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"Rockets, Communists, and the Dewey Decimal System" is the second episode of the first season of the American sitcom Young Sheldon. The episode aired on November 2, 2017.


To appease his worried mother, Sheldon employs the techniques of a self-help book to try and make a friend.[1]


Sheldon Cooper learns that his mother is worried about his not having any friends. He therefore gets a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People from the school library and tries its methods on various students and teachers without success. Missy Cooper recommends that he try to make friends with other people who had checked out the book, since they too are looking to make friends. That also fails. He eventually meets a Vietnamese-American boy named Tam who sees him with the book and they share how difficult it has been for them to make friends.


As they start speaking, they realize that they also share an interest in rocketry. Sheldon's mother is so happy, she insists that Sheldon invite Tam over for dinner, and lifts the ban on Sheldon's model rocketry hobby. The dinner turns awkward when Sheldon's parents exhibit cultural insensitivity as Tam tells them of his life story. After dinner, the boys' launch attempt goes out of control just as FBI agents arrive to ask Sheldon why he was trying to buy uranium.



  • Title Reference:
    • Rockets: Figuring that his new friend is interested in rockets, Sheldon asks his mom to lift the ban.
    • Communists: Sheldon's friend, Tam, mentions during the Cooper family dinner that his father had to go to a re-education camp to learn how to become a communist.
    • Dewey Decimal System: Sheldon goes to the library to find a book to make friends. It is mentioned that the library is home to the Dewey Decimal System.
  • This episode was watched by 12.66 million people with a rating of 2.2 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 13.4 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada in November 2017.
  • This is the first time Sheldon Cooper got into trouble with the FBI when he tried to buy uranium.




  • This is the first episode whose title follows the naming convention of a list.
  • This episode is the first time where we see Tam Nguyen, Sheldon's only childhood friend.
  • This episode shows how Sheldon purchases uranium and uses it to charge electricity, which got him into trouble with the FBI. It was mentioned in The Big Bang Theory.
  • Evelyn Ingram and Hubert Givens evidently had a relationship with one another in the past.


George Cooper Sr.: (Sheldon's new friend is having dinner with the Coopers) So, uh, Tam... what kind of name is that?
Tam: Vietnamese, sir.
George Cooper Sr.: Sure. I spent a little time over there. Army. Your Mom's name isn't Kim Lee, is it?
Tam: No, sir.
George Cooper Sr.: [seeming relieved] Good, good. I mean, yeah. It's a small country. So... Mary, how's that food comin'?
Mary: [from the kitchen] Almost.
Georgie Cooper: So, Vietnam. Like in Rambo.
Tam: Yes.
Georgie Cooper: That's a cool movie.
Tam: Yes.
Georgie Cooper: Are you in it?
Tam: No.

Mary Cooper: All right, Tam. I decided I was gonna make you a real Texas dinner: barbecued chicken and brisket.
Tam: Thank you.
Mary Cooper: Well, I figured you were probably tired of stuff wigglin' around on your plate. OK, let's say grace. Now, Tam, when I say 'Jesus', feel free to say the word 'Buddha' in your head.
Tam: I'm actually Catholic.
Mary Cooper: Oh. Well, that's too bad.