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The Big Bang Theory Sheldon Error That Bothers Young Sheldon Fans

Whether you are a fan from way back, or just got into the series when it was added to HBO Max, The Big Bang Theory remains one of the most binge-worthy sitcoms in recent memory. With a story that runs 12 seasons and 279 episodes, the series makes for many hours of enjoyment ... as well as lots of opportunities for plot holes and continuity errors.

That's to be expected with any long-running series, though, and spotting gaps in logic, or very specific errors, can even add an extra level of enjoyment to a rewatch. Fans of The Big Bang Theory certainly seem to think so, as they often take to Reddit to share the plot holes they uncover deep in the show's history. Unraveling how these mess-ups effect the rest of the series, then, also adds to the fun of seeking them out. One error, recently uncovered by eagle-eyed Redditors, carries big implications for the backstory of Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), not only on The Big Bang Theory, but also the prequel series, Young Sheldon.

While describing his life, Sheldon shaved off five years

There's an issue with Sheldon's age, and it isn't that the show hasn't established when he was born. Rather, the problem is that it has established when he was born, but also contradicts that date. 

It was referenced multiple times that Sheldon and his twin sister Missy were born on February 26, 1980. However, as Reddit user dgiannak discovered, the math of Sheldon's various life accomplishments doesn't quite add up, if one examines  Sheldon's own accounting of his past in the first season episode "The Luminous Fish Effect." After he gets fired from his job, Sheldon declares he's not interested in getting it back, saying, "I've spent the last three and a half years staring at grease boards full of equations. Before that, I spent four years working on my thesis. Before that, I was in college, and before that, I was in the fifth grade."

Now, another established fact is that Sheldon, being the difficult genius he is, started college when he was eleven years old — something that is a major plot point on Young Sheldon. However, dgiannak notes that when that timeline is added up — four years for college, four for his PhD thesis, and three and a half working before the beginning of the series — that puts his age in "The Luminous Fish Effect" at only 22. That's about five years shy of how old he should be, at that point, which is 27. 

This timeline fumble is likely nothing more than the result of a goof in the script. But it's also not the first time the show has had trouble pinning down exactly when Sheldon was born.

What's Sheldon's zodiac sign?

Whether or not you believe that someone's astrological sign has any correlation to their personality, western astrology does work off of a specific set of dates to categorize people into one of twelve specific signs. However, in the case of The Big Bang Theory, the lines between someone's actual birthday and their sign occasionally gets blurred. For example, in the season one episode "The Peanut Reaction," Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is talking with Sheldon and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) about the group's various zodiac signs. She says how she had planned to do everyone's horoscope, "until Sheldon went on one of his typical psychotic rants." After Sheldon repeats his rant against the legitimacy of astrology, Penny responds, "Blah blah blah, a typical Taurus."

It's a funny line, but Sheldon's February 26 birthday makes him a Pisces, not a Taurus. Penny herself even confirms this fact in the season 8 episode "The Intimacy Acceleration." After learning that it's Sheldon's birthday (to make it extra authentic, the episode even aired on February 26), she responds, "That is so funny. I would never pegged you for a Pisces."

This might all seem like it's fixating extra hard on Sheldon's birth date, so to switch things up, have a look at the time the show couldn't decide where Sheldon was born, instead of when.

The mystery of Sheldon's birthplace

Sheldon's mother, Mary Cooper (Laurie Metcalf), became one of The Big Bang Theory's best-loved supporting characters because of her Texas-sized personality, and the fact that she and Sheldon are comically different people. One of the first things that viewers learn about Mary is that she gave birth to Sheldon in a rather unconventional location. This occurs in the episode "The Luminous Fish Effect," wherein Mary comes to town to try and shake Sheldon out of the depressive episode he falls into after losing his job. While talking to his friends about her son, Mary says, "I'll tell ya, I love the boy to death, but he has been difficult since he fell out of me at the K-Mart."

Just one season later, though, viewers were already given an alternative location for Sheldon's birth. In the season 2 episode "The Lizard-Spock Expansion" Sheldon asserts that he was born at the (fictional) Lawrence Memorial Hospital, as pointed out by Houstonia, not at a department store.

So, after all of that, here's the lowdown on Sheldon's birth: he was born on February 26 and sometime in April, between the years 1980-1985, at the K-Mart inside the Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Glad that's all cleared up!