With the main cast of The Big Bang Theory all being experts in their respective fields, it can be difficult to rank them in terms of intelligence. Since there was a range of scientific fields studied by the cast, this made things even more difficult as none of them could be directly compared. However, there were many times where Raj not only showed that he was a brilliant astrophysicist, but also that he was much more emotionally intelligent and empathetic than the other characters.
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Raj made many scientific discoveries throughout his career as a scientist, used his wits to date women he liked despite his selective mutism, and showed quick understanding of conversations where others seemed confused or had need more clarity.
“It’s for me to find out and for you to find out”
In season 4 “The Hot Troll Deviation”, Raj started working with Sheldon, whom Raj convinced to allow him to get an office. However, what Sheldon didn’t realize was how big Raj’s giant desk was.
Raj outwitted Sheldon several times throughout this exchange, such as knowing that Sheldon couldn’t get the desk itself out of the office, knowing that the desk would annoy Sheldon in the first place, and making Sheldon repeat the word “Brobdingnagian” several times for his amusement.
“People Magazine names me among its 30 under 30s”
In Season 2’s “The Griffin Equivalency”, Raj discovered a planet officially known as “NQ17” (or, as he named it, “Planet Bollywood”). As one of the biggest scientific discoveries of Raj’s career, Raj revealed that People Magazine named him as one of “their 30 under 30 to watch”.
This represented a feat that Sheldon, Howard and Leonard never achieved. Even the name confused Sheldon, who said he would never have figured out the name even with a million guesses.
“I don’t degrade it, I fix it”
In the Season 3 episode, “The Pirate Solution”, Sheldon asked Raj to work with him on a dark matter experiment. This episode showed several examples of why Raj was the smartest member of the group.
For one, Sheldon chose to work with Raj on the Dark Matter project over Leonard and Howard showed he believed Raj might be smarter than them. Although it didn’t go down well with Sheldon, he acknowledged Raj foiled him when he worked through an error that the future Noble Prize physicist struggled with.
Penny: Howard, you know a lot of doctors
One of the main running jokes on the show was that Howard was the only one of the main gang who didn’t have his doctorate. Penny mocked Howard saying “You’re a doctor, you’re a doctor, you’re a doctor and Howard, you know a lot of doctors.”
Given that Raj was one of the gang members with a Ph.D., one could definitely argue that would rank him higher on the intelligence scale than Howard.
Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock
“Okay, I think I got it”
“Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock” was a game introduced in Season 2 “The Lizard-Spock Expansion”, where Sheldon suggested he and Raj use it to make a decision. Even after an explanation of the most complicated rules, while Leonard looks confused, Raj replied that he understands
The game reappeared in a later season in an episode featuring Barry Kripke, although he eventually played with Sheldon, Barry had to repeat the rules to get it right, as Raj figured out the rules after the first explanation.
“And it is said that they were deeply in love, but forever separated by the celestial river of the Milky Way”
In the Season 7 episode “The Indecision Amalgamation”, one of Raj and Penny’s finest moments sees the pair talking about Altair and Vega, two of the galaxy’s brightest stars who Raj says were ” deeply in love but separated by the celestial river of the Milky Way” but who meet once a year “so that the two lovers can be together for a single night of passion”.
Penny swoons over Raj’s star story. This demonstrated Raj’s knowledge of the universe. Plus, the fact that he picked a story for a date that got such a strong reaction from Penny proves he can use his area of science expertise to help her with her love life, too. . It was a tactic that hadn’t worked for Leonard, Howard or Sheldon before.
Correction of selection bias
“Well, I did a simulation that allowed me to correct the effectiveness of the observation.”
In the Season 3 episode, “The Pirate Solution”, Raj had to find a new job and was invited to a meeting with a scientist from MIT, who was amazed at his research. When asked how he did it, Raj replied “Well, I did a simulation which allowed me to correct the effectiveness of the observation.”
Even though Raj had to take a sip of alcohol before speaking to the professor, the other two professional scientists in his presence were extremely impressed with his explanation, which proved that Raj certainly had a brilliant mind.
“There is a time to just listen”
On numerous occasions, Raj had a third relationship between Howard and Bernadette. In the Season 7 episode “The Discovery Dissipation”, Raj offered Howard and Bernadette relationship advice when Howard repeatedly annoyed Bernadette.
With this quote, Raj has proven time and time again that he is emotionally intelligent as well as an expert in his scientific field. Howard has never had much success with women, but it showed that even after being together for so long, Raj knows how to treat Bernadette better than Howard and has received a very grateful response from Bernadette.
Text instead of talk
Lucy : “[reading Raj’s text] We have a text date?”
Another example of Raj using his wits to make things work on a date was with Lucy, where he suggested they “have a date over text.” Lucy was a character with social anxiety and had trouble talking to people she didn’t know.
Not only did Raj find a way to date Lucy without both of their anxieties getting in the way, but he was also very considerate of her, making him far more empathetic than characters such as Sheldon who struggled to empathize with him. the others or Howard who largely scared off the girls he went after.
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