The end of The Big Bang Theory is starting to set in for some members of the cast at this point. Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny in the long-running sitcom, recently posted a promotional image for the final season on Instagram alongside a pretty emotional caption.
The snap dropped on Monday and drives home the fact that the popular series is ending this week, forced to live on in the memories of fans, syndication, and million dollar streaming contracts.
The image itself shows Cuoco and co-stars Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialik, and Simon Helberg walking into the great unknown with their heads turned to look back. But it is Cuoco's caption that really puts the image into perspective.
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"If it wasn't real before, it's real now," the actress wrote with a crying emoji to cap it off.
It's not the first time the actress has addressed the end of the show on social media. When the show passed Cheers to become the longest-running multi-camera sitcom with 276 episodes, Cuoco shared a cast photo from the set alongside a spread of cupcakes spelling out "276." Castmate Parson's also held the script for the history-making episode in his hand.
While that post was full of smiles, this post indicates the emotional end the cast is likely to face as the show wraps up in little over a month.
Fans responded to the actress' post with similar messages.
"It's a great picture of all of you but it's making me want to [cry] since the end of the show is near," one fan shared.
"Please say it isn't sooooo......I know it's coming but I'm not ready," another chimed in.
Despite the end being in sight, the creators and producers behind the show still didn't have the finale locked in recently and didn't have much to share.
"There are still pieces of the [finale] we have to figure out," co-creator and executive producer Bill Prady told TV Insider at WonderCon 2019. "We know some of the 'what.' We don't know all of the 'how.'"
"I don't want to rule anything out for the finale," showrunner Steve Holland added during the event. "But [the finale] will focus on our [main] characters."
For Cuoco, the end of the series will lead to a focus on her new production company. She credits the show with opening up that opportunity for her, with the producers of the series giving her some parting wisdom.
"I think surround yourself with people that you know can take care of things when you're not there. Have a deep team. Trust your team and let them do what they do. Try not to be a control freak about it," Cuoco revealed back in February.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and its finale will air May 16.