Late in 2018, just as the new season was starting, a terrible announcement came from ABC Studios: The Big Bang Theory, after 12 wonderful years of comedy, is coming to an end once this season is over. It was a shocking revelation for fans who have heard not a whisper of discontent from the cast or producers on the show, but it appears that Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper, wants to hang up his nerdy T-shirts and explore some other ventures.
And so it is that each Thursday night when that theme song starts to play for the past 17 episodes, there is just a hint of sadness in many fans’ eyes as they know the clock is winding down on the series.
With just a few episodes left before the series finale, the cast are getting plenty nostalgic too. Kaley Cuoco, the only female lead that has been with the series from the very first episode, took to her Instagram account on Monday to share a throwback photo of the cast from the very first season of the show.
In the image, Cuoco, who plays Penny, can be seen standing between the four male leads of the show: Sheldon, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Raj Koothrapali (Kunal Nayyar), and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg).
Fans took to the comments section in droves to thank her and the rest of the cast for the years of laughter they have provided everyone.
As Cuoco explained in the caption to the image, it was snapped back when the cast attended their very first Comic Con together, and shows the major character development when compared to how they all look and act in the show today.
Back in the first season, all four of the male leads had an interest in Penny, although, to be fair, Sheldon’s interest was more an idle curiosity than the attraction the rest of them felt for her. For her part, Penny was somewhat freaked out by the attention of her geeky neighbors and their friends, given just how intense they all were around her.
Fast forward to Season 12, and each of them is married. Penny is married to Leonard, of course, but the other three have turned their attention to their own wives and girlfriends, and instead of being creeped out by their affections, Penny loves them all dearly as close friends and confidants.
It seems that close relationship extends to real life as well. The cast mates have all become close friends in their personal lives, and Cuoco shared in January this year that filming the series finale is going to be difficult for all of them, according to Fox News.
“Now we’re on the second half [of Season 12] and it’s starting to get a little heavy,” she told Ryan Seacrest at the Golden Globes. “I hope we pre-shoot the whole last episode because I don’t think I’ll be able to keep a dry eye.”