Young Sheldon Theory: The Show Doesn't Follow the TBBT Canon for a Reason

Young Sheldon Theory: The Show Doesn't Follow the TBBT Canon for a Reason
Image credit: CBS

There is a logical explanation for the many inconsistencies in Shelly's childhood story.


  • Young Sheldon does not adhere to the canon established on TBBT.
  • Sheldon may have deliberately changed history himself.
  • There are several possibilities as to why he did this.

Since its premiere in 2017, Young Sheldon has been a flagship sitcom on CBS. Over the years, the spin-off has become even more popular than its parent, The Big Bang Theory. From more nuanced storytelling to smarter jokes, YS has many advantages that set it apart from TBBT. But the prequel show also has many inconsistencies that drive fans crazy.

Set in Texas in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Young Sheldon follows the childhood of Sheldon Cooper as he recounts the things that happened to him and his family members. Some of these things are familiar to fans of The Big Bang Theory, as Dr. Cooper talked about them on several occasions on the original show. But very often, the spin-off ignores these canonical stories, which viewers are none too happy about. However, there seems to be a good reason why YS doesn't follow the canon to the letter.


Sure, this is just speculation, and most likely the writers of Young Sheldon simply changed some details to better fit the overall plot of the spin-off. But there is a kind of meta reason why TBBT's Sheldon, who narrates the prequel, might have altered or omitted certain things.

As Amy's comments during her few behind-the-scenes appearances on Young Sheldon made clear, Dr. Cooper is recording his stories. Perhaps he's taping a memoir of his life, starting with his childhood and the many obstacles he had to overcome on his way to the Nobel Prize in Physics. Therefore, Sheldon may have decided to leave out certain unpleasant and ugly parts of his childhood.

In other words, Dr. Cooper's father George doesn't cheat on Mary in the spin-off because Sheldon doesn't want such a personal event to be in his memoirs for thousands of other people to see, even though he previously shared it with his Penny on TBBT. Perhaps Sheldon's friends, or even his wife Amy, advised him not to include such deeply personal details in his recording. But he certainly has a reason to change his story for Young Sheldon.


On the other hand, Sheldon may have changed the story because he reconsidered the events and concluded that he was wrong and confused about certain events in his childhood. For example, Dr. Cooper may have understood or learned from his mother that George never actually cheated on her, prompting the narrator to revise his story to be fair to his father. But again, this is mere speculation…

Young Sheldon will return to CBS on April 4 with episode 6.

Do you think Sheldon may have changed certain details on purpose?