The relationship between Leonard and Penny in The Big Bang Theory was a large storyline throughout the show’s 12 seasons. Since the first episode, we saw Leonard become infatuated with his new neighbor Penn,y and knew they were somehow, cosmically supposed to be with each other. Penny, on the other hand, needed a few seasons to be sure.
Unlike some of the other couples on Big Bang, Penny and Leonard were truly best friends before starting to date, which is what made them so strong when they finally decided to give their love a go the second time around. However, that doesn’t mean the two didn’t make mistakes or do things that really put a dark cloud over their marriage.
Fans are happy where the show ended Penny and Leonard’s love story but we’re going to take a look back at other instances in which their relationship should have ended a long time ago.
PENNY SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HIM: HE CHEATED ON HER
It was the shock of a lifetime when Leonard told Penny he cheated on her while they were on their way to their Las Vegas wedding. Fans can easily see Penny cheating on Leonard (due to all the attention she gets), but Leonard!? It didn’t add up.
What’s even more surprising is that Penny didn’t seem that upset when she heard the news. She felt fine enough to marry him that night. Obviously, her emotions kicked in afterward but no one deserves to be cheated on — especially someone with a history as rich as hers and Leonard’s.
LEONARD SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HER: SHE DIDN’T KNOW HIS BIRTHDAY
In “The Platonic Permutation,” Penny takes Leonard’s iPad and asks him for his password. He says the password is his birthday, which she entered multiple times and was denied. The funny thing is, when Leonard entered the password in it worked… His own wife didn’t know his birth year. Leonard played it cool and loved making her feel bad about not knowing it, but shouldn’t your spouse know your birthdate? Especially when she’s thrown parties for it before?
PENNY SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HIM: HE NEVER FOUND HER BRIGHT ENOUGH
Some Big Bang fans may have a problem with this entry. They may think that Leonard always encouraged Penny, and that her lack of education was really her own issue. He never said she wasn’t smart enough; she always assumed it since she was always around “brainiacs.”
However, if we take a look back, Leonard always seems to be telling Penny what to do. With Sheldon, he would tell her “Don’t listen to him,” or something along the lines of “Stop asking him questions.” And when they first started dating, Leonard pushed Penny to enroll in college even though she didn’t want to at the time. When she did enroll years later, Leonard took it upon himself to re-write her paper, even though she never asked him for help.
LEONARD SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HER: SHE’LL MARRY ZACK BUT NOT HIM?
Come to think of it, it’s kind of odd that Penny would marry Zack over Leonard. Sure, she didn’t know it was a “real” wedding at the time, but it’s still the notion of marriage. Drunk or not, she saw it with someone like Zack, not Leonard. This definitely could have been because being with someone like Leonard intimidated Penny, but he had every right to be insulted by Penny’s rash decision.
PENNY SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HIM: HE NEVER REALLY TRUSTED HER
It was shocking when Leonard cheated on Penny, but was it really? Now that we think about it, Leonard never really trusted her. He always thought someone as beautiful as Penny couldn’t have been with someone like him.
This led him to intimidate her British classmate, cause a fight over an ex-boyfriend sleeping on her couch, and every other time he cried about her going out with her girlfriends. It’s sweet that Leonard feared losing Penny, but when in the series did Leonard get over that fear?
LEONARD SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HER: THEIR DIFFERENT VIEWS ON CHILDREN
When Leonard and Penny got more serious, the topic of kids was brought up after Bernadette got pregnant. At the time, they both said they saw themselves having children in the future and would be great parents. But somewhere down the road, Penny decided kids weren’t for her. She didn’t want to put her body through that and she loved her life as it was. For her to flip the switch and all of a sudden not want kids was a lot for Leonard to take. It seems like a big conversation that should have been had with Leonard before she made it herself. By the end of the series, Leonard gets his wish of a baby with Penny but it only took 12 years…
PENNY SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HIM: HE DIDN’T TRULY BELIEVE IN HER ACTING WORK
Penny came to LA to succeed in acting but it never really panned out for her. Her resume wasn’t impressive but that all changed after she got a guest-starring role in NCIS.
With all her friends rallying behind her, they sat and watched the show, waiting to see Penny’s big break. Sadly, her scene got cut, which left her embarrassed and broken. When she asked Leonard if he thought she had what it took to make it big, he said no. The only reason why he back-tracked, apologized, and bought her a car so she could get to auditions is because Penny was devastated. He was probably afraid she would break up with him again.
LEONARD SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HER: SHE KEPT TRYING TO CHANGE HIM
When Leonard dated Priya, she was very blunt and demanding about transforming him into the man she wanted. Penny genuinely seemed to like Leonard for who he was in the beginning, but over time, that changed. She slowly started putting his toys in storage without him knowing, she started hinting about him exercising more, and even asked him to eat more broccoli like Raj did (that one time). It’s one thing to care about a partner’s health, but it seemed vain on Penny’s end.
PENNY SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HIM: HE LOVED GETTING ATTENTION FROM ALEX
Was anyone else disturbed when Leonard liked the fact that Alex was hitting on him? Alex was Sheldon’s assistant who tried making her desires known to Leonard but he was too naive to notice. When he did finally notice, he relished in this and loved being the apple of two women’s eyes.
But did he forget that he had a stunning girlfriend that he spent the past 5+ years trying to convince to date him? Does this mean that when other women (that aren’t friends with his friends) hit on Leonard he acts on his emotions because he’s not used to getting the attention?
LEONARD SHOULD HAVE DUMPED HER: SHE TOYED AROUND WITH HIS EMOTIONS FOR YEARS
Some fans think that Penny and Leonard never really loved one another. They were simply comfortable. They want to be right for one another but they never really fit. Nevertheless, the two have been on each other’s lives for 12 years and have broken up and gotten together multiple times. They were married twice and proposed to each other again and again. In short: these two are a lovable mess and that’s largely thanks to Penny. When they were broken up, she would still lead him on. Remember when her dad was in town and she pretended that Leonard was still her boyfriend without having that talk with him? C’mon, Penny.