"Big Bang Theory" series Finale Explained: Why the show ended the method it did because that Leonard, Penny, Sheldon, Amy, Howard, Bernadette and Raj.

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CBS’ The large Bang concept ended Thursday simply as the started.

Television’s longest-running multicamera comedy in background wrapped after 12 seasons with the sense that life go on because that its beloved characters.

For Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco), that meant brand-new adventures (parenthood). Because that Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and also Amy (Mayim Bialik), that meant personal growth ~ they won the Nobel prize in physics and each tackled it in various ways (by regressing socially and also getting a makeover, respectively). And for rather —married pair Howard (Simon Helberg) and also Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and perennially solitary Raj (Kunal Nayyar) — it yes, really was around being content through the lives and families that they’ve built.

The huge Bang concept has never been a display that plotted out its storylines well into the season, permit alone a collection finale. Yet Thursday’s two-part collection finale uncovered a means to administer a fulfilling sense of closure and emotionally satisfying moment that shown its characters’ slow and steady an individual growth and also development. What’s more, producers additionally paid off several of the comedy’s long-running jokes (the elevator!) and also sneak in one final geek-tastic cameo.

Below, Lorre, former showrunner and exec producer Steve Molaro and also current showrunner Steve Holland talk through The Hollywood Reporter about speak farewell come The big Bang Theory, those large surprises and why castle opted for such an emotional farewell. Click below to read THR‘s interviews through the cast around how your storylines ended.


How long was this the ending that you had in mind? was this always the idea?

Lorre: I had a couple of various things in mind, but this to be far better than something I can have presented. Credit transaction for this finale has to go to Steve Holland and also the writing staff. Castle proposed a finale the was centered on emotional closure in the characters’ lives, in your relationships and also in them growing as individuals and in their stays expanding. I was win by how elegant the was and I jumped ~ above board. That was better than anything I can have had actually in mine head. And also while over there is quite a little of story through the Nobel Prize and also the pregnancy elements, it’s a lot of character product there the took the finale in a various direction. The made the finale around the characters as protest some big cataclysmic finishing or anyone packing your bags and also moving out and going various places. Over there is naught wrong with that method but this felt much more lucrative for us. Ns love the method it ended.

Holland:Knowing it to be the end, we’d been talking about where we wanted to check out these characters land. The display has never been plot-heavy and, for us as pan of these characters, it didn’t feel best or necessary for us to do a heavy finale choose that and put a “the end” stamp on every these stories. That was important to feel choose their lives and their friendships go on. That was our starting place of just how we want to build this finale.


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There to be a sense of life walking on for these characters, that return home and have Chinese food in the apartment to a good scene with an acoustic version of the show’s design template song. To be there ever a allude where you to be tempted to offer a much more resolved conclusion because that these characters?

Molaro: No. I average there to be bigger goodbye concepts that floated increase here and also there however the greatest philosophical drive the we landed on pretty early was this show makes a lot of world happy, these characters make a lot of of human being happy, they make united state really happy. We want to understand that tomorrow morning they were going to journey to work together and have dinner together and while the present was saying goodbye, the personalities weren’t. Philosophically, the was the most important part of the finale rather than putting giant bows on everybody’s storylines.

The finale focused on Sheldon’s development — specifically, how in the past he’d take two steps forward and one step back. And also after win the Nobel, he really much regressed prior to having this enormous breakthrough on the greatest stage that his life.

Holland:We knew around the Nobel Prize, and we knew that’s what us were driving toward. And also it did feel like a moment where Sheldon could regress a little bit because this is a thing he has wanted due to the fact that he was a kid. So, of every the moment to make all about himself, that felt perfectly herbal that the would try to host so tightly ~ above this moment as being around himself. He establish at the end that the wasn’t around himself, and also he take it that minute that he has actually wanted his totality life and, instead of turning the spotlight ~ above himself, that turned the on this group of people without who he would certainly never have actually been whereby he was. He would never have actually been that he was. That felt like a an excellent way to honor this entirety ensemble and also the trip of this show.

Knowing the there were a few times end the years whereby you weren’t sure if the present would come ago for extr seasons, how much has this finale changed over the years?

Holland:The finale has certainly changed. If we had talked around it in season six, it definitely is a various finale than it is now.

Molaro:If us knew that was finishing last year, the show certainly could have ended on the Sheldon and Amy wedding. I’m glad the it didn’t and also I’m glad the we got to go as much as we did. But there have actually been avoiding points that would have actually felt natural in some way over the years.


Outside of Sheldon and Amy’s wedding, to be there any kind of other episodes or moments in the finale the you’d had actually earmarked for the series finale over the years?

Molaro: I don’t know exactly how much we ever really spoke about a finale till we knew it to be coming for real. We were in the fortunate position to recognize pretty at an early stage in this season and had a score in mind together we thought about how we wanted to land it.

And there were a couple red herrings this season through Leonard and also Penny briefly stating if they wanted to have children and considering moving away. Were you tempted previously this season to explore what pregnancy would certainly be prefer for Leonard and also Penny? walk us through the decision to perform that in the series finale.

Holland: Leonard and also Penny had actually been talking about having children — and also the decision not to — this season.Their relationship was yes, really the jumping off suggest of this entirety show and it felt important to united state to honor the relationship. Ns love them together and also I want to know that castle were ending in a happy place. Steve and I talked around it and also he is the one that pitched that moment and also that surprised revelation in the finale. That felt choose a good way to land these characters and also like such a surprised coming off what their storyline had actually been.

Molaro: I like that we were able come jump over a lot of the pregnant tropes and learn ~ the fact that coin is two months pregnant. Us did the jump in time and she’s quiet wrapping she head around it because Penny wasn’t sure how she felt about it. I’m really happy that we were may be to acquire in a straight nod come the pilot in Sheldon’s last speech, too.


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Amy, after winning the Nobel, decides to acquire a makeover. Why was that something you want to discover now? Mayim saidthis was entirely the writers’ idea.

Holland: once you have a long-running show, you desire the characters to readjust but girlfriend can’t push them as well far because you still need to keep doing episodes week after week. Yet coming to the end, we can really start to press these characters. Leonard had actually some huge changes in the last few episodes leading up to the finale and also this felt favor a great change for Amy’s character, to give her the moment. When we went to Mayim and also we asked, “How would certainly you feel about getting her hair cut, due to the fact that we have this story thought?” She acquired so excited and asked if she can cut her hair! She couldn’t believe we were serious. It worked out very nicely.


Raj and also Anu damaged up in critical week’s episode and also he wound up through a meet-cute with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Why leaving his storyline for this reason open-ended?

Lorre:With Sarah, it felt like a wonderful way to include some comedy to what to be otherwise a an extremely serious scene at the awards ceremony. Since of the way this finale was presented by Steve Holland, us didn’t feel choose it was necessarily to have some large story closure because that every character. That felt forced and also somewhat unnecessary due to the fact that sometimes huge things don’t happen to everybody as whole unless you’re forcing it into a series finale. And also that didn’t feel realistic. The didn’t feel favor a comfortable way to go. For this reason Raj’s story just remains open.

Holland:So many concepts were talked about; whatever was fair game and on the board going into beforehand this year talking around what the finale could be and also Raj recognize his human being was definitely one of them. We simply felt us didn’t have to tie up whatever in a bow. Their stays were tho going on. We gave him a fun and also emotional closure in episode 22 with him and also Howard . The felt yes sir to leave him still trying to find love — and I believe that he at some point will find it someday. Yet we didn’t feeling the require to have to present it.

Molaro: And i think this display started with these 4 guys every single. To respect the skeleton of the series, it’s yes that someone still hasn’t found the right person.


How walk the sarah Michelle Gellar cameo come together?

Holland:When us were breaking the end the finale and knew that they to be flying to Stockholm, us knew that Raj wouldn’t have anyone sitting alongside him. Chuck assumed it to be a fun opportunity to have him sit next to someone fun and also that it would be a an excellent chance to carry out something fun here at the end. Together we began talking around who that can be, we arrived on Sarah Michelle. I have been a vast Buffy fan for years. I’ve rewatched that present probably an ext than any other. And a lot of the writers are big Buffy fans, too. The seemed choose a cool cameo the felt real to this world and also to these characters. Lining spoke to her on the phone and also at the start , she stated her family members loves Big Bang Theory. Climate it was simply a issue of functioning out scheduling.

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Is over there a template you hope viewers take far after watching the finale — and ultimately, that the series as a whole?

Lorre: From the really beginning, the goal to be really simple: to reason laughter. That’s why us made the show and also why we want to build a show roughly these characters. Ns love the personalities because, despite how intelligent castle were, castle felt left out. Castle felt prefer outsiders looking with the glass in ~ life walk on there is no them. They were outliers — and also that’s a very common feeling; also the queen that the prom can feel favor that in private moments. Among the things we did, more than likely by accident yet then it became something we were mindful of, was these characters ate together all the time, i m sorry is what a family used come do. And that’s really inviting. Among the points that was really inherent to the success that Cheers was the these civilization weren’t concerned one another but castle clung come each various other like a family. That occurred on the Big Bang Theory. The personalities aren’t related yet they behave and also operate prefer a family even to the allude of making each various other miserable. However no issue what, they produced a surrogate family. The underlies the comedy and also may ultimately be more important than the jokes.

What do you see as Big Bang‘s legacy?

Lorre:I couldn’t speak come its legacy. I’m too close come it. I just know that i loved gift a component of this. I’m proud and grateful for it. I’m deeply sad that it’s over. As to its legacy, I’ll let the be because that other people to decide — if that’s a point you decide about a instance comedy.

Holland: Its tradition isn’t as much as us. I hope that it has moved the culture of scientific research in a good way. Ultimately, ns hope the it’s a show that carried people a many comfort and also laughs and that they have the right to look ago on that or revisit it in reruns and also get those same heat feelings again.

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Molaro: I would prefer to think the this show regulated to move the needle even just a small bit top top the yongin of anybody that is different.