Before Bernadette and Amy came along, the only female lead The Big Bang Theory had was Penny. When she was first introduced to the show, it was easy to see how she could be an integral part of the show. While she may not have been as academically inclined as the gang, Penny proved herself to be the heart of the group as she provided them all with unwavering support and advice.
As time went on, fans also witnessed her mature into a strong and successful woman. However, some will agree that time also saw her flaws get worse as the years passed. Want some examples? The following instances will show the many ways Penny was deemed overrated by fans, but also how often she was underrated.
Overrated: Her Treatment Of Leonard
When the show first began, Leonard and Penny were the show’s main love story. Since the popular girl/nerdy boy pairing is one of the most popular tropes on television, it wasn’t hard for the fans to root for these two. Especially as they pushed one another out of their comfort zones.
However, after a certain point, it didn’t feel like they were compatible with one another. They also began to want different things out of life. Why they didn’t get divorce was anyone’s guess.
Underrated: The Group’s Confidant
There is a reason why Penny can be seen as the heart of the group. Although many have said Bernadette takes the motherly role, Penny can be seen as the most nurturing. If Raj or Howard needed dating advice, they would go to Penny. If Amy and Bernadette had issues over their boyfriends, they would seek solace at Penny’s apartment.
Even when they were broken up, Penny gave an unwavering amount of support to Leonard when it came to his work or relationships. Despite being the gossip of the group, Penny seems to be the most trusted member.
Overrated: Her Selfishness
Over The Big Bang Theory‘s 12 years, fans believe that Penny’s selfishness continued to worsen over time. When the show began, it was clear that Penny was a little self-absorbed and selfish. She often used the guys to help her accomplish chores or to get better things (a trip to a spa weekend, asking them to set up her sound system, etc).
However, years didn’t see this aspect of her personality change. Remember when she told Leonard she didn’t want him to father Zack and his wife’s child? Or when she demanded Raj put her name on the paperwork for the comet discovery — despite it being a bigger deal for his career? Penny seemed to only ever care about herself.
Underrated: Sheldon’s Best Friend
Every fan will agree that they loved watching the friendship between Sheldon and Penny blossom as the years saw it go from strength to strength. When they first met, Sheldon had little patience for the waitress. He couldn’t stand it when she was loud or talkative. However, Penny seemed to worm her way into his heart through her kind nature.
For instance, when he was ill or sick, Penny would help look after him. When he was upset, it was always Penny who managed to cheer him up. To deal with Sheldon’s stubborn attitude, Penny deserves to be rewarded for her patience.
Overrated: Her Lack Of Common Sense
The “dumb blonde” stereotype was one thing fans quickly got bored of. On several occasions, fans have been left wondering whether Penny’s intelligence was used as a tool to get a cheap laugh. Was it meant to be funny when Penny ignored the check engine light? Or was it endearing that she wasn’t aware of the legitimacy of a Vegas wedding? What about the time she went to Community College and she made Bernadette and Amy do her assignments? It was a waste of character development.
Underrated: Her Successful Career
Although she started as an aspiring actress, Penny deserves all the credit for becoming a successful pharmaceutical rep. Bernadette may have set up the interview for Penny but the former waitress owed all the success to herself as her knowledge and charm helped her become a hit in the workplace.
Not only did Penny end up becoming the head of a sales team but also one of the most wanted reps in the industry. All her hard work paid off in the end.
Overrated: Her Obsession With Wealth
Many fans have also agreed that Penny’s shallowness got quite irritating as time went on. For some reason, Penny seemed to think that money was the root of all happiness. When she found out about Raj’s wealth, Penny curses herself for not dating him. When she served the gang at the Cheesecake Factory, she also told him not to cheap out on the tip.
Even when she was making money for herself, she would take great pleasure in the fact that she made more than Leonard. It’s moments like this that make people miss season 1 Penny.
Underrated: Her Compassion
One of the best aspects of Penny’s personality is her compassionate nature. Although she had been the mean girl in high school, Penny is actually the most empathetic member of the group as everyone seems to gravitate towards her. When Raj had been dumped by Lucy, she was the one to comfort him.
When Sheldon struggled with Leonard moving out, she agreed to stay over at his place because she knew he had problems with change. Let’s also not forget how she always there to comfort Amy when Sheldon did something to upset her. Penny knew how to cheer everyone up.
Overrated: A Freeloader
One aspect of Penny’s arc the fans weren’t fond of was how much of a freeloader she was. Not only did she never chip in for the meals the gang paid for but she was also seen constantly using Leonard and Sheldon’s Wi-Fi because she couldn’t “afford her own.” She has even admitted to using her looks to get free stuff.
Then, when people called her out on it, Penny was seen to get annoyed and cause a big fuss. If she stopped lying when she said they were “loans” and showed a bit more gratitude, it would have come off less annoying.
Underrated: Supportive Friend
Out of all the members in the gang, it’s safe to say that Penny is the most supportive friend. If fans do a rewatch, they will notice that Penny never missed out on any significant milestones. Remember when she accompanied Raj to the People magazine ceremony? Or when she attended the annual Physics Bowl to support the boys?
Let’s not forget how she helped Sheldon with his string theory and traveled to Sweden to watch him and Amy pick up the Nobel prize. Everyone deserves to have a friend who supports them as much as Penny does.