In 2007, science nerds everywhere rejoiced as “The Big Bang Theory” premiered on CBS. For 10 seasons, the stars have entertained audiences with dorky humor on one of the few remaining multi-camera comedies on TV.
Last year, it was the fifth most-watched show on television, and the highest-rated comedy, according to Indie Wire. But after recent reports of a tense contract negotiation for the stars of the show, many people fear “The Big Bang Theory” could be signing off very soon.
So take a stroll down memory lane and see just how far your favorite characters have come since season one.
Jim Parsons plays Dr. Sheldon Cooper, a senior theoretical physicist at Caltech who is a genius, but suffers from a serious lack of social skills.
As the show progresses, we see Sheldon’s confidence bounce back after being fired in season one. He collaborates on a new scientific theory with Leonard and begins studying Dark Matter. He meets Amy, played by Mayim Bialik, and realizes he loves her.
In season 10, Sheldon and Amy’s relationship turns into a long-distance one. To make matters more complicated, a previous love interest of Sheldon’s returns and they kiss. Realizing what has just happened, he goes to the airport and flys across the country to propose to Amy.
Did she say yes? Unfortunately, we won’t know until next season.
Johnny Galecki plays Dr. Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, an experimental physicist, who shares an apartment with colleague and best friend Sheldon.
The couple reunites in season seven after a brief split and they take off to Las Vegas to get married.
After realizing their elopement has upset several of their friends and family members, the newlyweds redo their wedding in a public park with their friends and family in attendance.
We first meet Penny, played by Kaley Cuoco, in season one when she moves in across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon.
Penny is an aspiring actress who waits tables at the Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena, California. Unsatisfied with her direction in life, she’s drawn to Leonard because of his authenticity, unlike the men she’s used to dating.
Penny also lands roles in small films, plays, and commercials.
Ultimately, Penny shelves her dreams of becoming an actress and lands a job as a pharmaceutical rep at her friend Bernadette’s company.
Penny decides to halt her acting dreams due to the humiliating roles and films she finds herself starring in.
Her friend Bernadette, played by Melissa Rauch, helps land Penny a job interview at Zangen, the pharmaceutical company she works for. Despite flopping the interview, Penny is hired as a sales representative after bonding with the interviewer over how scary Bernadette is.
Simon Helberg plays Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer who is one of Sheldon and Leonard’s closest friends.
Unlike the other guys, Howard is much more confident speaking to girls, despite his failed attempts.
Early in the show, Leonard and Simon create a girlfriend pact where if one of them landed a girlfriend, they would try and set the single one up with one of her friends. When Leonard and Penny begin dating, Howard is set up with Penny’s friend, Bernadette. The two connect because of their overbearing mothers.
Howard’s personal and professional lives blast off as he becomes engaged to Bernadette, has a child, and takes off for space.
In season five, Howard and Bernadette officially tie the knot and wed on the top of an apartment building. Shortly after, Howard leaves for space with his friends and new wife watching.
In season 10, Howard and Bernadette welcomed a baby girl, Hallie.
Bernadette was first introduced as Penny’s coworker at The Cheesecake Factory who’s pursuing her Ph.D in microbiology on the side.
In “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary,” Bernadette is set up on a blind date with Howard and joined by Penny and Leonard. After bonding over having overbearing mothers, Bernadette is upset to not get a call back from Howard until he shows up at The Cheesecake Factory and performs a song for her on his keyboard piano.
Bernadette earns her Ph.D. and gets a lucrative job offer at a pharmaceutical company. After marrying Howard, the couple move in together and have a child.
In season four, Bernadette gets her Ph.D and a highly lucrative job at Zangen. After Howard suddenly loses his mother, Bernadette reconsiders not wanting a baby and reveals she’s pregnant.
Hallie Wolowitz is born in season 10 and named after Hallie’s Comet.
Amy is introduced to the series in season three after Sheldon’s friends, Howard and Raj, find her on an online dating service for him.
Without his knowledge, Howard and Raj create an online dating profile for Sheldon and land him a date, which he is doubtful will work. Once Amy arrives, she says she’s also doubtful the date will work and is only there to fulfill the agreement with her mother that she will date someone once a year.
In a surprising turn of events, the two connect over Sheldon’s distaste for soiled hosiery and their dating circumstances.
Amy’s relationship with Sheldon gets serious but her new fellowship at Princeton and the return of Sheldon’s former love interest complicates things.
In season 10, Amy leaves her friends and family behind on the West Coast by starting her fellowship at Princeton. Despite her professional success, she misses Sheldon and is completely unaware of Sheldon kissing another woman in his office.
While in her apartment during the finale, she answers the door to Sheldon on his knees proposing. We’ll have to wait until next season to find out her answer.
Kunal Nayyar stars as Dr. Rajesh Ramayan, an astrophysicist and Howard’s best friend.
During the first few seasons, Raj’s friends learn of his selective mutism due to his serious social anxiety. He’s unable to speak to women who are not in his family.
However, the group quickly learns this isn’t true when Raj is drunk.
Raj overcomes his selective mutism and begins dating. He puts Sheldon in charge of his finances and moves in with Leonard and Penny.
After harboring a crush on Bernadette despite his best friend Howard’s relationship with her, Raj begins dating and finds himself in a love triangle between two women: a bartender named Claire and a dermatologist named Emily.
Raj’s newfound independence causes him to ask his father to cut him off financially and puts Sheldon in charge of his finances. When Sheldon moves in with Amy, Raj realizes he can’t afford his own apartment and moves in with Leonard and Penny.