I've never understood the explanation for this. Though I know people love to talk about "max pain." Why should expiring the options without value be "their" goal? And is there any compelling data showing that this actually happens?
there is nothing to understand. That's just some BS that is out there for those who have no much clue.
Nothing prevent you to write call, or sell puts and cash in big time, as certain series have to expire worthless, just as other end up expiring in the money or at the money .
There's no particular _inherent_ reason why options should converge to expire at minimal aggregate value. The people who are subscribing to the max-pain theory typically assume, incorrectly, that the big option writers (MMs) are not hedging their delta exposure by other means, such as trading in the underlying asset. It is then implied that having the underlying asset at max-pain is in their best interest. How they can magically will or force the underlying to the price they supposedly want is also not explained.
I have not seen a scientific study that claims to test max-pain against the null hypothesis. In any case, I do not subscribe to the theory.