The Big Bang Theory – A Who’s Who

If you haven’t started watching The Big Bang Theory then what are you waiting for? Airing on CBS and in its fifth season, the cast of loveable geeks has taken primetime by storm and is now pwning its competition (American Idol) in the ratings. Get to know the nerdy cast of characters below and remember to catch new episodes on Thursdays on CBS and in syndication on TBS three days a week.

The Main Five

LeonardDr. Leonard Hofstadter — Johnny Galecki

Leonard is an experimental physicist at Cal Tech who lives with colleague Sheldon Cooper. Leonard is the straight-man of the show as in he is the most well-adjusted of the geek social circle. That doesn’t mean he is without his idiosyncrasies, however. He is horrible at relationships, has an emotionally distant mother, is very well immersed in geek culture, is lactose intolerant and is hopelessly attracted to Penny, the neighbor across the hall. Leonard is the glue of the group. He is the focal point in which much of the show revolves.


Dr. Sheldon Cooper — Jim ParsonsSheldon

Sheldon is a theoretical physicist at Cal Tech and lives with Leonard. Sheldon has an eidetic memory and an IQ of 187. Despite Sheldon’s intellect, social situations and norms completely escape him. He has trouble with sarcasm and empathy. He thrives on routine and what he eats and activities are dependent on the day of the week. Sheldon and Leonard live together under an extensive “Roommate agreement” and the introduction of Penny into his life wreaks havoc on his structured norms. Like the others, he has extensive knowledge of Star Trek and identifies closely with Mr. Spock. Sheldon can be counted on to be a cog in a wheel when it comes to making plans and his odd ritualistic behavior is often used as comedic plotlines. Jim Parsons has won two Emmys and Golden Globe portraying Sheldon.


PennyPenny — Kaley Cuoco

A Nebraskan native turned actress, Penny moves in next door to Leonard and Sheldon. Penny is a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory while she tries to find acting roles. To this date she has done a hemorrhoid commercial, and a production of Anne Frank above a bowling alley. Her relationship with Leonard is constantly on again and off again. She loves to antagonize Sheldon but he counts her among his friends. Raj can’t talk to her and she has punched Howard at least once for his overt flirting. Penny starts as a bit of a party girl but slowly evolves into the Queen of the Nerds. If she is not waitressing, or drinking, she is mooching off Leonard’s and Sheldon’s wifi or in their apartment having dinner.


Howard Wolowitz — Simon HelbergHoward

Howard is an aerospace engineer at Cal Tech’s Applied Science department. Howard is known for only having a master’s degree instead of a doctorate like the others. Howard considers himself a ladies man despite still living with his mother. Howard wears 70’s inspired clothes and large geeky belt buckles. He is always trying to score sex. At one point, he gets the Mars Rover stuck in a ditch trying to impress a girl. Howard is best friends with Raj and at one point, Leonard’s mother describes their relationship as a homosexual marriage.


RajDr. Rajesh Koothrappali — Kunal Nayyar

Raj is an astrophysicist at Cal Tech. He is best friends with Howard. Raj is from New Delhi. He usually describes his home as “the dark and mysterious sub-continent of India.” He dislikes Indian food and often makes jokes about his home. Raj has selective mutism in which he is unable to talk to women. It is later discovered that Raj can talk to women while under the influence of alcohol or if he thinks he has had alcohol. That is how he is able to talk with guest star Summer Glau while on a train. Raj is being assimilated into American culture but he usually makes mistakes which end up in comedic moments.


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