“We Rewatched Big Bang Theory And It’s Completely Different After Young Sheldon “


The end of “Young Sheldon” has finally come to pass, leaving us with a complete (and only slightly edited) story of one of the most well-known sitcom characters of the 21st century. For seven seasons, the younger version of Sheldon Cooper (originally played by Jim Parsons but portrayed here by Iain Armitage) colored in the corners of the “Big Bang Theory” universe. The prequel series brought back fond memories of the mothership show with each sly reference, all the while trying to patch the various plot holes created by the spin-off itself. Together, the two shows represent a herculean feat of modern television writing, and for that alone they deserve some praise.

But, the end of “Young Sheldon” left “The Big Bang Theory” fans with something other than nostalgia — a gap in their weekly viewing schedule. For the first time since “The Big Bang Theory” aired in 2007, there are no ongoing series within this world to watch. Fans now have a lot of time on their hands (at least until the Georgie and Mandy spin-off debuts), so rewatching the original series makes a lot of sense. That’s exactly what we did, and — though it was well worth the walk down memory lane — we feel we should warn viewers of what lies ahead. Even though most of the laughs are still there, it’s hard to see “The Big Bang Theory” in the same way after watching “Young Sheldon.” Here’s why.

Sheldon’s trademark graphic tees are a huge deal

As we rewatched our way through “The Big Bang Theory,” we came to appreciate all the meaningful character details that “Young Sheldon” added to the lore. Case in point: Older Sheldon’s unique fashion style, which rears its loud and nerdy head in the series premiere. The faded graphic tee, long-sleeve undershirt combo quickly defined the character’s look throughout the entire series, causing him to stick out aesthetically as much as he did socially from his more stylish or professionally dressed friends.

However, even the most casual “Young Sheldon” viewer will know this wardrobe did not carry over to the spin-off prequel series, in which the younger Sheldon deliberately wears a bow-tie and button-down from an elementary school age. In fact, as the series revealed, Sheldon’s science-nerd side didn’t even start to fuse with his comic-book-nerd side until after he met Tam Ngyuen in “Young Sheldon” Season 1.


The more Sheldon developed his social skills throughout the series, the more he was able to pick and choose when to show off this relaxed aspect of his personality — an evolution punctuated at the end of “Young Sheldon” Season 5 by him donning a Flash graphic tee. Sure, Sheldon’s style may arguably be to blame for those Target tees that mirror current trends and annoy longtime fans of whatever property is the flavor of the month, but, in-universe, these tees are the inevitable by-product of one boy’s lifelong battle for social acceptance.

Didn’t the Coopers have a family dog?

In “The Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon clearly states on two separate occasions — both times in Season 1 — that he used to have a dog. And yet, though we explored all the darkest corners and crevices of Sheldon’s childhood in “Young Sheldon,” not once did we meet this Cooper family dog that allegedly existed at some point in this universe. The spin-off series actually goes so far as to write Sheldon as being so afraid of dogs that it’s impossible to imagine that version of the family ever having one.

We’re far from the first to point this out — “The Big Bang Theory” fans have been striking their keys about this exact issue for several years now. Unfortunately, no one so far has been able to come up with an answer beyond a shrug and an acknowledgement that “The Big Bang Theory” never had the strongest continuity. That’s especially true for the first season, during which the writers and actors were probably still discovering who these characters were.

These things happen with shows that prove to be big hits and go on for longer than anyone could have hoped when the first episodes were being created. Still, it’s annoying when you rewatch the show, especially because a Cooper family dog could have provided countless storylines. Of course, we could pin the dog’s omission from “Young Sheldon” on Sheldon himself — the spin-off essentially confirms that he’s an unreliable narrator.