The Big Bang Theory is ending after being on the air for more than a decade - but how will it end? Given the status of The Big Bang Theory's seven main characters, here's how we think the sitcom will wrap up their respective arcs after 12 seasons.
For years, the Pasadena gang has regularly graced the screen. We've seen them go through ups and downs, both in their professional and personal lives. Debuting in 2007 with Penny, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj, the group expanded by season 4 with the addition of Bernadette and Amy. Since then, the squad has been inseparable with most of them eventually marrying each other. Their adventures still capture the interest of the general public as The Big Bang Theory continues to dominate ratings week-after-week, with CBS supposedly looking to greenlight another year. But with lead star Parsons reportedly reluctant to reprise his character, Sheldon, past season 12, the network opted to end the sitcom altogether.
Since its final season premiered, The Big Bang Theory fans tune in to find out how the show's shaping up leading to its much-anticipated series finale. However, there isn't any active, over-arching story in the current season that will be resolved, outside of Sheldon and Amy's bid for a Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in Super Asymmetry. Nevertheless, viewers are hoping that the writers have cooked up something special that will be a fitting ending to their characters' journeys. Here's where we think each of the characters will end up being in The Big Bang Theory's finale.
The inaugural couple of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Penny provided the romantic angle for the show in its early seasons. The pair has gone through a lot to make their relationship work - from their on-and-off again dating life to their controversial first wedding that forced them to do another one. But The Big Bang Theory fans know that, in recent years, they have been cast aside to shine a light on other characters. Since they tied the knot, there hasn't been many major milestones in their relationship. Sure, Penny transitioned to a brand new industry while Leonard thrived being at CalTech, but their life as a married couple have yet to truly progress. While a steady, strong relationship never hurt anyone, this is incredibly frustrating for fans. The show tried to give them something to work on with the kids or no kids debacle early in the season, but their storyline became so convoluted that now it's no longer at play and without any concrete conclusion.
Taking all these into consideration, The Big Bang Theory needs to take some big swings if they want to send the Hofstadters off in a special way, rather than them simply continuing with their routine as they have over the last few years. Sadly, it seems like they've veered further away from the pregnancy plot line that everyone has been clamoring for. Suddenly introducing it in the last two episodes of the show would be nothing but fan service. Beverly's visit in The Big Bang Theory, on the other hand, may pave the way for a potential move cross-country in order to spend more time with her especially after she patched things up with her son after years of their toxic relationship. If not, the finale could see the couple finally having their long-overdue honeymoon which would leave them in a romantic place - a great homage to the show's best love story. In any case, the show shouldn't leave the couple with nothing exciting to look forward to as it ends.
Unlike Penny and Leonard, there's a more streamlined path for how The Big Bang Theory could end Amy and Sheldon's story. Being the center of a tumultuous process to nab a Nobel Prize in Physics, much of their arc since getting married last season has been devoted to their study about Super Asymmetry. Following a few hurdles along the way, that even opened up the opportunity for a Young Sheldon crossover, Amy and Sheldon are now at the final leg of the campaign, and from the looks of it, there's a good chance that they'll get the award, especially after Dr. Campbell and Dr. Pemberton were booted out of the race.
The question now is whether or not The Big Bang Theory will actually give the Coopers the Nobel and cap off their stories in a cliche ending. Sheldon has been working his whole life for this accolade, evidenced by Young Sheldon. But many are arguing that they may not deserve the prize, and since we don't know who they're up against, except for Campbell and Pemberton because nominations are done in private, it's hard to gauge their chances. All that said, there's little possibility that The Big Bang Theory would stretch this story for so long only to see Amy and Sheldon fail. They'll likely win the Nobel, but there's going to be a minor subplot in conjunction to this bigger arc in play, perhaps that they're also expecting a baby.
Arguably the most fleshed-out relationship in The Big Bang Theory, Howard and Bernadette were the first to get married in the series. And because of this, we saw a lot of their life as a married couple over the years, including becoming a family of four with the arrival of Halley and Michael. Individually, they had a lot going on for themselves as well. Howard has gone to space while Bernadette graduated from Cheesecake Factory waitress to a top pharmaceutical executive. Given all this, there hasn't been any major shake-ups for the Wolowitzs, and chances are that it would be like that until the show wraps up - unless the mystery of Howard's father suddenly gets resolved in the finale.
It's one of the lingering questions in The Big Bang Theory, and it became a plot point several seasons ago when, along with the reveal of Howard's half-brother Josh, it was revealed Sam Wolowitz sent his son a secret letter. But after that, the loose plot point has been cast aside with no mention of it. With teases of a big cameo in The Big Bang Theory series finale, it could be someone with ties to the any of the main characters, and Howard's father is arguably the most sensible choice for the surprise guest to play.
Out of the seven main The Big Bang Theory characters, Raj has always been the one to get the shorter end of the stick, season after season. His last major development, one that didn't include a random love interest, was last season when he confronted Howard about constantly bullying him. Raj found a new sense of confidence following that, branching out with a side job at the observatory, but his progress was weighed down with the introduction of the arranged marriage between him and Anu at the beginning of season 12. Now, even that plotline is no longer going anywhere, with the couple breaking up at the last minute in the latest episode. So where does this leave Raj?
At this point, Raj's storyline can pretty much go anywhere. But, with Howard's words of encouragement regarding meeting someone perfectly compatible to him, The Big Bang Theory could be setting up a reveal of another potential love interest for the perpetual third wheel - and this time, this person may actually be the one for him. It may not be further explored on screen, but it leaves the character in a better place as he moves on with his life.
Regardless of what The Big Bang Theory finale holds for the shows' main characters, fans can only hope that it wraps up their respective stories beautifully. There were questionable narrative decisions throughout season 12, but with two more episodes left, they can still send off these characters in the best way possible.
The Big Bang Theory series finale and the Young Sheldon season 2 finale air May 16 on CBS