"It sucks in pop culture, but the show has never reflected back any of the light it’s absorbed," says Kathryn VanArendonk. She adds: "The Big Bang Theory sucks up certain segments of pop culture like a sponge, and those references are the background on which the show’s nearly plotless stories run. Nerdy genre movies, comic-book series, TV shows, and video-game metaphors make up the language these characters use to communicate. They form the references and benchmarks for how these characters move through life. But outside of a very few exceptions like the catchphrase 'Bazinga,' the reverse has never been true. The Big Bang Theory is about culture, but culture has never been about The Big Bang Theory, not in the same way that culture has been about the Marvel universe, or discussions about The Last Jedi, or everything about Game of Thrones. The president is not posting memes about his administration with Big Bang Theory fonts. There’s no glut of pieces on the popularity of Sheldon as a baby name. Next week, there will not be petitions for the creators to remake the finale, or if there are, they will be jokes. The fictional conversations within The Big Bang Theory have never driven large conversations outside the show. We are not in the midst of a national debate about gender balance in the sciences (although maybe we should be). There has not been a big consideration of academic plagiarism, spurred by the plot where other scientists try to take credit for Sheldon and Amy’s work. There’s not been a major discussion about what’s going on with Leonard and Penny because, to be frank, very few events happen to them, especially in the later seasons."