As seen in What is Penny's last name in Big Bang Theory?

The main characters of Big Bang Theory (excluding Penny) are:

  • Sheldon Lee Cooper
  • Leonard Leakey Hofstadter
  • Howard Joel Wolowitz
  • Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali
  • Bernadette Maryanne Rostenkowski-Wolowitz
  • Amy Farrah Fowler

As we don't know if Penny has a middle name or last we can't discount it, but Why do all the main characters have three names?

  • 9
    Um, I thought it's a total US thing for about everyone to have a middle name?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 28, 2016 at 0:01
  • Most Americans I know dont. Many latinos but not even half. It's just weird that all the characters have them. Maybe regional?
    – cde
    Aug 28, 2016 at 0:10
  • 10
    "Most Americans I know don't" Don't have them or don't use them? There's a difference. I think only Amy uses hers prominently.
    – Walt
    Aug 28, 2016 at 0:12
  • I regularly see their and many other full names for a variety of reasons in my line of work. But let me put it this way what other show has even a third of the main cast with middle names? Heck i cant even think of one with multiple. Star trek has James T Kirk and NCIS has Gibbs, but no other comes to mind. That all of the main cast have them is interesting.
    – cde
    Aug 28, 2016 at 0:20
  • 2
    "main cast with middle names" Er, I dunno, lots of shows? They're just not mentioned that often and are usually fan trivia. People don't usually know the characters' full names, like Walter Hartwell White or Ross Eustace Geller, but that doesn't mean their middle names don't exist.
    – Walt
    Aug 28, 2016 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Why do you expect them not to? The only people I know who don't have middle names are first or second-generation immigrants. Raj is the only character who isn't a native-born US citizen (as far as I know). Different South Asian cultures have different naming conventions, but middle names seem to be fairly common.

TBBT is based in the US, but this article in Daily Mail states regarding UK names: "Eighty percent of children are now given a middle name, compared with the 37 percent revealed in an audit of the 1911 census." I couldn't quickly find corresponding statistics for the US, but I'd imagine it's pretty similar.

  • 4
    That's for the UK...
    – cde
    Aug 28, 2016 at 3:38
  • Don't forget that Raj has a middle name too. In an episode, he introduces himself as Rajesh Ramayan Koothrapali.
    – A J
    Jun 13, 2019 at 5:11

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