Everything You Need to Know Before Watching the 'Big Bang Theory' Series Finale

The CBS comedy is ending after 12 seasons

The end is almost here for The Big Bang Theory.

After 12 seasons, multiple Emmy Award victories, and a spinoff titled Young Sheldon, the longtime CBS comedy is coming to a close.

Since premiering in 2007, The Big Bang Theory has consistently ranked as one of the highest-rated shows on CBS. In addition, Jim Parsons, who plays theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, won four Emmys.

Here is everything you need to know about the finale for one of television’s most successful sitcoms.

Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty

When does it air?

The sitcom will finish in a supersized night on CBS, with a full hour of goodbyes to the cast beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 16.

The finale will be split into two episodes: the first is titled “The Change Constant” while the second is “The Stockholm Syndrome.”

Who’s in it?

It wouldn’t be a series finale if the whole gang wasn’t there! The final hour will feature the main group: Leonard Holfstadter (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon Cooper (Parsons), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz (Melissa Rauch), Rajesh “Raj” Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), and Stuart Bloom (Kevin Sussman).

In addition, recurring characters such as Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski), Bertram “Bert” Kimbler (Brian Posehn), and V.M. Koothrappali (Brian George) are poised to make their final appearances.


What’s going to happen?

While the producers and cast members have managed to stay mum about specific details, some teases have been given about how it’s all going to end.

For starters, fans can expect the finale to feature Sheldon and Amy awaiting some “big news,” while Howard and Bernadette continue their growth as parents when they struggle to leave their children alone for the first time. The final hour will also see Penny and Leonard struggling to keep a secret, while Raj makes a new friend.

Beyond that, the show has kept most things under wraps. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Kaley Cuoco said she was “thrilled” with the evolution of former Cheesecake Factory waitress Penny, while Kunal Nayyar revealed on the Ellen Degeneres Show that he “cried a lot” after he wrapped playing Raj.

If the show’s ending is anything like the production wrap-up, it can be described in one word: emotional.

While fans are theorizing all the different ways the longtime comedy could finish, the cast’s final moments were an extremely bitter sweet one, with many of them posting tributes to their characters and their time on the show on Instagram.


In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, creator Chuck Lorre described the finale as a “wonderfully done episode.”

Luckily for fans, some of the show’s biggest mysteries will be solved, according to executive producer Steve Malaro. He told Glamour, “Some big moments will be checked off, and others will remain elusive. There’s also a chance some things you didn’t even know you wanted answers to will finally be uncovered. It’s often our goal to keep people surprised, so that was part of [our finale strategy].”

But the very last scene of the whole series will come as a surprise not only to the fans, but also to the entire cast.

“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 said. “That way it will also make the night extra special for those who were at the taping because there’s an extra piece.”

The series finale of The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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