Young Sheldon Hints At Meemaw’s Big Bang Theory Character Change

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Young Sheldon season 6, episode 4

The Big Bang Theory’s Meemaw is very different compared to Young Sheldon’s version of the character, but the sitcom spinoff might finally be explaining her personality shift. Young Sheldon’s iterations of the Cooper clan don’t always align with their original depictions on The Big Bang Theory. In some cases, there’s a good reason for these discrepancies, like Mary’s fun side in Young Sheldon disappearing before The Big Bang Theory because George Sr. dies. In other cases, the characterization changes between Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory are harder to explain.

Meemaw in Young Sheldon, for example, is a free-spirited, hard-partying older woman, whereas in The Big Bang Theory, her older self is almost as conservative and strict as Sheldon’s mother Mary. Young Sheldon has never explained why Meemaw changed her good-time ways, but season 6 might be finally addressing that disparity. In Young Sheldon season 6, episode 4, Missy stops listening to her grandmother’s advice after Mandy offers better insight. This could imply Meemaw became stricter as she got older because she no longer felt in touch with her grandkids, setting her on the path to becoming the serious senior citizen from The Big Bang Theory.

Meemaw’s Young Sheldon Differences

In Young Sheldon, everyone from George Jr. to Sheldon Cooper himself differs compared to their Big Bang Theory counterpart in some capacity, but it’s arguably Meemaw who changes most between shows. In Young Sheldon, Meemaw is defined by her devil-may-care attitude and her wild streak, both of which stand in stark contrast to the conservatism and intense religious devotion of her daughter, Mary. In The Big Bang Theory, however, Sheldon’s stern older Meemaw and his mother share far more traits in common – even if Meemaw remains the heavier drinker.

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During The Big Bang Theory‘s era, Mary Cooper and Meemaw are both straight-talking, no-nonsense women who can put the outspoken and obstinate Sheldon in his place. There’s very little in the way of meaningful distinction between Mary and Meemaw on The Big Bang Theory, highlighting how wildly the latter’s persona evolves between the two shows. While Meemaw’s character shift previously appeared to be a mystery, inconsistency, or plot hole, Young Sheldon season 6’s Mandy incident may finally offer an explanation.

Meemaw Loses Her Touch In Young Sheldon Season 6

Young Sheldon Season 6 - George and Meemaw

It makes sense that Missy goes to her grandmother for advice first in Young Sheldon. Meemaw is less judgmental than her mother, and Mary’s marriage to Young Sheldon‘s George Sr. is floundering, so it’s understandable if Missy wants boy advice from someone with more experience and fewer hang-ups. When Missy then dismisses Meemaw’s advice as unhelpful and seeks out Mandy’s counsel instead, Meemaw and Mary find themselves becoming unexpected allies. They’ve both been tossed aside, seen as out of touch and unhelpful, prompting a bitter Meemaw to reconcile with her daughter. Feeling less in touch with her grandchildren (but closer to her daughter) could explain why Meemaw becomes more like Mary between Young Sheldon season 6 and The Big Bang Theory.

Young Sheldon airs new episodes on Thursdays on CBS.

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