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"A Philosophy Class and Worms That Can Chase You" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom Young Sheldon. The episode aired on February 11, 2021.


Sheldon's first day of college is derailed by his new philosophy teacher, Professor Ericson. Also, Mary and Brenda live vicariously through Missy's first day of middle school.[2]

Extended Plot[]

The episode opens with Pastor Jeff leading vacation Bible School in prayer for a good year of school. Sheldon questions if it covers the college bound. Pastor Jeff says yes and thanks him for reminding him that he is in college.

Dr. Linkletter calls with Sheldon answering the phone and informing him that he interrupted “Star Trek.” Dr. Linkletter says he is not up on cartoons and Sheldon corrects him. It turns out he wants to talk to Mary about taking care of Sheldon in place of Dr. Sturgis. Sheldon keeps talking until Mary tells him to hang up. Mary and Dr. Linkletter talk about Sheldon's needs while in college with him asking if he needs to take him to the bathroom.

At dinner, Mary fills the family in on the conversation. Missy and Georgie are snarky while George kind of just sits there.

Mary drops Missy off at school, knowing that she doesn't want her to go into the school with her. However, she makes sure Missy is set and hugs her goodbye. Brenda walks over to Mary to bond over dropping off their kids at middle school. Mary asks her to get coffee and Brenda agrees, although she would rather have vodka.

Sheldon goes into his first class, which is for Philosophy. His professor Dora Ericson is rather free spirited, leaving him taken aback and annoyed. She begins talking about butterflies and dreams, causing Sheldon to question her and the two of them are debating on everything. He tells her he can't take her seriously with her toes showing.

Brenda and Mary talk about their kids in middle school. Brenda hopes Missy is popular, but worries about if Billy will thrive in the environment. The two of them talk about how they would be in school and how they would handle things such as bullying.

Sheldon talks to Dr. Linkletter to complain about his professor. However, there is nothing he can do except blow bubbles and suggest Sheldon drop the class. This leads to Sheldon going to the professor to drop the class, but ultimately getting into another debate.

On the way home, Mary and Missy discuss her wonderful day while Sheldon complains to Meemaw. George tries to talk to Georgie, but Georgie is more interested in listening to and singing along to his Walkman.

At dinner, the family argues over what to watch while Sheldon reads the book he got from the library to prove his professor was wrong. Mary suggests they don't watch TV and play a game instead. However, she ends up playing with only Sheldon, who is still entranced by his book. He doesn't remember dinner, which Mary says he complained about the food being dry.

Brenda comes over to see how everything went. Mary says Sheldon argued with his professor while Missy had a wonderful day. Brenda says Billy's day didn't go so well either, but is thrilled for Missy. She thinks Missy is on her way to becoming Prom Queen. As the ladies chat, the guys watch “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ” with Missy explaining the premise.

Sheldon continues to read his book by Rene Decartes, ultimately having a dream about him and interaction with an imaginary Rene Decartes. He now realize he can now properly debate his professor. He goes into class the next day to share his knowledge. She agrees with him and gives him a flower. He rejects it and then realizes it was all a dream. Once he wakes up for real (after dreaming that he was a monarch butterfly stuck to his pillow. Rather than helping him, Missy proceeds to attack him with a fly swatter), he asks if he is awake or not. Missy insults him and he realizes he is awake.

At the end, Mary checks in on Sheldon, who tells her he has no idea what is real anymore and that nothing matters. She walks out to talk to his father.






  • Title Reference: The title is a reference to Sheldon's philosophy class where the professor discussed butterflies, which Sheldon refers to as "worms that can chase you".
  • This episode was watched by 10.0 million people with a rating of xx.xx (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 10.0 million.
  • Young Sheldon was ranked #5 for the week ending 05 January 8, 2017.
  • This was the first episode that was split into two parts.
  • Sheldon will annoy and create new havoc while he is in college in four years.


To be entered.


  • Missy wishes to watch the season premiere of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in which the Banks family gets tickets to the People's Choice Awards. The episode, "Did the Earth Move for You?", which originally aired on September 9, 1991, did in fact air opposite a Monday Night Football game featuring the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins, which George and Georgie were intent on watching.
  • The aerial view of the "East Texas Tech" campus is actually University of Maryland College Park.
  • Sheldon calls the series "Star Trek, The Original Series," but it was not called that until recently. Sheldon would have known it as "Star Trek."
  • Melanie Lynskey (who portrayed Rose in Two and a Half Men) made her debut as Professor Ericson.


Sheldon: [about Professor Ericson] I don't know how I'm going to last all semester with this free wheeling hippie.

René Descartes [In Sheldon's dream]: Aristotle is, 'ow you say? A punk!