10 Biggest Examples of Fan Service

admin2021January 8, 2023

The Big Bang Theory remains an incredibly popular sitcom years after its conclusion and regardless of the many people who don’t care for it. Though polarizing, the series kept its audience happy using tried-and-true sitcom tropes in unique ways and making a palatable show for many around the world.

One of the things the show really got right was fan service. As the show developed a devoted audience over its many years on the air, there were numerous times when the writers added special Easter eggs for those who knew the series inside and out.


Hugging Penny On Christmas

The Big Bang Theory Penny and Sheldon

Sheldon was not known for being a character of deep emotional expression. However, if there is one thing that can make him break, it’s Star Trek. Penny thrilled Sheldon on Christmas with a napkin autographed by Mr. Spock actor Leonard Nimoy, which led to Sheldon hugging Penny, showing his rarely seen affectionate side.

Related: Every The Big Bang Theory Holiday Episode, Ranked According To IMDb

Reddit user SparkdataDaily said, “Watching Big Bang Theory for the first time, I just think this scene is so heart-warming and adorable.” They are not the only ones, as it is a fan-favorite moment in the great friendship between Penny and Sheldon.

Fixing The Elevator

Leonard holds Penny near the apartment's busted elevator on Big Bang Theory

Ever since the beginning of the show, one of the biggest running gags was the elevator of the apartment not working. For over a decade, the gang had to walk up the stairs in order to get to their apartments, which led to some memorable scenes. In the finale, however, the unthinkable happened: the elevator got fixed.

Fixing the elevator was an important thing to do for the closure of the show. Seeing it fixed showed that it was time for a new chapter for the characters. It was one of the most consistent things about the show and their fixing it, in the end, was a good touch for the final episode.

Legendary Cameos

Professor Proton on his TV show in The Big Bang Theory

With the show so engaged in nerd culture, there was a string of people that many hoped would stop by the set for an episode or two. The show was delivered, with cameos from George Takei and Adam West amount others. Other noteworthy appearances come from Bob Newhart, who won an Emmy for his time.

Bringing back legends of the past is an incredibly important thing for a sitcom to do. It brings generations together while bringing new eyes to the product. Big Bang Theory understood fan service in giving interactions with people they would like to see their main characters interact with.

Wil Wheaton Becoming A Recurring Character

Wil Wheaton sits next to Sheldon holding a flag on TBBT

Of all the guest appearances on the show, very few were as well received as Wil Wheaton’s appearance in 2009. What could have been a one-off appearance became much more as Wheaton appeared in 17 episodes, becoming Sheldon’s archenemy. This would eventually lead to the two becoming friends down the line.

Related: Wil Wheaton’s 10 Most Iconic Scenes On The Big Bang Theory

What makes this even more of a revelation is that it gives a full story. Sheldon does not like Wil Wheaton and the two petty men hate each other. They eventually become friends as time goes on. It was a story that did not need a full telling but got one for a good reason. Wheaton was a fan favorite, and he became one of the more recurring guest stars the show had.

Sheldon And Amy

Sheldon and Amy kiss just before he asks if he sould watch The Flash TV show

For years, Sheldon was an emotionally dormant character. While he was by far the most popular, he had very little to truly invest in, mostly being famous for his catchphrases. However, Amy breathed new life into the character. Becoming far more than just another Sheldon, Amy was far more expressive about her feelings, and it helped make her relationship with Sheldon one of the best on the show.

Amy was a great foil to Sheldon and the group in general. Many people were hoping that Sheldon would develop beyond what he had been, becoming a more complex character and Amy provided that. She helped Sheldon realize things he never knew about himself, helping the audience discover these things too.

Penny And Leonard

Penny about to kiss Leonard in The Big Bang Theory

From the first episode, it was clear that there was going to be a relationship between Penny and Leonard. However, the show pleased many fans by not using a do they don’t they strategy for the entire show, à la Ross and Rachael. They go on a date by the end of season one and are married with two seasons left to spare.

Related: Leonard And Penny’s Relationship Timeline On The Big Bang Theory

Perhaps the writing was not always perfect for this couple, but by not just trying to do exactly what other sitcoms had done with their will-they-wont-they relationships and making it clear they will. They had their breakups and other issues, but having them get together meant they could have time to focus on other storylines.

The Wedding Redo

Leonard and Penny wedding photo with her family on TBBT

Some people were not fans of the original wedding between Leonard and Penny. Rather than an over-the-top wedding many sitcoms use, they instead did a Vegas wedding. After years of building, this left a bad taste in some people’s mouths, but they did a redo the next season which was a full-fledged wedding.

This paid off, as the episode is considered one of the best in the series. Sometimes, doing the obvious is the right move. This had been a wedding built over multiple years, and it deserved a full ceremony. The guest appearances made the episode even more enjoyable.

Roseanne Guest Appearances

Leslie Winkle with her hands on her hips scolding Leonard

Prior to The Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki was probably best remembered for his role on Roseanne in the 1990s. As popular as that show was, it was not a shock that series producers would bring in some cast members from that show. Both Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf appeared in recurring roles on the show, with Gilbert even having a brief time as a main cast member.

While Gilbert’s turn on the show was not long, it was nice to see her and Galecki on screen again. Metcalf was great as Sheldon’s mother, being the exact opposite of Sheldon in nearly every way. For people who may have gotten into the show due to their familiarity with Galecki’s other work, these appearances were very welcomed.

Emotional Maturity Of The Group

Howard and Bernadette with their children in The Big Bang Theory

If the gang had stayed the same throughout the show, it would have gotten boring. There needed to be growth in the main cast, and it was given. Howard went from being a character that was pretty creepy to a married man with a family, showing his growth. Others like Raj were able to get over things from their early episodes, making it feel more like a real-life journey.

Without growth, the show would have felt bare-boned and pointless. Big Bang Theory did the right thing for its characters by giving them growth. Some of these characters, especially Howard, would have aged poorly had they remained how they were. The growth gave people characters to tune in to watch every week, which they did for 12 seasons.

Next: The 10 Best Tweets About Leonard And Penny On The Big Bang Theory

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