Even back when we built the pyramids and it all started with a big bang, the relationships between two people were at the forefront. The Big Bang Theory is no different. Most of the hilarity comes from watching the characters develop relationships with other people-- mainly their significant others. Considering that Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard have not had a lot of experience with women, watching them navigate the world of dating has been especially hilarious.
In particular, the show has focused around the coupling of Leonard Hofstader and his neighbor, Penny. While Leonard is the prototypical nerd, Penny is the absolute opposite - blonde, beautiful, and a little bit gullible. Since the awkwardness of first meeting, they have both matured over the years and have now become a loving, married couple. Watching them navigate an on-again-off-again relationship while balancing their different viewpoints has been a pleasure. However, there is one important thing to remember when watching The Big Bang Theory - some things about their relationship make no sense at all!
Over the years, Leonard and Penny have found themselves in very strange situations and made it through them all, but that does not change how odd their relationship can be. Sometimes things that other couples would consider to be red flags are forgotten about, while other, smaller issues explode into arguments. With the announcement that the show will be ending after this season, it is time to look back at their relationship and try to make sense of some nonsense.
Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Leonard And Penny's Relationship.
20 Leonard Doesn’t Know Penny's Last Name
There are some things that should be well known about someone before the knot is tied, and it should include most things that are on their driver's license. One of the only big secrets left to be revealed on The Big Bang Theory is one that has been hidden since the first episode. While much has been uncovered about the pasts of the entire gang, one specific detail has evaded fans forever.
Penny's maiden name has never been revealed to anyone.
Despite her parents appearing on screen, it has never been spoken. While this sense of mystery is intriguing, is it not strange that her husband is not aware? With the show coming to a close, it stands to reason that this will eventually be revealed. However, it is already too late for Leonard to escape this awkwardness.
19 Penny Did Not Care That He Cheated On Her
It has been clear from the beginning of their relationship that Leonard is very lucky to have Penny in his life. Without having her around, he would be incredibly lonely and back to only having his friends for company. That is why it makes very little sense that he would jeopardize his relationship with her by being intimate with another woman.
During his time on an expedition at sea, Leonard had too much fun partying. This led to him kissing another scientist on the trip. When Leonard revealed this to Penny during "The Commitment Determination" on the way to the wedding, she did not react the way fans would have expected. The real question is - why did Penny not have a bigger reaction to the news?
18 Leonard Has Tipped Her A Lot
For most of the series, Penny supported her struggling acting career as a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory. While she never seemed to enjoy this job, one thing became apparent - the guys did enjoy eating there, and she always served them.
Anytime the group treated themselves by eating at the restaurant, Penny was always their server.
This means that each time that Penny would drop their bills down at the table, Leonard would likely be tipping her for her service. Considering that Leonard would have been trying to date her while she served him, it stands to reason that he would be placing larger-than-normal tips for her. Penny was likely able to pay for her rent based solely on the tips that Leonard would leave her.
17 She Missed One Of His Marriage Proposals
Leonard has always been very forward about his feelings for Penny. In fact, his emotional nature means that he is bound to express his feelings much more loudly than others. When he felt that it was time to propose to Penny, he went above and beyond. However, this does not mean that Penny met him half way.
It is well known that Leonard proposed to Penny multiple times, but he let it slip that she actually fully missed one of his attempts. Leonard went through the trouble of having a sky-writer place a proposal in the sky, but Penny allegedly did not look up in time and missed it. Talk about a missed opportunity!
16 Penny Did Not Prepare Vows For Their Wedding
When two characters get married on a television show, fans collectively rejoice. Weddings like this can be incredibly gratifying. However, if one of those characters does something to screw that moment up, it can put a damper on the celebration. Past experiences say that it is most likely that Leonard would be the one do something to impact their wedding, but that was not the case. In "The Matrimonial Momentum", Leonard came prepared with vows for the ceremony, while Penny did not.
While Leonard recited a beautiful statement about how he feels about his long-time love, Penny was only able to recite a song from Toy Story.
Was Penny's heart really in the wedding to begin with?
15 Leonard Called Her Stupid
If there is one major difference between Penny and Leonard, it is there interest in academics. Leonard is a published theoretical physicist, while Penny is anything but. Intelligence is certainly not the most important thing in the world - life is more about impacting others positively. In this situation, Leonard does anything but.
The couple's first breakup stemmed from Penny not feeling adequate enough due to Leonard's education. Instead of comforting her and ensuring she knew that it did not matter to him, he brought her a brochure for a city college. To top things off, he also belittled the school and called her unintelligent. Naturally, Penny was very hurt and they ended their relationship. Leonard will not be winning any awards for his awareness of other's feelings, but this was a new low for him.
14 She Has Ex-boyfriends Stay At Her Apartment
Given Leonard's inexperience with relationships, he shows a lot of insecurity when other men are in Penny's life. Even if Penny is doing something completely innocent, Leonard will find a way to get upset about it. On the other hand, Penny does not take his feelings in to account when making decisions. The end result usually means that they are going to end up fighting. For example, in "The Guitarist Amplification", Penny's friend is sleeping on her couch for a couple of days. Leonard is fine with this until she reveals that he is a former boyfriend of hers.
This makes him incredibly upset, while Penny does not see anything wrong with the situation.
Neither of them is right or wrong in this scenario, but the fact remains that they did not discuss it together, which led to the blow-out.
13 He Did Not Believe In Her Acting Career
Penny may not have been the most successful actress, but Leonard could have been much more supportive of her career choice. During season seven, Penny decides to take a big leap in to her acting career, and quits her job at The Cheesecake Factory. Considering that Penny has very few acting credits on her resume, this is a very big step.
Initially, Leonard feigns support but is very worried about how this decision will impact their relationship financially. While Leonard's concerns are valid, he forgot one very important thing - he is not supporting his girlfriend in the slightest. Leonard makes it very clear that he thinks this is a bad decision, proving that he has little faith in her acting abilities. While Penny has not had an Academy Award-winning performance yet, she would be much better off having his support.
12 “Bug Reports” On Their Relationship
Most couples in the world have their share of relationship issues. However, not each one treats the relationship like a computer program. Upon reigniting their relationship in season five, Leonard and Penny are concerned with how they will deal with the problems that plagued them previously. In order to ensure that these problems do not continue, they agree to provide each other "bug reports" of their relationship.
The reports consist of things that they would like the other to stop doing in order for them both to be happy.
It turns out to be a very big mistake. The reports end up hurting both of their feelings, and wind up being an excuse to just insult each other. Their intentions may have been in the right place, but the execution of the idea was not well done.
11 Leonard Consoles Her During Break-ups
Before they officially begin their relationship, Leonard does his best to be a good friend to Penny. Despite his feelings for her, he even strives to comfort her when any other man has hurt her feelings. He even does this for her after their relationship is on hiatus. While this makes Leonard an admirable friend, it leaves one question unanswered - is this not weird for him since they used to be together?
Having a healthy relationship with an ex is a great idea, but when there are still feelings being harbored, it surely complicates things. Despite each of them pursuing other relationships, Leonard continues to have feelings for Penny. This must make it very difficult for him to comfort her while she is upset about another man. While Leonard should be commended for sticking to his friendship with Penny, this part of their relationship makes little sense.
10 It Took Penny Six Seasons To Say “I Love You”
Despite having plenty of experience with men, Penny is very stoic when it comes to professing her love for Leonard.
While this is a very admirable quality, it must have been incredibly frustrating for Leonard.
By the time the season six episode "The 43 Peculiarity" rolled around, Leonard and Penny had already been in an on-and-off relationship for quite some time. However, one thing was missing from their relationship - Penny had not said "I love you" to Leonard. In spite of him very quickly spilling his feelings for her, Penny was reluctant to let him know her true feelings. Perhaps Penny was too scared to let him know how she really felt? Or did Penny need more time to fall fully in love with him?
9 She Was Already Married To Zack
As already established, Leonard has not always been faithful to Penny during their relationship. Thankfully she forgave him before they finally got married. While Leonard's indiscretion was out in the open, Penny's came to light in a much more public way. It is revealed that at one point while she and Leonard were broken-up, she had taken a trip to Las Vegas with her boyfriend Zack. While this is not infidelity, since she and Leonard were not together, what happened next impacted their relationship in a big way.
During their inebriated time in Vegas, Zack and Penny had a drive-thru wedding which they thought was not real. However, it came to light that they were actually still legally married. Leonard may have been unfaithful, but Penny was already married!
8 She Is Hiding Credit Card Debt
Prior to gaining her footing in pharmaceutical sales, Penny did not have a good handle on her life trajectory. Her career as an aspiring actress and full-time Cheesecake Factory waitress did not leave her with much stability. This would explain the fact that she has alluded to hiding credit card debt from Leonard. While discussing their upcoming marriage, Penny makes several comments about multiple maxed-out credit cards, as well as moving debt under her new Hofstader name.
Each time Leonard overhears this, she replies with "Nothing!" to sweep it under the rug.
Given Penny's past, it is incredibly likely that she has closets full of debt. The sad part is that Leonard would be happy to clean it up for her.
7 They Made A Relationship Agreement
After years of making fun of Sheldon's ways, Leonard decided to take a page out of his wacky book. After finally tying the knot, the Hofstaders come to the conclusion that their relationship has changed. Penny does not feel that Leonard is romancing her enough, and Leonard does not feel she is communicating well enough. In "The Romance Recalibration", they both ask Sheldon to create a "Relationship Agreement" for them to abide by.
After having lived for years under Sheldon's "Roommate Agreement" in the apartment, it seems that Leonard misses the structure of a contractual obligation. They are both more than happy to sign it, even though it will surely cause them problems down the road. However, fans were happy that the agreement stated that Leonard could no longer play video games in his underpants while Penny was home.
6 Penny Has A Lot More “Experience” Than Leonard
Prior to marrying Leonard, Penny was well known for her numerous past relationships. In fact, Sheldon once hypothesized that she had dated "193 men." Some of these men are incredibly strong and burly, while others known for their lack of intelligence. Leonard is much less experienced in the realm of dating. During the series, he has had two serious girlfriends, and is shown to be very inexperienced with casual dating and flirtation. Meanwhile, Penny speaks both of these languages fluently. Being closer to Penny certainly has helped Leonard understand women better.
It must be frustrating for them to not be on the same level when it comes to relationship issues.
Perhaps Penny could bring out the white-board and teach Leonard something new.
5 She Was A Bully In High School
Throughout the series, it is revealed that each of the men had a difficult time growing up in school. In a world where noogies and wedgies became a part of their daily routine, they each likely have very upsetting memories of school. This is why it is so surprising that Leonard would marry someone who used to be a bully.
While reminiscing about their time in school, Penny comes to the realization that she would have been considered a bully in school. In doing what she considered "pranking" other girls, it was actually bullying them. The real question is - how can Leonard be comfortable being married to someone who bullied others? Penny may be much more relaxed these days, but Leonard has not gotten over what happened to him in school.
4 Penny Beat Leonard At Chess
When discussing the "Lenny" relationship, everyone is always very quick to point out the perceived intelligence difference between the two. Leonard's PhD and aptitude for science makes him the "brainy one", while Penny will never be mistaken for a scientist. These tropes have been well established through the series thus far. However, every now and then there is a glimmer of a role reversal between the two. While Penny is regularly dumbfounded by some of the scientific concepts that Leonard brings up, she is not a buffoon. She has shown her intelligence multiple times, and in different ways. In fact, she has shown to be very adept at chess, even besting Leonard at one point.
Imagine how Leonard felt after she beat him? He likely kept the secret from the other scientists.
Now for the real question - is Penny ready for three-dimensional chess?
3 They Are Divided On Having Children
After getting married, the cookie-cutter next step for a couple is to begin discussing having children. However, this may not be an easy discussion in the Hofstader household. When Howard and Bernadette begin having children, it naturally sparks the conversation between Leonard and Penny regarding their future. This proves to be a point of contention between the two, as they arrive at two different conclusions.
While Leonard is ready to start a family as soon as possible, Penny is more inclined to wait until later in life and focus on her career.
Even before getting married, they were divided on the issue, especially considering Penny's family "tradition" of getting married while pregnant.
2 Leonard’s Mother Disliked Penny
If mother knew best, then Penny would certainly not be in Leonard's life. When Dr. Beverly Hofstader comes to visit Leonard and meets Penny for the first time, her reaction is very simple. She easily manipulates Penny and makes her cry within moments of meeting her. She believes that Penny is weak-minded and takes delight in having her relive rough moments of her childhood.
While they eventually end up bonding, there are further instances of tension in their relationship. When Beverly is not invited to their wedding, she becomes very cold to Penny. While Beverly is cold to most people, she reserves a special brand of sharpness for her daughter-in-law. It must be very difficult for Leonard to have a strained relationship between his wife and mother. However, since he is not entirely close with her either, it may not affect him too much.
1 Her Old Boyfriend Beat Up Leonard And Sheldon
Think back to a time before Leonard and Penny were together. Back to when he would suffer a wedgie to prove that he is worthy enough to hang out with her. If he were to look back - would he do it all over again? Back when Penny was first introduced to The Big Bang Theory, she had just come out of a relationship and was hoping to get her television back from her ex-boyfriend. Trying to be as valiant as possible, Leonard volunteers to go collect it for her. The only issue is that her ex-boyfriend looks like he could eat Leonard for breakfast.
Leonard and Sheldon go to try and collect for Penny, but wind up losing their pants and receiving a wedgie in the process.
Leonard must think about this from time to time now that they are married, but would he go through it again?
What else doesn't make sense about Leonard and Penny in The Big Bang Theory? Let us know in the comments!