Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield, New Girl

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Here's hoping New Girl threwZooey Deschanel quite the baby shower!

In tonight's epic season four finale (one of our favorite episodes of the show ever), one of the Fox sitcom's main couples took a major step in their relationship: They got engaged! Warning, spoilers ahead!

That's right, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) finally made good on the (five dollar addition to the douchebag jar worthy!) promise he made to Cece (Hannah Simone) when he first met her, asking, "Girl, will you marry me?" Cue the waterworks! But the couple's surprise proposal, which you can re-watch and cry over below, almost went down in a completely different way, creator Liz Meriwether tells E! News. 

Meriwether says the writers decided at the very beginning of the season that Cece and Schmidt would get engaged, but admits they weren't sure what to do with the additional episode Fox had originally ordered. "I was so stressed out about the proposal because it just feels like this whole build-up to something," she says. "There's got to be, like, fireworks and a hot air balloon and a spaceship and whatever that was going to be. [Laughs.]"

Enter Deschanel's pregnancy to the unexpected rescue! (New Girl actually filmed its first four episodes of season five immediately after wrapping season four.)

"Because of Zooey's pregnancy and the schedule, we had to just make it 22 episodes," Meriwether explains. "It was actually this great gift, because originally the end of the episode was Schmidt running out to find Cece, and then 23 was going to be him finding her and the proposal. But having him just open the door and that she's there, it actually made it feel a lot cleaner and simpler. And the fact that it happened in the loft I really like, as opposed to him running out and climbing a mountain or whatever that was going to be. [Laughs.]"

And the simple and sweet engagement will lead to some major comedy in season five, Meriwether previews. "The good thing about this proposal being out of the blue is that they still have a lot of things to work out, too. Like, they don't really know each other's families, and there are a lot of things that a wedding brings up. It just felt like getting them together gave us more stories and comedy."

New Girl, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone


But don't expect to see Schmidt and Cece get a place of their own just yet. 

"It doesn't come up right away. We did want to keep things feelings kind of the same. They are paying for the wedding, so they are trying to save money for the wedding by staying in the loft," Meriwether says. "The great thing about Schmidt and Cece coming together is it doesn't really change the group dynamic that much. I  think the lesson that we learned in season three was that Nick and Jess getting together...it definitely felt like we were in a show about a couple and their friends. What's good about Schmidt and Cece is that it doesn't feel like it completely changes the dynamic."

Still, Cece will be spending a lot more time at the loft, leading to some surprising revelations about the former model. "There's a funny episode that is everybody realizing that she's kind of a slob and they never realized it before because she hasn't been over at the loft that much. She's kind of one of those hot girls that's never had to pick up after themselves and [it's] Nick having to deal with that."

New Girl, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone


With Schmidt and Cece's engagement, Coach moving out of the loft to be with the woman he loves and Nick owning a piece of the bar, it feels like the New Girl gang might be taking their first major steps into adulthood. They grow up so fast, don't they?!

"I think that was a great thing for the end of this season...it just feels like we're setting up season five for them to take steps forward in their lives, which is great," Meriwether says. "It feels like the right time to be doing that on the show." As for the engagement specifically, Meriwether adds, "I think it's a really grown-up move, an they'll probably be some steps back and then forward, but it's really exciting. It's going to allow us to tell slightly more grown-up stories and it also tells the audience that they can commit to this relationship."

Of course, Schmidt still will be Schmidt, so fans can expect to see him turn into a groomzilla. "That's the plan! [Laughs.] He's much more into planning the wedding," Meriwether reveals. "He's like the girl that's been dreaming about a wedding her whole life. And Cece, who has already been through a wedding, is definitely a lot less interested in the planning of the wedding than Schmidt it."

Check back with us a little later to get more finale intel and season five scoop from Meriwether, including whether or not the show is going there with Nick and Jess again!

What did you think of New Girl's surprise proposal? Are you excited to see what's next for the couple? Sound off in the comments!

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