Eagle-Eyed Fans Had A Theory Lance Barber Actually Appeared At George’s Young Sheldon Funeral. Turns Out, They Were Right

 Lance Barber in a shirt and tie at church during Young Sheldon's penultimate episode.
Lance Barber in a shirt and tie at church during Young Sheldon's penultimate episode.

Spoilers for Young Sheldon can be found throughout this story! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

Over the past few days, Iain Armitage has been asked a lot of questions about wrapping Young Sheldon without Lance Barber. His TV dad George’s story concluded tragically in “A New Home And A Traditional Texas Torture,” but fans of the long-running CBS sitcom knew his death would be coming eventually, thanks to information we learned in The Big Bang Theory. While a subsequent episode showed George’s sendoff, some eagle-eyed fans thought they caught Lance Barber in the background.

Turns out they were right.

The family patriarch wasn’t playing George during the funeral episode. Instead, he donned a dress, wig, and some glasses to appear as a funeralgoer in the penultimate episode of Season 7 (and the series as a whole). Social media guessed this had happened days ago, but it’s only now been confirmed that those theories were absolutely on the money. Take a look:

After Discussing Film’s post went viral, a spokesperson for Young Sheldon confirmed the cameo to Deadline, and it’s pretty obvious once you see it. Lance as an older lady in the crowd stands out quite a bit for fans who have stuck with the characters for years. But Barber’s mourner lady is in the background in shots in the scene, and it took eagle-eyed fans to really make a connection. I certainly missed it the first time around, and even if you were watching with a Paramount+ subscription and can pause, it's a blink-or-miss-it sort of thing.

The funeral for George in Young Sheldon Season 7.
The funeral for George in Young Sheldon Season 7.

Still, it’s nice that Barber was around to really wrap the character’s storyline. Young Sheldon fans will know George’s death happened off-screen, so a funeral send-off felt really vital for the series.

Iain Armitage was actually asked about having to film the Young Sheldon finale without Lance Barber in an interview with the LA Times, but intriguingly, he never mentioned the penultimate episode, and now we know why.

It was interesting the way it hit me because it wasn’t how I expected. I expected to be sad or kind of touched by how long we’ve gotten to know this character. But for me, it’s less about George and more about Lance. Lance is such a wonderful guy. It was more hard having him not be on set for the finale for certain scenes. We had that dinner scene without him. He brings such a light to the set ... and he’s got such a big personality.

I don't know that I would have expected Lance Barber's final appearance to be a character other than George, and I definitely would not have guessed he'd appear in drag. However, I think that's why the cameo worked and was probably a fun Easter egg for those who worked on the show.

This wasn't the only Young Sheldon ending theory fans latched onto, but while the viewers eventually caught on --this is the internet after all -- there's no indication the show ever intended to make this fact public. It does kind of give me a better idea of how Jim Parsons felt when he said filming the ending of TV shows can be weird. Not many of us get to attend our own character's funeral, though, and I hope Barber opens up about what that was like one day.