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Young Sheldon Fans Think They Understand Why Mary Cooper Is So Different In TBBT

When it comes to TV, flashbacks are often used to provide additional context to stories, as well as give viewers a glimpse of how their favorite characters came to be. But when a spinoff series like "Young Sheldon" sets characters in what's essentially a permanent flashback, there's a lot more room for fan scrutiny and comparisons between each character and their future or past selves. Viewers of "The Big Bang Theory" have had many "Young Sheldon" episodes to compare and contrast versions of characters who appear on both shows. One fan debate zeroes in on the character Mary Cooper, Sheldon's mother.

A Redditor recently asked what fans thought were the biggest inconsistencies between the characters of "Young Sheldon" and "The Big Bang Theory." They listed Mary Cooper as an example, proposing that she doesn't have the "same core personality" in both shows. This is a good point, as the younger Mary (Zoe Perry), is much gentler and patient with Sheldon, yet Mary (Laurie Metcalf) in "The Big Bang Theory" is "stern and uncompromising." Another Redditor, u/kmkmrod, believes this is a realistic change, and replied, "... the next time we see her again Sheldon had been living away from home for 12 years. She wasn't a different character, she was her default self because he wasn't around anymore." The discussion continued with more fans bringing up solid points to expand on this specific comparison.

Time can profoundly change a personality

With fictional decades separating "The Big Bang Theory" and "Young Sheldon," there will naturally be plenty of differences between each characters' younger and older selves. Fans might not know that the two actors who portray this same character are related. Zoe Perry, who plays the younger Mary, is the daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who wore Mary's shoes in "The Big Bang Theory." Despite this real-life connection, Mary's personality is considerably different between each TV series, but fans seem to agree that this is justified. The main point of this debate seems to focus on the differences between Mary's life situations.

A solid point came from u/SigSauerPower320, who pointed to two reasons for Mary's eventual changes: "Losing a spouse can change a person. So can 25 years ... It's not a far stretch to see Mary going from an overbearing mom to a 'I'm not putting up with this nonsense' parent." And u/MajorZombie7204 did spot the major changes in Mary's character and justified it by saying, "To me, the slight changes in her personality over the years is very natural and normal for any parent and is neither a plot hole nor an inconsistency." Agreeing with this same viewpoint, it seems safe to say that although Mary Cooper's overall personality changed in the time between shows, many fans find this realistic and understandable.