Just when loyal viewers of "The Big Bang Theory" thought they'd seen the very last of Sheldon, Leonard, Amy, Penny, Bernadette, Howard and Raj, "Young Sheldon" proved them wrong.
In an episode that aired immediately after the series finale of its mothership series, "Young Sheldon" surprised "Big Bang Theory" fans with one more look at the gang, but as younger versions of themselves.
The premise of Thursday night's episode of "Young Sheldon" had Sheldon eagerly awaiting the announcements of the Nobel Prize winners. When his party goes bust at the end of the episode, the voiceover, performed by grown-up Sheldon, Jim Parsons, explains that in that moment, he felt like "a neutrino, destined to be alone forever."
Viewers are shown six other children.
One is a little boy listening to his radio, presumably also awaiting the announcement. The boy is then addressed by his mother, "Leonard, dear, you should be in bed."
Another child, a girl, is messily fast asleep. A wall decal reveals she's named Penny.
Young Raj is seen doing his homework. Young Howard is shown playing videogames in a bean bag chair and being addressed by a memorably booming voice. (Carol Ann Susi voiced Howard's mom on "Big Bang Theory" before she died in 2014.) Young Bernadette has a microscope on her nightstand as she sleeps. And young bespectacled Amy is seen reading by flashlight.
Older Sheldon then concludes, "Thankfully, I was wrong."
The touching moment was a treat for "Big Bang Theory" fans, who had just finished bidding farewell to the characters they've grown to know and love over 12 seasons.
The show signed off with a one-hour finale and a half-hour retrospective that aired after "Young Sheldon."