What Happened to Tam in Young Sheldon?

Image credit: CBS

The CBS sitcom Young Sheldon has been on the air for six seasons now, and although the prequel is not as popular as The Big Bang Theory, fans still enjoy following the life of young Sheldon Cooper as well as many other captivating characters surrounding the child genius.

But of all the people on the show, there was one important character, Tam Nguyen, who disappeared after season four, and viewers can't help but wonder about what happened to Sheldon's friend who had a huge influence on him, shaping many of his views and interests.

Tam Nguyen was Sheldon's classmate and only childhood friend.

Somewhat out of the series' comedic mood, the boy's early life was quite dramatic: Tam was born during the Vietnam War, and his parents were forced to flee to the US. It's worth noting that the character plays a very important role for the whole franchise, as he was the one who introduced young Sheldon to a world beyond science. Thanks to him, the future Nobel Prize winner became a pop culture–addicted nerd with a passion for comic books and role-playing games.

However, after Tam's last appearance was in season four, we haven't heard from him in two seasons.

But there's no reason to worry about Tam's future — The Big Bang Theory fans know for a fact that the character is alive and well, as they saw him visiting Sheldon in California in episode four of season 12. And even though Sheldon was obviously mad at his friend for not leaving Texas with him, it seems odd that the character is gone without a trace in Young Sheldon. So why aren't we seeing more of him in the prequel?

The most logical explanation is that Tam is still in high school, and while Sheldon is busy with his college stuff, the two friends just don't have time to meet and talk with each other.

Some fans point out that the characters may actually see each other off-screen: "They may be meeting up at the comic book store, we're just not seeing it," Reddit user MajorZombie7204 speculates.

But what we do know is that at the age of 14, Cooper enrolled at the California Institute of Technology and eventually moved to Pasadena. But before he goes away in Young Sheldon, he and Tam must meet at least once to discuss the possibility of Tam moving away with him — otherwise, Sheldon's grudge against his childhood friend in The Big Bang Theory would be unjustified.

With this in mind, fans are eager to see Tam Nguyen appear again in Young Sheldon season seven, which is expected to premiere in fall 2023.