How Old Was Sheldon When His Dad Died in Young Sheldon Season 7 Finale?

How Old Was Sheldon When His Dad Died in Young Sheldon Season 7 Finale?
Image credit: CBS

Despite the anachronisms, the events kept pace with the canon of TBBT.


  • Sheldon was 13 when he caught George cheating, and 14 when he left for Germany.
  • However, these events have been shuffled around, making it difficult to understand Sheldon's age at the time of the YS finale.
  • Nevertheless, he may indeed have been 14 when George died.

Young Sheldon's seven-year run ended on a very bittersweet note. Sure, we saw a life-affirming epilogue with an adult Sheldon and Amy, and learned the fates of his grandmother, mother, and siblings thanks to The Big Bang Theory, but the final scenes with the entire family gathered together were both sad and nostalgic, as George Cooper Sr. will forever be remembered by both his loved ones and fans of the show.

While we knew many of Young Sheldon's key events, including the tragic demise of the family patriarch, from anecdotes Sheldon shared on Big Bang, one important question remains somewhat unanswered for both old and new fans of the series — how old are Sheldon and his twin sister Missy at the time of George Cooper Sr.'s death?

What Does the Canon of TBBT Tell Us?

Being a prodigy isn't enough for Sheldon to get into his dream college, Caltech, so Dr. Sturgis suggested he apply to an international program in Germany, and according to TBBT canon, Sheldon went to Germany at the age of 14. That's how old he was when George died.

However, in the episode The Hot Tub Contamination of the tenth season of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon stated in a conversation with Penny that he was only 13 years old when he allegedly caught his father with 'another woman'.

How Old Was Sheldon When His Dad Died in Young Sheldon Season 7 Finale? - image 1

During the events of Young Sheldon, specifically in the Season 7 episode Ants on a Log and a Cheating Winker, fan speculation that this was Mary's role-playing was confirmed. And while the writers have incredibly appeased fans by not ditching canonical events, you can see the discrepancy here. Although Sheldon claimed he was 13, he caught George and Mary after he returned from Germany.

Although Chuck Lorre, Steve Holland and Steven Molaro proved to be quite respectful of the canon they themselves created with Bill Prady, the events shown during the course of Young Sheldon are chronologically inconsistent with those voiced in Big Bang. But in this case, how old is Sheldon after all?

Despite the Anachronisms, Sheldon's Age Remained the Same

In other words, the events surrounding George's 'cheating' should have happened much earlier, back in Season 6. Then it would have been a while before Sheldon turned 14, followed by a trip to Germany and George's death. But at the same time, according to Steve Holland, George should have died even earlier, but the character proved to be so beloved by the cast and viewers that it was decided to keep him on the show longer:

'[Lance Barber has] known since the beginning of the show that George Sr. had an expiration date. We slowed time down a little bit… We stretched one year out into a couple seasons to keep Lance alive as far as long as we could. But he always knew this was coming.'

So Shelly could have been 13 at the time of, say, Season 5, and 14 when he lost his father in Season 7.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that this contradicts what TBBT says, but Sheldon has a long history of being an unreliable narrator (for example, he's said that George is a heavy drinker, which is not true).

Also, fans have long speculated about how the writers would implement a cheating storyline — fortunately, they've done it with considerable skill, even if it contradicts the adult Sheldon himself and leaves us wondering just how old Sheldon is. Well, most likely fourteen.

Source: Entertainment Weekly.