Everything George’s death set straight about Big Bang Theory

Jasmine Valentine
George talks to georgie in Young Sheldon

George’s death might have been integral to Young Sheldon, but it’s set a number of things straight about plots in The Big Bang Theory too.

Fans of The Big Bang Theory have likely spent the last seven seasons of Young Sheldon surprised by how Sheldon’s father George is depicted, hinted as being abusive before he died when Sheldon was 14.

In the beloved prequel, creators have gone out of their way to retcon this, with executive producer Chuck Lorre revealing he “regrets” writing George the way they did after the traumatic events of Season 7 Episode 12.

While it was an all-time tearjerker, George’s death did set a number of things straight about The Big Bang Theory, accounting for some huge changes.

Why Sheldon hates dining room tables

Amy and Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory

In TBBT Season 7 Episode 16, titled ‘The Table Polarization,’ Leonard’s buying of a new dining room table causes Sheldon to confront himself in an entirely new way. Hugely opposing the idea when Bernadette says she wants to buy one so they can all eat together, Sheldon makes Leonard’s life a misery while trying to buy it.

George’s death in Young Sheldon gives fans an answer to why Sheldon was so selfish in The Big Bang Theory, with the kitchen table being where Sheldon was sat the last time he saw his father alive. In addition to this, the family dinner before his death was one of the final times Sheldon was able to bond with George, along with the last time the entire family was all together.

As one Redditor puts it, “Makes sense. For Sheldon the older he got dining room conversations were where any upcoming changes were discussed. George’s death happening during a massive change feeds into his fear.”

The Thanksgiving Decoupling

Sheldon and Bernadette's dad in Big Bang Theory

Sheldon recounts a story during one Thanksgiving — Season 7 Episode 9’s ‘The Thanksgiving Decoupling,’ to be exact — to Bernadette’s father about George during a football game in 1993. Claiming to have gotten so enraged with the result that he shot the TV, Sheldon hints that his dad was a heavy drinker, as well as confirming exactly when George died in his life.

Fast forward to Young Sheldon Season 7 Episode 12 and fans are well aware that George’s relationship with beer was frequent, but not abusive. By this point in his life, Sheldon is so emotionally detached from who his father used to be, it makes sense that he recounts stories with a bitter undertone the more time has passed.

Howard’s mom dies

Howard in Big Bang Theory

Sheldon isn’t the only TBBT cast member who loses a parent, with Howard’s mom dying during Season 8 Episode 15 ‘The Comic Book Regeneration.’ While the plot surprised viewers at the time, it also hinted at how Sheldon found life after his dad died. Sheldon tells Howard that he has a group of friends to get him through, whereas Sheldon never had anybody after George’s death.

Young Sheldon proves that this isn’t strictly true, with all of his family staying put to try and get each other through the worst. However, it remains to be seen how emotionally close they remain, with Sheldon due to leave for Caltech while the rest of the family stays in Texas.

Jim Parsons’ cameo in Episode 14 might also show that Sheldon’s opinion changed as he got older, hinting that one of his memories serves as “the greatest gift.”

George’s change in character

George and Sheldon at Caltech in Young Sheldon

The most frustrating part of Young Sheldon’s story is how much George’s character changed since The Big Bang Theory. Viewers had to take Sheldon’s word for it that George was an abusive alcoholic with little interest in his children, but Young Sheldon proves George was a doting father who always tried his very best to understand his little genius.

It’s not a surprise to learn that pain is the reason why Sheldon has decided that George abandoned him. For Sheldon, it’s too painful to remember that his dad died at such a young age, so it’s easier to frame it as George suddenly abandoning his family.

Sheldon’s view may also have softened thanks to now being a father, which is something the Young Sheldon Season 7 finale could well lean into.

The VCR Illumination

Amy and Sheldon watch TV in The Big Bang Theory

While The Big Bang Theory wrapped up with Season 12 in 2019, Young Sheldon was making a name for itself at the same time, unknowingly setting a path toward George’s death. The crossover allows adult Sheldon to watch back a VCR of George and Georgie in episode ‘The VCR Illumination,’ which some fans are now stating is a must-rewatch before the prequel ends for good.

Where Sheldon didn’t get to say goodbye in real life, watching the videotape acts as a form of closure for Sheldon in TBBT. It also allows the story to progress from earlier seasons, aligning George’s character with what fans are seeing in the prequel.

This scene may also lead into the theory that George will appear as a ghost before Young Sheldon’s end, with one fan agreeing: “When they end with grown Sheldon they need to have George as a ghost tell him how proud he is of Sheldon something meaningful.”

Mary’s relationship with the church

Sheldon and Mary in Big Bang Theory

It’s not only George who had a complete character overhaul from their TBBT persona, but also Mary. A lifelong Baptist, Young Sheldon shows plenty of moments where Mary questions her own faith, teetering a softer line between strict religious teachings and being a caring mom.

By the time she’s seen in Big Bang, it’s clear that Mary has devoted the rest of her life to Christianity, coming back into Sheldon’s life with a much sterner edge. Now that George has died as of Young Sheldon Season 7, all Mary has is her faith, and it makes sense that she’d throw herself into worship head first.

While you wait for the next episode, you can catch up with our other Sheldon content, like our Season 7 theories, filming locations, how to watch Season 7 outside the US, and how to watch Young Sheldon on streaming.

You can also check out all the best new TV shows coming out this month.