10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Big Bang Theory’

‘Soft Kitty’ is a real song!

4 min read
The series finale of <i>The Big Bang Theory</i> airs on 16 May.

After 12 seasons, The Big Bang Theory finally comes to an end with the series finale that airs on 16 May. As you bid farewell, here’s looking at some lesser-known facts about the show.


1. ‘Soft Kitty’ Is an Actual Song

'Soft Kitty’, the song that Sheldon’s mother used to sing to him when he was ill wasn’t made up just for the show. It’s actually a lullaby, which The Big Bang Theory producer Bill Prady’s daughter learnt in pre-school, and dates back to the 1930s with lyrics by Edith Newlin.

2. No One Knows Penny’s Last Name

10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Among all the characters on The Big Bang Theory, the only person whose last name we still don’t know is Penny. And according to the show’s executive producer Steve Molaro, it will never be revealed. “We got nervous and superstitious about giving her one,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It [Penny’s last name] will always be [her married name] Hofstadter,” he added.


3. Jim Parsons Can Actually Play the Theremin

Jim Parsons can really play the theremin, his character Sheldon’s favourite musical instrument. It has a reputation for being one of the most difficult to play and gets its name from its inventor Leon Theremin, who created it in 1920. Other cast members who are musically inclined are Johnny Galecki who plays the cello; Mayim Bialik, who can strum a harp; and Simon Helberg who is skilled on the piano.

4. The Theme Song Almost Didn’t Get Made

You probably can’t imagine The Big Bang Theory without its popular theme song ‘The History of Everything’, by Barenaked Ladies, which condenses billions of years of human history in under two minutes. The show’s creators Chuck Lorre and Ed Prady approached Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, to compose a song for the show after watching the band in concert. The singer was initially reluctant to take on the project because some of his previous work for films and television had been rejected. When Lorre and Prady told him that they hadn’t considered anyone else, he agreed. The initial version of the song that we hear in the opening credits was 32 seconds long and finally shortened to 15 seconds.


5. Penny and Leonard Dated in Real Life

10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, who play one of the show’s main couples – Penny and Leonard – dated from 2007 to 2009. The couple kept things super low-key so as not to let their relationship interfere with the show. In an interview with CBS! Watch magazine, Kaley admitted that all the secrecy was damaging to the relationship. “That's not the kind of relationship I want. I don't want to be hiding. We couldn't do anything. It wasn't as fun as we wanted it to be. Everyone was always asking, and we deny-deny-denied. And I'm like, 'Why am I denying this person that I love?' It took a little bit of a toll on me and I think it did for him, too," she said.

Despite their romantic history, Kaley and Johnny are still buds. So it’s all good, guys.

6. There Are a Species of Bee and Jellyfish Named ‘Bazinga’

In 2011, a photographer captured what Marine biologist Lisa-ann Gershwin determined to be a new genus and species of the rhizostome jellyfish in Australia’s Brunswick River. As of today, it’s the only member of the genus Bazinga, the family Bazingidae and the sub-order Ptychophorae. A bee species in Brazil has also been named the euglossa bazinga, after Sheldon’s favourite catchphrase.


7. Leonard’s Glasses Have No Lenses

10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard on the show, wears glasses without any lenses. Apparently, Galecki often had to look up while speaking to Jim Parsons, who is much taller than him, and the lenses would reflect the set lights.

8. Jim Parsons Has Never Seen ‘Star Trek’

Sheldon may be constantly geeking out over shows such as Star Trek and Dr Who, but Jim Parsons has admitted to never having seen either in interviews.


9. Mayim Bialik Was Referred to on the Show Before She Was Cast

In an episode in the first season where Raj, Leonard and Howard think of people to replace Sheldon on their physics team, Raj says, “You know who's apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV's Blossom. She got a PhD in neuroscience or something.” He was referring to actor Mayim Bialik, who joined the show in its third season as Sheldon’s eventual love interest, Amy Farah Fowler.

10. Creator Chuck Lorre Has Unique ‘Vanity Cards’ at the End of Each Episode

The Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre displays what have come to be known as vanity cards after the credits of every episode of the shows that he produces. These usually contain a few lines from Lorre on whatever strikes his fancy. His tongue-in-cheek 600th (!) card, which aired after an episode of The Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon in November last year read: “Generation after generation of completely misguided wisdom seekers would write treatises on pointless essays that I wrote in a hurry (like this one). Even this card, which debunks the entire notion that there is anything of value in the previous five hundred and ninety-nine cards, would be analysed for clues.”

You can read them all here.

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