If you watch the show than you know that Dr. Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons, is obsessed with Star Trek. He brings it up on the show often, however, Jim Parsons has never actually seen an episode of Star Trek in real life. He has also never seen Dr. Who, which is another one of Sheldon’s favorite shows. Apparently, Parsons isn't a fan of sci-fi in general.
Mayim joined the show in Season 3, but she was mentioned on the show a few years prior. In Season 1, Raj said, “You know who's apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV's Blossom. She got a PhD in neuroscience or something." And that is true! In 2008, Bialik earned a doctorate in real life. She is a genius in real life and she plays one on TV.
If you go out looking for Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment 4A, you will have to go to CBS in Los Angeles, CA. They say that the apartment is located in Pasadena at 2311 Los Robles across from the Colorado Avenue Chevron station. And yes, these streets and the gas station exist, but the apartment does not. The apartment is indeed located on set at the CBS lot.
With the success of The Big Bang Theory, a show overseas tried to capitalize on its success. In 2010, a show called The Theorists aired in Belarus. When the actors discovered that the producers stole the idea from the Big Bang Theory, they quit and the show was never able to fully take off.
Mayim mentioned in an interview that the school that the cast works at is based on the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Because of this, students and staff from Caltech often visit the tapings of the show. When Caltech alums were asked what they thought of the show, some were impressed with the similarities and others claimed that they were not as nerdy as the cast portrays them to be. Or were they?
Some of the characters are named after real people. Howard Wolowitz is someone that the creator of the show once worked on computers with. Leonard and Sheldon are named after the legendary television producer Sheldon Leonard and Leonard's last name comes from two well-known scientists, Douglas and Robert Hofstadter.
When actor Wil Wheaton was on the show, he snapped a picture of the coffee table in Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment. In the picture, you can see the details in the set designer’s work. There were a few Mental Floss magazines and a some books. There were also snacks, including chocolate cookies and red vines, to clutter the table’s surface. It really does take a village to make a TV show. From the costumes, to the set design, there is so much detail that you don't get to see when you are watching the show from your living room.
Penny has become a fan favorite, but when they first wrote the show, her role was much different. Originally she was “Katie” and she was supposed to be played by actress Amanda Walsh. She was a tougher character and the test audiences did not like her. So when they made changes to the show, her character was changed to Penny and Kaley Cuoco was recast in her place!
Leonard and Penny dated on the show, but they also dated in real life. While they were secretive at the time, Johnny Galecki has since opened up about his offscreen relationship and Kaley Cuoco. They dated for 2 years during the first few seasons on the show and didn’t tell anyone on set. According to Galecki, "We're dear friends, still. Kaley's not just an ex, she's a part of my life."
While the show doesn’t really have any stunts, they have had to cover some real-life injuries while filming. Cuoco, who plays Penny, broke her leg while horseback riding during the 4th Season of the show. They would place her behind furniture and counters to make it work. Then Mayim was in a car accident and injured her hand and was in a cast while filming. The writers had to make some rewrites in order to hide it from the audience.
In 2013, scientists in Brazil discovered a new species of orchid bee. They named the bee "Euglossa bazinga" after Sheldon's favorite catchphrase. According to producers of the show, they thought that Sheldon would be honored that they named the bee after him because the bee is his third favorite flying creatures after the Mothra and the griffin.
The Theremin is known to be one of the most difficult instruments to play. When Sheldon plays it on the show, it is not a recording. Jim Parsons is actually playing the instrument, so it looks like he is musically talented too!
When making a TV show, it is extremely difficult to get a one-year renewal. The Big Bang Theory got a three-year renewal in 2011 and then another three-year renewal in 2014. This year they were green lit for seasons 11 and 12 so it looks like we have more Big Bang to look forward to.