Roommates from Cult TV Shows: The Big Bang Theory

The TV series “The Big Bang Theory” follows the lives of three geeky protagonists and their colourful personalities, and each one of them is a real character. We’re zooming in on the two main characters, Leonard and Sheldon and their famous apartment sharing experience.

Penny, the attractive neighbour

Penny moves into the apartment just opposite Sheldon and Leonard’s right at the start of the series. She has come from California to try her luck as an actress and to work as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory while waiting for her big break. She knows nothing (at the beginning at least) about the scientific world. Leonard quickly sets his sights on the beautiful Penny, who is only used to going out with athletic, well-built men… but who aren’t very intellectual.

Lactose-Free Leonard

With his doctorate in Experimental Physics and his position as a researcher at the university, Leonard has an IQ of 173. He is in a flatshare with Sheldon, puts up with all of his weird idiosyncrasies and obsessive habits, and tries to be less of a geek, mainly to seduce girls (notably Penny). His mother, a doctor of Neuroscience, thinks Leonard is the least intelligent of the family and constantly puts him down. He’s also lactose intolerant (a good thing to know before you agree to share an apartment with someone!), an unfortunate affliction that gives him gas…

Sheldon, the Gifted One

Leonard’s best friend and flatmate, Sheldon, is also involved in Physics. With an IQ of 187, he is the most intelligent of the group. He has 2 doctorates in Physics, which he obtained at age 16. Sheldon has a very particular personality, he’s a total geek who understands nothing about human relationships and interaction, engaging in them mechanically and mathematically. He has problems with OCD and considers his research area the most legitimate and pertinent; he constantly puts down others.


Howard, the Supposed Seducer

An engineer in the Physics department who still lives with his mother, Howard is most definitely a geek, but he believes himself to be a real charmer with the ladies. His mother is always shouting at him. Without a doctorate and “only” a master’s, he’s always belittled by Sheldon. He’s Raj’s best friend and is a top notch dancer.

Rajesh, the Sensible One

Rajesh, or Raj, as his friends call him, is of Indian origin. He comes from a very good family and as a result his parents are very intrusive and regularly force him to go out with the “right” girls who they have chosen for him. We often see them on Raj’s screen during the regular skype calls that they impose upon him. He is Howard’s best friend and they’re practically joined at the hip. At the start of the series, Raj is incapable of talking to girls unless he is drunk.


Flatsharing in the Series

The Big Bang Theory gives us an insight into a flatshare in which one flatmate alone fixes the rules. Essentially, Howard and Raj and even Penny are often in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment and as the series progresses we gradually discover all of the strange rules that Sheldon imposes on his flatmate. He even made Leonard sign a roommate agreement: a huge document of around a hundred pages in which he has established laws and rules to be observed in the flatshare. He takes into account various everyday situations, like if a roommate is ill or in a relationship. Leonard is often very amenable and gets into the habit of abiding by the rules for an easy life… even if they are somewhat despotic. Nevertheless, the two roommates do get on very well thanks to the many passions that they share.

For some tips on getting along with flatmates, see our article Ten Rules for a Successful Flatshare.

Author: Roomlala