Howard Joel Wolowitz, M.Eng., is a Jewish aerospace engineer and astronaut. He is the son of an overbearing mother who couldn't care less about his scientific accomplishments and still talks to him as if he were a child. As the best friend of Rajesh Koothrappali, Howard often hangs out at Leonard and Sheldon's apartment with him. Although he's the only member of the group lacking a doctoral degree, he defends himself by pointing out that he not only has a Master's degree in Engineering from MIT, but also designs important devices like the "space toilet" used at the International Space Station. Fancying himself a smooth ladies' man, Howard is rather confident in trying to woo girls (unlike the other three), mostly through creepy overtures and sometimes with his knowledge of foreign languages, of which he knows seven (if you count Klingon). During the show he dates and eventually marries Bernadette, with whom he bonded over their hatred towards their overbearing mothers and has been influenced to tone down his creepy behavior.
Howard is 5' 4" (1.63 m) with brown hair and blue eyes. He sports a bowl haircut and wears loud, vintage, 1960-era outfits with a matching color scheme: a V-neck or tee shirt over a turtleneck or dickey with a variety of pins on the neck, Vans or Converse sneakers, and skinny pants with collectible belt buckles, often being a reference to geek culture, although he only owns one belt. Howard's pajamas are silk gowns embroidered with his initials, "HWJ", befitting his bedroom containing satin sheets, remote-controlled romantic music, and mood lighting set by light sabers overhanging his bed. He also has suggestive glow in the dark posters on the ceiling. His preferred mode of transportation is his Vespa motor scooter, though in "The Parking Spot Escalation", he gets a car of his own.
His life at home
Howard's life at home is miserable when his mother with her nosy nature as well as her barrage of disturbing questions, and apparently is oblivious to his accomplishments as a grown-up, usually treating him like he is still a child, thus filling the stereotype of a Jewish mother. Never seen on-screen except for an overhead glimpse in the Season Five finale, and a late season Six episode where she is seen from behind through and ajar door no less than three times. She only communicates with Howard by yelling to him in an obnoxious manner, which results in awkward long-distance conversations, with Howard frustratingly yelling back at her in response. Such behavior prompts him to call her a "crazy old lady". Though after he returns from Space, he moves out of his mother's home and moves in with Bernadette in her apartment. Until his mother's death, Howard and Bernadette moved back into his house.
In "The Killer Robot Instability" Howard tries to woo Penny over, but Penny snaps at him for his creepy behavior, causing Howard to sinks into despondency, becoming a hermit and wouldn't leave his room for two days. After Leonard talked to Penny, reminding her about her ex-boyfriend, Penny visits Howard and she apologies for her outburst, and Howard reveals to Penny about all his failed romances, and Penny consoles him by saying that he is a good guy at heart and he just tries too hard to get girls. After this however, Howard tries to kiss Penny, which results in her punching him. Howard is left happy, feeling he is halfway to 'pity sex', and is advised by Penny to lie to his friends that he slipped and fell into a bathtub.
Howard is introduced to Bernadette Rostenkowski by Penny who is dating Leonard. Leonard told Penny about a girlfriend pact he made with Howard where when one of them got a girlfriend, they would try and set the single one up with a friend. Of the girlfriend. At first, Howard and Bernadette could not find anything in common, but immediately felt a connection when until found but they both have overbearing mothers.
Bernadette later breaks up with Howard for an unspecified reason.
It's then revealed that Bernadette saw Howard using his World of Warcraft character to have sex with another person's character, which ended their relationship. After a casual date, they immediately got back together.
In "The Herb Garden Germination", Howard eventually proposes marriage to Bernadette and she accepts.
In "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver", Howard is upset when he finds out Bernadette doesn't like children, but in the end she agrees to have kids with him if he becomes a stay-at-home-dad while she works.
In "The Stag Convergence", Howard is thrown a bachelor party and his impending wedding is almost ruined when a drunken Raj reveals Howard's secret sexual history, and uploaded on YouTube by Wil Wheaton, which upsets Bernadette. Howard then says to the girls, including Bernadette who hears him through her bedroom door, that his old self is gone and that he is now a better man, because of Bernadette.
In "The Countdown Reflection", Howard and Bernadette get married on the roof of the apartment building with all 5 of their friends, ordained as ministers to marry them. He then takes off to the International Space Station from Russia with his friends and new wife watching.
During most of the third of the season, Howard spends a week in the ISS, and often gets tormented by the other astronauts; for instance, one of whom glued a rubber alien mask on his window, causing Howard to scream for nine minutes (this was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube). Howard returned back on Earth, and after seeing Bernadette coming down with a fever, Howard tries to stay at his mom's. But after seeing someone climbing out the window, Howard immediately goes over to Raj's place where Stuart is already there. After been unintentionally rejected by his friends, Howard goes to a bar and has a cheesecake.
In "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" Howard becomes furious with Raj and Stuart when they move his mother's furniture to the store for the re-opening. Howard learns from his aunt, via phone, that his mother died in her sleep while in Florida, leaving him devastated. He is then comforted by Bernadette and the rest of their friends and Sheldon also comforts him, telling him that he has friends who will always be there for him, something Sheldon didn't have when his father died. Later that night, he and Bernadette leave for Florida for the funeral.
Eventually for the rest of the series, Howard and Bernadette moves back into his mother's house for now on.
Howard soon learns from Bernadette that she is pregnant.
Howard becomes a father when Bernadette gives birth to Halley Wolowitz, an his life goes back being a misery, when the baby wouldn't stop crying, sounding much like his late mother.
- Howard Wolowitz is the only one from the group and only male, other than Penny, to lack a PhD. He is often mocked by Sheldon Cooper and others for this, which Howard can sometimes take offense to.
- Howard has a master’s degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It required the completion of 144 units of grad work and an original thesis.
- Howard's astronaut nickname has been designated as "Froot Loops" due to his mother telling him that his Froot Loops are getting cold, he was hoping to be nicknamed "Rocket Man".
- Howard is a huge fan of Stephen Hawking and likes to watch tapes of his lectures, preferably ones prior to 1985, "before he became a 'creepy' computer voice" (Hawking lost his voice due to a tracheotomy performed after a life-threatening bout of pneumonia and now only communicates using a voice synthesizer). In "The Hawking Excitation", Howard actually gets the chance to meet him, helping him with his wheelchair equipment. Howard would later recommend Leonard to Hawking for his sea expedition, which Hawking agreed to. Behind Hawking's back, Howard often does a impression of Hawking's voice synthesizer by flicking his lips back and forth.
- He has an allergic reaction to peanuts and when he does eat one, his face goes pink and swells up very badly.
- Howard once went to medical school, but bailed himself out due to his nausea when he sees injuries (as shown in "The White Asparagus Triangulation" when he appears sick when he sees stitches on Leonard's hand).
- Howard's mother called him "Bubula" as shown from "The Jerusalem Duality".