The Big Bang Theory theme song is well known by just about anyone. We all know the signature voices of the Barenaked Ladies that show up after the cold open of every episode. In fact, if you went up to the average person and sang the first line of the song, chances are they'll know the next one. If anything, they'll at least know what you're talking about. We're also willing to bet that you've had the song stuck in your head at least once in your lifetime.
With such a catchy theme song, it's no surprise there are some fun behind-the-scenes tidbits you probably don't know. Here are some of the secrets.
10 IT'S CALLED 'THE HISTORY OF EVERYTHING'
According to Ed Robertson, the Barenaked Ladies' singer-songwriter, the Big Bang Theory producers asked him to essentially write "a short history of everything... in about 32 seconds." This is where the namesake comes from. However, there might be another source of inspiration.
In 2003, non-fiction writer Bill Bryson published a book called A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is exactly what it sounds like. It basically told the history of the world in short, generalized explanations. This book was likely a big source for Robertson's material and probably gave him a lot of helpful hints. The book is even mentioned in the Big Bang Theory Wiki entry for the song.
9 CHUCK LORRE AND BILL PRADY ARE BIG BARENAKED LADIES FANS
Some people are probably wondering why the producers picked this particular band to write the theme song. Well, the reason that the Barenaked Ladies were approached in the first place was that the producers were fans.
And it worked out because it turns out the band is all fans of their work, too. Robertson told CBS News that he basically likes every sitcom Prady has been involved with. It's truly the perfect match.
8 LORRE AND PRADY HAD SEEN THE BARENAKED LADIES PLAY A SONG ABOUT SCIENCE
A 2018 interview with the Barenaked Ladies tells the story of how their match with the Big Bang Theory came to be. Legend has it that one night, the band was playing a gig at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California. Just before the show, Robertson had read a book by physicist Simon Singh, called The Big Bang. The book basically explained the origins of the universe. So, he decided to incorporate a song about cosmology into the improv portion of their show. Guess who happened to be in the audience that night? You guessed it – Lorre and Prady. After that, Lorre and Prady were convinced they found the right band for their theme song.
7 ROBERTSON WROTE THE SONG IN THE SHOWER
At first, Robertson was hesitant about writing the song. But he made a last-minute decision to go for it, and since he was running out of time and they needed it that day, he wrote it in the shower. He sent it over to the producers just moments before they had a call about it, and they loved it.
In fact, they didn't even want to change anything. The only thing they wanted to change was an extra line of the chorus at the end. That's pretty impressive for a song written in the shower that morning.
6 THEY RECORDED A DIFFERENT VERSION FOR THE SERIES FINALE
Unless you've been living under a rock in the last few months and didn't catch the season finale in May, you'd know that the final version of the theme song that was played in the last episode was different. The band returned to the studio to record a special acoustic version, which you can actually stream on your regular service. It was meant to be a nice, touching send-off to the 12-year show. And it worked. Most audiences would agree it was the perfect way to sum up the characters we've become so attached to over the years.
5 IT WASN'T THE FIRST CHOICE
We can't imagine the show with any other theme song. But at one point, Lorre and Prady did. Originally, they were going to go with the song "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby. The plan was to create a new version of it to fit the show because let's be real – the distinct 80s sound wouldn't have really jelled.
If you don't know which song this is, here's the video. You'll know it. However, the producers changed their mind. However, this song never left their minds. In fact, a few times throughout the show, the song could be heard as Howard's ringtone.
4 THE ORIGINAL VERSION WAS ACTUALLY ACOUSTIC
When Robertson first wrote the song, it was an acoustic version. The producers loved it, but Robertson didn't mean for it to be that way. He wanted his bandmates to be in the song. In fact, he pretty much put his foot down and made sure that his bandmates got the opportunity. So, they recorded a new version that featured the full band. Thankfully, the producers loved that version even more than they did the first one, and it stuck.
3 ROBERTSON ALMOST PASSED UP THE OFFER
After he was approached to write the song, Robertson claimed that he was pretty hesitant to agree. Why? Well, he chalked it up to some bad experiences. He claimed he'd written songs for the big and small screens before and they'd all been rejected in some way or another.
That translates to a big huge waste of time. So it's understandable that he didn't really want to go through all of that again. Lorre and Prady finally convinced him when they insisted that he was the only one they'd asked and he was the guy they wanted.
2 THERE IS TECHNICALLY A SCIENTIFIC MISTAKE IN THE SONG LYRICS
According to the Inquisitr, there's a mistake in one of the lyrics. They claim that, contrary to the song, autotrophs can't actually drool. Autotrophs are plants that can feed themselves and technically don't have physical mouths or the ability to produce saliva. So technically this is wrong. Okay, so no one's perfect. Clearly, Robertson is not a scientist, and we'd be willing to bet the average person doesn't really know what an autotroph is. They got all of the big facts right, anyway, so we'd be obliged to give them a pass on that one.
1 THE BAND PLAYED THE SONG LIVE AT COMIC-CON IN 2010
At Comic-Con in 2010, Will Wheaton moderated a Big Bang Theory panel. While introducing the panel, he surprised the audience by bringing out the Barenaked Ladies and having them perform the theme song live, right there. They actually perform the song live regularly, but at Comic-Con it's a whole different meaning.
The TV version is actually only 15 seconds, but the band played the full version, which includes two extra verses and another round of the chorus. Fortunately, they gave out lyric sheets to everyone in the panel so they could sing along.