The Big Bang Theory never showed Mrs. Wolowitz (voiced by Carol Ann Susi), but what does Howard’s (Simon Helberg) mother really look like? Unlike the rest of the cast, Howard’s the only one who still lived at his parents’ home, resulting in his mom’s involvement in some episodes. His unusual attachment to his mother was the butt of many jokes for the CBS sitcom for years. While Big Bang Theory never physically featured Debbie Wolowitz, her unmistakable voice was enough to feel her looming presence; however, fans are still curious about her appearance.
Mrs. Wolowitz debuted in season 1, episode 7, “The Dumpling Paradox,” in which Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) pick up Howard for Halo night. At this point, Howard’s dating Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) promiscuous friend from Nebraska, Christy (Brooke D’Orsay) and he somehow brought her home. While the boys try to convince their friend to join them, fans can hear Christy and Debbie arguing about the couch plastic. Years later in season 8, episode 15, “The Comic Book Store Regeneration,” Howard learns of his mom’s passing while visiting his aunt in Florida. This reflects actress Susi’s death in 2015.
The Big Bang Theory never explicitly featured Mrs. Wolowitz on the screen ,which was a running gag until her death. This is the case even when Stuart (Kevin Sussman) moved into the house and developed a borderline creepy relationship with her. Much of what the public knows about Debbie’s appearance came from descriptions from Howard. She’s depicted as an obese woman with a mustache. Her weight is often the focal point of these descriptions, with Sheldon claiming that he strained his wrist helping her with her bosom while dress shopping. While the sitcom never totally showed her, The Big Bang Theory revealed parts of her body, backing up how she’s described by the cast. In season 6, episode 15 show titled “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation,” her body and hairdo can be seen from the kitchen door while Raj is eating in the living room. Later in the same outing, her arms are shown grabbing Raj as he tries to climb out of the window. Meanwhile, fans also see an overhead view of her during Howard and Bernadette’s (Melissa Rauch) rooftop wedding season 5’s “The Countdown Reflection.”
Mrs. Wolowitz wasn’t always big and masculine-looking, as she recalled in season 5’s “The Hawking Excitation.” Apparently, she had been beautiful before. The hallway in the Wolowitzes’ home feature a gallery that include one old photo of a young woman with short curly black hair and glasses who looks like Susi. While this part of the house was regularly featured in The Big Bang That Theory, the frames were rarely focused on. It’s only in season 4’s “The Engagement Reaction” that they can be clearly seen while Howard tells her mother, who was in the bathroom, that he’s engaged to be married to Bernadette. The show didn’t give any clear indication that the lady in the said photos is indeed Debbie, although the color-grading in that said image and the character’s estimated age sync up in terms of timeline. Her curly black hair also checks out with her appearance later on in the series.
It’s unlikely that fans will ever get the answer to these lingering questions now that The Big Bang Theory is finished, but if CBS ever consider providing more information about the mysterious Wolowitzes, a Young Howard spin-off is the perfect avenue to tackle these queries.