season 6’s two-part finale and the episodes leading up to that had Sheldon be the recipient of dismissive behaviors that often hurt him in . Making sure he could have benefited from the opportunity in Heidelberg that Dr. Sturgis proposed occupied Sheldon’s every thought in season 6, but the circumstances that led to Sheldon going to Germany involved characters doing their best to get him out of Medford. While going to Heidelberg was something Sheldon clearly wanted, Dr. Linkletter and Pastor Jeff’s methods to help him entirely ignored how Sheldon’s feelings could be hurt, mirroring a sad tradition.
Jokes were often at Sheldon’s expense in , as his behavior highlighted how he routinely looked out for himself and rarely extended the same courtesy to others. This made him the laughingstock for audiences and his friends and acquaintances alike in . While that was rarely presented as a problem, especially given some of Sheldon’s extremely bigoted views, one episode in season 7 showed the toll many dismissing his feelings took on Sheldon. The prequel spinoff rarely treated Sheldon similarly, but the showed some characters caring less and less about Sheldon’s feelings.
season 7 premiere offered a rare glimpse into Sheldon’s hurt feelings when others dismissed them, highlighting how most characters treated Sheldon as a verbal punching bag because of his quirks. However, with Sheldon being a kid throughout , they rarely actively dismissed how he might have felt, instead only sometimes forgetting how something could impact him – as Mary and George did with Sheldon’s database idea. Still, season 6’s finale showed Missy determined to ignore Sheldon precisely to hurt him, and she wasn’t the only one not to care how her action could have impacted Sheldon’s feelings.
season 6, episode 20 displayed a similar dynamic, although Sheldon didn’t catch up to the double meaning of Dr. Linkletter’s words. Pastor Jeff and Dr. Linkletter’s contributions made Sheldon’s trip to Germany possible, but in sharing their money, they also took a jab at Sheldon, emphasizing how they were doing it to get him out of their hair. While Sheldon’s fight with Missy could never compare to Dr. Linkletter and Pastor Jeff doing whatever they could to send Sheldon far away from Medford, both instances showed how many in were willing to hurt Sheldon, on purpose or unintentionally, as long as they got what they wanted.
season 7 premiere tackled the others’ dismissal of Sheldon’s feelings when both Penny and he missed Leonard, who was abroad on a data-gathering mission, but Sheldon refused to acknowledge it. When in one of their social moments turned into a secret-sharing opportunity Sheldon revealed that he never meant it when he said that he accepted “" one, Penny dismissed his contribution, not considering it a real secret, hurting Sheldon in the process. Sheldon only raised the issue with Penny because he was comfortable doing so, but many other moments inhad Sheldon left hurt by other characters’ words without them ever acknowledging it.
Many of ’s recurring jokes hinged on Leonard, Raj, and Howard making fun of something Sheldon said or did, often taking things literally or completely misinterpreting social cues. Despite that, Sheldon rarely showed himself hurt, instead responding by highlighting his superiority in intellect or their activities, refusing to share his vulnerability. Some characters already started treating Sheldon in season 6 the same way his friends did in , thus heartbreakingly highlighting for how long Sheldon’s feelings would be dismissed.