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Young Sheldon Storylines Fans Still Can't Get Over

"Young Sheldon" takes "The Big Bang Theory" fans back to the late 1980s and 1990s, giving Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper — here a child prodigy played by Iain Armitage — his long-awaited Texas origin story. As the title indicates, Sheldon was initially the focus of Chuck Lorre's CBS series, but it soon became evident that viewers were just as interested in other members of his family and what was going on in their lives. As the series progresses, other central characters like George (Lance Barber), Mary (Zoey Perry), Georgie (Montana Jordan), Missy (Raegan Revord) and Meemaw (Annie Potts) are given bigger, more intriguing storylines. This is also reflected in the credits, which change in Season 3 to include the entire family.

For many "Young Sheldon" viewers, the spinoff has surpassed its predecessor. It's more grounded, at times more serious and dramatic, but just as funny. "Although 'Big Bang Theory' is very enjoyable, 'Young Sheldon' is on a different level. No laughing tracks. Really good humor and the best part is the feel trip they take you on," u/Speed03216 wrote on a Reddit thread dedicated to comparing the two series. As "Young Sheldon" takes the time to dive into meatier storylines than "TBBT" and flesh out the characters of the Cooper family, viewers have happily watched along. However, with any long-running show, there are always storylines fans can't stand or get past, and this sitcom has its fair share. Keep reading for full details on the "Young Sheldon" storylines fans still can't get over.

George Cooper's 'bad dad' storyline is full of contradictions

Most fans managed to forgive "Young Sheldon" for casting Lance Barber as George Cooper Sr. after he portrayed Leonard's bully Jimmy Speckerman in Season 5 of "The Big Bang Theory" — especially since he's created such a compelling character on the sitcom. However, they can't still get over the "bad dad" narrative which the original show perpetuated.

During its early seasons, "Young Sheldon" establishes that George Cooper is actually a caring and thoughtful father and husband — even if he doesn't get everything right all the time. Sure, he's tough on the kids sometimes, but this doesn't line up with the version of George Cooper viewers got to know through Sheldon and Mary's (Laurie Metcalf) stories on "TBBT." Barber's portrayal of the character is such a far cry from the stereotypical, skeet-obsessed, redneck Texan they describe that many fans have taken to Reddit to discuss if and when viewers will see the real George Cooper. "That has been one thing that has irked me to no end. George Cooper Sr's character is such a well written one. Most of the scenes with him are my favorites from the show," Reddit user u/ashwinrajn wrote, acknowledging the variance.

Another fan, u/Wandering_to_Nowhere, suggested that viewers are seeing the true version of George on "Young Sheldon." They speculate that it's more likely that Sheldon was just an unreliable narrator on "TBBT," recalling events from his childhood without having all the facts and perhaps even over-exaggerating aspects of people's characters.

The way the Coopers treated Missy in early episodes

"Young Sheldon" fans also take issue with how Missy is treated — or rather mistreated — by her family. Sparking a heated Reddit discussion, "Young Sheldon" fan u/ifreakinglovecacti commented: "I don't like that their parents and Meemaw heard Missy say she doesn't have anyone on her team and yet they still didn't make more of an effort with her." This moment takes place in Episode 5 of Season 2, while Sheldon and Missy are being evaluated in a twin study. Observed by Dr. Thorpe (Amy Farrington) to be very perceptive, Missy says it comes from being on her own a lot. She explains that her mom, dad, and Meemaw are often busy tending to Georgie or Sheldon, so she has no one supporting her. Shocked by this realization, they do initially start to make more of an effort to be there for her, first by letting her pick the restaurant on the way home.

However, the Coopers' neglect of Missy largely continues, giving Raegan Revord some big scenes in Season 6. As u/Wolfampau points out in another thread, her family has failed to prove to her that they're on her team, and this storyline is just a continuation of that. She's yet again left feeling like the forgotten member of the family, especially when she misses the birth of her niece in Episode 14. By the following episode, she feels so alone that it culminates in her stealing George's truck and running — or driving — away from home.

Meemaw's split from John Sturgis

When "Young Sheldon" kicks off, Georgie, Sheldon, and Missy's maternal grandmother Connie Tucker, who they affectionately call Meemaw (Annie Potts), hasn't really moved on from the death of their Pop-Pop four years earlier. As Season 1 progresses, however, she starts to form a connection with Sheldon's professor and friend John Sturgis (Wallace Shawn). By the season finale, they've made their relationship official with Sheldon's first-ever relationship contract.

"Young Sheldon" fans were thrilled to see this relationship blossom onscreen. "John and Connie are so full of love and understanding. Such a new age to touch the brewing old romance between a retired age person! Kudos to the makers for hitting the sweetest spot on the show!" u/Additional_Breath651 shared on Reddit. In another thread dedicated to the couple, u/Disney_Jazzcore added, "Can we please have John and Connie forever? They are so adorable together."

"Young Sheldon" fans continued to agree, noting that Connie and John brought out the best in each other. However, their relationship only lasted one season, with them splitting after John's mental breakdown at the end of Season 2. Even though Connie has since dated Dale Ballard (Craig T. Nelson), "Young Sheldon" fans are not over her split with John, and there's even a whole Reddit thread for viewers who hope they'll get back together.

Mandy and Georgie's situationship

Emily Osment's character, Mandy McAllister, has been part of "Young Sheldon" since she met Georgie in Connie's laundromat midway through Season 5. Their relationship quickly developed and by the time the season was out, Mandy was pregnant. Before they found out they were going to be parents, however, the romance ended abruptly when Georgie came clean and admitted he was actually 17, not 21 as he'd pretended to be. During the early episodes of Season 6, Georgie tries to get back into Mandy's good graces and does everything he can to make her more comfortable during her pregnancy, even offering her temporary lodging in his garage. They continue to get to know each other and often act like they're dating, even sleeping together again.

When Mandy and Georgie bring CeeCee home from the hospital in Episode 15, their close bond is emphasized, but they're still not a couple. Fans can't get over how long this storyline has been going on. Although Osment is a welcome addition to the cast and fans have enjoyed the advancement of Georgie's storylines, they want the show to move on from this "situationship." "This whole thing with Mandy and Georgie is quite ridiculous. Can they just have them officially together already?" u/Zimboy112 said. Not all fans are rooting for the pair, however, with some even suggesting that Georgie would be better off without Mandy. The only thing fans can agree on is that this romantic limbo needs to come to an end.

Paige the party girl

When viewers first meet Paige Swanson in Season 2, she's a sweet, gifted child, but Mckenna Grace's character takes a dark turn later on "Young Sheldon." After her parents' divorce, Paige's appearance and demeanor change, and by Season 3's "Body Glitter and a Mall Safety Kit," it's clear this child prodigy is struggling. The sitcom circles back to this storyline in the 13th episode of Season 6, "A Frat Party, a Sleepover and the Mother of All Blisters," in which Paige takes on the new title of underage party girl.

As Reddit user u/mtm440 pointed out, "Each guest appearance has shown her progressively getting worse." In the previous season, Paige admitted to Sheldon that she wasn't being taken seriously as a young woman in science, and ultimately dropped out of college. Paige completely loses her way after that and is now back at East Texas Tech, purely for the party scene. "Now she's just going off with a nasty attitude and then getting drunk at parties," u/Zimboy112 observed. "Young Sheldon" fans were completely shocked by this appearance, suggesting that it's a cry for help and they're not happy about where this storyline might lead. "The show won't go that deep, but I wonder if she lived to see her 20s. It looks like her teenage years are going to be dark," u/genevieve4- commented.

Mary getting fired from the church

The world isn't always fair and "Young Sheldon" proves it in Season 5 when Mary is fired from her job at the church. In the penultimate episode of the season, "White Trash, Holy Rollers and Punching People," Pastor Jeff (Matt Hobby) brings Mary, George and Pastor Rob (Dan Byrd) into his office to break the news, after the congregation learns that Georgie is having a baby out of wedlock. He beats around the bush before telling Mary that she needs to leave.

Although she quickly finds a job working with Brenda at the bowling alley, fans of the sitcom couldn't get over how Mary was treated, criticizing Pastor Jeff and expressing their disappointment in him for firing her. "I feel like Jeff is a hypocrite. Being divorced is enough to disqualify him even being a Baptist pastor. One would think he'd be more sympathetic," u/Gotis1313 commented on Reddit.

Other fans agreed that, while wrong, Pastor Jeff is pressured into it and does it to save face with the members of the church. Thankfully, this storyline is probably not over yet: when we see Mary in "The Big Bang Theory," she's very much still involved with the church, so Pastor Jeff still has a chance to make things right. As u/LQjones pointed out, however, it's very possible that Mary ends up joining a different church if she's not welcomed back.

George's death

Many of the biggest storylines in "Young Sheldon" are dictated by "The Big Bang Theory." One which has overshadowed the whole series is George's death, which happens when Sheldon and Missy are 14 years old. By Season 6, the twins are nearing that age and fans have known for years that this storyline was coming, but with George being a very likable character, this impending storyline is something they just can't get over.

With George having two heart attacks in the first five seasons of the show, "Young Sheldon" is setting the tone for this storyline to come to fruition, but fans just aren't ready for it. @KieranTCampbell tweeted: "Watching 'Young Sheldon' where George is playing catch with Missy after a boy rejected her and it occurs to me that the show has to have George die before the end and I don't think I'm emotionally ready for that." Another viewer, @raasputinn, wrote, "I am not ready for George Sr.'s death in 'Young Sheldon,' it's gonna be so heartbreaking."

Other fans are hoping to avoid the heartbreak, convinced by the show taking a different approach to portraying George's character and not following the "bad dad" narrative from "TBBT" that his death won't happen. However, the show's executive producer, Steve Holland, all but confirmed this impending storyline to TVLine, telling the outlet that the show would be largely sticking to the canonical events laid out in "TBBT."

Fans think Sheldon's character development has stalled

Some "Young Sheldon" fans have always been down on the titular character, favoring other characters and storylines, but many now think he's become completely irrelevant in Season 6. The young genius is busy furthering his education at East Texas Tech while working on his database project. However, viewers suspect that there's no room left for any more character development from Sheldon if the show is to link up with "The Big Bang Theory." Fan @yoPULPFRICTION commented on Twitter, "The worst, least likable, and uninteresting character on 'Young Sheldon' is Sheldon. And it's not the actor's fault. Iain's Sheldon cannot grow beyond the point at which we first saw the character in 'BBT.'"

Fans also can't get over Sheldon's lack of a solid storyline. In a Reddit thread dedicated to the topic, u/SqueakyPeeps said: "Now it feels forced and weird. The other characters have storylines that grow and move along. Sheldon's academics have just become boring." u/Weetile agreed, noting that they'd hoped to see some emotional development from Sheldon, since the sitcom isn't rigidly sticking to everything established by its predecessor. Disappointed, they added, "They're seriously going to have to figure out where they want to take his character by the end of the seventh season."

Mary allegedly cheating with Pastor Rob

George and Mary Cooper have never had the perfect marriage, but six seasons of "Young Sheldon" have shown that their hearts have almost always been in the right places. However, there are some things, like deep conversation, that Mary can't always get from George. As a result, she's been growing closer to Pastor Rob, who has become her close friend, confidant, and smoking buddy.

Although it's pretty clear that the youth pastor wants more than a platonic friendship with Mary, cheating would be way out of character for this devout Christian. Yet she's been fantasizing about him and dreaming of them being together. Nothing has actually happened between the pair though, and "Young Sheldon" fans are incensed over how ridiculous this storyline seems. "The 'Young Sheldon' plot w Mary being accused of cheating with Pastor Rob when she's just literally trying to raise her family and deal with being thrown out of her church and maybe have one (1) friend makes me want to put my tv through a wall," said Twitter user @LillithSinn.

Other "Young Sheldon" fans took to Reddit and agreed that the show is trying to make their friendship into something it's not. Most viewers don't see Mary cheating on George and believe the show is unnecessarily building up her relationship with Pastor Rob for dramatic effect.

George and Brenda's affair

George is actually the parent that Sheldon remembers having had an affair. In "The Big Bang Theory," he explains that he walks in on his father in bed with another woman. But "Young Sheldon" fans can't get over George's cheating storyline, since, like Mary, it doesn't fit with the character they've gotten to know in the spinoff. Viewer @just_me_terry commented on this ongoing narrative, saying: "The Mary and George parts are disappointing. I hate it that their marriage is bad that they are looking at others. Sad. I liked it much better when they loved only each other. This part I'm not liking at all."

George begins to embark on an affair with his next-door neighbor Brenda Sparks (Melissa Peterman). But "Young Sheldon" fans think the show is only taking the character in this direction because it is trying to stay faithful to "TBBT," with the affair feeling forced for this version of George. "No reason to ruin a good show trying to be faithful to another show that's off the air," u/Sigma–6 reasoned.

Other fans have agreed, noting that the storyline and their meetings in the chicken coop just feels awkward. How far George takes his affair with Brenda is unclear, but while they're at the hospital together in Season 6, Episode 14, they exchange flirty banter. And when Brenda says that she didn't give George a heart attack, he responds by saying, "You gave me something," which seems to suggest some form of intimate relationship.

The birth of Constance Cooper

Moments after that aforementioned scene between George and Brenda, Mary enters with Pastor Rob in tow. The episode, titled "A Launch Party and a Whole Human Being," marks the birth of Mandy and Georgie's daughter, Constance "CeeCee" Cooper. However, nobody is particularly focused on the laboring mother at that moment. Instead, Mary and George's relationship reaches the breaking point. Speaking to TVLine, executive producer Steve Holland explained why this was the perfect time for this to come to a head: "We didn't want to do the traditional 'you're in the delivery room and she's panting' episode. That episode has been done a thousand times, and this show is such an ensemble, so ... it just seemed like a great way to have these stories all crash together."

It was certainly a dramatic episode, with Mary cottoning to the fact that George is Brenda's "mystery man" and George suspecting that Mary was doing more than eating lunch with Pastor Rob for hours. However, since many "Young Sheldon" fans think these cheating storylines are a bit ridiculous, they agree that the birth of their granddaughter is neither the time nor the place to get into them. "Mandy's mom is the worst but she has a point. Mandy is in labor but the only real family she has at the moment would rather fight over their crushes than check on her," @KingAriThePoet commented on Twitter.

Veronica's departure

If Georgie's situation with Mandy is anything to go by, it's clear he's willing to lie to get the girl. However, before Mandy, Veronica was one of the girls he was fibbing to. In Season 2, Georgie meets Veronica Duncan (Isobel May) and they start dating. But after one hot and heavy make-out session, she decides to reform and devote her life to Christianity. So in order to keep dating Veronica, Georgie pretends that he's also a devout Christian.

However, their relationship ends shortly after, and Veronica is last seen serving Georgie and his new girlfriend Jana Boggs (Ava Allan) at the restaurant she works at. Although she only appeared for a handful of episodes in the first two seasons of "Young Sheldon," fans enjoyed watching Veronica's transformation from bad girl to responsible young woman and are disappointed that she departed so abruptly. On Reddit, u/Pineapplesushi7 posted: "Is anyone else annoyed at the removal of Veronica? She was one of my favorite characters and I loved her relationship with everyone on the show. She seemingly has been erased from existence with the last we see of her a cliffhanger."

Several fans agreed, noting that Veronica's storyline never came to a satisfying conclusion. Others, who are still salty over her departure, are hoping that she'll return and reunite with Georgie. "Veronica seemed like a sweetheart and I think she'd [have] been a better fit for Georgie instead of Mandy," said u/DaisyMae2022.