10 Ways Young Sheldon Is Better Than The Big Bang Theory


  • Young Sheldon has found its own identity and has become TV’s number 1 comedy, surpassing The Big Bang Theory.
  • The Coopers in Young Sheldon are more nuanced and fleshed out compared to their limited involvement in The Big Bang Theory.
  • Young Sheldon has a more consistent plot progression, serialized nature, and better brand of humor than The Big Bang Theory.


Despite being a spin-off, Young Sheldon is so much better than The Big Bang Theory in a lot of aspects. As part of CBS’ attempt to take advantage of The Big Bang Theory‘s popularity, it launched its first spin-off series in 2017. Functioning as Sheldon Cooper’s origins story, Young Sheldon introduced Iain Armitage’s iteration of the character, while Jim Parsons provided the narration as his adult counterpart. Together, the back-to-back comedies dominated the ratings for two years, until The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019.

Since then, Young Sheldon has been carrying the torch for the franchise. During its earlier seasons, the prequel relied heavily on its ties to The Big Bang Theory, and understandably so, considering that its parent series was a more established brand. Over the years, however, it has started to find its own identity, resulting in it gradually breaking away from the nerd-centric sitcom. This has allowed it to become currently TV’s number 1 comedy, not to mention so much better than The Big Bang Theory.
Related: Will Young Sheldon Season 7 Be The Last One? Why It’s Fate Will Likely Be Decided Very Soon

10 Young Sheldon Is A True Ensemble Unlike The Big Bang Theory

Young Sheldon main cast together

The Big Bang Theory was supposed to be an ensemble, and for its first few seasons, it adhered to that. By the end of its run, however, its uneven storytelling had become so prevalent that much of its final season was devoted to Sheldon’s personal arc. This is something that Young Sheldon is able to address. Despite having a titular character, the prequel has given all Coopers plenty of airtime, especially in more recent seasons. Young Sheldon season 6 is the perfect example of this, with the year providing Sheldon and his clan with individual compelling storylines. These stories highlight how interesting the Coopers are as a family.

9 Young Sheldon Is More Heartwarming Than The Big Bang Theory

Mary and Sheldon sit at their front porch in Young Sheldon season 2

When Young Sheldon started, Sheldon was just nine years old and was about to start high school. This created a lot of fun scenes, but also touching ones as he navigated his new life. Sheldon’s loving scenes with Meemaw and surprisingly emotional interactions with George have always been standout moments for the show. The Big Bang Theory had heartwarming moments as well, but it didn’t have as much as its prequel. Instead, it prioritized comedy over balancing its storytelling with more emotional bits.

8 Young Sheldon Is More Appealing Than The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon at a whiteboard in The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory focused on a group of socially awkward adults who navigate their professional and personal careers. As lovable as the Pasadena gang was, their appeal was limited compared to the Coopers. Because Young Sheldon follows a family, it deals with more universal issues. This allows them to offer different things to people who have varying preferences.

7 The Coopers Are So Much Better In Young Sheldon Than The Big Bang Theory

Missy in Big Bang Theory.

Based on Sheldon and Mary’s stories in The Big Bang Theory, George was a no-good, negligent father who always drank — something that Young Sheldon has continuously debunked. This remains the biggest plot inconsistency between the shows, but over time, it has become clear that the Cooper patriarch isn’t the only member of Sheldon’s family who is worse on the nerd-centric sitcom. Young Sheldon‘s take on the Coopers is more nuanced and fleshed out. They are not primarily used as a punch line, which many of them were in their limited involvement in The Big Bang Theory.
Related: Young Sheldon Gave Mary A Connection To The Big Bang Theory’s Penny That Totally Flew Under The Radar

6 Young Sheldon Has A More Consistent Plot Progression Than The Big Bang Theory

Penny and Leonard in The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory had overarching narratives, but for the most part, its plots were episodic. This made it difficult to consistently create a clear story through line. Worse, it was easy for some arcs to fall in the cracks, which was what happened to Leonard and Penny after they got married and Raj in general. Young Sheldon, on the other hand, is more serialized in nature, which makes it easier to appreciate the growth and development of its characters.

5 Young Sheldon Has A Better Brand Of Humor Than The Big Bang Theory

Georgie shows something to a shocking Mandy in Young Sheldon Season 6 finale

It took a while before The Big Bang Theory found its audience, but since 2012, it ranked top two in terms of ratings, ultimately reaching number 1 in 2017’s season 11. Despite its mass appeal, it was constantly criticized for its brand of humor that leaned on racist, sexist, and downright offensive jokes and antics. CBS solves that in Young Sheldon, which relies on a more thoughtful kind of comedy. The boy genius still reverts to being rude for the sake of laughs from time to time, but for the most part, it is careful with its humor.

4 Young Sheldon Tackles Real-World Problems Better Than The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon and Mary look at George and Missy celebrating on Young Sheldon

While The Big Bang Theory‘s scientific plots were fact-checked by actual scientists, it was difficult to care about them for those who weren’t exactly interested in the topic. Sometimes, the show could feature deeply complex ideas, and although the show found a way to make them funny even for those who didn’t understand them, it was still a struggle occasionally. Since Young Sheldon‘s story revolves around Sheldon’s family life, it’s easier to get into it. The boy genius’ scientific pursuits are still focused on, but they come second after prioritizing delving into the relationships in the show.

3 Young Sheldon Is More Nostalgic Than The Big Bang Theory

Missy and Sheldon sitting together in Young Sheldon season 6

Since it tackled pop culture, The Big Bang Theory featured a lot of references to movie, TV, and game properties that can evoke nostalgia. As a prequel that takes place in the late ’80s to the early ’90s, Young Sheldon has the tendency to lean on nostalgia. Armitage doesn’t have to talk about the things that kept him busy during his childhood, the family series is able to show it by featuring him watching Professor Proton or the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s premiere.
Related: 10 Biggest Theories For Young Sheldon Season 7

2 Young Sheldon Doesn’t Have The Big Bang Theory’s Distracting Laughtrack

Leonard and Penny in The Big Bang Theory's sex dungeon dream sequence

Despite being The Big Bang Theory‘s prequel, CBS moved from a multi-cam to a single-cam set-up for Young Sheldon. This means that the prequel does away with the laugh track, which can be distracting for some. For what it’s worth, it fits in with the storytelling approach for Young Sheldon being more of a family comedy-drama instead of a straight-up sitcom.

1 Young Sheldon Has A More Diverse Storytelling Than The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon Cooper delivers his Nobel Prize speech in The Big Bang Theory

Mixing pop culture with science, The Big Bang Theory built a massive following over its 12-year run. While it was still very popular when it ended, the show felt like it was already struggling to come up with unique storylines. Granted that Young Sheldon has yet to reach that point, it is clear that it has a more diverse roster of plots. It can focus on Sheldon’s scientific pursuits, which strengthen its ties to its parent series, but it can also tackle more stereotypical family arcs via the rest of Mary and George’s clan. Meemaw’s dating adventures and business venture offer Young Sheldon other interesting plot lines as well.

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