Get ready for another multiple part article! I’ve done an in depth look at Leonard and Priya, Leonard and Stephanie, Raj and Emily, and Sheldon and Amy. Now it’s time to look at the main couple of the Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Penny, or “Lenny.” Don’t worry, Bernadette and Howard, fans! I’ll get to those two lovebirds down the road.
When Penny first met Leonard, she only thought as him a friend and had no romantic feelings for him at first. She asked favors of him and visited him to talk nearly every day. She soon became part of the group and would frequently have take-out food with him and the others.
Leonard did take Penny out to dinner in “The Fuzzy Boots Corollary,” however, Penny thought the whole gang was coming.
When no one else showed up she suspected their evening was supposed to be a date.
At the end of the first season after another failed relationship, she confessed she wanted to go out with a guy like Leonard. Leonard worked up the courage and asked her out, which she accepted. Their date went well though, Penny gets the idea that he won’t date a girl that doesn’t have a college degree. This hinders the couple from going on a second date.
In the episode “The Monopolar Expedition,” Leonard and the others were arranged to go to the North Pole for three months. Penny gives Leonard a blanket with sleeves and gave him a long hug, which made Leonard concerned about leaving her. When he asked her what it meant, she said it was just a going away present. After he left and she closed the door, she whispered, “It means I wish you weren’t going” revealing her hidden feelings. When Leonard returned at the beginning of Season 3, he went to see Penny and she greeted him with a passionate kiss which Leonard happily returned. Leonard also gives her a gift of a preserved snowflake.
Throughout season 3, they learned about each other and explored the limits of their relationship. There were some fights like Leonard belittling her for believing in psychics (“The Psychic Vortex”) or Penny not telling him about her letting an ex-boyfriend stay in her apartment (“The Guitarist Amplification”), though there was a lot of make-up sex and a lot of compromises, mainly by Leonard.
In the episode “The Wheaton Recurrence,” Leonard tells Penny he loved her, which surprised her because she wasn’t ready for it.
There was really not much time to dwell on it though. Leonard and Penny had to help Sheldon win a bet against Will Wheaton in a bowling match. Will Wheaton told Penny that it would be kinder to break-up with Leonard right away, which later was revealed to be a trick to win the bet, but Penny had already broken up with Leonard, believing it would help him.
Right after the break-up, in “The Spaghetti Catalyst” the gang “chooses sides;” Team Leonard or Team Penny. Ironically it was Sheldon who was responsible for keeping them together as friends. Penny took Sheldon to Disneyland and Penny and Leonard acted like divorced parents over Sheldon. Watching him sleep after they put him to bed, they decided that they could move on as friends.
In the season 3 finale “The Lunar Excitation,” Penny started dating Zack and later reprimands Leonard for ruining him and destroying her ability to tolerate idiots. To remedy the situation, they end of having sex.
In Season 4, Leonard and Penny’s relationship takes a bit of a bad turn.
In “The Love Car Displacement,” Leonard and Penny have a one-night stand and Leonard thinks they’ve gotten back together, but Penny says it was a one-time thing and Leonard gets upset. This causes him to speed whiling driving fast and results in him being followed by the police.
When Leonard starts dating Raj’s sister, Penny breaks down in tears, proving that she is NOT over him. Raj’s sister, Priya Koothrappali, wanted Leonard to stop hanging out with Penny. Penny agreed to it for Leonard’s sake. But in reality, Penny hated Priya because of that and got upset with not talking to Leonard as much. At the end of Season 4, in “The Roommate Transmogrification” she admitted to Raj she regretted breaking up with Leonard, and ends up “sleeping” with Raj. Although it was revealed later in “The Skank Reflex Analysis” that they didn’t actually have sex.
I always thought that Priya was the worst thing to happen to Leonard. But no worries, Penny and Leonard are not done. Keep your eyes peeled for the companions to this piece.