How The Big Bang Theory's Series Finale Landed Sarah Michelle Gellar's Cameo

The Big Bang Theory Sarah Michelle Gellar Kunal Nayyar Raj Koothrappali CBS

(Image credit: The Big Bang Theory / CBS Screenshot)

The Big Bang Theory gave fans an eventful series finale complete with a surprising cameo. Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar made an appearance in the final episode. Gellar attended Amy and Sheldon’s Nobel Prize ceremony as the recently single Raj’s date.

The Big Bang Theory is known for getting its share of famous faces to put in an appearance. How did the show land Sarah Michelle Gellar for a cameo? The Big Bang Theory’s showrunner, Steven Holland, explained how the moment came about, telling TVLine:

I’ve been a fan of Buffy for years. It’s probably the show I’ve watched more than any other. I think a lot of our writers are fans of Buffy. [Having Sarah in the finale] felt like a fun, like, deeper-reel pull that would be exciting to us and exciting to these characters. . . . Chuck got on the phone with [Sarah] and, luckily, the conversation got started with her saying that her family is a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory. At that point, we felt like it was going to work out. Then it was just a matter of figuring out the logistics and the scheduling.

How cool is it that Sarah Michelle Gellar and her family are fans of The Big Bang Theory? Pretty cool, and yes, a good sign that she would be willing to put in an appearance. How could she possibly turn down the chance to cameo in the last ever episode of a personal favorite?

Thankfully, her schedule ended up allowing for it, as if her cameo was meant to be! The Big Bang Theory’s showrunner also revealed that the decision to have Sarah Michelle Gellar guest star did not occur early on. Instead, it came to them later on when they were writing the season.

Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as “herself” as opposed to playing a character. Hence, she and Raj attended the Nobel Prize ceremony as friends. Gellar is married in real life, which is why there couldn't be anything romantic between the two. Showrunner Steve Holland clarified Gellar and Raj’s platonic date night, saying:

There is a line in there where she says to him, ‘This is not a date.’ We’re aware Sarah Michelle Gellar is fairly famously married in real life [to Freddie Prinze Jr.], so we didn’t want there to be any confusion there.

Raj ended his time on The Big Bang Theory single. A development that occurred after his relationship with Anu shockingly came to an end in the series’ penultimate episode. This development also meant that Raj did not have Anu to take with him as a date to Amy and Sheldon’s big ceremony.

Thanks to Sarah Michelle Gellar, he did not have to go unaccompanied. Seeing Gellar in the audience even caused Sheldon to take a break towards the beginning of his beautiful speech. Spotting Gellar next to Raj, Sheldon asked: “Is that Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” Gellar waves to Sheldon from the audience with an ecstatic Raj enthusiastically nodding “yes” and a stunned Sheldon waves back.

The Big Bang Theory landed some impressive cameos during its run, and it ended with another. One that undoubtedly meant a lot to fans and the show itself. Side note: It is incredibly weird to write about The Big Bang Theory in the past tense.

The series finale was watched by a lot of viewers. After it finished its run, the show’s spinoff, Young Sheldon paid tribute to The Big Bang Theory’s main characters in a fun way.

Check out Sarah Michelle Gellar during Sheldon’s speech in the video below. The moment starts at the 2:02 mark.

The Big Bang Theory is over. However, Young Sheldon will continue to carry the series’ mantle. It will return for its third season next fall in its parent series’ old timeslot – 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.