Why The Big Bang Theory Went With That Huge Surprise

Big, banging spoilers for The Big Bang Theory’s latest episode are below.

For almost the entirety of Season 9, The Big Bang Theory has put the main narrative focus on the newlyweds Penny and Leonard, as well as the recoupled and sexed-up Amy and Sheldon. But tonight shined a bigger spotlight over on Howard and Bernadette, as the latter revealed to the world, and to the rabbit Valentino, that she is pregnant. After those first few “holy shit” seconds, the mind wanders to how this shocking moment came to be. According to showrunner Steve Molaro, it was an impulsive decision preceded by a long time of not firmly working the pregnancy in elsewhere.

Saying that Bernadette’s pregnancy wasn’t even in the episode’s outline, Molaro supposed “maternity was in the air” thanks to Melissa Rauch’s character taking care of the aforementioned rabbit, who busted up the couple’s Valentine’s Day hot tub frolicking. Says Molaro:

Half-kidding, I said, ‘What if Bernadette tells the rabbit, ' ’We'll find another time to tell him I'm pregnant.' ‘ The room had such a strong, positive reaction to it. We thought it seemed like an organic moment and we decided to put it in. Because there was no plan for it, it felt very exciting to us when we did it; like it was a thing that should happen and maybe this was the time to do it. I handed [co-creator] Chuck Lorre the draft of the script and didn't tell him it was in there. He got to the end and thought, ‘Wow, OK sure, that totally makes sense. Let's do it.’

Some might think that just throwing something as big as a pregnancy into a hit series on the spur of the moment cheapens it, but that situation mirrors the actual discovery of a pregnancy, so it works for me. Molaro also goes on to tell THR that they’re interested in taking on the life-altering task partly because it’s the kind of life event that rarely feels like it’s happening at a time that is necessarily “right.”

Now, I’m not quite as supportive of the writing team opening up the floodgates for this group to start making pop culture references to pregnancy ad nauseum, and we all know how much of a shark-jump adding a baby is to a TV show. But for now, I’ll just congratulate Bernadette on her impending arrival, while waiting to see how Howard finds out. That should be quite the reaction.


As Molaro points out, Bernadette being in the beginnings of a pregnancy now mean the baby still wouldn’t get here until Season 10, rumored to be the last(but maybe not). That’s enough time for Meemaw to return and for Sheldon to propose to Amy. Could this show possibly handle having all three female leads pregnant simultaneously?

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights on CBS.

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

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.