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Fridge / Young Sheldon

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Fridge Brilliance

  • A number of aspects of Sheldon's childhood are substantially toned down from what he describes in The Big Bang Theory. His father is a much more reasonable and supportive figure, his parents' fights are fairly unremarkable domestic squabbles, and his small town is neither as rural or as backwards as adult Sheldon portrayed. But we also see Sheldon's rather extreme reactions to these fairly minor issues (such as asking if his parents are getting divorced after he hears them arguing). Possibly, his immaturity and sensitivity caused him to exaggerate things in his own mind, causing the clear disparity between his adult recollections and the actual events.
    • In the Season 1 finale, we discover why. The narrator Sheldon, is NOT the Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory era, but from that show's future. It's an older and apparently much more mature Sheldon who can now perhaps have a better understanding of his family's dynamics.
      • Also, in "Family Dynamics and a Red Fiero" the narrator Sheldon blatantly admits that if he ever understood the sacrifices his father made for his family's happiness, he would have been a more compassionate and understanding son. Given that in The Big Bang Theory it took his marriage with Amy to mend his relationship with Georgie (strained when Sheldon left for Europe, leaving Georgie to care for his now widowed mother and orphan sister alone) and the worries about his Nobel to realize how similar George Sr. and him were and how much he taught to him, Future!Sheldon is a Sheldon who learned long ago to appreciate his family more and as he became a father and a family man himself, had a better understanding of how a family should work.
      • Not only that, but future!Sheldon has had the Heel–Face Turn caused by the events of the last episode, and has watched Howard and Bernadette, Leonard and Penny, and Missy raise their own children (and possibly Stuart and Denise, and maybe even Raj as well). So he has a broader basis for comparison and understanding of family dynamics than he would've before.
      • Sheldon's description of his brother Georgie on Big Bang Theory is pretty at odds with how Georgie is actually shown here but it makes a lot more sense when Season 5 has Georgie kicking off a series of events that puts the family in pretty bad straits. Sheldon likely latched onto this and it mixed with his already low opinion of his brother at the time to create a much more negative view of Georgie than how he was really like.
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    • Some of it may be intentional Unreliable Narrator on Sheldon's part. For example Billy Sparks is portrayed as a Decomposite Character with his bullying of Sheldon passed onto his younger sister. It's possible that Sheldon was embarrassed by being tormented by a little girl, so told his friends that it was Billy instead, as the others were unlikely to be in a position to find out, making the Billy that Sheldon describes in the main show is a Composite Character with Bobbi.
      • Speaking of Billy Sparks, he did indeed bully Sheldon in the pilot, calling Sheldon "doofus" and exploiting his fear of chickens. From the next episode onwards, the two are on friendly terms. Seeing as how Sheldon used the techniques he read in How to Win Friends and Influence People on Billy in the second episode, it's a bit more obvious why Billy's nicer to him now.
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    • Sheldon's easy willingness to lend Penny money in the main series makes sense when you consider that this series reveals the Coopers didn't have much money when Sheldon was a kid. He knows what financial insecurity is like, and now that he's in a more comfortable position, he's glad to help out a friend in a tight spot.
  • Sheldon's seeming asexuality makes a lot of sense after seeing both how his first crush thought of him as just a kid, and how Paige messed with him instead of kissing him. That kind of thing would make anyone feel a little reluctant to get involved in relationships again. It also specifically explains why he was so reluctant to call Amy his girlfriend even after they've spent time together and had a date at the end of Season 3/between Season 3 and 4.
  • Older Sheldon's disdain towards religion makes a lot more sense after Pastor Jeff fired his mother and kicked the entire family out of church over Georgie getting Mandy pregnant.
  • Georgie is treated as The Un Favourite in the future by Mary. Considering how he quits school, gets an older woman pregnant after lying to her for months, and has the entire family both ostracized and kicked out of the church, it is understandable how an overly religious woman could hold a grudge over this for years.
    • It also explains Sheldon's later behavior towards him on The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon's a big Mama's boy, and doesn't like it when bad things happen to her. Seeing that Georgie's actions are the cause of major strife in the home (Mary's job loss, the family being shunned, etc), he probably holds him responsible for all of this.
    • Similarly, it also explains why Sheldon didn't speak of his father too flatteringly in the parent show. We know that sooner or later the marital spats will take a turn for the worse, and George will eventually cheat on Mary. And, while he's certainly aware of her flaws and willing to point them out, at the end of the day Sheldon adores Mary. The messy breakdown of the marriage probably poisoned his view of his father for a long, long time, the affair overshadowing George's good qualities in his memory, especially if George dies before he gets a chance to properly make up for it or reconcile with Mary. Meanwhile, the narrator version of Sheldon has had lots of Character Development, exposure to other people and interpersonal relationships, and enough time to be able to reflect, let go of his grudge, and see his father as the complicated, but ultimately decent man he was.

Fridge Logic

  • Georgie skipped a grade. What likely happened is that he started his first year of high school in 9th grade, and then skipped to 10th grade mid-year; see the Timeline page for more info. It is unlikely that he did this well legitimately, so he probably got ahead by cheating, which he is shown to be very skilled at.

Fridge Horror

  • Sheldon in many ways acts more mature than he did in The Big Bang Theory - meaning that all the lessons he learns about empathy and humility either didn't stick or he completely decided to ignore them.