Is Leonard Actually Dead? Young Sheldon Finale Leaves TBBT Fans Confused

Is Leonard Actually Dead? Young Sheldon Finale Leaves TBBT Fans Confused
Image credit: CBS

We should stop jumping to conclusions!


  • The Young Sheldon finale showed Sheldon and Amy's future after TBBT.
  • Some viewers believe that it contains a reference to Leonard's death.
  • However, these arguments are easily refuted.

The last episode of The Big Bang Theory aired on CBS a full five years ago, but fans still passionately watch and discuss the iconic series created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. After all, the show's focus on the close friendship and mutual support of the Pasadena gang continues to inspire and excite us.

But of course, another surge of interest in the TBBT franchise was sparked by the prequel spin-off Young Sheldon, which turned out to be an incredibly moving family story that showed how environment, relatives and teachers shaped the future Nobel Prize winner.

In the final hour-long episode, we not only dealt with the heartbreaking aftermath of George Cooper's death, but also saw a flash-forward to post-TBBT events as Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik returned to the screen to play adult Sheldon and Amy. Aside from them, none of the original characters appeared in the finale, but there were still hints as to the fate of some of them. In particular, some fans now believe that Leonard Hofstadter is officially dead.

Let's find out what's behind the speculation and how much we can believe it.

Why Do Some Fans Think Leonard Is Dead?

To be honest, we didn't really need the How I Met Your Mother-style time jumps. Don't get us wrong, it's always interesting to see what happens to beloved characters. But The Big Bang Theory's finale was the perfect way to wrap up their story by leaving the ending open. Because for all their career and family developments, Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette were still gathered in Apartment 4A.

However, as part of Young Sheldon, Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro allowed themselves a little glimpse into Sheldon and Amy's lives long after the Nobel Prize. We were shown that they have two children, a son and a daughter. At one point, Amy tells her husband that their daughter wants to take acting lessons, to which Sheldon complains, believing that this is a bad influence from Penny, who often babysits the girl. Thus, Penny was the only original character mentioned, which worried fans — after all, Leonard is Sheldon's best friend, and it's odd that he didn't say anything about him at all.

Is Leonard Actually Dead? Young Sheldon Finale Leaves TBBT Fans Confused - image 1

To make matters worse, Sheldon's son is also named Leonard, in honor of both Leonard Hofstadter and Leonard Nimoy. And since the events of Flash Forward take place a decade or more after the Nobel Prize, and the characters are in their 50s, viewers have begun to worry that this means Leonard is dead by now, given his health problems such as sleep apnea and asthma.

Is That Really the Case?

Lorre and Molaro are careful writers, and as we saw in the case of the events in Sheldon's life, such as George's 'cheating' with another woman and his subsequent death, which was mentioned in TBBT, canon events are followed to a greater or lesser extent. So it's not at all surprising that fans took the lack of any mention of Leonard as a direct hint that he was sadly dead by that point.

But is this really the case? Did the creators of TBBT really set up a single tragic end for one of the protagonists, or is all this speculation overblown?

First, let's not forget that Sheldon and Amy never mentioned anyone other than Penny. It would be ridiculous to assume that Howard, Bernadette and Raj are also dead. Second, naming a child after a close and very much alive person is normal. Moreover, it is even present in young Sheldon, as Georgie named his and Mandy's daughter after Meemaw, Constance!