Warning! Spoilers ahead for Young Sheldon season 6, episode 4.
After several years, Young Sheldon season 6 proved just how big of a liar Sheldon was on The Big Bang Theory. More than three years since The Big Bang Theory ended, the boy genius’ story continues through CBS’ prequel spin-off. Young Sheldon fills the narrative gaps from his childhood in Texas, explaining some of his quirks on the nerd-centric sitcom. Sometimes, however, it reveals unsavory things about the character, including his tendency to lie.
George manipulates Sheldon to tutor Billy, which he eventually agrees to do and results in the revelation that Sheldon may have been a pathological liar on The Big Bang Theory in Young Sheldon season 6, episode 4 « Blonde Ambition and the Concept of Zero, ». Surprisingly, the pair’s study session went on smoothly, with Sheldon even patiently leveling with Brenda’s kid to make it easier for him to learn. Meanwhile, Billy was good all throughout. He listened intently and was even empathetic with Sheldon when he struggled to explain the concept of zero. Since Sheldon has an eidetic memory, there is no way he could have not remembered that on The Big Bang Theory. The only explanation why the socially-inept genius dubbed Billy his bully is if he intentionally lied about it for whatever reason.
While it isn’t a good look on Sheldon, the character being a pathological liar is great for both CBS comedies. Sheldon’s childhood stories are used as storytelling guidelines for the family show. Making Sheldon an unreliable narrator would actually resolve the many The Big Bang Theory plot holes in the prequel. This also gives Young Sheldon creative space to not strictly follow his stories without breaking continuity, particularly regarding George’s arc. As he told Penny, Sheldon supposedly caught his dad having sexual relations with another woman when he was 14 years old. Since Young Sheldon features a different George than what his son described on The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon lying about the bad things about his dad – including his cheating – would help the offshoot totally skip the cheating storyline.
It’s no secret that the socially-inept genius had many flaws. Sheldon’s friends just tolerated him on The Big Bang Theory for the most part because they believed that harming or hassling others was never her intention. That being said, Sheldon being a pathological liar actually fits with his overall personality. Sheldon got his worst trait from Mary, which is her seeming need to always be the center of attention. Given this, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that he was willing to make up stories to make himself look good for his ego or to gain sympathy. Vilifying Billy, who never appeared on The Big Bang Theory, would have been the safest way to do this, because Brenda’s son wouldn’t have been able to defend himself against Sheldon’s accusations.
CBS making Sheldon a pathological liar would benefit the future storytelling in Young Sheldon in more ways than one. Primarily, however, it’s the easiest way to resolve all The Big Bang Theory plot holes it created over the years. In any case, this character reveal wouldn’t have as much impact on Sheldon’s arc on the nerd-centric sitcom. His friends spent years learning and understanding his quirks – if anything, they may have long known that he isn’t as honest as he claims to be.
Young Sheldon season 6 airs Thursdays on CBS.