Dr. Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-Wolowitz (full name before marriage first revealed in "The Herb Garden Germination" (S4E20), full name after marriage confirmed in The Stag Convergence (S5E22)), (née Rostenkowski), Ph.D., is a former waitress at the Cheesecake Factory and has earned her Ph.D in microbiology and has a lucrative job at a pharmaceutical company. She began dating Howard Wolowitz in "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary" and eventually married him in "The Countdown Reflection", Season 5 finale. She has her own apartment in Pasadena which Howard eventually moved into finally leaving his mother's house. In Season 7, they start thinking about raising a family after Howard's mother has to convalesce. After Mrs. Wolowitz died in "The Comic Book Store Regeneration", Howard and Bernadette eventually moved back into Howard's house. They since have renovated the house and are preparing for parenthood "The Valentino Submergence".
Character History/Early Life (Before the show)
Bernadette was born at some point in approximately the 1980s to Mike Rostenkowski and his wife. She has 5 siblings, one of them is a brother named Joey. Bernadette, like Howard, is on bad terms with her mother, who's over-protectiveness caused issues for her when she was growing up. Bernadette's height is a sensitive topic for her, similar to Howard and Leonard, as well as she believes her small stature is linked to her mother smoking cigarettes while she was pregnant with her.
Her mother ran an illegal daycare center in the basement and worked full time and Bernadette had to take care of her siblings, which was hellish for her.
In her teens she entered beauty pageants including one for Miss California Quiznos of 1999. Bernadette went to Catholic school, then to into college to study microbiology and got a job at the Cheesecake Factory to pay her tuition, where she met Penny. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology in "The Roommate Transmogrification" and subsequently accepted a job with a big pharmaceutical company called Zangen in which she earned a lot more money.
Despite her high-pitched tone which makes her come off as friendly and innocent Bernadette showed signs of a passive-aggressive personality, she has a short-temper, but is still friendly and extremely devoted towards her husband Howard.
Bernadette is the financial provider of her marriage and in doing so she constantly albeit unintentionally emasculates her husband, she took a commanding tone and was extremely competitive possibly due to growing with up with older siblings. When trying to win Rajesh's scavenger hunt, she spoke to her teammate, Leonard the way a drill sergeant would, using insults and yelling to motivate him and lying to Leonard about his relationship with Penny.
Bernadette has no interest in children as her younger siblings made her life hellish, this was also shown during Howard's magician act, she spoke towards her audience in an aggressive voice, but veiled it within a kind tone, as you would speak to an infant.
Ironically Bernadette in some way does have a child as due to her husband's Oedipal Condition, the relationship between Howard and herself their relationship was more of a mother-son relationship than a husband-wife. Bernadette created actually created a chore chart for Howard and she does most of the housework around their home while Howard plays video games.
Bernadette worked at the Cheesecake Factory with Penny to pay off her debts in graduate school, studying to become a microbiologist. She met Howard at work as Penny introduced the couple.
In the present, Bernadette has received her PhD and was offered a job at a big pharmaceutical company named Zangen. Although her exact income is never specified, it is stated that she makes very good money (a "butt load") and that it greatly exceeds Howard's income.
Bernadette is almost 5' (1.52 m), with blonde hair and blue eyes. Her wardrobe mainly consists of red-frame glasses, petite cardigans, knee-length floral skirts, nylons and black flats. She also wears necklaces, most notably a cross as she was raised in a Catholic family. Her hairstyle is wavy with bangs and is usually untied, though occasionally is worn in a low side ponytail or with a headband.
Bernadette makes her first appearance in "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary" where she meets Howard via Penny and goes out to dinner with her and Leonard who are dating. Bernadette and Howard were not able to find anything they have in common, but then they started bonding when they found out they both have overbearing mothers.
Bernadette shows an interest in Leonard's physics work and Howard becomes jealous but Bernadette tells him not to worry and affectionately calls him Tushy Face (His mother's affectionate name for him) in front of Leonard ("The Gorilla Experiment").
In "The Psychic Vortex", Bernadette and Howard have dinner with Penny and Leonard.
In "The Plimpton Stimulation", Howard tells Raj that he and Bernadette broke up a few weeks ago.