Penny and Leonard were a total odd couple on The Big Bang Theory, so it was a surprise when they eventually got together, even though fans were rooting for them the whole time. Leonard, of course, was pining for Penny from the moment he set eyes on her. But it took her some time to realize what Leonard had to offer since he was the complete opposite of anyone she had dated in the past.
Season 1 Penny, an aspiring actress who moved to California, grew up being a popular mean girl, with Leonard being the very type of person she would have made fun of. Leonard spent the series slowly coming out of his shell while Penny became a better person.
Looking back, it’s fascinating to posit what season 1 Penny might like (or not like) about how Leonard changed throughout the show.
Hate: Still Working At The University
While finale Penny knew that Leonard was doing what he loved and accomplished a lot in his life, season 1 Penny might not have understood the passion and skill behind his occupation. So, if she saw that he was still at the same job he was a decade earlier, or at least working at the same school, she might not have understood it.
She would consider that a lack of growth and ambition, not realizing the importance of Leonard’s work for the scientific community.
Proud: Put Up With Sheldon For So Long
While finale Penny totally understood the dynamic between Leonard and Sheldon and had developed her own affections for Sheldon, even season 1 Penny would have been proud of Leonard for having put up with Sheldon for so long.
It shows their deep love for one another as friends, something season 1 Penny had been lacking all her life — she never really had meaningful friendships. Seeing that, she would have been proud that Leonard stood by a friend, even when that friend was extremely difficult to deal with.
Hate: That He Ever Dated Priya
In the fourth season, after Leonard and Penny’s break-up, he began to date Raj’s sister Priya, which caused Penny to realize that she had made a mistake in letting Leonard go. Season 1 Penny would never have accepted that she lost a guy to another woman.
While Leonard and Priya eventually broke up once he discovered that she cheated on him, the insecurities season 1 Penny had would cause her to continue to wonder if Leonard might have stayed with Priya had she never stepped out on him.
Proud: He Finally Stood Up To His Mother
One of the biggest issues in Leonard’s life was his fractured relationship with his cold and unloving mother, who treated him like a social experiment. He constantly yearned for her love and approval, but she would only put him down.
Season 1 Penny, just like finale Penny, would have been proud of Leonard for finally standing up to his mother in the end. While he came to the realization that she would never change, he told her he forgave her and that took a big weight off his shoulders.
Hate: His Indiscretion While On The Expedition
Season 1 Penny would have hated that Leonard lied to her and kissed another woman while on an expedition for work. It never amounted to anything, but he kept the information from her.
More so than finale Penny, season 1 Penny would have been furious especially because they surprisingly still got married after the revelation. The event was tainted by the fact that the vows were followed by a fight once Leonard confessed to what had happened.
Proud: Going To Be A Father
Season 1 Penny would have been proud of Leonard becoming a father, knowing that he was a sweet, caring, and loving person who wanted to eventually find love and have kids and impart his knowledge on a new generation.
Sure, she might have been surprised that she was the one having his baby, not only because Penny didn’t really see Leonard as a romantic interest in the beginning nor did she want to have kids. Nonetheless, she would have been proud of him for accomplishing that dream.
Hate: His Fashion Sense
Leonard’s choice of clothing had always been the same, from his late-twenties to his late-thirties when the series ended. That included his thick black-rimmed glasses, zippered hoodie, brown pants, and Converse sneakers. He always wore various layers, despite living in warm California.
While Penny got used to the way he dressed — opposites do attract, after all — season 1 Penny would probably have wished that he was a little more stylish.
Proud: More Confidence
Leonard developed much more confidence in himself by the end of the series, in large part thanks to Penny — he also helped her grow. He finally came out of his shell, something Penny would most certainly have been proud of. He no longer believed he was just a “geek” or “nerd,” and he wasn’t as socially awkward as he once was.
He stood up for what he wanted, needed, or deserved at work, stood up to Sheldon, and even, at times, stood up to Penny. He had the confidence that season 1 Penny found sexy in men, so she would have loved that he finally realized he had a lot to offer.
Hate: That He Got Her Pregnant
Season 1 Penny was steadfast in her belief that she did not want to have children. She wanted to focus on her career and have the freedom to be without kids. Even season 12 Penny was convinced she did not want to have children.
While finale Penny came to terms with the fact that having children might not be so bad, and she and Leonard decided to take the leap after an unplanned pregnancy, season 1 Penny would have hated the thought of becoming a mother.
Proud Never Losing His Endearing Quirks
Leonard still had annoying habits and quirks, including speaking self-deprecatingly about himself, giving in to Sheldon’s whims and demands, and sometimes being overly needy, jealous, and, in Penny’s own words, even boring. He could also be obnoxious, arrogant, manipulative, and emotional at times.
Leonard still possessed those same qualities by the end, albeit he had gotten better in a lot of ways. And while it stands to reason that season 1 Penny would hate that he even still had an inkling of any of those qualities, in reality, she would probably have appreciated them because it meant he wasn’t perfect. Penny always felt like she wasn’t smart enough for Leonard, so knowing he had flaws, too, would have made her feel better about herself.