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The Big Bang Theory's Broken Elevator Actually Served A Pretty Important Purpose

As the characters on CBS' "Big Bang Theory" went through their daily lives, they were seen in various settings, such as their go-to comic book shop, the cafeteria at Cal Tech, and even The Cheesecake Factory, where Penny and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) worked. One of the most frequented sets was the apartment building where Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Penny, and Amy (Mayim Bialik) live in. 

Though the characters spend a lot of time in their apartments, the broken elevator was a character in its own right, with its yellow caution tape often serving as a focal point when the cast is in the hallway. A fan at WonderCon asked why the elevator remains out of order for the entirety of the series except for the finale, and the crew explained that it allowed the characters a mobile area for dialogue. 

Co-creator Bill Prady explained that it's important for characters to have a place where they can walk and talk. Though they thought of having a street set, like on their previous series, "Dharma and Greg," Prady and Chuck Lorre wound up with a broken elevator, which would force them to walk up and down stairs and have a conversation in motion. 

They wanted the walk and talk.

The broken elevator also seemed to serve another purpose, this time for the fans. Thanks to it, these dialogue-heavy scenes are less static and can come off as more relatable. Viewers can connect to their own experiences of talking while moving, whether they've had conversations while walking upstairs, down the street, or through a shop. 

In the "Big Bang Theory" finale "The Stockholm Syndrome," the elevator is finally up to standards, though the gang still has to take the stairs when their luggage doesn't leave any room for them. This bittersweet and ironic moment makes audiences realize that, after 12 years, the show is really ending. They will no longer see their favorite nerds — and Penny — having funny, serious, and/or mundane discussions as they go up and down the steps. Additionally, the now-working elevator also seems to signify that everything has changed for the characters themselves, and they won't have those same experiences either. 

However, the elevator also forces fans to look at their own lives. Just like their favorite characters, things are always changing. New adventures will come, and old ones will be left behind, but that doesn't make the memories any less special.