There are many things about The Big Bang Theory‘s Penny that fascinate the audience. Penny’s character arc on the show is quite engaging, considering how her priorities changed drastically in a decade and yet remained rooted in her character growth.
Penny’s popularity as a cult sitcom heroine has also given rise to a lot of opinions and theories about her personality, her past and her romantic choices. Fans often share their controversial opinions and insights into her personality and habits on Reddit, which give further perspectives of who the real Penny was and also who she wanted to become.
10 Sheldon & Penny’s Kiss Was Hotter Than Amy & Sheldon’s
Penny and Sheldon’s friendship was one of the best on TBBT and broke many cliches. There was, of course, some awkwardness when the two shared a steamy kiss, although it was in Leonard’s guilt-ridden nightmare.
CANOLLIiMPOSTER thinks Sheldon and Penny’s kiss had a lot more passion than any kisses ever shared by Amy or Sheldon. “Why isn’t there more passion between Amy and Sheldon?” the Redditor asks. But it’s difficult to substantiate this claim since the kiss never took place in real life. Moreover, Sheldon was in fact more comfortable with Penny but then again, their equation had no sexual or romantic component so it doesn’t merit a comparison.
9 Penny Had An Alcohol Addiction
Redditor hurricane 4 argues that “There were moments where she (Penny) could be seen as being seriously addicted.” The Redditor also says that the show has often made gags about her relationship with alcohol, implying that she ‘needed’ alcohol to function.
Despite an unhealthy dependence, there’s no proof to suggest that she was an alcoholic or that she wrestled with addiction and most fans would probably disagree with this theory. When Penny says, ‘I’ve got two hands and a bit of a drinking problem,’ it comes across as a self-deprecating joke and not an admission exactly.
8 Penny Never Cared About Leonard’s Interests
According to Elduro687, Penny and Bernadette’s mocking derision of their boyfriends’ respective love for nerd culture was a major red flag. “I hate when they insult them for liking this stuff and for owning merch like Leonard’s bat-signal and Howard’s Tardis,” the Redditor remarks.
However, viewers may not disagree with this opinion, especially if they’ve seen the season 6 episode in which Penny, Amy and Bernadette try to understand the world of superheroes by reading comics books (Thor, to be particular). Penny, especially, took an active interest in Leonard’s favorite things, she tried to watch his favorite shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she tried to learn more about his research and constantly tried to find more in common with him.
7 Penny And Leonard’s Relationship Makes No Sense
Redditor WhiteWolfofRivia0914 argues that Leonard is pretty much only attracted to Penny because of her looks. “The only real reason that Leonard is interested in Penny is because she’s attractive and has sex with him,” the Redditor says. So, when Penny says Leonard is the only aspect of her life she’s passionate about, the Redditor finds it somewhat wonky.
However, as Penny grew older, she became more aware of her own hang-ups and started appreciating the good things in her life, including her friends. She undergoes an existential crisis, as she could not relate to her old self anymore. That’s when she realized that her friends and Leonard give new meaning to her life and basically learns about her deeper leanings.
6 Penny Suffered From Self-Hate
SeraniumFilledClock makes a rather grim observation that may come across as controversial. Penny has had a few not-so-successful jobs post her move to California. The post essentially claims that her personal crises pushed her towards a sense of self-hate, which is why she befriended “alien” personalities and her inability to fit in was a self-sabotaging maneuver.
“She fails to fit in over and over, fails to get her life together. Her self-hate and defeating tendencies are dangerous,” the Redditor remarks. However, most fans believe Penny’s choice of friends to be a sign of growth since she moved away from toxic patterns and started appreciating people who care about her and connect more meaningfully.
5 Penny Was A Spy
This outrageous theory by numbertheory has to do with the theory that the federal government kept tabs on Leonard right after his split with Joyce Kim, a North Korean spy. The post argues that Penny was essentially a CIA agent or a spy. “If she was really a struggling actress, she would want to make her paycheck stretch as far as possible, which would include getting a roommate or two,” the Redditor argues.
But she lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and accommodating a roommate could be difficult. Plus, Penny’s own emotional and existential ordeal was explored in vivid detail, and not all of it has to do with Leonard. If Penny really was a spy, all her energies would be spent on being close to him, and that was never the case.
4 She Was Not A Popular Kid
Although Penny’s recollections about her adolescence paint her as a popular kid who had many friends, this Redditor disagrees. “She carefully vets any potential newcomers, discards anyone who she thinks may become more popular than her,” the Redditor says.
This sounds quite far-off as a theory, though, especially as Penny had talked about more than one instance where she bullied less popular kids with her friends. Moreover, she talked about how she had trouble relating to Leonard and his friends and socialized very differently since she was never as ostracized as a teen, unlike Leonard or Sheldon.
3 Priya Was A Better Partner For Leonard Than Penny
“I think Leonard and Priya worked better than Leonard and Penny ever did,” Ameliapup43 writes on Reddit. The Redditor believes Leonard and Priya worked better as a couple because they were more compatible intellectually, but this may not be true, considering how volatile their relationship was.
Despite sharing several intellectual traits with him, Priya wanted to change who Leonard was and the way he lived his life. Penny, on the other hand, was more of a peacemaker, a stabilizing influence who tried to understand him and his priorities, so Leonard’s relationship with Penny was definitely healthier, if not perfect.
2 Leonard Wore Penny Down
Sophskies01 thinks Penny and Leonard’s relationship got a wonky representation during the later seasons, especially after season 5. The post claims that Penny simply doesn’t make that much of an effort in their relationship. “Why do the later seasons consist of jokes about Penny and Leonard’s relationship being doomed to fail and Penny only being with him because he wore her down?” the Redditor asks.
But this is not an accurate depiction because the show has made it a point to explore how the two worked relentlessly to make their marriage work, be it via complete transparency or by pursuing shared interests. And Penny’s jokes could very well be just some gentle ribbing.
1 Penny And Leonard Are Just Not Compatible
Handling primary relationships in long-running sitcoms is always tricky. Redditor Kishoto thinks Penny and Leonard’s relationship doesn’t go beyond their chemistry and insists that after a certain point, their relationship needed a lot more in terms of compatibility. “I mean, some of the chemistry between them is done well, but especially as the show has been going on, I feel like a lot of the flare is gone,” the Redditor argues.
But fans may disagree with this idea because Penny and Leonard spent a decade together, which in itself is quite an accomplishment. They were always committed to keeping each other happy throughout the years and the fact that they realize what the other person’s needs are is what makes them so compatible.