ByDaniel Pearson, writer at

As The Big Bang Theory returns for the second half of its 8th season to an estimated 23.4 million viewers, it seems like a better time than ever to get down and nerdy about America's most popular sitcom.

We all know these lovable guys eat, drink, and sleep science, but do you know these 15 incredible facts about the making of the show?

Scroll down for the data.

1. Jim Parsons has never seen Star Trek.

Despite his character, Sheldon Cooper, being a true trekkie, Parsons hasn't seen a single episode of it!

2. But... he was cast on the spot.

Parsons' performances during casting were so good that Chuck Lorre immediately invited him to the second stage of interviewing. Lorre was already confident Parsons was his the right man, but waited to see him perform one more time. He nailed it - Lorre offered him the role there-and-then.

3. The title of the show wasn't originally 'The Big Bang Theory'.

The running title before The Big Bang Theory was thought-up was, 'Lenny, Penny, and Kenny'. I know which one I prefer!

4. There is a species of bee named after the show!

The Euglossa Bazinga bee
The Euglossa Bazinga bee

In honor of Sheldon's catchphrase "Bazinga!", a team of Brazilian Biologists named a newly discovered type of orchid bee "Euglossa bazinga". Bees are Sheldon's third-favorite flying creature.

5. Leonard doesn't really need glasses.

The glasses used for filming are lens-less!

6. Raj was based on an actual person that struggles to talk to women.

Raj's inability to talk to women (except when drunk!) is based on an old co-worker of executive producer Bill Prady. But Kunal himself is actually married to 2006's Miss India, Neha Kapur.

7. Stephen Hawking appeared on the show!

Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned British theoretical physicist cameoed in the episode, "The Hawking Excitation". In the episode, Hawking visits the university for a couple weeks to lecture, Howard was employed to help maintain the equipment on his wheelchair!

8. The scene where Penny reveals she loves Leonard was shot in one take.

And we think we know how...

9. Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter) had a thing.

They dated for two years whilst working on the show!

10. The cast and crew love to dance!

The cast surprised the executive producers with a flash mob dance-routine at the end of a live taping.

11. The set is actually quite small.

So small in fact, that there is just one hallway and floor in the apartment block, despite the appearance of two. Each time a character goes upstairs or downstairs, the set is rearranged to look like a different floor.

12. Penny was introduced AFTER the show was developed.

In the unaired pilot, Katie was the original neighbor's name and she was played by Amanda Walsh.

13. But we still don't know Penny's surname.

Cuoco is yet to drop any hints.

14. Simon Helberg puts the finishing touches to Howard's trademark hair 'do!

What a look!

15. Mayim Bialik really does have a PhD!

Bialik, who plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, received a PhD for her research into the hypothalamic activity in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome.


Who's your favorite The Big Bang Theory character?


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