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

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CBS’ The large Bang theory ended Thursday simply as it started.

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

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


The large Bang theory has never ever been a show that plotted the end its storylines well into the season, permit alone a collection finale. Yet Thursday’s two-part collection finale uncovered a way to carry out a fulfilling feeling of closure as well as emotionally satisfying moment that portrayed its characters’ slow and steady an individual growth and also development. What’s more, producers additionally paid off numerous of the comedy’s long-running jokes (the elevator!) and sneak in one final geek-tastic cameo.

Below, Lorre, previous showrunner and exec producer Steve Molaro and current showrunner Steve Holland talk with The Hollywood Reporter about saying farewell to The large Bang Theory, those large surprises and why they opted because that such an emotional farewell. Click here to review THR‘s interviews v the cast about how their storylines ended.


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How lengthy was this the finishing that you had in mind? to be this always the idea?

Lorre: I had a couple of various things in mind, however this to be far far better than noþeles I could have presented. Credit transaction for this finale has to go come Steve Holland and also the creating staff. They proposed a finale the was focused on emotionally closure in the characters’ lives, in your relationships and in them growing as individuals and in their resides expanding. Ns was to win by exactly how elegant that was and I jumped ~ above board. The was much better than something I might have had in my head. And while there is fairly a little of story through the Nobel Prize and the pregnant elements, it’s a the majority of character material there the took the finale in a various direction. The made the finale about the characters as opposed some huge cataclysmic ending or everyone packing their bags and moving out and also going different places. There is naught wrong v that approach but this felt much more rewarding for us. I love the method it ended.


Holland:Knowing it was the end, we’d been talking about where we want to see these personalities land. The display has never been plot-heavy and, for united state as pan of these characters, the didn’t feel ideal or vital for us to execute a heavy finale like that and put a “the end” rubber stamp on every these stories. It was crucial to feel choose their lives and their friendships walk on. The was our beginning place of just how we want to build this finale.


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There was a feeling of life walk on for these characters, who return home and have Chinese food in the apartment come a an excellent scene through an acoustic variation of the show’s template song. Was there ever a allude where you to be tempted to offer a more resolved conclusion because that these characters?

Molaro: No. I typical there to be bigger goodbye concepts that floated increase here and there however the biggest philosophical drive that we arrived at pretty early on was this present makes a lot of world happy, these characters make a lot of civilization happy, lock make us really happy. We want to know that tomorrow morning they to be going to drive to occupational together and also have dinner together and also while the display was saying goodbye, the characters weren’t. Philosophically, that was the many important part of the finale quite than putting large bows ~ above everybody’s storylines.

The finale focused on Sheldon’s growth — specifically, how in the past he’d take it two measures forward and one step back. And after win the Nobel, he very much regressed before having this substantial breakthrough top top the best stage of his life.

Holland:We knew about the Nobel Prize, and we knew that’s what we were driving toward. And also it go feel like a minute where Sheldon can regress a small bit because this is a point he has wanted due to the fact that he to be a kid. So, of all the moment to make all about himself, it felt perfectly herbal that he would shot to host so tightly onto this moment as being about himself. He establish at the finish that it wasn’t about himself, and he took that minute that he has wanted his totality life and, instead of turning the spotlight ~ above himself, that turned that on this group of human being without whom he would never have been whereby he was. He would never have actually been who he was. That felt prefer a great way to respect this totality ensemble and the trip of this show.


Knowing the there to be a few times end the years where you weren’t certain if the present would come ago for extr seasons, just how much has actually this finale changed over the years?

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

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


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Outside the Sheldon and also Amy’s wedding, to be there any other episodes or moments in the finale that you’d had earmarked because that the collection finale over the years?


Molaro: I don’t know exactly how much we ever really spoke about a finale until we knew it to be coming for real. We were in the fortunate place to recognize pretty early on in this season and also had a goal in mind as we thought around how we want to soil it.


And there to be a pair red herrings this season v Leonard and Penny briefly discussing if they want to have children and also considering moving away. To be you tempted earlier this season to discover what pregnancy would certainly be prefer for Leonard and also Penny? go us with the decision to perform that in the collection finale.

Holland: Leonard and also Penny had actually been talking around having kids — and also the decision no to — this season.Their connection was yes, really the jumping off point of this whole show and it felt crucial to us to honor the relationship. Ns love castle together and also I want to understand that they were finishing in a happy place. Steve and I talked around it and he is the one that pitched that moment and also that surprise revelation in the finale. It felt prefer a good way to land these characters and like such a surprised coming off what their storyline had been.

Molaro: I choose that we were able come jump over a most the pregnancy tropes and also learn ~ the fact that penny is two months pregnant. Us did the jump in time and she’s quiet wrapping her head approximately it due to the fact that Penny wasn’t sure just how she felt around it. I’m really happy that us were may be to gain in a direct nod to the pilot in Sheldon’s final speech, too.

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Amy, ~ winning the Nobel, decides to acquire a makeover. Why was that something you wanted to check out now? Mayim saidthis was completely the writers’ idea.

Holland: once you have a long-running show, you desire the characters to change but girlfriend can’t push them too far since you still need to keep doing illustration week ~ week. Yet coming to the end, we might really start to press these characters. Leonard had some large changes in the last couple of episodes leading as much as the finale and also this felt like a great change because that Amy’s character, to provide her that moment. When we visited Mayim and also we asked, “How would certainly you feel about getting her hair cut, because we have actually this story thought?” She obtained so excited and asked if she could cut her hair! She couldn’t believe we to be serious. It worked out very nicely.


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

Lorre:With Sarah, it felt prefer a wonderful way to include some comedy come what was otherwise a an extremely serious scene at the awards ceremony. Due to the fact that of the way this finale was presented by Steve Holland, we didn’t feel choose it was necessarily to have actually some large story closure for every character. That felt forced and also somewhat unnecessary because sometimes big things don’t happen to everybody all at once unless you’re forcing it into a collection finale. And that didn’t feeling realistic. The didn’t feel prefer a comfortable method to go. Therefore Raj’s story just remains open.

Holland:So many ideas were speak about; whatever was same game and on the plank going into early this year talking about what the finale can be and Raj detect his person was definitely one that them. We just felt we didn’t must tie up whatever in a bow. Their lives were still going on. We gave him a fun and emotional closure in episode 22 v him and also Howard . It felt yes sir to leaving him still in search of love — and also I think that he at some point will discover it someday. However we didn’t feel the need to have to present it.

Molaro: And i think this present started through these 4 guys all single. To respect the bones of the series, it’s yes that somebody still hasn’t discovered the best person.

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How go the sarah Michelle Gellar cameo come together?

Holland:When us were breaking out the finale and also knew that they to be flying come Stockholm, we knew the Raj wouldn’t have actually anyone sitting next to him. Chuck believed it to be a fun possibility to have him sit beside someone fun and also that it would certainly be a great chance to perform something fun here at the end. Together we began talking about who that could be, we came down on Sarah Michelle. I have actually been a large Buffy fan for years. I’ve rewatched that display probably more than any type of other. And also a most the authors are huge Buffy fans, too. The seemed like a cool cameo the felt actual to this world and to this characters. Chuck spoke to her on the phone and also at the start , she stated her household loves Big Bang Theory. Climate it was simply a matter of functioning out scheduling.


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Is there a theme you expect viewers take away after watching the finale — and ultimately, that the series as a whole?

Lorre: From the very beginning, the goal was really simple: to cause laughter. That’s why us made the show and why we wanted to build a show approximately these characters. I love the characters because, despite how intelligent lock were, castle felt left out. They felt prefer outsiders looking with the glass at life walking on without them. They to be outliers — and that’s a very common feeling; also the queen the the prom can feel prefer that in personal moments. One of the things we did, more than likely by accident however then it came to be something we were mindful of, to be these personalities ate together all the time, which is what a household used to do. And that’s really inviting. One of the points that to be really natural to the success the Cheers was the these people weren’t regarded one an additional but they clung to each various other like a family. That occurred on the Big Bang Theory. The personalities aren’t related yet they behave and operate favor a family even to the suggest of do each various other miserable. However no issue what, they developed a surrogate family. The underlies the comedy and may eventually be more important than the jokes.


What do you watch as Big Bang‘s legacy?

Lorre:I couldn’t speak to its legacy. I’m also close to it. I just know that i loved gift a part of this. I’m proud and grateful for it. I’m deeply sad the it’s over. As to its legacy, I’ll let that be because that other human being to decision — if that’s a thing you decide about a situation comedy.

Holland: Its legacy isn’t approximately us. I hope the it has moved the society of science in a an excellent way. Ultimately, ns hope the it’s a present that brought people a most comfort and also laughs and also that they have the right to look back on the or revisit that in reruns and get those same heat feelings again.

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Molaro: I would choose to think the this show controlled to relocate the needle even just a tiny bit on the yongin of anybody who is different.