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The Big Bang Theory is a comedy that depicts the private and professional lives of four young men who work in a California University's science department. The comedy is derived from the geeky nature of these young men who often have awkward and embarrassing social interactions with women. Sheldon and Leonard share an apartment, while Raj has his own apartment and Howard lives with his mother. Each of the four characters has his own distinct personality which enhances the interactions of the group as a whole.

Sheldon is the member of the group who is considered to be the brainiest. This opinion is largely held by Sheldon, who sees himself as a superior being to most people on the planet. Sheldon thinks in logical terms which makes it hard for him to understand the decisions people make when they use their emotions. Sheldon holds a doctorate in physics which enables him to work in the physics department of the university. Although he has a superior mentality, he also has moments where the little boy in him comes out. This is especially true when he gets sick and wants to be waited on by either Leonard or their neighbor Penny, who will sing him a child's lullaby called Soft Kitty.

Leonard also has a doctorate in physics, but does not have the superior attitude that Sheldon has. Leonard's personality is often needy and more empathetic than Sheldon's. The odd circumstances of their childhoods placed them in families which were in direct opposition to the personalities they possessed. Leonard comes from a family of doctors with his mother holding a degree in psychiatry. In some episodes she visits Leonard and spends her time analyzing everything he does. Sheldon on the other hand, comes from a classic Texas family where his mother is a devout believer in Jesus. She also comes to visit on occasion and is the only person who seems to have any degree of control over her son.

Howard is a typical Jewish boy living at home with his mother even though he is well into his thirties. Howard is the only member of the group who does not possess a degree in physics. He has a Master's degree in engineering from MIT. This enables him to work in the engineering department at the same university as Sheldon and Leonard. Howard often makes devices which are used by the space program. In one episode he designed a toilet for use on the space station. After the toilet was already in place on the space station he discovered the design had a flaw. Instead of disposing of the waste through the base or bottom of the receptacle, it shot it out through the top.

Raj is also a physicist who specializes in astronomy. Raj comes from India where his parents are extremely wealthy. Raj and Howard have personalities which balance each other out. Howard is often obnoxious and considers himself a playboy or ladies man, while Raj has a more feminine side which makes him very sensitive to the needs of others. He does like to meet women, but has an emotional block which prevents him from being able to speak while in the presence of any woman other than his mother or sister. This block is removed whenever he drinks alcohol.

Penny is a young woman who lives across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard. From the moment she first moved in Leonard was smitten with her. Penny's character is free spirited and beautiful and not even close to having the amount of education of any of the young men in the group. She comes from Nebraska and has a street wise attitude which allows her to stand up and take charge of situations which usually render the men useless. Penny works as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory and dreams of becoming an actress.

Additional characters who develop in the series include Stuart, who owns a comic book store where the guys often hang out and Bernadette, who works part-time at the Cheesecake Factory with Penny. Bernadette also works in the science department at the university and eventually becomes Howard's girlfriend. Later in the series, Sheldon also meets and forms a relationship with a female scientist named Amy who becomes friends with Penny and Bernadette.

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Thursday 8:00 pm et/pt on CBS
8 Seasons, 172 Episodes - Currently Airing
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The Big Bang Theory Full Episode Guide

  • Leonard and Howard seek Raj's help after blaming each other for a potential disaster at the university.

  • Sheldon retires his Fun With Flags You Tube series, while Leonard, Howard, and Raj look through the obituaries for a deceased colleague. Bernadette finds out her boss's opinion of her.

The Big Bang Theory News

'Big Bang Theory' Season 8 Preview: Sheldon's Back

Get your first look at the new season of "The Big Bang Theory" with this preview clip!

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'Big Bang Theory' Stars Settle Wage Dispute, Now Make Ridiculous Amounts of Money

They're making HOW much per year?!

'Big Bang Theory' Fans: Don't Worry Too Much About the Wage Dispute

With key cast members demanding a significant raise, production on the comedy has been postponed. Should we panic? Probably not. But maybe just a little.

Big Banned 'Theory': Shows and Movies You Won't Believe China Has Outlawed

Political ties between America and China can be tense, but we never suspected Sheldon Cooper to be the cause. The Chinese government announced this week that they would be adding four new American shows to the list of banned shows in the country: "The Big Bang Theory," "NCIS," "The Good Wife" and "The Practice." In particular, the ban is reaching out to streaming sites like Youku and Tencent (think YouTube but with more TV shows and other copyrighted content) in an effort to prevent them from hosting the shows on their sites.

'Big Bang Theory' Coming to an End?

This season of "The Big Bang Theory" is going to end with some questions left unanswered--not the least of which is "Will all the cast members be back next year?"--but an even bigger question is how many more years does TV's top comedy have left?

'Big Bang' Star Kaley Cuoco Wears Pink at Her Wedding

For Kaley Cuoco, star of "The Big Bang Theory," 2013 ended on a particularly joyous note. Cuoco married her boyfriend of six months, Ryan Sweeting, in a ceremony in southern California on New Year's Eve.

'Big Bang Theory' Season 7: The Sheldon-Penny-Leonard Triangle

While Leonard is afloat in the North Sea, Penny and Sheldon share more than they should. That revelation comes from CBS, which released details this week about the season-seven debut of "The Big Bang Theory."

The Big Bang Theory: Season 6, Episode 24: 'The Bon Voyage Reaction' Recap

Sheldon becomes envious of Leonard's new career opportunity. Meanwhile, Raj pushes Lucy too far in their relationship.

The Big Bang Theory: Season 6, Episode 23: 'The Love Spell Potential' Recap

The girls participate in a game of Dungeons & Dragons with the guys after their girls' trip to Vegas is cancelled. Meanwhile, Raj and Lucy go on a very awkward date.

What's New Tonight: Thursday, May 16th.

What's new tonight? "American Idol" finale, "The Big Bang Theory" finale, "Elementary" finale, and more! Which of these shows are you looking forward to watching?

The Big Bang Theory: Season 6, Episode 22: 'The Proton Resurgence' Recap

Sheldon and Leonard are thrilled to hire Professor Proton, the host of their favorite childhood TV show, to perform. Also, Howard and Bernadette struggle babysitting Raj's dog.

What's New Tonight: Thursday, May 2nd.

What's new tonight? "The Big Bang Theory", "The Vampire Diaries", "Community", and more! Which of these shows are you looking forward to watching?

Ryan Murphy Casts 'Glee' Star Jonathan Groff in 'The Normal Heart'
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