The Big Bang Theory's final season will not reveal Penny's maiden name. Played by Kaley Cuoco, the character was the only female key role in the show when it debuted in 2007. She was eventually joined by Melissa Rauch's Bernadette and Mayim Bialik's Amy come season 4. Penny has gone through so much in the course of the show. Initially an aspiring actress, she dropped her childhood dream for a more stable job with Bernadette. But even after 12 years on the air, fans still don't know her last name before marrying Leonard (Johnny Galecki).
CBS' number one comedy is wrapping up next month after being on the air for more than a decade. This is despite the fact that the show remains to be a ratings juggernaut for the network. The cancelation stemmed from Jim Parsons' (Sheldon) reluctance to return past season 12, explaining that he feels like they've done everything that they want in the show. Before bowing out, however, The Big Bang Theory has become the longest-running multi-cam sitcom, surprising NBC's iconic Cheers with 276 episodes in. With just seven more outings before the end, fans are looking forward to the resolution of several lingering plot points. Unfortunately, Penny's maiden name won't be one of them.
Catching up with THR during WonderCon over the weekend, executive producer Steve Molaro talked about the pressure of ending a popular show such as The Big Bang Theory. And of course, the subject of learning Penny's name popped up into the conversation considering that it's become one of the most puzzling mysteries of the series. The show executive reveals that they don't have any plans saying that "it will always be [her married name] Hofstadter” since they "got nervous and superstitious about giving her one." As for whether the perpetually broke elevator will finally be fixed? Molaro didn't say anything.
Now that's it's confirmed that The Big Bang Theory will never reveal Penny's maiden name, the show can focus on a bigger and more important loose plot point with regard to the character - whether or not she and Leonard will have a kid. Throughout the final season of the series, this has been the central arc for the show's inaugural couple after Penny surprisingly revealed that she doesn't want to have children, while her husband has been dreaming of building a family with her right after they met. The storyline has gone through several twist and turns and it has yet to discussed again after they left it open ended a few episodes ago. Fans of the show are particularly invested in this narrative since the show has relegated the couple as supporting characters in the last couple of seasons.
Resolving the question of whether or not the Hofstadters will have kids is arguably more important than learning Penny's maiden name. The Big Bang Theory fans can live without knowing her surname prior to marrying Leonard and treat it as an inside joke among loyal viewers of the show. But not having a concrete endgame for the couple will be a huge let down for people who have been rooting for them since day 1. Regardless of their decision, the writers should map out a solid ending for the two which should not only be satisfying to fans but also of service to the characters.
The Big Bang Theory season 12 airs Thursday nights on CBS.