The Big Bang Theory has reached its final episode and, as a result, it’s attracted a ton of viewers who are desperately searching for a reliable place to catch up on all the action leading up to those final moments.
Keen to help whenever and wherever we can, we’ve rounded up the best places to watch The Big Bang Theory online, including season twelve. We’ve also triple-checked to ensure that the entire article is free of spoilers, so there’s no need to read with one eye closed — this is a spoiler-free zone.
How to watch The Big Bang Theory season 12
You’d think that tracking down the latest season of a TV show would be difficult, but in this case it’s rather simple. In fact, it’s so straightforward that you can be watching the first episode before the minute’s out: Just head over to CBS’ website, sign up for a CBS All Access account, then get streaming.
CBS offers a one-week free trial of CBS All Access, after which time it switches you to either a Limited Commercial or Commercial Free membership, depending on the trial you registered for — with the former, priced at $6 per month, delivering in-stream ads, and the latter, at $10 per month, no ads included.
There are 24 episodes in the twelfth season of The Big Bang Theory. Each is half an hour long. If you averaged four episodes per day, you could cover all of them in five days, leaving a day to peruse the rest of the content on offer and subsequently cancel your subscription, without paying so much as a dime.
But what about the other eleven seasons?
Unfortunately, tuning in to seasons one through eleven isn’t quite as painless (or cheap). That’s because the remaining 255 episodes, excluding the 24 in season twelve, aren’t cataloged on Netflix in the United States, like they are in the United Kingdom, leaving Amazon as the most convenient/legal option.
Here’s the kicker: Amazon is charging $20 for access to the inaugural season and $30 for each season thereafter, meaning you’ll need to have $320 set aside to catch up on the happenings of the first eleven seasons, before switching over to CBS All Access to watch the ultimate season for free — and that’s far from ideal.
It’s worth noting, however, that live TV services occasionally store some episodes as catch-up content. At time of publication, for instance, Sling TV hosts a high quantity of seasons 6-9. With that in mind, we’d recommend taking a look at all the usual suspects to see if the next season on your list is available for free. If it isn’t, your best bet is to hand over the $30 to Amazon, iTunes, or your other preferred service.
Update: This article has been updated to clarify that Netflix hosts The Big Bang Theory in the U.K., but U.S. residents won’t be able to access it there at present.