Young Sheldon’S Series Finale Makes Meemaw Partly Responsible For Mary’S The Big Bang Theory Personality


Although she didn’t mean to, Meemaw set Mary’s personality from The Big Bang Theory in stone during Young Sheldon’s series finale. Young Sheldon was handed an unenviable task when the prequel first began in 2018. The spinoff needed to take the scraps of Sheldon’s backstory that were established throughout The Big Bang Theory’s 12 seasons and use them to set up a family sitcom. Young Sheldon’s cast of characters were mentioned and glimpsed in The Big Bang Theory, but their characterization was inconsistent, and their backstories were thinly sketched. The prequel needed to make sense of the Coopers.

After Young Sheldon’s series finale, it is fair to say that the series managed this feat admirably. The prequel wasn’t perfect, but it did provide explanations for how every family member’s life panned out, even setting up the spinoff Georgie and Mandy’s First Marriage in the process. One previously unexplained character detail was the shifting outlook of Sheldon’s mother, Mary. In Young Sheldon, Mary was a relatively devout Christian, but in The Big Bang Theory, she was far more zealous, judgmental, and close-minded in her faith. The finale proved Meemaw inadvertently played a role in this change.

Meemaw Made The Wrong Assumption About Mary’s Faith (& The Big Bang Theory Proves It)

Young Sheldon’s Heroine Assumed Her Daughter’s Faith Would Fade

By assuming her religiosity would fade in time, Meemaw accidentally made her daughter Mary more dogmatic in Young Sheldon’s finale. Her exact words were “Just give her some time, she’ll calm down.” This was a reassurance that Georgie, Missy, and Sheldon all took solace in when their mother began spending more time praying and visiting George Sr.’s grave than she did with them. However, the exact opposite happened, and giving Mary time after George Sr.’s Young Sheldon death instead led her to become increasingly militant in her faith. Mary’s myopic worldview was calcified by The Big Bang Theory.

Throughout the earlier sitcom, Mary frequently insults adherents of other religions, denies the theory of evolution, and espouses other radical views related to her faith. Young Sheldon’s version of Mary was never this much of a zealot, but season 7, episode 14, “Memoir,” proved that it was George Sr.’s death and her subsequent isolation that led her down this path. Interestingly, Young Sheldon didn’t portray Mary’s intense religious conviction overtly negatively, comparing it to Sheldon’s single-minded belief in science and rationality. This contradicts the insulting comments she made about Raj’s Hinduism and Howard’s Judaism in The Big Bang Theory.

Sheldon Inadvertently Made Mary More Religious

Young Sheldon’s Baptism Scene Reaffirmed Mary’s Faith

Ironically, Sheldon getting baptized may have made Mary more religious in Young Sheldon’s finale since it seemed like a miracle from her perspective. Sheldon got baptized because it mattered to his mother, but she could understandably have read this as proof that her prayer was working. Young Sheldon’s ending justified The Big Bang Theory’s character details in numerous ways, with “Memoir” proving that Sheldon might have been instrumental in Mary turning to prayer as an answer to her problems more often after his father’s death. Despite this, Sheldon remained hostile toward her faith.

From her first appearance in The Big Bang Theory, Mary was contrasted with Sheldon because of her religious beliefs. The two characters are similarly obstinate, but their worldviews are treated as incompatible throughout the series. “Memoir” even acknowledged this, leaning on the fourth wall when Sheldon said that getting baptized went against his “Well-established atheism.” Despite this, the subplot was treated more as a sweet moment between the mother and son and less as a prelude to some bitter fights in their future. After all, Mary continued to favor Sheldon throughout The Big Bang Theory despite their differences.

Mary’s Faith In Young Sheldon’s Ending Is Different Compared To The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory’s Mary Was More Bitter

In a theme that will likely be explored in Georgie’s Big Bang Theory spinoff, Mary remained inordinately proud of Sheldon despite him rejecting her Christian faith. This seemed like a contradiction, but the revelation that Sheldon was willing to temporarily cast his doubts aside for his mother made it more understandable. “Memoir” treated Mary’s intense religious conviction as something Sheldon could ignore since it brought her some peace after George Sr.’s death, which is far from how it was framed in the earlier show.

In The Big Bang Theory, Mary’s faith was a source of some of Sheldon and his mother’s most bitter arguments between them. Although Sheldon was able to see the value in his mother’s faith shortly after George Sr.’s death and even took part in a Christian baptism, he changed his tune in the proceeding decades. This might be why Mary’s faith gradually grew more radical as she and her son’s beliefs gr