"The Big Bang Theory" is arguably one of the most popular sitcom shows in the history of television, sitting on the same list as "Friends," "Seinfeld," "Will & Grace," and "Cheers."
"The Big Bang Theory" aired from 2007 to 2019, having a total of 12 seasons and 279 episodes. With all those episodes, you are more than likely bound to have missed a few things.
Leonard and Sheldon's Names Came From a Classic Actor
Leonard and Sheldon got their names from the infamous actor, producer, writer, and director Sheldon Leonard. Their last names have significance in the scientific community. Hofstadter was the last name of father and son duo, Robert and Douglas, and Cooper was the last name of Nobel Prize Laureate Leon Cooper.
Leonard's Peculiar Glasses Don't Have Lenses
Ever pay attention to Leonard's glasses? They usually don't have lenses. Since Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard, is shorter than Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, whenever he would look up at his co-star, the glare from the stage lights would hit his lenses, causing a glare in the camera. To avoid this, they had to pop out the lenses.
Sheldon's Shirts Tell His Mood
Sheldon is known for wearing his iconic t-shirts on "The Big Bang Theory," but did you know that there's a reason for the colors of his shirts? It is a reference to the Green Lantern Corps from DC Comics. The colors have significance: red for anger, green for confidence, blue for hope, yellow for fear. So whatever color Sheldon wears signifies his mood.
Bernadette's Voice Changes
When Bernadette first appears on "The Big Bang Theory," she speaks in a lower register. However, as Bernadette became a regular character, actress Melissa Rauch changed her voice to be higher pitched. Rauch believed it added more personality and a comedic element to the Bernadette. She based this new voice on her mother's voice.
The Photos on Penny's Fridge Show the Cast and Crew
Penny has her fridge covered in photos, but when you take a closer look, you'll notice they are of Kaley Cuoco with the cast and crew throughout the filming of "The Big Bang Theory." One of the photos is of Carol Ann Susi, who voiced Howard's mom and unfortunately passed away during the show's eighth season.
Amy Farrah Fowler Was Mentioned in Season One, Kind of
Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced at the end of season three of "The Big Bang Theory." However, she was mentioned much earlier on the show. Howard, Raj, and Leonard were trying to replace Sheldon on their Physics Bowl team when Raj mentioned, "You know who's apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV's Blossom. She got a Ph.D. in neuroscience or something."
No One Knows Penny's Last Name
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Penny's last name on "The Big Bang Theory." When Penny realized that she married Zach Johnson in a Vegas wedding, most viewers just concluded that it was Johnson. Though her maiden name was never revealed, in an interview Chuck Lorre suggested it was Barrington, though it was never confirmed.
The Origins of "Bazinga!"
"Bazinga" is a term that was coined by a writer on the show named Stephen Engel. He loved playing pranks on his co-workers. On one such occasion, he hollowed out a grapefruit, strategically put it back together, then gave it to the show's co-creator, Bill Prady. When Prady tried to eat it, Engel yelled "Bazinga" as it fell apart.
The Hidden Details of Howard's Room
Howard Wolowitz showcases his love of nerd culture in his bedroom at his mother's house. But did you pay attention to the details? All the characters he displays are females; this includes Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Cheetah. He does have a figurine of Jabba the Hutt, however Princess Leia is next to him.
The Importance of Numbers
Sheldon mentions on several episodes that his favorite number is 73, possibly referencing the year that Jim Parsons was born, 1973. Amy's apartment number is 314, a direct reference to Pi. And Wil Wheaton's house number is 1701. Star Trek fans will notice this was the number on the Enterprise NCC-1701D.
The Infamous Stairs of the Apartment Building Are the Same on Every Floor
Whenever you watch the gang walk up and down the flights of stairs in Leonard, Sheldon, and Penny's apartment building, it's just the same set of stairs redressed as the second, third, and fourth floors by changing the numbers on the doors and adding potted plants. If they had built a four-story hallway set it would be difficult to light and film.
They Had Help from Real Scientists
David Saltzberg served as a reference for the writers on "The Big Bang Theory." Since the beginning of the series, he approved all the equations on the show. He even wrote a joke for Sheldon in the first season. Saltzberg teaches physics and astronomy at UCLA and publishes papers, but believes that his work on the show is his most impactful job.
Sheldon's Favorite Theme Song
During several episodes of "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon is found singing the theme song to the classic TV series "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." The reasoning is pretty ironic; "The Big Bang Theory" creator, Chuck Lorre, worked as a composer in the '80s and wrote the theme song for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
The Theme Song's Origin
The Barenaked Ladies are the band behind the infamous "Big Bang Theory" theme song which is a song created by coincidence. The producers of "The Big Bang Theory" attended a Barenaked Ladies concert and frontman Ed Robertson improvised a song about the Big Bang after reading about it. The producers reached out to him after the show, and the rest is history.
Amy's Mother Has an Identity Crisis
When we first meet Amy Farrah Fowler's mother on "The Big Bang Theory," she is played by actress Annie O'Donnell. Her mother is reserved and soft-spoken. However, when we meet her mother again in later seasons, she is played by Kathy Bates. Not to mention she also got a complete personality change.
The Flag of Apartment 4A
Leonard and Sheldon have a flag to commemorate their apartment. The flag was first introduced in the episode "The Staircase Implementation." On Leonard and Sheldon's fridge, there is a magnet version of the flag. When the magnet is right-side up, it means all is well. However, when turned upside down, it signifies that the roommates are in times of distress.
"Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" is a Song from the '30s
The song "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" has become synonymous with "The Big Bang Theory." However, the song has origins that date back to the 1930s when it was written by Edith Newlin. The song later became popularized on a TV series in Australia. It was brought to the attention of the show's co-creator Bill Prady, whose daughter had heard it from her preschool teacher.
The Obsession with DC Comics
Have you ever noticed that when the characters on "The Big Bang Theory" get dressed up for Halloween or attend a Comic-Con, that they always dress as superheroes from DC Comics? It's probably because the show airs on CBS, which is owned by Warner Brothers Studios, who just so happen to own DC Comics. Pretty helpful to promote your products.
A Costume Easter Egg in the Series Finale
Did you pay attention to some of the articles of clothing worn by the actors in the series finale? Well, the t-shirt that Penny is wearing is the same shirt that she wore when we first see her in the series premiere. Sheldon is also wearing his same t-shirt from the first episode, and Howard is wearing his belt from that same episode.
Amy's Profession Was Inspired by Mayim Bialik
When Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced on "The Big Bang Theory" at the end of season three, her profession was yet to be revealed. By the beginning of season four, they announced that she was a neuroscientist. The writers felt this would be the best profession, as Mayim Bialik herself has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and could correct any inaccuracies.
Wil Wheaton was Cast After Posting a Tweet
Wil Wheaton tweeted about how much he loved the show and Steven Molaro, a writer on "The Big Bang Theory," responded and invited him to a taping. A few days later, Bill Prady's assistant sent him an email about appearing on the show. The writers wanted to create a nemesis for Sheldon, and Wil Wheaton couldn't resist the offer.
The Cheesecake Factory Costumes Are Incorrect
The costumes worn by Penny and Bernadette when they work at the Cheesecake Factory are yellow, as opposed to the white shirts of the real-life workers. Bill Prady stated in an interview that on analog TV, white articles of clothing strobe, so even transitioning into digital TV, most costume designers stray from using white.
Kaley Cuoco Failed Her First Auditions
When Kaley Cuoco first auditioned for "The Big Bang Theory," the show was called "Lenny, Penny, and Kenny." She auditioned twice and lost the role of Katie to Amanda Walsh. When Chuck Lorre showed to pilot to CBS, they hated it, so he re-worked it. The show's name changed, and Katie turned into Penny, paving the way for Cuoco to come onboard.
An Easter Egg in the Finale Told the Run-Time of the Series
Fans of the series may remember the moment in the finale episode where Leonard and Sheldon put together a DNA statue and state that it took them 139 and a half hours to do. This was included because watching the entire series would take you 139 and a half hours.
The Real Reason Howard and Bernadette’s Children Were Never Shown
In the show's finale, Howard and Bernadette’s kids were finally shown on screen after years of being off-screen characters. This was done because it was too difficult to have kids on set, so the producers of the show only let it happen once.
The Invention of the Elevator Gag Came From a Production Designer
The continuously broken elevator was the idea of production designer John Shaffner. The producers were initially confused when he presented the elevator as a way to break up the space in the hallways, as they wanted the conversations taking place on the stairs. Shaffner explained that the joke would be that the elevator is broken, so they wrote it onto the show.
The Mistake in the Opening Credits
"The Big Bang Theory" has arguably one of the catchiest theme songs of any sitcom. And the opening credits are easily recognizable. But how much did you pay attention to those credits? If you look closely as the timeline of the universe is scrolling at the bottom of the screen, you'll notice that it says '91,000 9C' instead of '91,000 BC.'
Jim Parsons: The Man Behind Sheldon
Huston-born Jim Parsons is one of the highest-paid TV actors in the world, famous for playing an uptight genius nerd. What you might not know is that he's very good friends with another former sitcom poster boy...
Parsons has been friends with "Scrubs" star Zach Braff for years. Long before Parsons hit it big, he appeared in a bit part in Braff's indie hit, "Garden State."
The Nervous "Hidden Figures" Star
Parsons was initially hesitant to take on his role in the 2016 movie "Hidden Figures." His reason? He didn't want people to associate him with the unlikeable, bigoted character that he plays in the film.
Kaley Cuoco: Penny
Kaley Cuoco plays Penny, the only main character in "The Big Bang Theory" who doesn't have a last name. But this is hardly Cuoco's first time on a sitcom...
"8 Simple Rules"
Before her time on "The Big Bang Theory," Cuoco played the teenage Bridget on ABC's "8 Simple Rules." The show also starred John Ritter, who sadly died during filming.
An Accomplised Actor
Cuoco has had an illustrious career thus far, appearing in many movies and TV shows. She even has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But she wasn't the original actor to play Penny on "The Big Bang Theory"...
The Original Penny
In the pilot episode of "Big Bang Theory," Leonard's love interest is instead called Katie, and is played by Amanda Walsh. It was decided that this version of the show didn't work, and Walsh was dropped in favor of Cuoco.
The Secret Trist
Rumors have swirled around the show for years. It's widely reported from authoritative sources that Cuoco and Johnny Galecki had a secret affair during the early years of the show. It's hard to deny the pair's chemistry.
Most famous for playing Sheldon's longsuffering roommate Leonard, Johnny Galecki has been a regular face on television for years, and even brought a few familiar faces with him over to "Big Bang Theory"...
A Teenage Star
Before "The Big Bang Theory," Galecki's most famous role was the teenage David Healy on "Roseanne." His costar, Sara Gilbert, also ended up playing a recurring character on "The Big Bang Theory."
Again, rumors suggest that Galecki and Gilbert had their own secret romantic relationship while filming "Roseanne," although these are long in the past now. Apparently, Galecki's not averse to workplace romances.
Mayim Bialik: The Face of Amy
Originally famous for playing Blossom on the show of the same name, Mayim Bialik joined "The Big Bang Theory" cast at the end of season three. Of all the show's regular actors, she's the most qualified to be playing an academic...
Not Exactly Brain Surgery
In the show, Amy is a neuroscientist. This career was chosen because Bialik really does have a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA. And that's not all she's accomplished between acting gigs.
A Talented Writer
Bialik has authored five books: two about parenting, two about puberty, and one vegan cookbook. She really is multitalented.
Melissa Rauch, Better Known as Bernadette
Melissa Rauch was a relative unknown when she was first cast in "The Big Bang Theory" in a bit part. Her natural charm won over audiences, and it wasn't long before she joined the cast permanently.
The Fight For Equal Pay
In 2017, Rauch and Bialik were engaged in a lengthy pay dispute. They were earning just $100,000 an episode for "The Big Bang Theory," while their other costars were getting $1 million per episode. Their co-stars ultimately decided to drop their own salaries to help make up some of the difference to getting Rauch and Bialik what they deserved.
Rauch is now also one voice of "Batman" villain-turned-anti-hero Harley Quinn. Her natural voice is a lot lower than her squeaky performance and Bernadette, making her a great fit for the show.
Kunal Nayyar - AKA Raj
Kunal Nayyar plays Rajesh Koothrappali, an Indian immigrant to the U.S. who struggles talking to women even after getting over his initial reliance on alcohol. But Nayyar's roots are a little more complicated than those of his famous character...
Born in London, Raised in India
Kunnar was actually born in England before his parents moved to India when he was young. His accent isn't faked for "The Big Bang Theory," and he's even written a book about his globetrotting migrant experiences.
Simon Helberg, The Evolving Howard
Simon Helberg's Howard Wolowitz is a very unlikeable character at first, but over the years he's evolved past his initial role as the show's letch. In reality, Helberg is very different from his character...
An Accomplished Musician
Helberg is a talented pianist. He even played a major role alongside Meryl Streep in the 2016 movie "Florence Foster Jenkins."
Wil Wheaton as Evil Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton plays himself, or at least a version of himself, on "The Big Bang Theory." Wheaton refers to his character on the show as "Evil Wheaton," drawing an important distinction between his real-life persona and the often sadistic character he plays on TV.
Shut Up, Wesley
Wheaton's acting career started when he was very young, when he appeared as the teenage genius Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Wheaton has gone on to become a major nerdy icon, hosting his own podcasts and YouTube shows.
Honesty About Mental Illness
One of the bravest things that Wheaton has done is document his struggles with depression. On social media and on his blog, he's spoken publicly about the challenges that his mental illness has caused him in every day life.