While CBS gives way to March Madness, I’m sitting over here elbow-deep in characters off their own rockers: parents. Big Bang Theory parents, specifically. What do we know about the harping Hofstadters and caging Coopers? Do we ever really want to meet Raj’s family outside a Skype screen? The lowdown on what we know—and don’t—of our sitcom stars’ hometown broods.
Leonard Hofstadter: Ah, yes, the son of Ebenezer himself. He never saw a birthday cake, nor Christmas tree, growing up, thanks to his mother Dr. Beverly Hofstadter’s practices. Accomplished psychiatrist and neuroscientist, she concentrated his childhood into a series of experiments and tests. If any of those were measuring how quickly she could spur his son to build a “hugging machine,” he passed with flying colors.
Sheldon Cooper: Contrary to Leonard and the others, Sheldon has the background one wouldn’t take for a prodigy experimental physicist: a household with a fundamentalist Christian Texan mother and outgoing twin sister. Fortunately, the mother doesn’t spend her time thumping bibles and her religion isn’t exactly debated. She chooses instead to spend her energy thumping sense into Sheldon when he adopts six cats on a career-change binge. Blog writer-favorite right here.
Howard Wolowitz: Fun fact—of all the characters, Howard’s parents have never held screen time, minus the flash-in-the-pan shot of his mother, Ms. Wolowitz, cruising by the kitchen doorway in The Spoiler Alert Segmentation. Howard grew up with the overbearing “crazy old lady,” his words, when his father left him as a child. Despite the trauma, he’s the only married character in the series…so far.
Raj Koothrappali: Raj enjoys painting the picture of growing from the Indian slums—an effort halted all too soon every time his gynecologist father and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. V.M. Koothrappali, come onto the screen. Both his parents, “Richie Rich rich” according to Sheldon, live in India, own (at least) one Bentley, and previously housed servants. Their consistent meddling and nit picking often drives Raj to cam with them from the neutral setting…of Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment.