Sheldon’s behavior is so terrible that Howard, Bernadette, Leonard, and Penny all make plans to head home early and skip the ceremony. But this is a bright and sunny network sitcom — that’s not going to happen. Everyone’s there when Amy and Sheldon accept science’s highest honor. Both characters deliver speeches — one speaks to the show’s legacy, and the other provides a happy, tearjerking moment.
The Big Bang Theory casually demystified science for millions, and probably inspired interest in more than a few kids. Reflecting actress Mayim Bialik’s real-life background — she has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA — Amy gives a powerful, encouraging speech. “To all the young girls out there who dream about science as a profession: go for it,” she says. “It is the greatest job in the world. And if anybody tells you you can’t, don’t listen.”
Then it’s Sheldon’s turn. Stunned that his friends have stuck around to cheer him on after his actions, he eschews the novel-length, self-aggrandizing speech he’d prepared to do some things we’ve never seen him do: speak from the heart and thank others. “I was under a misapprehension that my accomplishments were mine alone,” he says. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been encouraged, sustained, inspired, and tolerated not only by my wife, but by the greatest group of friends anyone ever had.” Then he calls them out by name, asks them to stand, and they all get to share in the applause from the assembled luminaries.