5 Relationship Lessons from Penny and Leonard
The Big Bang Theory has made us laugh, cry, and it has definitely taught us a lot. If you think of it, some lessons from the show are just priceless, and of course, it is the lessons related to love we are talking about.
What helped Penny and Leonard become a perfect couple despite their completely different personalities? What insidious role did Leonard’s mom play in his marriage to Penny? And how did Penny get everyone to like her? In this article, we will dive into five key unexpected lessons from our lovebirds Penny and Leonard.
Lesson Number 5: Chemistry rocks - opposites attract!
Have no idea how to land a shot with your crush? No worries, TBBT offers you a tutorial on it. In the TV series, we see two polar worlds collide. There is young experimental physicist Leonard and there is Penny, an aspiring actress.
Once the most popular girl in her school in Nebraska, Penny moves to California where the two meet. She is a bubbly, stereotypical blonde girl with good looks and a big dream. She also tends to be irresponsible, chaotic and messy.
On the opposite side of the spectrum - is Leonard - a stereotypical awkward, indecisive nerd, he is a shy scientist who is obsessed with comic books. Not a match, right? These two would never cross each other's paths unless they happened to be in the same building. Fortunately, that's exactly what happened.
And little by little, the two absolutely different personalities managed to complement each other, creating a perfect mix of weird, rational, fun and passionate. Whenever Penny had a personal dilemma, Leonard was the one to console her, muse her with his science experiments and add a sense of rationality and organization to her life.
Penny reciprocated in her own way by helping Leonard pick out outfits to events, teaching him “manly stuff’’ such as fishing, and showing him how to tackle Internet hackers. They made each other better by simply being themselves. Plus, Leonard’s quirkiness definitely helped him to win her heart. I mean, what kind of guy brings a never-melting snowflake from the North Pole, right?
Lesson Number 4: Befriend his friends!
Girls know that their friend squad decides on their potential boyfriend. And if they don’t find him worthy of your time - he is not gonna stand a chance. You know if both of your social circles get along - you have got all the support to make it work. In the series, Leonard is the one with the squad: Sheldon, Rajesh, and Howard - each deals with Penny in their own way.
Leonard’s housemate Sheldon had a hard time accepting Penny into their group. Penny was beyond resilient and refused to just accept his crazy rules that everybody in the Social Group followed blindly for the sake of their friendship with Sheldon. Penny crossed the line, however, when she took Sheldon's spot on the couch, and soon after that she was officially kicked out of the Group by scoring two more strikes.
Sheldon considered Penny way too messy and not intelligent enough to be friends with. But guess what?! She was the one to take care of Sheldon when he got sick and even sang him his childhood song to help him fall asleep. Wasn’t that the sweetest thing? Over the course of their friendship, Sheldon gets used to Penny, he confides in her and they share several personal conversations.
Leonard and Penny ended up almost raising Sheldon together - taking turns to drop him off places and supporting him in his most vulnerable moments. On top of that, Penny sort of plays cupid for Howard - not intentionally though!
When working at the cafeteria, she introduces her friend Bernadette to the Group, and after several unsuccessful dates Bernadette and Howard eventually become a couple..and later husband and wife.
Let’s talk about Raj now. Due to his manifesting metrosexuality, he never had trouble getting along with women… as long as they were a part of a rom-com on the TV screen. Raj struggled to talk to women outside of his family his whole life - until Penny. She became his first female friend, who he could talk to and confide in. And she often advised him on relationships and love matters.
Penny’s presence brought many positive changes to the guys' lives, becoming their real-life Agony Aunt and most importantly, an integral part of their Social Group. She was able to deal with the never-ending pickup lines from Howard, Sheldon’s obnoxious habits and quirks, and even became besties with Sheldon’s girlfriend, Amy. The new squad has been formed!
Lesson Number 3: Together Through Thin and Thick!
What The Big Bang Theory taught us is that the key to a happy, long-term relationship is to be able to be genuinely supportive of your partner's choices, especially career-wise. We have mentioned that Penny’s professional path was not thought out very well. Coming from the country to California to land a role in a successful movie proved to be pretty challenging, hence Penny had to work as a waitress at the Cheesecake factory to make ends meet.
Leonard often helped her out even before embarking upon their romantic relationship; chipping in for WiFi, dinners, and rent. And none of it went unnoticed. When she landed her first role in a commercial, she used her paycheck to give back to Leonard and Sheldon and bought them the mint edition Spock collectibles.
After that, Penny decided to focus on her acting full-time and quit her job waitressing. Leonard called the decision irresponsible and warned Penny of the possible financial risks. And he was right! Penny managed to get into the acting industry but her career began to flop. Penny was devastated and hit rock bottom - her car broke down and she couldn’t go to auditions.
When she thought she might have to go back to waitressing, her loving boyfriend came to the rescue. Leonard bought her a car so she could continue acting and encouraged her not to give up on her dream no matter what. I mean that is the support in life we all need! Leonard being there for Penny, when nobody else was, is priceless, and that is why their relationship is never-ending, despite its ups and downs.
Lesson Number 2: Get the Mom as an Ally!
Remember this: a fling easily turns into a serious, committed relationship if you become your partner's mom's favorite! If you want to be together for long, you better get her on your side!
Throughout the series, Leonard's relationship with his mom Beverly Hofstadter is portrayed as toxic, traumatic and turbulent for him. Since his mother is a famous neuroscientist, he was always overshadowed by his parents’ success and scarred by his mom’s social experiments on him.
Having been belittled by his mother his whole life, Leonard believes Beverly is a cold-blooded woman with whom nobody could get along. Plot twist! Penny unintentionally becomes besties with Leonard’s mom, which lands her a spot in the family. It did not happen instantly however - far from it actually.
When they met for the first time, it took Beverly five minutes to discover Penny’s issues with her father - making Penny burst into tears. When Penny and Leonard held their secret wedding in Vegas, Beverly was deeply insulted for not being invited to it.
To redeem themselves, the two organized a renewal of their vows surrounded by their families and friends, where Beverly and Penny finally bonded. After that, the two became inseparable, often calling each other, gushing over news and gossip.
Penny exceeded all expectations and Beverly finally revealed that she was proud of Penny - something Leonard had never heard from his mother before. Later on, Beverly and Leonard had their moment when she confessed she was proud of Leonard for finding his true soulmate.
Penny’s family, on the other hand, were completely supportive of Leonard and have been rooting for him and Penny since day one. Penny’s mom Susan was astonished by Leonard’s intelligence and how much he cared about Penny. In fact, her only concern was impressing his parents and meeting their expectations. If your other-half gets along with your mom - you know, they're a keeper!
Before revealing the ultimate lesson, let us drop a fun fact for you. Leonard and Penny were actually voted the best couple on screen in 2019, which means that these lessons are one hundred percent valid!
Lesson number 1: Forever and ever
What we clearly see is that Leonard and Penny like exchanging sarcastic comments every now and then, and also can’t imagine their lives without one another. Throughout the decade of their relationship, they broke up and got back together multiple times; not even that - they proposed to each other way more than once!
Since they have been sharing the same entryway the whole time, you would think there was no mystery or intrigue left to their relationship, right? Not so fast! Penny and Leonard never gave up surprising and changing one another all the way through.
For a very long time, Leonard was convinced Penny was not capable of demonstrating romantic gestures. At one point he even got into a fight with her for not being thoughtful in their relationship. But Penny showed Leonard that she was actually the sentimental one, keeping a box covered with dust full of memories of them. That included a ticket he once bought her to go home, the rose he once put on her windshield from years ago, and the thank-you letter he wrote her in their first few months of dating.
Gradually, we learn that Penny is pretty adamant about not having children.. ever...only to find out later that the future can change and Leonard is going to be a father after all. But not to Penny’s child. Leonard was ready to become a (sperm) donor for another couple to pass his genes onto someone, which shook Penny to the core.
At the last minute, Leonard backed out and said it didn't make sense for him to have a child in this world that he could not raise with Penny. The two hit a big life-changer when Penny found out she was pregnant. Although starting a family was not initially in the picture, Penny didn't waver. With Leonard by her side, she had no reason to doubt her abilities of being a mother.
The news provides a full-circle moment back to the day they met - when Leonard saw Penny for the first time and thought their babies would be a perfect combination of smart and beautiful! So there it is! A love story we can learn some lessons from.