Why Are TBBT Fans Still Obsessed with Howard’s Dad's Mystery Letter?

Why Are TBBT Fans Still Obsessed with Howard’s Dad's Mystery Letter?
Image credit: CBS

The bitter feeling that Howard will never know his father still lingers in the minds of fans.


  • The Big Bang Theory has many mysteries that have never been resolved.
  • Among them is the content of the letter Sam wrote to Howard.
  • Fans are still speculating who of the gang was right.

Throughout its twelve seasons, The Big Bang Theory has presented numerous theories and mysteries that have never been resolved by the end of the show in 2019. Unfortunately, Young Sheldon didn't answer many of those questions either, and it's unlikely that the upcoming Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage will, since it focuses on Sheldon's older brother rather than TBBT's main characters.

Naturally, this has left fans scratching their heads and theorizing about this or that unresolved aspect of the iconic sitcom. And one of the show's biggest mysteries has been the identity of Howard's father, Sam, since he was never seen on screen. What's more, what was the content of the heartbreaking final letter Sam sent to his son? Let's find out what the letter might have contained and why fans are still reeling from it.

A Mysterious Letter from Howard's Father.

Throughout the twelve seasons of The Big Bang Theory, we've learned that the Wolowitz family is incredibly large, as Howard has countless aunts, uncles, and cousins. On the show itself, however, we have only directly seen his younger half-brother Josh (Matt Bennett) and cousins Jeanie (Kara Luiz) and Marty (Josh Zuckerman). And of course his mother, Debbie Wolowitz (Carol Ann Susi), whose face was never revealed, but whose presence persisted even after the character's demise.

As for Sam, sadly, his identity was never disclosed. And of course we don't really know the contents of the letter Howard received from his estranged father — the main intrigue of the entire series seems to have been left unresolved.

Specifics were not known until the sixth season, when it was discovered that Howard had been sent a letter from his dad. However, unable to resist the impulse to cut Sam out of his life forever, Howard decided to burn the letter out of anger at the very man who had wrecked his and his mother's lives. Realizing that it might reveal something significant for Howard himself, however, Penny and Bernadette found out the truth from Sheldon, who had read the letter earlier in the day.

As such, all of Howard's friends discovered the contents, but not Howard. When the whole gang gathered, they invited him to speculate on what was inside. Each gave a hint, and presumably only one hint was correct.

Raj claimed it was a Christmas card, Sheldon insisted it was a treasure map, Amy explained that Sam had an opportunity to see his son at the graduation, Penny noted that his father had lived with two families, and Leonard pointed out that Sam wrote to him about the importance of family and his regret that he'd abandoned Howard and Debbie.

Why Are TBBT Fans Still Obsessed with Howard’s Dad's Mystery Letter? - image 1

We May Never Find Out. Yet the Theories Are Convincing

The Big Bang Theory has always managed to strike a balance between lighthearted humor and intense drama. So it's not surprising that viewers are still feeling blue knowing that Howard will have to spend the rest of his life wondering if his father ever loved him. However, some fan speculation may provide a possible answer.

Fans reasoned that Leonard was probably right. The others were either making things up, such as Sheldon's reference to The Goonies, or giving themselves away by their own emotions and zealous efforts to sound convincing. Penny was probably also right because Howard's paternal half-brother, Josh, would later appear on the show. However, it is possible that, with the exception of Sheldon, there was a grain of truth in everyone's words, and that Sam had indeed visited his son at graduation, regretted not being able to see him again, and absurdly included a postcard with the letter.