The Big Bang Theory’s Howard Joel Wolowitz is a husband, father, astronaut, and an MIT-trained engineer at Caltech. His best friends are also his colleagues but there’s a difference between the relationship he has with Raj and Leonard to the one he has with Sheldon. Sheldon’s high IQ makes him incredibly awkward in social settings, making him unsuspecting of people’s emotions and the sarcasm thrown his way.
While Leonard and Raj have their own ways of dealing with Sheldon, Howard’s approach is more aggressive. He has no problem insulting Sheldon to his face or abusing the fact that Sheldon doesn’t always pick up on raw human emotion. Throughout 12 seasons, we’ve seen these two go head to head in various situations but we’re looking at 10 of the rudest things Howard has done to Sheldon.
HE WAS A BAD STUDENT ON PURPOSE
When Sheldon decides to switch his area of study from string theory to dark matter, Caltech needs him to be a junior professor to make it work financially. The only problem is no one would take his class.
Howard decides to give his class a try in hopes of one day getting his doctorate but Sheldon’s strict personality didn’t make it easy. To retaliate with a bad teacher, Howard decides to be a bad student. This moment made Sheldon realize teaching wasn’t for him.
DRESS AS HIM FOR HALLOWEEN
In “The Imitation Perturbation,” Leonard and Penny decide to throw a Halloween party for their friends. To get in the spooky spirit, they wear their costumes to work where we see Howard dressed as Sheldon. And while Howard did a great job impersonating Sheldon (from his speech to his clothes), it was quite hurtful for Sheldon.
He didn’t realize why Leonard and Raj were laughing at Howard, which meant they were really laughing at him. Sheldon decides to retaliate, of course, but mockery doesn’t sit well with a guy like Shelly.
FAKE HIS STRING THEORY EXPERIMENT IN THE NORTH POLE
At the end of the second season, we see the gang heading up to the North Pole to help Sheldon with an experiment on string theory. The group of friends would be in the North Pole for three months, working closely to prove Sheldon’s theory.
At the beginning of the third season, we see the gang come home happy that they proved Sheldon’s theory correctly. Thinking he just changed the future of string theory forever, Sheldon was gutted when Howard explains that it was all a ruse. With Leonard’s help, they altered Sheldon’s data just to make him tolerable. This embarrassed Sheldon incredibly.
TRICK HIM VIA MAGIC
In “The Prestidigitation Approximation,” we see Raj, Howard, and Sheldon in the Caltech cafeteria where Howard is performing magic tricks. Sheldon laughs about Howard’s passion for magic and calls it a “trivial matter.”
However, Sheldon seems wrapped up in Howard’s magic and wants to learn how Howard is making it happen. And while a magician never reveals his secret, Howard takes it a little far with fooling impressionable Sheldon.
SPYING ON HIM
In “The 43 Peculiarity,” Howard and Raj wonder what Sheldon does for 20 minutes every day between 2:45 and 3:05. He disappears from the cafeteria and refuses to tell the guys his whereabouts. Howard decides to spy on Sheldon to find out where he goes and what he does.
As it turns out, he disappears to a distant room in Caltech where he practices Hacky Sack. But when he realizes Howard hid a camera inside his secret room, he decides to play a prank on him to teach him a lesson. Everyone deserves their privacy, even someone as peculiar as Sheldon.
MAKES SHELDON DO HIS ERRANDS
When Howard starts working with Stephen Hawking, Sheldon is incredibly jealous. He would do anything to meet Hawking and to share his ideas with a man of his intelligence. When he asks Howard if he can share his ideas on the Higgs boson particle to Mr. Hawking, Howard decides he’ll do it for a price…
He starts giving Sheldon all of his errands to see how badly he really wanted it. He made him dress in a maid’s outfit to clean his mother’s house, he made him clean and polish his belt buckles, he does his laundry… It’s a long list of errands, but Sheldon would do anything to meet Mr. Hawking. When Bernadette catches wind of what Howard is doing to Sheldon, even she thinks he’s gone too far.
KEPT SHELDON AWAY FROM HIS AIR FORCE PROJECT
In “The Locomotion Reverberation,” Howard, Leonard, and Sheldon are still working on a secret project for the United States Air Force. After working on the gyroscope for months, Sheldon suddenly finds a way to make their invention smaller (which would impress and delight the military).
Knowing how much work that would take, Howard and Leonard decide to keep Sheldon busy so he doesn’t leak his new idea to the military. Sadly, Sheldon’s idea was genius and Howard keeping it away from the Air Force was only hurting them.
HE SENDS SHELDON TO THE WRONG HOTEL TO MEET BILL GATES
Due to Sheldon’s naturally eccentric personality, his friends (if you can even call them that) try to hide a lot of things from Sheldon. It’s not like Sheldon tries to be controversial or embarrassing, it just comes naturally due to his brilliance.
But when Leonard learns that Penny is working with the one and only Bill Gates, he and the gang head to Gates’s hotel without Sheldon to introduce themselves to him. Throughout the episode, Sheldon thought the guys were playing an April Fool’s Day trick on him but when he became curious enough to see for himself, Howard sends him to the wrong hotel where he never saw Bill Gates.
HOWARD TAKES AMY’S PARENTS AWAY FROM HIM
In the 12th season, Amy Farrah Fowler’s parents come to town, where Sheldon tries to bond and win them over. However, when Howard comes over, he starts performing his magic tricks, which unknowingly won Mr. Fowler over.
His curiosity over Howard and his tricks distanced himself from Sheldon, which put him in an uncomfortable position. He then had no choice but to bond with Amy’s mother. We know Howard didn’t win Amy’s father over just to spite Sheldon but it definitely does sound like something he would do…
WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT HIS MEEMAW
In a classic moment of Lord of the Rings fandom, Leonard, Howard, Raj, and Sheldon appear to have a real prop from the Lord of the Rings movie. They decide that whoever let’s go of the ring last should be the one to keep the ring.
After Leonard is lured away by Penny, Howard tries his best to get rid of Sheldon next. He starts thinking of something that would annoy Sheldon enough to let go of the ring, and what did he choose? Sheldon’s precious Meemaw fornicating for fun. You could see the blood filling Sheldon’s eyes with rage!