Young Sheldon showrunner Steve Molaro explains a potential plot hole in The Big Bang Theory finale in relation to its spin-off prequel. With the end of the popular CBS sitcom back in May, the long-time show producer has now fully moved to its offshoot. But while both series were still on the air, he was involved in both. This makes him the best person to ask about some lingering questions fans still have, including one regarding Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
After devoting more time than ideal in tackling Sheldon and Amy's (Mayim Bialik) bid to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on Super Asymmetry, The Big Bang Theory series finale delivered with them eventually winning it. Aside from the hard work the newlyweds put in for their paper, it was also the fulfillment of Sheldon's life-long dream of becoming a Nobel winner, evidenced by his fascination with it in Young Sheldon. This is the reason fans were surprised when he didn't even mention Dr. Sturgis, a professor of physics whom Sheldon was very close with during his youth, in his acceptance speech.
When asked by TV Line about this, Molaro chalks it up to the idea that Sheldon's speech "was intended to honor the history of Big Bang. It didn't seem like the right time to invoke specific characters from Young Sheldon." That said, the showrunner pointed out, "He mentions 'all the men in his life,' which would include Dr. Sturgis."
Considering there's very little connection between The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon other than the fact that both have the same leading character only at different ages, this was such a small detail. While they technically exist in the same reality, it wasn't until the parent series was ending that CBS made a conscious effort to link them together with a one-time crossover and Young Sheldon tribute to The Big Bang Theory finale. If anything, some long-time fans aren't happy with how the offshoot's narrative is going as they feel like it's rewriting established canon for the sake of new material. But with CBS' ratings monster ending, they needed to position its sister show to take its place as their top sitcom, hence the urgency to connect them together.
More than the omission of Dr. Sturgis' name in Sheldon's speech, the absence of his mom, Meemaw and other family members during the Nobel ceremony is baffling. The Big Bang Theory had featured them regularly in its 12-year run so they already existed in the show, unlike Dr. Sturgis, who has only appeared in Young Sheldon. But as explained, the finale was designed to highlight the tight friendships Sheldon formed with the Pasadena gang. In any case, considering the unevenness of its final season, it's still impressive that Molaro and the rest of The Big Bang Theory creative team was able to pull off an emotionally satisfying end to the series.
Source: TV Line