As one of the main characters in The Big Bang Theory, Howard Wolowitz gets a lot of attention. Plenty of episodes revolve around him, whether because of his desperate attempts to find a date in the earlier seasons, his overly close relationships with his mother and Raj, or because of his blooming relationship and eventual marriage to Bernadette.
However, there are plenty of obscure details about everyone’s favorite engineer that the show only talked about briefly. These facts would make even the most loyal Big Bang fan look back at the show’s Howard-centric episodes, while casual fans most likely missed them altogether.
His Childhood Was Extremely Complicated
In The Big Bang Theory, everyone’s childhood was less-than-perfect. Penny and Raj are the exceptions to this rule, although Raj was already experiencing his selective mutism.
However, Howard’s childhood might be the worst of them all. His father left him at eleven, and he spent most of his teenage years looking out the window, waiting for him to return. His parents’ marriage was also so bad that, at one point, they didn’t speak a word to each other and just sat together, drinking. Howard’s mother also made him wear gloves to school so that he wouldn’t catch a disease from other children, which probably didn’t do him any favors.
His Mom’s Name Has A Deeper Meaning
The show reveals Howard’s mom’s name in the season 7 finale, “The Status Quo Combustion.” Up until that point, everyone called her Mrs. Wolowitz. Stuart begins calling her “Debbie,” which may or may not be short for “Deborah.”
In the Bible, Deborah is a crucial player in the Book of Judges. She’s a charismatic and maternal leader and the only female judge. She’s also the only one of the five to be considered a prophet. Her role in the story is that of a guide and mentor, much like Mrs. Wolowitz’s role within her son’s group. In the season ten episode “The Birthday Synchronicity,” Howard reveals her middle name is Melvina.
His MMORPG Identities
Howard enjoys playing MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Age of Conan. In the former, his identity is that of a night elf hunter named Wolowizard. His elf also has a pet tiger named Buttons. In the latter, he assumed the identity of a Guardian named Sir Howard of Wolowitz.
Howard gets into trouble with Bernadette after she finds his WoW character having sex with Glisinda, a female troll. Several hints suggest that Howard uses his RPG identities to engage in sexual activities with other characters, although he presumably stops after marrying Bernadette.
He’s Smarter Than Anyone Thinks
One of The Big Bang Theory‘s running gags is that Howard is dumber because of his lack of a Ph.D. Sheldon constantly belittles him, and even Penny gets in on the action. However, Howard demonstrates his considerable intelligence multiple times throughout the show.
Howard can speak seven languages: English, Russian, French, Arabic, Latin, Persian, and Mandarin. At one point, he even serves as Sheldon’s tutor when the genius wants to learn Mandarin. Howard is also fluent in Klingon and American Sign Language and knows a few words in the elvish language of Sindarin.
He’s Very Artistically Inclined
Howard memorably writes and plays a lovely song for Bernadette to celebrate the anniversary of their first date. The song is endearing and funny, and Howard plays the piano to accompany it. Previously, he had written another tune for Bernadette, which he played at The Cheesecake Factory.
He also forms a two-person band with Raj, Footprints on the Moon, composing the now-iconic song “Thor and Dr. Jones.” Together, Howard and Raj write a theme for Sheldon and Amy’s Fun with Flags and also play at a Bar Mitzvah with Bert.
He Could’ve Had A Shot With Penny
When Stuart first debuts, he comes off as a charming young man who Penny instantly likes. She shows admiration for his artistic talent and his self-employment and even goes out on a couple of dates with him. Indeed, throughout the show, Penny proves that looks aren’t the most important thing to her when it comes to a partner.
Had Howard not been so creepy and intense, he would’ve had a decent shot with Penny. He is also artistically inclined and has a successful job where he gets to “build stuff that goes into space,” according to Penny. His magic and love for comic books would’ve been a problem, but that’s also an issue with Bernadette.
He Committed More Ilegal Acts Than Anyone Else In The Group
Out of all the characters in the show, Howard commits more illegal activities. Before he met Bernadette, he spent many hours in HR because of the many sexual harassment complaints against him. He also crashed the Mars rover and stole government property to spy on Sheldon and find the America’s Next Top Model mansion.
Furthermore, Howard gave Penny a teddy bear with a webcam in it, potentially becoming a felon. Howard should’ve been fired from his job multiple times, and the fact that he was never arrested or even fined is one of the show’s most glaring plot holes.
The True Extent Of His Accomplishments
Despite his friend’s mockery at his lack of a Ph.D., Howard is, arguably, the most accomplished in his field, at least before Sheldon’s Nobel.
Several of his designs are fully functional, including a satellite orbiting Jupiter’s largest moon and taking high-resolution photographs. NASA uses many of Howard’s designs, including the deep field space telescope that eventually allows him to travel to the International Space Station. The lack of respect he receives seems to come from two of his failed endeavors, the Pishkin-Wolowitz Liquid Waste Disposal System and the Wolowitz Zero-Gravity Waste Disposal System.
His Father’s Mysterious Letter
In the episode “The Closet Reconfiguration,” Sheldon discovers an unopened letter from Sam, Howard’s father, and reads it. He then reveals the contents to everyone in the group, although Howard remains unwilling to know them. In the end, his friends all tell him different versions of the letter so that Howard can be in a perpetual state of “epistemic ambivalence.”
Supposedly, only one version is accurate, but an enduring theory states that they all told the truth, and the letter did actually say everything they revealed (except for Sheldon’s part, which was clearly the plot to The Goonies). It’s a clever way for Howard to learn the truth without ever knowing it.
His Soulmate Isn’t Bernadette
Howard falls in love with and marries Bernadette in the season 5 finale. Their relationship is very endearing, even if it does get bizarre when she starts acting like his mother. However, their love for each other is blatant, and they build a beautiful family together.
However, Bernadette might not be Howard’s “soulmate.” Instead, that title belongs to Raj. Soulmates don’t always have to be romantic partners; they can be a friend or a brother. Raj and Howard’s friendship can be somewhat toxic, but they love each other deeply. They understand each other better than anyone else can, and they share everything. The show plays their closeness for laughs, but fans know that these two will always be together.