The Big Bang Theory revisited the events of Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) first kiss all the way back from season 1, but a significant detail in the story seemingly got all mixed up, resulting in the possibility that the former may have cheated on his boyfriend at that time, Kurt (Brian Patrick Wade), with her now husband. With the long-running CBS sitcom's final season currently underway, writers would understandably want to kick the nostalgia factor up a notch by referencing some of the memorable moments in the show's more-than-a-decade run. However, if they're not careful, this could lead to continuity issues.
In the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory season 12, "The Imitation Perturbationtion," what was another brewing fight between the Hofstatdters surprisingly ended up one of the sweetest moments for the couple in quite a while. After spending most of the episode acting as if she didn't remember their first kiss 11 years ago, during Halloween, Penny consoled an increasingly frustrated Leonard by admitting that she actually remembers the special occasion; it's just that she didn't want to acknowledge it as their first official kiss due to a myriad of reasons.
Penny primarily cited the fact that she was drunk when the kiss happened in "The Middle-Earth Paradigm" - something that she didn't want to be. Leonard bought the excuse and the two made up; however, additional details in her alibi may have revealed something that can be considered a plot hole. As she recalled the drunken kiss on Halloween, she also let it slip that she hated the fact that the monumental occasion happened while she was still with Kurt. Looking back at that particular episode in The Big Bang Theory season 1, she made it sound as if she’s already broken up with him prior to the party, and the only reason he was invited was because she accidentally met him a week before.
To be fair, the whole conversation can be easily misunderstood with Penny's rambling. And considering how much she got mad upon learning that Leonard drunkenly kissed another woman (Mandy Chow) during his North Sea research trip, it's easy to assume she totally opposes any form of cheating. But there's actually another instance where Penny kissed Leonard while still in another relationship. When they locked lips several episodes later in "The Peanut Reaction" (which was what Penny wanted to pass as their first time), she was technically still with Mike (Andrew Walker). Granted, she broke up with him in the following episode after he published private information about their relationship on his blog, but that doesn't change the fact that she was committed to another person when she soberly kissed Leonard during his birthday, supposedly in an effort to console him.
The idea of circling back to the show's most memorable moments from over the last decade is a great way to wrap up its last season, especially since it highlights how far The Big Bang Theory has come. But confusing little details like this is a disservice to the series and its loyal viewers who can recall key character moments, especially those between Penny and Leonard, who have been arguably cast aside the last couple of seasons in order to shine a light on the sitcom's other couples. Considering that the series devoted years into developing the couple's relationship - from a one-sided love affair to a full-blown romance - it's understandably disappointing for fans to see them relegated to side characters who have an open-door apartment where everybody usually gathers. And during the times that they are actually given the spotlight, moments are tainted because of small misses like this one.
With the final season in full swing, Leonard and Penny's fans are hoping to get as much development for The Big Bang Theory's inaugural couple as possible. They still have yet to resolve their differences with regards to the possibility of having kids. Perhaps that can be a main focal point for the show in their next few outings.