Johnny Galecki, who has played awkward but loveable scientist Leonard Hofstadter for over a decade at this point, was recently asked about when The Big Bang Theory will come to an end. In the interview, conducted at the Television Critics Association's Winter Press Tour, he hinted that the show might be ending after the upcoming season 12.
'The only manner in which the cast has discussed wrapping the show has been that we’re all going to be very sad when that day comes' he said. 'But I think at this point everyone is very comfortable with 12 seasons being a good time to go home and see our families.'
The show is currently midway through season 11, which would only leave one more full season, if Galecki's musings prove to be true. While there is definitely a contingent of viewers out there who seem to resent the show and its astronomical success, the legion of fans that tune in every week for the gang's geeky adventures will surely be sad to see it go into the great TV beyond.
We've constructed this quiz precisely for those fans, then. The people that have watched Leonard, Sheldon, Penny and the rest of the group make them laugh right from the show's debut in September 2007 until the present day. This quiz will test their knowledge of the show greatly. In fact, they might need an IQ similar to Sheldon's in order to get all 35 questions right...
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1Which one of these men is NOT part of the core group?
The Big Bang Theory is one of the biggest sitcoms on television. It is currently in its eleventh season, and in the last five seasons has pulled in an average of between 18 and 20 million viewers per episode. This popularity has led to the principal actors on the show being able to command more and more power, and they all now earn $1 million per episode! The series follows the lives of four nerdy male scientists living in Pasadena, and the sexy neighbour named Penny who moves in opposite two of them.
2Where is Penny originally from?
Penny, played by Kaley Cuoco (8 Simple Rules, Charmed) is the female lead of the show. When she moves in opposite Leonard and Sheldon in the pilot, Leonard immediately falls for her. Penny is the exact opposite of the socially awkward and geeky guys; she is outgoing and vivacious and fun. Penny's surname has never been revealed on the show (the only character with which this is the case), but we have met her mother and brother, and heard a lot about her childhood growing up in a small town in...
3What is Leonard's mother Beverly Hofstadter's profession?
Christine Baranski's (Cybill, The Good Wife) Beverly Hofstadter is undoubtedly one of the public's favourite recurring characters on The Big Bang Theory. She is Leonard's cold, distant and aloof mother, and he is always pointing out how her parenting style has screwed him up in many ways. While, admittedly, the idea of a mother who treats her son with such coldness doesn't sound very funny, Baranski manages to wring every last bit of humour out of Beverly's stand-offish nature. In many ways, she's like a female Sheldon, which would explain why they get along so well!
4Where is Sheldon originally from?
Sheldon Cooper, played with brilliantly aloof whimsy by Jim Parsons, has always been The Big Bang Theory's breakout character. Parsons has won four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sheldon, and a spin-off recently debuted, detailing Sheldon's childhood. It is title, appropriately, Young Sheldon. The character's upbringing was often mentioned on the show, even before the spin-off came to be. Sheldon, a child prodigy with genius-level intellect but little understanding of social conventions, grew up with a highly religious mother in rural...
5For the first six seasons, which character couldn't speak to women without being drunk?
Over the years, The Big Bang Theory has been criticised for what could be seen as stereotypical portrayals of geeks/nerds. All four of the main guys are scientists who struggle with social situations and are massive comic book and sci-fi fans. In many ways, they're all-purpose nerds for the writers to form jokes around. One of the biggest problems amongst all the guys (except the mostly-asexual-until-later-seasons Sheldon) is their woes when it comes to the opposite sex. And one character took this even further, as for the first six seasons he couldn't even speak to a woman without getting drunk first...
6Which character became an astronaut and went into space?
We've mentioned that Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj are all huge geeks and scientists. It stands to reason then that they would be fans of things like Star Trek and Star Wars; Trek is, in fact, Sheldon's favourite show. The guys are all interested in the stars in real-life as well. Hell, space is actually Raj's job; he's an astrophysicist at Caltech, where all the guys ply their scientific trade. But one of them actually trains to be an astronaut at one point, and even goes to the International Space Station...
7Who did Howard marry?
Howard Wolowitz, played by Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), has gone through quite a character arc over the course of the series. In early seasons he was very much presented as something of an overbearing sex pest (albeit a mostly harmless and funny one). Howard fancied himself a ladies man, but his attempts at picking up women were often offensive, disgusting and overtly sexual. In fact, Penny is pretty openly hostile towards him...until he begins to date one of her co-workers, whom he eventually marries...
8What is Sheldon's catchphrase?
Sheldon Cooper has a eidetic memory (the ability to remember anything he reads after only a few seconds of exposure) and an IQ of 187 (though he claims his IQ can't accurately be measured with standard tests). Unfortunately, he is also stubborn, eccentric and shows a lack of empathy to his friends, which frustrates them constantly. He doesn't understand basic social cues, and therefore struggles whenever he tries to understand sarcasm or tell a joke. However, he does have a catchphrase that he utters after every classic Sheldon joke (which is now a registered trademark of Warner Brothers!).
9What is the name of Sheldon's YouTube show?
Here is a list of things that Sheldon Cooper has demonstrated impressive general knowledge of over the course of The Big Bang Theory: physics, chemistry, biology, astrology, calculus, economics, computers, history, geography, comic books, science-fiction, trains and linguistics (he is fluent in the fictional alien language Klingon, as well as having some knowledge of Hindi, Mandarin and Finnish). He is also capable of playing the piano, the bongos, the recorder and does some mean Tuvan throat singing. Oh, and he films his own YouTube show, about an EXTREMELY niche subject...
10Who is Sheldon's on-again off-again arch-nemesis?
Sheldon Cooper is not just a man of science and intellect. No, he is also someone who has a real-life arch-nemesis, whom he has described as the 'Green Goblin to my Spider-Man'. How does someone get an arch-nemesis, you might ask? Well, it all goes back to the Dixie Trek convention in Jackson, Mississippi in 1995, when 15-year-old Sheldon was crushed to find out that one of his favourite Star Trek stars had no-showed the convention! This person then later tricks Sheldon out of winning a tournament game of the Mystic Warlords Of Ka'a, causing Sheldon to scream his name to sky in anguish...
11What was the name of the terrible sci-fi/horror movie Penny gained some fame for?
Penny, like Joey Tribbiani in Friends, is a good-looking wannabe actor, and much of her storylines in the first seven seasons deal with her trials and tribulations as she tries to make it in film or television. She once reveals that she went to an audition for what she thought was a cat food commercial, but it turned out to be casting for a pornographic film! And in the season seven premiere, it is revealed that she did a topless scene in a low budget horror movie when she first moved to California, which had been uploaded to the internet. And all the guys saw it on the first day they met her. D'oh!
12What Is Amy's scientific area of expertise?
Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Mayim Bialik (Blossom), is Sheldon's love interest on the show, and has proven to be an immensely popular addition to the cast since first appearing in season three. Initially, she was very much a female version of Sheldon (not unlike Leonard's mother, actually). In fact, she was introduced to Sheldon after Raj and Howard secretly set up a dating site profile for Sheldon and she was matched to him as they shared many similar traits.
13Stuart is a graduate of the School Of Design from which State?
Stuart Bloom is the owner and proprietor of the Comic Center Of Pasadena, which all four of the main group frequent to get their comics and other geeky paraphernalia. First introduced in season two, Stuart has evolved into the Moe Szyslak of the show, in that (similarly to the owner of Moe's Tavern in The Simpsons) he is always shown as being awkward and unlucky in love, and frequently makes comments alluding to his depression. Hilarious, right?! Somehow, it mostly is.
14Which iconic Batman actor appeared in the show?
In the show's 200th episode, the guys invite a legendary former Batman actor to Sheldon's birthday party, all stemming from him revealing that his sister had teased him by saying Batman would attend his sixth birthday party, leaving young Sheldon to wait around all day for someone who was never going to come. Miraculously, the actor actually does turn up for the party! Admittedly, though, he does call Sheldon 'Sherman', and demands to be paid for his services, leaving Stuart to label him a diva...
15Whose DNA did Penny get Sheldon for his birthday?
In the eleventh episode of the second season, entitled 'The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis', one of the most defining moments of the entire show's comedy occurs. The episode deals with Sheldon's excessive and obsessive preparation for buying Penny a Christmas present. You see, Sheldon doesn't see the fact that Penny wants to buy him a gift as a positive thing; rather, he sees it as an obligation for him to buy her something of equal value. He winds up spiralling and buying a host of presents, but when she presents him with a napkin used by one of his heroes, his meltdown is hilariously epic...
16How many times does Sheldon knock the door and say a person's name?
Over the span of the show's eleven seasons, Sheldon has displayed a huge number of quirks. One of these is obsessive-compulsive disorder (a diagnosis of which is finally confirmed by Amy in season nine). Sheldon strictly adheres to routine, and any disruption to this distresses him greatly. He has his 'spot' on the sofa, and will make anyone who sits there move. He always eats the same thing from the same restaurants every time they get takeout, and only eats certain cuisines on certain nights. But perhaps his most OCD tendency is how he is compelled to know the door and say someone's name the same amount of times, no matter what...
17What word does Sheldon use when referencing sex?
For the longest time in The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon showed no interest in sex of any description. Creator Chuck Lorre was quoted as saying 'he has chosen not to play in the relationship game either way - heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, any sexuality'. When Penny asks what his 'deal' is, Leonard responds that they assume he has no deal. Amy changes this somewhat, but it takes her a very long time to get Sheldon to the point where he will have sex with her annually, on her birthday. BUT, he doesn't call it sex...
18Penny and Bernadette first meet each other when working as waitresses in which restaurant?
Bernadette is first introduced in the show as one of Penny's co-workers at the restaurant she waitresses in (until she makes it as an actress, obviously). Similarly, Bernadette is working there in order to fund something else: her graduate studies in Microbiology. Bernadette is short and has a cute squeaky voice, but that merely masks a take-no-prisoners, ruthless side to her character. She might seem nice and sweet, but she doesn't take any guff from anyone and even scares some of her co-workers!
19Which one of the group hates Indian food?
No one in The Big Bang Tneory ever seems to cook. We suppose it makes sense, considering they live in a major city like Pasadena and no doubt have endless options when it comes to getting takeout. They (mostly) all work well paid jobs and live in mid-sized apartments, so no doubt have a lot of disposable income. But still...do none of them know how to whip together a nice meal?! They seem to like most cuisines, though one of the characters is known to despise Indian food...
20Sheldon has a twin sister. What is her name?
In the season one episode 'The Porkchop Indeterminacy', we meet Sheldon's fraternal twin sister (fraternal meaning they are not identical in looks). Amusingly, she is complete opposite of Sheldon in her character: she is charming and friendly, and has a wicked sense of humour . Naturally, all the guys go crazy over how attractive she is and fight with each other to get her attention. We also find out how proud she is of Sheldon, and she says she brags about her 'rocket scientist brother' to her friends. Which is lovely! Although Sheldon does correct her, because he's a theoretical physicist, not a rocket scientist!
21Where do Leonard and Penny finally get married?
Leonard and Penny are the Ross and Rachel of The Big Bang Theory. Or the Sam and Diane. Or the JD and Elliot. You get the point. Their on-again off-again relationship has been the heart of the show from the very first season. How could these two people, who are so different in so many ways (the nerdy science geek and the popular pretty girl) find a way to make a relationship work? And largely, they didn't, as they were often a trainwreck. However, after many false starts, they did finally tie the knot in the season nine opener, in...
22What is Howard and Bernadette's daughter's name?
Long-running sitcoms about the lives and loves of twentysomething people will eventually have to deal with the elephant in the room: children. Sooner or later, some of these people are bound to get pregnant and start raising families! The Big Bang Theory avoided this for a very long time. It wasn't until season nine that Howard and Bernadette found out they were expecting a baby, who was eventually born on Amy's birthday in December. As of season 11, they are now expecting another child, a boy that Howard is terrified of bonding with! But what is the name of their first child?
23Who does Beverly Hofstadter describe as being in an 'ersatz homosexual marriage'?
Leonard's mother Beverly could be seen as a female version of Sheldon (who is, if possible, even more offensive to her loved ones than he is). In her very first appearance, she instantly upsets Penny by digging into her childhood issue with her family Wyatt. She also repeatedly belittles Leonard, her own son, in front of his friends. She then goes on to describe two of the gang as an 'ersatz homosexual couple', meaning they act like a couple as a substitute for being in a real relationship. Yikes!
24What is Howard allergic to?
In the sixteenth episode of season one, Penny finds out that Leonard has never had a birthday party and so decides to throw him a surprise party. Which is lovely. She therefore tasks Wolowitz with distracting Leonard for a few hours by getting him out of the apartment, so that she can decorate it for the party. He ends up having to fake an allergic reaction to get Leonard to take him to the hospital, but then when nothing happens and Leonard wants to go home too early, he takes one for the team and eats the thing he is allergic to for real! And nearly dies. That's dedication.
25What contract did Sheldon make Leonard sign before moving in with him?
Living with Sheldon Cooper is no picnic. Over the course of the series we have seen countless examples of how his foibles, intolerance and obsessiveness make him almost impossible to live with without wanting to strangle him. But, you know, Leonard DID sign a legally binding document before moving in with Sheldon, which included items such as the thermostat being set to 72 degrees at all times, and that Leonard must always drive Sheldon to work. So, really, Leonard knew what he was getting into...
26What does Sheldon ask Amy's opinion about on their fifth anniversary, causing their break-up?
Amy Farrah Fowler is an extremely, almost inhumanly patient woman. Which she has to be, if she wants to be in a relationship with Sheldon Cooper. But even she had her breaking point, which was reached on the night of their fifth anniversary. They were making out on the couch (which almost never happens) and she thought they were finally going to become more intimate, but then Sheldon stopped everything to ask her opinion on something nerdy that, for some reason, was very important to him right then. She said he should have been focussing more on her, and wound up leaving, saying she was emotionally and physically exhausted from their relationship.
27What is the name of Raj's sister, who Leonard has a relationship with?
Leonard and Penny always seemed destined to be together on The Big Bang Theory, but that didn't stop either of them from dating other people at various points. Leonard has dalliances with fellow scientists Leslie Winkle (played by Sara Gilbert, who also played Johnny Galecki's girlfriend way back in the early 1990's in Roseanne) and Dr Stephanie Barnett. But he also dated Raj's gorgeous sister for a good long while, and had in fact been in a secret sexual relationship with her for years beforehand!
28What is the name of Raj's beloved dog?
Out of all the main characters in The Big Bang Theory, Rajesh Koothrappali is undoubtedly the most unlucky in love. Currently, he's the only one of the main gang to not be in a committed relationship...well, unless you count his beloved Yorkshire Terrier, who he dotes on as if it were his own child! The dog was first given to him by Howard and Bernadette after a failed date, in order to make him less lonely without a girlfriend. We think he and the dog might be a little TOO close now, though. It's gotten weird!
29What qualification does Sheldon consistently mock Howard for not having?
All the guys in The Big Bang Theory are super smart. That goes without saying. But there IS one of them who lacks one lofty qualification, that the other three possess. Poor Howard Wolowitz, a very successful aerospace engineer who designed a satellite which orbits Jupiter's moon taking high-resolution digital photographs, is nevertheless made to feel like a simpleton by the egomaniac that is Sheldon Cooper! Which is all very odd, considering Sheldon's work is entirely theoretical, whereas Howard designs real products for real functions!
30In Sheldon, Leonard and Penny's apartment building, what is always 'Out Of Order'?
According to the internet, the exact address of Leonard, Sheldon and Penny's apartment building is 2311 North Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena, California. We figured that would be way too difficult to ask as a quiz question, though! There IS one memorable aspect of the apartment building, though, that every fan should know. Something important to the building has been broken and 'Out Of Order' from the very first episode of the show, and has never been fixed. We even found out, during a flashback, that it's Leonard's fault, as it was damaged during one of his scientific experiments with rocket fuel!
31What design is on Sheldon and Leonard's shower curtain?
Leonard and Sheldon's bathroom has been shown a few times on the show, and it features a few elements that are quintessentially 'Sheldon'. We find out that Sheldon has placed a UV Sterilisation Light there in order to ensure his toothbrush doesn't get covered in germs, and he has also placed tape on the floor to stop any splashback from men using the toilet or flossing their teeth in the mirror! But perhaps the most memorable thing about the bathroom is the design on their shower curtain. Which is admirably super-geeky!
32What song does Penny sing for Sheldon anytime he is sick?
Despite often being a seemingly emotionless robot man, Sheldon Cooper DOES have the capacity for showing emotion and even weakness to his friends. But usually only when he's sick. We first see this in the season one episode 'The Pancake Batter Anomaly' when Sheldon has caught a cold. He tels Penny of a song that his mother always sung for him when he was sick, and convinces Penny to sing it for him. The song then returns periodically, including once when she tries to sing it for him when he is sad, but he scolds her. It's for when he is sick! Sad is not sick!
33What is the name of Howard's mother, who we never see?
One of the most beloved characters on the show has actually never even been seen on screen! Howard Wolowitz's loud, obnoxious New Jersey-accented mother is always heard yelling for her son, but the running joke is that we never see her in person. Howard's relationship with his mother is strained, and he always screams back at her angrily, while making jokes about her weight. But, whenever she dies, he takes it very hard, and the whole gang salute her as a great mother to all of them.
34Which cult sci-fi actor did Leonard and Raj meet in a coffee shop?
The season eight episode 'The Comic Book Store Regeneration' is mostly remembered as the episode in which Howard's mother dies. Stuart, who had developed a friendship with her, uses some of her furniture in the new store, which angers Howard. However, it soon seems insignificant when they find out about her passing away. The episode, which clearly deals with some heavy themes, had a suitably silly B-plot, though, in which Leonard and Raj see a cult sci-fi celebrity eating alone at a local deli. Only they don't really believe it's that person, and proceed to annoy and badger them! Whoops.
35Who wound up living with Howard and Bernadette when they were newlyweds?
If there is one thing that newlyweds need, it's their own space. Getting married is a huge step in life, and is full of its own potential pitfalls and stresses. If there is one thing they DON'T need then, it's a houseguest who stays with them much longer than they initially intended! And this is what happens to Howard and Bernadette. The guest does end up moving out, but then moves back in later because they realise they missed him. And an extra set of hands proves very handy now that they have baby Halley in the house!