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

Penny and Sheldon may have become the best of friends on The Big Bang Theory but they could have also become mortal enemies if it wasn't for Leonard.

For twelve years, fans of The Big Bang Theory watched as many friendships grew from strength to strength. One of the fans’ favorite on-screen partnerships was Sheldon and Penny, who became close friends after the former actress began a relationship Leonard in season 3.

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However, everyone knows their friendship wasn’t plain sailing as Sheldon and Penny got themselves in many arguments. Sometimes fans couldn’t help but question if they would have remained friends if it wasn’t for Leonard since Penny and Sheldon can be quite toxic and immature. Would you like some examples? Keep reading to discover the 10 reasons why Sheldon and Penny aren’t real friends.

Messing With Sheldon’s Spot

Penny in Sheldon's spot in The Big Bang Theory

On several occasions, fans have watched as Penny has teased Sheldon over his spot on the couch. When she first met the scientists, Sheldon allowed Penny to sit in his spot out of common courtesy. However, the more she began to hang out at their apartment, the more Sheldon made her abide by his rules.

Penny, noticing his controlling and perfectionist behavior, began to challenge this in “The Panty Piñata Polarization.” She also made matters worse when she shot it with a paintball, which deeply upsets him (“The Paintball Scattering”). Although she would apologize if she upset him, Penny would use this against him if he did get on her nerves.

Sheldon’s Not A Very Hospitable Guest

Penny sings Sheldon Cooper Soft Kitty again in The Big Bang Theory

Considering Sheldon preaches about the importance of being a good host, he proves that he isn’t very good at being a hospitable guest. In “The Vegas Renormalization,” Sheldon is forced to spend the night at Penny’s apartment after the physicist locked himself out of his apartment.

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Trying to be nice, Penny tells him that he can eat his food in her apartment – to which he loudly protests. When the physicist still can’t manage to get into his apartment, Penny sets up the couch for him to sleep on. However, even then Sheldon isn’t satisfied until Penny gives up her bed. He’s lucky she didn’t kick him out as any other person would have been grateful she offered him a place to stay.

Ran Out On Him When He Was Ill

Penny proved she didn’t care as much for Sheldon when she ditched him when he was sick. In “The Pancake Batter Anomaly,” Leonard, Raj, and Howard ditched Sheldon when they found out he was ill. Instead, Penny is left to look after him after finding out Sheldon doesn’t know how to look after himself.

Like the others, Penny finds him insufferable and is quick to ditch him when she realizes Leonard is home. Although Sheldon can be annoying, he didn’t deserve to be ditched by her because he was complaining. Everyone complains when they are sick and a true friend would have stuck through it, no matter what.

The Prank War That Went Too Far

In “The Panty Piñata Polarization,” Penny and Sheldon went to war after he banned her from the apartment. This all came about after Penny received three strikes for breaking Sheldon’s rules – gaining the other two after she touched his onion rings and another for sitting in his spot.

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In retaliation, Penny refused to take Sheldon’s order at the Cheesecake Factory and disrupted his routine. However, Sheldon takes it a step too far when he chucks her laundry out of their apartment window and leaves it to hang on the telephone wires. Even Leonard thought it went too far and had to intervene before it got out of hand more.

Passing Her Ticket Violation To Sheldon

Stan Lee angry at Penny and Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory

Another incident that proved why Sheldon and Penny weren’t real friends is was when Penny passed the blame on to Sheldon for her ticket violation. In “The Excelsior Acquisition,” Sheldon missed out on meeting Stan Lee at a comic book store signing when he was summoned to traffic court after receiving a ticket violation.

Sheldon soon finds out the ticket is from the day he drove Penny to hospital after she dislocated shoulder. When he questioned why he was receiving it, Sheldon is then hurt to discover that Penny had betrayed him because she couldn’t afford any more points on her license. It’s quite selfish and something no friend would do to another.

Tries To Correct Penny’s Behavior

Sheldon manipulating Penny by controlling her behavior is one of the reasons why he could be deemed a toxic friend. In “The Gothowitz Deviation,” Sheldon tries to modify Penny’s behavior after many of her quirks and traits begin to irritate him – such as her talking too loud or her gossiping too much.

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Sheldon begins to use chocolate as positive reinforcement to reward Penny for what he believes is correct behavior (e.g. not sitting in his spot, leaving to take her phone conversation elsewhere). Sheldon doesn’t even realize what he is doing is wrong or that it could cause upset since he is the one benefitting from it. It’s manipulative and something a person could do without.

Getting Sheldon Drunk For The First Time

Penny and Sheldon’s friendship didn’t get off to the best of starts since Penny had spiked the physicist’s drink. In “The Grasshopper Experiment,” Penny invites the guys to her apartment to help her practice her bartending skills. However, Sheldon refuses to get anything with any alcohol in it.

Penny decides to create her own experiment and spikes Sheldon’s drink when he comes into the Cheesecake Factory and orders his coke. This then leads to Sheldon performing a song from “Fiddler On The Roof,” where Leonard and Penny watch on in amusement. While the scene is funny, in real life, this could cause a fight between Sheldon and Penny since she has disrespected his wishes.

Sheldon Thinks She’s A Liability

Raj's Scavenger Hunt

Penny and Sheldon proved that they weren’t as close as we all thought when he was seen to call her a liability. In “The Scavenger Vortex,” Penny and Sheldon joined forces to participate in a scavenger hunt – arranged by Raj. However, this was not done voluntarily as most of her friends refused to pair up with her.

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To get a final decision, the group decides to pull names out of a hat, where Sheldon ends up getting paired with Penny. This causes the physicist to get upset as he believes her to be a liability because she isn’t academically inclined as the others. If your friend thinks you’re stupid, you’re better off without them.

Putting Sheldon In Uncomfortable Situations

While Penny wouldn’t force Sheldon to do anything he wouldn’t want to, she did put him in situations that made him rather uncomfortable. The worst is when she asked him to keep a secret from Leonard. The first time she did this was in “The Bad Fish Paradigm” when Penny asked Sheldon not to tell Leonard that she didn’t finish community college. As a result, Sheldon moves out because he feels uncomfortable being in the same room.

She also put him in another uncomfortable situation when she tells him he cannot tell Leonard about her having doubts (“The Decoupling Fluctuation”). If she was Sheldon’s friend, she would have known that Sheldon wouldn’t be able to keep something like this a secret.

Calling Penny Fat

The Big Bang Theory Cast Dressed As Justice League

Penny and Sheldon couldn’t have been seen as that close in the beginning since Sheldon was not considerate of her feelings. In “The Justice League Recombination,” Penny became annoyed with the gang when they pressured her into attending a costume party. When they weren’t satisfied with her appearance, Penny stormed off to her apartment.

It looked like Sheldon was trying to be a good friend since he went to check on her. However, instead of comforting Penny, he made matters worse by insulting her – calling her “a beefy gal.” It’s not surprising that she slammed the door in his face as a statement like this would lead to a speaking ban for weeks in real life.

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