Young Sheldon

Young Sheldon

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Updated Oct 11, 2017 at 01:22PM EDT by Matt.

Added Sep 29, 2017 at 01:29PM EDT by Adam.

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Young Sheldon is a CBS sitcom television series created as a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory. The show centers around The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper as a young boy who enters high school at the age of nine. Online, it has been the subject of mockery and derision leading up to its debut in late September 2017.


In November of 2016, Jim Parsons, the actor who plays Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, had the initial idea for Young Sheldon, and the show was put into development soon after.[1] It follows Sheldon as a gifted 9-year-old boy in an East Texas high school. Parsons serves as narrator and producer for the show. On May 17th, 2017, CBS uploaded the first trailer for Young Sheldon to its YouTube channel, gaining over 2.9 million views (shown below).

The show is slated to debut properly on November 2nd, 2017. A special preview aired on September 25th, 2017. Two days later, CBS picked up the show for 22 episodes.


The pilot episode of Young Sheldon gained over 17 million viewers,[1] leading CBS to pick up the show for a full season. Critics were mostly positive towards the show. On Rotten Tomatoes,[2] the show has a 74% approval rating. Metacritic[3] had a more mixed spread of critics, putting an average of 63/100. In its review, Vox[4] noted that the show was more akin to The Wonder Years than Big Bang Theory, though was only "fitfully" successful.

Online Reactions

In the lead-up to the series premiere, jokes about Young Sheldon were very prevalent online. For example, webcomic One Giant Hand[5] posted a comic imagining the character as a sociopathic genius to Tumblr the day before the series premiere, gaining over 1,500 notes (shown below).

One Giant Hand webcomic about a sociopath young Sheldon

This joke was echoed in some Twitter jokes about that show. For example, on September 28th, @Bro_Pair tweeted that Sheldon was like the villains in Deliverance, gaining over 110 likes (shown below, left). Another tweet by @cushbomb said he was the third shooter at Columbine (shown below, right).

Tweet elaborating on how Young Sheldon will be Tweet comparing Young Sheldon as the 3rd uncaught shooter in Columbine High School

Most of the commentary about the show simply expressed disgust at its existence. For example, a tweet by @hipsterocracy noted that a country that voted for Trump deserves Young Sheldon gained over 120 likes (shown below, left). Another tweet by @RandiLawson imagined CBS's show lineup made up entirely of Sheldon spinoffs, gaining over 390 retweets (shown below, right).

Funny Tweet by Johnny Taylor about how the country that voted for Trump deserved Young Sheldon Randy Lawsome Tweets a joke that CBS line up is all Sheldon content

Laugh Track

On August 27th, Facebook [10] user justilook posted a tweet from Twitter user @RamuneDelight, a private Twitter account, which captioned the poster of Sheldon fixing his bowtie ">sheldon please pass the salt >mmm did you mean sodium chloride, mother? laugh track." On Facebook, the post (shown below) received more than 3,000 reactions and 490 share in three months.

Jinsang (Re,Follow) @RamuneDelight >sheldon please pass the salt >mmmdid you mean sodium chloride, mother? *LAUGH TRACK* young Sheldon

Following the premiere of the show, a series of image macros began appearing on the /r/DankMemes subreddit. In the memes, an offensive and crude version of the show captions the show's poster of Sheldon fixing his bowtie. Each of the memes tends to end with a reference to the "laugh track," mocking the sitcom format, and Sheldon's drunk father or another character assaulting Sheldon. The earliest available iteration was found on the /r/MemeEconomy [6] subreddit, which comes from the Twitter[11] account @onlinewweman on August 28th, 2017. On October 4th, 2017, Redditor YeezusPleezus posted an image macro of an edgy scenario intended to parody the series. The post (shown below) received more than 7,900 points (92% upvoted) and 220 comments.

Mom: shut up Tag Sheldon: I don't feel like a bundle of wooden sticks laugh track) {dad kicks door & beats him within an inch of his life) young Sheldon ⑥CBS

Over the next week, members of /r/DankMemes continued to post variations of the meme.
On October 8th, Redditor[8] F1reHaZard posted the picture with the caption "Mom:Shut up bitch / Sheldon: I am not a female nor a dog, but a male human {laugh track} {dad drunkenly walks in and starts punching him until he bleeds}." The post (shown below, left) received more than 5,100 points (96% upvoted) and 75 comments in three days.

The next day, on October 9th, Redditor[7] PapaTaco911 posted a version with the caption "Mom: Fuck off you gay pussy / Sheldon: Yes, I am happy and no I am not a female cat / [laugh track] / [drunk dad barges in and beats him till he loses consciousness]" The post (shown below, center) received more than 20,200 points (91% upvoted) and 190 comments in 24 hours.

That day, Redditor[9] agentflux posted another version with the caption "Dog: barks / Sheldon: You know I don't speak canine. Please repeat what you just said in English or Klingon / {laugh track} Dog: proceeds to brutally maul Sheldon / [laugh track intensifies}" The post (shown below, right) received more than 13,000 points (92% upvoted) and 130 comments in 24 hours.

uck off you gay p---- Morm:f Sheldon: Yes, I am happy and no I am not a female cat. laugh track) (drunk dad barges in and beats him till he loses consciousness] young Sheldon ⑥CBS Paparacog Mom:Shut up bitch Sheldon: I am not a female nor a dog, but a male human laugh track) {dad drunkenly walks in and starts punching him until he bleeds) young Sheldon Dog: *barks Sheldon: You know I don't speak canine. Please repeat what you just said in English or Klingon. (laugh track) Dog: *proceeds to brutally maul Sheldon* laugh track intensifies) young Sheldon

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Bill-Stan, Gaijin Supreme
Bill-Stan, Gaijin Supreme

sheldor pass satl

mmmmmmyo mean sODUM CLOLRINE my matirnel mothr figer person


B̲͓͖̠̖͈͉̘̱͈͖̤̖̲̻͕̗̼̀O̸̢͡͏̯̭̗̳͎͝Ń̸̷͈̭̰̣̘̱̖̯̜̲͎͔̟̝̫̳̻͟͞ ͢͏͔̠̜̤̼̪͇̲̻͔͖ͅA̛̲̜͖̤̮̝̙͍̰̫͙̳͙̗̼͝ͅP̛͉̹͍̪̳̭̕P̵̷̡͔͖͇̭̭͕̬̭̣̝̤͖̖̺̩̳̼̲ͅE̛҉̱͈̥̺̜̯̘̘͎̠̠͉͕̟̹̹T҉̸̥̪̦͔͘͘͜Í̧͉̣͎̣̥͈̟̠͍̗͘͢͡T̨͙̹̜̗̲̮̳̺̗̻̲͓̕͠E̢̧͙̻̞̟͕̲̮͚

laughtrack which quickly descends into the screams of the damned


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