Sheldon Cooper’s father, George Cooper Sr., passed away prior to when the story of “The Big Bang Theory” begins, so the character had a notably smaller presence on the series than many of Sheldon’s other family members. However, George Sr. does make a small “Big Bang Theory” cameo during the show’s “Young Sheldon” crossover episode, in which he is briefly seen on a VHS tape that the older Sheldon still owns. George Sr. raises the spirits of the high school football team he coached by telling them not to get discouraged just because they lose a game. By watching the tape, adult Sheldon finds inspiration and encouragement. It’s a touching moment that has, unfortunately, lost most of its power thanks to a more recent episode of “Young Sheldon.”
The “Young Sheldon” episode in question is the 14th installment of the show’s fourth season — entitled “Mitch’s Son And The Unconditional Approval Of A Government” — and features a scene in which George Sr. gets down on one knee and gives Sheldon a pep talk face-to-face. The speech, which is all about persevering and growing in spite of possible failure, is very similar to the one he is seen giving on the VHS tape in “The Big Bang Theory.” The “Young Sheldon” moment is notably more powerful than the scene in the “Big Bang Theory” crossover though; unlike in “The Big Bang Theory,” in which George Sr. speaks to a group of high school football players, his “Young Sheldon” speech is actually directed at his son. The scene benefits from Sheldon and his father’s face-to-face contact and stands as a highlight of the show’s fourth season. The only problem is that it also robs that VHS moment from “The Big Bang Theory” of most of its power.