The only constant we can count on in life is change. That was Penny’s message to Sheldon while sitting in the Cheesecake Factory while sipping very different drinks during Thursday’s series finale of The Big Bang Theory. The supersized sendoff to the longest running multi-cam sitcom saw Sheldon and Amy realize their dream of winning a Nobel Prize, but more importantly, it acted as the final instalment in the self-actualization of Sheldon Cooper. Sorry to be a Leonard about this, but we’re totally crying.
In pure TBBT form, the finale featured a big-name cameo thanks to Sarah Michelle Gellar. We finally learned why Leonard always wears hoodies. We got to see Howard and Bernadette’s Halley and Michael. We caught a glimpse of the group’s next chapter with Penny’s pregnancy. Sheldon got slapped. Amy got to wear a flattering outfit. And yes, they finally fixed the elevator.
Starting with the news that Sheldon and Amy had won the Nobel Prize, the group flew to Sweden for the ceremony. In typical form, Sheldon was too concerned about his big moment to be bothered by Bernadette and Howard worrying about leaving their children or Leonard and Penny’s news about their pregnancy. As always, the group put aside their hurt feelings to celebrate Sheldon, who had to win a Nobel Prize to realize that his greatest achievement in life was finding a wife and friends who were unwavering in their love and support for him.
— arabella (@JMoGilmoreGirls) May 17, 2019
Actually, that’s probably his second greatest achievement after the Nobel. This is still Sheldon Cooper.
The almost-perfect finale still had some moments that gave us pause. Raj’s story or lack thereof felt like an oversight, while Penny’s pregnancy may have been an easy warm fuzzy moment for the masses but was a missed opportunity to showcase a woman making the conscious and confident decision not to have kids. Much like Sheldon Cooper, the positives outweighed the negatives.
The Big Bang Theory has always been an ensemble show, but the character that tied everyone together was Sheldon, and in many cases, a shared disdain for Sheldon. A character who, on paper, should be disliked by audiences, quickly became the most popular, even earning a spinoff in the form of Young Sheldon. That’s because The Big Bang Theory has always presented a type of escapism that was rooted in reality, albeit one where things always work out. The nerds find love, the popular girl finds self-worth, the friendless neuroscientist finds her friends, the astrophysicist from halfway around the world finds his adopted family, and the boy who has never been able to relate to anyone grows up into a man that learns how to give and receive love.
The most emotional moments in TBBT history have typically centered around Sheldon Cooper and that’s because for many people, Sheldon represents the hope that love and understanding can come from even the most rigid of personalities. In being accepted for who he was, Sheldon found the desire to grow into a more empathetic person, with each decision to say ‘I love you,’ be selfless, try something new, and yes, even have coitus, showing him that the world he avoided for so long was worth seeing. A favourite spot on the couch doesn’t mean much if you don’t have people sitting next to you.
The brilliance of Thursday’s double episode finale was that it was peak TBBT. The hilarious one-liners, the emotional gravitas of big moments, the emotional gravitas of small moments (it’s difficult to believe we’ll never see Penny push Sheldon into an elevator again) were all there. Mayim Bialik continued to be one of the most underrated comedic and dramatic actors with her simple delivery of “We won.” The chemistry between Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki made us cry with tears of laughter and cry with tears of, well, sad stuff. Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg’s throwaway moments, like showing off Amy post-makeover and asking what’s for dinner, were brilliant as always in their timing. And Melissa Rauch will finally get to rest her very high voice after nine seasons.
Thursday’s episode included big moments for most characters (at least Raj got to date Buffy?), but the best part of the finale was that it didn’t try to cram a season’s worth of reveals into one episode. It was seven friends eating takeout food in an apartment in California while Barenaked Ladies played them out. As far as finales go, this was pretty close to perfect.
Tonight is the series finale of The Big Bang Theory. I think the writers did a fantastic job tying up the series, but we will, of course, re-do it if anyone is unsatisfied.
— Kevin Sussman (@KevinSussman) May 16, 2019
Congratulations @bigbangtheory for 12 history-making years of laughter, elevating nerd-culture to unimagined new heights & triggering countless folks to ask me if I would please officiate at their weddings. ❤️ Your fan, Bark Hamill 🐶 pic.twitter.com/lh8BQSQEUx
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 16, 2019
Every adventure begins with a single step. This was mine for @bigbangtheory My first episode-my first “step-isode.” 2nd pic is shortly after I joined the cast-couldn’t believe I had my own dressing room! The friendships & memories that would build from here simply overwhelm me 💛 pic.twitter.com/tMs4Gu1EYa
— Melissa Rauch (@MelissaRauch) May 16, 2019
Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery, that all started with the Big Bang! 💥From our missions, images & more on set to @Astro_Mike appearing when Howard goes to @Space_Station — so long #BigBangTheory. Thanks for sharing our work with viewers & inspiring so many pic.twitter.com/5GAY6lUu45
— NASA (@NASA) May 17, 2019
Aww. Bawling here. Thank you #BigBangTheory for the sweetest, best series finale. An absolutely perfect ending.
— JennyofOldstones (@MeetingPlanner5) May 17, 2019
Goodbye #BigBangTheory 🧡 I’m so glad there was a show that praised intelligence, being a proud nerd, and friendship. What a great run!!
— Emily (@nerdgirl189) May 17, 2019
Someday We’ll Be Together. Thank you, @bigbangtheory ❤️
— Iain Armitage (@IainLoveTheatre) May 17, 2019
The best finale ever #BigBangTheory hands down. Goodbye to a great show.
— Joseph (@JosephMeetsWrld) May 17, 2019
The Big Bang Theory series finale was fantastic. It was honestly the perfect send off. Beautifully done. To the #BigBangTheory cast and crew: thank you.
— Kristin (@itsjustkp007) May 17, 2019
— Martha (@martha_mumz911) May 17, 2019