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Tam Nguyen is a Vietnamese teenage boy who was also the childhood friend and classmate of Sheldon Cooper. Tam is Sheldon's only friend.

Character Info

Young Sheldon

Tam is a pessimistic, short-tempered Vietnamese American boy who attends the same high school as Sheldon. He is the first friend in high school that Sheldon ever made. He has the same issues with friends as Sheldon; when they met Tam told Sheldon he had trouble making friends as well, and in "A Rival Prodigy and Sir Isaac Neutron" when Mary Cooper mentioned that Tam must have other friends Sheldon refutes it, stating "I'm all he's got, and even I avoid him half the time."

He laments his difficult childhood in war-torn Vietnam which includes his father having been in detention camp and his encounter with the KKK while first arriving in America. Tam may or may not have PTSD, given he has difficulty getting over such traumatic events and he takes his frustration out on other people, such as Sheldon's father George.

He tends to lose his temper at Sheldon a lot, but in his defense Sheldon often unnecessarily whines a lot, although Tam does this too. When Sheldon simply stated, "I'm not hungry", Tam responds that no one in Vietnam would ever say those words. Also when Tam referred to the American war effort as the "wrong side" of the Vietnam War (even though, ironically, he and his family had fled from Vietnam's brutal Communist regime to escape to America), George Sr. claims he's concerned about Tam calling the Americans the wrong side, before Tam angrily asserts he was just being polite when clearly he's not.

In S01E15, Tam develops a crush on Libby, a black female student for her affinity in geology. However, when he went to go see an IMAX film with her and tried to put his arm around her neck, she snapped back and rejected his romantic advances. Not wanting to get physically attacked by her, Tam came running back to Sheldon.

The Big Bang Theory

In The Tam Turbulence, Tam, now in his mid 40s, meets Sheldon again after not having contact with him for more than 20 years.

He is revealed to be married and has a son as well as at least one other child.

The reason why he and Sheldon haven't spoken in 20 years, because they went to different colleges. Sheldon went to grad school in Caltech and he went to college in Texas and married Beth. Tam bonded and become friends with Leonard Hofstadter and they both put up Sheldon arrogant attitude.

Appearances

Appearances

The Big Bang Theory Episodes
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 101112131415161718192021222324Tot
Season 1 0
Season 2 0
Season 3 0
Season 4 0
Season 5 0
Season 6 0
Season 7 0
Season 8 0
Season 9 0
Season 10 0
Season 11 0
Season 12 1

Appearances

Young Sheldon Episodes
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 101112131415161718192021222324Tot
Season 1 11
Season 2 M 3
Appeared M = Mentioned Did not appear Not aired/Not available
V = Voiced C = Cameo F = Flashback I = Indirectly mentioned P = Pictured


Trivia

  • Tam is Sheldon's only friend and Sheldon notes that he is Tam's only friend as well.
  • Tam may be considered a part of the Vietnamese refugee population called "Boat People" since he stated he and his family arrived to America in a runaway refugee boat.
  • Tam is like a Vietnamese version of Stuart and Leonard Hofstadter in Young Sheldon.
  • Mostly he is 5 or 6 years older than Sheldon Cooper.

Gallery

References

v · e · d
Young Sheldon Characters, Cast & Crew
Main Characters Main Sheldon Cooper  ‧  Mary Cooper  ‧  George Cooper Sr.  ‧  George Cooper Jr.  ‧  Missy Cooper  ‧  Meemaw
Recurring Characters Tam Nguyen  ‧  Billy Sparks  ‧  Jeff Hodgkins  ‧  Victoria McElroy  ‧  Evelyn Ingram  ‧  Assistant Coach Wilkins  ‧  Hubert Givens  ‧  Ms. Hutchins  ‧  Principal Peterson
Cast Regulars Iain Armitage  ‧  Zoe Perry  ‧  Lance Barber  ‧  Montana Jordan  ‧  Raegan Revord  ‧  Annie Potts  ‧  Jim Parsons
Recurring Ryan Phuong  ‧  Wyatt McClure  ‧  Matt Hobby  ‧  Valerie Mahaffey  ‧  Danielle Pinnock  ‧  Doc Farrow  ‧  Brian Stepanek  ‧  Sarah Baker  ‧  Rex Linn
As Selves Elon Musk
Crew Writers Chuck Lorre * (Creator)  ‧  Steven Molaro * (Creator)
Directors Jon Favreau
Others
Science consultant : David Saltzberg Director of photography : Steven V. Silver
Executive Producers : Steven Molaro / Jim Parsons / Todd Spiewick Unit production manager : Kelly-Anne Lee *
Theme composer / performer : Steve Burns (performer) / Rob Cavallo (producer) Chuck Lorre Productions
also as Producer Young Sheldon : Full cast & crew on IMDb