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The Big Bang Theory Fans Think The Writers Overlooked A Great Stuart Storyline

In the Season 7 finale of "The Big Bang Theory," entitled "The Status Quo Combustion," Sheldon (Jim Parsons) goes into a personal crisis when everything around him is changing, culminating in him discovering that Stuart's (Kevin Sussman) comic book store had burned down. Luckily, Howard and Bernadette are struggling to find someone to take care of Howard's mother, and Stuart takes over that role and becomes her new caretaker. Fans were so worried about Stuart's store that, at a 2014 Comic-Con panel, showrunner Steven Molaro had to assure fans that the show would not continue on without a comic book store (via THR). 

In the Season 8 episode "The Hook-up Reverberation" the gang come up with the idea to invest in the store, making themselves part owners, but, unfortunately for them, Mrs. Wolowitz beats them to it and gives Stuart the money to reopen the store, which he eventually does a few episodes later in "The Comic Book Store Regeneration."

In Den of Geek's review of "The Status Quo Combustion," critic Juliette Harrisson mentioned the relief of seeing Stuart find a new job that makes him happy, saying that "poor Stuart's endless line of personal disasters was becoming seriously depressing and long ago stopped being particularly funny." Giving Stuart something to be happy about does seem to have saved the episode from getting too depressing after the store burned down.

But why didn't the writers allow the gang to follow through on their plan to buy the store? It turns out, a lot of fans thought that was a missed opportunity.

Fans don't understand why the show brought up the possibility of the gang buying the comic book store if they weren't going to do it

In a 2023 thread in the r/bigbangtheory subreddit, u/jmhimara asked if anyone else wished that the gang had gone through with their plan to buy the comic book store, and a surprising number of people said they did. Redditor u/CarnalOrganicAnagram brought up a good point, saying that "That's one of the plots I wondered why bother introduce it if they're not going to do it." Redditor u/jcoddinc said that the storyline would have been horrible, as Sheldon would have tried to control everything and would have run the business into the ground, to which u/kmkmrod pointed out that that's exactly why it would be funny.

A number of critics saw the wasted opportunity as well. The Den of Geek review of "The Hook-up Reverberation" made mention of this possibility, saying that "it would have freshened up the show and given them somewhere to socialise outside of the university cafeteria, but also create a legitimate space for Stuart within their group." TV Fanatic also brought it up in their review and bemoaned the possibilities that such a storyline could have brought, before expressing disappointment that the show shut down that storyline before it even really got a chance to start. So fans will have to simply fantasize about what could have been if the writers hadn't whiffed on this potential story.