Kaley Cuoco’s Penny appears to have forgotten her dad’s name in an early episode of The Big Bang Theory. CBS’ popular sitcom may have been finished for several months now, but it remains to be as popular as ever thanks to its availability on streaming services, not to mention re-reruns on TV. Because of this, fans are able to spot previously unnoticed plot holes – the latest of which pertains to the given name of Penny’s father.
We might never find out what Penny’s maiden name was before she became a Hofstadfter after marrying Leonard (Johnny Galecki), but The Big Bang Theory did feature her family in the sitcom fairly regularly. Viewers met her mom, brother, and dad – who was played by Keith Carradine. However, it turns out, during season 2 the aspiring-actress-turned-successful-medical-representative forgot her own father’s name while talking about him to Beverly (Christine Baranski).
In The Big Bang Theory season 2, episode 15, “The Maternal Capacitance”, we meet Leonard’s mother during her visit. Known for her ability to analyze everyone she comes in contact with, Penny strikes up a conversation with Beverly. By the time they reach Apartment 4A’s door, Penny spills her problems with her father who apparently wanted a boy, so is still having problems accepting her as a daughter. At the end of the episode, the pair once again goes down the stairs together, and before they could reach the ground floor, Penny goes into a full sob mode, complaining how her mother never did anything to resolve her father’s issues. “I mean, my mom could’ve just said, ‘Bob, get over it. She’s a girl, move on,'” she said in distress. The problem here is, when we finally meet Penny’s dad, his name is actually Wyatt.
While Penny’s father was once again mentioned in season 3 during Beverly’s next visit, Penny didn’t mention his name. His proper appearance wasn’t until season 4, episode 9, “The Boyfriend Complexity”, where Penny and Leonard are finally together as a couple. In this visit, the character’s name was officially revealed to be Wyatt and he retained it the four other times he appeared, including his final appearance in season 12, episode 15, “The Donation Oscillation”. Granted that, perhaps, Bob was a nickname or a second name, but there was no mention of that whatsoever.
Gaffes like this are normal for long-running shows like The Big Bang Theory. It would have been difficult to keep every single detail consistent for 12 years, and the show has had several of these issues peppered throughout its run. Interestingly, however, the change in Penny’s father doesn’t seem to be just in terms of his name. In the season 2 episode, she claimed to Beverly that she and her father have had an icy relationship, but for the rest of the sitcom, Wyatt appeared nothing but smitten and loving to his daughter. If anything, he even appeared to be a supportive father, regularly keeping contact with Penny and supporting her relationship with Leonard.