List of characters from The Big Bang Theory


List of characters from The Big Bang Theory

The following is a list of characters from the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory".

Main Characters

Leonard Hofstadter, PhD

Infobox character
name = Leonard Leakey Hofstadter


caption =
first = "Pilot"
last =
cause =
portrayer = Johnny Galecki
episode = 18
nickname =
alias =
gender = Male
age =
born =
IQ = 173
occupation = Experimental physicist
title = Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, PhD
family =
relatives =
religion =
nationality = American
Leonard is a physicist from Caltech who rooms with Sheldon in their apartment building, in which the elevator always seems to be out of order. He keeps a blackboard in their living room on which he works on experimental particle physics. Leonard is indicated to be proficient in literature and history as well as the sciences; he is able to solve a crossword puzzle in seconds, the answers being mostly literature based, e.g. Vladimir Nabokov. It is suggested that Leonard's IQ is not as high as Sheldon's (173, as it is stated by Leonard that their combined IQ is 360 and, in a later episode, Sheldon reveals his IQ is 187); Sheldon scoffs at Leonard's white board theories as common enough to be "scribbled on the wall of any men's room at MIT." (MIT may be intended as a derogatory term itself here, as both Leonard and Sheldon work at MIT rival Caltech.) He has pointed out that he was twenty-four years old when he received his Ph.D., not sixteen years old like Sheldon. Sheldon won't even give Leonard permission to present their paper on super solids at a symposium sponsored by the Institute of Experimental Physics because of his arrogance. He usually wears his characteristic black framed glasses, even if in costume, neutral colored sweat jackets, brown pants, and t-shirts with a physics theme. Leonard feels at home with his genius colleagues, but wants more socially. He is reluctant to let Penny know about his recreational activities (such as Klingon Boggle) as he doesn't like to be seen as a nerd. He also dislikes his friends' habit of rattling off different trivial facts, something to which all the other geniuses enjoy both listening and participating. 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 and, between Sheldon and him, is the only one who feels that he "should do something" when Penny begins to recount her recent breakup. Despite his attempts to reject his nerd status, he certainly "is" one, with his "Star Wars" hygiene products and his ability to blurt out the wrong things in front of women, such as when he's trying to invite Penny to lunch and mentions that curry is a natural laxative. 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 of 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." At the season 1 finale, he and Penny had their first date. Though both were skeptical, Leonard ended up giving Penny a very passionate kiss. As of yet, it is unknown if they are officially dating in season 2. He is named after Nobel prize winner Robert Hofstadter, actor/producer Sheldon Leonard, and famed archeologist Louis Leakey, whom his father had worked with. It is revealed in the season 2 premiere that Leonard once had a girlfriend that he dumped, who then moved back to her native country of Korea, according to Leonard "to mend her broken heart".

heldon Cooper, PhD

Infobox character
name = Sheldon Cooper


caption =
first = "Pilot"
last =
cause =
portrayer = Jim Parsons
episode = 18
nickname = Shelly, Dr. Dumbass (by Leslie)
alias =
gender = Male
age = 23-26
iQ = 187
born =
death =
specialty = String theory
occupation = Theoretical physicist
title = Dr. Sheldon Cooper MSc, PhD
family = Mary Cooper (mother) Missy Cooper (fraternal twin sister)
nationality = American
Sheldon is Leonard's best friend, roommate, and colleague. He is named after actor/producer Sheldon Leonard. Originally from East Texas, he's a theoretical physicist and like Leonard also keeps a whiteboard in the living room for scientific theories; most of the equations on Leonard's and Sheldon's boards feature complex higher mathematics, such as virtual particles in quantum mechanics, or series of Reimann zeta functions. Sheldon possesses a Master's degree and 2 PhDs, and conducts string theory research at Caltech. Recently, he has switched disciplines from bosonic string theory to heterotic string theory. Unlike Leonard, he embraces his genius fully and doesn't mind sharing details of his life that Leonard finds embarrassing, such as a common activity being Klingon Boggle until 1 AM. Sheldon often wears vintage t-shirts adorned with superhero logos, among them the Flash, Superman, Aquaman, and the Green Lantern. He is usually wearing a T-shirt over some sort of jumper. He is able to envision the DNA of silicon-based organisms, encode fluorescent proteins into goldfish, and provide electronics consumers with tech support. While it's indicated that Sheldon concentrates his genius fully on science, he does have an extensive general knowledge as well, shown by his comments regarding the introduction of the fork into Thailand, his classification of keys, and his knowledge of Renaissance history and settlement in the American Midwest. His IQ (of 187) is higher than Leonard's; as a result, he tends to question Leonard's theories.

He was a child prodigy. When he was a kid, he conducted experiments involving the height of stairs and deduced that if a step on a staircase is as little as 2 millimeters off, most people will trip (this resulted in his father breaking his clavicle). According to his mother, Sheldon attempted to build a nuclear reactor at a young age in order to provide free electricity for his town; that failed after a government agent informed him that it was illegal to store yellowcake uranium in a shed. He also built a so-called "Death Ray" and a robotic arm made from substrates cooked in his sister's Easy Bake Oven. He reveals to Penny he was eleven years old when he started college, which is later stated to be after completing the fifth grade. At age fourteen, he dabbled in lasers and this resulted in his being sent to boarding school; it is heavily implied in a CBS promotional clip that the government took Sheldon's laser away and hushed the college professor who witnessed the experiment. Also at fourteen years old, he began graduate studies and was the youngest to receive the Stevenson Prize six months after his fourteenth birthday. Sheldon worked as a visiting professor in Germany at age fifteen and received his first PhD at sixteen years old. He then spent four years on his (second) thesis, and has held his current job for three-and-a-half years.

Sheldon possesses some qualities commonly associated with being a prodigy, such as an inflated ego, social ineptness, and a lack of empathy. He asks Penny, in complete disbelief, "It took you "four years" to get through high school?!" He fails to understand not only the simplest sarcastic jokes made by Leonard, but also regards Penny's sadness over her break up with blatant confusion. That isn't to say Sheldon doesn't have a conscience; he's simply more likely to do what's scientifically ethical (not donate to a "high IQ sperm bank" because his sperm won't guarantee high IQ offspring) rather than morally and socially ethical (break into Penny's home to organize her things). Sheldon also remains unswayed by Penny's beauty, although he does acknowledge Penny's attractiveness (stating that no one can be that attractive and good at video-games at the same time). He refuses to sit anywhere other than his designated spot on the couch; other than for the optimal characteristics of the cushion and location he spouts off, this is part of his refusal to accept change, just like with the extra dumpling he couldn't reconcile. If Sheldon is complicit in a lie, he must exhaust all of his efforts to make it believable. He labels everything in the apartment and can't sleep until he rearranges Penny's things. He is calculating and cynical, believing that Leonard is only setting himself up for disappointment as he continues to have a crush on Penny. He rambles on about his imaginative ideas and theories, much to Leonard's annoyance, but does not listen to his friend concerning his research. Sheldon cannot drive an automobile, and needs Leonard or Penny to take him places. He has childish qualities that extend beyond even his friends' shared interest in comics, science fiction, computer and video games, and toys, as he must get his way (e.g., naming the Caltech Physics Bowl team) and needs his mother to care for him when he is sick.

Sheldon's traits, such as his cleanliness and organisation of the apartment, his lack of ability to understand sarcasm, his dislike of change, along with his purely logical state and mind, being a genius, and receiving a PhD at a young age would suggest signs of him having a high-functioning autism spectrum condition like Asperger Syndrome.

His family appears to be some cause of consternation for Sheldon: he has an extremely attractive fraternal twin sister, Missy, who could beat him up, and another unnamed sister, both described as dumb. His mother Mary is a devout Christian whose spiritual beliefs are often at odds with Sheldon's strictly-held beliefs in science; his father has passed away before the start of the series and often mentioned as being an almost-redneck Texan (it is mentioned he'd use dynamite whilst fishing and fought a bobcat for licorice). Though it is not mentioned when or how Mr. Cooper's death occurred, it is assumed it is close to the show start, as Missy visits Sheldon to bring paperwork regarding their father's estate.

Sheldon has a pronounced disdain for engineers, referring to them as both "semi-skilled labor" and "the Oompa Loompas of science." He also becomes offended when he finds that his sister Missy tells others he is a rocket scientist.

Penny

Infobox character
name = Penny


caption =
first = "Pilot"
last =
cause =
portrayer = Kaley Cuoco
episode = 18
nickname = "Cheescake-scented goddess"
alias =
gender = Female
age = 22 [cite episode|title=The Barbarian Sublimation|series=The Big Bang Theory|serieslink=The Big Bang Theory|airdate=October 6th, 2008|season=2|number=3 (20)]
born =
death =
occupation = Waitress at The Cheesecake Factory
title =
family =
relatives = Sister
religion =
nationality = American
Penny is Leonard and Sheldon's new neighbor across the hallway and is, as described by Wolowitz, a "cheesecake-scented goddess." She is a beautiful waitress at the local Cheesecake Factory. She is also writing a semi-autobiographical story about a girl from Lincoln, Nebraska, who travels to Los Angeles to become an actress but ends up working at the Cheesecake Factory. The reason Penny moved in next door is that she recently split with her boyfriend of four years, Kurt, and was thrown out of their place. She says she still loves him even though he lied and cheated on her. She first meets their friends Wolowitz and Rajesh when she comes out of the shower in 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 asks Leonard to retrieve her television set from her ex-boyfriend's apartment, which he immediately sets out to do. During the course of the story, it is not known if Penny returns Leonard's affections. It is rather clear, however, that she at least seems to enjoy Leonard's company, and likes Sheldon as a person, while being disgusted by Wolowitz and confused by Raj. She does smile in "The Hamburger Postulate", when she hears that things are not working out between Leonard and Leslie. She is messy and disorganized but appears to like it that way. She is not intellectually gifted but does have a lot of knowledge about pop culture. This makes her a great contrast to the rest of the characters who are academically gifted but socially awkward. 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. She also has said that she likes to "intitiate," rather than have men "initiate" it for her. Previously, it was revealed that Penny liked to have sex in unusual locations (such as a Subway sandwich shop.) She is better at the video game Halo than Sheldon which aggravates him especially when Penny teases him about it. She also once became addicted to online gaming, to the point of ignoring her friends and calling Sheldon at all hours for advice. She had her first date with Leonard after saying why she wants "to date a guy who truly cares for me" to which Leonard responded "What about me?" Before the date, Leonard gave Penny a very passionate kiss. The two have a successful first date, but Penny is worried after she lies to Leonard about graduating from community college. Leonard eventually learns about this from Sheldon, but makes matters worse when he tries to tell Penny it's not a big deal. Penny's screen name in the game Age Of Conan hints at the possibility that Penny is a nickname for Penelope.

Howard Wolowitz

Infobox character
name = Howard Wolowitz


caption =
first = "Pilot"
last =
cause =
portrayer = Simon Helberg
episode = 18
nickname = Wolowizard
Howie
alias =
gender = Male
age = 27
born =
occupation = Engineer
title = Howard Wolowitz, M.Eng
family =
relatives =
religion = Jewish
nationality = American
Wolowitz is an engineer at Caltech's Department of Applied Physics who often hangs out at Leonard and Sheldon's apartment. Jokingly, Wolowitz has stated that both he and Koothrappali visit Leonard's and Sheldon's place because they like Leonard, not Sheldon. He designed a satellite that is currently orbiting a moon of Jupiter taking high-resolution photos and components he has built are on the ISS. He doesn't show signs of discontentment like Leonard, but rather is confident enough to try to woo Penny with his knowledge of foreign languages, of which he knows six. Most of the languages were revealed in only the matter of one episode; in revealed order, they are French, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Persian. Hitting on Penny in different tongues has become a regular occurrence; one which annoys Leonard (and Penny) greatly. Howard has also stated that Penny kept him up at night, though she was nowhere near him at the time (implying that he fantasizes about her.) Wolowitz also knows Klingon because, as Sheldon stated, they all played Klingon Boggle together. Howard also claims to be a human beatbox (and gives a very poor demonstration). Although he insists to the contrary, Wolowitz lives with his overbearing mother. Near the end of "The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization", Wolowitz has a photo on his Facebook page captioned "Me and My Girlfriend," which depicts Penny sleeping on Wolowitz's shoulder during the fight between Leonard and Sheldon at the conference. Howard, unlike Sheldon and Leonard doesn't have a Ph.D. However, he likes pointing out that he has a master's degree in engineering. With his friends, Howard likes performing silly experiments, such as with making a non-Newtonian fluid bounce or giving public access through the internet to Leonard's and Sheldon's apartment lighting. Similar to Leonard being lactose intolerant, Wolowitz is allergic to peanuts. Howard has a bowl-style haircut and wears a brightly colored shirt along with other 1960's attire. Howard is also fond of unusual belt buckles -- they have included a Nintendo controller, a silver Batman logo, a 45-RPM record insert, a Klingon communicator and and buckle containing the superhero the Flash.

Rajesh Koothrappali

Infobox character
name = Rajesh Koothrappali


caption =
first = "Pilot"
last =
cause =
portrayer = Kunal Nayyar
episode = 18
nickname = Raj
occupation = Astrophysicist
alias =
gender = Male
age = 26
born =
occupation = Astrophysicist
title =
relatives =
religion = Hindu
nationality = Indian
Koothrappali is Wolowitz's best friend and yet another genius. His area of expertise is particle astrophysics. He is of Indian extraction (yet despises Indian food [episode "The Luminous Fish Effect"] ) and, like Wolowitz, has a love for Stephen Hawking. He approaches women in the exact opposite way of Wolowitz: he is so shy that he is unable to speak to them unless he is intoxicated or doesn't feel he is directly addressing them. His social anxiety around women seems to be indicative of selective mutism, and is inspired by a former coworker of Bill Prady's [DVD featurette "Quantum Mechanics of "The Big Bang Theory"] . When Penny spoke to him once, he voiced a lengthy inner monologue, reminiscing of his native customs (although he dislikes Indian food) and singing. More often than not, though, he just stays silent. Alcohol appears to suppress his social anxiety, where he has prolonged conversations with women after drinking. It is worth noting that when he regained sobriety, he was again unable to speak to Penny. When Wolowitz got a new phone with voice dialing, Leonard spoke gibberish into the phone, prompting it to call Koothrappali, which he said was "...a little bit racist." In "The Bat Jar Conjecture", he says a few words to Penny (sober) but then clasps his hands over his mouth (Note: the words were 'Good Story' when Penny asked what the meaning of 'Zod' was).An experimental anti-anxiety drug enables him to talk fluently to women, but has side effects on his motor controls and mannerisms, eventually wearing off at the wrong moment, including a very funny moment involving Sheldon's sister Missy, who was apparantly attracted to Raj out of the three guys. All of the guys enjoy playing "Halo 3" every Wednesday and "Age of Conan" excessively, with Koothrappali stating he has experienced gaming addiction. He frequently wears a blue jacket.

Leslie Winkle

[http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-News-Blog/Todays-News/Big-Bang-Theory/800044821] Infobox character
name = Leslie Winkle


caption =
first = "The Fuzzy Boots Corollary"
last =
cause =
portrayer = Sara Gilbert
episode = 5
nickname =
alias =
gender = Female
age =
born =
death =
occupation = Experimental physicist
title =
family =
relatives =
religion =
nationality = American
Leslie is another physicist who works in the same lab as Leonard, specializing in high energy physics. Whenever depicted in the lab, she is always using the equipment inappropriately to prepare food, such as flash-freezing a banana with liquid nitrogen and then shattering it with a hammer to put in her cereal, or using lasers to heat her Ramen noodles. Leonard tries to ask her out because he considers her to be in his league (indeed, she is his female equivalent) and they decide to kiss to see if they have chemistry. Though Leslie compliments Leonard on his kissing technique, Leslie feels no arousal, and thus, no date occurs. Leslie usually doesn't shave her legs and only started recently to imply sexual availability. She eventually puts forth an offer of sexual availability towards Leonard one evening after a string quartet practice, and the two engage in sexual intercourse, but she reveals that she only desires sex infrequently while distracted by a difficult project and subsequently dumps him. Leslie plays the violin in a string quartet. She also, at some point in the past, made Sheldon cry. She also was able to fix one of Sheldon's equations; this act greatly irritated him. Later on, whenever she sees Sheldon, she tries to insult him (For example: "Hello, men. Hello, Sheldon.") Sheldon usually stumbles to insult her, but has stated he has no respect for her as a scientist or a human being.

Other characters

Kurt (Brian Wade) (two episodes): Kurt is Penny's ex-boyfriend. He is a typical intimidating bully and not only has custody of his and Penny's old apartment, but their old television set as well, which Penny wants very badly. When Leonard and Sheldon try to retrieve the TV for her, he takes their pants and forces them to go home without them. Penny left him because he cheated on her. He makes an appearance during Penny's Halloween party.

Dr. Eric Gablehauser (Mark Harelik) (five episodes): Dr. Gablehauser is the guys' boss at Caltech. He fired Sheldon after Sheldon pointed out his (Sheldon's) "superior" mind out loud to his face, but rehired Sheldon because Dr. Gablehauser had a soft spot for Sheldon's mother Mary.

Mary Cooper (Laurie Metcalf) (one episode): Mary is Sheldon's long suffering Southern mother. She has given birth to two children besides Sheldon, including Sheldon's fraternal twin sister, Missy. Both other children are apparently Sheldon's intellectual opposites, who are, "... dumb as soup," as Mary describes them. Mary herself isn't book smart but is very wise; she appears to be an extremely good mother and is the only one who has ever been able to control Sheldon. She is a very religious Christian. Sheldon's father has long since passed on and he is mentioned as being incredibly foolish.

Laurie Metcalf played Jackie on "Roseanne", making her the third returning actor.

Toby Loobenfeld (Leopold Houston) (DJ Qualls) (one episode): Toby Loobenfeld is a research assistant at the particle physics lab where Sheldon works. He is used by Sheldon to play his fictional first cousin Leopold; a character Sheldon invented as part a lie told to get out of seeing Penny sing. This is due to the fact that Toby, along with obtaining his Physics degree from MIT, double majored in theater. According to Sheldon's back story of "Leopold", he is a 26 year old middle child, born in Denton, Texas. He is a drug addict who escaped from a rehab facility in Long Beach, California, refused to go back, and came back to Pasadena with Leonard and Sheldon. His name is often shortened to Leo, but he also answers to Lee (Sheldon thinks Leonard would call him Lee). Toby/Leo is able to snuggle up with Penny on the couch while watching TV, much to the chagrin of Leonard and Sheldon.

Dennis Kim (Austin Lee) (one episode): Dennis Kim is a 15 year old genius from North Korea. The valedictorian of his graduating class at Stanford, Dr. Gablehauser hoped to recruit him into doing his graduate work at Caltech, and asks Leonard and Sheldon to show Dennis around. Dennis and Sheldon have an antagonistic relationship from the start, when Dennis refers to the university's string theory research (which Sheldon is a part of) as a "dead end." Dennis' accolades and overall intellectual superiority demoralize Sheldon enough that Sheldon decides to give up his ambition to win the Nobel Prize in Physics and instead focus on winning the Nobel Peace Prize by building a replica of Jerusalem in the Sonoran Desert. Dennis does agree to join the university, but when he is introduced to the physics department staff by Dr. Gablehauser during an office party, Dennis walks out with a girl (thereby allowing Sheldon to reclaim his intellectual confidence). At the end of the episode, we see that Dennis has dropped out of school and spends his days with his new girlfriend.

Missy Cooper (Courtney Henggeler) (one episode): Missy is Sheldon's fraternal twin sister who is intellectually much unlike him. Tall and attractive, she immediately catches the attention of Leonard, Wolowitz, and Koothrappali. She refers to Sheldon as 'Shelly', and though she loves her brother and is proud of his accomplishments (though she, much to his chagrin, mistakenly refers to him as a "rocket scientist"), Missy is not above crotch-punching Sheldon to keep him in check.

External links

* [http://www.cbs.com/primetime/big_bang_theory/ CBS.com - official site]


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