Over the course of twelve seasons, the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory has taken fans on all sorts of storylines. We watched in anticipation through Leonard and Penny's entire will-they-or-won't-they relationship; we couldn't believe it when Howard Wolowitz actually went to space with NASA; and we were shocked when Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler actually went through with their wedding.
There have been so many storylines through the years that have been brought to the forefront and properly concluded, but there's still one long-running issue the sitcom has yet to address. And now, before the series embarks on its final stretch of episodes, the most important question in its 12-year run remains: Will The Big Bang Theory's final episode finally fix the building's broken elevator?
Ever since the series' pilot, the elevator in Sheldon, Leonard and Penny's apartment building has been broken. Caution tape has been plastered over the elevator's doors on every floor they walk by, and it has often been the subject of discussion when new guests drop by. For over 12 seasons, the faulty elevator has been more than a running joke; it's become a part of the series' DNA.
More than that, the broken elevator is perhaps the main source of character interactions on the series. Whether it's Amy and Penny walking down the stairs together, or all four guys coming back from the comic book store, the walks up and down the building's stairwell have been some of the series' funniest and most important exchanges. If the elevator had been in working condition, the series' characters would have never had the chance to share so many lengthy conversations. It's so important to the show, it's possible Penny and Leonard would have never even gotten together had the elevator worked.
As the characters have been forced to use the stairs, the building's hallways and stairs became just as important a set as Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, or the Caltech university cafeteria. And since it was actually Leonard and Sheldon who broke the elevator when they first met (as seen in Season 3's "The Staircase Implementation"), it stands to reason the series finale will finally see someone fix the faulty elevator.
Whether it's a repairman who finally shows up to fix it. or Leonard and Sheldon themselves who, with the help of a trusty, PhD-less engineer, finally take it upon themselves to fix what they initially broke, a working elevator would bring about a perfect thematic ending for the series. And maybe, just maybe, it will leave us an emotional mess.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS, and will conclude with an hour-long series finale on May 16. The series stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Bialik, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch.