Leonard Hofstadter (Boyfriend)
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Penny is the show's main female protagonist. She lives in apartment 4B across the hall from Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, who live in apartment 4A. Her full first name is possibly "Penelope" as implied by "The Barbarian Sublimation", and her family name has not been given so far.
An aspiring but mostly unsuccessful actress, she was born on a farm near Omaha, Nebraska, and works at The Cheesecake Factory as a waitress. Penny is the original female lead in the show before being joined by Bernadette Rostenkowski and Amy Farrah Fowler.
She has been Leonard's love interest for most of the show, with the two dating briefly in the first episode of the second season, for most of the third season, and they rekindle their romance in "The Recombination Hypothesis". Penny is good friends with Leonard (despite their rocky relationship) and Sheldon, and even though she is considered part of the guys' group, she represents the "average person" for viewer context in the series.
In the pilot, she told Sheldon and Leonard that she was a Sagittarius, meaning that her birthday is between November 22 and December 21.
Origin and DevelopmentEdit
Originally, two different female leads were written for the pilot episode, each lead having been filmed for their own pilot. An unaired pilot episode had an alternate version of Penny named Katie. Katie was bitter and received by audiences to be too mean to Sheldon and Leonard. Kaley Cuoco did not portray this alternate version of Penny, but instead was hired to do the second version filmed after the unaired pilot, which was sociable and nice and was the one that the producers decided was the most interesting and appealing out of the two.
Some of Penny's comedic role in the series is rooted in her ability to execute practical and simple solutions to problems of which the guys try to solve through complicated or scientific means. For example, in the episode The Pants Alternative, Sheldon reveals that in spite of his ability to talk excessively to people in small groups, he has a severe case of stage fright, and wouldn't be able to accept an award. While Leonard tries to get to the root of his problem through a psych evaluation, and Raj attempts to use meditation, Penny solves the problem by getting him drunk right before he needs to make his speech.
As the series developed, Penny's character took on the theme of being the virtual polar opposite of Sheldon, which created a unique relationship between the two characters. Penny's relationship with the other guys is usually perceived as something of an older sister, or a mother in some cases with Sheldon. She has also had a romantic, on-and-off relationship with Leonard.
Kaley plays the blonde neighbor named Penny that may be a reference to the name of the grandmother who raised her three granddaughters that starred in the Charmed TV series.
Penny is 5'6" (1.68 m), with blonde hair and green eyes. Her most distinguishing features are her hair, eyes, smile and slender, hourglass body. Her wardrobe includes casual sportswear, her Cheesecake Factory uniform and glamorous evening gowns. Regardless of attire, her wardrobe, makeup and accessories highlight her best attributes.
Initially, her taste in clothes included short shorts, low-cut tops, and bare midriffs, but over the course of the show, it evolved into more modest and flattering sweaters and pants as she got older. Her hairstyle varies, originally being long and straight, but is currently curly and a darker shade. It has occasionally been put up in a pony tail or pigtails, but normally hangs untied. Also it hinted that Penny may not be a natural blonde. In "The Date Night Varible" she protests that her blonde hair is her natural hair color, but when Amy looks at her confused she finishes saying "now...".
When she first met the guys in the pilot, Penny was writing a screenplay about a girl from Lincoln, Nebraska, who travels to Los Angeles to become an actress, but ends up working at The Cheesecake Factory instead. When Leonard asks if the screenplay was autobiographical, she replies that it isn't, because she is from a small town outside of Omaha, Nebraska.
Penny moved into the apartment building because she split with her boyfriend of 4 years, Kurt. She says she still loved him, and insinuates he cheated on her. The shower in her apartment was broken at the time, so the boys offered her theirs. Her apartment is sloppy and disorganized, but Penny appears to like it that way.
She is either oblivious to or completely aware of her effect on the boys, because within minutes of meeting him, she asked Leonard to retrieve her television set from Kurt's apartment, which he immediately set out to do. Penny is aware of Leonard's crush on her, and it is hinted throughout the series that some of the feelings are reciprocated. At the end of season one, Penny goes on a date with Leonard. Leonard is very nervous, and Penny slightly withdrawn, but they nonetheless share a kiss.
In season two, there was some initial enthusiasm between Penny and Leonard. However, they later develop insecurities concerning their relationship. Penny was worried that she was not smart enough for Leonard, and lied about graduating from community college because she thought it would make Leonard respect her. The relationship quickly deteriorated and she goes back to dating different guys. Leonard shows Penny some literature on Pasadena City College and she interprets it that he wanted a girl with more education and they break up.
She gives relationship advice to Sheldon and Leonard fairly often: Leonard, when he has problems with Priya or Stephanie, and Sheldon when he's with Amy. She also starts to become geekier through the guys. She makes inadvertent references to Star Trek, and, thanks to Sheldon, becomes addicted to Age of Conan. She also dates Stuart, who runs the comic book store. However, when Penny and Stuart are making out, she accidentally calls him
Leonard, and as a result, they stop seeing each other.
When she learns that the guys are going on an Arctic expedition, she is visibly upset, buys Leonard a farewell gift, and tells herself, after speaking with him, that she wishes he wasn't going.In season three, when the boys get back from the expedition, Penny kisses Leonard the second she sees him. However, Leonard and Penny's relationship has a rocky start because they have some trouble getting used to being more than friends, but they eventually start a relatively stable relationship.
Penny's sister is mentioned as having shot her husband while both she and her husband were drunk. It is known that she has a nephew who turned 13 in season two, likely the son of Penny's sister, as she is known to be married. When Christy (Penny's friend from Omaha, Nebraska) comes into town, Penny reveals that she has a brother and at least one male cousin, as she claims that Christy slept with the former while being engaged to the latter.
Her brother also works in a meth lab, though it's not clear if it is the same brother Christy slept with. This is first hinted at in "The Pirate Solution" as Penny describes him as 'kind of a chemist' and tells Leonard that he would like him. It is finally confirmed in "The Rhinitis Revelation" when she asks God to make her brother stop cooking meth, but without involving the police. Sheldon implies Penny's mother is fat and in "The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition" says that her mother must have smoked pot when she was pregnant with her.
RelationshipsEditThe Hamburger Postulate", when she hears of his failed attempt at a relationship with Leslie Winkle, though the sign is seen only by the audience. Despite these signs, she continues to date other men as Leonard continued to try and make her give him a chance.
She and Leonard go on a date in the finale of the the first season, but they break up not long after because Penny fears he will get bored with her due to his high intelligence compared to her own. They remain friends although signs of their feelings for each other continue to show. After Leonard returns from his three-month research trip at the North Pole, Penny immediately kisses him, having missed him greatly. Leonard welcomes her advances.
They begin dating again and despite another rocky start, they are together for most of Season 3. They break up again after Leonard says he loves her and she doesn't say it back. They again stay friends throughout season 4 but it is strained as Penny struggles to control her feelings for Leonard as well as her jealousy towards Priya. While drunk, she admits to Raj that she shouldn't have ever broken up with Leonard. She even explains this to Sheldon without mentioning Leonard and Sheldon thinks that she has a thing for him.
At the spur of the moment in "The Recombination Hypothesis", Leonard asks Penny out on a date after he imagined what getting back with her might be like. Their real date ends successfully and they agree to take their relationship slow in "The Beta Test Initiation".
In "The Launch Acceleration", Penny suggested that they move up their relationship and get intimate, however, Leonard ruins the mood when he asks her to marry him during their sexual activities. They later meet and Penny, unlike their first break-up, managed to reject his proposal and still stay in a relationship with him. During "The Countdown Reflection", there was some friction between the two of them about the proposal, but when Howard was being launched they were holding hands to comfort each other.
In "The Date Night Variable", Raj, who was butting into their date, insisted that Penny tell Leonard that she loves him, but she was not ready and threw him out of the apartment. Penny expressed doubts about her feelings for Leonard, though she claimed to be happy with the relationship in "The Decoupling Fluctuation". She almost told Leonard about her doubts and then ends up sleeping with him after looking into his sad eyes. In "The Holographic Excitation", Penny revs up their relationship by becoming more acquainted with his work and seducing him in his lab, after Amy and Bernadette confront her over her somewhat one-sided view of how her relationship works - that Leonard's job is to make her happy, and her job is to let him make her happy.In "The 43 Peculiarity", Penny is working with a fellow English student named Cole on an oral class project. Leonard is jealous and follows him down the apartment stairs and tells him to watch out for "Penny's boyfriend" since he was a gang member. Penny is upset with Leonard and the two later meet in the hallway and have an argument. Penny tells him that she cannot believe that he cannot trust her and that he embarrassed her in front of Cole who knew who he was since his picture is on her refrigerator. Penny continues to tell him that he is the one she is with and accidentally mentions that he knows that she loves him. Leonard is stunned and tells her that that is the first time she ever said that she loves him. He then interprets her stunned reaction and asks if they aren't going to make a big deal about this. She agrees and runs off to cry.
In "The Egg Salad Equivalency", after Alex asks Leonard out to dinner and didn't tell Penny about it, she begins to feel really insecure about their relationship. Leonard apologizes by showing up at her door playing an apologetic son on his cello. She decides instead of feeling bad, she would do something about it. First, she looks into science classes at college, but they sound boring. Then she buys some geek glasses to look smart, which does affect Leonard as he pulls her into his bedroom. In "The Bakersfield Expedition" she develops an interest in comic books and Thor's hammer.
In "The Spoiler Alert Segmentation" Leonard suggests that he move in with Penny after he again gets exasperated with Sheldon. He asks her if she's all right with it, but she only agrees not to hurt his feelings and even tells Sheldon. When Amy confronts Penny since she can't move in with Sheldon, Leonard over hears. Penny tells him that he never asked her if she was ready and Leonard ends up back in apartment 4A.
In "The Tangible Affection Proof", Leonard takes Penny out to dinner for Valentine's Day. Penny feels that all the effort never meets the the expectations. Penny sees an old boyfriend proposing to the girl that broke them up. Leonard again tries to propose and Penny stops him. That night Leonard tells Penny that she made a mess of the whole evening. Penny finally admits that she has commitment issues and the obvious path of their relationship ending in marriage scares her. Leonard then puts the responsibility of proposing on her and she should do it when she's ready. In the end, she does ask him to be her valentine.
In "The Closure Alternative" Penny was concerned about the passion Leonard showed for science, comics and various television shows while she had no passion in her life. Her dreams had always been to become a famous movie star and live a glamorous life. Anything less than that she felt was settling. Her epiphany came that she is passionate about her boyfriend Leonard and all her wonderful friends.
In "The Bon Voyage Reaction", Leonard takes a job working on a Stephen Hawking expedition in the North Sea for four months over the summer. Penny will miss him, but knows that it is a good opportunity and sends him off. At the airport, she is fussing over him like Like his wife sending him off on a business trip. She also has to watch Sheldon over the summer, too.The Panty Piñata Polarization" when Penny messes up Sheldon's laundry night. But despite their differences, Sheldon and Penny are very close, and are quick to help each other. They have taken care of each other on multiple occasions; often times doing things they really don't want to do to make each other feel better. Penny has stated that they are friends.
Major examples are when Penny takes care of Sheldon when he is sick and when she lets him stay at her apartment when he gets locked out, even letting him sleep in her own bed. Sheldon was also quick to come to Penny's aid when she called for help after falling in the shower and dislocating her shoulder, going so far as to drive her to the hospital, despite not knowing how to drive.
Many of these occurrences end with Penny singing Soft Kitty to Sheldon to make him feel better; Sheldon sang it to her on one occasion as well. One of the biggest examples of their friendship is that despite his own rule of avoiding physical contact with people, Penny was the first person Sheldon hugged on the show, and remains oneof only three people he's hugged who aren't members of his family, the only others being Wil Wheaton and Amy Farrah Fowler. To date, Sheldon and Penny have hugged two times: once in "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" and again in "the Large Hadron Collision".
In "The Werewolf Transformation", Penny convinces him to let her cut his hair since his barber is in a coma. She listed times she's taken care of him, saying that she's taken him to Disneyland, kicked a bully in the nuts for him, sings him Soft Kitty when he's sick, and that he's even seen her naked once. Sheldon eventually agrees to let Penny cut his hair.
In The Closure Alternative " Penny decides that she is passionate about her friends and tells Sheldon that she is glad he is in her life.
Like with all other women except his mother and sister (and thus one would assume all female relatives), Raj is unable to speak to Penny unless he is drunk or on medication. They hang out within the group a lot and Penny occasionally attempts to tease him into talking to her. After she goes to a People magazine reception with him, he introduces her to his parents as his girlfriend, though they want him to find an Indian girl. Raj begins to like Penny as the series goes on and the two end up getting drunk and appear to have slept together.
Later Raj tells Penny that they did not have sex, and in clarification, he tells her that nothing physical happened between them as she straightaway asked if he had protection and then he had trouble putting it on and she tried to help so he ejaculated prematurely. Raj asks Penny not to tell anyone and Penny promises to keep silent. Raj attempts to actually date her but she tells him she just wants to be friends. Despite their rough past, Penny attempts to find a girlfriend for Raj and comforts him when he may need it. She also invites him along to their girls' night out while the guys play their Dungeons and Dragons Christmas game.
They also hang out with the guys together once Howard starts dating Bernadette. In "The Countdown Reflection", because Bernadette wants to get married to Howard before he goes into space, Penny, along with Amy, Sheldon, Leonard and Raj get ordained as ministers to so they can officiate at the wedding ceremony.
Penny is notably upset when she is in the middle of Bernadette and Amy's fight during "The Parking Spot Escalation". She is really hurt once Amy takes a swing at Bernadette with her purse hitting Penny in the face and breaking her nose.
The two gradually form a tight friendship and continue to spend more time together and are quick to aid one another whenever the other needs it. Amy is aware that Penny is the planet that her social life revolves around and quickly reverses her course if she is mad at her or is annoying her. Amy gave Penny a large ugly painting of the two of them to celebrate their friendship. At one point she realizes that Penny hates it, Penny rushes over to Amy's apartment to rescue their friendship and rehangs the painting in her apartment on the fourth wall (facing the audience).
In "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver", when Amy had her argument with Sheldon, Penny takes Sheldon to the jewelry store to buy a gift. Sheldon ends up getting Amy a tiara. Penny is more than happy putting the tiara on Amy, which makes Amy ecstatic. In "The Weekend Vortex", Amy confides in Penny when she had an awful time at her aunt's birthday party because Sheldon backed out on his promise to attend an MMORPG marathon. Penny gets them to play quarters where the loser will need to drink beer. Amy turns out to be very good at the game from all the time she spent as a child throwing coins wishing for friends, and as a result, Penny got drunk. She convinces Amy to make a scene and the two barge into the guys' apartment as they are in the middle of their marathon. Amy fails to keep up her ruse of leaving Sheldon for a make-believe character named Arman, and Penny comes to her rescue by telling Sheldon the truth. Penny is also very upset to be in the middle of the argument between Amy and Bernadette over Howard's parking space in "The Parking Lot Escalation", especially after Amy accidentally hit her in the face with her change-filled purse, giving Penny two black eyes.
Priya was jealous of Penny because of Leonard's previous relationship with her, and eventually asked him to stop communicating with Penny. Though Penny did so, she became angry towards Priya for dating Leonard, as she had only recently realized she still had feelings for him. The friendship is restored when Priya becomes friendly with Penny in the engagement reaction episode where they strike up a friendly conversation and bond in the process, although Penny remains silently jealous. When Priya's relationship with Leonard ends after admitting that she slept with her ex-boyfriend a few weeks ago, Penny and Leonard start dating again.
- Penny is 21 years old at the beginning of the show (in the early fall of 2008, when "The Barbarian Sublimation" aired), which means she is the youngest of the gang. Penny is a Sagittarius, meaning she was born between November 22 and December 21. In "The Prestidigitation Approximation", Howard does a fake magic card trick in which the sum of the digits of one's birthdate, excluding the year, are used to get the number of the card to be selected. Penny turns over the fifth card, making her birthday in the span of the Sagittarius one of four possibilities: November 30th, December 2nd, December 11th, or December 20th. If Penny's birthday is November 30th (1+1+3+0=5), it would match the birthday of Kaley Cuoco (Saturday, November 30, 1985) exactly. The only possible birth date of Penny would be Monday, December 2, 1985 if one alternatively interprets the rules of Howard's card trick as requiring one to turn over the card corresponding to the sum of the digits of the month and adding the day. Though David Underhill refers to Penny as a "gorgeous 22-year-old" in "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" (airdate December 15, 2008), he could have simply estimated her age, as it certainly appears to be close to Christmas and the episodic events probably span days rather than weeks (if one were to ignore the hypothesis that the airdate is reality in the show). In real life, the 27-year-old Cuoco is the youngest of the group, and approximately 13 years younger than Jim Parsons, who is the oldest of the group.
- Penny is 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) tall  – the height of Kaley Cuoco.
- In "The Robotic Manipulation", Sheldon calculates that Penny dated an estimate of 193 (±8) men and had sex with approximately 31 of them.
- Penny grew up on a farm and rebuilt an entire tractor engine all by herself when she was 12.
- Penny was a junior rodeo champion.
- The previous occupant of Penny's apartment was a 200-pound transvestite named Louie/Louise with a skin condition, who worked as a police officer, according to Sheldon. He is seen during a flashback in "The Staircase Implementation", where he refers to Sheldon as 'crazy'.
- Penny is the only member of the main set of characters whose last name has not been spoken or revealed, but Bill Prady has said it eventually will be.
- Penny claims to be a vegetarian, but will eat fish and the occasional steak.
- Penny often smells like either vanilla (because she wears vanilla oil) or cheesecake (because she works at The Cheesecake Factory). Sheldon has also stated in a recent episode(which?) that she uses green, apple-scented shampoo, insisting that she switch back to that from coconut.
- Penny's acquaintance Christy could be a reference to Kaley Cuoco's time on Charmed. Penny was also the name of the witches' grandmother.
- Penny eats Chinese food with a fork and double-dips her egg rolls (unappealing attributes, according to Sheldon).
- In "The Staircase Implementation", it is revealed that Penny was almost a teenage mother.
- Penny is very kind and shows great empathy toward others, but can become extremely fierce when provoked. She has yelled at Sheldon, Raj, and Howard when they annoy her too much, and Leonard when she's angry.
- When under pain medication, Penny exhibits some of Sheldon's behaviors.
- Penny believes in psychics, ghosts, astrology, voodoo, and other 'superstitions', but not healing crystals.
- Penny went to community college, but dropped out for unspecified reasons. She goes back in the sixth season, taking one history course.
- A running gag of the show involves Sheldon knocking on Penny's door and saying her name after every three knocks. He repeats this thrice or until she answers the door.
- Penny often resorts to freeloading. When Sheldon's mom pointed out her disapproval of a top (shirt) belonging to Penny, she said that she had received free drinks by wearing that top. It is also known that, while she was dating Leonard, she never paid for her movie tickets. She also gets free meals from hanging with the guys since her portions were always paid by Leonard; she said they were loans but she knew Leonard would not ask her to pay it back. She also gets free internet by using Sheldon and Leonard's wi-fi -- leading Sheldon to regularly change the password to ones which accuse her of freeloading.
- She turned down Sheldon's offer for a date (although Sheldon only asked her to make Amy jealous) as Penny was the only other woman that Sheldon knew well.
- Penny was a bully in high school, making fun of a girl with a stutter and taping another girl up and leaving her out in a corn field until the next morning.
- Penny is remarkably adept at games in general, excelling at Halo, Age of Conan, and most recently chess, checkmating Leonard on her first try (though the latter may have been because, as Sheldon has pointed out, Leonard is terrible at chess).
- Penny owns a red 1980s Volkswagen Golf Mk1 convertible car. Featured in several episodes, the car appears to be in a bad condition, which is not helped by Penny, who pays no heed to the warning lights of the car. While sitting in her car, Sheldon will continuously remind her that the 'check engine' warning light is on, an action that irritates Penny tremendously. Penny is a very bad driver: in "The Guitarist Amplification", a point of argument between Penny and Leonard is when Penny finds out that Leonard complains about her driving behind her back. Later in the episode, she runs a stop sign without even noticing it, and then, when Leonard mentions it, she looks back to find it, and Leonard, panicking, shouts "EYES ON THE ROAD, EYES ON THE ROAD!"
- When Penny is shocked she bats her eyelashes several times while considering a reaction.
- Over the course of the series, Penny has exhibited traits of alcoholism. She is often seen drinking wine or other harder beverages while in her apartment, both alone and in the presence of her friends. She often seems to use wine as a means to deal with her issues. She will many times use this method on her friends as well to help them deal with their problems, most notably when she realized alcoholic drinks are able to help Raj overcome his selective mutism, or to help Sheldon overcome his stage fright.
- Penny has been said on multiple occasions to give the best blowjobs in her hometown.
- Often says "OMG" or "Oh My God" when shocked, to the annoyance of Sheldon.
- Penny's possible last name is Wyatt. In The Maternal Capacitance Penny says her mother never said " Bob come on she's a girl", yet in The Boyfriend Complexity Penny's Dad is referred to as Wyatt by Leonard. Therefore this would make Penny's Dad Bob Wyatt.
- In "The Closet Reconfiguration", while cleaning Penny's closet, Sheldon finds a thing that "appears to be a battery operated chew toy" which is possibly a vibrator. This imply that Penny masturbates with a vibrator, this is most likely to satisfy her monstrous sexual appetite.