The Big Bang Theory

Priya Koothrappali

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Priya Koothrappali is Raj's younger sister. She first appeared in The Irish Pub Formulation.

Character Info

Leonard in shower with Priya

Leonard showering with Priya

Priya first met the guys on April 12, 2005. At Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake, Howard and Leonard pinky swore not to hit on her. However, Leonard does have sexual relations with Priya. He offers to return home with her to India, but she refuses and leaves.

Priya completed her law studies (LLB degree) at Cambridge University (UK) graduating at the top of her class. She is licensed to practice law in 3 different countries (presumably in the USA, UK and India). She is one of the lead attorneys for the biggest car company in India, having planned an internship at a large Indian car company in 2005 when she was finishing her law degree. She goes to Toronto for a corporate merger and later helps set up a secondary derivative market which would allow overseas car firms to hedge their investments against potential advancements in battery technology.

In The Irish Pub Formulation, Priya is passing through the area and resumes relations with Leonard, sleeping with him in his apartment that night. The following morning, Leonard again expressed desire to join her in India. She refused, stated they've talked about this before and the relationship wasn't serious. They try to sneak out but Sheldon sees them and concludes they had coitus. Leonard returns Priya to the airport and instructs Sheldon to keep it secret. However, Sheldon states that he believes Leonard and Priya had "coitus" to the guys the next day. Raj is angry at first but feels better after hearing of Priya's refusal from Leonard.

Koothrappali family

Priya's parents and her brother Raj.

In The Cohabitation Formulation she arrives on a much longer assignment and starts dating Leonard openly despite protest from Raj. In The Prestidigitation Approximation, Priya tests Leonard with steadily increasing demands (contact lenses, clothing shopping). In her final request, diminish or eliminate ties with Penny, Priya reasons he shouldn't date while being friends with women he's slept with. Leonard has difficulty telling Penny about it, but she figures it out anyway and agrees to keep her distance. Bernadette, Amy, and Penny band together to vent about Priya's controlling behavior.

During The Agreement Dissection, Sheldon accuses Leonard of breaking various roommate agreement clauses. Priya successfully defends on all counts. She continues to poke holes in the contract until Sheldon writes a new contract. He blackmails Priya by threatening to expose their relationship to her parents. Although Priya never reveals why she doesn't want her parents to know, Leonard accepts the agreement at Priya's pleading. It is assumed that her parents do not approve of Leonard or pretty much anyone.

In The Wildebeest Implementation, Bernadette, on an plot to learn more about Priya, joins Howard, Priya, and Leonard for a get-together. Leonard and Priya mention going to India in the summer to meet her parents. Bernadette asks Priya about parental approval, she states her parents are very old fashioned. Bernadette asks if they're planning on getting engaged, and Priya denies it stating their relationship isn't at that point.

In The Engagement Reaction, Howard asks Priya why she hasn't told her parents about her and Leonard. She states her parents are extremely protective. Later, in the hospital, Penny and Priya bond while discussing Leonard's sexual peculiarities (long foreplay, dancing). They openly share his quirks with each other much to the discomfort of Leonard.

In The Roommate Transmogrification, Priya gets a call from her parents while making out with Leonard. She tells him to go to the bedroom while she talks with them. He expresses frustration that she won't tell her parents, but Priya retorts that she'll tell them as soon as one of her brothers or sisters makes a big mistake. Leonard retreats to the bedroom but listens to the conversation. After Priya's mother mentions her return to India the following month, Leonard asks Priya when she had planned on telling him. After her parents ask why she's lying about people in her apartment and Raj being out with friends, Leonard tells her parents about their relationship believing the relationship is doomed anyway. Speechless, Priya walks away from the conversation, leaving Leonard with Priya's disappointed parents. He makes small talk and quickly ends the call.

Priya returns to India and, despite parental dissent and physical distance, they continue their relationship with dinner dates and foreplay on Skype.

However, it's not easy staying loyal. Leonard has a moral crisis in The Good Guy Fluctuation where he gets Alice's number at the comic book store. Later at Leonard's apartment, they share comic-con memorabilia and make out. Feeling torn between Alice and Priya, Leonard asks Penny for advice. She states he can't make everyone happy regardless of his choice. Still feeling unsure, Leonard asks Sheldon's guidance. He posits Nietzsche's idea that morality is a fiction used by the inferior to hold back the superior. Taking it to heart, Leonard chooses Alice and leaves for her apartment. But after they make out again, he changes his mind and affirms his loyalty to Priya. Alice calls him a jerk and kicks him out. Leonard, disappointed about Alice but reassured about Priya, returns home, calls Priya, apologizes for making out with Alice, and promises it won't happen again. Priya quickly forgives him by stating all humans make mistakes. Leonard probes her reasoning. Cringing, she admits to sleeping with her ex (probably Sanjay, mentioned to be skyping with her in The Zarnecki Incursion) a few weeks ago and concludes their mistakes cancel out. Leonard disagrees and ends the call. In the next episode, Leonard refers to himself as single, implying that he broke up with Priya afterwards. Later, Leonard starts dating Penny again confirming this.


  • Priya graduated with a degree in law from Cambridge in England.
  • She can practice law in three different countries.
  • At Cambridge, her Texan flat-mate taught her how to make chili.
  • Priya is Leonard's second girlfriend who moved in with him. The first was Stephanie Barnett.
  • Priya is the only girlfriend Leonard had who Raj can talk to or around without being drunk, obviously for family reasons.
  • Her ex-boyfriend is named Sanjay, as is one of her cousins. Sanjay is also a name adopted by Howard Wolowitz in The Hofstadter Isotope.
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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