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The Big Bang Theory: Bernadette’s Ability To Control Sheldon Came From Her Mother

During the course of The Big Bang Theory, Bernadette showed that she was able to control Sheldon, an unintentional gift from her mother.

Managing Sheldon Cooper was an acquired skill, to say the least. The smartest of the smart on The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon wasn’t exactly known for his people skills. Even those he had the most love for like Leonard, Penny, and Amy couldn’t quite keep him under control. Oddly enough, Bernadette seemed to have the gift, one that was given to her by a terrible upbringing from her controlling and manipulative mother.

When The Big Bang Theory started, the focus was on four self-described ultra geeks who had little to no luck with women. By the end of the series, that had changed dramatically. They were all still ultra geeks but the majority of them were married, with some of them even having children on the way. This was a far cry from the motley crew of perpetual bachelors fans first got to know and love.

Howard Wolowitz surprised everyone by finding love with a woman who genuinely seemed to care about him. Like Howard, Bernadette Rostenkowski was also incredibly intelligent, each one of them successful in their respective fields. They were the first out of their circle of friends to get married, setting a trend that saw the bulk of that group pair off. Well, except for Raj who never quite seemed to get it right.

Bernadette met the gang through Penny, as they both worked together at the Cheesecake Factory. She quickly befriended the rest of Howard’s friends, forming a strong bond with Penny and Amy. For most people, Sheldon was a much tougher nut to crack. Even Leonard had problems when they first moved in together, as depicted in Season 3, Episode 22. Oddly enough, Bernadette had a much easier time than most thanks to her childhood.

Growing up wasn’t easy for Bernadette. Her mother was over-protective and overbearing, leading to a lot of issues between them that persisted into adulthood. On top of that, Bernadette had five siblings in addition to the illegal daycare her mother ran out of the basement. With a mom focused on the daycare and her regular full-time job, Bernadette ended up essentially raising her five siblings all on her own. It wasn’t a good upbringing at all.

What she didn’t know at the time was that this experience was preparing her to deal with Sheldon in her adult life. He may have been a once-in-a-generation genius, but the guy often acted like a spoiled toddler. Thanks to having to raise five kids, Bernadette was more than prepared to handle Sheldon. In Season 3, Episode 14, for example, she recognized that he was being difficult because he was over-tired and actually forced him to go to bed.

No one on the show was able to deal with Sheldon in the same way Bernadette did. She exerted a level of actual control that no one else did. Naturally, having a happier childhood would have been preferable to knowing how to handle a temperamental physicist. But at least it counted for something in the end as the same skills that helped her deal with Sheldon also helped her grow into a successful adult.

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