‘Young Sheldon’ Finale: All About That ‘Big Bang Theory’ Easter Egg

Young Sheldon Season 3 Finale
Spoiler Alert
Bill Inoshita/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Young Sheldon Season 3 finale, “A Secret Letter and a Lowly Disc of Processed Meat.”]

Young genius Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) is going to college! The season finale episode detailed how that decision came to be and how he isn’t going to Cal Tech… yet. And it all started with a piece of hot dog falling and rolling under the family refrigerator!

The prequel to The Big Bang Theory is known for putting Easter Eggs in the show just for TBBT fans, and the Season 3 finale was no different with what appears to be Sheldon’s first foray into making videos about topics important to him. And while this video wasn’t about flags (as we’d see on TBBT frequently), the meaning behind it was just as personal and important to the young man.

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TV Insider spoke with showrunner Steven Molaro after getting an early glimpse at the season finale and he explained what we saw in the episode as well as what the future holds… once the show gets back to filming after wrapping early due to production shutdowns.

Since this episode wasn’t meant to be the finale, how did that affect your original finale plans?

Steve Molaro: It didn’t throw off plans too much. There were a few elements that I needed to edit out so it felt like an ending since there were some things in there that were setting up the next episode. But hopefully we can revisit them in the future.

I really loved the hot dog rolling off the counter and under the refrigerator. How did that come about?

Thank you. It seemed like a fun and weird way to start an episode that really does lead into a huge fight between everybody with a slice of hot dog rolling under a refrigerator. Which is why he needed the flashlight, which is why he found the letter. It really does start an interesting chain of events.

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Was it complicated to actually film that piece rolling all the way to the refrigerator?

Oh, the magic of Hollywood! But it was so fun. There was 20 of us on stage — the whole crew, camera guys, the director, and a guy with a slice of hot dog on a wire. We spent two-and-a-half hours just shooting hot dogs rolling, and rolling off the island, bouncing on the floor in slow motion … Trying to get it to roll just right. It was actually a fun, weird Friday night for us to hang out on set.

You had teased to me before about the Big Bang Easter egg in the episode. It’s the video that Sheldon makes, right?

Yeah. That is a first nod to the beginnings of Fun With Flags [the video series Sheldon makes on The Big Bang Theory].

Is that something you’ve been holding on to for a while?

I still think we have not explored his love of flags yet but this came to us when we were writing it, like, “Oh, there’s an opportunity to make this feel like Fun With Flags. Let’s do that and see if people catch it.” And in this episode, the board behind him is very similar to the Fun With Flags board, even with the little curly-cues drawn on it and the way he gestures to it. I had asked Iain to watch some old Fun With Flags so we can kind of tap into that awkwardness of Sheldon on camera.

Even when he raises his hand, I was like, “Yep, that’s Sheldon.”

That was it!

Sheldon decided to go to East Texas Tech. Was that taken from The Big Bang Theory at all? We know he went to Cal Tech but was the other school also mentioned ever?

We know he went to college and it just worked out that it was never established where he went. We just know he got his doctorate from Cal Tech. We were able to have some free rein with that.

I wish I could have been on set when Annie (Potts, MeeMaw) and Montana (Jordan, Georgie) were throwing eggs at the storefront at the end of the episode!

That was a good night and they did have a good time, which I think it comes through in the scene.

I like MeeMaw and Dale together because Craig T. Nelson brings his own crustiness to it. Is there more to the Dale story next season?

There is. That was one of the unfortunate things that needed to be edited down for the sake of making [Episode 21] a finale. But there is more Dale to come. Craig is amazing and has really brought a lot to the show. I certainly hope and plan to explore the MeeMaw-Dale relationship further when we get back.

I know we’re on a bit of a pause with the state of the world now but are you already working on Season 4 scripts?

No, but we wouldn’t anyway. Under normal circumstances, pre-production wouldn’t even start until the beginning of June. I’m going to get a little distance from it and then at some point I’m sure we’ll start talking about it.

Is the plan be to see Sheldon in college and maybe see him adjusting the way the series started with him adjusting to high school?

Yes, definitely.

Young Sheldon, Thursdays, 8/7c, CBS.