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How The Big Bang Theory Paid Tribute To Stephen Hawking

jim parsons and stephen hawking big bang theory
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of CBS)

This week, the world is saying farewell to one of the most brilliant minds ever to call it home, as renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking passed away at 76, after suffering with ALS since 1963. Hawking wasn't only celebrated within the science community, of course, as he'd carved out a comfortable spot for himself within the world of pop culture, thanks to multiple guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory, among other TV shows. To be expected, the CBS comedy's cast and crew took to social media to share their saddened thoughts about Hawking's death.

To start, the official Big Bang Theory account posted a relatively simple but heartfelt goodbye to a guest star that never failed to make all the other characters look a little more mediocre in comparison. (Hawking made his first Big Bang guest appearance back in 2012 for the Season 5 episode, "The Hawking Excitation.")

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Star Mayim Bialik shared her thoughts about Stephen Hawking's death while also semi-celebrating Pi Day, March 14. (The date is also Albert Einstein's birthday, connecting the men through something other than physics.) Though Bialik doesn't say it, we have to assume that Hawking was just blindly expected to be involved in Sheldon and Amy's wedding whenever it happens.

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Just because The Big Bang Theory made Sheldon the mental contemporary for Stephen Hawking, that doesn't mean the other characters and actors didn't hold much appreciation for the man's brilliance and his ability to look on the bright side of life. [whistles] Below, Johnny Galecki shared his kind words, plus a fitting Hawking quote.

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And, of course, Galecki's onscreen significant other Kaley Cuoco also took to social media to appreciate Hawking for what he did not only to inspire everyone on the show, but also everyone in the world.

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You might expect The Big Bang Theory's co-creator and writer Bill Prady to have a bigger and more poetic farewell for Stephen Hawking, but he's arguably got the simplest one of all. Not that it makes it any less emotionally sound.

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And even though The Office U.K.'s co-creator Stephen Merchant has never appeared on the long-running CBS sitcom, he did bring the show up when amusingly honoring Hawking's memory.

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Big Bang Theory fans were also very vocal on social media about Stephen Hawking's death, with many wondering just what the show is going to do to honor the physicist during an actual episode. An in memoriam placard will definitely be used, but one wouldn't be a fool for thinking the characters themselves will reference the death in-universe. Possibly next season, if Season 11's final episodes have already been filmed.

CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Stephen Hawking during their time of mourning. Head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.