The end of The Big Bang Theory is almost here, and there aren't enough crying emoji to fit into one article. I mean, how do you close out 12 seasons of a show—the longest running live-action sitcom—into 42 minutes of airtime? "It's tough," executive producer Steve Molaro tells Glamour. "I'm struggling. It's a tough thing to do."
While fellow executive producer and Big Bang showrunner Steve Holland says Thursday's finale is tearful, he thinks it's a good balance of funny and emotional. "There are episode tears and there are emotional tears about ending the run. Hopefully it's a good combination of both, but I'm so proud of the finale. We managed to fit in everything we were hoping to."
Audience members who attended the finale taping (myself included) had to sign nondisclosure agreements, promising not to reveal even the slightest development. I'll be sticking to that, but the producers were kind enough to offer a few teasers prior to the episode. Do with this what you will: Part one of the finale is called "The Change Constant," and it focuses on Sheldon and Amy as they "await big news."
The second part of the finale—titled "The Stockholm Syndrome" (another clue)—features Bernadette and Howard struggling with leaving their kids for the first time, Penny and Leonard trying to keep a secret, and Raj making a new friend. The CBS-approved synopsis also says that "the gang travels together into an uncharted future." Unless they're all starring in the next Star Trek spin-off, I think there's plenty there to hypothesize on.
One thing that is certain: how everyone felt after the final table read. "They were caught up in the emotion of the moment," cocreator and executive producer Bill Prady says. "They had already read the finale the night before, but it was still emotional reading it in front of everyone. In the end, they were all very happy about where [the series] wound up."
So what else can you expect heading into the two-part finale (followed by an episode of Young Sheldon and a Big Bang Theory retrospective)? Read on.
One of the show’s biggest mysteries will be solved.
"We are aware the fans have a wish list, and we also have a wish list," Holland says of the mysteries he knows fans have waited 12 years to find out. So will the elevator be fixed? Will Penny reveal her maiden name? "Some big moments will be checked off, and others will remain elusive," he says. There's also a chance some things you didn't even know you wanted answers to will finally be uncovered. (FYI, you'll probably need to rewatch the episode to pick up on everything.) Says Molaro, "It's often our goal to keep people surprised, so that was part of [our finale strategy]."
It’s the most stressful episode the writers have ever written.
Holland says it wasn't necessarily the hardest episode to write, but it was definitely the most stressful. "It's certainly the episode we thought about the longest," he says. "We know there’s a lot of pressure on it, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to really make it perfect. There were more sleepless nights about the finale than other episodes."
Prady admits that while he didn't start thinking about the finale until it was announced in late 2018, Molaro has been thinking about it since season four. "No one loves television more than Steve Molaro. No one. So I think he started imagining what it would be like when we were only four seasons in." Once a definite finale date came to be, though, Prady says they started getting down to business right away. "We started heading down a road and said, 'Let's do this, let's do that, and here's some other things we can do.'"
You can’t miss Young Sheldon, also airing Thursday.
"There is a powerful ending to the Young Sheldon finale that no Big Bang fan should miss," Molaro says. "We wanted to do our best to create a Young Sheldon finale that made the night feel cohesive and paid tribute to the 12 glorious years of Big Bang." According to CBS, Sheldon invites the entire school to a party for the Nobel Prize announcements. How convenient…
There’s a secret scene that will air at the end of The Big Bang Theory.
The last scene the audience saw at The Big Bang Theory finale taping was emotional, sweet, and perfect. It turns out, though, that wasn't the last scene. "It seemed like a nice thing for us to hold back one piece of the finale, so there's at least one thing that couldn't be spoiled," Holland says. "That way it will also make the night extra special for those who were at the taping because there's an extra piece." What could that secret scene be? "The cast doesn't even know what it is," Holland jokes. "We blindfolded them."
Meanwhile, Prady says the final scene is "going to cement the series in a really beautiful way." Cue the waterworks.
Yours truly has a special cameo.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd one day make an appearance on The Big Bang Theory—much less in the finale—but here we are! So how did it happen? The seed was planted three years ago at Big Bang's 200th-episode party. On the red carpet I quizzed the actors to see if they could spell Koothrappali, and only Jim Parsons and Kunal Nayyar (thank goodness) got it right. When it was Steve Molaro's turn, he added an extra L. He asked me what he owed me for getting it wrong, and I suggested a cameo. (If there was ever a time to think fast on your feet, this was it!) He said we had a deal, and that was that.
As the years went by, I didn't think it was going to happen. But then Molaro and fellow producer Ansley Rix called me the week before the final episode to ask me to come on board. I said no. (Kidding! Of course I said yes!) It's a very appropriate—and quick—scene that airs about a third of the way through the first part of the episode. I can't say more than that. Just know that it was such a dream, and Mayim Bialik flipped out when she saw me in the wardrobe closet earlier that morning. "There's a few key people who got to play themselves over the years," Holland says. "You get to join those ranks." To that, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The Big Bang Theory one-hour series finale airs at 8:00 P.M. ET, followed by the season finale of Young Sheldon at 9:01 P.M. ET, and then a Big Bang retrospective hosted by Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki.
Originally Appeared on Glamour