In TBBT S03E08 (The Adhesive Duck Deficiency), Sheldon notices a tattoo on Penny's body as he helps her dress in preparation for a trip to the hospital due to 'a lack of adhesive ducks'.

Sheldon believes the tattoo is the chinese symbol for soup but Penny insists it is the symbol for courage.

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             Soup                          Possible translations for Courage/Bravery

Ms. Cuoco does have a real tattoo of the Chinese character for 'Faith' on her lower back. The Hollywood gossip mill reports that she got it inked when she was 17.

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      Faith (actual tattoo)

I cannot recall any scene in TBBT where this Faith 'tat' was visible until season 12.

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 Scene from ~09:45 into TBBT S12E15 (The Donation Oscillation).


Was the scene in season 3 an attempt for the writers of the show to 'get ahead' of a possible 'wardrobe malfunction' in the future when the 'Faith' tattoo on Ms. Cuoco's lower back was visible to the television audience?

I've read transcripts of convention panels, interviews and twitter feeds but there doesn't seem to have been any discussion of the association with the fictional Soup/Courage tattoo and Ms. Cuoco's actual 'Faith' body art. Has it been previously discussed in something I've missed?

  • Actually, I found an earlier image of Ms. Cuoco's lower back tatoo in the closing scenes of TBBT's S01E06 (Halloween Party) here.
    – user18935
    Apr 9 '20 at 3:34