Big Bang Theory fans agree this character had the most tragic backstory
In a post on the r/BigBangTheory subreddit, u/Logical_Department62 started a thread titled “Which of the characters has the saddest backstories?” Predictably enough, most fans gravitated towards Leonard. A comment from u/kmkmrodin particular, garnered the most upvotes: “For the others, their torment stopped. Leonard’s mother continued to experiment on him into adulthood.”
Other fans who responded to the comment seemed to largely agree with him. For instance, u/DiscombobulatedLuck8 drew attention to the fact that Leonard built a hugging machine as a child to compensate for the lack of affection and warmth he receives from his family. During his childhood, Leonard’s mother, a leading psychiatrist, treated her son like a lab rat, leaving him the victim of many psychological and neurological experiments.
In fact, in Season 12 Episode 17 (“The Conference Valuation”), she even confesses to adult Leonard that the experiments aren’t over yet. His many experiments and constant disapproval of his son’s many accomplishments lead directly to Leonard’s lack of confidence and a host of other issues that plague the scientist well into adulthood.