The CBS sitcom ended its twelve-year run without shining light on many mysteries including Penny’s last name, but TBBT’s broken elevator is its biggest one. The broken elevator gave way to the stairs which, in turn, gave way to many moments of romance, friendship, and fun! Read the full story below!
‘The Big Big Theory’ introduced the world to a gang of four nerdy, science-loving, socially-inept friends from Pasadena. Sheldon, Howard, Raj, and Leonard instantly became the Internet’s favourite geeks, and are the same, even today. The three female characters – Penny, Bernadette, and Amy – played a crucial role in the lives of the titular characters initially, but they too found their fame and popularity independently as the show progressed.
- What exactly happened to the elevator?
- How TBBT’s broken elevator is symbolic of the show
- This character hoped to see it repaired by the end of the series
The Big Bang Theory ended its twelve-year run last year but unfortunately didn’t elaborate on some major plot-related questions. From Penny’s maiden name to the character’s changing backstories, there have been several details the writers refused to pay attention to.
But, the show’s eagle-eyed viewers haven’t stopped dissecting the plot holes of the series, in particular: TBBT’s broken elevator!
Now, 12 years is a long time for an elevator to not work! The elevator has been broken and non-functioning ever since Penny moved in, across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard. But, in reality, it’s been broken for far longer and never had a handyman take a look at it. If an elevator is left unrepaired for twelve years, either the building’s inhabitants are lazy, or there’s something more to it. It’s time for us to discover why it was the way it was!
What exactly happened to the elevator?
Because of the broken elevator, Penny had to take the stairs to her fourth-floor apartment ever since she moved in. No one questioned this situation, and fans wondered how an elevator could be left unrepaired for such a long time. Until the third season, no one seemed to know why the elevator was never repaired or how it even broke!
In “The Staircase Implementation” (S3E22), it is revealed that the elevator had been out of order since 2003. That’s four years before the series even began, which makes the plot hole a bit more ridiculous. Maybe in the sitcom world, an elevator can remain unrepaired for 16 years, but it’s still appalling to think so. Later, the episode reveals that the elevator had been broken ever since Leonard decided to test an experimental rocket fuel formula.
So here’s what happened: Leonard discovers that Howard has a rocket that runs on the fuel he was working on. He brings the rest of the gang back home and they experiment with the fuel, which almost causes an explosion. Leonard then enters the elevator in an attempt to leave with the rocket, but Sheldon plays saviour and stops him.
Sheldon then pushes him out and closes the door. Seconds later the fuel explodes, destroying the elevator, but hey, at least Sheldon saved Leonard’s life! Fans have often contemplated how mind-boggling it was for Leonard to have decided to carry out an experiment that dangerous.
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How TBBT’s broken elevator is symbolic of the show
The elevator in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment building wasn’t functioning, right from the beginning. It’s regarded as an absurd storyline, especially considering how TBBT’s broken elevator forced the characters to take the stairs instead. But this incident paved the way for several hilarious moments and conversations that ensued when the characters were taking the stairs.
So if you think about it, TBBT’s broken elevator idea is quite a clever storytelling device. It would’ve been interesting to see the gang get trapped in the elevator every now and then, but then there wouldn’t be the conversations that we got to see.
When the elevator is fixed in the finale, Sheldon finds it unnerving because to him, it feels like a life-altering situation. He’s easily disconcerted by any kind of change, and after 16 years, we can understand how he might be feeling. It’s also interesting to imagine that the elevator being fixed had some sort of symbolism to the sitcom’s story. Perhaps it represented the end of the era that TBBT brought to television, that life moves on, and change is constant.
This character hoped to see it repaired by the end of the series
Just like fans who stuck by the sitcom, these members of the star cast had big hopes for the finale. Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons both longed to see the fixed elevator and believed in the endearing metaphor it represented. It seems as if the writers and producers already had that in mind because it’s exactly what happened!
In an interview with “PopSugar” last year, Cuoco revealed her expectations for the series finale. She didn’t have any predictions for an ending, but expressed one request: “I’d love to see the elevator get fixed.” Her co-star Jim Parsons also agreed that it would be the best way to wrap up the series.
TBBT’s broken elevator is at the centre of the sitcom’s several plot holes, but it helped feature many ingenious moments. Watching the characters walk several flights of stairs and engage in conversation was one of the best things about the series! It’s definitely an element of symbolism and represented the most comical, enjoyable sequences, even when it came to an end.
What do you think TBBT’s broken elevator was – a major plot hole or a clever one? Let us know in the comments section below.