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"An Academic Crime and a More Romantic Taco Bell" is the seventeenth episode of the third season of Young Sheldon. The episode aired on March 5, 2020.


Dr. Sturgis is furious when Sheldon accuses him of plagiarism. Also, Mary sets out to find a "girl trophy" for Missy's end-of-season baseball ceremony, and Georgie has an awkward run-in with Veronica while on a date with his new girlfriend, Jana.[1]


Sheldon has always been good with waiting. He once waited for thirty minutes to get a bee off of him, waited for four hours to be rescued after being shoved inside a locker and today he is waiting for Dr. Sturgis to show up for his own lecture even after the entire class has given up. It turns out that John was busy working on his “Time Quantification” paper. He shares a copy with Sheldon to get his input. Sheldon reads it on his way home fighting car sickness. Mary attends a baseball season-end parents’ meeting at the Sparks home. Brenda gets irked upon seeing her get veggies for snacks because she was expecting some wine. After uncorking her own stash, she quickly assigns duties to all the ladies. Mary is given “Trophy Duty.”

Georgie takes Jana on a date at Chi Chi's, which he finds to be a more romantic version of Taco Bell. As they sift through the menu, Georgie spots Veronica waitressing. She soon comes over to their table. Jana senses the awkwardness in their encounter immediately. At home, Sheldon finds a silly but massive mass calculation error in Dr. Sturgis's paper. He wants to call him and let him know what a bonehead he is. George asks him not to be rude. Sheldon is puzzled but is soon reminded of instances when he taunted Missy for playing with her Barbies, compared Meemaw's vein-popping legs to the map of Texas and even asked Mary if she prepared bland food on purpose to get dad to lose weight! Sheldon tries sugarcoating his observations to Dr. Sturgis but it's of no use as the professor asks for clarity. Sheldon blurts it all out and even calls him a bonehead. After their date, Jana feels that Georgie harbors unresolved feelings for Veronica and is left wondering if he chose Chi Chi's on purpose. Georgie looks confused.

  Mary visits Medford Medals and Trophies. Ralph, the ungracious storekeeper, is busy reading a newspaper. He is least interested in helping his customer out or even engaging in small talk. Unable to find one girl's baseball trophy for Missy, Mary turns to Ralph. According to him girls don't play baseball so there are no trophies made for them. He sarcastically wishes luck to Missy, which infuriates Mary. She storms out. Sheldon calls Dr. Sturgis as he wants to help him with the mass calculation problem. Both brainstorm and arrive at a way out. George finds Mary worried about arranging a girl's trophy as she wants Missy's maiden prize to be a special one, especially since she has witnessed Georgie sweep away trophies ever since he was three years old. George wonders if Mary is worried about it being Missy's last chance at winning one which is why she needs things done specially. It turns out that he was right.

At school Georgie approaches Veronica and offers her a $20 tip from last night. She's apprehensive to accept it initially but after their conversation turns to her saving up for college Georgie insists her on accepting it. Both are happy talking to one another until Georgie makes a run upon spotting Jana.

A week has gone by. After finishing his lecture, John thanks Sheldon for his input as it made him rewrite the whole paper for the better. Thrilled, Sheldon now wishes to be named as co-author but John feels that a footnote mention would suffice. Sheldon feels that he deserves more recognition and is being robbed of his work. According to Dr. Sturgis it seems Sheldon never pursued the research for years like he did and hence doesn't qualify to be deemed as an author. Meemaw comes just in time to pick Sheldon up as the two had started verbally abusing one another. On his way home Sheldon speaks ill of John. Meemaw refuses to believe that John is a thief.

Mary returns to the store to inquire about a customized trophy. Ralph lets her know that it would cost $50 and would need six weeks. Mary is okay with neither and decides to make one herself. Soon Meemaw finds Mary amidst saws and cutters, swapping a trophy's head with Barbie's head. She is amused to see how hard her Frankenstein daughter is fighting for feminism. Mary calls it a “maternal instinct.”

Dr. Linkletter receives a call from Sheldon regarding Dr. Sturgis stealing his work. However, Linkletter supports Sturgis as critiquing doesn't qualify as writing a paper. As Sheldon's allegations could have serious ramifications, he wishes to speak to Sturgis before taking matters to the top.

Georgie is having lunch with Jana at the cafeteria. Though he's enjoying Jana's company, his eyes remain transfixed at Veronica who's sitting just a few tables away. They share a glance and then smile at one another. Jana zips Georgie out of his apparent trance. She wants him to grow a beard or don a hairdo similar to her favorite actor. Georgie looks exasperated.

Mary surprises Missy with the Barbie Baseball Trophy, but is taken aback upon realizing that her daughter feels embarrassed to even look at it let alone accept the trophy. Missy explains that she wanted the same regular trophy like everyone else, not a special one. Mary sullenly takes it back but Missy stops her. She realizes how much it meant to her mom and asks her to give it to her. Mary wells up while handing it over to Missy but little did she know that her daughter would soon blow it up into smithereens in their backyard.

Sheldon receives a call from Dr. Sturgis who is furious to have been accused of plagiarism. Finding Sheldon continue to be adamant, the professor again explains his argument and adds that his actions hurt him personally as well as professionally. Having had enough, Sturgis disallows Sheldon from attending his future lectures and hangs up.





  • Louie Anderson as Ralph
  • Lyn Alicia Henderson as Sally
  • Stacey Moseley as Carol
  • Magnus Chhan as Student


This is Veronica's last appearance in the show. (As of season 6). This due to Isabel May's schedule with Alexa and Katie, a Netflix show she was doing at the time of filming this and other episodes.