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Penny From the Big Bang Theory is Actually the Worst, and Here’s Why

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

The Big Bang Theory aired from 2007 to 2019. It has an IMDb rating of 8.2 stars out of 10, and won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Network TV Comedy/TV Comedy a total of eight times, the most for any network comedy series. The show follows four best friends, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj. They are all very smart scientists and the show follows them as they  mature in life. In the first episode, we are introduced to Penny, their pretty, blonde, and slightly dense new neighbor. The show follows their friendship as well as Penny and Leonard’s romantic relationship. This is truly a great show and I recommend everyone watch it. However, it being a great show and all, people are bound to not like certain characters. Personally, the main character Penny is my least favorite in the whole series. She is even under Lucy (those who know, know). This is in no way meant to disrespect her actor Kaley Cuoco, she is amazing. Penny the character is just the legit worst and these are my reasons as to why. 

*This article does contain spoilers from the show so please read at your own risk!*

  1.  She was unnecessarily mean.

I get it. The whole point of her character was to be the cool, street smart character. She was the most popular girl in her town and she was wanted by everyone. However, I felt as though they could have turned down that boastful side of her a bit. 

  1.  She was immature during the first half of her and Leonard’s relationship.

As of writing this, I am currently only in Season 9, so I have 3 more seasons to go. However, in the seasons up until they got married, Penny was so obnoxious. She broke up with Leonard because she let Wil Wheaton get in her head at the bowling tournament which I felt was dumb. I understand that she had her insecurities about being with him, but just dumping him like that really showed her maturity levels were not that high. 

  1.  Her character was really, REALLY dumb.

I did a little digging, and I found out that Penny’s IQ (IQ is intelligence quotient, which is basically a score from a set of tests that is supposed to assess human intelligence) is a 97. The average person’s IQ is between 85 and 115. So if this is the case, I don’t understand how she was meant to be portrayed as “she was dense enough to think the Cold War was fought in winter” and “she didn’t even know how to spell asthma”. Since the majority of people (I want to believe) know that the Cold War is the war between Russia and America over nuclear weapons. Even with an IQ of 97, she should have been a bit smarter than the show showed. 

  1.  The way she proposed to Lenoard is really unfair. 

Now, this is kind of a double-edged sword with me. On the one hand, Leonard treats her like a princess compared to how she treats him. And he said himself, when she proposed to him, he wanted the full nine-yards. But the way she proposed was so lazy. It was in her apartment, and it seemed like it was very half- as*ed. On the other hand, the first time Leonard proposed was in the bedroom sooo… *shrugs*


THIS. This is the one that takes the cake for me. When she was a struggling actress, Leonard gave her a car. Now, it wasn’t the latest BMW, but it was a car to get her from place to place. And once she got her fancy new job that gave her a company car, she sold the car and tried to give him back the money. Which I think is insane. This lovely person got you a car and you sold it without his input? Maybe ask them “hey, i don’t need the car anymore, should we sell it or keep it as a third car between us?”. It was his money so he should have at least been in the conversation about what to do with it. Instead, she gave him a framed photo of them with the car. Like…great, a photo, but you know what’s better than a photo with a car in it? An actual car. 

These are just the reasons from season 1 to season 9 that I can put my finger on. I know that this show was written back in the early 2000s- 2010s, but some of their storytelling is kind of lazy, especially on the Penny side of the story. However, I still highly recommend this show to anyone who wants to get into a long show that has a lot of seasons. The Big Bang Theory is available to watch on HBO Max
Bazinga!…but seriously though HBO Max has it, go watch it. Right now.

Hello there! I am Yalines Medrano and I am a Forensic Science major at Lasell University with the class of 2024. I am from Peabody, Massachusetts and I love to read, watch anime, and hang out with friends! I am so excited to be involved in HER Campus!