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Rajesh Koothrappali

Rajesh, or “Raj” as he is called by his friends and colleagues, was born in New Delhi, in India. He works as an astrophysicist at CalTech, along with Sheldon, Leonard and Howard. He often refers to his early life as a poor boy growing up in India, to which his friends always reply “Your father is a gynecologist. He drives a Bentley”.

Raj’s most pronounced trait is his inability to speak to women unless he’s drinking alcohol. This means that he can only talk to Penny when he’s drunk. It appears that the placebo effect is sufficient, as he’s shown talking to Summer Glau on a train while drinking what he believes to be beer. When it is revealed that it is non-alcoholic beer, he immediately returns to his quiet self.

A source of comedy in the show is Raj’s close friendship with Howard, which is referred to by Beverly Hofstadter, Leonard’s mother, as an “ersatz homosexual marriage”.

Rajesh dislikes most things about India, and cannot stomach Indian food.

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