The Big Bang Theory quickly became one of the most popular sitcoms on US television thanks to its quirky characters, smart storylines, and classic tales of boy meets girl—or, in the case of the group’s resident lothario, Howard Wolowitz, a boy tries to meet dozens of girls who refuse to have anything to do with him.
Howard did grow up eventually, marrying Bernadette and even becoming a family man, but he didn’t lose his eccentric personality. Fans of the show might think they know all there is to know about Howard Wolowitz, but there are plenty of hidden details that viewers may have missed.
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10 Howard’s Middle Name Is Joel
In the episode “The Commitment Determination,” all of the relationships at the core of the group are going through problems, including Bernadette and Howard, who are trying to get their long-term lodger to move out.
In the ensuing argument about who is going to do the deed, Howard bemoans telling Bernadette his middle name, which is Joel, as she yells at him to man up speak to Stuart himself. The middle name isn’t mentioned ever again, so, unless you were paying attention, this piece of Big Bang trivia might have passed you by.
9 His Online Identity Is Wolowizard
All the Big Bang guys spend a lot of their time online, playing computer games, using hacked satellites to track down the Next Top Model house, and even hijacking the Mars Rover to impress a girl. Every geek needs a good online moniker, and Howard always uses Wolowizard as his identity in games and on the internet. Although, he did also use the nickname Sir Howard of Wolowitz to try and virtually woo Penny when she became addicted to an online role-playing game called Age of Conan.
8 He Only Has One Chest Hair, According To Bernadette
In season four, Bernadette tells Penny that she loves Howard’s hairy chest, but that he only has one long chest hair. Eagle-eyed viewers online were quick to point out that, in earlier episodes, Simon Helberg, who plays Howard, had been seen in a bathrobe, which revealed that he actually has a properly hairy chest.
Of course, it could be that over time Howard has lost all but one of his manly chest hairs, but it’s much more likely that this was an accidental plot hole, albeit a very funny gag at Howie’s expense.
7 Howard Always Wears An Alien Pin On His Dickey
The main characters in Big Bang all have their sense of style, but Howard’s wardrobe is the most unusual. Right from episode one, he has always appeared wearing a checked or patterned shirt over what appears to be a turtleneck, but which is actually just a dickey—the turtleneck part with just a square of material that is visible at the collar. What fans might not have noticed is that Howard always wears an alien pin in the collar of his different colored dickeys.
6 He Has A Vast Collection Of Belt Buckles
There is another important aspect to Howard’s wardrobe; his belt buckles. Anyone who has watched an episode of Big Bang will notice that the character has a penchant for over-sized buckles, despite his small waist, but he rarely wears the same buckle twice on the show and must have a huge collection at home.
We get a glimpse of Howard’s buckle fetish in “The Hawking Excitation” when he has Sheldon polish them all, among other tasks, so that Howard will pass Sheldon’s paper to Stephen Hawking.
5 He Was Just 11 When His Dad Walked Out
Howard has a worryingly close relationship with his mother, the inimitable Mrs. Wolowitz, who only ever appears in the show as a disembodied voice.
We know that his dad has been out of the scene for some time, having walked out on the family when Howie was just a young boy, but, in “The Precious Fragmentation,” he tells the rest of the guys that he was 11-years-old when Mr. Wolowitz left and that mom bought him an Alf doll to try and help him get over the trauma.
4 Howard Has Two Aunts Who Lived Nearby
Unlike the other characters, whose parents make regular appearances in the show, Howard’s family are conspicuous by their absence, We hear a lot from Mrs. Wolowitz, and Howard later meets a half-brother he knew nothing about.
Other members of the Wolowitz family are briefly mentioned in the show, including two aunts, Betty and Gladys. Both have lived in California at some point during TBBT, but Gladys has moved to Florida by season 11, as this is who Mrs. Wolowitz is visiting when she passes away.
3 And An Unusual Uncle Louie
Howard also mentions that he has a couple of uncles, but the one who sticks out from the crowd is his surprisingly feminine Uncle Louie. The subject of Howie’s unusual uncle is brought up in the season three episode “The Lunar Excitation” when the gang is discussing Sheldon’s first date with his online match, who turns out to be Amy.
When Raj says that Sheldon must have met a girl because she has breasts, Howard says that he should show him a picture of his Uncle Louie in a bathing suit sometime…
2 He Lost His Virginity In A Toyota Corolla
There is no doubt that Howard and Bernadette make a great couple, and one of the more unusual things they have in common is that they both lost their virginity in a Toyota. In Howard’s case, it was a Toyota Corolla, but, rather embarrassingly for him, the girl involved was his second cousin, Jeanie.
Jeanie herself makes an appearance in “The Prom Equivalency” when Stuart invites her to the High School Prom party, which ruins the night for Howard who finds his embarrassing story dredged up once again.
1 Howard Is Proficient In Sign Language
Sheldon often looks down on Howard because he is the only one in the group without a Ph.D., despite his obvious intelligence and engineering skills, talents which see him chosen for a mission to the International Space Station.
Howard does also have some unexpected hidden skills, such as being fluent in Klingon—although Sheldon even picks on his pronunciation of this made-up language—and also claims to be proficient in sign language, helping Raj to communicate when he goes on a date with a deaf girl.
NEXT: The Big Bang Theory: 10 Things You Forgot From The First Episode
The Originals: Why The Main Characters Are Hard For Fans To Love