Young Sheldon’s latest episode teases Sheldon’s future collegiate life, creating a Big Bang Theory plot hole regarding his undergraduate studies.
Young Sheldon’s season 3 finale creates a potential plot hole for The Big Bang Theory. The prequel spin-off debuted in 2017 focusing on Sheldon’s (Iain Armitage) childhood years in Galveston, Texas, but the latest episode of the offshoot may have created inconsistencies with what’s been established in its parent series.
In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is proud of his intellect and academic achievements, and he frequently lords his accomplishments over his group of friends, who are considered standouts in their respective scientific fields. His ridicule of Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) undergraduate schools, Princeton, MIT, and Harvard, gave viewers the impression that Sheldon attended an equally prestigious university. Though The Big Bang Theory never clarified where Sheldon went to college, the latest episode of Young Sheldon may have revealed that he does not have any right to discriminate against his pals.
During the season 3 finale of Young Sheldon, Sheldon accidentally discovers that he was accepted to multiple universities including CalTech. His mother, Mary (Zoe Perry), hides his acceptance letters not only from her son, but also from her husband, George Sr. (Lance Barber), because she’s not yet ready to let go of Sheldon. This creates a rift between Mary and the rest of the family, which brought the father and son together as they hatched a plan to convince the Cooper matriarch that Sheldon should be allowed to go to college despite only being 11. As a compromise, Sheldon agrees to attend East Texas Tech rather than CalTech or Princeton.
In The Big Bang Theory season 12 episode titled “The Tam Turbulence,” Sheldon explains that his fall-out with his childhood best friend stemmed from Tam backing out on moving with him to California when he got accepted at CalTech’s graduate program. Combined with the implications of Young Sheldon’s season 3 finale, it seems clear that Sheldon actually went to East Texas Tech for his bachelor’s degree. To be fair, East Texas Tech is by no means a bad school, and Sheldon looks forward to studying with one of its best professors, Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn), but it’s not Ivy League like Princeton and Harvard.
While there’s still a possibility that he may change schools midway through his undergraduate degree in future seasons, it’s safe to say at this point that Young Sheldon has no plans of actually sending him to any Ivy League schools that would justify his mockery of his future friends’ alma maters in The Big Bang Theory.