It all started with a big bang. After 12 years and 274 episodes, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory bid adieu to viewers in its series finale on May 16, 2019. The double episode featured the show’s main characters and wrapped up several storylines. So, what happened in the finale?
Winning The Nobel Prize
It seems fitting for the finale to focus on a big event like the Nobel Prize. Physicist Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and his wife, neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) finally won the Nobel Prize for Physics. This prize is the ultimate goal for any scientist and for The Big Bang Theory to focus on science and nerds for 12 years, it was only appropriate for the finale to conclude with a big victory for Sheldon (and Amy). The prize also allowed for the characters to make plans for a big destination trip. They traveled to Sweden for the ceremony and the whole gang – Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernadette, and Raj – accompanied their best friends.
The Elevator Works!
Fans speculated if the apartment complex elevator would finally work after 12 years. It looks like the writers listened to fans and “ding” – Penny (Kaley Cuoco) made her entrance in the episode via the now-working elevator. Viewers cheered and even the cast seemed to have fun with the playful scene. But more references were mentioned in the show, allowing fans to get nostalgic after 12 years. We learned why Leonard (Johnny Galecki) always wears two layers of clothing on his upper body, despite the fact they live in Pasadena, California. He commented he was always “chilly” in the apartment, saying how Sheldon insisted the apartment’s thermostat should be kept very low.
During the episode, Leonard also wondered why he still had Sheldon’s DNA model in his apartment, even though Sheldon no longer lives there. He said he wasn’t allowed to touch it, but when Leonard finally touched it, the model came crashing down—perhaps a symbol that The Big Bang Theory really is ending after all.
Sheldon’s Memorable Speech
Throughout the finale, characters reflected on why they repeatedly allowed Sheldon’s selfish behavior to dictate their lives. When Penny announced her pregnancy, Sheldon didn’t congratulate her. They commented that he’s always picky, self-centered, arrogant, and controlling. Many of them considered not attending the Nobel Prize ceremony, but they ultimately surprised their friends. Viewers watched as Amy and Sheldon delivered inspirational speeches.
First, Amy took the time to give an encouraging speech for young girls who wish to have careers in science. This must be inspired from Bialik’s personal life, in which the actress received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. Amy said, “To all the young girls out there who dream about science as a profession: go for it. It is the greatest job in the world. And if anybody tells you you can’t, don’t listen.”
But then it was Sheldon’s turn and after noticing his friends decided to support him, still supporting him after all these years, he decided to speak from the heart. He said, “I have been encouraged, sustained, inspired and tolerated not only by my wife but by the greatest group of friends anyone ever had.” We can’t argue with him on that. The Big Bang Theory crew defined friendship goals over and over again.
After 12 years, it seemed impossible for fans to say goodbye to their favorite nerds, but it had to happen. All good things must come to an end. The episode’s final scene featured the seven main cast members hanging out in the main apartment set, eating Chinese takeout, like normal. Of course, Sheldon was in “his spot.” An acoustic version of the show’s theme song, performed by Barenaked Ladies, played in the background as the friends laughed together like old times.
As diehard fans remember, the show’s opening always featured the friends sitting on the couch and eating Chinese food. It’s fitting the final scene recalled that memory. Because to fans, that’s how we’ll always remember those characters: sitting together on that iconic couch, eating Chinese food and talking about science.
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