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522 - A Clogged Pore, a Little Spanish and the Future

Aired Thursday, May 19, 2022
A Clogged Pore, a Little Spanish and the Future

Sheldon panics when he notices the first sign of his impending puberty. Meanwhile, Mary and George hunt for jobs, while Georgie devises a scheme to make more money.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "A Clogged Pore" refers to Sheldon's zit, "a Little Spanish" refers to Georgie planning to take Wade with him to Mexico, and "the Future" refers to Sheldon and the Cooper family's worries about their situation.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a black cow with horns approaches the family.
  • Magicians Penn and Teller star as A.V. and Pus in the zit-based fantasy scenes. The typically silent Teller, who didn't speak in this episode of Young Sheldon, played Sheldon's father-in-law, Mr. Fowler, in three episodes of The Big Bang Theory. On TBBT, Teller's character did speak at times. [1124, 1201, 1208]
  • When Missy says Sheldon must have things he looks forward to, Sheldon mentions "winning the Nobel Prize, meeting Professor Proton, and working with Stephen Hawking", all things he would achieve on The Big Bang Theory. [1224, 622, 521]
  • Sheldon wears his first superhero t-shirt, a red Flash tee, in this episode. On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon was known for wearing various superhero tees, usually over a t-shirt of a different color.
  • Sheldon references the virus "monkeypox", since renamed "mpox", as an unlikely explanation for his skin complaint. Coincidentally, a worldwide outbreak of the disease began in May 2022, around the time this episode aired.
  • Sheldon uses the rope and lever system he built when Missy moved out of their shared bedroom to knock on her bedroom wall. [504]


Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: [hushed] This is why the only bar I frequent is the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.

Quote from Dr. Linkletter

President Hagemeyer: Okay, so, what's the problem?
Sheldon: I wanted to talk with Dr. Linkletter about puberty.
Dr. Linkletter: And I wanted to avoid litigation.

Quote from Sheldon

Missy: Sheldon, there has to be stuff you're excited to do.
Sheldon: Of course. Getting my PhD, winning the Nobel Prize, getting to meet Professor Proton, working with Stephen Hawking.
Missy: Okay, so, when you start to get upset, focus on that stuff.
Sheldon: But... what if I grow up and none of those things ever happen?
Missy: All you can do is try and find out.
Sheldon: Those are the fundamentals of the scientific method.
Missy: No doy.

Quote from Meemaw

Meemaw: Ooh, I love this song. [Meemaw sings along to "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash] ♫ Bound by wild desires ♫ ♫ fell into a ring of fire ♫
George Jr.: My life's falling apart and you're singing?
Meemaw: ♫ I fell into a burning ring of fire ♫ ♫ I went down, down, down ♫ ♫ And the flames went higher ♫ ♫ And it burns, burns, burns ♫ ♫ That ring of fire ♫ [talks] Where?
George Jr.: The ring of fire
Meemaw: [vocalizes] [mimes playing a trumpet]

Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: I've heard people say fathers are the real superheroes. My dad couldn't fly or bend steel, and you would not want to see him in Spandex. But like Superman, he had his Fortress of Solitude.

View more quotes from this episode

Featured Music

  • Ring of Fire
    Johnny Cash

    Ring of Fire Meemaw sings along with "Ring of Fire" on the radio as she and Georgie drive to Mexico.

Episode Trivia

  • Who did Missy say she hoped to marry?
    • Marky Mark
    • Fresh Prince
    • Vanilla Ice
    • Young MC
  • Which superhero featured on Sheldon's first superhero t-shirt?
    • Green Lantern
    • Batman
    • Superman
    • The Flash

Episode Recap

Adult Sheldon explains that he's heard people say fathers are the real superheroes. While his dad couldn't fly or bend steel, and you wouldn't want to see him in Spandex, like Superman, he had his Fortress of Solitude. George is at a roadside bar when Roy, the father of one of the football team players, goes to order another drink. George is less than happy to see him since Roy tried to get him fired as coach. Roy offers to buy George a drink, but George declines, saying he doesn’t need his beer and they shouldn’t pretend to be friends. Roy says it’s no secret that George’s team is a disaster. After George tells him to go back to his own table, Roy backs off, saying he doesn’t want to kick a man when he’s down. George insists he’s not down. “I hate to tell you, but yeah, you are,” Roy says as he walks away. Adult Sheldon says this is why the only bar he frequents is the Apple Genius Bar.

As Sheldon inspects himself in his bedroom mirror, he notices a red blemish on his face. He wonders if it's a tick bite. In a fantasy sequence, a large man (Penn Gillette) sitting in a large chair addresses the camera, introducing himself as Acne Vulgaris, also known as the pimple. He introduces his long-time colleague, Pus. A.V. explains that they're usually associated with ugliness and discomfort, but he would argue that they're actually a symbol of growth. In this case, Sheldon Cooper's ascent... or descent... into adulthood.

In the kitchen, Mary tells Sheldon that it doesn’t look like a bug bite, and is probably a pimple. Sheldon insists that he doesn’t get those. In a fantasy, A.V. says that as pimples, they're usually not fond of popping things, but he was about to pop this young man's bubble. In reality, Missy tells Sheldon it's definitely a zit. He still disagrees, citing his impeccable hygiene. "Zit," Missy says, undeterred. Mary tells Sheldon that everyone gets them sooner or later. Sheldon meekly declares that he's not everyone. In a fantasy, A.V. adds that no one is ever happy to see them.

When George arrives at work in a bad mood, he tells Coach Wilkins that he saw Roy last night and it seems like he's done as coach. George assumes it's because of the coach from Carthage. An uneasy Wayne corrects him, saying it's not. George is surprised and asks what's going on. Wilkins admits that he's been offered the job, but hasn't answered yet because he wanted to talk to George first. George asks what they need to talk about; Wilkins wants the job, right? Wilkins agrees, but says he didn't want to take the job behind George's back. George says he'll make it easy for Wayne and storms out.

When George barges into Principal Petersen’s office, Petersen apologizes, saying he’s done everything he could to support George. However, George responds with skepticism, saying, "Yeah, right." After Petersen informs George that they still want him to finish out the season, George immediately quits. Petersen tries to change his mind, but George wants to know if there’s any chance he can keep his job. After a pause, Petersen admits that there is no chance of that happening, and George insists on leaving on his own terms. Petersen reluctantly agrees, saying "Okay," as George walks out.

When Meemaw enters the gambling room at her laundromat, she sees Georgie selling Wade a can of beer to drown his sorrows after a morning of losses. As Wade walks away with his beer, Meemaw asks Georgie what he thinks he's doing. Georgie says he's trying to make a little extra money. Meemaw thinks he's crazy and fears they will all get arrested. Georgie reminds her that she's paying off the cops. Meemaw clarifies that the bribes are for the illegal gambling, but selling liquor without a license is just asking for trouble. Georgie argues that he needs to make more money now that he's going to be a father. Meemaw tells him to think of something else. After Georgie asks for a raise, Meemaw wonders if he's selling the beers or drinking them.

A nurse at the university tells Sheldon that his spot looks like a pimple. Sheldon wonders how she can rule out chickenpox, smallpox, or even monkeypox, which sounds made up but is actually a real disease. Since Sheldon hasn't been near any monkeys, the nurse suggests using benzoyl peroxide, which is available over the counter. In a fantasy, A.V. pretends to be horrified at the thought of using benzoyl peroxide, saying "I'm melting" in a high-pitched voice before adding "Get real". In reality, Sheldon tells the nurse that acne would be a sign of puberty, but he's not showing any other indicators, such as arm or chest hair and has very little interest in the opposite sex. He even barely noticed that the nurse is a woman.

As Mary vacuums the living room, George returns home. Mary wonders what he’s doing home in the middle of the day. After George admits he quit his job, Mary wonders why. George explains that the school offered his position to Wayne, so he didn’t want to wait around to be fired. Mary asks if he’s doing okay. “No, Mary, not really,” George replies. He points out that they’re both without jobs in a house they haven’t finished paying for. Mary checks if George is still working at Dale’s sporting goods store, but George points out that won’t cover the mortgage. Mary says they’ve been through tough spots before and, though she knows he doesn’t want to hear this, she’s been praying for them. “You’re right, I don’t want to hear it,” George says dismissively before walking off.

Back at the university, Sheldon knocks on Dr. Linkletter’s door and asks if they can talk. After Linkletter questions if it would make any difference if he declined, Sheldon acknowledges that it would not. Sheldon explains that he was hoping they could talk about puberty. “Then allow me to dash your hopes,” Linkletter replies before declaring, “No.” When Sheldon confesses that he might be entering puberty and would like to talk about it, Dr. Linkletter wonders why Sheldon can’t talk to his father, a schoolmate, or literally anyone else. Sheldon points out that Linkletter went through puberty once, and although it was a long time ago, he doesn’t figure the basics have changed. “Hold that thought,” Linkletter tells him. When President Hagemeyer arrives at Dr. Linkletter’s office, she asks what the problem is. Sheldon explains that he wanted to talk to Linkletter about puberty. “And I wanted to avoid litigation,” Dr. Linkletter adds.

When Georgie notices a patron smoking in the gambling room, he gets an idea. He suggests to Meemaw that they should sell cigarettes instead of beer. He plans to buy a carton at Walmart and mark up the prices. Meemaw thinks it's not a bad idea and shares her own experience of getting cheap cigarettes in Mexico by crossing the border. Georgie considers going to Mexico, but Meemaw refuses to drive him there, telling him he’s "dumb in this country. God knows what you are anywhere else." When Georgie declares he’s going to drive south and see where it takes him, Meemaw is impressed that he even knows Mexico is south.

In Dr. Linkletter's office, Sheldon is worried armpit hair will be itchy and will occupy his thoughts. Linkletter dismisses this as a minor issue, but Sheldon cannot stop thinking about it, even though he doesn't even have armpit hair yet. Hagemeyer says Sheldon, as a smart kid, must surely have realised this was going to happen eventually. Sheldon concedes he’s a smart kid now, but whaty will he be in a year? “A smart young man.”, Hagemer says, “And then a smart adult.” Sheldon worries about the problems he will face as an adult, including money issues, marital strife, or even developing beer belly. Hagemeyer tries to comfort him by pointing out that being a grown-up has its merits, but Dr. Linkletter seems less convinced. Hagemeyer and Linkletter reminisce about their own youth, noting how quickly it all went by. Sheldon, unfamiliar with these conversations, wonders if there is sexual tension in the room.

As George drinks a beer in the backyard, Mary goes out with some pens and a newspaper opened to the classifieds. George wonders if they're really going to do this. Mary says they could sit around sulking or they could find jobs. "All right," George says as they start to look at jobs. Mary sees one, but then realizes it requires a college degree. George finds another, but it requires typing skills. Mary points out that she can type. "90 words a minute?" he asks her. Mary says they should keep looking... [time lapse] After a while, Mary wonders how they're not qualified for anything. George points out that there were a couple of job ads that they could apply for. However, Mary insists that she will not work as a night security guard at the junkyard. She tells George that he can do it if he wants, but he responds, "You know I get sleepy.”

In the gambling room, Georgie arranges to pick up Wade in the morning. Meemaw comes over to see what’s going on. Georgie explains that Wade is coming with him to Mexico as it's a long trip and he knows a little Spanish. When Meemaw asks Wade where he'll buy cigarettes en español, a confused Wade responds with "Si". Meemaw thinks Georgie's going to get himself killed, but Georgie reiterates that he needs the money with the baby coming. Since he's hell-bent on going to Mexico, Meemaw says she's going with him. Wade calls shotgun, but Meemaw tells him he's not coming. “Comprende?”

As George drinks a beer while watching TV, Mary returns home from the store with a bag of groceries and some good news: they’re hiring. George congratulates her on the opportunity, Mary says she got an application form for him, too. George insists he’s not working at a grocery store. Why not? Cause he was head coach of the high school football team, George says. He’s not bagging people’s groceries. Mary argues it’s an honest job, but George claims it’s embarrassing. Mary asks if it’s embarrassing to provide for your family. George says it’s embarrassing that after years of busting his hump this is where he’s ended up. Mary points out she lost her job too, but George scoffs at the notion that their situations are equal. “You know what you are?”, Mary tells George, “I'm not gonna say it, but you know.”

That night, in Sheldon’s dream, a man emerges from Sheldon's room wearing shorts, revealing his hairy legs. He walks into the bathroom and steps in front of the mirror, revealing an older, overweight Sheldon in his father's coaching uniform. "What the hell?", Sheldon says in a deep voice reminiscent of his father's. As Sheldon goes to the kitchen to figure out what’s going on, he finds another Sheldon, dressed like Mary, who says "Not now, George. I have to finish making the kids' lunches, get them to school, and then go looking for a new job." Another Sheldon, dressed like Meemaw and drinking at the coffee table, asks why they are always fighting as they're not the only ones with problems. Yet another Sheldon, dressed like Georgie, arrives home from the baby doctor. "Mandy's having triplets. Dang it." As “George” wonders how they're going to handle this, “Mary” says Sheldon's going to have to drop out of school and get a job. “Meemaw” suggests Sheldon get a job in a coal mine, saying he's got to grow up sometime. "Ain't that the truth", the original Sheldon dressed as George, adds. In a fantasy sequence, A.V. comments that it was heavy stuff but, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, things need to get a little weird along the way.

After waking up from a vivid dream, Sheldon sits up in bed and uses a complex lever system to knock on Missy's wall. He then waits for her to respond over their walkie talkies. "I hate you. This better be an emergency," Missy grumbles after being woken up. Sheldon explains that a pimple has him worried about his future. Missy doesn't think that's an emergency and bids him good night. Sheldon pleads with her, reminding her that they're twins and she can't abandon him in his time of need. "Just watch me," Missy retorts and signs off. Sheldon admits he's scared. "Damn it," Missy mutters to herself.

As Missy sits on Sheldon's bed with him, she asks what the problem is. Sheldon says his childhood is ending, but Missy doesn't see the issue. Sheldon points out that everyone around them seems miserable: their parents fight all the time and are unemployed, and even Georgie is having a baby. Missy assures Sheldon that no one will ever have a child with him, but Sheldon thinks his intellect will make his genetic material a hot commodity. Sheldon wonders why the future doesn't bother Missy, to which she responds that she has things to look forward to, such as a first date, learning to drive, and hopefully marrying Vanilla Ice. Sheldon admits that he's looking forward to getting his PhD, winning the Nobel Prize, meeting Professor Proton, and working with Stephen Hawking. Missy tells Sheldon to focus on these goals when he gets upset, and he worries that these things may never happen, but Missy tells him that he won't know until he tries. Sheldon realizes that this is the scientific method's fundamental principle. "No doy," Missy retorts.

As George watches TV in the den, still wearing his bathrobe, Mary arrives with today's classifieds section and asks if George wants to look through them. Not really, he says. Mary wonders if he's just going to sit and watch TV all day. George sighs and explains that he has a shift at Dale's later in the day, so will she just get off his back. Undeterred, Mary decides to look for a job and tells George he can sit there and feel sorry for himself.

As they drive to Mexico, Meemaw tells Georgie that it will be smooth sailing once they hit 281. Georgie reflects on how carefree his life was just one year ago and admits he didn't realize how good he had it. Meemaw jokes that maybe one year from now his life will be a disaster and he'll look back fondly on this time. Georgie tells her that's not helpful. Meemaw advises him to relax, reminding him that one day he'll be her age and his kids will be grown up, and he'll be content again. Georgie points out that's 50 years away, but Meemaw, who waited a long time for this, tells him to stop complaining. She turns up the radio to sing along with Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire.”

When Mary stops by the bowling alley bar, Brenda Sparks is surprised to see her. Brenda asks if Mary is looking for her mother, but Mary explains that she's there to see Brenda. Mary saw in the classifieds that they're hiring and would like to apply for the job. Brenda hesitates, pointing out that the bar might not be suitable for Mary, given her religious beliefs. Mary counters that Jesus turned water into wine, so it should be okay. She even jokes that this job opportunity is "right up her alley". Brenda is still unsure, mentioning that they're neighbors. However, Mary gets emotional and pleads with Brenda, saying that she really needs something positive to happen in her life.

As Missy and Sheldon stand in front of the bathroom mirror, Sheldon thinks they should go to the emergency room. However, Missy insists that it's just a pimple and he should pop it. Sheldon refuses, but Missy offers to do it for him. She says she enjoys the sight of the pus splattering against the mirror. In a fantasy, A.V. and Pus are standing up with no chairs in sight. A.V. says it appears they've reached the end of their time with Sheldon. But he adds that it's never truly goodbye. They'll be back in times of stress, like a big test, or his personal favorite: school picture day. A.V.’s thought is interrupted as the pair disappears in an explosion of pus.

As George returns home from his shift at Dale's, Mary asks if he had a good day. "Awful," George replies. Mary shares some good news with him. George could really use some good news, and he grabs a beer as Mary explains that she got a job working at the bowling alley. George gulps his beer and asks if Brenda will be working with her. "Every day," Mary confirms. "That's really good news," George unconvincingly declares. George tries to keep a smile on his face as he answers the phone. It's Meemaw, who reveals that she and Georgie got into some trouble at the border. "What border?" George wonders. "The Mexican one," Meemaw replies, before admitting they got arrested.

As Sheldon walks into his room with a bag from the comic book store, Adult Sheldon explains that Missy encouraged him to embrace adolescence as a journey of scientific discovery. He found himself facing a whole new teenage world of music, slang words, and even clothing styles. Sheldon removes a red Flash t-shirt from the bag and tries it on in front of his bedroom mirror, wearing a blue t-shirt underneath the superhero tee.

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