Young Sheldon's Most Controversial Character Arc Still Raises Many Questions for Fans

Young Sheldon's Most Controversial Character Arc Still Raises Many Questions for Fans
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Was she intended to be a despicable character, or did the writers do her a disservice?


  • Many fans believed that George's friendship with Brenda Sparks was a setup for his cheating on Mary.
  • Brenda was antagonized for most of the show.
  • The ending of her and George's storyline confused many viewers.

As a prequel to The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon had many events that weren't very surprising to the audience. Adult Sheldon also told viewers many facts about his childhood in Medford, Texas. We learned that Dr. Cooper's father, George Sr., died of a heart attack when the boy was in his mid-teens, and that before the tragedy, Shelly caught his father having sex with a strange woman.

Since Young Sheldon's debut in 2017, fans have been theorizing about the character of George's mistress. Later in the show, when his and Mary's marriage hit a rough patch, infidelity seemed inevitable, and many began to suspect that Brenda Sparks, the Coopers' longtime neighbor and Mary's friend, would be the woman as she and George bonded over their feelings of loneliness.

And even though it turned out that Shelly's father never cheated on Mary, as the mistress was Mary herself, dressed in traditional German garb, many fans still hold a grudge against Brenda.

A Flawed Character

Brenda Sparks has been rather unpleasant since the beginning of Young Sheldon. Before she got divorced and became Mary's friend, she was Sheldon's biggest nemesis, often making fun of his quirks. In Episode 9 of Season 7, Brenda and Mary had a big fight over Shelly not being invited to Billy's birthday party. Fortunately, the two women later bonded over having unconventional sons, but it still didn't win Sparks any fans.

As Brenda and Mary became friends, Brenda proved to be a more nuanced and compelling character. Most importantly, she turned out to be quite likable and funny. But her friendship with Mary only made things worse for Sparks when she tried to seduce George.

Sure, Brenda didn't become friends with Mary to get closer to the Coopers and steal George away from the family. But it was an ugly move for her to make with her friend's husband – especially at a time when Mary and George were visibly at odds with each other.

George's Fault

On the other hand, it's not entirely Brenda's fault. After all, she never showed any real interest in George until they became close and she felt an emotional connection to him. And it just so happens that having an emotional connection with someone makes you attracted to them. To make matters worse, George was really nice, kind and funny with Brenda and it was hard not to fall for his charms.

What's even more controversial is the way George and Brenda's unfulfilled affair ended, along with their relationship in general, with her hardly ever appearing on the show again. As a result, Brenda remained the most misunderstood character in all seven seasons of Young Sheldon.

In your opinion, was Brenda a bad person, or did she appear in a bad place at a bad time?