15 Best Young Sheldon Episodes

The Big Bang Theory prequel has a lot to offer. Here are our choices for the best Young Sheldon episodes.

“German for Beginners and a Crazy Old Man with a Bat” – The gambling room gets broken into and Sheldon wants to study abroad. Also, Missy makes a new friend, on YOUNG SHELDON, Thursday, May 11 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured (L-R): Iain Armitage as Sheldon Cooper and Matt Hobby as Pastor Jeff.
Photo: Bill Inoshita | CBS

It’s almost time for a second emotional goodbye to one of comedy’s best characters: Sheldon Cooper. 

Fans fell in love with the character of Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, which ran for 12 years and starred Jim Parsons. In the spinoff prequel Young Sheldon, Parsons passed down the torch to Iain Armitage. However, Parsons still narrates the series as adult Sheldon and executive produces. 

Young Sheldon allows audiences to travel back to Sheldon’s childhood in East Texas, truly giving us the opportunity to meet his family in a way that we hadn’t with their appearances on The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon wouldn’t be who he is without Mary (Zoe Perry), George Sr. (Lance Barber), Missy (Raegan Revord), Georgie (Montana Jordan), and his Meemaw (Annie Potts). 

Let’s be honest, the show is just as fun as The Big Bang Theory was, albeit in a different way and with a different focus: family. So picking the top 15 episodes was no easy task, but here’s which ones we think are the real standouts. 

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15. A Political Campaign and a Candy Land Cheater

Season 2 Episode 19

Sheldon finds out that sports are a financial priority over education at school and decides to run for student office, more specifically class president, to make a difference. Naturally, he goes the extra mile as always and calls the Mayor for advice on how to win. He then puts himself out there, but when his opponent puts up a poster mocking him, he has to step up his game with the help of Missy and ends up getting inspiration from an unexpected source. Watching Sheldon try to master politics and all that comes with it is amusing to say the least. 

14. Teenager Soup and a Little Ball of Fib

Season 3 Episode 10

What does Sheldon consider the most horrific location at school? Easy, the swimming pool. So when the swim test comes up at school, he pretends to be ill to stay home and skip it at Missy’s suggestion. Before leaving for school, her and Georgie offer some important pointers. Meanwhile, Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn) takes a trip to the sporting goods store to check out Meemaw’s new boyfriend. 

Additionally, this episode gives fans a surprise cameo as well: Kaley Cuoco voices the pool water in Sheldon’s nightmare! 

13. A Tummy Ache and a Whale of a Metaphor

Season 2 Episode 12

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Sheldon ends up in the hospital after getting a tummy ache at school, needing to have his gallbladder removed. Everything goes smoothly, but he needs to spend three or four days there to make sure he’s okay. Sheldon isn’t happy and wants to go home, but is forced to stay and makes a nightmare of a patient. On his last day there, he gets a roommate, who has a hole in his heart and is getting surgery. The two of them actually become friendly in that short period of time. Meanwhile at home, Missy finds herself missing her brother until he gets home. 

12. A Launch Party and a Whole Human Being

Season 6 Episode 14

It’s a big day for the Cooper clan, except it seems no one is on the same page. Sheldon’s database launch party is here, but Mandy (Emily Osment) goes into labor and everything else must take a back seat. Sheldon goes to Brenda Sparks (Melissa Peterman) for help getting Mandy to the hospital. None of the other Coopers are answering their phones with Georgie trying his hardest to figure out the baby’s new car seat, not realizing that she’s about to be born. 

Finally, Mary and George Sr. arrive at the hospital, which makes for some awkward confrontations between the adults along with Brenda and Pastor Rob (Dan Byrd). It turns out Meemaw is already at the hospital for hemorrhoids, Mandy’s parents are in the room with her, and thankfully, Georgie makes it on time. The new dad-to-be is having a hard time actually going into the building though and Sheldon gives him the comfort he needs in a surprising way. The baby is finally born and the name is Constance in honor of Meemaw, who has done so much to help both Mandy and Georgie. 

11. A Party Invitation, Football Grapes and an Earth Chicken

Season 3 Episode 9

Billy Sparks (Wyatt McClure) is having his birthday party, but only one of the twins is invited and Mary isn’t pleased that her son is being left out. To make her point, she goes to Pastor Jeff and suggests the theme for the sermon. Eventually, Brenda gives in and invites Sheldon. However, he only agrees to go if he can be dressed as Dr. Spock. Back at home, Dr. Sturgis comes over to hang out with George Sr. and “watch the football game,” which actually means discussing his breakup with Meemaw. 

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10. Hobbitses, Physicses and a Ball With Zip

Season 3 Episode 4

When Mary insists Sheldon takes a break from science, he has to find a new hobby. It gives us some hilarious scenes of Meemaw and Sheldon exercising, which he hates, him playing Bingo and bowling, but everything leads back to science. Finally, he discovers The Lord of the Rings and a new obsession is born! 

Missy, inspired by a crush on a boy at school, asks her dad to teach her how to throw a baseball. Of course, she denies it when asked, but it allows George Sr. to teach his daughter about the Texas Rangers and baseball in general. They spend the episode bonding and Missy even asks for five more minutes playing when Mary calls for dinner. Plus, the storyline finishes with one of the most heartwarming moments of the series. 

9. A Tornado, a Ten-Hour Flight and a Darn Fine Ring

Season 6 Episode 22

Sheldon and Mary are getting ready to go to Germany for the summer, but the episode gives audiences an emotional rollercoaster leading to their 10-hour flight. Georgie gives Mandy an engagement ring before they go to share the news with her parents, but Mandy and her mother get into a fight about what the wedding should look like. Missy is still upset with her family, especially Sheldon, but a tornado while her and George Sr. are driving back puts things into perspective. The episode ends with the comedy’s most hard-hitting cliffhanger as we see that Meemaw’s house has been completely destroyed with her stuff everywhere and Mary unable to reach anyone after landing. 

8. A God-Fearin’ Baptist and a Hot Trophy Husband

Season 5 Episode 19

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Georgie has finally dropped the bomb that he got Mandy pregnant to his parents, which goes as well as you’d expect it to as they demand to meet the girl having their grandchild. The situation reminds Mary and George Sr. about their own when they got pregnant with Georgie, but they disagree on if their son should marry Mandy. Naturally, the introduction dinner is awkward, especially once religion and a possible marriage is brought up. Meanwhile, Missy and Sheldon try to put the pieces together on why everyone’s acting so weird. 

7. Pilot 

Season 1 Episode 1 

The first episode of a show sets the scene perfectly for what’s to come and the pilot of Young Sheldon does exactly that: making the Cooper family dynamics clear and what each of the characters offer alongside Sheldon. Parsons portrayed the iconic character so well that it’s hard to imagine anyone else mastering Sheldon in the same way, but Armitage rises to the challenge and is incredible, embodying the character’s notable characteristics from the very first scene. However, the real surprise is how quickly the other members of the family grow on viewers, especially George Sr. 

6. Potato Salad, a Broomstick, and Dad’s Whiskey

Season 1 Episode 14

When Mary decides to go back to work as the church secretary, Sheldon and Missy are left alone after school to take care of themselves. As expected, this provides hilarious moments with the twins ranging from first aid on a splinter to defending their house from an invader, who turns out to be Meemaw checking on them. Unable to find her mother’s tweezers, Missy uses Operation tweezers to get Sheldon’s splinter out and it’s so perfectly in character, you have to love it. 

5. A Therapist, a Comic Book, and a Breakfast Sausage

Season 1 Episode 4

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After choking on a breakfast sausage, Sheldon won’t eat any solid food and eventually, his parents take him to see a therapist. What makes this episode so notable is that that office is where his love for comics is born as he picks up a copy of X-Men. He then ventures off to find his first comic book store to find out what happens in the next issue and as fans of The Big Bang Theory know, this is only the first trip of many. Reading those stories gave him the strength to get over his fear and eat a Red Vine. 

4. A Crisis of Faith and Octopus Aliens

Season 2 Episode 3

The death of a young girl in their community leaves Mary questioning God and her faith, which many viewers will find themselves relating to. Sheldon manages to give his mother exactly what she needs to hear in that moment, using what he knows best: science. While he might not believe in God himself, he understands that she needs her faith because it’s an important part of who she is. 

3. A Parasol and a Hell of an Arm

Season 3 Episode 6

It’s time for the church carnival and after Missy manages to throw seven perfect balls in a row at the dunk tank, she wants to play on a baseball and doesn’t care about being the only girl on the team. However, when she goes to try out for the team, the coach refuses to consider her or even watch her throw. Not accepting how her granddaughter was treated, Meemaw marches down and insists that Missy gets the same chance a boy would. As expected, she does fantastic and makes the team. 

2. A Swedish Science Thing and the Equation for Toast

Season 2 Episode 22

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Sheldon’s excitement is at an all-time high, inviting everyone from school to his garage for a “gathering” to hear the Nobel Prize in physics announcement live. Unfortunately, no one shows up to the party besides his mother, who he says can leave. It doesn’t end there though, we then see a young version of Leonard, Penny, Raj, Howard, Bernadette, and Amy, promising viewers that Sheldon is not destined to be alone forever.

In the series finale of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Amy won the Nobel Prize, which makes this episode a sweet full circle moment for the character and the group of friends he will form in the future. In Sheldon’s speech, he expresses how the award does not just belong to him and that he would not be accepting it if it wasn’t for his mother, father, siblings, and his “other family,” aka Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernadette, and Raj. 

One bonus line that really tugs at the heart strings is Dr. Sturgis telling Meemaw, “It was my dream to win the Nobel and I’m not going to. I bet Sheldon will.”

1. Graduation

Season 4 Episode 1 

Sheldon is officially graduating high school and takes the title of class valedictorian, and while none of that is surprising, what is so great about this episode is the breakdown that follows. We’ve seen Sheldon confident about most things, especially everything school related, so to have him questioning if he’s ready for college is a much needed moment for the character. The real beauty of the episode is Missy being the one to comfort Sheldon about how he’s feeling, the two of them having a heart to heart that gives him the courage to graduate. It’s easy to get teary eyed when Sheldon decides to focus solely on Missy to reduce his stage fright and deliver his valedictorian speech, crediting her with the ability to move forward into this next chapter. If you’re not crying by the end of his speech, you’ll definitely shed a tear when adult Sheldon, joined by his wife Amy (Mayim Bialik), reveals that his son is named Leonard Cooper. 

Young Sheldon returns on Thursday, February 15 at 8 PM, ET/PT on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

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