Leonard Hofstadter has grown tremendously over the course of 12 seasons on The Big Bang Theory. From his job at Caltech to his romantic relationship with Penny, Leonard has transformed in all areas of his life. In fact, if season 1 Leonard could take a look at how far season 12 Leonard came, he’d be quite proud of the life he created. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t make some mistakes along the way.
Compared to his friends’ accomplishments at work, Leonard lacked the same drive in physics. He was passionate but when looking at Sheldon’s Nobel Prize or Raj’s comet discovery, what did Leonard really accomplish? Likewise, his relationship with his mother and his self-confidence suffered as time went on. Season 12 Leonard learned a lot over the years but there are still some things he’d be upset over.
Hate: Did He Become As Successful As His Friends?
Leonard surrounds himself with successful people. Sheldon, Howard, and Raj all have profitable jobs making amazing moves in science. Sheldon has the highest IQ of the group and won a Nobel Prize, led an expedition to the North Pole, and made numerous discoveries in his field. Raj made the 30 Under 30 to Watch for People Magazine, found a comet, and worked on dark matter with Sheldon. Howard, above all, went to outer space. That’s easily one of the greatest accomplishments any of them had.
But Leonard? Leonard has been published in multiple journals and studied cosmic radiation with Stephen Hawking’s team but as time went on, his drive and attention to detail dwindled.
Proud: He Finally Landed The Woman Of His Dreams
Season 1 Leonard was obsessed with his new neighbor Penny. It seemed like he would never get Penny to see him as anything other than a friend but things eventually turned romantic.
The couple broke up and made up a handful of times, which later became an ongoing joke, but they eventually eloped in Las Vegas, solidifying their love. Leonard and Penny had their ups and downs but they stuck it out, which would have made season 1 Leonard proud.
Hate: His Relationship With His Mother
Due to Beverly Hofstader’s dedication to psychiatry, she used her children in research studies for her books. Leonard appeared to suffer the most out of his siblings and had some serious mommy issues. He had fear of abandonment and his confidence was never high.
By season 12, Leonard and Beverly created a better bond but their relationship was never fully repaired. Even in the final season, Beverly was still using Leonard for research for her books.
Proud: He Had The Opportunity To Become A Dad
In season 11, Penny and Leonard began to seriously talk about having children. The couple always assumed they’d have kids one day but just like their wedding day, they couldn’t decide on the right time. By the beginning of season 12, Penny told Leonard that she didn’t envision herself having kids and didn’t want to have them anymore.
The idea of not having kids devastated Leonard, but as fans know, he and Penny found out she was pregnant in the series finale. Season one Leonard would be so proud to know that he became a dad.
Hate: Cheating On Penny Was Low
It was shocking when Leonard admitted to cheating on Penny when he was away at sea. It wasn’t just Penny who was disappointed in her new husband’s behavior, but Sheldon was disappointed as well.
As a man who pined for Penny for years and fell into a miserable funk when she ignored him, it was out of character for Leonard to even think of kissing another woman when he had Penny on his arm. Season 1 Leonard would have slapped this Leonard for such an action.
Proud: He Was Able To Live Alone With Penny While Also Keeping His Friendship With Sheldon
Although Leonard didn’t say it often, he truly did love Sheldon like a brother. They annoyed each other and bickered like siblings but there’s a reason why they lived together as long as they did. They were comfortable and would rather live together than apart.
However, season 1 Leonard wanted nothing more than to live a life alone with Penny. When he and Penny became serious, his dream didn’t become a reality until Sheldon moved in with Amy but young Leonard would be excited to know that he was finally able to live with Penny while also maintaining his friendship with Sheldon.
Hate: His NPR Interview Almost Ruined His Career
In season 11’s “The Retraction Reaction,” Leonard was excited to be interviewed by Ira Flatow on NPR. However, when Ira asked him about proving the exciting things in physics that Leonard was talking about, Leonard was at a dead end. He admitted that Caltech spends so much money on theories and projects that have yet to be proven. In short, Leonard basically said that physics was a dead end.
The interview caused an uproar in his field and almost had him fired. Season 1 Leonard would have wondered why his future self would destroy his image and profession without a care in the world. Where did his passion for the field go?
Proud: He Finally Gained Some Confidence At Work
In the final season, Leonard was inspired by Penny to take a leap of faith in his career. He hadn’t done anything sufficient in a while and wanted to do some big things on behalf of Caltech. With President Siebert’s help, Leonard became a co-lead on a new exciting project. Considering he had low confidence for years, season 1 Leonard would have been proud of himself for using his voice.
Hate: He Never Finished His Book
In the 11th season, Leonard admitted to his group of friends that he was working on a murder-mystery novel. He told everyone that he’s been thinking of writing a book for a long time and felt inspired to do it now rather than later. Throughout “The Novelization Correlation,” Leonard let his friends read his book but they all bickered on who Leonard was inspired by for the antagonist. It wasn’t Bernadette or Penny, so who was it?
By the end of the episode, Leonard realized he was inspired by his cold and distant mother, which was frustrating enough to make him stop writing. Quitting an exciting venture that Leonard wanted to do for years would have disappointed his younger self.
Proud: His Friendships Haven’t Changed
Season 1 Leonard would have been proud to know that his friends stayed the same over the next 11 years. With him not being close to his family, remaining tight with Sheldon, Howard, Raj, Penny, Bernadette, and Amy would have delighted him. Through all the ups and downs and changes that life threw their way, nothing shook their bond.