The Big Bang Theory wrapped up Season 11 with the moment we'd all been waiting for: Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy's (Mayim Bialik) wedding. It was as funny and touching as we'd hoped, with our nerdy lovers professing their eternal love to each other in front of friends, family, God and actors from both Star Wars and Star Trek.
Here are the 11 moments, in chronological order, that had us laughing until we cried and vice versa.
1. Amy's wedding-as-Lord of the Rings metaphor. The fact that she was able to pull that out proves just how perfect she and Sheldon are for each other. And Sheldon really kinda is Amy's lil Gollum.
2. Kathy Bates didn't let Teller speak. Kathy Bates and magician Teller guest-starred as Amy's parents. Teller, of course, is famous for never speaking during his act, and his persona got a fun twist in the episode. Every time Mr. Fowler tried to speak, unpleasant Mrs. Fowler cut him off. But it allowed Teller to show off his gift for silent comedy.
3. Amy met the family. Before the wedding Amy met Sheldon's twin sister Missy (Courtney Henggeler) and older brother George (Jerry O'Connell) for the first time. She took to them immediately, hugging Missy and saying she always wished she had a sister and encouraging Sheldon to talk with a sexy Texas accent like George's. Hopefully the show continues to find room for Missy and George to keep showing up. They're fun!
4. Bark Hamill. Howard (Simon Helberg) found a lost dog in his backyard, and it turned out the dog belonged to Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker. Howard had a hilarious meltdown about meeting the icon, but even he raised his eyebrows when he found out the dog's name. Bark. Bark Hamill. A wonderfully stupid pun. Mark Hamill was down to goof around in this episode.
5. Sheldon will always be Leonard's problem. In the middle of the episode, Sheldon had beautifully heartfelt moments with two very important people. When Leonard (Johnny Galecki) was helping him put on his boutonniere it wasn't an allergic reaction that caused him to tear up. "I'm just so happy for you," Leonard told his old roommate/best friend. "And for me. After today, you are officially — and more importantly, legally — Amy's problem."
"Don't be silly, Leonard," said Sheldon. "I will always be your problem."
After this sweet exchange, they even hugged. We don't always get to see the genuine affection Leonard and Sheldon have for each other, so this moment got extra emotional weight from how infrequently things like this happen.
6. Sheldon showed a rare flash of gratitude. But the moment between Sheldon and Leonard wasn't even the most tearjerking of the episode. Their moment was interrupted by a visit from Sheldon's mother Mary (Laurie Metcalf).
"Me too," said Sheldon. "I miss him." This is a borderline shocking admission to hear from Sheldon, who previously has had nothing good to say about his father. It sounds like his perspective on how he grew up is changing.
"He would be so proud of you," Mary said, her eyes full of tears. "I know that I am."
"Thank you," Sheldon responded. "I mean, for everything. My whole life."
STOP, OUR HEARTS CAN'T TAKE IT. This moment wouldn't land as well if we hadn't seen on Young Sheldon what an incredible mother Mary was to her peculiar little boy and how hard George Sr. tried, even though he was out of his depth. The spin-off is making the original show better.
7. Teller speaks! Earlier, we talked about how Amy's mother wouldn't let Amy's father speak. But then when Mrs. Fowler started panicking about Sheldon abandoning Amy when the wedding was running behind schedule, Penny (Kaley Cuoco) called her out and said Sheldon loved Amy and would never do anything to hurt her.
"Are you going to let her talk to me like that?" Mrs. Fowler fumed to her husband. "Say something!"
"Thank you!" he stage-whispered. Take my wife, please!
Teller has racked up a number of speaking appearances over the years, so it's not groundbreaking that he broke his silence, but it was still a fun little thread in the episode.
8. Sheldon and Amy were late to their own wedding because they were doing science. Sheldon had a crooked bow-tie-inspired flash of inspiration and started working on an equation based on "super-asymmetry" with Amy's help. Leonard came to check on them and got sucked in, too. It was the most Sheldon thing that could have happened.
9. Sheldon's reaction to seeing Mark Hamill. Howard had roped Hamill into replacing Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wil Wheaton as the wedding's officiant without Sheldon's knowledge. So when Sheldon came out and saw him, he was so excited he couldn't even get the words "Mark Hamill" out. He managed to regain his composure at the altar and told Hamill "when this is over I have 4,000 things for you to sign."
10. The vows. Sheldon and Amy wrote their own vows, and they were lovely.
Amy told Sheldon that when she was a little girl she used to dream of her wedding but at some point she stopped because it seemed like it would never happen. But then she met him. She knew from the moment she saw him that there was something special. "I can't imagine loving you more than I do right now," she said. "But I felt that way yesterday. And the day before yesterday. And the day before that."
After a little break to discuss some science, she said, "Sheldon, I don't know what the future holds. But I know that I have never been happier than I am in this moment marrying you." She even made Mark Hamill get choked up.
And for the second time in the episode, Sheldon was speechless. "Amy, I usually know exactly what to say, but in this moment, I have no words," he told her. "I guess I'm overwhelmed by you. In a good way. Not in 'the elevator in the Haunted Mansion' way. Even if I can't tell you know how I feel, I will spend my life showing you how much I love you."
11. Kripke sang "At Wast." After Mark Hamill pronounced them husband and wife and they sealed it with a kiss, they processed out to the dulcet tones of their speech-impedimented colleague Barry Kripke (John Ross Bowie) singing Etta James' classic "At Last."
"At wast, my wove has come awong, my wonewy days are over, and wife is wike a song."
The Big Bang Theory returns for Season 12 this fall on CBS.
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