'I Don't Think I Have The Mental Capability To Keep Track Of All The Different Lasts': What Ending Young Sheldon Was Really Like For The Cast In Those Final Days On Set

 On Young Sheldon.
Credit: CBS

Out of all the TV shows ending in 2024, one of the most popular and highly watched faves was Young Sheldon, the first Big Bang Theory spinoff to hit the small screen. (With at least one more on the way in the form of Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage.) The hit dramedy brought together TV vets like Lance Barber and Annie Potts while serving as the first ongoing lead role for Iain Armitage and his younger co-stars. Which is perhaps why the Sheldon Cooper portrayer had a slightly atypical reaction to filming the final episodes.

Speaking with the L.A. Times about bidding farewell to this origin story of sorts for the Big Bang brainiac, Young Sheldon’s Armitage talked about the few moments when he was genuinely struck by emotion on the set, but was also candid about not being quite as invested in that respect as other actors. That balance of the scales was perfectly represented when the teen star was asked if he was as “wistful” as his character by way of taking in the experience one last time. According to Armitage:

A little bit, but at the same time, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t think I have the mental capability to keep track of all the different lasts. Because every single day on set for the final three months, everyone was like, ‘Oh, this is the last …’ and it’s this random thing. The funniest was when it would be something that we’d never done before. Like Miss Emily Osment held a party at her house on Sunday, which was wonderful. And somebody’s like, ‘This is the last time we’re gonna be hanging out at Emily Osment’s house on a Sunday.'

I love the honesty there, since it doesn’t discount any of his sincere appreciation for his years on Young Sheldon. It just speaks to a more youthful outlook where a job can be a job, and once it’s over, it’s time to look forward rather than dwell on what’s already happened, which he commented on when asked if it was the “right time” to end this arc of Sheldon’s story. To Iain Armitage, his feelings would have been comparable whether it ended with Season 7 or Season 17.

He’ll likely be answering questions about the Big Bang Theory spinoff for the rest of his acting career, though, which isn’t the kind of thing most people need to worry about regarding past jobs. Most of us also won’t even have an occupational anecdote involving going to one’s faux-father’s funeral while the faux-father was dressed up as another funeral attendee. It’s safe to say filming it was the “last time” it happened for anyone involved.

on Young Sheldon
on Young Sheldon

Iain Armitage shared that the final scene of the episode was not the final moment that was filmed, which is often the case. Had it been, the actor would have nailed the landing as stoically as can be. However, he shared that the final shot was with the core group, minus one, and that his tear ducts did not make it through unmoistened. In his words:

By design, the final scene we shot was the dinner scene, unfortunately, without Lance, although he was there on set. We went around the table and wrapped everybody one by one. They wrapped me last. That was the first time I cried about the ending. And I sort of just sat there. There were a lot of people in this little dining room. I just looked around and was like, 'Wow, I’ve known these people for seven years.' Some of them are newer additions to our Young Sheldon crew family, but it was pretty wonderful to get to look around and see everyone and that was the kind of first time I really felt emotional about the ending. I was a bit late to the party. But I was like, 'OK, I’m at peace with this.’

He shared that the saddest thing about George Sr.’s death, as it were, was losing Lance Barber as a co-star for the episodes that filmed without the Cooper family patriarch, and the actor’s absence in that final scene was a blow to viewers as well as those around the dinner table. Even if it took Armitage a little longer to reach his feels.

That said, Armitage sounds like he’s perfectly fine with saying goodbye to Sheldon Cooper, and is content with where things ended. The same maybe can’t be said for co-star Raegan Revord, who was saddened by Missy’s ending, or the lack thereof. Not that she’s upset on a personal level, but more that her character didn’t get any peaceful closure, which doesn’t bode well for the twin sibling between the prequel and the updates we get in Big Bang Theory. And if that’s not a reason to get Missy her own spinoff, I dunno what is.

Fans can still stream all episodes of Young Sheldon with a Paramount+ subscription while waiting to see if George & Mandy plays into fans’ spinoff theory.