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MBTI® Of The Big Bang Theory Characters


MBTI® Of The Big Bang Theory Characters


Summary

  • MBTI simplifies personality types into categories like introverted/extroverted, making it easier to understand and apply to TV characters.
  • Characters like Sheldon, Leonard, and Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory can be categorized based on their MBTI codes.
  • Finding a character’s MBTI type can help viewers analyze their behavior and understand their motivations and interactions better.



The Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator is a fascinating tool to examine characters like those of The Big Bang Theory. While the sitcom features many characters who are big thinkers, not all of their personalities are exactly the same. The series follows Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) who are colleagues and roommates as they navigate adulthood, their careers, and their love lives with their friends. For anyone who loves to people-watch, analyze others, and look into the characters in TV shows, they can spend hours on end sorting people like Sheldon and Leonard into their MBTI®s.

The essence of the theory is in making Jung’s idea of personality types more digestible, easier to apply and understand. To determine somebody’s MBTI®, bite-sized chunks of their personality (whether they’re introverted or extroverted, ‘thinkers’ or ‘feelers’) are considered in a simple one-or-the-other fashion, each corresponding to a different code. There’s no hard-and-fast category that each individual falls into, and there’ll always be some debate about a specific person’s placement.


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Barry Kripke: ENTP

The Debater

Barry Kripke raising his eyebrows and looking unimpressed in The Big Bang Theory

As far as the scientists of Caltech go, Barry Kripke is a bit of a wild card. The show is sometimes criticized for its stereotypical and clichéd take on scientists, and true enough, a lot of them don’t have much in the way of social skills. There are a whole lot of introverts in the series, but Kripke is arguably one of the few extroverts among them.Barry didn’t always make sense as a character but he was always a comical addition to the show.


One possible result for him is ENTP, or Extraversion + Intuition + Thinking + Perceiving. Rather than being set in his ways and following strictly logical causes of action, Barry is quite unpredictable and has been seen completely vexing Sheldon with an unexpected prank. Or a “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” karaoke duet with Zack.

Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz: ENTJ

The Commander

Bernadette at her office smiling in The Big Bang Theory

ENTJs are not to be messed with. They’re called Commanders for a reason: they’re born leaders. ENTJs are charismatic and confident, with an incredible drive to accomplish whatever their goals may be. Long-time fans of The Big Bang Theory will probably see a lot of Bernadette in this: extraverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging.


When she’s first introduced in the show, she’s working as a waitress alongside Penny, but she’s doing it while pursuing a degree in the field of microbiology. She never lets her interests or goals slip away and eventually ends up having a well-paying job at a pharmaceutical company. Bernadette is a rather petite lady, but inside that small package dwells a real fireball. She even had the authority to send an overtired Sheldon Cooper to bed, and that’s not an easy task.

Stuart Bloom: INFP

The Mediator

Penny and Stuart Bloom in The Big Bang Theory


There was no doubt that Stuart Bloom was going to be an introvert from his first introduction. As an INFP, he is introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving. The quiet and humble comic book store proprietor is often beset by bad luck and tough breaks. Stuart made a few mistakes throughout The Big Bang Theory but he always learned from them. He’s the Hans Moleman of the show in that sense.

Nevertheless, like a true Mediator, he’s determined to push forward and strive to make an impression on, a connection with, the people in his social circle, even if he is more at home with his comic books than he is with other people. That positive outlook may not always shine through, but in the end, all Stuart really wants is to be appreciated and accepted.

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Amy Farrah Fowler: INTP

The Logician

Mayim Bialik as Amy preparing for the Nobel ceremony in The Big Bang Theory finale

Amy Farrah Fowler has been through quite a whirlwind of character development in The Big Bang Theory. When viewers first meet her in the season three finale, she’s very much a female version of Sheldon: rigid, distant, inscrutable. Over time, however, the audience gets to see that there is more to her than that. Her friendship with Penny and Bernadette changes her quite a bit as well, which is why her result is similar to, yet ultimately, fundamentally different to Sheldon’s.


The Logician is a combination of Introversion + Intuition + Thinking + Perceiving, and that essentially defines Amy’s character. The important difference with Perceiving (P), as opposed to Judging (J), is that it indicates a person is more open to outside influences and opinions, a quality of Amy’s that Sheldon does not share. It’s why Amy is able to bond with Penny so quickly despite the two being so different, and why she is able to understand aspects of friendship that Sheldon does not.

Sheldon Cooper: ISTJ

The Logistician

Sheldon working on string theory calculations in The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon Cooper’s personality type shows that he shares a lot in common with his future wife Amy. They share the introversion and thinking aspects of an MBTI® categorization. They would both rather be left to their own devices to sort out a puzzle most of the time. The aggressive intellect, the cuttingly analytical mind… this is one brilliant couple. His brain is a big reason why fans love Sheldon.


Nevertheless, the Logician and the Logistician are not one and the same. The latter is marked by a desire to draw their own conclusions, rejecting outside influences and criticisms along the way. While Amy is willing to take input from others to better form her own conclusions, Sheldon prefers to reject them so that he can do the work himself. That’s a perfect description of everyone’s favorite persnickety, utterly rigid theoretical physicist.

Penny Hofstadter: ESFP

The Entertainer

Penny pretending to be on the phone on The Big Bang Theory


If Sheldon Cooper is a textbook ISTJ, then Penny has ESFP written all over her. The Entertainer is an obvious choice for the aspiring actress when the show begins, but as fans get to know her better, they see how well this analysis fits her. ESFPs are defined by their extroverted nature, but there’s more to it than that. Penny is a very social person (and has certainly had a lot of relationships throughout the show’s run), but The Entertainer is also marked by their desire to encourage and support others.

In her eventual marriage to the insecure Leonard, as well as Penny’s friendship with the group at large, fans see her in this role a lot. Penny is often the person helping the others understand social dynamics. She helps Amy understand her feelings for Sheldon. Penny also is more than willing to learn about the activities the group likes to better understand them and allow herself to have a good time with them, even when she can’t be at the center of attention.


Leonard Hofstadter: ISFJ

The Defender

Leonard smiling while reading the newspaper in The Big Bang Theory.

When it comes to this system, there’s always some debate as to where specific people fit, but sometimes, it looks a little more natural. Leonard is an excellent example of the Defender MBTI® in The Big Bang Theory. While ISFJs can be every bit as talented and accomplished as everybody else, they can struggle with their self-confidence in expressing that. They’re dedicated to their work, their relationships, and other aspects of their lives, but often tend to downplay their successes and accomplishments.

ISFJs are a humble group and need to defend themselves from those who would steal their credit and their thunder. Leonard’s love for nerd culture, Penny, and his job are reflected here. He is very good at what he doesn’t, but his own accomplishments tend to get put on the back burner for Sheldon. Likewise, he always sees Penny’s other partners as somehow better than him at the start of the series. It takes Leonard a while to become more confident.


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Howard Wolowitz: ESTP

The Entrepreneur

Howard smiling in The Big Bang Theory

There’s little doubt that Howard Wolowitz is the most social of the core male foursome. To hear him tell it, he’s spent most of his life in bars, amazing and delighting women with all kinds of brilliant stories. Very little of this is probably true, but he has been out there telling it, and that’s what matters here, making him an ESTP.


While he’s certainly happy to stay in and play video games with the others on Halo Night™, he’s also usually the first to suggest more social activities (especially early in the show’s run). As with Amy, he balances his academic interests with an openness to new possibilities and opportunities. He’s the first in the group to become a father, he was an astronaut (however much of a toll that took on him), and it’s his personality type that helped him to achieve these things.

Zack Johnson: ENFP

The Campaigner

Zack Johnson smiling on Big Bang Theory


Zack Johnson is one of the Big Bang Theory characters who didn’t have much screen time and is a little difficult to place. Because he makes comparatively few appearances on the show, it’s hard to have a deep understanding of him. It seems that he’d fit quite well in the ESFP (Entertainer) category with his old love interest Penny, but perhaps he’s more suited as an ENFP. He is, after all, enthusiastic and sociable and something of an optimist, all traits that fall under the Campaigner umbrella.

The difference between the Entertainer and the Campaigner personality types is their way of taking in information (S for Sensing and N for Intuition). Zack Johnson’s main shtick lies in his social leanings (contrasted with the group at large), underpinned by his lovable naivety and good nature. All this makes the Campaigner a good pick for him.

Rajesh Koothrappali: INFP

The Mediator

Kunal Nayyar's Raj sits looks glum on a couch in The Big Bang Theory


Much like his close friend (not as close as the rest of the gang, perhaps, but definitely on the B List) Stuart Bloom, Rajesh could be considered an INFP. Of the characters on the show, there are a lot of parallels in the way they interact with others in social situations.

There are a lot of crucial similarities between the two characters. They’ve both been beset by romantic misfortunes and other disasters, but they find the positives where they can and press on. They both also seek harmony and a place where they belong, which has led them to become totally overbearing at times (just ask the Wolowitz family). Nevertheless, their hearts are in the right place and their intentions are good, even if they don’t always have the confidence to act on them. Of The Big Bang Theory MBTI® classifications, Raj best fits INFP.

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