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This Big Bang Theory Plot Hole Has Fans Questioning Bernadette's Entire Story

Throughout the series' 12-season run, there were plenty of plot holes on The Big Bang Theory, ranging from the minuscule to the things that formed giant gaps in the narrative.

One of the major plot holes of The Big Bang Theory concerns Melissa Rauch's character, Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz. On the season 5 episode entitled "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver," Bernadette and her then-fiancé Howard (Simon Helberg) have an argument after performing magic tricks at a child's birthday party. After the kids at the party heckle the couple during their show, Bernadette losese her patience with them, making it clear she doesn't get along with children. In the car on the ride home, Howard tries to convince Bernadette that things will be different one day when it's their kids she's dealing with. However, Bernadette confesses she doesn't want children.

However, Bernadette does end up having children — first a daughter named Halley and later a son named Neil Michael. When it's revealed on the season 9 episode "The Valentino Submergence" that Bernadette is pregnant, she seems only nervous to tell Howard the news, rather than nervous over being pregnant. On a later episode, entitled "The Positive Negative Reaction," Bernadette tells Howard that she's expecting their first child, and Howard is the one who has a minor freak-out. 

What happened to plot in which Bernadette isn't interested in having children? Why did The Big Bang Theory change that aspect of her characterization? It's a plot hole that fans are still talking about to this day, and one that has them questioning Bernadette's entire story.

Bernadette's unexpected, confusing change of heart

For Bernadette, the thought of having children one day was a reminder of her childhood, when she had to raise her siblings because her parents were both working full time. Her already-squeaky voice got even higher as she recalled the many fights she had with her siblings during that time. And yet, just a few years later and with no further conversation between the couple on the subject (at least was ever shown to the audience), Bernadette shared the news with Howard that she's pregnant and seemed quite happy about it herself. 

A Reddit user by the name of meditatorfriend pulled this plot hole out into light and questioned Bernadette's rather drastic change of heart: "Bernadette spends a few good episodes explaining how she can't stand children and hated that she had to help raise her brothers and sisters. Then suddenly, she gets pregnant and, just like that, accepts motherhood." 

The plot hole doesn't exactly end there, either. After giving birth to Halley, Bernadette quickly falls pregnant with her second baby, a plot point that may have been somewhat necessitated by Rauch's real-life pregnancy at the time, and gives birth during season 11. Then during season 12 when Penny (Kaley Cuoco) explains that she doesn't want kids, Bernadette berates her and tells her she's wrong for having that mindset. 

"When Penny tells her she might be childfree, Bernadette gives her s***, and tells her she's selfish for not wanting kids," meditatorfriend wrote. To make matters worse, it's revealed on the final episode of The Big Bang Theory that Penny is pregnant — and she embraces the idea of being a mother, just like Bernadette did after repeatedly stating she didn't want children.

Was Bernadette's aversion to motherhood forgotten or simply ignored?

To be fair, Penny wasn't quite as adamant about the issue as Bernadette was. Penny seemed more unsure on the topic of having kids with Leonard (Johnny Galecki), saying that she didn't know if she would ever want them, as opposed to Bernadette declaring to Howard she wouldn't be having children.

On the other hand, it's also perfectly plausible that both of them changed their minds about kids, with Bernadette telling Howard at one point she'd be willing to have children provided he did all the care-taking. It's also possible that Bernadette's reaction to Penny stating she didn't want to be a mother was the result of her changed mind; Bernadette evidently realized that despite not planning to have children initially, she truly loves her two kids and can't imagine life without them. Women are, after all, allowed to change their minds about such things.

It's also worth noting that neither Bernadette nor Penny were actively trying to get pregnant, and that Penny was still a little nervous after discovering she was expecting, wanting more time to "wrap her head around it" before telling her friends that she was going to have a baby.

There is a big difference between the two women, however. On the Big Bang Theory series finale, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) actually addresses the fact that Penny wasn't planning on being a mother. Sheldon asks if congratulations are even in order considering Penny hadn't originally wanted kids. With Bernadette, there's no mention of her past aversion to motherhood. It seems the fact she didn't want to be a mother was completely ignored by the writers and directors, as no one ever discusses it or even hints at it after she falls pregnant. Bernadette's desire to never have children wasn't just a passing comment — it was the plot of an entire episode and then some for her and Howard. Thus, it seems unlikely that it was simply forgotten about.

Too heavy for a sitcom?

If The Big Bang Theory hadn't walked back Bernadette's no-children stance on life, what would her and Howard's life have looked like without their son and daughter? Howard made it clear in their early arguments on the topic that he desperately wanted to be a father one day. Would he have been willing to compromise on kids if Bernadette had decided not to carry the pregnancy to term, or if she had never gotten pregnant in the first place? Because of the way it was handled on-screen, fans never got to see if the couple had conversations that resulted in Bernadette making a compromise regarding motherhood, but that certainly could have given the couple a significant issue to work through.

Perhaps that's part of the reason why Bernadette's previous views on children and motherhood weren't mentioned after she fell pregnant. Did the writers and producers consciously opt not to make it a bigger deal on the show? There's a possibility that's the case. The Big Bang Theory was a comedy, and the minds behind it could well have decided a kids-versus-no-kids battle between the couple would have been too heavy for the sitcom, given how badly it could have ended.