Warning! Spoilers ahead for Young Sheldon season 6, episode 13. While not new to the prequel, Young Sheldon season 6's latest plot hole could actually save it from The Big Bang Theory. TV's #1 comedy has come a long way since starting as supplementary viewing for its parent series. It has become more of a family comedy than a straight-up sitcom like The Big Bang Theory. Unfortunately, as it veers away from the flagship show, it also creates new continuity issues that threaten to fully break the established canon of the nerd-centric sitcom. Young Sheldon season 6's latest plot hole could be how it can finally break free of The Big Bang Theory's timeline.
The Coopers have been busy in Young Sheldon season 6. Mandy and Georgie are gearing up for the birth of their daughter, while Mary and George assist the complicated couple. Meemaw's business is thriving; she has also rekindled her romance with Dale. Meanwhile, Sheldon is still busy getting his grant database project off the ground. Amid all that, Paige returns in "A Frat Party, a Sleepover and the Mother of All Blisters," resulting in a seemingly innocuous comment from adult Sheldon's narration that actually creates a new The Big Bang Theory plot hole.
In Young Sheldon season 4, adult Sheldon recalled a story about his and Amy's son, Leonard Cooper's high school graduation. This meant that at least, adult Sheldon would be in his early 50s — around a decade removed from the events of The Big Bang Theory finale. However, in Young Sheldon season 6, he revealed that it has just been 30 years since Missy convinced him to look after Paige, meaning he shouldn't be more than 43 years old. Naturally, this has caused some raised eyebrows, but luckily, there's an easy fix to it that also helps the prequel escape a couple of The Big Bang Theory-established tragedies for now.
To resolve this timeline issue, CBS can simply say that adult Sheldon's narration isn't in chronological order. This means he could be telling these childhood stories out of order, discussing them when a particular memory comes to him. So while he could really be in his 50s when he shared the story about Leonard Cooper's graduation, Sheldon could also just be a decade younger when he recalled his experience of letting a drunken Paige sleep in his dorm room.
Young Sheldon has created countless TBBT plot holes over the years. Some could have easily been prevented, while others were done to prioritize the prequel's storytelling. However, this latest inconsistency could be beneficial as it could solve Young Sheldon's storytelling pacing issue. As the family sitcom progresses, it also inches near two big tragedies that change Sheldon and his family's lives forever. Firstly, George's cheating scandal happened when the boy genius was 13. It was followed by his death just a year after.
Based on the timeline, Young Sheldon is now set in 1993, meaning the Cooper patriarch's cheating storyline should pan out sometime in the next several months. However, if adult Sheldon's narration is out of order, it means that Young Sheldon can go back and forth in time with its weekly narratives, effectively extending the show's life. It could also delay George's inevitable death in Young Sheldon, allowing CBS to further capitalize on its growing popularity.
CBS can use this trick, but only to a certain extent because Young Sheldon's child actors are aging faster than their characters. Iain Armitage is about to turn 15, but Sheldon is just 13 years old in the 1993-set Young Sheldon season 6. The actor's real-life age has manifested in his physical growth over the last couple of years, not to mention the change in the tone of his voice. So, Young Sheldon cannot indefinitely delay George's cheating and death despite the possibility of doing a non-chronological narration from adult Sheldon. It could buy The Big Bang Theory prequel some time, however, which is still better than nothing.
Young Sheldon season 6 airs Thursdays on CBS.