got to blow the whistle. At the end of the episode, Sheldon and Amy were caught by Leonard playing Doctor, Star Trek style, with Sheldon lying on the couch while Amy, fully dressed in a Nurse Chapel uniform from Star Trek The Original Series, performed medical check-up on him.
In The Countdown Reflection, Amy told Bernadette that she thinks Sheldon’s eidetic memory is sexy and proceeded to ask him to recite the ingredients in Pringles. Later, at the City Hall while waiting for Howard and Bernadette to get married (they did not however, manage to squeeze in for the day), Amy asked Sheldon whether being at there and witnessing a lot of couple in love makes him thinking, but he did not get what she meant and ended up exposing Leonard’s failed proposal to Penny in the previous episode to all their friends. During the wedding ceremony, as Sheldon was addressing Howard and Bernadette, Amy looked displeased when Sheldon told them that he hopes they find happiness together as he has found being all by himself. However, during Howard’s launch into space, Sheldon did something completely contradictory to his statement, by grabbing Amy’s hand as he said “Boldly go, Howard Wolowitz!”.
Sheldon is very different from the rest of his family. His mother Mary Cooper is a devout Christian and a loving parent, and is one of the few people who refer to him as “Shelly”. Leonard Hofstadter called her Sheldon’s “Kryptonite” and will often call her when Sheldon is having serious issues.
Sheldon also has a fraternal twin sister, Missy Cooper, a hostess at Fuddruckers. Tall and attractive, she caught the attention of Leonard, as well as of Raj and Howard. Sheldon believes that within Missy’s eggs lays the potential for another “superior mutation” like himself, and on this grounds considered his friends unsuitable to be with his sister. Sheldon became offended when he found that Missy tells others he is a rocket scientist; he apparently thinks the title is inaccurate and below him, telling her she might as well say he is a toll collector at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Along with Missy, Sheldon also had an older brother, named George Jr. who often beat him up, along with Missy. Mary described the two of them as being “dumb as soup.” George Jr. has never been shown on the show.
Sheldon’s father, George, an almost-redneck Texan Homer Simpson, died shortly before the series began, and Missy visited Sheldon to bring paperwork regarding their father’s estate. Sheldon recalls that his father would force him to watch football ever since he was four despite his lack of interest for the sport. He also taught him archery which gives Sheldon an odd smell of K-Mart bourbon whenever he plays it, including the Wii version.
Sheldon is also very close to his grandmother, whom he calls “Meemaw,” who in turn calls him “Moon Pie” Her name is not yet revealed so far.
Sheldon has a maternal uncle, Edward , who is called “Stumpy” as the result of a time when he cleaned a woodchipper by hand. Sheldon had another uncle, called Carl Cooper, who was killed by a badger while cleaning a chimney.
Consistent with his characterization, Sheldon has many detailed and routine eating habits. He prefers his chicken diced, not shredded with low sodium soy sauce and spicy hot mustard, also brown rice instead of white. He loves to eat at Big Boy, an American restaurant chain, but eats at the Cheesecake Factory on Tuesday nights (presumably before the occasional Klingon Boggle game), which replaces eating at Big Boy (which then moved to Thursday until they had pizza on that day. Sheldon most likely eats at Big Boy whenever, or on special occasions.) Sheldon eats Giacomo’s pizza on Thursday with sausage, mushrooms, and light olives. In The Agreement Dissection, however, Sheldon mentions that they used to order from a restaurant called Franconi’s, which went out of business, forcing them to switch to Graziano’s. Sheldon sorts his cereal numerically by fiber content, and rewards himself with “Honey Puffs” cereal.
Sheldon neither drinks coffee, nor alcohol, because he promised his mother that he wouldn’t start doing drugs while he resided in California. Instead he likes drinking Diet Coke®. When forced to order a cocktail, Sheldon solves the problem by ordering a “virgin Cuba Libre,” which is nothing more than a Coke® in a tall glass, served with a lime wedge. He then goes on to ask if Penny would make it diet. Sheldon likes Chinese food, and is adamant that the number of dumplings can be evenly split between all partakers of the meal, and always wants it from the restaurant Szechuan Palace. Sheldon even learns Mandarin to confront the restaurant when he believes they have been passing off orange chicken as tangerine chicken.
Sheldon eats Thai food on Mondays – Mee Krob with extra peanuts. Sheldon thinks chocolate pudding is the best type of pudding, and does not believe that three-tined forks are, in actuality, forks, but tridents, and refuses to eat with them. Sheldon doesn’t like to go to the cinema if he can’t eat Red Vines or drink Icees during the movie, and only if someone comes with him, so that he/she can give him the Heimlich Maneuver in case he chokes on popcorn. On the matter of Icees and Slurpees, Sheldon maintains that the two are wholly different. Sheldon always eats oatmeal for breakfast on Mondays, and always has French Toast for breakfast on certain days. Sheldon drinks herbal tea, sometimes with honey. His favorite flavor appears to be chamomile. Sheldon drinks hot chocolate only in the months containing the letter “R” (January, February, March, April, September, October, November, December) explaining “What is life without whimsy.” Sheldon dislikes haggis and blood pudding. Sheldon believes that real Chili isn’t supposed to have beans in it. Like Leonard, Sheldon hates Greek food, saying lamb kebab is “little cubes of charred meat that tastes like sweat”.
Sheldon has many routines which he follows strictly. His morning routine is to wake up at 6:15 every Saturday, he pours himself a bowl of cereal, adds a 1/4 cup of 2% milk, sits down in his spot on the couch and turns on BBC America and watches Doctor Who. If he cannot complete this routine for some reason, he becomes very distraught. In addition, Sheldon goes to the Comic Book Store every Wednesday so he can see all the new comics on “New Comic Book Day.” Also, every Wednesday night is “Halo Night”, and Sheldon makes a big fuss about not starting at exactly 8:00pm and he must have the exact amount of time to play the game or else he takes the time out of eating or bathroom time. Sheldon does his laundry every Saturday night at 8.15 p.m. and uses a FlipFold to fold his t-shirts and socks. Each day, Sheldon has a specific pajama to wear. In the case of a stain, he still would not swap a pajama. He would rather sleep without bottoms as seen in The Barbarian Sublimation, when he spilled grape juice on his bottoms. Sheldon hates it when people change the contrast of the TV settings, talk to him through the bathroom door, change Band-Aids in front of him, buy generic ketchup, forget to rinse the sink, adjust the thermostat, or cook with Cilantro and mock trains.
Being a scientific genius, Sheldon is very particular about his technological devices. Early on in the series, he uses what seems to be a customized Dell XPS M1710. After being robbed, he adopts an Alienware M17x Nebula Red laptop that runs on Windows 7, which he doesn’t like as it is more user friendly than Window Vista. Sheldon’s favorite Linux-based Operating System is Ubuntu. Sheldon has an iPhone 4, and he and his friends enjoy making fun of the Apple Genius Bar employees. He is also shown to use a Macbook Pro, with a red case, when video chatting to Amy Farrah Fowler.
Sheldon and his friends play Age of Conan where he is a Conqueror by the name of Sheldor the Conqueror and has reached Level 80. Sheldon and all of his friends play numerous multiplayer online games; he is a Blood Elf Warlock (though it is originally stated he is a Night Elf Rogue) in World of Warcraft, loves Super Mario Bros. (wanting to control people in the same way he can control Mario in the video game Super Mario 64), and playsHalo every Wednesday night with his friends. He also plays bass guitar in the video game Rock Band. When Sheldon plays Wii archery, he likes to do it like in real life, including drawing an arrow out of a quiver because he believes the people at Nintendo can go so far as to help people recreate an actual athletic experience and they need to do their part too. Sheldon is not good at Mario Kart on Wii. Raj points out, that in real life or in games, he cannot drive. Sheldon is, however, very good at bowling on Wii Sports (and in real life). Sheldon likes to play the vintage text adventure “Zork“.
Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, Ph.D., is an experimental physicistat the California Institute of Technology who rooms with Sheldon Cooper in apartment 4A of their rundown apartment building. Originally from New Jersey, Leonard attended Princeton University and was twenty-four years old when he received his doctorate with a Dissertation of the Year award for experimental particle physics. Having lived with Sheldon for seven years by the end of the third season, he and Leonard are best friends. However, mild-mannered Leonard can become very agitated by many of his eccentricities and often feels obligated to explain Sheldon’s behavior and serve as a mediator between him and other people in situations – he has been described as the straight man of the series. While Leonard, along with his geek friends and fellow scientists, is somewhat socially inept, Leonard would like to be better accepted outside of his social group. Leonard is more well-adjusted than his companions, being more willing and more able to try different things. He appears to be best suited as a leader of the group, with Sheldon commenting how Leonard is the “Kirk” of the group. The writers have toyed with a romance between him and neighbor Penny, with their on-and-off relationship being a major force for drama.
Dr. Leonard Hofstadter is an experimental physicist at the California Institute of Technology and has been published in peer-reviewed journals. His honors include the Newcomb Medal. When he started at the university seven years ago as of the third season, he conducted classified government research on military rocket fuel capable of generating over 8,000 kN of thrust when mixed into Tovex in order to create a combustible gel. His work often includes the use of high-powered lasers, and his research topics have varied from Bose-Einstein condensates and fundamental tests of quantum mechanics to cosmic radiation and dark matter. According to Sheldon, most of his work is extremely derivative.
With Sheldon, he coauthored a paper entitled Paradoxical Moment-of-Inertia Changes Due to Putative Super-Solids, to be presented at an Institute for Experimental Physics topical conference on Bose-Einstein condensates. The findings contained therein show that at temperatures approaching absolute zero, the solid becomes a super-solid, a previously unknown state of matter, and the moment of inertia changes.
To study the soft component of cosmic radiation at sea-level, Leonard designed an experiment using a helium-neon laser. When the university received a new free-electron laser, he required access in order to perform his X-ray diffraction experiment. Subsequently, he procured a big government grant to see if high-powered lasers can be used to knock out incoming ballistic missiles.
His investigations into dark matter were rendered useless by Dr. David Underhill‘s observation of high-energy positrons, the first conclusive evidence for the existence of galactic dark matter. Yet, together, they examined the radiation levels of photomultiplier tubes for a new dark matter detector. He later attempted to replicate the dark matter signal found in sodium iodide crystals by the Italians.
Leonard has carried out a series of anti-proton decay experiments with negative results. His latest experiment consisted of twenty thousand data runs and no statistically significant results.
Dr. Hofstadter’s tests of the Aharonov-Bohm quantum interference effect reached an interesting point when examining the phase shift due to an electric potential, wherein he set up the voltages using tunnel junctions. Though, given the parameters of his experiment, the transport of electrons through the aperture of the nano-fabricated metal rings was qualitatively no different than an experiment already conducted in the Netherlands. Their observed phase shift in the diffusing electrons inside the metal ring already conclusively demonstrated the electric analogue of the Aharonov-Bohm quantum interference effect.
Although Leonard feels at home with his geek colleagues, he is reluctant to let others know about his recreational activities (such as Klingon Boggle), as he does not like to be seen as a geek, and wants to be more social. Sweet but sarcastic, Leonard also seems to be the most well-adjusted one of the group; he is quick to try new things apart from his nerd friends. Among the main characters, he generally has the least amount of difficulty interacting with “ordinary” individuals, as compared to Sheldon (who is unable to grasp social norms), Raj (who is unable to talk to women outside his family unless under the influence of alcohol), and even Howard (who is often seen as “creepy” when flirting with women). Between Sheldon and him, Leonard is the only one who feels that he “should do something” when Penny begins to recount her recent breakup. Leonard usually blurts out the wrong things in front of women when he is nervous, such as when he’s trying to invite Penny to lunch and mentions that curry is a natural laxative.
Despite his attempts to reject his nerd status, Leonard owns, among other things, Star Wars hygiene products, an expansive Superman comic book collection and a Battlestar Galactica Colonial warrior’s flight suit, also a lightsaber that he calls a “glow stick”. Early in the series, Leonard tried to get rid of his collectables to show maturity and impress Penny. However, he changed his mind when he saw Penny was already dating another man.
Leonard is indicated to be proficient in literature, history, and music as well as the sciences – he is able to solve a woman’s crossword puzzle in a matter of seconds, the answers being mostly literature-based, and can play the cello.
Having lived with Sheldon for seven years, he and Leonard are best friends, and is obligated to explain Sheldon’sirrational behavior and serve as a mediator between him and other people in many situations. However, Leonard often gets very irritated by much of his behavior. For instance, when Penny and Sheldon engaged in fierce dispute, Leonard gave Penny the phone number of Sheldon’s mother so she would call her son and scold Sheldon for his behavior, thus ending the fight, as shown in the episode The Panty Piñata Polarization. Leonard is also upset for the fact that Sheldon dislikes his favorite show, Babylon 5, which Sheldon refuses to be watched in his apartment. Like everyone, he dislikes his friends’ habit of rattling off different trivial facts. Leonard’s IQ of 173 is not as high as Sheldon’s and the latter has scoffed at Leonard’s whiteboard theories as common enough to be “scribbled on the wall of every men’s room at MIT”.
Leonard seems to get along with Howard, and was obligated to ask Howard for help when he wants to get a girlfriend, as seen in one episode. Even so, Howard tried to even make Leonard’s birthday a surprise, even going as far to going to the hospital, with Leonard admitting that Howard cares for Leonard. Leonard and Raj do seem to go along well, but Leonard is quite irritated by much of his impulsive and eccentric behavior, especially when it comes to explaining about the United States.
Rather short for a man (he stopped growing in eighth grade), Leonard is lactose intolerant, asthmatic, bespectacled due to myopia, prone to carsickness and migraines, gets a bloody nose after jogging, suffers from sleep apnea, and possesses a genetic predisposition to heart disease. Leonard’s primary health concern is his lactose intolerance; he avoids eating even small amounts of dairy products (including cheese, yoghurt, and butter), in addition to melon and desserts at the Cheesecake Factory, for fear of his intestines blowing up like a balloon animal and passing a noxious gas that Sheldon maintains can be weaponized. This is often subject to teasing. According to the pilot, he cannot process corn either. He is self-conscious about his childhood bed-wetting, particularly given his middle name is Leakey (similarly, he despises that “nerd” is in his first name; though he was named for noted British archaeologist and naturalist Louis Leakey).
Leonard is somewhat neurotic, unsurely tilting his head as he speaks nervously as well as avoiding eye contact and squinting. When under great stress, his voice is protracted to a high-pitched whine or he gets sweaty. At times, Leonard’s demeanour seems very low energy, plus he is irritable. Clumsy, he often bangs his head, which induces vomiting. Leonard is incredibly sensitive about his height, his growth ending in 8th grade, although enjoys pointing out the fact that Howard is shorter.
Leonard is usually seen wearing his characteristic black-framed glasses, neutral-colored jackets or vests over a hoodie, low-cut black Converse sneakers, brown trousers, and physics-themed t-shirts. Along with questionable fashion choices including mismatched color schemes, he sometimes applies an absurd amount of hair gel. However, his girlfriends buy him new clothes, and he has put aside his corduroy suit for formal occasions to don a fancy silk shirt and vest or blazer, much to Penny’s approval.
Over the course of the series, despite retaining his nerd habits, Leonard becomes more socially adept, although he is also more vindictive.
All of the members of Leonard Hofstadter’s family are accomplished scientists, apart from his younger brother, Michael, who is a lawyer. Leonard is actually the least successful of his family.
His mother, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has a personality identical to Sheldon’s, including strict speech patterns, lack of social conventions, and attention to detail, and is mainly responsible for the difficult childhood Leonard had. Due to his mother’s views, Leonard never celebrated his birthday when he was a child, and when she visited him, she didn’t see the point of seeing Leonard’s unoriginal research, since it has already been done. She wouldn’t give him any sort of approval growing up and would humiliate him in public, causing his recurrent bed-wetting and making him desperate to please women. Leonard mentioned to Penny that when he was young he built a “hugging machine,” with two self-constructed remote-controlled arms, in order to compensate for the lack of affection from his mother; the saddest thing was that his father used to borrow it too. Beverly also mentioned to Howard that Leonard’s brother and sister are more successful in their respective fields than he is, but she was not proud of them as they weren’t “her” accomplishments.
Leonard’s younger brother, Michael, is a Harvard law professor and is married to the youngest appellate court judge in New Jersey history. Leonard also says that his brother is eight inches taller than him.
Leonard’s sister is a cutting-edge medical researcher working with adolescent gibbons to cure diabetes. She has even gone as far as successfully growing a human pancreas in one. Leonard also says that she is 38 years old and married in Season 4.
Leonard’s father is briefly mentioned as an anthropologist. Sheldon pointed out that Leonard’s middle name, “Leakey”, comes from famed archaeologist Louis Leakey, with whom Leonard’s father had worked, which Leonard finds humiliating. It is implied due to Beverly’s nature that Leonard prefers his father over her. In Season 2, he had an affair, which resulted in divorce. Leonard’s father has not been seen or named.
Leonard’s Uncle Floyd was briefly mentioned in The Maternal Capacitance as the only person from his childhood he had fond memories about. In The Codpiece Topology, though, he said Aunt Edna, a very hairy woman, is sweet and would tickle him when they hugged. The closest thing he ever had to a birthday party was when his grandfather died on his birthday, so he got to see his cousins and have his favorite, German chocolate cake.
There is male pattern baldness in his family. According to Sheldon, when his uncles sit around the dinner table they look like a half carton of eggs. At Thanksgiving, his grandmother with Alzheimer’s had an episode where she took her clothes off in the apartment, Leonard describing the worst part as when she carved the turkey.
Leonard is usually mildly shy around women but, unlike Sheldon, he actually cares about having a girlfriend. He is the most successful of the main four to get into relationships. As Howard recounts, Leonard’s relationships record prior to Stephanie Barnett, excluding the woman with a Ph.D. in French Literature, is approximated by the geometric progression where n = 0, 1, 2; twenty-seven days with Joyce Kim, two booty calls with Leslie Winkle (2.25 days), and a three hour dinner with Penny which would have been two and a half if they ordered the souffle when they sat down (4.5 hours). His relationship with Stephanie should have ended after twenty minutes (22.5 minutes for n = 3).
Joyce Kim was one of Leonard’s relationships that was widely talked about in his social circle but was never seen until a flashback in ‘The Staircase Implementation’. A North Korean spy attempting to get information on the government project Leonard was working on (a type of Rocket Fuel), the relationship lasted only 27 days before Joyce defected back to North Korea. It is possible that Joyce Kim is the woman Leonard lost his virginity to.
He is instantly captivated by the presence of Penny during the Pilot episode, and from that moment Leonard sets his mission to date her. He falls head over heels for Penny within seconds of spotting her and, while at first it seems like lust rather than love, by the end, the Pilot episode he has already announced to Sheldon “our babies will be smart and beautiful.” Sheldon, however, is quick to add, “not to mention imaginary.” His infatuation with Penny becomes the major force that drives the series during the first season. At the season one finale, Leonard finally managed to ask Penny out, and they had their first date. Subsequently, they broke up because Penny felt she wasn’t as smart as Leonard would like. On another occasion, during the visit of Leonard’s mother, Leonard and Penny came
very close to having sex, but he ruined the moment by talking about their childhood issues with his mother and her father, respectively.
In the second season finale, when the guys were going on a 3-month scientific expedition, Penny finally showed interest in Leonard, but kept her feelings a secret. In the third season premiere, Leonard and Penny finally started a romantic relationship, and made love for the first time. They remain to have a stable relationship and even had the blessing from his mother during her second appearance during episode, The Maternal Congruence. The relationship eventually came to an end during The Wheaton Recurrence afterPenny was not able to tell Leonard that she loved him as well. They decided during The Spaghetti Catalyst that they able to stay as friends as well even though they broke up (for Sheldon’ssake). Penny’s father would later beg Leonard to “not give up on her”.
In “The Isolation Permutation”, Sheldon became angry when he had to spend the night consoling a hearbroken Amy from being left out of the bridesmaid dress shopping by Penny and Bernadette. He told Howard and Leonard to keep their women in line. Leonard responded that he should not be the person to do that since he was no longer her boyfriend. Sheldon told that since Leonard was the person who invited Penny to lunch the first time she moved to the apartment, everything about her is on Leonard.
In “The Ornitophobia Diffusion”, Leonard agreed to go out with Penny to a movie just as friends, their first attempt at going out alone together since they broke up. The first-half of the non-date went well, with the two finally watched a movie that Leonard picked, a documentary about building a dam on a river in South America, and Penny actually had to pay for her own ticket. The reason being that Leonard no longer gave in to Penny since he was no longer expecting sex at the end of the night. The two later went to Brady’s Beer and while Leonard went to get them fries (which Penny had to pay for hers since Leonard did not want her to eat his fries), Penny started flirting with a geeky screenwriter named Kevin. A ditched Leonard started flirting with a woman named Laura, before Penny suddenly interfered. The two ended up saying horrible things to each other, such as Leonard owned two Star Trek costumes that he wore even when it was not Halloween and Penny thought that Cold Wars were fought only during the winter. They ended the night walking back to the apartment, both looking gloomy. Leonard told that he did not think they were ready to go out as friends and apologized for his behavior. Penny apologized too but said that she liked the take-charge and cocky Leonard. She said goodnight and went to her apartment.
On the spur of the moment in The Recombination Hypothesis, Leonard asks Penny out on a date after he imagined what getting back with her might be like. Their real date ends successfully and they agreed to take their relationship slow in The Beta Test Initiation, by treating it as a Beta test and present Bug reports to each other to settle any issues arising. In The Friendship Contraction, things seem to move along well with their second attempt at a relationship. During a blackout at the apartment, Leonard decided to hang out at Penny’s and they had wine, played with a bubble wrap, and attempted to make out before being interrupted by Sheldon.
In “The Werewolf Transformation”, Penny learns the game of chess and beats Leonard the first time she plays. The two later picked Sheldon up from Amy’s apartment after he went there at 3 a.m. with his bongos.
In “The Weekend Vortex”, Leonard checks in with Penny whether she would be okay with him spending a whole weekend on a 48-hour Star Wars online gaming marathon. Penny does not seem disturbed by it, which upsets Leonard a little. She tells him that he does not need to check with her for such matter. He, on the other hand thinks that he should, since he does not want to upset her, yet if he does check in with her, he does not want her to think he is being too serious, since they are still at the Beta Test phase of their relationship. Penny asks him what he expects her to say so Leonard tells her that he expects her to at least show that she is upset at the prospect of him being unavailable for the entire weekend, but realizes that he is a wild stallion that needs to run free. Penny tries it again with the version that Leonard wants and the two share a kiss.
In the “Launch Acceleration”, Penny suggested that they move up their relationship and get intimate, however Leonard ruins the mood when he asks her to marry him. They later meet and Penny does have the courage to tell him “no” and not break up with him as she did two years previously when the told her that he loved her. “The Countdown Reflection”, there was some friction between the two of them about the proposal, but when Howard was being launched they were holding hands to comfort each other.
Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton is a colleague of Sheldon who stays with Leonard and Sheldon when she visits CalTech for a conference. The first night, she seduces Leonard before attempting to set up a gang-bang with Leonard,Howard, and Raj. Raj gets rid of the other two, and Leonard did not pursue a relationship past the one-night stand.
Leslie Winkle is a fellow scientist of Leonard. The first time Leonard askedLeslie out, he was rejected. His further relationships with her proved to be only short-lived casual sexual intercourse. Prior to his later encounters with Wil Wheaton, Sheldon considered Leslie his archenemy and one of their disputes resulted in the final breakup between Leslie and Leonard after Leonard supported Sheldon’s theories over her own.
Interestingly, Leonard’s and Leslie’s actors also had a relationship in the older sitcom, Roseanne, although this ended.
Leonard was indirectly introduced to Dr. Stephanie Barnett by Howard who was interested in her. Leonard then stole her from Howard and started a stable relationship with her. Although the relationship went well, even earningSheldon’s approval, Leonard felt uncomfortable with Stephanie moving in with him and the speed of their relationship, and they broke up, the details of their breakup—why and when—unknown.
Priya is Raj’s younger sister, she was first introduced to the gang on April 12, 2005, on that day Leonard was able to establish a sexual relationship with her despite his pact to not do so with Howard. Their relationship was not known by the gang for five years, where Leonard continued his sexual relationship with Priya. By this point, Leonard wanted to proceed with their relationship, even suggesting to move to India with her, but Priya had no interest in proceeding.
In The Cohabitation Formulation, Priya and Leonard discussed their relationship and decided to start dating each other, much to Raj’s dismay. InThe Roommate Transmogrification , it was revealed that Priya was moving back to India. In spite of the physical distance between them, Priya and Leonard are at present attempting to maintain a long distance relationship, communicating via Skype.
Leonard and Priya’s relationship seems to have come to an end after Leonard admitted to making out with a comic book artist and admitting it to Priya and apologising, Priya then admitted she slept with her ex-boyfriend. Leonard then closed the laptop and he claimed he was single in The Isolation Permutation after leaving Sheldon at Amy’s apartment.
Alice is a girl who meets Leonard at the comic book store and then seduces him. This occurs during the period when Leonard is having a long distance relationship with Priya. Leonard initially gives in to temptation, but at the last minute pulls away. Next time he’s communicating, via the webcam, with Priya, he confesses his weakness. To his surprise, Priya has no problems with it. Upon questioning, Priya reveals that she has not been faithful to Leonard resulting in them breaking up.
Leonard Hofstadter (boyfriend)
November 30, 1985
Penny is one of the main female characters in the show alongsideBernadette Rostenkowski and Amy Farrah Fowler, as well as the first of the three on the show. She has been Leonard’s love interest from the first season until now, with the two charactersdating at the time of the first season cliffhanger and for most of the third season. Despite the failure of the relationship, Leonard and Penny appear to be good friends and she still remains within the social group of the guys, although the relationship began again starting in the 100th and continued through the end of the fifth season.
Penny is 5 feet 5 inches tall with blonde hair and green eyes. Her most distinguishing features are her hair, eyes, smile and bust. Her wardrobe includes casual sportswear, Cheesecake Factory uniform and glamorous evening gowns. Regardless of attire, her wardrobe, makeup and accessories highlight her hairstyle, face and buxom figure. Penny’s wardrobe reflects her enjoyment of flaunting her bust; Howard regularly extends complements on her generosity in sharing her figure for all to enjoy.
When she first met the guys in the Pilot episode, she was writing a movie about a girl from Lincoln, Nebraska, who travels to Los Angeles to become an actress but ends up working at The Cheesecake Factory instead. WhenLeonard asks if the movie is autobiographical, she replies no because she’s from Omaha, Nebraska. The reason Penny is in the apartment building in the first place is because she split with her boyfriend of four years, Kurt, and was thrown out of their place. She says she still loved him, but wanted custody of their television set. The shower in her apartment was broken at the time, much to Leonard and Sheldon’s friends’ delight (she used Leonard andSheldon’s shower and came out wearing nothing but a towel!). She’s either ignorant of or all too aware of her effect on the boys, because within minutes of meeting them, she asked Leonard to retrieve her television set from her ex-boyfriend’s apartment, which he immediately sets out to do. Penny is aware ofLeonard’s crush on her, and it is hinted throughout the series that some of the feelings are reciprocated. They later start dating and doing “stuff.”
She is sloppy and disorganized, but appears to like it that way. Whenever Penny goes on a rebound relationship, she picks up an attractive man and then has 36 hours of meaningless sex over the course of a weekend; afterward, the relationship deteriorates. At the end of season one, Penny goes on a date with Leonard. They are both very nervous, but share a passionate kiss, nonetheless.
In Season Two, there is some initial enthusiasm between Penny and Leonard. However, later, they both develop insecurities concerning their relationship. Penny is worried that she isn’t smart enough for Leonard and lied about graduating from community college because she felt insecure. The relationship quickly deteriorates and she goes back to dating different guys.
She gives Leonard relationship advice when he’s with Stephanie and they seem to develop a deeper friendship. She also starts to become geekier. She makes references to Star Trek, much to her own surprise, and plays Age of Conan. She also dates Stuart, who runs the comic book store. This annoys Leonard who thinks he and Stuartare pretty much the same person. When Penny and Stuart are making out she accidentally calls him Leonard and as a result, they stop seeing each other. This hints to her feelings for Leonard. When she learns he is going to the Arctic, she is visibly upset, she buys him a blanket with sleeves and tells her door, after speaking with Leonard, she wishes he wasn’t going.
In Season Three, when the boys get back, she has obviously been missing Leonard quite a bit and kisses him passionately the second she sees him. Their relationship has a rocky start because first, they aren’t left alone to be together, and second, they seem to have some trouble getting used to being more than friends. They eventually start a stable relationship, which annoys Sheldon. Sheldon applies his knowledge of behavioral psychology and begins to train her using positive reinforcement techniques—i.e. chocolate—with a surprising amount of success. Leonard disapproves of this manipulative behavior and gets a dose of Sheldon’s negative reinforcement techniques i.e. a squirt bottle.
So far, the only member of Penny’s family that has been seen is her father,Wyatt. Penny had a very close bond with him when she was a child, however, it is mentioned that it was a tomboy bond since he wanted another son instead of another daughter, so despite hating to get dirty, Penny tried to be good at sports. He used to call her ‘slugger’ until she bought her first training bra, and he just stopped calling her ‘slugger’ and didn’t play catch with her anymore. Several other members have been mentioned too. Penny’s sister is also mentioned, as having shot her husband, whilst both she and the husband were drunk.
It is known that she has a nephew who turned 13 in Season Two, and it’s likely that he is the son of Penny’s sister, as her sister is known to be married. When Christy comes into town, Penny reveals that she has a brother and at least one male cousin, as she claims that Christy slept with the former while being engaged to the latter. Her brother also works in a meth lab. This is first hinted in The Pirate Solution as Penny describes him as ‘kind of a chemist’ and told Leonard that he’ll like him. It is finally confirmed in The Rhinitis Revelation, as she asks God to make her brother stop making it, but no cops. Sheldon implies Penny’s mother is fat and she says that her mother used to smoke pot when she was pregnant with Penny.
Leonard and Penny’s relationship is one of the primary topics in the series. Leonard became attracted to Penny the moment he met her and it didn’t take her long to figure out that he had feelings for her. Penny shows no signs of interest in Leonard until The Hamburger Postulate when she hears of his failed attempt at a relationship withLeslie Winkle , though the sign is seen only by the audience. Despite these signs, s
he continues to date other men as Leonard continued to try and make her give him a chance. It isn’t late in the first season that her and Leonard date, however they break up not long after when Penny fears he will get bored with her due to his high intelligence compared to her own. They remain friends although signs of their feelings for each other continue to show. After Leonard returns from his 3 month research trip at the north pole Penny immediately kisses him, having missed him greatly. They begin dating again and despite another rocky start, they are together for most of the 3rd season. They break up again after Leonard says he loves her and she doesn’t say it back. They again stay friends throughout season 4 but it is strained as Penny struggles to control her feelings for Leonard as well as her jealousy towards Priya. While drunk, she admits to Raj that she shouldn’t have ever broken up with Leonard.
On the spur of the moment in The Recombination Hypothesis, Leonard asks Penny out on a date after he imagined what getting back with her might be like. Their real date ends successfully and they agree to take their relationship slow in The Beta Test Initiation. In later episodes they appear to be still together.
In The Launch Acceleration, Penny suggested that they move up their relationship and get intimate, however Leonard ruins the mood when he asks her to marry him. They later meet and Penny, unlike their first break-up, managed to reject his proposal and still stay in the relationship with him. During The Countdown Reflection, there was some friction between the two of them about the proposal, but when Howard was being launched they were holding hands to comfort each other.
Penny and Sheldon constantly irritate each other and get on each other’s nerves. Sheldon is quick to take shots at Penny’s intelligence, job, and seemingly failing career while Penny throws off his personal rou
tines. Despite their differences, Sheldon and Penny are very close, and are quick to help each other. They have taken care of each other on multiple occasions, often times doing things they really don’t want to do to make each other feel better. Major examples are when Penny takes care of Sheldon when he is sick and when she lets him stay at her apartment when he gets locked out, even letting him sleep in her own bed. Sheldon was also quick to come to Penny’s aid when she called for help after falling in the shower and dislocating her shoulder, going so far as to drive her to the hospital, despite not knowing how to drive. Many of these occurrences end with Penny singing the song “Soft Kitty” to Sheldon to make him feel better; Sheldon sang it to her on one occasion as well. One of the biggest examples of their friendship is that despite his own rule of avoiding physical contact with people, Penny is one of only 3 people Sheldon has hugged who aren’t members of his family. The only others being Wil Wheaton and Amy Farrah Fowler. Penny seems to at times act like a “surrogate mother” to Sheldon, with Leonard being the father. During the time Penny and Leonard were together, whenever they fought, Sheldon would act like a child who doesn’t want his parents to split up.
Upon meeting, Howard constantly hit on Penny in ways that made her deem him “disgusting.” Their dynamic remains the same for the most part throughout the series but begins to change when Howard begins to date Bernadette. Although Penny is not a fan of him, she and Howard maintain a friendship, although they rarely hang out outside the group. Howard flirts with Penny much less and becomes more casual towards her after he begins his relationship with Bernadette, which Penny obviously enjoys, although she still pokes fun at him.
Like all other women, Raj was and is unable to speak to Penny unless he is drunk or on medication. They hangout within the group a lot and Penny occasionally attempts to tease him into talking to her. Raj begins to like Penny as the series goes on and the two end up getting drunk and appear to have slept together. Later Raj tells Penny that they did not have sex in the conventional way; and in clarification, he tells her that, when she helped him putting on the condom, he ejaculated prematurely. Raj asks Penny not to tell anyone and Penny promises to keep silent. Raj attempts to actually date her but she tells him she just wants to be friends. Despite their rough past, Penny attempts to find a girlfriend for Raj and comforts him when he may need it.
Penny and Bernadette work together at the Cheesecake Factory and are close friends. She is the first person outside of the main group that Penny is seen to hang out with on a regular basis. They enjoy hanging out at Penny’s apartment and going out together. They also hang out with the guys together once Howard starts dating Bernadette. In the episode “The Countdown Reflection”, because Bernadette wants to get married to Howard before he goes into outer space, Penny, along with Amy, Sheldon, Leonard and Raj gets ordained as a minister.
When Bernadette and Penny were having a sleepover, Amy injects herself into Penny’s life by getting herself invited. In no time she claims that she and Penny are best friends and calls her “bestie”. When she initially hangs out with Penny and Bernadette her lack of social skills make it somewhat awkward, but as she spends more time with them they bond and the 3 become their own group within the group of guys. The two gradually form a tight friendship and continue to spend more time together and are quick to aid one another whenever the other needs it. Amy is aware that Penny is the planet that her social life revolves around and quickly reverses her course if she is mad at her or is annoying her. Amy gave Penny a large ugly picture of the two of them to celebrate their friendship. At one point she realizes that Penny hates it, Penny rushes over to Amy’s apartment to rescue their friendship and rehangs the painting in her apartment. In The Shiny Trinket Maneuver, when Amy had her argument with Sheldon, Penny takes Sheldon to the jewelry store to buy a gift. Sheldon ends up getting Amy a tiara, and Amy freaks out saying she is a princess and that is her tiara. Penny is more than happy putting the tiara on Amy, which makes Amy go wild. In The Weekend Vortex, Amy confides in Penny when she had an awful time at her aunt’s birthday party because Sheldon backed out on his promise to attend to play the Star Wars online game. Penny gets them to play quarters where the loser will need to drink beer. Amy turns out to be very good at the game from all the time she spent as a child throwing coins wishing for friends, and as a result, Penny got drunk. She convinces Amy to make a scene and the two barge into the opposite apartment as the guys are in the middle of their marathon. Amy fails to keep up her ruse of leaving Sheldon for a make-believe character named Arman, and Penny comes to her rescue by telling Sheldon the truth.
only overcame her addiction when she realised she’d accepted a virtual date from Sir Howard of Wolowitz (Howard).
between March and September 1981
Howard Joel Wolowitz, M.Eng., is a Jewish engineer and Rajesh Koothrappali‘s best friend. Technically, he’s also an astronaut.Though he lives with his overbearing mother in the suburb of Altadena, California, Howard often hangs out at Leonard andSheldon‘s apartment. He has a Master’s degree in Engineering from MIT, but is usually ridiculed for lacking a doctorate, as opposed to his more distinguished physicist friends. Fancying himself a smooth ladies’ man, Howard is rather confident to try to woo girls (unlike the other three), mostly through creepy overtures and sometimes with his knowledge of languages, of which he knows seven. In The Countdown Reflection, he marries Bernadette Rostenkowski before his launch into space.
Howard Wolowitz is an Aerospace Engineer and faculty atCaltech‘s Department of Applied Physics. He has worked in the Astronautical Engineering lab at Caltech for three years as of the first season, began work at JPL’s Deep Space Operations Centerprior to the series, and has his own Caltech Mechanical Engineering Lab.
Howard designed a satellite which is currently orbiting Jupiter’s largest moon taking high-resolution digital photographs and remotely repairs satellites on a regular basis. He also troubleshoots space shuttle payloads, while some of the components he built are on the International Space Station, including a small payload support structure for a European science experimental package and the Wolowitz Programmable Handdesigned for extravehicular repairs. He even performed a front end alignment from 62 million miles away when a Mars rover started pulling to the left and managed to get a Mars rover stuck in a ditch, only to have the data which it sent back from the crevice contain the first clear indications that there may have been life on Mars. However, as co-designer of the Pishkin-Wolowitz Liquid Waste Disposal System and designer of the (albeit flawed) Wolowitz Zero-Gravity Waste Disposal System for the International Space Station, he doesn’t get much respect. Further, Howard is not credited for creating a stabilizing telescope camera mounting bracket for Raj and failed to make the team for the new Defense Department laser-equipped surveillance satellite since he was denied the requisite security clearance.
In The Russian Rocket Reaction, NASA selected his team’s design for a deep field space telescope that will be installed on the ISS, granting him the opportunity to fly aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket to observe its deployment on the space station as a payload specialist for Expedition 31. Subsequently, Howard was requested to report to the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, for astronaut training. He completed human centrifuge training and survival training in the wilderness, in addition to experiencing zero-g on a reduced gravity aircraft. However, following a Soyuz capsule pressurization test failure, the three-week mission had been scrubbed. Later, NASA rescheduled for an earlier launch from Kazakhstan, during which liftoff commenced with a fuel leak.
Cheeky and supposedly suave, Howard provides outrageous pick-up lines whenever there is a female present in the first three seasons, all which epically fail. Howard’s techniques to approach women are varied, including magic and card tricks, ventriloquism, and techniques from the Mystery Method, such as peacocking and negging. He is consistently depicted as the most sex-crazed of the guys, although he doesn’t think his sexual behavior is any different from other men. One time, he developed a mathematical formula for the likelihood of him having sex by applying and modifying the Drake equation to include the “Wolowitz coefficient,” which he defined as “neediness times dress size squared.” He stated, “I’m a horny engineer,… I never joke about math or sex.” His ideal woman is Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff, whom he often fantasizes about, but apparently every woman is his type. Howard describes himself as a romantic, although he usually comes across as overtly sexual and, in the words of Penny, disgusting. As part of his delusions regarding himself, he opines that he is a “tender-hearted poet” and “crazy daredevil”. He claims to appear confident and worldly, though he hesitantly admits he is not. However, as the series progresses, Howard becomes dedicated to Bernadette, although he still uses pick-up lines.
Howard is a multi-lingual speaker whose many tongues he uses to impress the ladies, sadly to little avail. Most of the languages were revealed in only the matter of one episode, Pilot; in revealed order, they are English, French, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Farsi. Wolowitz also speaks Klingon (and plays Klingon Boggle), first stated in the Pilot, as well as some Elvish, the fictional language created by J. R. R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings, as depicted in The Precious Fragmentation. It has been shown in The Wiggly Finger Catalyst that he also knows sign language, and in The Hawking Excitation, he speaks Japanese and Binary-coded ASCII. However, Wolowitz may not be as competent a polyglot as he believes. In The Dumpling Paradox, the owner of the Szechuan Palace, referred to Wolowitz as “…your annoying little friend who thinks he speaks Mandarin.” As evidence, he addressed Penny in Mandarin (saying “洗个痛快澡”! – Have a Good Shower!”) spoken in the wrong tones. Another time, he addressed Penny in Russian (saying “Ты очень красивая девушка” — “You are a very beautiful girl”), but had a bad pronunciation. Sheldon also corrected him in The Hawking Excitation, when Howard made a mistake in binary. On the contrary, he speaks his French in the appropriate manner without any speaking errors.
Once Howard finds a joke he likes, he sticks with it. Sheldon even describes him as the funny one in their group, while Howard has said of himself that he is quirky. He mimics voices such as Koothrappali and his pushy mother’s strong accent, and often spews cultural stereotypes. He also uses slang such as “fo’shizzle to my nerdizzles,” with his acknowledged street credit. Howard often has married-couple-like arguments with Rajesh, usually mocking Raj’s words or covering for his obnoxiousness, and is the primary means by which Raj is heard whenever Penny is present. Very sensitive, Howard can be traumatized by a hurtful comment from a woman and there is a glimmer of goodness in him that he allowed Penny to see.
Wolowitz spends a large amount of time playing MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, where he plays a night elfhunter named Wolowizard with a pet tiger named Buttons, and Age of Conan where he is a Guardian named Sir Howard of Wolowitz. Howard enjoys (and is very decent at) DDR. He likes reading DC Comics, similar to his friends, and is a Dungeon Master. He has an entire closet of magic tricks. A model rocket enthusiast, Howard designed the engine himself for a three-stage rocket. His advancements in robotics include the Mobile Omnidirectional Neutralization and Termination Eradicator (MONTE) for the Southern California Robot Fighting League Round Robin Invitational. He one time sent a signal from his laptop through Apartment 4A‘s local ISP, racing down fiber-optic cable at the speed of light to San Francisco, bouncing off a satellite in geosynchronous orbit to Lisbon, Portugal, where the data packets were handed off to submerged transatlantic cables terminating in Halifax, Nova-Scotia, and transferred across the continent via microwave relays back to the ISP and the X10 receiver attached to Leonard and Sheldon’s lamp to enable public access to turn the lights on and off just because he can.
He is asthmatic, allergic to peanuts, almonds and walnuts, prone to canker sores and pink eye, succumbs to seasickness, has an incredibly high genetic risk of heart illness. and has transient idiopathic arrhythmia. With only three-percent body fat, Howard has been called a “human chicken wing” by Raj, while Leonard has made a short joke about him, even though Leonard is only a quarter-inch taller than Howard, and Sheldon has called him a “tiny, tiny man who lives with his mother.”
Howard sports a bowl-style haircut and wears loud, vintage, 1960-era outfits with a matching color scheme: a V-neck or tee shirt over a turtleneck or dickey with a variety of pins on the neck, Vans or Converse sneakers, and skinny pants with collectable belt buckles, often featuring superhero logos or a Nintendo controller, although he only owns one belt. Howard’s pajamas are silk gowns embroidered with his initials, “HWJ“, befitting his bedroom containing satin sheets, remote-controlled romantic music, and mood lighting set by lightsabers overhanging his bed. His preferred mode of transportation is his Vespa motor scooter, in which he exaggerates about its power.
Howard is noted for living with his overbearing Jewish mother (but to Howard she lives with him), who always makes his life miserable at home with her nosy nature as well as her barrage of questions, and apparently is oblivious to his accomplishments as a grown-up, usually treating him like he is still a child, thus filling the cliche of a Jewish mother. Never seen on-screen, she only communicates with Howard by yelling to him in an obnoxious manner, which results in awkward long-distance conversations, with Howard frustratedly yelling back at her. Such behavior prompts him to call her a “crazy old lady”. Howard stated that she had saftey bars on his bed until he was seventeen in the Season Two finale. Despite this, Howard likes to be mothered to some degree, has an unresolved Oedipal complex, and seems to appreciate some of his Mother’s cooking, especially her brisket, a dish that Howard refers to throughout (unlike the turbriskefilte, a turkey stuffed with a brisket stuffed with gefilte fish, which he says he ‘doesn’t even chew’ but ‘swallows like pills’). It is implied strongly that his mom is incredibly fat and disturbingly masculine, causing Leonard to believe she was Howard’s dad when he first heard her.
In The Precious Fragmentation, Howard reveals that his father left the family when Howard was eleven. To help Howard overcome this, his mom bought him an Alf doll to console Howard. Although it is not stated what really happened, Howard assumes that his father did not like him. In The Hot Troll Deviation, Howard infers that the distal cause of why he “tries too hard” with women is due to abandonment issues, as opposed to the proximal cause being his looks (as stated in The Killer Robot Instability): “I’m just another lonely nerd, living with his mother, trying to find any scrap of happiness he can. You know, maybe to make up for the fact that his dad left him when he was eleven.” His parents were drunk all the time and it has never been established why his father left.
Howard lost his virginity to his second cousin Jeanie at Aunt Barbara’s house in a Toyota Corolla during Uncle Murray’s funeral, which Leonard and Raj find absolutely hilarious. His cousin David provided him with the half-carat ring for Bernadette. He has a cousin in Israel who lives with her husband Avi, as well as cousins from Fort Lauderdale, while his Aunt Betty (his mother’s sister) and Uncle Elliot are from Palm Springs. Howard also has an Uncle Louie, whom he ridicules based on a photo of him in a bathing suit. He says there are “Jewish hobbits,” as evidenced by dinner at his house on Rosh Hashanah. After Howard’s great-grandfather immigrated to the United States, he ran a little butcher shop on the Lower East Side of New York, ripping people off. Howard’s family has a high risk of heart disease, leading him to state that his family is the history of heart disease.
Raj is Howard’s best friend. Howard invites his buddy over to his house all the time, and Raj is essentially a Wolowitz. Howard has called them co-pilots of the Millennium Falcon, and they have weekly routines they do together. However, Howard becomes easily distracted and sometimes abandons him, only to be unmindful of any wrongdoing. Sadly, he taught Koothrappali his dance moves, and Howard seems to wear off on him, as Raj can be very womanizing and uses slang. He scoffs at Raj when he says something stupid, and has once complained that he’s going to end up with swimmer’s ear with Raj whispering in his ear, although Sheldon cannot tolerate his moist breath in his ear altogether.
Despite the fact that Howard is undeniably obsessed with women, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, Leonard’s mother, says they are in an “ersatz homosexual marriage”. Amusingly, Raj and Howard have several arguments during the series, in which Raj repeatedly accuses Howard of leaving him for everybody who’s only slightly better looking and otherwise assuming the cliché female role in partnership arguments. Season 4 jokingly introduced the possibility of Howard’s “latent homosexual tendencies” when George Takei appeared as himself in an imaginary conversation with Bernadette and Katee Sackhoff over his relationship status with Bernadette, but Howard quickly denied it. Before Howard met Bernadette, it was implied that he called Raj “honey”, and Mrs. Wolowitz is relieved when he has a girl over to the house.
Howard meets Leonard in The Staircase Implementation. Howard told Penny that both he and Raj liked Leonard. Leonard has helped him quite often, and Howard faced an allergic reaction partly to provide Leonard’s first birthday party. Though, Howard finds Leonard’s worries over Penny humorous sometimes, and they like to post embarrassing things about each other on Youtube and Twitter. The two of them made a pact that if either one of them ever got a girlfriend, the other one would set up the single guy with one of her girlfriends. But when it comes to agreements and women, they frequently fight.
Leonard does enjoy poking fun at Howard’s height, although he is only a quarter of an inch taller (“and don’t you forget it!”)
Sheldon often makes fun of Howard for not having a doctoral degree and for being an engineer, referring to engineers as “noble semi-skilled laborers” and “the Oompa-Loompas of science”, and calling engineering “the slow younger brother of physics”. He has referred to their group of scientists as “a group of geniuses and their friend Howard”, thus ruling him out, and called Howard “a treasured acquaintance” instead of a close friend like Leonard, Raj and Penny. Sheldon describes Raj as Howard’s primary friend, Leonard as Howard’s secondary friend, and himself as Howard’s tertiary friend.
However, Sheldon still says that if he ever needs a slightly apathetic tertiary friend, he is there for him, and refers to him as “the funny one” in their group. He even helped him in his work and showed dismay when Howard was distracted by Penny’s friend Christy during Halo night. In the episode The Apology Insufficiency, Sheldon angers Howard by revealing details to the FBI that prevent him from obtaining a much needed security clearance. Howard refuses to accept Sheldon’s apology, until Sheldon gives Howard his spot on the couch. Sheldon asks for the spot back after only 94 seconds. Though, often annoyed by Sheldon, Howard is able to perceive when Sheldon is upset, unlike with best friend Raj. Howard has varied between not really caring whether he and Sheldon are friends and being visibly wounded when Sheldon is dismissive of him. During the time when Sheldon considered who to jettison from his circle of friends and said critically that Howard doesn’t have a Ph.D. and isn’t available to play video games during the Jewish High Holidays, Howard seemed pleased that he might be freed from Sheldon’s friendship, only to watch as Sheldon then ordered a horrified Raj out of the circle of friends. Later, the “treasured acquaintance” remark makes Howard’s face fall as if hearing that Leonard, Penny and Raj are considered friends while he isn’t, is upsetting to him.
In The Hawking Excitation , Howard, who finds out that he will be working with Stephen Hawking, decides to introduce Sheldon to him, seeing as Sheldon is a big fan of him. However, before Sheldon finds out about it, he insults Howard’s scientific intelligence because Howard lacks a doctorate again, making Howard angry and subsequently cancels his initial intention to help Sheldon meet Hawking. When Sheldon finds out about it, he apologizes incessantly, and even begs that Howard helps him meet Hawking, especially since he wants to show Hawking a paper that he writes. Howard decides to turn the table around by making Sheldon do stuffs for him first before he would agree. A desperate Sheldon agrees and is put to work on tasks such as polishing Howard’s belt buckles (which are a lot), wear Bernadette’s French Maid costume to the cafetaria, and accompany his mother on a shopping trip (where Sheldon has to help her squeeze into a dress). Only after he completes the task did he find out that Howard has already submitted his paper to Hawking and Hawking has requested to meet him.
Since the beginning of the series, Howard shows interest in Penny (in his words, a “cheesecake-scented goddess”), but the interest is primarily sexual and she always turns him down. Uncharacteristically, in The Middle Earth Paradigm, she thought it was so cute when he dressed as Peter Pan, but he was actually Robin Hood. In the beginning, Howard attempted to charm Penny with his linguistic prowess. He naively believes Penny is flirting with him when she rebukes his advances, e.g., Howard says, “See a Penny, pick her up, and all the day you’ll have good luck,” while Penny says, “No you won’t.” After one approach too many by Howard, Penny finally confronted him about how he treats women in The Killer Robot Instability. This greatly affected Howard and he fell into depression, missing work and staying home. When Penny went to apologize, Howard told her about his past relationships and Penny showed some sympathy for him, seeing him as a real human being for the first time. After her comforting words, regarding him a “nice guy” that she likes, Howard tried to kiss her, but she reacted and punched him in the face. With the situation resolved, Penny believed they had come to an “understanding”, but Howard thought he was merely “half-way to pity sex” with her. Clearly, Penny commonly sees Howard as disgusting and inhuman. However, Penny’s animosity toward Howard has mellowed somewhat since Howard began dating Penny’s work colleague Bernadette Rostenkowski, to whom he is now engaged. Penny introduced them to each other, is very nosy about their relationship, and once questioned if Bernadette truly loves Howard. She thinks Howard’s story about his father is extremely sad; Howard used this as leverage for Penny to help him get Bernadette back, after tricking her to open the door for whom she thought was Sheldon.
Amongst his friends, Howard is the least successful at getting dates, despite his obsessive drive.
Through Penny, inadvertently, Howard hooked up with Christy, “the whore of Omaha.” The two upset Penny by abusing her personal belongings, such as using her loofa mitt and getting her stuffed bear collection sweaty. Christy then had to stay with Howard at his house. Although she displayed signs of affection towards Howard, Christy was highly materialistic, and went out with him only on the condition he buy her stuff and take her shopping; this was more than fine with him. She dumped him when she confronted Howard’s mother, who threatened to cut Howard out of the will, as long as he kept going out with her.
Howard was introduced to Lisa by her roommate Stephanie Barnett in The Lizard-Spock Expansion, but she is never seen. She just went through a bad breakup and Stephanie thought she should meet someone fun like Howard. Wolowitz apologized for how their first date ended, and wanted her to come have brisket at his house.
Howard engaged in a “friends with benefits” relationship with Leslie Winkle, which brought him a few benefits beside sex including receiving a rapid prototyper and getting on the research trip to Geneva to check out the CERN Supercollider. However, he still became depressed when Leslie dumped him some time later.
In order to cheer him up, Leonard and Raj took Howard to Las Vegas and managed to hire a prostitute for him, giving him the Jewish girlfriend experience.
Bethany and Sarah are a couple of girls that Howard and Raj met in a Goth nightclub in Hollywood as they pretended to be goths and wore tattoo sleeves. Both guys took a liking to Bethany and ignored Sarah. Interspersed throughout their conversation, they made references to darkness and goth stuff, as they revealed they are scientists, while the girls said they work at the Gap. At Bethany’s suggestion, they then went to a tattoo parlor, where Bethany implied she would be with Howard if he got a new tattoo. Howard gave into his fear of the needle and exposed them as frauds, causing both women to quickly leave.
Main Article: Howard and Bernadette
Howard’s relationship with Bernadette is easily his most significant romantic relationship. Howard was introduced to Bernadette by Penny after he initiated the pact with Leonard in The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary. At first, she and Howard did not get along, as they appeared to have nothing in common. However, when they found out they both had overbearing mothers they immediately felt a connection.
He first proposed to her in The Vengeance Formulation, but she claimed that they have not even slept together yet. His action was most probably influenced by his desire to get her to forgive him and to please her, rather than his desire to spend the rest of his life with her. Although Bernadette rejects his offer, they remain a couple for a time after Howard sings a heartfelt song for her at the Cheesecake Factory, which Penny finds quite embarrassing, but Bernadette finds romantic. Eventually, they break up after she discovers Howard, via his World of Warcraft character, having sex with another online character. Bernadette and Howard reconcile and resume their relationship. In The Herb Garden Germination, Howard proposed again to Bernadette and she accepted. The majority of Season 5 was Howard and Bernadette making preparations for the wedding. In the finale, they decide to get married before Howard’s launch into space and have the reception when he returns.
Glucinda the Troll is an avatar in World of Warcraft that Howard had, according to Bernadette, “clicked the brains out [of]” It was revealed in The Hot Troll Deviation (Season 4 EP 4) by Leonard that Glucinda was a male member of the university’s janatoiral staff. This episode is the only one where Glucinda is mentioned.
Although Jewish, Howard is not very serious about his faith and does not keep kosher. For instance, he eats pork often and without regret, and when the price of pork went up at the group’s favorite Chinese restaurant, he remarked “it’s getting tougher and tougher to be a bad Jew.” On another occasion, when Howard tried to date Sheldon’s sister, Missy, he said he would kill his rabbi with a pork chop if his religion was an impediment, and one of the reasons he was happy to continue dating Bernadette (who is Catholic) was the chance to really annoy his mom. Despite this, Howard has shown some belief in his faith. When he and Raj posed as goths to pick up women, he wore fake-tattoo sleeves and refused to get real ones so he could be buried in a Jewish cemetery. (Though, when it became apparent that the goth girl, Bethany, would only sleep with him if he got a tattoo, he was prepared to go through with it, but eventually refused due to the pain of the process.) He also apparently attends High Holiday services, as Sheldon once critically noted that he was not available to compete in Halo during those times.
Phrases Howard has used to hit on women, mainly Penny:
October 6, 1981
Rajesh Ramayan “Raj” Koothrappali, Ph.D., is an Indian astrophysicist and Howard Wolowitz‘s best friend. He often hangs out at Leonard and Sheldon‘s apartment. Originally from New Dehli, Raj has an Indian English accent and, ironically, dislikes Indian food and culture. A running gag in the series, Raj often portrays himself as having come from humble origins and growing up in poverty in India, only for his friends to remind him that his father is a gynecologist, drives a Bentley, and had servants. His principal characteristic is a case of selective mutism, which does not allow him to talk to women outside of his family and can only be suppressed when he is intoxicated by alcohol or experimental social anxiety medications, although this results in a very obnoxious nature.
Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali is an astrophysicist and faculty atCaltech‘s Physics Department. For his discovery of a planetary object beyond the Kuiper belt, 2008 NQ17 (which he calls “Planet Bollywood”), he is included in People magazine‘s “30 (Visionaries) Under 30 (Years of Age) to Watch (as they challenge the preconceptions of their fields)”, granting him some form of celebrity status and a larger office for his work. He is also known for a publication on Kuiper belt object size distribution, having run a simulation to correct for the observational efficiency, and was awarded the Newcomb Medal. However, the work Raj performs at the university is repetitive enough that he could conceivably get replaced by a simple software program, and he fails to observe an exoplanet orbiting the star Epsilon Eridani with his much anticipated time using a ground-based telescope operating in Hawaii.
During The Pirate Solution, when Raj’s research testing the predicted composition of trans-Neptunian objects ends, his working permit and visa are bound to become void. He seeks out a research position in stellar evolution with Professor Laughlin. However, the job proposition fails as the research team includes an attractive female, Dr.Catherine Millstone, and Raj accidentally drinks a little too much, causing him to make a sexually explicit comment. To avoid Raj’s deportation to India, Sheldon asks him to work for him and, after several disputes, he agrees.
Wanting to be the male “Indira Gandhi of particle astrophysics,” Raj researches dark matter. With Sheldon, he explores the string theory implications of gamma rays from dark matter annihilations and considers methods of optimizing a detector for 500 GeV particles to look for the annihilation spectrum resulting from dark matter collisions in space. While Sheldon argues that slow-moving xenon doesn’t produce ultra-violet light, Koothrappali posits that xenon can emit the tell-tale ultra-violet light from dark matter collisions, potentially negating a series of dark matter discoveries, and points to neutron scattering data.
Originally from India, Raj is slightly clueless about American culture and idioms, although he dislikes Indian food and his home country. Sheldon even disputes his knowlege of Indian customs and Hinduism, and reveals Raj’s native language is English, while he seems to speak fluent Hindi. Raj stated that the reason he puts up with Sheldon is so that he could be reborn as a “well-hung billionaire with wings”, according to his Hindu belief of being rewarded after reincarnation for suffering willingly; to Raj, karma is practically Newtonian. He hates Indian music, however, he does appreciate the Indian lullabies his mother sang to him and the catchiness of Hindi phrases. (Raj said, “जो कुछ भी अपनी नाव मंगाई” - That’s Hindi for whatever floats your boat;” “Fever 104, बहुत अच्छा संगीत के मौजूदा घर. That means: Fever 104, home of the really good current music. It’s much catchier in Hindi.”) On the rare occasion when he actually gets homesick, he picks up the latest issue of Bombay Badonkadonks and performs Bollywood dancing. He is very sensitive to racist jokes, of which he is frequently a target. Yet, he is not above making derogatory remarks about India, or in his view “Gandhi-ville,” stating it’s hot and loud, and there’s so many people. He even claims he can hold out from noxious gases because he grew up in India. Raj only likes to say that he comes from the Asian subcontinent and had to overcome poverty and prejudice, albeit erroneous, to make himself appear interesting and mystical, especially when he is womanizing. More often than not, he likes to be associated with Slumdog Millionaire, except when Howard’s mother says it. As Howard is non-kosher, Rajesh eats forbidden beef and believes some of the Hindu Code of Manu is crazy.
He has the recognized psychological condition selective mutism, a social anxiety disorder which renders him unable to talk to women (with the exception of family members, who are seemingly unaware of his condition, and deaf women), although he quickly learns that he is able to surpass this problem by consuming alcohol or experimental medication (including rum cake and Nyquil, which is like ten percent booze). Consequently, the alcohol makes him obnoxious and the medications tend to have side effects, such as involuntary face and hand motions, loss of rationality, or jovially stripping naked in public without cognizance of its inappropriate nature. Raj is also able to speak in the presence of women when they are part of a crowd, if he thinks he has been drinking alcohol as under a placebo effect, or if he is unaware of their presence. Raj has noted, however, that this is an improvement over his previous affliction, in which the presence of women would cause him to lose bladder control before being remedied by meditation methods of ancient Indian gurus, and still exibits a “nervous bladder”, in the sense that he gets an urge to relieve himself when under stress. Raj often whispers into Howard’s ear, leaving him to relay what he said to everyone else. A recurring gag is for Raj to find himself left all alone when his friends make plans to go somewhere, his selective mutism forbidding him from speaking up to join in the activity.
He complains that he is so lonely, which leads to Raj hating himself and needing to be reassured of his value. Usually sweet, Raj sometimes smiles at his friends’ misfortunes. Whenever Raj gets an idea or wants to say something slightly controversial in a conversation, he whispers it in Howard’s ear whenever a woman is around. Howard never wants to say it out loud because he finds it stupid or offensive, but he ends up saying it anyway through scoffing at Raj. Rajesh often has married-couple-like arguments with Howard. He is noted for using slang (“fo’ shizzle”) and excessively using the word “dude”.
He enjoys reading DC Comics, as with his friends, but dislikes Aquaman. Raj often obsesses over almost-insignificant details in fiction, such as how toilets work in Atlantis, the possible symbolism of ponytails in Avatar, whetherWolverine’s prostate is made of adamantium, what zombies would eat if humanity was exterminated, how vampires would shave themselves if they can’t see their reflections, etc. He has experienced gaming addiction and, like Wolowitz, he idolizes Stephen Hawking. Unlike the other guys, Raj has shown great interest in some non-geeky things like John Grisham novels and Archie comics, along with Zack. Raj has an interest in a number of books and TV shows which are generally perceived as feminine, and targeted towards the female demographic, such as Twilight, The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy, Sex and the City, Eat Pray Love, and Bridget Jones’s Diary. He is normally seen wearing a layered combination of a shirt, a sweater vest, and a purple windbreaker with khakis and skate shoes; he wore a red cap only in the Pilot.
Raj always communicates with his parents, Dr. V.M. and Mrs. Koothrappali back in India via webcam. They constantly try to arrange dates for him. Raj’s parents want their son to marry a woman of Indian descent, and give them grandchildren. Mrs. Koothrappali is especially worried that, despite Raj being old enough to marry, the closest they have to a daughter-in-law is the “Jewish boy,” Howard. When they become meddling or judgmental, he often “brings his parents” into Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment via his MacBook Pro, to seek his friends’ support in the discussion. Like his “baby sister” Priya, whom he is very protective of, Raj calls his parents “mummy” and “daddy”.
Despite Raj’s claims that he grew up in poverty, his friends like to remind him that he comes from a very wealthy
background, his father is a gynecologist, drives a Bentley and has a house full of servants; two of them children. Raj later admits this, saying they are very wealthy. His parents say this too, believing they have nothing to complain about as they are very rich in a very poor country. In The Wiggly Finger Catalyst, it is revealed that his parents are actually billionaires, as Sheldon claims that Raj’s family’s estimated wealth is ‘halfway between Bruce Wayne and Scrooge McDuck’, a reference to Forbes: The Fictional 15.
Not much of Raj’s family is explored so far. Raj, as a matter of fact, comes from a very large family; he comes from a family of six children. Raj is also mentioned to have an older brother in one episode, who, according to Raj, gave him his ‘Patang’ (fighter kite), but this was eventually surrendered to Sheldon in a game of kite fighting, thanks to Howard. However, his older brother appears to be one of Raj’s three brothers, according to his statement in The Hot Troll Deviation. It was in this episode where Raj claimed that he has two sisters, one of them Priya.
Raj’s cousin, Sanjay Koothrappali (or, as he says his friends know him as “Dave from AT&T Customer Service”), works in a Call Centre, and is briefly mentioned in various episodes. In The Guitarist Amplification, Raj tried to circumvent going to his wedding, but eventually accepted his parents’ offer.
Another cousin, Venkatesh (who appeared in The Precious Fragmentation), works as a lawyer in Mumbai. Albeit, he has poor negotiation skills, who even admits that he is useless when Raj was trying to get jet ski..
In The Griffin Equivalency, Rajesh points out that his limo is bigger than the house that his grandfather grew up in and has more food too.
In The Alien Parasite Hypothesis, Raj mentions that Type 2 diabetes runs in his family but he has no symptoms so far.
Leonard and Raj meet at the University in The Staircase Implementation. Made clear in The Jerusalem Duality, both Raj and Howard like Leonard. Though, Raj takes delight in Leonard’s problems with Penny and becomes somewhat adversarial with him when he dates his sister, Priya. Raj feels jealous when Leonard and Howard use his idea for fun and exclude him. Koothrappali has said that Leonard only hangs out with him if he has no other options, and has missed him. When Sheldon and Penny were indisposed, Leonard took the very appreciative Raj with him to Switzerland for a visit to the Large Hadron Collider. They normally try to help each other.
When they first meet in The Staircase Implementation, Raj tells Sheldon that the group is trying to get away from him. Raj has an admirable toleration towards Sheldon’s insufferable attitude, possibly because of religious reasons. Albeit, Sheldon once tried to cut off Raj from his circle of friends to make room for Barry Kripke and because Raj got one answer for his questionnaire wrong. Raj was terrified at the prospect of losing Sheldon as a friend, and later worries whether he is merely the “treasured acquaintance.” Sheldon hates him talking in his ear, although he does appreciate Raj’s words. Whenever Raj is upset, Sheldon brings him a hot beverage to console him, as is common in the Cooper household. In The Roommate Transmogrification, Raj proves to be a better roommate to Sheldon than Leonard was, as he goes out of his way to impress him. Considering Raj a good friend, Sheldon enjoys the ethnic diversity he brings about in the group and the fact that he too likes monkeys and trains. In the episode The Pirate Solution, when Raj’s research hits a dead end, Sheldon offers Raj a chance to work for him, which he later accepts. Since then, Raj has been working for Sheldon, and they occasionally clash. Raj maintains that he does not work for Sheldon, but with him and Sheldon agrees on the opposite, making Raj as the person who works for/with Sheldon.
Howard is Raj’s best friend; since the first season, they have always been very close and met about the same time they were introduced to Leonard and Sheldon. Raj usually comes to Howard’s house for holidays such as Thanksgiving, and has sleepovers there, as well. He knows all of Howard’s jokes and finds humor in mimicking Mrs. Wolowitz. Rajesh is sometimes sensitive to Howard’s cultural stereotyping as well as his perceived inability to recognize when he is upset. They are practically inseparable, maintaining certain weekly routines together and serving as wingmen. Although Raj and Howard are heterosexual, their relationship and interaction sometimes resembles that of a couple, which resulted in a misunderstanding by Leonard’s Mother, who called their relationship as an “ersatz homosexual marriage”. Despite the denials, Raj amusingly still takes up a cliché “female” role in many arguments with Howard, accusing him repeatedly of running off for every slightly better looking person.
Penny is the closest female friend that Raj has, though he is only able to talk to her when he is drunk. Penny sometimes tries to make Raj speak, but mostly feels sorry for him (calling him a strange little man and even kissing him on the cheek), while Raj believes her to be so considerate. There are times where his relationship with Penny becomes less than platonic – particularly in the episode The Griffin Equivalency, where misinterpreting her going with him to an award ceremony as an act of romance rather than friendship, he introduced Penny to his parents as his new “squeeze” while he was drunk. He tried to apologize by note, but Penny forced him to say the apology while sober. In the last episode of season 4, Raj and Penny hooked up while they were drunk in Leonard’s bedroom, and when they were leaving the bedroom, ran into Howard, Leonard and Sheldon. It started with Penny saying, had they not been friends, she’d be on him like the speed of light squared on matter to make energy. Raj wasn’t able to talk to Penny even after they slept together. In the season 5 premiere, Raj reveals that they didn’t have sex in a conventional way. In clarification, he tells Penny that he had tried to put on the only condom he had, but he couldn’t.Penny might have ruined the condom when trying to help. So, they had sex without any protection. Raj asks Penny not to tell anyone about this, which Penny agrees. They accept to get back to being just friends.
Unlike the other main characters, Raj’s romantic relationships have never been very serious or lasting, mostly due to his inability to speak to women. He has had a number of one-night-stands and brief dates. Impressively though, Raj was the first one amongst the four to get laid within the series in The Middle Earth Paradigm, at Penny’s Halloween party. He is much more successful in casual sex than the more sexually aggressive Howard, and, amongst the guys, has great appeal to extremely attractive women. He has a big crush on Howard’s fiancee, Bernadette Rostenkowski, who has said how wonderful a man he is and has called him a “cutie pie”, much like Penny.
One of Raj’s female childhood acquaintances, Lalita Gupta used to be fat. She also kicked him in the samosas (testicles) and called him untouchable. In spite of this, Raj’s parents thought it would be a good idea to set them up on a date. Raj discovered that alcohol is able to help him suppress his selective mutism but being drunk made him obnoxious. As a result: he generally weirded out Lalita. Sheldon, because of Lalita’s resemblance to a beloved childhood fairy tale character, unintentionally “stole” Lalita from Raj.And Raj was pissed off with Sheldon.
In The Pork Chop Indeterminacy, Sheldon’s fraternal twin sister, Missy, came to Pasadena. Raj, at the time was using an experimental drug to help with his selective mutism. Leonard, Howard and Raj were all attracted to her and after hitting on her too much (causing her to hide at Penny’s for the night) and fighting over the “right” to ask her out, they decide to just ask her out individually. After both Leonard and Howard’s attempts failed, Raj got his turn. Inconveniently, as he waited for her at Penny’s door, the drugs began wearing off and despite Missy’s implied interest in Raj, (saying “Hi cutie pie, I was hoping you’d show up”) Raj was unable to ask her out and walked away.
In The Terminator Decoupling, when Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj were on a train to San Francisco, the latter three tried talking to sci-fi actressSummer Glau. After drinking what he thought was a beer, Raj talked to Summer, being flirty and smooth and she took a liking to him. He said Slumdog Millionaire was based off of his life story and revealed his knowledge of astronomy. When Howard pointed out that his beer was non-alcoholic, Raj stopped in the middle of his conversation, was embarrassed and rushed away from Summer without saying any more.
In the episode The Psychic Vortex, Leonard and Howard went on a double date with their respective girlfriends, leaving a lonely Raj with only an indifferent Sheldon. Raj insists on Sheldon helping him score with a girl at a University Mixer. After presenting Sheldon with a “Limited Edition Green Lantern Lantern” and a “Incredible Hulk Hands signed by Stan Lee” on two separate occasions, Sheldon agreed to be Raj’s wingman, helping him score with Abby. It is not known what happened to her after that episode.
In The Plimpton Stimulation, Dr. Plimpton was welcomed as a guest of Sheldon’s for a few days while considering taking a position at the University. Incredibly promiscuous, she shows interest in Raj immediately after meeting him despite having slept with Leonard the previous night and sitting next to him at the time. That evening, Raj was hosting Dr. Plimpton but when Leonard and Howard show up, she immediately suggests they join Raj and her. Raj directs his friends so they can leave and spends the night with Dr. Plimpton.
Rajesh and Sheldon met Angela at a coffee shop while Raj was trying to test an experimental social anxiety drug. Raj told her she was very beautiful when she asked why he was staring, and flattered, she liked his accent, stating she was interested in going to India. As she welcomed him sitting with her, Raj introduced them as Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali and Dr. Sheldon Cooper, scientists who like to observe, and dismissed Sheldon off to buy a scone. Koothrappali complemented her name, citing its etymology, to which she responded he was cute. However, a side effect of the medication caused him to begin stripping, which scared her away, while he told Sheldon he was being rude and attempted to continue with her saying she had the expressive face of an actress.
In The Wiggly Finger Catalyst, Penny thought she found the perfect match for Raj by hooking him up with a woman who is deaf, Emily. Raj made very obnoxious remarks during their first date, but translator Howard would sign something else to Emily as to make him not look like a jerk. However, it turns out she only liked Raj for his money and left him when she found out his parents would cut his financial ties if they continued to see each other.
After Raj buys a new iPhone 4S in the The Beta Test Initiation, he develops a peculiar relationship with his phone’s voice command personal assistant, Siri. Contrary to his usual inability to speak to women directly, Raj is able to address her, as she is a mere voice. Whenever Raj inquires about an activity he wishes to engage in or a destination, she provides suggestions (like a wine selection for a dinner party) or a list of possible locales, of which a subset is emphasized due to proximity. In reaction to Raj, Siri is able to accept complements, respond to inquiries about her well-being, and display emotions, like gratitude. Upon Raj’s request to be called “Sexy”, Siri complies and Raj, in turn, refers to her as “darling”. Raj appears to be actually dating Siri by taking her places, having human conversations with her and buying her gifts. However, Raj has a dream that he goes to meet Siri in the form of a real woman, but, of course, when she turns around, he can’t speak to her. Thus, an offer to make love to her is unable to be fulfilled. He then wakes up screaming “NOOOOO!”