‘Big Bang Theory’ Fans Were Quick to Point out this Plot Hole in ‘Young Sheldon’

Prequels to sitcoms haven’t been done a lot in TV history, but it’s safe to say Young Sheldon is the most successful of ones tried. The Big Bang Theory is arguably the only reason it’s succeeded, even though it does a good job of having its own brand of comedy, including a dash of wistfulness at times.

Along the way, fans have seen references to things Sheldon and his friends mentioned later as adults on The Big Bang Theory. Writers have mostly done well keeping that continuity going. However, it seems they missed one minor detail caught by sharp viewers recently.

In one episode of Young Sheldon, a scene takes place contradicting something Howard Wolowitz said in an earlier The Big Bang Theory episode. Yes, the simplest plot points can sometimes be forgotten without a million writer sticky note reminders.

Did the writers overlook Howard’s bed rails as a teenager?

According to a fan from Reddit, there’s a big plot hole in the childhood of Howard after mentioning he still used bed rails until he was 17 years old. This continuity error was mentioned as far as the British media, and they backed it up with video proof from Young Sheldon showing Howard’s bed without rails at age 10.

The writing team of The Big Bang Theory has made no comment about this, but it was inevitable when so many other sitcoms and dramas have more egregious errors than this one. There’s all possibility it’s just the beginning in catching more continuity errors now that The Big Bang Theory is over and it heads into the streaming universe (eventually).

Having this prequel faux pas outed doesn’t mean fans haven’t taken to places like Reddit to defend what Howard said. After all, Howard was known for exaggerating his past. Some say because he also fudged facts about his own mother, it’s a possibility he has a revisionist memory about when he stopped using bed rails.

As insignificant as this might seem in the bigger picture of The Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon, it’s worth pondering whether other writers will be more aware of plot holes and start using technology to keep track of details.

Should writers be more careful on TV, or does it matter?

For a sitcom, there might not be much care about continuity errors existing. Since it’s just a comedy, a detail about bed rails probably won’t cause a tear in the space-time continuum. Thanks to fans, though, a lot of errors are usually explained away as exaggerations, or finding some other way to make the contradictions fit.

Writers should appreciate fans since the latter can often cover former’s tracks when mistakes are made. Anyone who writes for a living (or who’s written long-form fiction) knows how hard it is to keep numerous plates spinning in a story. Sometimes little details can be forgotten without having a million notes around as reminders.

Writing software has allowed creators to keep tabs on things like this. Final Draft is known for organizing things in TV and movie scriptwriting so there’s never one thing overlooked.

All writers have their own process, though. The Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon writers might have set small details aside to focus on the more important elements of character development.

Fans aren’t bothered by small errors like this

Iain Armitrage
Iain Armitrage | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Ratings for Young Sheldon continue to stay relatively strong, no doubt due to The Big Bang Theory fans hanging on and giving emotional ties to the adult characters. In their minds, a small continuity error isn’t going to ruin the entire show.

Only when bigger errors occur do fans usually start to rebel. Some shows have had some embarrassing mistakes on a significant scale. Examples have been numerous, and include major series as significant as Game of Thrones. Everyone knows what happened with the fan response to that by the end.

Unless artificial intelligence starts writing shows (let’s hope not), human writers are going to make mistakes…sometimes with the irony of making fans believe it was intentional.