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The Big Bang Theory came to a close in May 2019 after a whopping 12 seasons on CBS. The sitcom's run was (mostly) insanely successful, with the show being popular enough not just to make the cast huge stars and keep the show on the air for so many years, but to make Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialik, Jim Parsons, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch and Simon Helberg some of the highest paid actors on television.
With the show's history as a pop culture juggernaut, though, there were a lot of things about it which could lead a long-time viewer to continue to ponder some questions about the characters and their storylines, even now. Sure, the lives of Penny, Leonard, Amy, Sheldon, Raj, Bernadette, and Howard were pretty neatly tied up by the series finale, but there are six things about The Big Bang Theory that I'm still wondering about. Without further ado, let's dive in!
How Did Leonard, Howard And Raj Tolerate Sheldon For So Many Years Without Murdering Him?
Roommate agreements. Friendship agreements. A special spot on the couch that no one else was allowed to sit in if Sheldon was around. His infamous repeating knock-and-say-your-name pattern. Making his friends drive him everywhere, even though he eventually got his license. Sheldon was a character filled with oddities which made plenty of fans laugh on a weekly basis, but let's be honest, if you had to deal with this dude in person everyday... wouldn't you kinda want to kill him after a while?
I mean, Sheldon really is not a great person to be around. He's selfish, arrogant, set in his ways, and frequently belittling of his supposed friends and their accomplishments. Even if you were to begin a tentative friendship with Sheldon, wouldn't you be more likely to give him the ol' heave ho (into a dumpster) than to just keep dealing with the barrage of his insults and annoyances for almost two decades? Yeah, you would.
What Was Penny's Maiden Name?
This may be, by far, the biggest on-going mystery when it comes to The Big Bang Theory, and we all know it. By the time the show rode off to that big streaming deal in the sitcom sky, fans were given a core group of seven characters, all with catchy names, and most of them with surnames that really stood out. But, among all their Rostenkowski-Wolowitzs, Hofstadters, and Koothrappalis, we got Penny. Just... plain old Penny.
Now, you could be forgiven for holding out hope that The Big Bang Theory would give us the (eventual) Penny Hofstadter's maiden name. If every other main character on the show got to have a last name (And, several of the secondary/tertiary characters, as well... Hell even Stuart and Bert got the surnames Bloom and Kibbler, respectively.), why didn't Penny? The even bigger surprise is that when we finally met most of her nuclear family (dad Wyatt, mom Susan and brother Randall) we still don't get a confirmation that these folks have a surname on any of their legal documents. I hope this wasn't TBBT's way of telling us that Penny's maiden name didn't matter, because she'd become a Hofstadter eventually. Naw, the show's too good-natured for that, right?
What The Hell Was Wrong With Raj?
After some very slow progress when it came to his relationships with women, I spent most of The Big Bang Theory with hope that Raj would really end up in a good place. Alas, it was not to be, and I'm truly left wondering what the hell was wrong with this weirdo? Raj began the sitcom as a very smart young man who couldn't talk to any woman, unless he'd been drinking alcohol. By the end of the final season, though, Raj had spent several seasons dating and talking to lady-folk without the need for adult libations.
Things were going pretty good with Anu until she got offered her dream job in London. Raj now had to follow her, or stay behind with his booed-up buddies. What did Raj do? He allowed Howard, who was married to Bernadette and had two children by then, to stop him from going with Anu. This has to be a sign of some deep mental issues on Raj's part. He was the only central male character with a romantic heart; who had wanted a serious relationship from the beginning of the show. It makes absolutely no sense that he would turn down a shot at love for dumbass Howard, who somehow got lucky enough to have a family of his own. Why? Would? This? Happen?
Will Penny Really Be Happy As A Mother?
Penny and Leonard were the most long-standing of the will-they-or-won't-they couples on The Big Bang Theory, but we all know that they finally did, and got all hitched up a few seasons before the series ended. Did they seem pretty happy as couple? Oh, sure. Until, that is, Leonard revealed how important being a father was to him, which conveniently came during the final season. It makes sense that Penny wouldn't bring up her thoughts on motherhood. That woman was not a planner. Leonard really should have known better, though. Unfortunately, he was so worried about getting his dream girl to fall for him, that he didn't think beyond that, and just assumed Penny would want kids.
Season 12 saw them fight about Leonard's wish for children several times, and then (miraculously) Penny was pregnant by the series' end. But, just because someone realizes they're about to be a parent doesn't mean that they're really on board with all that that entails, especially if that person has voiced a negative opinion of parenthood several times. I almost would have liked to see how Penny as a mom turned out. Would she have genuinely changed her mind about the experience from living through it? Or, would she have complained the whole way and tried to make Leonard do everything? We'll never know.
Will Howard Ever Stop Dressing Like That?
I know, I know. With the exception of Penny, every main character had an actual uniform. Sheldon and his superhero t-shirts over long-sleeved shirts. Leonard and his hoodies. Amy and her sensible shoes and dowdy skirts (until her last-minute Season 12 makeover, anyway). But, of all the --sometimes questionable-- fashion choices these folks made, Howard was at the top of the negative sartorial gifts column. And yet, he managed to nab Bernadette (a basically reasonable character) with his too-tight pants, dickie all year round (In California!) under long sleeved shirt, giant crazy belt buckles and Beatles haircut look.
So, I can't help but wonder: What will Howard look like in a decade? He'll have kids who are well into their school-going years by then. Will the way he dresses just be normal to them, or will they get a good look at the other parents around and be embarrassed by him? Will Howard be moved to help Halle and Neil out if they are embarrassed, and at least phase out the more ridiculous aspects of his wardrobe? I mean, if he didn't do it after becoming an astronaut, what are the chances he does it for his children?
Are Amy And Sheldon Really Going To Have Kids?
Well, this kinda brings us full circle, doesn't it? Because, you know, Sheldon is terrible and I can't imagine him being a parent, much less a really good one. I can easily admit that Sheldon Cooper was a much better man by the time The Big Bang Theory ended compared to when it began, and there's just one reason for that: Amy Farrah Fowler. She set her sights on Sheldon and made him bow to her will so gradually over the course of a little bit over nine seasons (!!!), that I'm not sure she can truly convince him that being a parent is a good step before they're both too old to raise kids.
Sure, Sheldon has his Nobel Prize now, so Amy might be able to make inroads in a "you've made a major career goal, now let's slow down a bit and have kids" kind of way, but that dude is nothing if not tricky to navigate. Can't you see that accomplishment sending him into a year-long tailspin as he tries to find something else in his work life worthy of that sort of dedication again? Not to mention the fact that he might just tell Amy he doesn't want to be a parent, and her having to break him down over years. All we know at this point is that, from what his Young Sheldon narration tells us, he will eventually be forced to make up relationship agreements for the kids they have, but, honestly? I'm not seeing it. Are you?
You can watch The Big Bang Theory on HBO Max right now. Did I miss any of the questions you still have about the long-running hit? Let us know in the comments below!
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Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.