Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory: 10 Reasons Why Penny & Howard Aren’t Real Friends

If it weren't for Leonard and Bernadette, would this unlikely pair even be friends? Here are 10 moments Howard and Penny were anything but friends.

The Big Bang Theory focuses on the amazing friend group of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj. Along the way, we meet their significant others and closest friends but it’s safe to say that Howard and Penny had the most unique start to a friendship. To be fair, Howard never wanted to be friends with Penny — he wanted to date her.

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Likewise, Penny didn’t care much for Howard; she just enjoyed hanging out and learning from Leonard and Sheldon. Funny enough, fast forward through 12 seasons and Howard and Penny are still in each other’s lives thanks to their friend group. However, if it weren’t for Leonard and Bernadette, would this unlikely pair even be friends? Let’s take a look at 10 moments where Howard and Penny were anything but friends.

Penny Asks Bernadette If She’s Sure She Wants To Marry Howard

Howard does some pretty strange things in comparison to Leonard, Raj, and Sheldon. However, his funny behavior doesn’t drive Bernadette away, it brings her closer to him. After the two become engaged and they start planning their wedding, Penny begins having her doubts about Howard and asks Bernadette if she’s sure she wants to marry Howard.

Bernadette—whose smitten by Howard—exclaims that she loves Howard and doesn’t want to be with anyone else, which is enough for Penny to back off. It’s obvious she considers Bernadette more of a friend than Howard even though she’s known him longer.

Howard Never Respected Penny At The Beginning Of The Series

Unfortunately for any woman who has ever met Howard before he fell for Bernadette, he doesn’t understand boundaries. Viewers have seen multiple women turn Howard down and yet and he tries and tries again. One could say that his one move is persistence.

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Nevertheless, Penny never showed Howard any interest and yet he kept trying to shoot his shot. What he didn’t realize is that he was making her incredibly uncomfortable. Almost to the point where she didn’t want to hang out with the guys anymore because she couldn’t stand being hit on by the one and only Howard.

Let’s Not Forget The Punch Heard Round The World

In “The Killer Robot Instability,” Penny enters Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment when Howard approaches her and invites her to a dance after their robot competition. He told her he’d love for her to come because she’d be the only “doable” girl there. Their exchange only gets worse when she calls him a pig and tells him he’ll die alone. Howard leaves the apartment to sulk, which prompts Penny to check on him a few days later. Penny wouldn’t have checked on Howard if it weren’t for Leonard but she does it anyway.

After the two made up, Howard thought they were sharing a moment and leaned in to kiss her. As you can imagine, Penny punched him square in the nose. Did he not listen to anything Penny just said? Friends respect friends.

She Makes Fun Of Him For ‘Knowing A Lot Of Doctors’

Out of everyone in the group, Howard and Penny are the only two who aren’t doctors. This fact doesn’t bother Penny but it does bother Howard. His ego became even more tainted when Bernadette was given the chance to get her Ph.D., which is when Penny saw her chance to give a dig at Howard.

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With everyone at the Cheesecake Factory, Penny says “So that means, you’re a doctor, you’re a doctor, you’re a doctor, you’re a doctor and … Howard, you know a lot of doctors.” Knowing the sensitivity around the subject, the only other person who mocks Howard’s education is Sheldon. And we all know Sheldon views Howard as an “acquaintance.”

Howard Doesn’t Trust Penny With His Kids

bed rest - the big bang theory

When Bernadette becomes pregnant with her second child, the doctor puts her on bed rest because she’s over-doing it at home and at work. With Bernadette on bed rest, there’s not much she can do around the house. To make matters worse, Howard chose to get a vasectomy around the same time and was also told to rest in bed. With young Halley running around, the two parents needed help.

When Penny stopped by to visit Bernadette, she told them she would take care of Halley but both she and Howard looked nervous and didn’t trust Penny with their daughter. Considering he’s known Penny for over 10 years at this point, shouldn’t he have complete faith in her?

Penny Didn’t Want To Set Howard Up With Her Friends

howard and bernadette first day - the big bang theory

When Penny and Leonard finally started dating, Howard reminded Leonard about their deal. If one of them began a serious relationship, the other one had to set them up with one of their girlfriend’s friends. Penny was not pleased about the possibility of setting up Howard Wolowitz but she did have one friend in mind: Bernadette.

Even though Bernadette and Howard worked out in the end, Penny was not thrilled about setting up a dear friend with a horn-dog like Howard.

They’re The One Pair Of Friends Who Haven’t Hung Out Alone Together

The Big Bang Theory - Howard and Penny

When you think back to the 12 amazing seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Howard and Penny are two of the only ones who don’t hang out by themselves. Penny has hung out with Sheldon, Raj, Amy, and Bernadette all on her own time and enjoys their company.

Likewise, Howard has hung out with Amy alone twice (once for the scavenger hunt and the other at the wine tasting while waiting for the rest of the group) but not many times with Penny. If it weren’t for their mutual friends, these two wouldn’t even look twice at each other.

Howard Hooked Up With Penny’s Friend From Nebraska In Her Own Apartment

It all comes down to respect and Howard and Penny have none for one another. Sure, they both have empathy for one another in their low and high moments but that’s about it.

When Penny’s friend from Nebraska comes to stay with her, she tells the group that she loves to sleep around and can make things awkward for Penny. Before Penny even had a second to notice, Howard was already in Penny’s apartment trying to hookup with Christy. And shockingly enough, he succeeded. Penny ended up having to sleep on Leonard and Sheldon’s couch and needing a new loofa…

And He Snitched On Penny To Leonard

All the couples on The Big Bang Theory tell their partners things that they’ve heard among the group. It’s wasn’t strange that Bernadette told Howard a secret about Penny but Howard used it as leverage against her.

In “The Veracity Elasticity,” Howard used his secret about Penny as a way to hurt her and Leonard. He heard from Bernadette that Penny was slowly moving Leonard’s “nerdy” things to storage without him knowing. But thanks to Howard, Leonard found out and a whole lot of drama commenced.

Penny Thought He Could Never Do Better Than Bernadette

It was surprising to fans when Howard was contemplating signing a prenup with Bernadett but after Howard explained that he was offended and that this was coming from Bernadette’s dad, Penny had to set him straight. “All right, Howard Wolowitz, listen up!” she said. “You sign anything she puts in front of you. Because you are the luckiest man alive if you let her go there is NO way you can find anyone else. Speaking on behalf of all women, it’s not going to happen – we had a meeting.”

Obviously, Penny doesn’t have time to be empathetic to Howard’s feelings…

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