In the season 5 finale, Howard goes to the International Space Station on Expedition 31. Howard lives in Altadena with his overbearing and unseen mother who treats him like a child. While he sometimes expresses irritation at this treatment, for the most part he appears to prefer it.Howard dotes on his mother and participates in many of her daily routines. A recurring gimmick in the series is Howard and his mother communicating with each other from different rooms by yelling, a habit which Bernadette also adopts in later episodes. His father left them when he was 11, and Howard gets visibly distressed when the subject comes up.
Howard fancies himself a ladies' man and attempts pick-up lines whenever a female is present, which often come off as inappropriate and disgusting, although he has dropped this habit since he started going out with Bernadette. He is Jewish, but he is not very serious about his faith, and does not keep kosher.
For example, when the group's favorite Chinese restaurant raised the price of pork, Howard remarked, "It's getting tougher and tougher to be a bad Jew." However, he does observe Sabbath and the Jewish holidays. In the pilot episode, it is shown that he is a polyglot and can speak English, French, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Farsi, along with fictional languages like Klingon and Sindarin. He is asthmatic, allergic to peanuts, almonds and walnuts, prone to canker sores and pink eye, succumbs to seasickness, has an incredibly high genetic risk of heart illness, and has transient idiopathic arrhythmia.