Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory: Penny’s 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Story Arcs

The OG girl in The Big Bang Theory gang, Penny, had plenty of hilarious and wholesome storylines...and some terrible arcs as well.

The Big Bang Theory won over the hearts of millions with its 12 seasons on air from 2007, and at the beginning of the show. before the introduction of Amy and Bernadette, the cast was pretty male-dominated apart from one main character – Penny. Then working at the Cheesecake Factory, Penny was an aspiring actress trying to live out her dream in California.

As a typical farm-raised girl, who loves beer and football, the nerdy scientists didn’t seem like they’d mesh with her, but over the years she managed to form great friendships with them all, particularly with Sheldon and her eventual husband Leonard. As one of the most important and significant characters in the show, Penny has had plenty of interesting storylines, but some terrible ones too.

Worst: The Star Of Serial Ape-Ist

An example of Penny's acting career on The Big Bang Theory.

Throughout the show, Penny’s dream had always been to become a Hollywood actress. After all, that’s why she moved to California in the very first episode. Many fans were rooting for her to accomplish her dream career and couldn’t wait to see her first acting role, but, unfortunately, would have been let down by the show’s choice.

After working for the Cheesecake Factory for a while, Penny was given a leading role in the low-budget film Serial Ape-Ist. In what was an embarrassingly bad movie and role for her, viewers were left wondering why the sub-plot was even included when nothing good was ever going to come from it, especially for Penny’s acting career.

Best: Sheldon And Penny

When we were first introduced to Sheldon and Penny, no one could predict the friendship that would form between them. While the pair were polar opposites in many aspects and had absolutely nothing in common in terms of interests or beliefs, the two had one of the most unique relationships in the series.

In typical Sheldon fashion, he took every opportunity to make fun of Penny’s intelligence, but that didn’t mean he didn’t care about her. In fact, apart from perhaps Leonard, Penny was probably her closest friend by the show’s finale. Penny was there during his break up with Amy, Sheldon helped Penny when she broke her arm, and most importantly, Penny sang soft kitty to Sheldon!

Worst: Penny’s Career Change

Whilst many viewers were rooting for Penny to be a successful actress, after a few minor roles in films like Serial Ape-Ist and some commercials, the writers decided that she would have a change of heart and no longer follow her dreams. So, in a drastic change, Penny decided acting wasn’t the career for her and, thanks to Bernadette, got herself a new job as a pharmaceutical sales rep.

RELATED: The Big Bang Theory: Ranking Penny’s Jobs By Income

Finally, Penny was doing something she was good at and was making a good amount of money, more than Leonard actually. But it still disappointed many fans to see someone give up on their dreams so early and settle for a job just because of the money and security.

Best: Her Friendship With Amy

In another lovely friendship, Penny became extremely close with someone who, again, doesn’t really seem her type. The most important and the best part of their friendship is the impact they both had on each other’s life and personality. For example, before meeting Penny, Amy didn’t have the best social life or one at all, but this all changed with Penny and helped her have a good core group of friends.

Furthermore, Amy also had a good influence on Penny, helping her settle down. Let’s also not forget that special painting of them both, which is the ultimate sign of friendship goals.

Worst: Penny’s Drinking Problem

Penny Drinking wine in her living room on TBBT

In the early seasons, Penny was a lively and bubbly character who was always up for a good night out, but as the seasons progressed and she settled down with Leonard, this became a thing of the past, but her drinking carried on. While the show never confirmed or even acknowledged it, Penny was almost always seen with a glass of red in her hand after her days at work and some fans have speculated that this might be something a little more.

Even though it was obvious she was in love with Leonard, the spark in their relationship seemed to fade as the show neared its end, and consequently, Penny may have picked up a bad drinking habit, which many fans hope isn’t the case.

Best: Penny and Zack

After meeting at the Cheesecake Factory, the on and off again couple Zack and Penny was a bright spark in the show. We all knew they weren’t perfect for each other, and yes, it did delay Leonard and Penny finally getting together, but Zack was such a lovely, kind-hearted character. Whilst not being as intelligent as the other boys of the show, Zack was the perfect friend for Penny.

RELATED: Big Bang Theory: Every Relationship Ranked (& How Long They Lasted)

Despite constant mockery by the scientists for not being as smart as them, he never seemed to get down and was nice to everyone, maybe apart from the odd storyline where he asked Leonard to conceive his child, making him one of the show’s most likable characters.

Worst: Dating Stuart

In what seemed to be an extremely weird turn of events, Stuart asks Penny out on a date, and in an even weirder turn of events, she says yes. While Penny is usually seen dating jocks and muscular men, she was going out with a goofy comic book store owner – was this a glimmer of hope for Leonard? Well, he didn’t think so and tried to purposefully ruin their date, giving Stuart some bad advice.

Luckily for the adorable Stuart, both dates went fine with Penny and even ended with the two making out, but unfortunately for him, the night ended with Penny calling him Leonard. Fans knew from minute one he was definitely not her type, which makes us wonder whether the relationship had any point whatsoever.

Best: Comforting Raj

Raj and Penny look shocked after sleeping together on TBBT

When the guys first met Penny, all of them, apart from Sheldon, were obsessed. Leonard had fallen in love at first sight, Howard was his usual creepy self, and Raj was desperate for a girlfriend in general. But, as Raj and Penny got closer and became good friends, their relationship actually became quite sweet.

Penny was always there for him whenever he was down, she helped him get over his selective mutism, and at every opportunity helped him with all his girl troubles. Who doesn’t remember that season 6 finale where he finally talks to girls without alcohol? They were always there for each other and proved to be great friends.

Worst: Pregnancy Flip-Flop

Penny tells Leonard she's pregnant in TBBT

Even though fans weren’t one hundred percent happy with Penny’s career path change, it did show her becoming more independent and living a successful life for herself. She was financially stable, she had a long-term relationship with Leonard, and it seemed like she could accomplish anything she wanted in life.

RELATED: The Big Bang Theory: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Leonard And Penny’s Relationship

One of the things she persistently didn’t want in life, however, was children. Throughout the show, she had always been adamant against children and starting a family, but after Leonard pressuring her time and time again, in the show’s finale Penny announced to millions of viewers that she was pregnant, which made the whole plot pointless thanks to the sudden change at the end.

Best: Leonard

Penny and Leonard Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory

Despite their ups and downs, the pregnancy dilemma, and their flame seemingly burning out towards the latter end of the show, Leonard and Penny were quite clearly in love with each other, and almost all fans were glad to see them finally getting together. In a typical will they won’t they relationship, it took a while for the two to finally get together.

They both dated others, and some pretty bad ones at that, they both had mixed feelings but maintained a strong bond and friendship through it all, and when they finally got together, fans were absolutely delighted. It was a bright spark for the show, and we’re glad they stayed together until the very end.

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