Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, Ph.D., M.D., is the mother of Leonard Hofstadter, Michael Hofstadter and a daughter and ex-wife of Alfred Hofstadter. Beverly is a neuroscientist as well as an award-winning psychiatrist and author. Despite being an acclaimed psychiatrist, she is controversially a terrible mother.
- 1 Series overview
- 2 Physical Appearance
- 3 Personality
- 4 Family
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Dr. Beverly Hofstadter's Books, Papers And Other Works
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Gallery
Beverly is absent in all episodes in Season 1.
His parents are first mentioned in "The Hamburger Postulate" when Penny tells Leonard that she didn't know he played the cello and Leonard says that his parents felt that naming him Leonard and putting him in advanced-placement classes wasn't getting him beaten up enough.
She is mentioned again in "The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization" when Rajesh Koothrappali says to Leonard that the only thing missing from the insult was 'yo mamma' and Howard says to Leonard "Your mamma's methodology is so flawed, but Leonard tells him to shut up and at the presentation, Leonard tells the audience that he could never please his parents so he needs to get all his self-esteem from strangers like the audience.
She is mentioned again in "The Peanut Reaction" when Penny learns that Leonard never celebrated his birthday and that his parents focussed on celebrating achievements, and being expelled from a birth canal was not considered one of them. Penny mocks this and Sheldon says that it’s actually based on very sound theories and his mother published a paper on it. Penny then says "What was it called, “'I hate my son and that's why he can't have cake?,” and Sheldon says it was obviously effective, Leonard grew up to be an experimental physicist. Perhaps if she’d also denied him Christmas he’d be a little better at it. Penny then asks Leonard if he really never had a birthday party and Leonard said 'No. But it was okay. I mean, when I was little I’d think maybe my parents would change their mind, and surprise me with a party, like this one birthday I came home from my cello lesson, and I saw a lot of strange cars parked out front, and when I got to the door I could hear people whispering, and I could smell German chocolate cake, which is my favorite' and when Penny asks what happened, Leonard said that it turned out his grandfather had died, which Penny said was terrible, but Leonard said that it felt a bit like a birthday party since he got to see all his cousins and there was cake and Penny said that that was the saddest thing she ever heard.
Beverly first appears in "The Maternal Capacitance" Season 2 Episode 15, visiting her son. Leonard is clearly uneasy about it and it becomes apparent when she arrives: she is as strict and logical as Sheldon, if not more so. She instantly upsets Penny by talking with her about her (Penny's) childhood issues with Wyatt (Penny's father), refers to Howard and Rajesh Koothrappali as an "ersatz homosexual couple", and repeatedly belittles Leonard; however, she gets along perfectly with Sheldon and spends more time with him than anyone else. At the end they sing "Any Way You Want It" together, as a confused Leonard looks on.
She reappears in "The Maternal Congruence", where she visits Leonard for Christmas. She does not know that, by this point Leonard and Penny are dating - Leonard had not told her for fear of how she would disapprove because of Penny's lack of a tertiary or quaternary education. It turns out that Beverly stays in touch with Sheldon, even telling him more than she does Leonard. Things only become worse when Leonard is told about his parents' pending divorce, his mother's surgery and the death of his dog - all of which which Sheldon has known for weeks. Fed up with his mother's lack of compassion, Leonard leaves. Penny takes Beverly drinking at The Cheesecake Factory to get her loosened up and they bond. Penny reveals her relationship with Leonard, and Beverly is confused on why he did not tell her (even though she neglects to tell him anything). When they get back to the apartment, she gives Leonard a genuine hug after she realizes why he distances himself. She then kisses Sheldon passionately, but rejects him for a busboy she saw at the Cheesecake Factory, confirming there is no romantic tension between the two (as Sheldon was not happy about it). Being driven to the airport by Leonard, she gives her blessing to his relationship and they decide not to tell Leonard about her kissing Sheldon, wanting this time to work on their familial relationship and feeling that telling him might make it harder for him.
Beverly is mentioned again in "The Pants Alternative" where it is revealed that she humiliated Leonard at a science fair when he was eight years old by making him give back a ribbon because a project he had done "Do Lima Beans Grow Better To Classical Music?" was similar to an earlier project of Michael's: "Do Lima Beans Grow Worse To Rock n' Roll?", and there Leonard's bedwetting started again.
Beverly is absent in all episodes in Season 4.
She is mentioned in "The Engagement Reaction" when Penny asks Raj's sister Priya if she wants to talk about crazy mothers and then tells her that Leonard's mom wouldn't give him any sort of approval growing up.
She appears via Skype in the premiere episode, "The Skank Reflex Analysis". Leonard tells her his recent frustrations with his current girlfriend Priya and his anger towards Penny. She only responds "Buck up, sissy pants," and later goes on to advise Leonard that if he needs any further advice from her he should purchase her psychology books on Amazon.com rather than actually call her again: showing she has not changed much.
She is mentioned again in "The Speckerman Recurrence" where Leonard says that the bedwetting part has his mother's name all over it.
She is mentioned again in "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver" where Leonard, Howard and Raj are discussing about the possibility of Howard to have a child in the future and Leonard says "there's no guarantee even if you have kids that you're going to like them" right on the dust jacket of his mom's last book.
She is mentioned again in "The Recombination Hypothesis" in Leonard's daydream when these lines are spoken:
Sheldon: All right, then. The reason you're fixated on a good-natured simpleton like Penny is that she's the exact opposite of your first romantic attachment, your brilliant yet intimidating mother.
Leonard: Where on earth did you get that from?
Sheldon: It's in her book, "Needy Baby, Greedy Baby".
Leonard: That doesn't make it true.
Sheldon: It's called non-fiction for a reason, Leonard.
Beverly is absent in all episodes in Season 6.
She is mentioned in "The 43 Peculiarity" when Leonard says to Alex Jensen that 'Dr. Hofstadter' is his father, his mother and his sister after she calls him the title and he asks her to call him Leonard.
She is mentioned again in "The Bakersfield Expedition" where a policeman asks Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj if they need him to call someone and he guesses their moms, referring to Beverly, Mary, Mrs. Wolowitz and Mrs. Koothrappali and Leonard responds "Thanks. But we got it covered.".
She is mentioned again in "The Contractual Obligation Implementation" where Leonard says that he supposes he's always been into science since his mother and father are scientists and was kind of led in that direction when a girl at school asks him how he became a scientist. Beverly is mentioned one more time when Leonard says this line: "Uh, pushed might be a better way to describe it. To be honest with you guys, when I was your age, I wanted to be a rap star. Like Snoop Dogg, but with a healthy respect for the police. Yeah, no, sure, you laugh. Just like my mother did. After I confided, I was derided and chided, my moms and I collided. She said my dreams were misguided. That’s just a little freestyle.".
She is mentioned again in "The Tenure Turbulence" where Leonard tells Penny he just keeps thinking about how cool it would be if he called his mom and told her that he got tenure at Caltech. And Penny says 'She'd be proud, huh?' and Leonard answers "Oh, very. Assuming she takes my call."
In "The Raiders Minimization", Penny purchases a psychology book that Beverly has written about all Leonard's problems growing up called The Disappointing Child. Leonard uses his embarrassment and his anger as leverage to get Penny to do things with him that he likes to do. After Penny learns about his behavior, she dresses up for sex, tempting him, and then for revenge makes him Skype with his mother. She wants to discuss why Leonard keeps involving her in his sex life. When he was six, Leonard walked in on his naked parents while his mother was spanking his father's rear with his new ping-pong paddle - which Leonard had thought had just been a nightmare.
In "The Status Quo Combustion", Leonard contacts his mother and has an announcement for her. Sheldon has already told her about his engagement to Penny. He hates that she talks to Sheldon more than him, but declines to communicate to his mother on a more frequent basis. She has had her misgivings about Penny, but because of Sheldon's admiration, she is good enough for her. Leonard is annoyed that his mother's focus is on herself, and not on who might be good enough for him. Beverly wonders why Leonard has to have her approval, and tells him that he should work on getting over his need for her approval.
Beverly was mentioned in "The Expedition Approximation", when Leonard tells Penny that he has no problem if she makes a lot more money in her pharmaceutical sales job since while he was growing up, Beverly emasculated his father Alfred Hofstadter financially and in every other aspect of his life.
In "The Maternal Combustion", she visits Pasadena to see Sheldon and Leonard get an award. She meets Mary Cooper and wants to know about Sheldon when he was growing up. Though warned to be nice to Mary, after religion is mentioned she says she forgets how much superstitions mean to some people, thus starting an argument. Later talking to Sheldon, she admits that there are other methods of raising children. She tries unconditional love by trying an awkward hug with Leonard.
In "The Celebration Experimentation", Beverly flies to Pasadena for Sheldon's birthday party. He attended her little 60th get together that Leonard didn't even know about. Penny added that she didn't know about their Vegas wedding, which was fine with Beverly. She toasts Sheldon saying that they all can't wait to see what other successes he has in the future. Also, Barry Kripke keeps hitting on her all night which pleases Beverly and not Leonard.
Beverly returns in "The Line Substitution Solution" where Penny tries to connect with her, but the completely unlikeable woman ends up bonding with Amy and Bernadette. When Penny has had enough and it is the last straw for her, she gets very angry with Beverly and yells at her for being an insult all day and asks Beverly if she even knows what an insult is. Beverly then tells Penny says she feels insulted that she wasn't invited to her son's wedding nor even being told that it was taking place. To make up for that, Penny decides on doing a re-wedding while Beverly is still in town, which is okay with the latter and they finally bond.
In "The Conjugal Conjecture", Beverly does not want to be humiliated again and attend the ceremony. Penny reacts that if she doesn't show, Alfred will know that he got under her skin. Beverly can't let that happen and stays. There is a lot of awkward moments with Alfred and Mary and then when she visits Penny's family. At the wedding ceremony Stuart sits between them since they don't want to sit next to each other. When asked for comments, Alfred stands and says that even though they brought the worse out of each other, the best thing to come out of their relationship was Leonard. Beverly agrees. On the way to the airport the next day, they seemed to be civil to each other for about one minute until they started bickering over Leonard's driving.
She is mentioned again in "The Birthday Synchronicity", when Leonard says that he has come to peace with his relationship with his parents, likely suggesting that there may have been some improvement in the relationship between Beverly and Leonard.
Beverly reappears in "The Escape Hatch Identification", where Sheldon calls for help since he is having trouble of accepting the fact that someone else is taking his room. Beverly says that Sheldon has insecurities about his relationship with Amy and needs his room as an escape hatch for their relationship. Amy retorts that their relationship is sound, but realizes his need for a back up plan. She slightly reverts to her old ways by bugging Leonard and Penny, saying they have marital issues because they are trying to find roommates when they take Rajesh Koothrappali in and also Penny's brother Randall having needed to temporarily live with them, which is not true since the married couple are only being generous to let someone stay with them until that guest's living issues are solved.
In "The Explosion Implosion", after Penny answered a phone call from Beverly for Leonard, the pair developed a close bond with Beverly dishing on her recent amorous activities. Amy was jealous of Penny's close relationship with Leonard's mother, while Leonard was more annoyed that his mother told Penny she was proud of her - something Beverly has never said about him. When Leonard confronted his mother, Beverly told him how great Penny was, that out of all of her children's spouses, Penny was the best one and admitted she was proud of Leonard - if only for marrying well. Beverly also noticed that Leonard was trying hard not to cry, so she let him hang up quickly since Leonard was already being driven to tears.
She reappeared in "The Novelization Correlation" as the character Ilsa from Leonard's book, as well as appearing over Skype.
In "The Maternal Conclusion", Beverly visits Leonard and Penny asking nice and truly interested in Leonard's new physics project. Later she admits that she is doing research for a new book which makes Leonard blowup. Finally he forgives her which makes both of them feel much better and they end in a true loving embrace.
Beverly is a tall bony woman, bearing a passing resemblance to late comedienne Joan Rivers, who wears glasses and has medium-length hair which is always seen tied with clips. She also wears pearl earrings, a pearl necklace and a rectangular watch. In her first appearance, she wore a wedding ring since she was still married to Alfred, but in the next appearances the ring was never seen again since he had already cheated on her and were by then getting divorced.
In "The Convergence-Convergence", during the pre-wedding dinner, she wore different earrings for the first time in the show, ring ones.
Her personality is rather cold, bitter, monotone and, perhaps influenced in part by her professional life, overly analytical. She tends to diagnose the behavior or neuroses of those to whom she's speaking. Her matter-of-fact analysis of Penny's relationship with her father prompts Penny to burst into tears within minutes. Rather than attempt to console Penny, Beverly merely continued to psychoanalyze her. Her behavior seems driven by the fact she tends to force clinical analysis on people around her, distantly insulting and abrasively mocking people around her before using psychological jargon to distance herself from the antagonism which she has created.
Despite herself, Beverly can be extremely arrogant, narcissistic and incredibly ignorant. Her relationship with Leonard is hugely haphazard, but she does not blame herself for that. In fact, when she observes Leonard's childhood, she deduces that he has unresolved - repeat, unresolved - childhood issues as well as an Oedipal complex that she cannot understand the origin or cause of. She refuses to understand that she was the sole catalyst for practically all of his childhood issues and resulting social problems, and that the "Oedipal complex" she claimed he had was just him trying to have a normal mother-son relationship with her, which she saw as absurd and unnecessary. Beverly also insensitively rebukes Leonard's attempts at conversation with her, or attempts to impress her, with demands for him to calm down or something as degrading as that. Not only that, but she saw absolutely no problem or even any moral faults in humiliating or belittling him. She (almost ironically, from a certain perspective) had the gall to contemplate that Leonard had a narcissistic personality disorder (while ignoring that she is simply projecting her own personality trait onto Leonard and falsely attributing it to him), judging this from the aforementioned factors, and both her and Sheldon (who is himself narcissistic and likewise ignorant of his projection of it onto others) concur on the subject. She accentuates this theory (and simultaneously engages in more projection) by falsely accusing Leonard of selfishness on several occasions, and citing that she only makes conversation with him when she absolutely has to (in an attempt to quell Leonard's ego, from her perspective). Another thing to note is that she has a hypocritical side, as while she never told Leonard about her 60th birthday party, she was angry that he and Penny didn't tell her about their wedding.
She constantly looks down on him, and straightforward denies the request to not criticize him when he is emotional. She regards him as an anticlimactic disappointment, if not a non-entity, in comparison to his siblings and herself. Not only this, but Beverly is completely blind to his feelings and opinions and doesn't view either as important: when he reveals that he and Penny are engaged, she disregards his joy at the event and calmly remarks that "If she is good enough for him (Sheldon), then she is good enough for her", indicating that she sees his welfare and opinion as immaterial to an extreme.
Perhaps the most prominent example of Beverly's extreme ignorance is represented by her own husband, Alfred. Though they were both brilliant and accomplished, she showed just as little emotion to him as she did Leonard. Though not seen on screen, it is heavily said that Beverly was cold and unloving towards him and this eventually provoked Alfred into having an affair with another woman, possibly on account of the fact that someone else would give more affection to him than Beverly ever had. What is most noteworthy about this situation is that Beverly was completely incredulous to this and didn't seem to reflect on her own actions after the divorce, believing that their relationship crashed and burned for the sole reason that Alfred had an affair - she verbally stated that Alfred called her cold, emasculating and hadn't shown him any physical affection for years, completely ignorant to the fact that this was a faultless description of herself. In saying this, Beverly showed true emotional rage for the first time in the series, and this rage is purely self-righteous and shows she is unapologetic about how she treated him, not considering that her emasculating and misanthropic behavior was the reason he'd discarded their relationship.
She diagnosed Raj with selective mutism and considered Raj and Howard's relationship to be an "ersatz homosexual marriage," often to their considerable discomfort. For example, her primary interest is making accomplishments in her fields. At times, she seems to see other humans as merely test subjects and will ask those she finds particularly interesting if they would be willing to have their brain scanned. While Leonard does not feel that his mother truly appreciates him, she takes a liking to Sheldon: whom she also tells more about what's happening to her than her own son, like in Season 3, after picking Beverly up from the airport, Sheldon asks if she liked the flowers he sent her after her carpal tunnel surgery which Leonard didn't even hear about, and also Michael's engagement (though Sheldon did send a present from the both of them).
She is also the complete opposite of Sheldon's mother, Mary Cooper: Beverly is narcissistic, unfriendly, unloving, unaffectionate, uncaring and unpopular and does completely crazy things, like gluing electrodes to people's heads to measure their brain waves while potty training, while Mary is compassionate, kind, extremely friendly, warm, loving, affectionate, sweet, caring, reasonable and popular and does not do the completely crazy things that Beverly does and their parenting strategies are very different from each other's (Mary having unconditional love for Sheldon and Beverly raising Leonard as a science experiment and having him try to achieve and having to make him earn her love and affection until after Beverly talks with Sheldon) that their respective sons prefer to have each other's mother for a mother and the two women don't see eye-to-eye with anything and truly don't like each other, making them enemies and to some degree, maternal rivals. However, it is later revealed that the two women, despite the differences between them, they share the habit of having a favorite child and wanting their children to go into academic careers; The former was noted when Sheldon's brother told Leonard that Mary was the most proud of Sheldon, despite George's sacrifices and successful non-academic high paying job as the owner of a chain of tire stores, while the latter was noted in Young Sheldon when Mary was disapproving of Georgie's new job at Herschel Sparks's garage, as well as Georgie's talents since Mary was focusing more on academics.
- Ex-Husband: Alfred Hofstadter
- Sons: Leonard Hofstadter, Michael Hofstadter
- Daughter: Unnamed
- Daughter-in-Laws: Penny Hofstadter née ?, Unnamed
- Son-in-Law: Unnamed
- Grandchildren: Unnamed
- Father or ex-father-in-law: Unnamed
- Mother or ex-mother-in-law: Unnamed
- Brother or ex-brother-in-law: Floyd
- Sisters or ex-sister-in-laws: Edna, Nancy, Unnamed
- Nephews/Nieces or ex-nephews/nieces: Unnamed
- Nephew-in-law: Unnamed
- Great-Nephew: Unnamed
As a by-product of her personality, Beverly's relationships with others tend to be non-traditional in nature.
Beverly's relationship with her son is decidedly unmaternal. Mostly their relationship is estranged. It means they were never close. She frequently critiques various aspects of his life, utterly oblivious to the fact that she might be hurting his feelings, although she is perfectly aware of his childhood issues with her. Once as a child, Beverly made Leonard return an award at the ceremony because of its similarity to an earlier project of his brother, Michael. Beverly mentioned at one point that Michael and their sister are more successful than he is. Leonard's childhood with her can best be described as a series of neurological experiments. At one point Leonard indicates that he created a "hugging machine" in order to feel some sort of warmth and companionship. Leonard was not even told that Michael was getting engaged, when his dog was put to sleep or when his favorite Uncle Floyd died. It is likely that she may have been more interested with Leonard as a test subject rather than her own child. Beverly made a brief appearance in "The Skank Reflex Analysis" via Sheldon's laptop to comfort Leonard and listened to his problems and simply told him to "buck up", then signed off. In return, Leonard is spiteful towards Beverly, blames a majority of his childhood issues on her and dislikes her extremely. As a result of this upbringing, Leonard is desperate to impress women. In the seventh season, Beverly writes another psychology book based on Leonard's childhood and shortcomings. Leonard also once said "I have been in therapy ever since my mother accused me of breastfeeding co-dependently".
In "The Line Substitution Solution", she admitted that she was upset about not being invited to her son's wedding and that she thought that Leonard and Penny shouldn't be together, but feels that she was wrong after seeing how happy he has been since he married Penny. Penny then suggests a wedding redo ceremony and they bond.
In "The Convergence-Convergence", Leonard for the first time ever in the show infuriates her by inviting Alfred to his wedding redo without consulting her, but Leonard retaliated saying that he doesn't need his mother's permission to have his father at his wedding.
In "The Conjugal Conjecture", at first she doesn't want to be continually humiliated and doesn't want to attend the wedding ceremony. Leonard explains that she is the reason they are having it. After Alfred says that the best thing to come out of their relationship was Leonard, Beverly agrees.
In "The Birthday Synchronicity", Leonard says that he has come to peace with his relationship with his parents, likely suggesting that there may have been some improvement in the relationship between Beverly and Leonard.
In "The Escape Hatch Identification", Beverly slightly reverts to her old ways by bugging Leonard and Penny, saying they have marital issues because they are trying to find roommates when they take Raj in and also Penny's brother coming to live with them, which is not true since the married couple are only being generous to let someone stay with them until that guest's living issues are solved.
In "The Explosion Implosion", Leonard was annoyed that Penny was forming a close friendship with his mother and even more annoyed that she told Penny she was proud of her - something Beverly has never said about him. When Leonard confronted his mother, Beverly told him how great Penny was, that out of all of her children's spouses, Penny was the best one and admitted she was proud of Leonard - if only for marrying well. Beverly also noticed that Leonard was trying hard not to cry, so she let him hang up quickly since Leonard was already being driven to tears. Right there was the first time of her telling her she was proud of him and the first time they ever bonded.
In "The Novelization Correlation" Leonard is writing a book about a physicist solving a murder at the CERN collider in Switzerland. He has a mean female boss who he thinks is based on Bernadette, Penny and finally his mother. This creeps out Penny since there is some sexual tension between them. Afterwards Leonard quits.
Sheldon noted at one point that her other children (Leonard's younger brother Michael and their older sister) are far more successful than Leonard both professionally and personally. There is no indication that she feels any differently toward them on an emotional level, so she is just the same with them as she is with Leonard and wasn't proud of them, even though they both have successful careers. For example, when Howard asked her if she was proud of them because of their success, she said, "Why? They're not my accomplishments." And when Leonard remarks that she must be happy about her son Michael's engagement to a successful young judge in New Jersey, Beverly replies "Why? I'm not marrying her,"; however, she seems to respect them more than Leonard since in "The Celebration Experimentation", Beverly says that Leonard's siblings were at her 60th birthday.
As a result of Beverly's emotional abuse, she is obviously the reason that Leonard has a rivalry with his siblings.
Beverly's relationship with her children's father Alfred has been described as a completely loveless relationship.
After years of being in a loveless marriage, we learn in the "The Maternal Congruence" that Beverly is divorcing Alfred as he had an affair with a waitress from the Princeton University cafeteria. This time is one of a few we see anything resembling emotion from her as she indicates she "did feel something akin to grief and perhaps anger" and further characterized Alfred as a "loathsome son of a bitch". They did not have a close romantic relationship with Beverly explaining that she had been responsible for her own orgasms since 1982 and only had intercourse for the purposes of reproduction (perhaps a root cause for Alfred's affair). He also used to borrow Leonard's hugging machine to compensate for the lack of love too.
In "The Raiders Minimization", when Leonard was six, he walked in on his parents naked where Beverly was swatting Alfred's rear end with his brand new ping-pong paddle.
In "The Expedition Approximation" when Leonard and Penny go to Howard and Bernadette for advice on how to handle money while being married, Leonard tells Penny that while he grew up, his mother emasculated his father financially and in every other aspect of his life.
In "The Convergence-Convergence", the two exes come into each other's presence once again in order to attend their son's re-wedding and snipe at each other, including at dinner where Beverly ends up interrupting Alfred's toast to Leonard. In the car ride with Leonard and Beverly, she mentions that Alfred claimed she was cold, emasculating and hadn't shown him any physical affection for years (facts that are all true).
In "The Conjugal Conjecture", she feels humiliated by Alfred flirting with Mary Cooper, however at the wedding she does agree with him that Leonard was the best thing to come out of their relationship, although Beverly is amused by Sheldon's comments against Alfred and Mary. On the way to the airport they seemed to be civil to each other for one minute, but then continued their bickering, this time about Leonard's driving in the carpool lane.
Between her neurotically strict speech patterns, lack of social conventions, and attention to detail, she is basically Sheldon's female equivalent, aside from Amy Farrah Fowler (although in many ways she surpasses him, as Sheldon can and does, admittedly rarely, show affection to others, while she never has). Sheldon did keep in touch by Skype, much to the confusion of Leonard. Sheldon thinks of Beverly like the mother he always wanted.
Indeed, her inability to understand social conventions seems if anything to be somewhat more extreme and has to have some social concepts explained to her by, of all people, Sheldon (though his explanations typically reflect his own, at best, incomplete understanding). It is therefore unsurprising that Sheldon and Beverly share an odd non-romantic attraction to each other. They have a mutual interest in having their brain scanned and have even sung a duet of the Journey song "Any Way You Want It"; however, she did once kiss him passionately while intoxicated (declaring afterwards that she'd "rather have the busboy"). She apologized the following morning and Sheldon accepted as she was intoxicated (he blamed Penny). Beverly is basically the mother Sheldon wished he had.
Despite being equivalents, there are things that make Sheldon and Beverly different, like, for example: Unlike Beverly, Sheldon truly appreciates Leonard, cares about him and is capable of love, which Beverly is severely lacking and almost non-existent.
In "The Conjugal Conjecture", Beverly actually snaps at Sheldon when he acts crazy after hearing that her ex-husband is probably hooking up with Sheldon's mother, her maternal rival and then Sheldon actually snaps at Beverly over her comments about his mother as a Bible thumping bumpkin, although he does agree with her.
Beverly doesn't seem to be too fond of Penny, especially when the former upsets the latter when Penny tells about her father treating her like a boy. She comes to later accept Leonard's relationship with Penny due to Sheldon being fond of her. Penny tries to connect with Beverly in the penultimate episode of Season 9, but fails and Penny is angry at Beverly, but Beverly admits that she was feeling insulted about Penny marrying Leonard and not inviting her nor telling her that the wedding was taking place. The two ladies then connect when Penny suggests that a re-wedding would be done while Beverly is still in town. Penny even tells Leonard that Beverly willingly hugged her when being dropped off at the hotel. In "The Explosion Implosion", after Penny answered a phone call from Beverly for Leonard, the pair developed a close bond with Beverly dishing on her recent amorous activities. Amy was jealous of Penny's close relationship with Leonard's mother, while Leonard was more annoyed that his mother told Penny she was proud of her - something Beverly has never said about him. When Leonard confronted his mother, Beverly told him how great Penny was, that out of all of her children's spouses, Penny was the best one and admitted she was proud of Leonard - if only for marrying well. Beverly also noticed that Leonard was trying hard not to cry, so she let him hang up quickly since Leonard was already being driven to tears.
The rest of the group
Howard and Raj both particularly dislike Beverly because she is such an annoying cold woman. They are not happy with her thinking that they are in an ersatz homosexual relationship and not believing the fact that Howard has a girlfriend. It wasn't until later in "The Line Substitution Solution" that Beverly would've seemed to know that Howard is married to a woman. Also, Beverly and Raj have never spoken to each other during Raj's selective mutism (inability to talk to women outside his family) which appeared from the first episode until the Season 6 finale and they still haven't spoken even after Raj is cured of it, but Beverly heard him speaking at Sheldon's birthday party, although they still didn't communicate.
Beverly hadn't been seen with Bernadette, Amy, Stuart and Leslie until "The Celebration Experimentation" and didn't talk to any of them. She also didn't meet Emily because she was absent. She properly meets Amy and Bernadette in "The Line Substitution Solution", talking directly to them for the first time ever in the show, and she bonds with the two girls. This annoys Penny, who has been trying to connect with her until when it is the last straw for Penny and she gets really angry with Beverly and yells at her to which Beverly admits it was because she felt insulted about not being invited to her son's wedding nor being told that it was taking place, and the two bonded after Penny suggested a wedding redo, which Beverly found perfectly acceptable. In season 11, she does diss Amy by calling her stuffy (although, as she does to Leonard, this is just a case of Beverly projecting her own personality trait onto Amy, as Beverly has displayed stuffiness in every one of her appearances).
She has also been seen with Stuart thrice, but didn't speak to each other until "The Conjugal Conjecture". If they take things further, it's likely she would look down on him for his job of being the owner of a comic book store. She was also seen Leslie but haven't spoken, but when they do, it's likely they would be enemies due to Leslie's enmity with Sheldon. If she meets Emily, it's likely that Beverly would be afraid of her due to Emily's dark side.
Beverly meets Sheldon's mother Mary Cooper in the penultimate Season 8 episode "The Maternal Combustion". She seemed to be civil to Sheldon's mother at first, but when Mary mentioned religion, she offended Mary with an offensive comment and said she (Beverly) forgets how much superstitions mean to some people and this started an argument between the two mothers, but eventually they seemed to make up later. However, this peace does not occur. In "The Convergence-Convergence", the two women have kept a true dislike of each other and when they meet up again, Mary is not happy to see Beverly again and Mary endś up bonding with Beverly's ex-husband Alfred over their mutual dislike of her and their admiration of each other's beliefs and at the restaurant during the pre-wedding dinner, the mothers start a small argument about the Bible and reading other books. In "The Conjugal Conjecture", the two women can't be in the same room and at the wedding, Beverly is amused by Sheldon's comments against Alfred and Mary. Despite the two ladies' different beliefs, personalities and parenting styles, Mary shares with Beverly the habit of having a favorite child (Mary for Sheldon and Beverly for Leonard's brother and sister) and if they're successful. In the Young Sheldon episode "An 8-Bit Princess and a Flat Tire Genius", Mary is not appreciative towards Georgie's new job with tires, instead focusing more on academics, which is what makes her and Beverly similar.
Beverly meets Penny's father Wyatt, mother Susan and brother Randall in the Season 10 premiere "The Conjugal Conjecture" and Susan was worried of what Leonard's parents would think of them. She is civil, but does hear about Randall's court appearances.
Dr. Beverly Hofstadter's Books, Papers And Other Works
Beverly published multiple scholarly papers and books about her son Leonard and her personal life. She is enthusiastic about promoting these publications, even to Leonard.
- An unnamed paper, presumably arguing that parents should "focus on celebrating achievements" instead of celebrating their birthday or holidays when they raise the child - mentioned in "The Peanut Reaction" (S1E16) by Sheldon, who thinks this argument is "based on very sound theories". Penny thinks "that's so silly" and mocks it.
- An unnamed paper, written "from the neuroscientific point of view", presumably arguing that people should "only had intercourse for the purposes of reproduction" - mentioned by herself in "The Maternal Capacitance" (S2E15). She also mentioned that Alfred also published a paper on the same topic "from an anthropological" (point of view). She then states that hers "was the only one worth reading."
- An unnamed publication, describing her sex life, that can be "ordered from the Princeton University Press" - also mentioned by herself in "The Maternal Capacitance" (S2E15). She also has a presentation about this subject.
- An unnamed paper "disproving quantum brain dynamic theory", mentioned by herself in "The Maternal Congruence"(S3E11), for which Sheldon makes notes and praises her with saying "for a non-physicist, you have a remarkable grasp of how electric dipoles in the brain's water molecules could not possibly form a Bose condensate."
- In "The Skank Reflex Analysis" (S5E01), Sheldon calls Beverly to "help" Leonard with his puzzles in his relationships and Beverly tells Leonard "If you need any more help from me, my books are available on Amazon."
- An unnamed book, with "there's no guarantee even if you have kids that you're going to like them" right on its dust jacket, mentioned by Leonard in "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver" (S5E12) when the gang are discussing about the possibility of Howard to have a child in the future.
- A book entitled Needy Baby, Greedy Baby - mentioned by Sheldon in "The Recombination Hypothesis" (S5E13), which Leonard thinks is strongly untrue: it should be noted that finally it turns out this reference takes place in Leonard's day dream.
- A book entitled The Disappointing Child appears in "The Raiders Minimization" (S7E04), in which Penny buys one copy for her psychology class, making Leonard embarrassed and very angry.
- An unwritten book on high-achieving couples which she would prepare to write - mentioned in "The Line Substitution Solution" (S9E23), and wanted to interview Amy, Bernadette and their significant others and asked Bernadette "About what?" when Bernadette suggested that Beverly should talk to Penny too, which is the last straw for Penny who has tried to connect with Beverly and now gets angry at her and yells at her for being an insult all day until Beverly admits that she had trouble getting along with Penny because of her marrying Leonard and not inviting her or even telling her the wedding was taking place and after Penny suggests a wedding redo which Beverly finds perfectly acceptable and the two ladies bond and Beverly being wrong about thinking that Leonard and Penny marrying was a mistake since she had never seen Leonard so happy, showing that she could interview her too now. But nothing for Raj since there was no mention.
- Whenever having orgasms she says "yikes".
- Beverly claims that she's been responsible for her own orgasms since 1982.
- Both Leonard and Sheldon's mothers are fit for the other. Beverly for Sheldon and Mary for Leonard.
- Due to Leonard and Sheldon's mothers being fit for the other, Leonard is jealous of Sheldon's childhood and Sheldon is jealous of Leonard's childhood and the gus prefer each other's mother for a mother more than their own.
- Her appearance in "The Skank Reflex Analysis" (S5E01) was on a Skype screen since the actress appears in another series based in New York.
- It was planned that she would meet Mary Cooper which would have caused mother envy between the two in Season 6 but that story line was postponed and moved to Season 8.
- Penny ends up in tears when talking to her about her childhood, but she seems to cozy up to her during her next visit when they go out drinking together.
- Beverly is the name of Wesley Crusher's mother in Star Trek: The Next Generation. This could be a reference to how Sheldon relates to Wesley Crusher and is fit more for Beverly than Mary.
- Beverly is comparable to the character of GLaDOS in Portal and Portal 2. GLaDOS is sadistic, cold, analytic and does everything 'in the pursuit of science.' GLaDOS runs the Aperture Science laboratory and relies on human test subjects.
- GLaDOS is has the personality of Caroline Johnson in her, and one theory of the main protagonist of the Portal series's parentage is that Caroline and Cave Johnson (the former head of the science facility) are her parents. Since the main character, Chell, is a test subject this could be a reference to Leonard's dysfunctional childhood.
- Beverly is based on Sofia Lamb, the main antagonist of Bioshock 2. Both looks almost the same, and while not sadistic, are abusing mothers to the protagonists. However, unlike Sofia, Beverly have an honorable side and genuine connection to a selected few.
- While it isn't the same actress, there is a marked physical resemblance to the way Frasier Crane's academic psychologist mother is portrayed in "Frasier". In episodes where Frasier's mother appears via flashbacks and fantasy sequences, the similarity to Beverley Hofstadter is remarkable. It as if the TBBT producers are consciously imitating a woman who named her two sons Frasier and Niles after favorite laboratory rats who showed more intelligence than the rest - and not the other way around. And of course Frasier married Lilith - another academic psychiatrist, who saw nothing wrong with putting her baby son into a scaled-up maze to see how quickly he could find his way to the bottle of milk at the centro. Frederick Crane is a highly intellectual child with a cold mother, ineffectual father, a bed-wetting problem, and an embarrassing middle name (in his case, "Gaylord"). Is this earlier intellectually high-achieving, but very dysfunctional, TV family a direct influence on the Hofstadters?
- Out of all her son's friends who are main characters, the only one who Beverly hasn't met yet is Emily. She also hasn't yet met recurring character Claire.
- In "The Celebration Experimentation", Penny mentioned Beverly didn't know about their Vegas wedding, which was fine with Beverly. In "The Line Substitution Solution" when Penny asks if Beverly knows what an insult is, Beverly then tells Penny says she felt insulted that she wasn't invited to her son's wedding nor even being told that it was taking place, which is a contradiction. But it's likely Beverly was trying to cover up her emotions to not be herself.
- Beverly is similar like a female Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon Coooper thinks Beverly the mother he always wanted.
- Mrs. Fowler is similar to Beverly herself. Both of them have husbands who control their lives. Unlike Amy's father, Alfred Hofstadter can actually divorce his wife.
- As the direct responsible for most of Leonard's misfortune, from unsolved self-esteem problems to hang out with underappreciating people, Beverly is ultimately the big bad of the whole The Big Bang Theory franchise
- She is taller than Leonard. Unless Leonard has some kind of genetic disorder, this shouldn't be possible.
|The Big Bang Theory Episodes|
|Young Sheldon Episodes|
|Appeared||M = Mentioned||Did not appear||Not aired/Not available|
|V = Voiced||C = Cameo||F = Flashback||I = Indirectly mentioned||P = Pictured|