Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Mysterious Meaning Behind Howard's Alien Pins On The Big Bang Theory

Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), one of the six beloved brainiacs on "The Big Bang Theory," boasts many endearing traits. From his passion for aerospace engineering to his ability to do spot-on impressions that make even Sheldon (Jim Parsons) chuckle, he's an all-around lovable character. Beyond his personality, Howard regularly shows off his unique sense of fashion, which is extremely vintage. In nearly every episode, he rocks a bowl haircut, brightly colored, skintight pants secured with a flashy belt, and an equally vibrant turtleneck dickey underneath a patterned flannel shirt or sweater.

Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed an interesting addition to the turtleneck dickey: a tiny alien pin that varies slightly with each episode. Even on his and Bernadette's (Melissa Rauch) wedding day, he's sporting a black alien face on his tuxedo for the occasion. Howard's collection of pins is never mentioned, never discussed. They're simply an unacknowledged part of his 60s-esque wardrobe. However, viewers of "The Big Bang Theory" wonder if there's more to the story.

Simon Helberg is staying mum on the subject of Howard's alien pins

According to Simon Helberg, the alien pins do mean something. He's just not sharing what it is. In an interview with TV Guide, the actor stated that he and wardrobe supervisor Mary Quigley are the only ones who know the true meaning. "It's not a dirty secret, just a juicy one," he hinted. Quigley told The Hollywood Reporter, "That's always on his turtleneck; the color changes and it always matches his outfit. There's a secret reason why he wears it on every episode that nobody knows. He even wears turtlenecks when he's in his silk pajamas."

Helberg's and Quigley's statements have led to many fan theories about Howard's alien pin obsession. On Quora, "The Big Bang Theory" viewer Carey Page suggested the pins are related to Howard's absent father: "Perhaps Howard believed his father was kidnapped by aliens. We already know that Howard believed that Alf, the alien from another sitcom, could bring his father back."

Others aren't looking as deeply into the situation and feel Helberg and Quigley are just pulling fans' legs. On Reddit, u/root_and_stem said, "I think it's just a little personal flair. Much like his collection of belt buckles," while u/justintx added, "I always assumed it was just because he liked space and sci[-]fi and all that jazz."