Warning! SPOILERS for Young Sheldon season 6, episode 4.Young Sheldon season 6 highlights just how unbelievably mean and unfair Sheldon (Jim Parsons) was to Howard (Simon Helberg) on The Big Bang Theory. There’s no doubt that the Pasadena gang has a lifelong bond with each out, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any issues within the group especially when Sheldon is involved. The boy genius can be demeaning to his friends, especially Howard, whom he likes to belittle simply because he’s an engineer and has no doctorate.
The Big Bang Theory prequel recently emphasized just how ridiculously nasty Sheldon was to Howard on when he had to tutor Billy (Wyatt McClure) on Young Sheldon season 6, episode 4. Despite being an accomplished engineer and acclaimed astronaut, Sheldon tended to invalidate Howard’s achievement and question his intellectual ability. In The Big Bang Theory episode « The Junior Professor Solution, » Howard had to prove that he could keep up with Sheldon’s class before he could join it. In Young Sheldon, however, Sheldon was more than accommodating to Billy who is far more intellectually inferior to Howard. If Sheldon could be patient and even empathetic while teaching Billy math, he shouldn’t have been so hateful to Howard.
For some reason, Howard seems to grate Sheldon which results in him being especially mean with his friend. It has been established that it has something to do with the fact that Howard is an engineer, and Sheldon particularly hates engineering. CBS expanded on this during Howard’s disappointing Young Sheldon season 5 cameo when it was revealed that Sheldon struggled with his first engineering class. It was the first time that the boy genius truly felt inadequate when it came to academics. Perhaps, the fact that Howard was even able to go to space as an astronaut added the two Sheldon’s secret grudge against his friend. Because he was unable to properly process his envy, he decided to cope by belittling all of his friend’s accomplishments in any way he can.
Given Young Sheldon’s prequel nature, Helberg only made a voice cameo on the CBS prequel spin-off. In his appearance, the Pasadena gang’s astronaut helped adult Sheldon tell the story about why he regularly mocked Howard on The Big Bang Theory, which had something to do with why he really hated engineering. Unfortunately, his guesting stint was far too brief, and most of it was already spoiled in the promotional clips for the episode. In the end, Howard’s Young Sheldon cameo was so disappointing that CBS needs to bring him back to make up for it. Sheldon and Howard had the most interesting dynamic in The Big Bang Theory, as they had the tendency to bicker a lot, despite being good friends. While the nerd-centric sitcom never really got to explore it beyond some one-off episodes in its 12-year-run, the franchise is somehow able to highlight it via Young Sheldon.
As Young Sheldon breaks away from Big Bang Theory, the comedy’s storytelling becomes diversified. This means that the rest of the Coopers are given their respective narratives and the focus hasn’t just been on Sheldon. Amid this, it’s great to see the boy genius getting his own storylines, especially ones that make his The Big Bang Theory stint so much more interesting.
Young Sheldon season 5 airs Thursdays on CBS.