The Big Bang Theory

Mary Cooper

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Mary Cooper
George Cooper Sr. (husband; deceased)
Pop-Pop (father; deceased)
Meemaw (mother)
Carl (brother; deceased)
Edward (brother)
George Cooper Sr. (husband; deceased)
Mr. Cooper (father-in-law; deceased)
Mrs. Cooper (mother-in-law; deceased)
unnamed sister-in-law (via George)
unnamed brother-in-law (via George's sister)
George Cooper Jr. (son)
Sheldon Cooper (son)
Missy Cooper (daughter)
Unnamed son-in-law
Unnamed grandson (by Missy)
Presumably January
Series Information
First episode
Portrayed by

Mary Cooper is the mother of Sheldon Cooper, George Cooper Jr. and Missy Cooper and wife/widow of George Cooper Sr.. She is a devout born-again Christian from East Texas. Her husband passed away many years ago. She is also the grandmother of Missy's son and the sister of Carl and Edward.


Mary is very wise, intelligent, caring, loving, and sweet-natured: she is very religious and at times, can be unwittingly bigoted - something Leonard occasionally has to point out to her. She appears to be an extremely good mother and is the only one who has ever been able to control Sheldon. Leonard describes her as Sheldon's "kryptonite". Sheldon describes Mary as being a "kind, loving, religiously fanatical, right-wing Texan, with a slightly out of scale head and a mild Dr. Pepper addiction". Sheldon has also uses his mother to exact the point that he isn't crazy, as she had him tested. Mary later confirmed the story, although with the caveat that she wished she'd "followed up with that specialist in Houston." It is shown in "The Rhinitis Revelation" that all of the gang like her very much, as she provides the attention and wisdom they did not receive from their own mothers (especially Leonard's mother)



She is called upon by both Leonard and Penny when Sheldon gets particularly difficult to handle. 

Season 1Edit

When Sheldon is fired for disrespecting his boss, Mary comes to help when he resorts to odd activities to pass the time. At first, she tries to coax him to apologize to his ex-boss, but finally tells him off about his superior attitude and forces him to go apologize. She goes with him and Sheldon's boss, Doctor Gablehauser admittedly develops an attraction to her (she quickly points out her husband is dead). Sheldon ends up getting his job back without really apologizing.

Season 2Edit

She was mentioned in The Panty Piñata Polarization, when Sheldon banishes Penny from the apartment. Leonard, who witnessed the whole incident, decides to put an end to this war by giving Penny what he describes as Sheldon's Kryptonite: his mom's phone number. Sheldon's mother suddenly calls him and reprimands him about his behavior with Penny, she also tells him to apologize to Penny.

Season 3Edit

Sheldon goes to his hometown of Texas when he and his friends' damage his career. She welcomes him back, though she starts to irritate him with her religious quirks. The guys show up to take him back and he agrees only when his mother starts up again with her religious beliefs on evolution. She admits to being happy he is leaving, commenting, "Don't tell me prayer never works!"

Season 4Edit

Sheldon meets a new friend named Amy, who is the female version of him. They have a falling out when they disagree on whose career is better and Sheldon lapses into an odd depression where he buys multiple cats. Mary comes and tricks the two into making up by using reverse psychology: she makes it seem she is happy the two split up and they rebel by mending their friendship.

Season 5Edit

Mary comes to visit her son, but ends up spending more time with his friends. She chooses to accompany his friends on a sightseeing trip rather than go with Sheldon to a lecture where he wants to embarrass Saul Perlmutter and cook the meals that Sheldon wants her to prepare. Annoyed, he goes with Amy, but catches a cold when it rains. Becoming sick, Mary finally gives him attention and nurses him back to health.

Season 7Edit

She was mentioned in "The Raiders Minimization", Sheldon saying that she used to put hamster poop in his father's tobacco when he used to drink.

Sheldon visits Texas when his sister is having a baby in "The Cooper Extraction". Sheldon talks with Mary on his webcam broadcast. Mary is not seen on screen, only her voice is heard.

In "The Mommy Observation", Sheldon surprises his mother with a visit and catches her having sexual relations with her boyfriend. First, Sheldon condemns her for having coitus despite her Christian beliefs and she sends him to his room.

Howard, who was in Houston lecturing, tells him how he drove away his mother's boyfriend and how she has been lonely ever since. Sheldon decides to not stand in his mother's way of happiness though he still chooses to condemn her internally. Also, he tries to have a talk with her about the birds and the bees.

Season 8Edit

In "The Maternal Combustion", Mary Cooper finally meets Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, Leonard's mother. The two very different women quickly come to clash as Beverly insults and belittles Mary strict religious beliefs, and Mary in turn derides Beverly's cold attitude. Mary is especially insulted when Beverly is left dumbstruck how a genius intellect like Sheldon could be born to a woman like her. After taking a break from each other, the two come to terms with the argument: Mary decides to forgive Beverly for her offhandish ways, and Beverly realizes there is more than one way to raise a child.

Season 9Edit

In "The Matrimonial Momentum", Sheldon is in his apartment calling Mary Cooper after the break up. He regretfully informs her that Amy broke up with him and that he would like to send the engagement ring (which is an old family heirloom - it belonged to his great-grandmother) back to Texas. She tells him not to be too hasty - his sister Missy is already married and Mary would rather Sheldon gave the ring to Amy than let his older brother George give it to his girlfriend. Sheldon decides to hold on to it .   



"He gets his temper from his daddy. He’s got my eyes. All that science stuff, oh that comes from Jesus."
―Referring to Sheldon, The Luminous Fish Effect

"I love the boy to death, but he has been difficult since he fell out of me at the Kmart."
―Referring to Sheldon, The Luminous Fish Effect

"I made chicken. I hope that isn't one of the animals that you people think is magic."
―Talking to Raj, The Luminous Fish Effect

"Oh, we will, you have to take your time with Sheldon. His father, God rest his soul, used to say to me, Mary, you have to take your time with Sheldon."
―Referring to Sheldon, The Luminous Fish Effect

"Oh, [he was] not so wise. He once tried to fight a bobcat for some licorice."
―Talking about Sheldon's deceased father, The Luminous Fish Effect

"You know how your daddy used to say that you could only fish for so long before you gotta throw a stick of dynamite in the water? Well I'm done fishin'!"
―Talking to Sheldon, The Luminous Fish Effect

"Leonard, the Lord never gives us more than we can handle. Thankfully, He blessed me with two other children who are dumb as soup."
―Talking about Sheldon, The Luminous Fish Effect

"He's not crazy, I had him tested as a child. Although I still feel I should have taken him to that expert in Houston."
―Talking about Sheldon, The Rhinitis Revelation

"If I hadn't told my brother Stumpy not to clean the wood chipper by hand we'd still be calling him Edward!"
―Talking to Leonard, The Zazzy Substitution

"What about you, Raj, is it? Oh, you still having trouble talking to the ladies? Because you know at our church, we have a woman who's an amazing healer. Mostly she does crutch and wheelchair people, but I bet she'd be willing to take a shot at whatever third world demon is running around inside of you."
―To Raj, The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation

"The Lord giveth and the Lord bloweth away..."

--- Sheldon, referring to his mother's twin passions for God and Guns. The Rhinitis Revelation



Sheldon CooperEdit

Mary loves her son very much and Sheldon loves his mother back, although Mary can become agitated by her's son's rude behavior; She reprimanded Sheldon for hanging Penny's laundry on the telephone wire, scolded him for sexually condemning her

George Cooper Sr.Edit

Mary and her husband George, Sheldon's father, appeared to have had an imploding relationship and marriage.

Sheldon's SiblingsEdit

Mary's relationship with her other two children is somehow not very much explained. In "The Luminous Fish Effect", Mary describes the two of them to be "dumb as soup". It's possible that she may be on somewhat good terms with Missy as well as her husband and son. However, she appears to be on no-good terms with her other son George Jr. as in "The Matrimonial Momentum" as she calls him an idiot and calls his girlfriend a whore.

Leonard HofstadterEdit

Based on her caring and loving nature, she appears to be Leonard's female equivalent. Leonard always likes Mary and looks up to her as he always finds his mother to be stupid during his childhood.


Penny really likes Mary Cooper as the latter is very caring and sweet. Penny also called her to tell her that Sheldon got her clothes up on the telephone wire.

Amy Farrah FowlerEdit

Mary has been seen only once with Amy in "The Zazzy Substitution". They have not been seen together again since then, but she helps Sheldon and Amy get back together after the two had an argument.

The rest of the groupEdit

Howard and Raj both particularly like Mary because she is such a nice woman.In "The Rhinitis Revelation" Mary comforted Raj when he was upset and Howard was always getting along great with her.

Mary still hasn't met Bernadette, Stuart and Emily. It's likely that they would all have a good relationship with her. She'd be very sympathetic towards Bernadette and perhaps give her advice about raising children since Bernadette had to take care of her younger siblings while her mother worked full-time and Stuart and Emily would find her wonderful as everybody else does.


  • Laurie Metcalf was a regular in the sitcom Roseanne, along with Johnny Galecki and Sara Gilbert.
  • She also played a love interest for unworldly eccentric physics professor Dick Solomon in Third Rock From The Sun. Sheldon would not have approved: she was an English Literature professor and belonged firmly to the Inhumanities. Even worse than the religion...
  • Both Sheldon and Leonard's mothers are fit for the other: Mary for Leonard and Beverly for Sheldon. 
  • Due to Sheldon and Leonard's mothers being fit for the other, Sheldon is jealous of Leonard's childhood and Leonard is jealous of Sheldon's childhood.
  • In "The Precious Fragmentation" Sheldon says she has a mild Dr. Pepper addiction. Her addiction to caffeine can be observed in "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" when she is seen drinking Pepsi.
  • While not directly involving the character, In "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion", Sheldon is attempting to avoid going to work by faking illness. Leonard eventually convinces Sheldon to get dressed and get in the car by choosing similar words and a tone of voice Mary would have in the same situation. However, Leonard is unaware of why what he did was so effective.
  • It was planned that she would meet Beverly Hofstadter which would have caused mother envy between the two in Season 6, but the idea was dropped when they couldn't get the actresses together at the same time. However, this was then put into action in the pre-ultimate Season 8 episode "The Maternal Combustion".
  • Sheldon wants Penny to take care of him like his mother did in "The Pancake Batter Anomaly", by singing to him and rubbing Vapor Rub on his chest. He does the same thing for Amy in "The Fish Guts Displacement".
  • Mary has met all of her son's friends, except Bernadette, Stuart and Emily.
  • When Leonard and his friends go to Texas to convince Sheldon to come back home with them, Raj wonders why Howard is wearing a ridiculous-looking cowboy hat he bought at the airport souvenir shop. When Howard says he must blend in, Raj's response is "Blend into what, Toy Story?" Laurie Metcalf voiced Mrs. Davis, the mother of the protagonist in that film.


  • Mary Cooper
  • Mary prepares Sheldon's favourite toast.
  • Mary tells Leonard her theory on men.
  • Mary eats out at a sushi restaurant with Leonard and Sheldon.
  • Mary comes for a surprise visit to see Sheldon.
  • Mary helps Sheldon gets his job back.
  • Leonard invites Mary to his home out of concern over Sheldon.
  • Mary Cooper
  • Sheldon needs his mother.
  • Worried about Sheldon.
  • Sheldon and his mother.
  • Looking at Penny's clothes.
  • Sheldon wants her to cook.
  • Mary and Sheldon drinking tea.
  • Mary taking care of a sick Sheldon.
  • Mary taking care of a sick Sheldon.
  • Praying at his mother's table.
  • The guys come to take Sheldon back to Pasadena.
  • Reaching for his pancakes.
  • Let's do some praying.
  • Mary Cooper is visiting.
  • Leonard, Mary and Sheldon.
  • Mary Cooper shocked by all his cats.
  • Leonard called Sheldon's mother.
  • Soft kitty, warm kitty...
  • You are burning up.
  • Singing "Soft Kitty" to her son.
  • Mary Cooper sends her son to his room.
  • Serious talk with his mother.
  • Confronting her mother's sex life.
  • Serious talk with her son.
  • Mary happy to see her son on a surprise visit.
  • Your friends have come to see you.
  • Don't tell me prayer doesn't work!
  • Mary Cooper worrying over her super-smart son.
  • Sheldon decides that he doesn't want to move home.
  • Penny joins in.
  • Sheldon showing his pictures.
  • Your son is brilliant.
  • Penny in the middle.
  • Penny in the middle of the heated discussion.
  • Mary having tea with her son.
  • It's nice to meet you.
  • Mary meets Beverly.
  • Did you have a nice flight?
  • What?
  • Penny joins the group.
  • Sheldon showing pictures of his college graduation.
  • He did?
  • The guy's mothers getting to know each other.
  • Watching Beverley trying to be a more loving mother to Leonard.
  • Keep doing it an maybe you'll knock some sense into your head.
  • Can't believe what Beverly Hofstafter says.
  • In car next to me a Jesus bobble-head nodded his head yes.
  • Mary's welcome hug for Penny.
  • Talking about his precious Shelly.

External linksEdit

v · e · d
Characters, Cast & Crew
Characters Main Leonard Hofstadter  ‧  Sheldon Cooper  ‧  Penny Hofstadter  ‧  Howard Wolowitz  ‧  Rajesh Koothrappali  ‧  Amy Farrah Fowler  ‧ 
Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz  ‧  Stuart Bloom  ‧  Emily Sweeney  ‧  Leslie Winkle    The Social Group
Recurring Debbie Wolowitz  ‧  Barry Kripke  ‧  Priya Koothrappali  ‧  Dr. V. M. Koothrappali  ‧  Mrs. Koothrappali  ‧  Lucy  ‧  Mary Cooper  ‧  Zack Johnson  ‧  Beverly Hofstadter  ‧  Mike Rostenkowski  ‧  Alex Jensen  ‧  Professor Proton  ‧  Althea  ‧  Cinnamon
Cast Regulars Johnny Galecki  ‧  Jim Parsons  ‧  Kaley Cuoco  ‧  Simon Helberg  ‧  Kunal Nayyar  ‧  Mayim Bialik  ‧  Melissa Rauch  ‧  Kevin Sussman  ‧ 
Laura Spencer  ‧  Sara Gilbert
As Selves Wil Wheaton  ‧  Mike Massimino  ‧  Stephen Hawking  ‧  Katee Sackhoff  ‧ Steve Wozniak  ‧ Buzz Aldrin  ‧ Summer Glau  ‧ James Earl Jones  ‧ Carrie Fisher  ‧ Brent Spiner  ‧ Bill Nye  ‧ George Smoot  ‧ George Takei  ‧ LeVar Burton  ‧ Neil deGrasse Tyson  ‧ Brian Greene  ‧ Charlie Sheen  ‧ Stan Lee
Crew Writers Chuck Lorre * (Creator)  ‧  Bill Prady * (Creator)  ‧  Steven Molaro *  ‧  Steve Holland *  ‧  Maria Ferrari *  ‧  Jim Reynolds *  ‧  Eric Kaplan *  ‧  Anthony Del Broccolo  ‧  Lee Aronsohn *  ‧  Dave Goetsch *  ‧  Tara Hernandez  ‧  Richard Rosenstock *
Directors Mark Cendrowski  ‧  Peter Chakos * (mainly as Editor)  ‧  Anthony Rich  ‧  James Burrows
Science consultant : David Saltzberg Director of photography : Steven V. Silver
Costume designer : Mary T. Quigley * Unit production manager : Kelly-Anne Lee *
Theme composer / performer : Barenaked Ladies Chuck Lorre Productions
also as Producer The Big Bang Theory : Full cast & crew on IMDb

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