The Big Bang Theory may have ended after 12 seasons but fans are still dissecting the series on Reddit as they rewatch it. One undeniable part of the show that often goes unnoticed is how controversial the parents of main characters are. Perhaps the reason Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Penny, Bernadette, and Amy love each other so much is because they’re the family they never had.
All of their parents have popped up on screen in their own time, and it was often met with stress and controversy. Leonard’s mom was cold and distant. Howard resented his mom’s neediness. Sheldon’s dad was more interested in beer than being a father. The list goes on and on. It’s amazing these characters made a successful life for themselves despite their rough upbringing.
Sheldon’s Dad’s Wandering Eye & Alcoholism
Sheldon’s mother is a beloved figure in the series and loves Sheldon more than herself. Sheldon’s dad, however, is another story. Sheldon has claimed that his father had an anger issue, loved football, and drank too much on top of having a “weight problem.”
When Sheldon was a young boy, he walked in on his dad having relations with a woman that wasn’t his mother. This is the reason why Sheldon knocks three times before entering a room. And due to his dad’s dependency on alcohol, it could be the reason
Howard’s Dad Ditched The Family
Howard Wolowitz has serious daddy issues. At the age of 11, Howard’s dad, Sam, left the family for reasons unbeknownst to Howard. When Howard was 18, he received a card from his dad but never read it. According to a few theories from his friends, Howard’s dad was living a double life and had to leave Howard and his mother in order to protect them.
When Howard’s mom died, he found out that he had a half-brother named Josh, who was also the son of Sam. Sam’s absence in Howard’s life seriously affected him. The only good thing that came from Sam’s absence is Howard becoming the world’s greatest dad to his own kids.
Raj’s Parents Put Raj In Between Them
With Raj’s parents living in India, Raj skyped them when he was in need. At first, his parents seemed to be a powerful and wealthy unit but as time went on, Raj’s parents began to resent each other and eventually divorced. Raj was devastated that his parents were breaking up. And to make matters worse, they put Raj in the middle of their arguments.
Both of them would put each other down while talking to Raj and eventually put him in uncomfortable situations. If he sided with his dad, Raj’s mom would be mad. If he chose his mom’s side, Raj’s dad would be annoyed. It was a lose-lose for Raj.
Penny’s Parents Were More Focused On Her Brother
Due to Penny’s brother being a trainwreck, her parents appeared to be more focused on his well-being than on Penny’s. Penny left her family behind when she moved to California from Nebraska and the only time she had visitors was when he dad came to visit. Her mother never came to see her daughter and her space until Penny got married.
At Penny’s wedding to Leonard, one would assume that her parents would be solely focused on Penny and her big day. Instead, her mom was too busy trying to make Penny’s brother appear straight-edged and that they were one big happy family. As Penny walked down the aisle, her mother thanked Penny’s brother for getting clean instead of watching Penny walk. Penny was never a matter of significance to her parents.
Amy’s Mother Controlled Her
Amy doesn’t talk about her parents often but we saw more of them once Amy and Sheldon got married. Fans were quick to point out how controlling Amy’s mother was, which could have led to the reason why Amy didn’t have many friends.
Sheldon tried getting to know her better but she was too busy demanding things from her husband and Amy. As warm as Amy became by the series finale, there’s no way she got that trait from her cold, demeaning mother.
Penny’s Dad Wanted Her To Be A Boy
When Penny first met Leonard’s mom Beverly, they exchanged pleasantries on their way up to Leonard’s apartment. As a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, Beverly began quizzing Penny about her childhood. Penny opened up and said that her dad was disappointed that Penny wasn’t a boy.
He called her slugger and pushed her into sports — he never appreciated her for the woman she was. Penny loves her dad but this was hard for her growing up.
Leonard’s Mother Used Him For Her Career
Beverly told Sheldon that she only slept with her husband for procreation reasons. It was her mission to study her children for her own selfish projects. She never showed affection to her children, which encouraged Leonard to make a hugging machine that hugged him when he needed one.
Beverly went on to write a book about Leonard’s upbringing and the things she did to him for science. Leonard is incredibly damaged because of his mother’s cold ways.
Bernadette’s Mom Gave Bernadette Too Much Responsibility
On Bernadette and Howard’s first date, she told him how overbearing and annoying her mother was. She called Bernadette too often and even picked out her clothes for her.
As viewers got to know Bernadette better, she explained that her mother smoked throughout her pregnancy, which is why Bernadette is so tiny. Furthermore, her mother made Bernadette take care of her five siblings when she was too busy. That’s a lot of responsibility for a young lady. Bernadette even assisted her mother in an illegal daycare she ran in her house. There’s a reason why Bernadette is closer to her dad.
Howard’s Mom Made Him Feel Guilty For Growing Independence
Howard adored his mother and was very protective of her. It was just them after his father abandoned them, which forced Howard to be the man of the house.
However, his mother relied too much on Howard. The further his mother’s health declined, the more responsibilities Howard had at home when he should have been focusing on his own life. He and Bernadette almost broke up because he was too afraid to move out of his mother’s house. His mom had this way of making him feel guilty for becoming an independent and self-sufficient young man.
Leonard’s Mom Ruined Intimacy For Him
There’s no way around it, Beverly was mentally abusive to Leonard. She treated him as a lab rat instead of her son. She didn’t celebrate his birthday (because it wasn’t a real achievement), she praised her other children in front of him, and she found it ridiculous that Leonard needed validation from her as an adult.
She wrote a book detailing Leonard’s most personal moments during puberty, which scarred him. She spoke about his self-pleasure tendencies, his desire to go for the left breast instead of the right during breastfeeding, and how he walked in on her and his dad making love. The entire relationship is disturbing and scarred Leonard as an adult.