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A Swedish Science Thing and the Equation for Toast is the twenty-second episode of the second season of the American sitcom Young Sheldon. This episode aired on May 16, 2019, on the same night as the two-part series finale of The Big Bang Theory.


Sheldon invites the entire school to a party for the Nobel Prize announcements. Also, Meemaw learns more about Dr. Sturgis' past, and Georgie's desire for cable TV leads to a standoff between him and George Sr.[1]

Extended Plot[]

Mary comes home from a grocery run and finds Sheldon and Dr. Sturgis turning her house into a makeshift radio station. Keen to listen to the announcement of Nobel prize winners in Sweden, in real time, the duo are arranging a shortwave radio that’d pickup broadcasts from all around the globe. Connie brought the duo here after they set it all up at her place. There's an antenna kept in the living room and Sheldon needs it to go up on the roof. Mary bans him from climbing up there and Connie bans John on the same. In his defense, John references his 6 years experience in Tai Chi and how he's got balance like a jungle cat. Connie mimics his “hula dance” and sticks to her decision.

Sheldon goes to dad for the roof work. George isn't interested as it's just a science prize thing that’d come in the newspaper next day. Sheldon corrects that it's the Nobel prize and, even though the same holds true for the Super Bowl, people still watch it. Missy, who's on the swing, concurs. Sheldon adds that he might thank him when he wins one in the future. George agrees to help, but soon realizes the climb isn't his cup of tea. He assigns it to Georgie.

Sheldon and John can now hear Radio Sweden International clear as a bell. They start discussing on who should win. While John has no favorite, Sheldon roots for Frederick Reines for the detection of neutrino. John guesses he may have a shot and sighs how so many talented people never get recognized. Georgie is watching TV and is pissed that they don't have cable and only 7 boring channels. George asks him to earn and pay for it himself. At night, Connie finds John weeding out goosegrass from her lawn. She asks him to come home as it's pretty dark outside. He doesn't want to and asks if she's got a headlamp. Connie goes in to get it and lets him be.   The next day at school Sheldon mass-invites everyone to his garage to listen to the “Nobel prize winner in physics” announcement live at five in the morning. Coach Wilkins asks George if he is worried about it. It turns out he isn't; as if anybody would show up at 5:00am?

Connie receives a call from John's colleague, Dr. Linkletter, who informs her about an incident wherein John broke into the mainframe computer lab, tripped off an alarm, got involved in a short chase and now is in the dean's office. Linkletter says he's there if she needs anything and asks her out for coffee. Disgusted, Connie hangs up and goes straight to John's to get clarity. He admits to have used the university mainframe and upon being asked to leave his first human instinct of escaping kicked in, i.e. he climbed out a windows and ran like the Dickens! Connie is left puzzled.

At lunch Sheldon wonders what he should serve at the Nobel gathering. Tam suggests Swedish meatballs, but according to Sheldon it's a no-no for a 5 am gathering. He decides on offering an assortment of breakfast cereals to all and later goes over to the store to buy Cheerios. He invites the staff to his live Nobel listening party but they couldn't care less. At home Missy feels for Sheldon who's prepping for the gathering. She's sure that no one would show up and it'd be nothing but an early morning dud yet Sheldon's optimism doesn't tarnish. Connie urgently calls Mary over to show how John has been writing jargon and equations on the bathroom walls and trash-bin lids. Mary is shocked while Connie is worried. George finds Georgie watching cable and he repeats that he won't pay, but as it turns out Georgie did using his saved money. Pleased, George later goes to watch the newly minted channels but finds them pin-protected. Georgie won't budge as he paid for cable. George is pissed and he later hands over a bill to Georgie that covers food, electricity, laundry and a “PIMA” charge – i.e. Pain in my ass charges. Georgie is left there staring at the bill. In no time George ends up watching the unlocked channels and Missy catches him viewing PG-13 stuff. She scurries over to inform Mary. George changes the channel momentarily, but gets back to the good stuff soon.

Later that night Connie is even more worried when John doesn't show up for dinner and has been AWOL at school, according to Dr. Linkletter. He shares that John has had previous episodes wherein he lost connections to reality and had to be hospitalized. Unaware about any of this Connie hurries over to John's only to find him at the roof, peacefully practicing Tai-Chi in a trance-like state. She is scared. John says he's trying to feel the subatomic particles pass by him. He wonders about how someone will be winning the Nobel prize the next day unlike him but maybe experiencing these particles graze by his hands would be an even more stellar affair. Connie asks him to join her for tea and they’d discuss his thoughts. She manages to get him to climb down and accompany her back indoors. Connie realizes that John is deeply hurt about not winning a Nobel prize despite having dedicated his life to physics and is trying to cope with it. The next day, minutes before 5 am, Sheldon is prepping the Cheerio platter and tuning the radio. Mary comes over but realizes that he's hurt by the empty seats and that even his best friend Tam didn't show up. Sheldon is expecting Dr. Sturgis to come, but Mary reveals that he's unwell. She asks if he needs her to stay around. Sheldon says it's okay and allows her to go to her room. He stares at the void and takes a seat, rooting for neutrinos. The announcement begins and it's revealed that they've awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics to Henry Kendall, Jerome Friedman and Richard Taylor for the discovery of quarks. Sheldon breaks down in tears realizing the loss of his neutrino hero and accepting the bitter side of loneliness. At this point, adult Sheldon recollects how unlike quarks whose primary feature is to remain bonded, he felt like a neutrino, destined to be alone forever.

Destiny had its own plans as somewhere around the globe, at that very moment, were six other kids: an 8-year old Leonard (also listening to the Nobel announcements despite his mother telling him to go to bed), a 4-year-old Penny (sprawled out in bed), a 9-year old Rajesh (dutifully doing his studies in India, where break of dawn in Texas is late afternoon/early evening), a 9-year old Howard (in his room playing video games even as his mother yells at him to turn it off and go to sleep), a 5-year old Bernadette (sound asleep with her pageant trophies by her bedside), and an 11-year old Amy (under covers reading Little House on the Prairie by flashlight) inching their way up to be the best of friends together, as we know them today. Today, Dr. Sheldon Cooper is grateful that he didn't have to remain a neutrino forever.







  • Music: "Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & The Supremes.
  • This episode was designed to tie-in to The Big Bang Theory's series finale "The Stockholm Syndrome," (which aired immediately prior) with both episodes revolving around the Nobel Prize. In this episode Sheldon promises his father he'll thank him when he wins a Nobel Prize, a promise he keeps in The Stockholm Syndrome.
  • The younger versions of the core members of the social groupLeonard, Penny, Howard, Raj, Bernadette and Amy make a cameo in a montage showing what they were doing at the same time that Sheldon was listening to the Nobel Prize ceremony.[2] This is a tribute to The Big Bang Theory, which had just ended prior to this episode.
    • Their bedrooms contain items that significantly represent them, both in their childhood and their adult years: Leonard's physics books and asthma inhaler, Penny's girly "bling" and pop culture items, Raj's telescope and sweater vest, Howard's magic items and model rocket, Bernadette's microscope and beauty pageant awards, and Amy's copy of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    • Beverly Hofstadter and Debbie Wolowitz, Leonard and Howard's mothers, make a voice-only appearance during this montage. Mrs. Wolowitz's lines were created using archival audio of the late Carol Ann Susi plus new audio by Pamela Adlon.
    • One person in the social group did not appear is Stuart Bloom. If he did appear, he would have been Tam's age and his room filled with comic books.
  • Penny's blond hair can be shown in this episode, but according to Penny in The Countdown Reflection, she reveals that it wasn't her natural hair color, meaning that she either lied or she dyed it sometime before she turned four.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.



George: Why can't you read who won in the newspaper?
Sheldon: I could say the same thing about the Super Bowl, but you still watch it.
Missy: He got you there.

Sheldon: (crying while the radio announces the Nobel winners)
Adult Sheldon: A primary feature of quarks is that they're always bonded together, but in that moment, I felt like a neutrino, destined to be alone forever.
(scene cuts to the gang as children)
Adult Sheldon: Thankfully, I was wrong.
[final lines]