25 Wild Details Behind The Making Of The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory may be in the midst of its final season, but the series has provided laughs since 2007. Most people know the general gist of the show, which is about a group of nerds who become friends with the girl next door.
The Big Bang Theory was co-created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar. Over the years, the showrunners have included new characters, new storylines, and new gags, but the show was always revolved around Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, Raj, and Penny.
For the past 11 years and nearly 300 episodes, fans have tuned in on a weekly basis to see what the gang was up to, but there are some even more interesting things that happened behind-the-scenes of the show. Since the show has been on the air for so long, there are plenty of wild stories about things that happened while the cameras weren’t rolling. There are fascinating stories about the cast behind the popular characters, the showrunners who created the show, and even about the word “Bazinga.”
Here are the 25 Wild Details Behind The Making Of The Big Bang Theory.
25 Mayim Bialik Is Really Smart In Real Life
All of the characters on The Big Bang Theory aren’t just geeks, but are incredibly smart people. One of these characters is named Amy Farrah Fowler, played by actress Mayim Bialik. The character is Sheldon’s best friend and wife, but she works as a Neurobiologist.
In real life, Bialik is incredibly intelligent and even has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Amy was introduced on The Big Bang Theory in season 3, but the actress was mentioned in the first season when the gang was suggesting people who could replace Sheldon on their physics team. Raj mentions that the actress from the show Blossom is very smart and has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, which is, of course, true.
24 Jim Parsons Isn’t Really A Fan Of Doctor Who Or Star Trek
When it comes to movies, TV shows, and comic books, the gang on The Big Bang Theory know it all. The friends are known for being extremely intelligent, both with science as well as all elements of geek culture. Some of Sheldon’s favorite shows on The Big Bang Theory are Doctor Who and Star Trek, but actor Jim Parsons doesn’t really consider himself a fan.
Sheldon can name specific events that happened in the Star Trek universe, but Parsons hasn’t even seen a single episode of the show. Good thing he has other people who can do Star Trek research for him.
23 Johnny Galecki And Kaley Cuoco Dated In Real Life
At first, it seemed like Howard would never stand a chance with Penny, but they started to date after a while and eventually got married. With that in mind, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco also dated in real life for a while.
The pair dated for around two years, but decided to keep their relationship a secret so that it didn’t affect people’s thoughts about their characters on The Big Bang Theory. In 2018, Cuoco happily married Karl Cook, and Johnny Galecki is currently dating a woman named Alaina Meyer.
22 CBS Almost Sued A Copy Cat Show In Belarus
With any popular sitcom, there are bound to be other countries that try to duplicate it. The US successfully remade The Office, and the show has also been made in several other countries. The same thing happened to The Big Bang Theory with the country Belarus, but CBS almost sued for copyright purposes.
Since the production company in Belarus was owned by the government, it was difficult for Chuck Lorre to sue them, but when people in Belarus realized the show was a ripoff, most people stopped watching it.
21 There Was An Original Pilot That Was Very Different
Some may not know, but there were actually two pilots filmed for The Big Bang Theory, but only one ended up on the air. The original pilot was a lot different and the actual show. The pilot starred Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons, but Kaley Cuoco was replaced by actress Amanda Walsh, who played a character named Katie.
While Penny is often seen as a mean character, Katie was even more abrasive, so CBS decided to pass on the series. Thankfully, CBS gave Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady a second shot, and the rest is history.
20 There Are Species Of Animals Named After Sheldon’s Catchphrase
It isn’t uncommon for people to name new species of animals and insects off of pop culture icons, but one word from The Big Bang Theory inspired the naming of two different animal species. Since The Big Bang Theory deals with science and pop culture, a new species of bee and jellyfish were named after the show.
In 2012, a new orchid bee species was named Euglossa bazinga, after Sheldon’s popular “Bazinga” catchphrase. A year later, another scientist discovered a new species of Jellyfish and named it Bazinga Rieki.
19 Kate Micucci Originally Auditioned For Amy
Most people love Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler, but the role almost went to a different actress. Actress Kate Micucci actually auditioned for the role of Amy, but didn’t get the job. Micucci left an impression on the casting department, however, since she was called back to play the character Lucy.
Though Micucci auditioned for Amy, her character Lucy didn’t last on the show as long as Amy did. Lucy hasn’t been seen since season 10, but was a love interest to Raj for a while in a handful of episodes.
18 The Word Bazinga Has A Surprise Origin
Sheldon Cooper didn’t utter the word “Bazinga” until the season 2 finale, but since then, it has become one of his most memorable catchphrases, inspiring tons of merchandise with the phrase. The Big Bang Theory is often credited with coining the term, but the word actually has a surprising origin.
The word actually comes from writer Stephen Engel, who would say the word whenever he pulled a prank on other writers. One of the most known pranks involved Engel giving Bill Prady a grapefruit that was hollowed out and put back together.
17 The Series Got A 3 Season Renewal, Twice
Even though there are a fair share of people who don’t care for The Big Bang Theory, the season has been incredibly successful for CBS. The series was so successful that CBS even ordered a three-season renewal at two different points of the show's run.
Networks will often renew a show at a season at a time or even give a series a two-season renewal, but CBS was so confident that they often ordered three seasons at a time. Not only is this fairly rare, but it goes to show how confident CBS was in their series.
16 There Is Only One Set For All Three Elevator Floors
One of the more notorious elements of The Big Bang Theory is the broken elevator. Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny all lived on the fourth floor of their apartment building, meaning they would walk up several flights of stairs to get to their apartments.
Some may think that each floor is a different set, but all three floors are actually the same set, just redecorated to look different. There are also only two flights of stairs, one going up, and one going down. This may not be that surprising since it saves money on more sets, but it's still a crazy detail none the less.
15 Bill Prady’s Life As A Computer Programmer Inspired The Show
Many people know that Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady created The Big Bang Theory, but not very many people know that the show was partly inspired by Prady’s life. The basic premise for The Big Bang Theory was inspired by Prady’s days as a computer programmer in the 1980s.
Prady apparently worked with a group of guys who were extremely intelligent, but had trouble with other aspects in life, such as talking to women. Prady has been vocal about this before, so his former co-workers probably have mixed feelings about having a show based off of them.
14 Ed Robertson Almost Didn’t Do The Theme Song
One of the most memorable elements of The Big Bang Theory is the theme song. The theme song is performed by the band the Barenaked Ladies, but that almost wasn’t the case. In an interview with CBS News, Ed Robertson explained that he had put a lot of effort into more songs for other movies and TV shows, only for the opportunities to fall through.
Robertson said the creators of The Big Bang Theory hadn’t approached any other bands and that he had just finished reading a book about the Big Bang, so he decided to write the theme.
13 Jim Parsons Didn’t Know Who Chuck Lorre Was
Chuck Lorre has had a very successful career in television. He has written and produced for several major TV shows, such as Roseanne, Two and a Half Men, and, of course, The Big Bang Theory. While many people are familiar with Lorre’s work, actor Jim Parsons apparently was not.
When appearing on David Letterman a few years ago, Parsons revealed that he didn’t know who Chuck Lorre was and thought his agent was having him audition for a Chuck Woolery pilot. Needless to say, Parsons was confused about his agent's enthusiasm.
12 Wil Wheaton Wanted To Be A Villain On The Show
Wil Wheaton is an actor known for his roles in Stand by Me, Toy Soldiers, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but he is also a big fan of The Big Bang Theory. After posting on Twitter about his love for the show, one of the shows writers reached out to see if he would be interested in a role on the show, and he definitely was.
He found out that they were looking for a nemesis for Sheldon, which Wheaton was thrilled about since he finds it more fun to play a villain than a hero, which he explained in an interview with Larry King.
11 The Cast Makes A Ton Of Money
Since The Big Bang Theory has become so popular, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the cast makes a ton of money. As of August 2018, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar all make $900,000 per episode.
Even supporting actresses like Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch make a ton of dough, raking in around $500,000 per episode. It was also reported that Jim Parsons was offered $50 million to stay on the show for two more seasons after season 12, but he didn’t accept.
10 There Is A Secret About Howard’s Alien Pins
Simon Helberg’s character Howard has an interesting style, to say the least. The character is known for his tight pants as well as his elaborate belts that go with all of his outfits. Howard is also often seen wearing an alien pin on his collar.
For years, fans have been wondering the meaning of the pins, but it is apparently an inside joke between Helberg and costume designer Mary T. Quigley. While there is some type of reasoning behind Howard’s pins, both Quigley and Helberg have decided to keep it a secret.
9 Sheldon And Leonard Were Given Their Names For A Reason
Sheldon and Leonard may not be super rare names, but Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons were given those names for a specific reason. Sheldon and Leonard were named after television producer Sheldon Leonard, who is known for his work on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Leonard was also an actor, starring in movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, To Have and Have Not, and Guys and Dolls. Leonard passed away in 1997 at the age of 90, but his legacy lives on to this day partly because of The Big Bang Theory.
8 Leonard’s Glasses Don’t Have Lenses In Them
Johnny Galecki may have a fairly simple outfit on The Big Bang Theory, but the actor has to wear glasses for his character. Galecki doesn’t actually wear glasses in real life, so when the cameras are rolling, he wears lensless glasses.
Galecki has explained that he wanted his character to wear glasses, but since the lenses caused a glare from all of the lights on set, he just popped them out. When watching the show, its hard to tell that the glasses don’t have lenses, but there are some scenes where viewers can definitely tell that the glasses do not have lenses in them.
7 Melissa Rauch’s Mom Inspired The Voice Of Bernadette
Melissa Rauch has been in several other projects besides The Big Bang Theory, such as The Bronze, and has also provided voice work for projects like Batman and Harley Quinn and Ice Age: Collision Course. Rauch no doubt has a unique voice, more so on The Big Bang Theory than some of her other work.
Bernadette Rostenkowski’s voice on the show is incredibly high pitched, and Rauch has revealed that she based the character’s voice off of her mother. She explained in an interview with The Rubin Report that her mom’s voice is very high-pitched like Bernadette’s, only she doesn’t have a Boston accent.
6 There Is A Giant Closet On Set Full Of Costumes
Anybody who has seen an episode of The Big Bang Theory knows that each character has a distinct fashion sense. Sheldon is known for wearing t-shirts over a long sleeve shirt, Leonard for his hoodies, and Howard for his tight pants and belt buckles.
The wardrobe department obviously has their work cut out for them by creating costumes for this many characters, but they actually have a huge closet on set full of different costumes for the characters. Simon Helberg even has his own room full of his clothing since his costumes are so elaborate.
5 The Cast Doesn’t Really Eat On Set
There are many continuity mistakes on The Big Bang Theory, but one element of the show that fans have picked up on is that the actors don’t actually eat on set. Most of the time when a character has food in front of them, they either just push their food around or pretend to chew it.
They even have techniques like inspecting the food and dropping it back onto the plate. The exact reasoning for this isn’t really known, but it’s likely harder to deliver lines while you have food in your mouth.
4 Kaley Cuoco’s Sister Choreographed A Call Me Maybe Flash Mob
Kaley Cuoco is no doubt a successful actress, but her sister has also made a small splash in Hollywood. Briana Cuoco has appeared in a few TV shows over the years and even had a role in one episode of The Big Bang Theory.
The actress also choreographed a flash mob that the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory performed for a live audience and the program’s showrunners. The flash mob was performed back in 2012 during the time that Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe” was super popular.
3 A Line About Chuck Lorre’s Musical Past Slipped Into The Show
Most people know Chuck Lorre for his work on The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, but he is also well known in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world. The TV producer actually wrote the theme for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a joke about it slipped into The Big Bang Theory during one episode.
In one episode, the gang is talking about how the Spider-Man theme song is inaccurate, which leads Sheldon and the gang to sing part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song.
2 They Have An Official Science Advisor On Set
Since The Big Bang Theory has main characters that are incredibly smart, it’s important to make sure the writers get the facts right pertaining to pop culture references and scientific matters. In order to make this happen, CBS hired David Saltzberg as a science consultant for the show.
Saltzberg makes sure the scripts are scientifically accurate, and also makes sure that the sets and props are authentic. While having Saltzberg on set certainly makes the show more authentic, there are times when mistakes do slip through into the finished TV episodes.
1 Several Of The Cast Members Can Play Instruments
The gang has several hobbies, such as playing video games and collecting comic books, but many of them also play musical instruments. Prior to working on The Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki learned how to play the cello, which was implemented into Leonard’s character.
Also, Raj and Sheldon can be seen playing the instrument the theremin on the show. While Parsons had known how to play the instrument before working on The Big Bang Theory, Kunal Nayyar learned how to play it specifically for the show.
Are there any other crazy facts you know about The Big Bang Theory? Let us know in the comments!