The Big Bang Theory first aired at the peak of ’00s fashion, when UGG boots, pleated mini skirts, and weird chunky belts — often all together — were The Look. 12 years later, the trends may have changed, but the show’s costume department snuck in a few references to the pilot to show how the characters’ lives have come full circle.
Howard (Helberg) is famous for the novelty belt buckles topping his super skinny colorful jeans. He wears the same Nintendo controller design in the pilot and the finale — and Helberg actually kept it as a memento of the show.
Sheldon’s t-shirts have always been a talking point — especially now that superhero merch is more omnipresent than ever. In the first half of the finale, “The Change Constant,” Sheldon is wearing a classic Sheldon shirt bearing the Green Lantern logo. However, the t-shirt is deliberately faded, emphasizing the passing of time, and the fact that his clothing is yet another thing that he can’t keep from changing.
In the second half of the finale, “The Stockholm Syndrome,” Sheldon wears a t-shirt showing multiple superhero logos, which is unusual for him. This matches the feel of the episode as a summing up of the whole series, culminating in Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialik) accepting the Nobel Prize and Sheldon finally learning to appreciate his friends, instead of thinking about himself all the time.