Howard from The Big Bang Theory was no doubt one of the show’s most controversial characters. His self-proclaimed player status, misogynistic views, and never-ending supply of stereotypical comments raised red flags for both fans and non-fans alike. Despite this, his character was a harbinger of comedy throughout the series’ 12 season run.
But Howard wasn’t all bad. During the series, he experienced life-changing events that helped fans realize his personality is only a facade to cover up his insecurities. He shows an increasing amount of vulnerability and maturity as the series progresses. Credit must be given to his relationship with Bernadette, as it was a turning point for him.
Howard’s relationship with his father was not one he celebrated. His father left him when he was 11, which led to Howard starring out his home window waiting for him. Eventually, he and the group found a letter from his father.
Howard has always been torn up from his father’s leaving. In the episode, instead of reading the letter, he burned it. Although this may seem like an immature decision, he stood up for his belief that someone shouldn’t be forgiven if they don’t deserve it.
Good Relationship Advice
One of the best things about The Big Bang Theory, was Howard and Raj’s friendship. In the series’ final season, Raj’s girlfriend at the time was Anu. When she reveals that she is moving to London for work, Raj decides to go to London and propose to her.
Upon hearing this Howard runs to the airport to stop him. Raj liked Anu but they never really connected. In truth, he was only proposing to her because he new she also wanted to get married. Howard stopped Raj and gave him solid advice about not settling. Howard was always known for giving bad advice, but he finally gave some good advice.
Howard had made some terrible career decisions through the show, but not all of them were bad. Two of his greatest choices were making the guidance system the gang all worked on and going to outer space and becoming an astronaut.
Not only did taking on these jobs show his eagerness for a challenge but also his increasing maturity. These decisions showed how he was growing in his career, something that hadn’t been shown before. Although, he boasted about being an astronaut until it became annoying for the group, he eventually calmed it down and made another big decision to move out of his mother’s house.
Apologizing For Past Actions
When Raj introduced his new girlfriend, Emily, to Howard and Bernadette, Howard realized he had gone on a date with her once before and thoroughly embarrassed himself. He ended the date by clogging her toilet and escaping out her bathroom window.
He made it so he never saw her again because he was so humiliated. But having grown so much, Howard did not run away when he recognized her. He even apologized immediately and told her how bad he had felt about the whole incident. If it had been the old Howard, he might have claimed innocence and denied the whole thing.
Friendship With Sheldon
Howard and Sheldon’s relationship was always filled with snarky remarks and insensitive opinions about each other. Throughout the series their relationship slowly became that of a friendship.
Of all the growing friendships on the show, theirs was one that fans thought progressed the most. They both proved to become good friends when Sheldon acknowledged Howard as a good astronaut, thus putting aside their ongoing feud. Howard also managed to get Mark Hamill to officiate Sheldon and Amy’s wedding. Neither truly harbored any bad feelings when the series came to a close.
Death Of His Mother
The death of his mother was a devastating blow for Howard. Although throughout the series he made multiple remarks criticizing and making fun of her, it still didn’t take away the fact that she was his mother.
Her sudden death caused something to stir in Howard, he became vulnerable and admitted some of his regrets. He also showcased new levels of maturity by flying out to Florida to handle all the funeral proceedings. His emotional vulnerability shows how far along he’d matured through the show. Howard no longer felt the need to hide behind the facade of his “player personality”.
Birth Of His First Child
It was no secret that Howard was nervous for the birth of his first child. After her birth however, he decided to become a stay-at-home dad, an idea he proposed himself.
Howard was known for his misogynistic views but put that all behind him when Bernadette became the breadwinner and he the stay-at-home father. Having a child is a major responsibility and Howard came prepared by stepping up for the challenge. All traces of the old Howard seemed to be extinct by this point.
Admitting His Mistakes
In the episode “The Stag Convergence” Bernadette learned of Howard’s past flings and became understandably upset, so much so that she thought to call off their wedding. Devastated that he might lose her, Howard tried to reconcile.
In doing so, Howard admitted to his past mistakes, a difficult thing to do for anyone. He told her that he was disgusted by his old self but that he became a better man because of her. His admission showed growth as a person and genuine maturity, as well as how serious he was about Bernadette.
Howard was the first one in the group to get married. Judging from how Howard acted in the beginning of the series, it was shocking to see how much he’d grown from then.
He was the first to achieve this and other milestones throughout the show. The husband role was one Howard had to grow accustomed to. He was used to being spoiled and cared for completely by his mother. He had to learn to care for his now wife and share responsibilities. Although Howard and Bernadette’s marriage used for great comedy, it also showed the beginnings of Howard as a family man.
Committing To Bernadette
Howard’s slow transformation began with his relationship with Bernadette, who he dated for a short period of time before Bernadette ended it. Before their breakup, Howard expressed an interest in committing to Bernadette, even going as far as proposing to her.
Although his proposal may have been made in the spur of the moment, the idea of it was still rooted in his wanting to mature. Later, in the following season, Howard choose to rekindle his relationship with Bernadette, which was the smartest decision he’d ever made. He did struggle with this decision in “The Hot Troll Deviation”, but ultimately decided to begin his first steps towards change.
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