Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom serve as executive producers on the show. It premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007.

Set in Pasadena, California, the show is centered around five characters: two roommate Caltech geniuses, experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, their neighbour across the hall Penny, an attractive blonde waitress and aspiring actress, and Leonard's and Sheldon's friends Howard Wolowitz, an Aerospace engineer and a non-PhD from JPL, and Rajesh Koothrappali, a particle astrophysicist postdoc also working at Caltech, are their equally geeky and socially awkward co-workers and friends. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys are contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense. Two other supporting characters have also been promoted to main cast status for a few episodes: Leslie Winkle, a Caltech colleague of Leonard, Sheldon, and Raj; and Bernadette, a microbiology student who works with Penny part time as a waitress.

The Big Bang Theory Logo


Sheldon Lee Cooper, Ph D

Actor: Jim Parsons

Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Jim Parsons. Parsons won an Emmy Award in 2010 for this role.

A Caltech theoretical physicist, Sheldon is Leonard Hofstadter's (Johnny Galecki) roommate and colleague. They live across the hallway from Penny (Kaley Cuoco).

Leonard Leaky Hofstadter, Ph D

Actor: Johnny Galecki

Dr. Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, is a fictional and main character of the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, and is portrayed by actor Johnny Galecki. Leonard is an experimental physicist who shares an apartment with colleague and friend Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons). Leonard and Sheldon are named after actor/producer Sheldon Leonard.

Penny

Actor: Kaley Cuoco

Penny (middle and last name unknown) is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by American actress Kaley Cuoco.

Penny is the main female character on the show. She is Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) neighbor across the hallway, and the main love interest of Leonard. Penny's looks and outgoing personality contrast with the rest of the main male characters, who are all scientists and geeks.


Raj Koothrappali

Actor: Kunal Nayyar

Dr. Rajesh Ramayan "Raj" Koothrappali is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Kunal Nayyar.

Rajesh is Howard Wolowitz's (Simon Helberg) best friend and one of the central characters of the show. He works as an astrophysicist in the Physics Department at Caltech. His principal characteristic is a case of selective mutism which doesn't allow him to talk to women.


Howard Wolowitz

Actor: Simon Helberg

Howard Joel Wolowitz is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Simon Helberg.

Among the main male characters in the show, Howard is distinguished for lacking a doctoral degree, for still living with his mother, and for believing himself to be a "ladies' man".

Simon Helberg's character is named after a computer programmer known by the show's co-creator Bill Prady.


Amy Farrah Fowler

Actor: Mayim Bialik

Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). She is a neuroscientist (which corresponds to Bialik's real-life Ph.D.), and Sheldon's love interest in the series. She has a Ph.D. in neurobiology, with a research focus on addiction in primates and invertebrates, occasionally mentioning such experiments as getting a capuchin monkey addicted to cigarettes or starfish hooked on cocaine. Raj and Howard met Amy through an online dating site after secretly setting up an account using Sheldon's name and information.

Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz

Actor: Melissa Rauch

Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski (Rostenkowski-Wolowitz after marriage to Howard) (Melissa Rauch) is originally a waitress and co-worker of Penny's at the Cheesecake Factory, which pays the way for her graduate studies in microbiology. A recurring joke on the series is reference to Bernadette handling infectious biological specimens before preparing food or making physical contact with people, which eventually results in her and her entire research team spending New Year's Eve 2010 in quarantine. She is of Polish origin and Catholic upbringing and admits that she cannot lie very well because, according to her, the teachers "kind of whip that out of you" and is frequently seen wearing a cross necklace.

Wil Wheaton

Actor: Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton (portraying a fictionalized version of himself): In the season 3 episode "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary", Sheldon enters a trading card game tournament (Mystic Warlords of Ka'ah) to confront Wil Wheaton over an incident that occurred in 1995 when Sheldon was devastated because Wheaton (Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation) failed to show up at a fan convention that Sheldon took a 10-hour bus ride to attend (in which he had to "twice violate his personal rule of no relief on a moving vehicle"). In the final match, Sheldon is about to defeat his hated rival, but Wheaton tells Sheldon that the reason he missed the convention was because his grandmother had died. After Sheldon wastes his last opportunity to win under sympathy, Wheaton reveals that he lied about his grandmother, allowing him to win the game.

Barry Kripke

Actor: John Ross Bowie

Barry Kripke (John Ross Bowie): An unlikable co-worker of Leonard and Sheldon's, who works in plasma physics, Kripke has a case of rhotacism where he pronounces the letters "R" and "L" as "W" in much the same way as Elmer Fudd from Looney Tunes.

Leslie Winkle

Actor: Sara Gilbert

Dr. Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert) is an experimental physicist who works in the same lab as Leonard. In appearance, she is essentially Leonard's female counterpart, equipped with the black framed glasses and sweat jackets. She is one of Sheldon's arch-enemies, due to their conflicting scientific theories. Though they both consider each other to be intellectually inferior, Leslie is much wittier than Sheldon, regularly calling him "dumbass" and besting him in their exchanges. Leslie has had casual sex relationships with Leonard and later Howard. Leslie stopped appearing in the series after the season 3 finale, when Leonard, being desperate for physical contact following sex with Penny in a drunken state, asked for casual sex with Leslie. She said "let me think about it", closed the door in his face and has not appeared again.

Stuart Bloom

Actor: Kevin Sussman

Stuart Bloom (Kevin Sussman) Stuart runs the comic book store that the guys patronize. He is a talented portraiture artist who attended the Rhode Island School of Design.

Priya Koothrappali

Actor: Aarti Mann

Priya Koothrappali (Aarti Mann): Raj's younger sister, introduced in the fourth season. Having graduated at the top of her class at Cambridge, she is one of the lead attorneys in India's biggest car company. It is disclosed upon her first appearance in "The Irish Pub Formulation" episode that she and Leonard had a relationship five years earlier (without her parents' or Raj's approval) when she was in town, and that Leonard had been much more invested in the relationship than she. Leonard even offered to relocate to Delhi to be with her.

Mary Cooper

Actor: Laurie Metcalf

Mary Cooper (Laurie Metcalf): A devout Fundamentalist Christian from Texas, Mary is Sheldon's mother. She has two other children besides Sheldon.

Beverly Hofstadter

Actor: Christine Baranski

Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski): Leonard's overly analytical mother, Beverly is a neuroscientist as well as a psychiatrist. With her neurotically strict speech patterns, lack of social conventions, and attention to detail, she is Sheldon's female equivalent.