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A Secret Letter and a Lowly Disc of Processed Meat is the twenty-first episode of the third season of Young Sheldon. The episode aired on April 30, 2020.


Sheldon discovers that Mary's been keeping a secret about his future. Meemaw's FURIOUS learning Dale fired Georgie and breaks up with him and helps her grandson destroy his shop.


Adult Sheldon recollects how back in the day he used to struggle with squishing bugs, managing cuts and scrapes and preparing himself a bowl of spaghetti and hot dogs in Mary's absence. With his mom out running errands, we see Missy watching Oprah while Sheldon slices away hot dogs. One of the slices slips and rolls right under the refrigerator. Adult Sheldon interprets the meat's short rolling trip as its own quest for freedom and compares it to his own quest which began shortly. Struggling to retrieve the meat, Sheldon goes to Mary's bedroom to look for a working flashlight but ends up finding a letter from CalTech that had been neatly tucked away in the drawer. Sheldon is confused as to why his mom would hide it from him. He is aware that it's a crime to read other's letters, but thankfully Missy comes to his aid. She suggests Sheldon hear out the contents while she reads it out to him. Sheldon confirms that it's legally fine by calling the authorities at the Law Offices of Morris, Morris and Yorn. He soon realizes that Missy has a condition that needs to be fulfilled before she discloses the letter to him.

Georgie visits Meemaw's to tell her about Dale firing him in spite of him making up for the robbery. Meemaw reveals about their breakup. Unhappy to see her grandson suffer, she gives a call to Dale hoping to fix things. It turns out that Dale doesn't care. Meanwhile, to please his twin sister Sheldon dresses up as a princess, gets photographed against his own wishes and finally learns that CalTech wants him to go to school there! Mary gets home and Sheldon asks her why she kept this news from him. Mary bluntly says that moving to Los Angeles wasn't an option and any discussion would’ve been unnecessary. Sheldon wonders if his dad thinks the same way. Mary stands her ground and orders him to go to his room. Devastated, Sheldon decides to speak to his dad by sneaking out to the bar. George, who is busy enjoying drinks with Coach Wilkins and Mr. Givens, is shocked to find Sheldon holding a CalTech letter and demanding answers in the middle of a packed bar. Both father and son get home. George decides to speak to Mary in private. He is appalled that Mary kept the letter from him and didn't even find it necessary to discuss it with him. As the night rolls on Missy and Mary eat dinner alone. While Mary tries discussing school, baseball practice and boys Missy feels awkward and doesn't reciprocate. Georgie gets home but to Missy's dismay he doesn't join them for dinner as getting fired has made him lose his appetite. At bedtime, Mary reveals to George that Caltech wasn't the only college to contact them as there were letters from New Jersey and Germany as well. Whilst hearing their parents fight, Missy blames Sheldon for splitting their family apart, Sheldon refuses to take the blame as he was looking for the flashlight itself and argues that it wasn't his fault Mary was hiding the truth from him, she then retorts that it's his fault for being a freak. George finds Mary selfish as she barely seems to care about Sheldon's future. Disgusted that so much was kept from him, George decides to sleep on the sofa. Just then, Sheldon walks in wanting to speak to dad. Seeing both of them abandon her, Mary looks hurt. The next day on his way to school, Sheldon wonders how the colleges learned about him. George lets him know that they're always hunting for talent, but having said that CalTech and New Jersey seem impossible as options. Sheldon realizes that he is right and both decide to come up with a plan to somehow convince Mary. They brainstorm at school after agreeing to only focus on local options. Brenda catches Mary smoking in her backyard. She wonders what petty issue might’ve cropped up, but after seeing Mary simply break down she realizes that it's something serious. Brenda asks her to come over with her cigarettes and beer. Drinking and smoking away, Mary reveals everything that happened the day before. Brenda is awed at how Mary didn't break down all these years and glances back at her own imperfect household. She feels that Mary shouldn't stand in the way of Sheldon as she, herself, worries if Billy will even get into a college. Mary gives her hope. Brenda loves how Mary graduated from being a superlative pious to a smoker, drinker and occasional liar. Meanwhile, at school George helps Sheldon record a tape where he would explain why he must be allowed to go to college. Feeling better, Mary returns home and goes to talk to Missy. She asks her not to worry. Just then Sheldon and George get home. Sheldon wants his mom to watch the tape with an open mind before making a decision. Mary agrees. The tape begins. Sheldon vouches as to why he must be allowed to be enrolled at East Texas Tech full-time under Dr. Sturgis's guidance whilst staying at home with his parents. His notion is supported not only by him but also by Mr. Givens, Ms. McElroy, Principal Petersen and Ms. Ingram. All of them agree that the boy is indeed a prodigy who deserves to enter college early for an illustrious future. Towards the end of the tape, Dr. Sturgis requests Mary to allow Sheldon to shine and promises to take good care of him. Finally convinced, Mary says yes. Thankfully, she and George reconcile. Sheldon finally catches hold of the hot dog slice that had slipped from his hands and throws it into the trash, feeling relieved. Later that night, Georgie and Meemaw drive up to Ballards’ Sporting Goods store and egg the whole place as nastily as they can, hoping that it teaches Dale one hell of a stinky lesson!





  • Emily Berry as Janice


  • Title Reference: To be entered.


  • This was supposed to be the penultimate episode but due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing production to shut down, episode 3.22 wasn't able to be filmed.
    • The episode instead became the Season 4 premiere.
  • It's confirmed by canon that Sheldon won't go to Caltech when he is 14, around the time when his father dies.
  • Mary tells George that a school in Germany sent them a letter. In The Pancake Batter Anomaly, Sheldon tells Penny that he spent a semester there as a visiting professor.
  • Early on in the episode, Missy is watching The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) and her guests are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Chuck Lorre, the producer of The Big Bang Theory (2007) and Young Sheldon, wrote the theme song for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) cartoon series.
  • Sheldon's video presentation of why he should go to college can be seen as a prelude to how he runs his later YouTube show, Fun with Flags. Particularly the title behind him, which is in the exact same handwriting, and how he puts up his hand to "present" the title.
  • Sheldon gets an offer from a German university.



Sheldon Cooper: How could you not tell me that Caltech wants me to go to school there?
Mary Cooper: Because you're not going, so it doesn't matter.

Sheldon Cooper: I've put together a presentation detailing the reasons why I should be allowed to go to college, and I'd like you to watch it with an open mind.