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Series / Young Sheldon

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Young Sheldon is a sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro. The series is a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory and follows the character Sheldon Cooper at the age of 9, living with his family in East Texas and going to high school. Iain Armitage stars as young Sheldon, alongside Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, and Raegan Revord. Jim Parsons, who portrays an adult Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, narrates the series and serves as an executive producer.


Tropes Include:

  • The '80s: The setting, with a decent amount of 1980s fashions and pop culture references. Most or all of the first season is set in 1989. By the second season, the setting has advanced to 1990. Of course, The '90s (at least in the pop culture grunge and extreme everything sense) didn't magically start overnight on January 1, 1990. The early '90s were still culturally '80s, and this was especially true for small-town America.
  • Actor Allusion: The episode dealing with Bobbi Sparks bullying Sheldon has George mention that he used to be a bully when he was in school. This is likely a reference to Lance Barber's role as Jimmy Speckerman, one of Leonard's childhood bullies, in The Big Bang Theory.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In "Demons, Sunday School and Prime Numbers", George and Mee-maw make a few burns at each other and both of them say they were pretty good.
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  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Mary and Missy are blondes in this show, instead of brunettes like in The Big Bang Theory.
  • Adults Are Useless: Sheldon's parents when they failed to stop a bully from tormenting Sheldon in the Jiu-jitsu episode. Even the bully's parents have no idea how much she torments Sheldon. Though they tried.
  • Adult Fear:
    • In "A Therapist, A Comic Book, and A Breakfast Sausage", Sheldon wanders off while at the therapist office. Although nothing bad happens to him, his parents are worried sick, and when he returns home there are police cars there.
    • In "A Crisis of Faith and Octopus Aliens", Mary reacts badly to a neighbor's girl dying in a car crash. She's worried that it might happen to Georgie, who is about the same age and is just starting to learn to drive.
  • Aesop Amnesia: At the end of "A High-Pitched Buzz and Training Wheels", Sheldon vows that, no matter what he's been going through, he'd never be irritating or abusive to his friends and loved ones. Anyone who's watched The Big Bang Theory knows how well this stuck.
    • Mary learns that Missy feels ignored since all of the attention goes to Sheldon, and makes an effort to focus on her more. Obviously, it does not stick as well.
  • All for Nothing: In "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag," Sheldon causes a fuss when a company changes his favorite bread by producing it cheaply to save money, and in a series of escalating events ends up accidentally supporting communism because he thinks it will get him better bread. At the end of the episode he announces that he gave the bread another chance and he likes it, trying to make himself sound mature, but the rest of his family is still mad at him for what he put them through and isn't talking to him.
  • Anachronistic Soundtrack: The episode "A Mother, a Child, and a Blue Man's Backside" features a 1993 song from The Ramones playing in Sheldon's comic book store in 1989. Lampshaded by Steve Molaro in the Chuck Lorre Productions Vanity Plate at the end of the episode.
  • Artistic License – History: In episode 3, Pastor Jeff claimed Albert Einstein believed in God. While Einstein wasn't an atheist, he preferred to be called an agnostic.
  • Ass Shove: Implied in "A Crisis of Faith and Octopus Aliens". When Mary starts crying while playing pool with Constance, a guy walks up and offers a shoulder to cry on. Constance then tells him that she's looking for a place to store her pool cue. He responds that he might be into that.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In "A High-Pitched Buzz and Training Wheels", Missy can't help but hug Sheldon when he starts crying after being yelled at by their dad.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Sheldon managed to finally show Dr. Hodge his calculations for VTVL technology, he's informed that, while impressive, they don't have the technology available yet to put it into motion. When Sheldon summarizes this as being told he's ahead of his time, which Dr. Hodge admits, you'd think he'd be upset... but instead he calmly tells Dr. Hodge to "call [him] when [they] catch up", and leaves the room satisfied.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Demons, Sunday School, and Prime Numbers," devout Christian Mary enrolls Sheldon in Sunday School, hoping her son will develop an interest in religion. He takes an interest, alright; in all religions.
  • Been There, Shaped History: In "A Patch, a Modem, and a Zantac", it's shown that Sheldon's notebook inspired Elon Musk to successfully land a rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean on April 8, 2016.
  • The B Grade: Any test score less than 100% is Sheldon's Berserk Button.
    • In “A Solar Calculator, a Game Ball, and a Cheerleader’s Bosom“, Sheldon gets a B+ on his math test because he forgot to show his work. He blames it on attending a party the previous night, even though he didn’t stay long and didn’t want to go anyway.
    • In "A Math Emergency and Perky Palms", Sheldon takes one of Prof. Sturgis' college tests and it gets a 95% because he didn't use the required equations. He spends the rest of the episode arguing with Sturgis that his solution was better. Sturgis actually agrees with Sheldon, but is reluctant to admit he was wrong.
  • Big Storm Episode: "A Mother, a Child, and a Blue Man's Backside" ends with the Coopers hiding in the bathroom as a tornado hits the neighborhood.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Sheldon's twin sister Missy. She openly insults and messes with her two brothers and is even rude to her own mother. She is aware of her own bad attitude, such as when Mary angrily asks her why she is such a brat and she claims she is "crying for attention." She in general just seems to enjoy her dysfunctional family because they amuse her but only as long as she gets her way with everything.
  • Brick Joke: Midway through episode 9, Sheldon convinces Missy that Mee-maw has money buried in her backyard so he can get the TV to himself. At the very end of the episode, Mee-maw falls into one of the holes Missy dug in her yard.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Sheldon is afraid of birds, as shown in the pilot when he's scared by Billy Sparks' pet chicken.
    • Billy Sparks, mentioned twice in the parent series as Sheldon's childhood bully, appears every now and then. He's even a chicken farmer, implying that the chicken who chased Sheldon up a tree when he was a child belonged to the Sparks family.
    • Several S1 episodes allude to George's impending mortality, as it's been long established on Big Bang that Sheldon's dad died when he was a young teen.
    • In her first appearance on the parent series, Mary described Sheldon's siblings as "dumb as soup." George, Jr. is, indeed, not too bright; and Missy isn't good with numbers.
    • The very first scene (and dialogue) from the pilot reminds us that Sheldon loves trains.
    • In "A Therapist, a Comic Book and a Breakfast Sausage", Sheldon tells Tam that he's in his seat.
    • Sheldon once commented that he made a list of enemies on a floppy disk. In "A Computer, a Plastic Pony, and a Case of Beer", we see him start that list.
    • "A Sneeze, Detention, and Sissy Spacek" has Mary sing "Soft Kitty" to Sheldon when he's sick.
    • Sheldon is shown watching Professor Proton.
    • In "Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman", Sheldon's heartbreak over geology-enthusiast Libby leads to his belief that geology is not a real science.
    • In "Jiu-Jitsu, Bubble Wrap, and Yoo-Hoo", Sheldon gives himself the taxonomic name Homo novus, which he mentions on "The Euclid Alternative".
      • Sheldon uses it again in "A Race of Superhumans and a Letter To ALF" to refer to a hypothetical race of superhumans descended from a smarter Missy.
    • In "A Mother, a Child, and a Blue Man's Backside", the school counselor suggests that Sheldon apply to Cal-Tech, where present-day Sheldon works in Big Bang. He rejects it, saying that he doesn't want to move to California due to its loose lifestyle. He also rejects MIT for being mostly an engineering school, just as adult Sheldon makes fun of Howard for studying engineering there.
    • "Vanilla Ice Cream, Gentlemen Callers, and a Dinette Set" shows Sheldon coming up with his first relationship agreement.
    • Sheldon's super-sensitive hearing is the focus of "A High-Pitched Buzz and Training Wheels".
    • "An 8-Bit Princess and a Flat Tire Genius" shows how Georgie began his career as a tire expert, as shown in Big Bang.
    • "A Stunted Childhood and a Can of Fancy Mixed Nuts" reveals the origin of Sheldon's "Bazinga" catchphrase on Big Bang. In an attempt to loosen himself up and be more carefree like Missy and Paige, he buys a set of practical tricks from the comic shop, manufactured by Bazinga Novelties; Sheldon takes the tagline "If it's funny, it's a Bazinga" quite literally.
    • In "A Swedish Science Thing and the Equation for Toast", Dr. Sturgis speculates that Sheldon might win the Nobel Prize. Which he does in the final episode of Big Bang.
      • At the end of the episode, as Sheldon listens to the announcement of the Nobel Prizes, the camera shows younger versions of the other main characters of Big Bang, starting with Leonard, who is also listening to the Nobel announcements.
  • Captain Obvious: Georgie tends to make statements that are fascinating to him but obvious to everyone else, including his realization that E.T.'s human friend Elliott has a name starting with an E and ending with a T.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Wallace Shawn appears as Dr. John Sturgis. Shawn's most famous roles are in The Princess Bride and Toy Story, both of which have been mentioned many times on The Big Bang Theory.
    • Missy mentions the TV show Blossom in "A Race of Superhumans and a Letter to Alf". The title character was played by Mayim Bialik, who plays Sheldon's wife Amy on The Big Bang Theory. (Blossom was also mentioned on The Big Bang Theory, in the episode "The Bat Jar Conjecture.")
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The Cooper house in Young Sheldon is different in the inside and outside compared to the Cooper house in The Big Bang Theory. There has been no mention in the latter show about Sheldon and his family moving after the age of 9.
    • In "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary", Sheldon explicitly states that Billy Sparks lived down the street from him, yet in this show, they appear to be next-door neighbors.
    • George Cooper Sr. has been described as a "redneck Texas Homer Simpson" who would, among other things, drink bourbon from Pepsi cans and use dishes for skeet shooting practice and would fight with Mary but here he seems to be something of an Only Sane Man who urges Mary to give Sheldon his space. This can actually be explained by Sheldon being an Unreliable Narrator. The latter characteristic was mentioned in Mary's first appearance on the show, where she noted that her husband often urged her to take her time with Sheldon.
    • In "Potato Salad, a Broomstick, and Dad's Whiskey", Sheldon can understand Spanish, but in the parent series episode "The Bat Jar Conjecture", his grasp of Spanish was so bad he couldn't understand the difference between the Spanish words for "son" (hijo) and "butcher" (carnicero). This is can also be explained away, assuming Sheldon didn't actually use his Spanish language skills in the time between series his skill in the language would have deteriorated even to the point of becoming non existent (if you don't use it, you lose it).
  • Crisis of Faith: Mary has one in the aptly titled episode "A Crisis of Faith and Octopus Aliens". She reacts to a neighbor's young daughter dying in a car crash first by keeping busy volunteering at church, then she starts doubting why the girl's death is somehow part of God's plan, and gets so distraught that she stops going to church and saying grace. This change in character worries Sheldon, and he manages to restore her faith by saying that, even though he doesn't believe in God, he's open to the possibility that there might be a creator.
  • Crossover Punchline: The Stinger to "A Race of Superhumans and a Letter to ALF" ends with ALF reading Missy's fan letter.
  • David vs. Goliath: Invoked by Sheldon in "David, Goliath, and A Yoo-Hoo from the Back" when he confronts a bully (Jason). He even improvises a slingshot out of a pair of safety goggles. It fails to knock out Jason, who then proceeds to stuff Sheldon in his locker and leave him there overnight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Meemaw and Missy. Less frequently, George can be pretty snarky as well.
  • Decomposite Character: On The Big Bang Theory, Billy Sparks was mentioned as Sheldon's childhood bully. However, on this show, Billy is much more good-natured, whereas his sister Bobbi is the one who bullies Sheldon.
  • Defector from Commie Land: Tam's family were among the "boat people" who fled Vietnam after the war.
  • The Ditz: Billy Sparks.
    (Sheldon, Tam, and Billy play Dungeons and Dragons)
    Tam: Firebeak, what do you do? (beat) Billy!
    Billy: What?
    Tam: You are Firebeak.
    Billy: OK.
    Tam: So what do you do?
    Billy: I'm Firebeak.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": When Sheldon gets a pet fish, he names it Fish because he doesn't want to be too attached.
  • Doomed by Canon: It's already been established on Big Bang Theory that Sheldon's father died when he was 14.
    • By the time of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Tam are no longer friends, and Tam wasn't mentioned for a long time. It's finally revealed that Tam had planned to go to college with Sheldon, but ended up staying in Texas with a girl he was dating. Sheldon felt so betrayed that he didn't contact or mention him for many years.
    • The romance between Meemaw and Dr. Sturgis. Though Meemaw is still alive in The Big Bang Theory, no mention is made of Dr. Sturgis, so either they'll end up breaking up at some point or John will die.
    • Similarly with Georgie and Veronica. Despite all the ShipTeasing, they are not together in Big Bang. Though it's possible that they do get married at some point, as Big Bang confirms that Georgie has two ex-wives, so it's possible that Veronica could have been his first wife.
    • "Albert Einstein and the Story of Another Mary" has Mary getting pregnant with a fourth child, which there is no evidence of in Big Bang. It ends with a Convenient Miscarriage, and the implication that Sheldon never found out about it.
  • Dreadful Musician: After learning that Albert Einstein played the violin to help him think, Sheldon decides to learn to play. The resulting screeching is said to drive the neighborhood dogs crazy.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: In the second episode, Mary worries that Sheldon is sitting alone in the cafeteria. Older Sheldon explains that he actually liked being alone, pondering the mysteries of the universe.
  • Education Mama:
    Tam: So, you're hoping to create an army of super-intelligent children who will do your bidding?
    Sheldon: In a perfect world, yes.
    Tam: You should spend more time with my mother. That's her goal, too.
  • Food Fight: Missy and Georgie in the pilot.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact that the narrator Sheldon is speaking from a time after The Big Bang Theory is set is foreshadowed several times, especially since Sheldon seems a lot more understanding of his father's personality and actions than he did in the parent show. Most notably he outright states in one episode that he realises now that his father would often play dumb to make him feel better, something The Big Bang Theory era Sheldon is unlikely to have understood or appreciated.
  • Formally Named Pet: Billy Sparks's pet chicken Matilda shares his last name, according to Sheldon. It's unclear whether the chicken is named that or if Sheldon simply addressed her formally.
  • Former Teen Rebel: In "David, Goliath and a Yoo-Hoo from the Back", Constance tells Missy that Mary used to be a rebellious teenager, but when there were complications with Missy's birth, she prayed to God and swore to become more pious and responsible, becoming the deeply religious woman she is now (or as Missy describes her, "a dud").
  • Freudian Excuse: Downplayed: Adult!Sheldon reveals that Georgie's attempt at driving the both of them and Missy to the hospital George was at is the reason why he never learned how to drive.
  • Genre Shift: A subtle one. While the parent show is a three-camera sitcom with a Studio Audience, Young Sheldon is a one-camera sitcom shot on location, with more emphasis on family drama and a more grounded approach to its comedy.
  • Henpecked Husband: George, as well as Herschel Sparks.
  • Hollywood Atheist: "Poker, Faith and Eggs" proves that Sheldon has been an atheist even before the show started going as far as to rebel against his mother and Pastor Jeff's attempts to convert him to Christianity.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Mee-maw calls Mary this in "Potato Salad, a Broomstick, and Dad's Whiskey", when Sheldon points out that Mary was smiling while saying she felt bad that a competing potato salad at the church potluck wasn't popular.
    • Missy mocking Sheldon that Paige knows 3 languages but he only speaks one. Missy doesn't admit to knowing any foreign languages herself.
    • In Season 2 episode 20, George Sr's co-worker tells him not to eat a donut for health reasons. The co-worker however is also very fat himself.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: In "Demons, Sunday School, and Prime Numbers", Sheldon dreams of meeting the numbers 1 and 0, and they are about to tell him the secrets of the universe when Georgie wakes him up.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • Except for the pilot, every episode title from the first season contains a list of three things with a serial comma (examples: "Rockets, Communists, and the Dewey Decimal System", "Poker, Faith, and Eggs").
    • For the second season, the episode titles contain only two things (example: "A High-Pitched Buzz and Training Wheels").
  • Imagine Spot: In "Gluons, Guacamole, and the Color Purple", Sheldon admits to daydreaming in class when he's not feeling challenged. In this case, he's imagining that he's helping NASA fix an orbiting satellite.
  • Improvised Weapon: Sheldon and Missy use the fire extinguisher on an intruder in "Potato Salad, a Broomstick, and Dad's Whiskey"; unfortunately for them, the intruder was just Mee-maw.
  • Insufferable Genius: Even at the age of nine, Sheldon already lectures people, even his own teachers.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: A primary motif throughout the series.
    • Sheldon is ostracized from his siblings, his teachers, his school principal, his church pastor and his classmates for the fact he can outsmart them at anything and everything. They all become contemptuous towards him because their feelings get hurt by his desire to correct them. An interesting aversion of this trope is that Mary is accepting of Sheldon's atheism albeit she tries to silence his vocal opposition to Christianity.
    • In Season 2, Paige also suffers this trope when she tries to befriend Sheldon but he has no interest in making friends with a girl who (unintentionally) keeps insulting him for not academically catching up to her speed.
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: In "A Race of Superhumans and A Letter to ALF", Sheldon tries to get Missy to learn algebra by threatening to cut the hair off her Cabbage Patch Doll. All that does is make Missy punch him in the face.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Football coach George Sr. and Child Prodigy Sheldon.
  • Kids Driving Cars: In one episode, 14 year old George Jr. steals Meemaw's car keys and car to drive him, Sheldon and Missy all to the hospital to go see their father who has been hospitalized by a heart attack. Being too afraid to get in an accident or be noticed by authorities, Georgie goes too slowly.
  • Large Ham: George sometimes falls into this when he gets excited.
  • Little Professor Dialogue: Sheldon, naturally.
  • Marshmallow Hell: When Sheldon helps the school win a game in "A Solar Calculator, A Game Ball, and A Cheerleader's Bosom", he gets congratulated by the students, including being hugged by a cheerleader (as indicated in the title). It was mortifying for him.
  • Men Can't Keep House: George Sr. and Georgie, as shown when Mary briefly moves out in "A Computer, a Plastic Pony, and a Case of Beer." It's downplayed for George, who can at least survive day-to-day on his own, but played straight for Georgie since he's not the brightest bulb in the first place.
    • Subverted with Sheldon, who actually enjoys cleaning so much that he uses it as his go-to relaxing activity to burn off some steam during a dispute with his mother.
  • Misplaced Accent: The pilot finally explains why Sheldon doesn't have a Texas drawl. In narration, he explains that he switched to a mid-Atlantic accent because "Nobel Prize winners ought not be orderin' tater tots."
  • Misplaced Retribution: In Episode 7, George Jr. is grounded for eavesdropping on his parents arguing over Meemaw's treatment of George, when it was actually Missy who did it.
  • Mistaken for Racist: George, in "Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman", when he is surprised that Sheldon's "girlfriend" Libby is black. Georgie ribs him about it.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: In one episode, Sheldon is disappointed that he got 95% on a science test because he used a different method than the one his teacher was expecting to work out one question. He spends the rest of the episode trying to prove to the teacher that his method is just as valid, and the teacher finally realizes that it is and re-grades his paper, telling him that mistakes aren't always a bad thing as long as you own up to them and learn from them. While old Sheldon claims to have accepted this moral, he also claims that "on the day that he finally does make a mistake", he will own up to it.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: A Discussed Trope in "Killer Asteroids, Oklahoma, and a Frizzy Hair Machine", when Sheldon sees the "Good Morning" number from Singin' in the Rain:
    Sheldon: Why are they all singing?
    Meemaw: Because it's a musical.
    Sheldon: But why can't just say it?
    Meemaw: Well, that wouldn't be very musical, would it?
    Sheldon: And where is the music coming from?
    Missy: You're thinking about it too much!
    Missy: Come on!
    Meemaw: Moonpie!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • In the "A Computer" episode, it turns out that the Cooper family could have afforded the computer Sheldon wanted (TANDY 1000 SL) if George Sr. didn't blow their money on Lone Star beer.
    • Taken literally in a later episode when Sheldon breaks the refrigerator trying to fix it. George is clearly livid when explaining to Sheldon how much it cost to hire a repairman. The rest of the episode is Sheldon trying to earn the money to cover the cost.
  • Noodle Incident: In the second episode, George Cooper Sr. reminds Sheldon how his rocket fuel experiment inadvertently burned the little squirrel family to their deaths after Mary lifted the ban upon hearing that Sheldon is bringing his new friend Tam to his house.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Unlike adult Missy in The Big Bang Theory, young Missy lacks any sort of Texas accent.
  • Not Used To Freedom: In one episode where Sheldon goes to live with Dr. Sturgis, Mary is unable to adjust to her new schedule without having to parent Sheldon as all her family do is watch TV and read comics. Mary becomes so idle that she even warms up to her enemy Brenda Sparks and bakes her a pie.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: In the brisket episode, Sheldon is unpleasantly reminded of when he witnessed Mary and George having intercourse in bed as an infant by hearing his dad remark, "Hot damn!" while eating the brisket made from the recipe Sheldon remembered as a baby.
  • Pass the Popcorn: In "Vanilla Ice Cream, Gentlemen Callers, and a Dinette Set", Sheldon is eating popcorn while spying on Constance.
  • Photographic Memory: Sheldon is able to remember the time Meemaw told him her secret brisket recipe when he was twenty-three months old. He even remembers that it was on Valentines Day. Unfortunately, he also remembers seeing his parents have sex while he was in the crib.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: In "A Math Emergency", Sheldon and Dr. Sturgis's friendship sours when the former accuses the latter of unfairly grading him over Maxwell's equations and only scoring him 95% on his most recent Quantum chromodynamics exam. Dr. Sturgis on the other hand is offended because Sheldon harshly denigrated his professing abilities.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: As established in the original series, Sheldon and Missy are this. He's technically brilliant but socially helpless. He considers her to be a Brainless Beauty (she apparently misses eleven numbers while counting to a hundred), but when it comes to dealing with people, she thinks far more quickly and creatively than he does.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Young Sheldon, same as when he's an adult. The first scene of the pilot is him playing with his model train.
    Adult Sheldon: I've always loved trains. In fact, if my career in theoretical physics hadn't worked out, my back up plan was to become a professional ticket taker. Or a hobo.
  • Reality Ensues: Sheldon's teachers hate him because he is such an Insufferable Genius. He gets better after George confides in him that he lost his job at another school by speaking up about something he thought needed to be said. Well, as much better as Sheldon can get.
  • Red Scare: In "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag," a reporter tricks Sheldon into naively endorsing communism, resulting in the Coopers being ostracized by the rest of the neighborhood. Despite the fact that this episode takes place somewhere in the time frame of 1990-91, in the midst of the Hole in Flag revolutions, the episode has a definite pre-glasnost vibe, with Sheldon even being told at one point that, "we're in the middle of a Cold War." Well, it is Texas.
  • The Reveal:
    • The reason why Sheldon never learned how to drive a car is because he still remembers the night Georgie tried driving to the hospital after their dad had a heart attack in 1989.
    • The end of the first season finale reveals that the narrator Sheldon is far older than his The Big Bang Theory-self, as he mentions having children in the past tense.
    • "Bazinga" is revealed to be the name of a novelty toy company whose products help Sheldon get in touch with his more childish side. He apparently took their motto ("If it's funny, it's a Bazinga!") to heart.
  • Rule of Three: The episode titles each name a trifecta of things, reflecting Sheldon's slightly obsessive routine (e.g. in The Big Bang Theory he has to knock on doors 3 times).
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Mr. Gilford in "A Math Emergency".
  • Shipper on Deck: Sheldon ships Meemaw/John in "Gluons, Guacamole, and the Color Purple"
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill:
    • This trope plays a crucial role in "A Computer" where when Mary decides to buy the $1200 Tandy XL Computer Sheldon always wanted, she realizes that the family is always low on cash because of how much money George spends on Lone Star beer. Sheldon calculates if George switched to Hawaiian Punch they could afford a bigger house.
    • In "A High-Pitched Buzz", George is shocked at the repairman announcing it'll be $200 to repair the refrigerator Sheldon disassembled (and failed to reassemble). George angrily strikes enough fear into Sheldon to convince the latter to immediately take up a job as a paperboy.
  • Shoo the Dog: In "A Math Emergency", Mary goes to visit Mr. Gilford, a shut-in hermit. Mary brings him dinner (which is all he expected from her), and then she tries to socialize with him. Gilford refuses, coldly stating, "I'm old, I'm alone, I'm gonna die soon." He is blatantly rude and even misogynistic to Mary, and they argue with each other because of this. The next morning, Mary does return hoping things will go better this time, only to find that he passed away. Mary laments his death, and presumably arranged a funeral for him.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Implied with George and Mary in "Summer Sausage, a Pocket Poncho, and Tony Danza".
  • Shout-Out: It's revealed that Georgie looks up to Tony Danza in "Summer Sausage, a Pocket Poncho, and Tony Danza".
  • Significant Reference Date: Possibly a coincidence, but the date on the notebook Sheldon sends to NASA is November 9, 1989. This happens to be the same day that the Berlin Wall fell.
  • Smurfing: Missy uses it to swear in "A Dog, A Squirrel and A Fish Named Fish".
    Missy: I have to do smurfing everything around here.
    Mary: Language!
    Missy: I'm just smurfing.
    Mary: It's the way you said it.
  • Snipe Hunt:
    • In "A Brisket, Voodoo and Cannonball Run", Meemaw gives George what she says is her brisket recipe, but is really a fake that requires him to go to New Orleans for coffee and spices (including angelica under the name of "Holy Ghost Root" that he buys from a voodoo priestess), and cooking the whole thing continuously for fourteen hours. One taste, and he realizes he's been had. (Oh, and the coffee was for her, not the brisket.)
    • In "An Eagle Feather, a String Bean, and an Eskimo", one of Sheldon's teachers tells her colleagues that she sent him out to look for a completely made-up object just to get rid of him.
  • Sore Loser: Sheldon shows to perhaps be an even bigger one as a kid. When he lost the science fair he makes a scene complaining over the result, ignores his parents' attempts to cheer him up, causes disruptions at school due to believing there is no point if he won't be rewarded for his effort, and temporarily decides to give up on science all together.
    • He flips the chessboard when Paige beats him at chess.
  • Spin-Off Babies: It's a show about Sheldon when he was a child.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Mary often falls under this. Her job working for Pastor Jeff at the church is often put into jeopardy before and even when she earned the job. First, Mary worried what if Sheldon and Missy had to be home alone without adult supervision and in Season 2, George Sr. asks Mary to resign her job at church so that they can move to Oklahoma because he was offered a better paying job there.
  • Tactful Translation: In "Potato Salad, a Broomstick, and Dad's Whiskey", Pastor Jeff does this for his Spanish-speaking wife; unfortunately for him, Sheldon understands Spanish.
  • The Talk: "Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman" reveals that Sheldon learned about sex from Missy, of all people.
  • Terrible Ticking: In "A High-Pitched Buzz and Training Wheels", Sheldon is tormented by a buzzing noise coming from the refrigerator that the others can barely hear. It gets so bad he takes the fridge apart to fix it.
  • Terrified of Germs:
    • In the pilot, Sheldon wears mittens when holding hands to say grace. In the end, he mentions that he never touched his brother's hand until the invention of Purell.
    • In "A Sneeze, Detention, and Sissy Spacek", Sheldon takes extreme measures to avoid getting sick during flu season.
  • T-Word Euphemism: In "A Sneeze, Detention, and Sissy Spacek", Sheldon repeats Georgie's use of the phrase "bad ass" by saying "bad a-word".
  • Unreliable Narrator: Sheldon. As mentioned under Continuity Snarl, he obviously exaggerated his father's personality.
    • Sheldon's entire mention of his early life in The Big Bang Theory is not quite as terrible or accurate as it's shown in this series. Possibly justified in that the narrator Sheldon is both Older and Wiser and able to see things as they really were.
  • The Vietnam Vet: In "A Financial Secret and Fish Sauce," it's briefly mentioned that George was in Vietnam. This also applies to Tam's father, who "was sent to a re-education camp because he fought on the wrong side."
  • Wham Shot: In "A Proposal and a Popsicle Stick Cross", Veronica joins Georgie for some late night TV and ends up kissing him. Obviously a dream, right? But it's Veronica's dream, not Georgie's.
  • Work Off the Debt: Sheldon takes on a paper route to pay George after he dismantled the refrigerator, costing his father $200 to get it restored. Though what makes this ironic is that Sheldon is trying to pay off George as soon as possible even though George directly told him, "I don't care how long it takes, you're gonna pay me back every cent of this!"
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: While dealing with a female bully in "Jiu-Jitsu, Bubble Wrap, and Yoo-Hoo," Sheldon is told that he must observe this trope. He comes up with the "loophole" of paying Missy to do it for him. Missy ends up befriending the bully instead.
  • You Are Fat: George Sr. gets this from Meemaw often and Mary occasionally.

Example of: