The Big Bang Theory is a long-running sitcom that’s all about geeky pop culture and the ups and downs of working as a young scientist in the early 21st century in Pasadena, California. The series focuses on four scientist friends who love everything from the Justice League of America to particle physics and Star Trek trivia, and that includes Rajesh Koothrappali, the astronomer.
Raj was born and raised in India, and he grew up in a wealthy and successful family, which helped give him a head start in his burgeoning career as an astronomer until he moved to California to work at CalTech. It’s true that Raj has many good things to be grateful for in his life, but he must also contend with some harsh realities and unique challenges that not even Sheldon and Leonard can relate to. When is it tough being Raj?
10 Raj’s Parents Are Rather Controlling
Unlike his goofy best friend Howard Wolowitz, Raj still has both of his parents in his life, and he is quite close to both of them, including after their dramatic divorce in later seasons. Still, Raj can’t stand how controlling his mother and father can be with him, even if they are on separate continents.
Raj’s wealthy parents financially support him, meaning they feel justified in meddling with their son’s life and asking him a lot of probing questions. They even tried to set him up with potential wives, though that typically doesn’t work out very well. It sure annoys Raj, that’s for sure.
9 Raj Didn’t Like Leonard Dating Priya
Raj has a sister named Priya, who is a successful and sharp-witted attorney. Priya is a capable and down-to-earth person who can look after herself, but all the same, Raj feels the need to watch her like a hawk, as a responsible big brother.
This annoys Priya most of all, but it’s not always fun for Raj, either, who feels like he has no choice. In particular, Raj disapproved when his friend Leonard started dating Priya, and that caused all kinds of tension among the three of them.
8 Raj Can’t Easily Talk To Women
One of Raj’s biggest challenges was his inability to speak aloud to women at all. Later on, this issue was resolved, but for much of his life, Raj simply couldn’t speak a word to any woman he wasn’t related to, and that made him miserable.
This greatly hampered Raj’s attempt at a love life, and it was an even bigger issue than Howard’s bad pickup lines or Leonard’s insecurities. It’s no wonder Raj sought so many creative solutions to this problem, though none of his solutions worked for very long.
7 Raj Is Weak To Alcohol
One of Raj’s most common solutions to his communication issues is to have an alcoholic drink. Early in the series, Raj and his friends realized that booze allowed him to speak aloud to women, but this wasn’t the best solution. For one thing, Raj tends to blurt out all kinds of nonsense when tipsy, which just makes things worse.
What is more, Raj is a total lightweight and can’t handle much liquor, no matter the reason for drinking it. He might get sick or pass out from just a few drinks, while experienced drinkers like Penny and Zack would be just fine.
6 Raj & Howard Have Drama Between Them
Overall, Raj and Howard are excellent friends, and their bond is something to be cherished. From time to time, though, their closeness can be an issue, and Raj tends to get clingy and needy at times, something Howard might get tired of.
Raj and Howard are known to get into verbal fights like two lovers going through a rough patch, and it can sometimes get rather ugly. Even Leonard, who has some drama of his own, is sometimes shocked by how much drama is in Raj’s life.
5 Raj Has Issues With His Home Country
Raj has lived in California for years, and he has found plenty to like about living in the United States as a CalTech employee. Sometimes, though, it becomes evident that Raj is uncomfortable with his Indian origins, either for silly or serious reasons. Being a man of two worlds isn’t easy.
For one thing, Raj must feel guilty deep down by repeatedly eating beef despite his Hindu faith, and he doesn’t like how his parents follow Indian customs in terms of family relations and arranged marriages. Raj has also made it clear that he doesn’t like the idea of returning home to the endless crowds and food he doesn’t like.
4 Raj’s Dating Life Is Lagging Behind
Raj has had some success in his dating life, and he has had many wonderful dates with lovely women who appreciate him for who he is. Still, Raj is having trouble getting a girlfriend to stick, and aside from arranged marriages, his prospects of getting hitched seem weak. Raj is unhappy about this.
Raj keeps getting in and out of relationships, while his friend Howard married Bernadette and Sheldon is making slow but certain progress with Amy Farrah Fowler. In one dramatic scene, Raj dramatically complained that he would get a steady girlfriend after Sheldon Cooper, making a total scene in the process.
3 Cinnamon Can’t Fill The Void
At one point, Raj adopted a small dog and named her Cinnamon, and he became a doting and responsible pet owner. That’s a wonderful thing in its own right, but Raj’s reasons for getting Cinnamon are less flattering.
Raj got Cinnamon out of desperation, to fill the hole in his heart, similar to when Sheldon got carried away and adopted several cats to make up for Amy breaking up with him. But in Raj’s case, this pet-based compensation lasted far longer, and it’s possible Raj saw Cinnamon as a sweet but dark reminder of what he didn’t have in his life.
2 Raj Has To Be Aquaman
A running joke in The Bang Bang Theory involves the underwater DC superhero Aquaman; that he’s terrible. In actual DC comics, there’s plenty to like about Aquaman, but Raj is convinced that being forced to cosplay as Aquaman is an insult.
Raj often ends up as Aquaman whether he likes it or not, and he wishes he could dress up as absolutely anyone else. In fact, his costume didn’t fit on Howard’s scooter, so he and Howard had to walk all the way to Sheldon’s and Leonard’s apartment.
1 Working With/For Sheldon Is A Pain
For a time, Raj ended up working with Sheldon in the latter’s office at CalTech, and it was an awkward and difficult partnership for both of them. Predictably, Sheldon was downright insufferable and arrogant about the whole affair, and he insisted that Raj was working for him, rather than with him.
Raj disagreed, and that wasn’t the only issue between them. Sheldon kept invalidating Raj’s work and even made fun of his Indian heritage, which was a low blow, such as by playing loud Indian music in the office. They even shot Nerf guns at each other out of frustration, and their friends quickly decided to not get involved in that mess.
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