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Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar in Big Bang Theory)

Rajesh Koothrappali


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Big Bang Theory is a hugely popular situational comedy. It started in 2007 and is still running as of 2016. Its core cast is a small band of young, nerdy scientists.

The Big Bang cast would make great supporting characters for any superhero or with some twists as heroes in their own right.

The Big Bang Theory profiles cover the first 3 seasons of the series as this is the stretch they’d most likely used as supporting cast for heroes. They all start getting into serious relationships in later seasons which changes the tone of the show and their characterizations.


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Background

  • Real Name: Rajesh Ramayan Koothrapali, PHD.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Doctor and Mrs. Vyan Koothrappali (Parents), Priya Koothrapali (sister), Sanjay aka Dave (cousin), Venkatesh (cousin), 3 unnamed brothers, 1 unnamed sister.
  • Group Affiliation: Perpetual Motion Squad (Physics Bowl team), The Physics Department Paintball Team, California Institute of Technology, NASA.
  • Base Of Operations: Pasadena, California.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali is a highly intelligent astrophysicist. He has already discovered new planetoids within our Solar System. He has garnered some respect within the scientific and general community, even receiving some national media attention.


History

Rajesh Koothrappali was born the son of a successful gynecologist in India. Growing up, he was very aware of the impoverished status of his country despite the fact his household had several servants.


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His father constantly pushed him to enter the family business, possibly to the point of traumatizing him. To this day, Raj can not bring himself to speak to an attractive woman unless he’s been drinking (or at least thinks he has).

Realizing that he’d never be able to take over his father’s profession due to his pathological shyness with women, Raj instead became an astrophysicist. He made his way to America to study and eventually earned his doctorate. He then found work in Caltech’s Department of Applied Physics .

Caltech

Here, he met Howard Wolowitz and the two quickly became best friends. Howard was a bright engineer who helped Raj design the arrays necessary for Raj to make his calculations. It was with the help of one of these devices that Raj was able to identify a previously undiscovered trans-Neptunian object in the Kuiper belt . He nicknamed the planetoid “Planet Bollywood.”

Rajeh plays the laser obstacle course

The duo became friends with a pair of physicists with similar interests, Leonard and Sheldon. While Raj finds Sheldon annoying (as does everyone), he seems to take him in stride or at least without complaint. However, that could be due to the fact that even amongst the guys Raj is relatively quiet.

The four have become inseparable and share a number of activities including paintball, visits to the comic store, “Halo night” and varying off the wall science projects such as building a “killer robot.”

The gang’s all here

It was through them he met Penny, who became the first girl he could speak to after she served him his first alcoholic beverage, a grasshopper . This is how he learned he could use alcohol to overcome his fear of women. He also tried an experimental anti-shyness drug, and while it worked for a time, it had odd side-effects with his motor functions.

Due to his discovery of “Planet Bollywood” combined with his origins in a developing country, Raj would come to be recognized by People Magazine  as one of their “30 to watch under 30,”. This earned him some notoriety amongst his colleagues at the university and granted him a promotion of sorts.

Rajesh in bed with a blonde woman

Another opportunity dropped into Raj’s lap when Sheldon’s grant proposal for a trip to the North Pole was accepted. Sheldon asked the guys to be his team.

Seeing the professional and social opportunities of being on the team that could possibly prove string theory, Raj quickly set aside any reservations he had about spending 3 months living in a research facility with Sheldon and jumped on board.


Description

Raj is a young, handsome young man from India. His mannerisms are often shy even when women aren’t around and are constantly so if women are around.

He usually wears a purple or red jacket and slacks and occasionally a cap with “42” printed on it (probably a reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ).


Personality

Raj is generally quiet unless debating some point about comics or science fiction. While he occasionally can be talkative amongst the guys, he is practically mute whenever an attractive woman is around. In these instances, he occasionally whispers in Howard’s or Leonard’s ear.

He simultaneously loves and fears his parents who frequently interfere with his life, even from India. He talks to them frequently through webcam, often arguing with them and even getting his friends in on the debates.

The Big Bang Theory men in Flash costumes

When he drinks (or thinks he has been drinking) even a small amount of alcohol, he becomes very talkative and sometimes even belligerent (especially if he’s had a lot to drink). In these moments, he can easily talk to women, but sometimes says too much of what’s on his mind or acts possessive.

When he tries to use this to overcome his shyness, he has a hard time balancing between complete drunkenness and knowing his limits due to inexperience with alcohol.

Despite his shyness, he seems to have no problems attracting women. Often when the guys are in social situations, women begin talking to him, occasionally even mentioning what a “great listener” he is.

While he has been known to simply walk away from a woman he likes very much out of shyness, he has woken up in a strange woman’s bed on more than one occasion without ever saying a word.


Quotes

Penny: [to Raj] “I’m sorry do you speak English ?”
Wolowitz: “Oh he speaks English, he just can’t speak to women…”
Penny: “Really… Why ?”
Wolowitz: “He’s kind of a nerd… Juice box ?”

(Raj whispers to Howard)
Howard: “He compared Sheldon to a disposable feminine cleansing product one might use on a summer’s eve.”
Penny: “Yeah, and the bag it came in.”

Rajesh talks with his parents using his laptop

Raj: “Do you know the Kama Sutra  ?”
Missy: “The sex book ?”
Raj: “The Indian sex book. If you’ve ever wondered, wondered who wrote the book of love, it was us.”

Raj: “Hello. Sorry I’m late, but I was in the hallway chatting up Penny.”
Howard: “Really ? You, Rajesh Koothrappali, spoke to Penny ?”
Raj: “Actually I was less the chatter than the chattee.”

Penny: “This is so delicious.”
Raj: [Nods]
Penny: “Still can’t talk to me unless you’re drunk ?”
Raj: [Shakes head no]
Penny: “Awwww… honey, you are so damaged.”

Raj: “Hey guys ! I just got the most amazing new-” [sees Penny and cuts off in a squeak]
Penny: “Gosh Raj, do you think you’ll ever be able to talk in front of me without being drunk ?”
Raj: [Shakes head, “no”]

Raj: “You know what [Sheldon] did? He watched me work for 10 minutes and then started to design a simple piece of software to replace me !”
Leonard: “Is that even possible ?”
Raj: “As it turns out, yes.”

Kripke: “We‘we all pathetic and cweepy and can’t get giwls. That’s why we fight WOBOTS! If you‘we not thewe you will be exposed to widicule.”
Raj (to Leonard and Sheldon): “I’m curious. What part of America is that accent from?”

“Ever since I was a little boy, my father wanted me to be a gynecologist, like him. How can I be a gynecologist ? I can barely look a woman in the *eye* !”


DC Universe History

The Big Bang Theory cast could be dropped into the DCU as is. They could easily be research scientists at any of the StarLabs. They’d love a chance to examine any superhero to try to figure out what fuels their super powers and hopefully replicate the results in themselves.

Leonard and Sheldon even have a clause in their roommates’ agreement that if one should acquire super powers the other will be their sidekick.

Raj could be the victim of a kidnap plot by some villain needing an expert in astrophysics and our solar system (perhaps targeting some object in the solar system requiring exact calculations or that Raj discovered). He gets rescued by Wonder Woman or Supergirl. While kidnapped, he overheard the villain’s dastardly plot. Now if only he could tell her…


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 08 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Astrophysicist
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 009
Init: 015 HP: 020

Skills:
Animal Handling (Training (Snakes)): 02, Gadgetry: 07, Scientist: 10, Thief (Security Systems): 06, Military Science (Cartography, Cryptology): 7, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Paintball rifles, video game controllers): 02

Advantages:
Attractive, Connoisseur, Credentials (University Physics Department/Lab, Medium), Familiarity (Arctic Survival, Indian History, Cooking), Language (Hindi – native, possibly more Asiatic 2 Language group languages, English, Klingon), Local Hero (Science Community at Caltech), Rich Family (within India), Scholar (Astronomy, Computers, Comic Books).

Note:
I am not giving any of the guys the Genius advantage since in the series they are limited to (cutting edge) real world science. However, dropped into a Superhero universe, this would be entirely appropriate for them.

Connections:
Howard Wolowitz (Best Friend), Leonard Hofstadter, Sheldon Cooper and Penny (all High), NASA (Low), Science Community – particularly at Caltech (High), People Magazine (Low).

Drawbacks:
CIF of Talking to attractive women (unless he’s been drinking), Exile (Voluntary), MIF of His parents, MIH of Indian Food, Misc: +1 CS penalty to OV/RV for arm wrestling.

Equipment:
Macbook Pro Laptop Computer [INT 04, BODY 02, Data Storage: 16, Split: 03 (Split limited to mental tasks only) R#3]. He not only works with this computer, he often plays online games such as Age of Conan and World of Warcraft. He has mentioned battling MMO addiction at some point in the past.
He may also have Halo installed, though we’ve only seem him play that on Leonard and Sheldon’s X-Box. He often uses his computer to talk to his parents utilizing an unnamed video conferencing application.


Design Notes

I am assuming Security Systems and Scientist include computer skills such as hacking. If you’re not making that assumption, Raj should have appropriate computer hacking skills of similar AP levels.


By Adam Fuqua.

Source of Character: As portrayed in Big Bang Theory by Kunal Nayyar.

Helper(s): wikipedia, Darci and Ethan Roe (proofreading), Peter Piispanen.

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