What Only Young Sheldon Fans Noticed About His Clothes In The Big Bang Theory

Here's something funny about boy genius-turned-manchild genius Sheldon Cooper: On The Big Bang Theory, adult Sheldon (Jim Parsons) dresses like a child, while on Young Sheldon, he dresses like an adult. Grown-up Sheldon's superhero tee shirts are something an 11-year-old would wear, while actual 11-year-old Sheldon wears bowties, like a little accountant.

Reddit user yeetboi37501 shared a meme pointing out this funny observation about Sheldon's clothing on the Big Bang Theory subreddit, and it's gotten a lot of good responses from fans of the original comedy series and its spin-off prequel. If you haven't already guessed, the fans have some theories about this particular piece of comparative costuming.

"I would take it as ... In TBBT Sheldon is a kid as an adult, he enjoys games etc since he was so busy doing stuff as a kid," writes daven1985. "In [Young Sheldon] Sheldon is trying to be an adult and be taken seriously. Also, I would say that his parents control his outfit more than when he is older. At least that is my take on it." Sheldon did indeed do a lot of stuff as a kid. In Young Sheldon's current fourth season, he's an 11-year-old college student.

Hadapurpura puts it even more succinctly: "As a child, his mom bought his clothes. As an adult, he buys his own clothes."

Sheldon has always dressed like a nerd

Of course, this is Sheldon we're talking about, so some fans have very complex, nerdy theories about why Sheldon dresses how he does. "I saw this thing, that the reason he dresses and sometimes acts childishly is because he has an eidetic memory, so as a young child what most people forget, he remembers so he is still kinda a child because he didn't forget the stuff from when he was like 2/3," writes YeemoBandsOnCrack. "Eidetic memory" is the technical term for what's more commonly called a "photographic memory."

Sheldon's wardrobe through the years rings true for some folks who relate to him. "A lot of geeks are like this. As a child you have to dress how your parents allow you. As an adult you can spend 1000's on whatever you want," writes RampantAnonymous. The poster's wife went through a similar wardrobe transformation, where as a kid she wore whatever her mother bought for her "Now she can buy whatever fun Star Wars/comicbook/whatever shirts and wear them to work if she wants because she's the boss of the place." Rock those shirts, Mrs. RampantAnonymous!

Our own theory is that in the late '80s or early '90s in which Young Sheldon is set, nerds dressed like young Sheldon (for evidence, see Revenge of the Nerds). But by the time Sheldon was an adult in the late '00s, nerd style had evolved. Sheldon has always dressed in a way that would culturally mark him as a member of the nerd tribe, but the uniform changed.