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The Leonard Mystery The Big Bang Theory Fans Never Noticed

In a time before the streaming wars had taken over the media landscape, and cable television reigned as king, a handful of programs staked their claim to pop culture glory. One such title was The Big Bang Theory from creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, which debuted on CBS on September 24, 2007. In the blink of an eye, the series became a huge hit, allowing it to stay on the airwaves for over a decade before wrapping up its incredible run on May 16, 2019. Nevertheless, this fictionalized analysis of nerd culture lives on, thanks to its legions of devoted fans.

To garner such a massive viewer base, The Big Bang Theory stuck to a straightforward premise. It followed the lives of a handful of geeky young adults who struggled to make a life for themselves outside of their Stark Trek marathons and tedious scientific studies. Arguably the most successful of the bunch was Leonard Hofstadter, portrayed by Roseanne alum Johnny Galecki, who also happened to be the show's main character. With a burgeoning social life and a complex relationship with Kaley Cuoco's Penny Teller (later Hofstadter), nearly everything about him as a person was put on full display for the audience to see. 

However, there is one mysterious aspect of Leonard that most die-hard Big Bang fans never took note of.

How high is Leonard's IQ?

The Big Bang Theory's cast is packed with characters whose intelligence is above the average person, so it should come as no surprise that their desire to be the smartest of the bunch is a frequent story point. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) isn't afraid to boast about his plethora of different degrees and cite his work as a theoretical physicist. Meanwhile, Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) puts his Ph.D. to good use as an esteemed astrophysicist. Not to be outdone, his best friend, Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) is committed to his responsibilities as an aerospace engineer and part-time astronaut. 

Leonard has plenty to brag about as well, including his Ph.D. (which he earned at only 24 years of age) and his job as an experimental physicist. Considering his remarkable brainpower, and the show's emphasis on him and his castmates' accolades, one would imagine Leonard's IQ score would pop up at some point. Although as it turns out, no such line of dialogue ever made it into an episode's script. 

Thankfully, Screen Rant crunched the numbers and used clues from The Big Bang Theory's past to deduce the final answer. According to the pilot episode, Sheldon mentions that he and Leonard's combined IQ is 360. The sitcom later confirmed that Sheldon's sits at a staggering 187, meaning that Leonard's IQ must be 173. For reference, Screen Rant notes that he outmatches Albert Einstein, who scored an impressive 160, but he doesn't quite measure up to Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis' record-setting 198.4. 

All in all, a 173 IQ score is nothing to be ashamed of, and this number supplies plenty of context for Leonard's prodigious intellect on The Big Bang Theory.