Young Sheldon’s Ending Justifies The Big Bang Theory’s Harsh Jokes About George Sr.


Although Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory painted two very different pictures of Sheldon’s father, George Sr., the spinoff’s series finale explained this obvious disparity. Young Sheldon’s cast of characters were all mentioned in The Big Bang Theory, but only the title character played a main role in both shows. Missy, Meemaw, and Georgie only appeared in one or two episodes of The Big Bang Theory and even Sheldon’s mother Mary showed up only once or twice a season. In contrast, the Cooper family made up the main characters of the show’s first spinoff, Young Sheldon.

Although Young Sheldon’s ending explained what became of Sheldon after The Big Bang Theory ended, the spinoff’s finale didn’t devote too much screen time to the future of Sheldon’s family. Georgie and Missy’s older selves weren’t seen, although the long-awaited death of Sheldon’s father, George Sr., allowed the spinoff to set up Mary’s intense religious devotion in The Big Bang Theory. However, despite not giving viewers a glimpse of the Cooper family’s future, Young Sheldon’s series finale did finally answer one mystery by explaining why Sheldon and Mary spoke so poorly of George Sr. in the original show.

Georgie’s Comment At George Sr.’s Funeral Explained The Big Bang Theory’s Jokes

Young Sheldon’s Hero Explained The Funeral’s Jokes To Missy

When a tearful Missy demanded to know why mourners were mocking their late father in their speeches at his funeral, Georgie told Missy that people were making jokes at George Sr.’s expense because they loved him. This was a touching sentiment and also a clever way to justify the claims Mary and Sheldon made about George Sr. in the original show. Throughout The Big Bang Theory, Mary and George Sr. frequently wrote Sheldon’s father off as a drunk, a fool, a layabout, and a philanderer. Surprisingly, Young Sheldon proved he was secretly a sweet, well-meaning family man.

Although some of Young Sheldon’s wilder George Sr. storylines did see the character get into a few wacky scrapes, he was still always portrayed as an essentially decent everyman. George Sr.’s flaws weren’t substantial enough to adversely affect his children and he always stood up for them when they needed him. The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon and Mary mocked George Sr. because they remembered him fondly, much like the funeral attendees who made the jokes that upset Missy. George Sr. had a big heart, so he wouldn’t have begrudged people for finding light in such a dark time.


The Big Bang Theory’s George Sr. Stories Were Almost All Embarrassing

Young Sheldon’s Heroes Remembered George Sr. With A Laugh

From Leonard claiming Sheldon’s father started a fight with a cactus to Sheldon saying George Sr. tried to share a beer with him when he was 11, to Mary calling him a “Dumb ass,” to Sheldon referring to his parenting as “Coasting,” no one in The Big Bang Theory had a kind word to spare for George Sr. This would make sense if he was a terrible father, but it would also add up if he was a patient, laid-back guy with a good sense of humor. Unlike Sheldon, George Sr. never asked people to take him seriously.

As the show drew to a close, Young Sheldon mocked its biggest issue by noting that Sheldon wasn’t all that young anymore. He was growing into the obstinate, self-important character viewers knew and loved from The Big Bang Theory, which contrasted distinctly with his easygoing father. George Sr.’s death resulted in Georgie becoming obsessed with never letting down his family, while it made Sheldon’s self-aggrandizement more acute. Ironically, George Sr. was the only one of them who didn’t mind people laughing at his flaws. Thus, Young Sheldon made The Big Bang Theory’s George Sr. jokes sweet in retrospect.

Young Sheldon’s Series Finale Fixed The Big Bang Theory’s Depiction Of George Sr.

The Spinoff Explained Why Sheldon’s Father Changed Between Shows

The real reason that The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon and Mary spoke so poorly of George Sr. is likely the same reason that Sheldon never mentioned his childhood rival, friend, and formative crush Paige. While Young Sheldon’s upcoming spinoff was written as a direct continuation of the series, Young Sheldon had to work around The Big Bang Theory’s established canon. Many of the jokes about Sheldon’s father were written years before a spinoff about Sheldon’s childhood was even a distant possibility. These gags were more focused on punchlines than building a coherent fictional world.

As such, The Big Bang Theory made George Sr. sound terrible since there was no way Sheldon’s late father would ever appear in the series itself. It was only when the show gained a spinoff that this became a logistical issue, with Sheldon’s feelings about his father suddenly taking on much more significance. Young Sheldon would have been a far darker show if the series depicted the dangerously irresponsible version of Sheldon’s father painted by The Big Bang Theory’s anecdotes, so it makes sense that the show avoided this. Instead, Young Sheldon’s finale cleverly justified The Big Bang Theory’s jokes.