When it comes to the amazing characters on The Big Bang Theory, fans have a deep obsession with two couples: Sheldon and Amy (“Shamy”) and Leonard and Penny. While Leonard and Penny were friends with Sheldon long before Amy Farrah Folwer was in the picture, she definitely fit the group of three buddies nicely.
Now that The Big Bang Theory is over, we’re taking a look at our two favorite couples and what made them so great. From special moments to contract agreements that cannot be duplicated, here are five reasons why Leonard and Penny should come out on top and five reasons why Sheldon and Amy should take home the prize.
PENNY & LEONARD: OPPOSITES ATTRACT
You know what they say, opposites attract. And when it comes to Leonard and Penny, no two people could be more opposite. Penny was born and raised in Nebraska where she was the hot, popular girl in need of fame (which is why she moved to California). Meanwhile, Leonard was considered a “nerd” with very prestigious parents, always pushing him to reach his highest level of education.
Penny, on the other hand, never graduated from college. But it wasn’t just their upbringings or their educational backgrounds that made them different, it was their general interests. The two had almost nothing in common besides their love for one another, which was enough to make this couple one of the best on TV.
AMY & SHELDON: HAVE SO MUCH COMMON
Sometimes opposites attract but don’t always work out, which is where Amy and Sheldon come in. These two had so much in common that Amy was considered his perfect match. After matching on an online dating app (thanks to Howard and Raj), these two hit it off as friends before deciding to date and make it official.
The two always had something to talk about and debate on, making them both grow in more ways than one. These two didn’t just fall in love with the way they looked on the outside, they had a deep admiration and respect for one another’s intellect.
PENNY & LEONARD: THEY WERE LONGTIME FRIENDS BEFOREHAND
Although Leonard loved Penny from the beginning, they were longtime friends before deciding to give dating a try. One of the reasons they didn’t work out the first time they tried dating is because she was nervous she was going to ruin their friendship.
After eventually getting it right, they decided to work on their relationship because the love between them was too strong to ignore. It’s due to their long-lasting friendship that these two worked out the way they did.
AMY & SHELDON: AMY RESPECTED SHELDON’S BOUNDARIES FOR YEARS
Sheldon is a very complicated man. Due to his genius intellect and general discomfort with human interaction (especially intimacy), Amy had her hands full when it came to dating a man as intricate as Sheldon. Although she wanted to kiss and hug and love Sheldon time and time again, Sheldon put up a shield of discomfort.
It’s thanks to Sheldon’s coldness and discomfort with affection that made these two break up. Amy wanted something deeper, which was something Sheldon also wanted but didn’t know until Amy left. It’s thanks to their breakup and Amy’s respect for Sheldon’s mind and body that these two eventually got married and began living together.
PENNY & LEONARD: THEY TALKED OPENLY AND FREELY ABOUT SEXUALITY
Amy may have wanted to sleep with Sheldon long before Sheldon even knew what it actually meant, but Leonard and Penny did the deed as soon as they were both ready. After years of friendship and dating, Leonard and Penny were both very open and honest about their lives in the bedroom.
In the beginning, their fondness for each other didn’t translate in the bedroom but it’s something they both worked on until they got it right. Openly talking about their own personal needs is what made these two so close on a level that took Amy and Sheldon far too long to figure out.
AMY & SHELDON: AMY KNOWS SHELDON MORE THAN HE KNOWS HIMSELF
As bright as a man as Sheldon is he didn’t even realize how much Amy had a hold on him. Remember when he tried to break up with her after learning he his mind was slowly drifting away from science? Amy put his mind in a pretzel and made him believe his change in behavior was due to Leonard, not her (meaning they could continue dating).
She also knew all the tricks to get him to be intimate with her. From cooking his favorite pasta with hot dogs to giving him strawberry Nesquick to dressing as a character in Harry Potter; Amy knew what Sheldon wanted before he even did. Now that’s impressive.
PENNY & LEONARD: THEY PRACTICALLY RAISED SHELDON TOGETHER
After learning Leonard and Penny were going to be parents, fans wondered what kind of parents they would be. But when we think about it, they had some practice in raising an unruly “child” with Sheldon. Sheldon may have been an adult genius but he certainly acted childish from time to time, making Leonard and Penny’s lives very difficult.
In one instance during one of Leonard and Penny’s many breakups, Penny took Sheldon to Disneyland for a day of fun. When the two came home, Leonard acted like the stay-at-home dad who was waiting up for them all night. It’s here that we see Leonard and Penny act as two parents with joint custody over Sheldon.
AMY & SHELDON: THEY LOVED EACH OTHER BEFORE THEY DID ANYTHING PHYSICAL
Leonard told Penny he loved her for years, which threw Penny off. She really liked Leonard but did she love him? And was she ever capable of loving him as much as he loved her? On the flip side, Amy also always loved Sheldon but didn’t want to rush anything with Sheldon, in fear of driving him away.
While getting ready for their remix on prom night, Amy tries to tell Sheldon that she loves him. Before she could get the words out, Sheldon admits that he loves her, too. However, just because these two loved one another didn’t mean Sheldon was ready for physical intimacy. It took five years and one breakup for these two to finally be intimate.
PENNY & LEONARD: LEONARD HELPED PENNY IN ONE OF HER DARKEST DAYS
Sure, we see Amy and Sheldon help each other out when they’re down in the dumps or having a problem at work but Leonard and Penny helped one another in much deeper ways. Leonard saw Penny’s potential before she ever saw it in herself.
After years of balancing life as a Cheesecake Factory waitress and an aspiring actress, she decided to quit serving to focus on acting full-time. And as irresponsible as Leonard thought it was, he supported her wholeheartedly. He even bought her a car to help her get to and from auditions. When it came to Penny’s education, he also pushed her to explore it and wanted to help her any way he could.
AMY & SHELDON: THEIR RELATIONSHIP AGREEMENT
While Leonard and Penny thought Sheldon and Amy’s relationship agreement was unromantic, it was thanks to this agreement that made Sheldon and Amy as strong as they were (at least in the beginning). The contract was binding and helped them learn what the other needed, something that was quite hard for Sheldon.
Without the relationship agreement, there’s no way Sheldon would agree to so many date nights or Amy practically mothering Sheldon when he got a splinter. This agreement was similar to a marriage certificate; it legally reminded them of their dedication to their relationship.