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Big Bang Theory: 10 Questions About Penny, Answered

The Big Bang Theory didn’t favor character development as it did to its unique setting, and we don’t tend to remember much about the main characters compared to casts from shows like Friends or How I Met Your Mother. There was still a lot shown about The Big Bang Theory’s characters, though, and in case you missed these points of interest, you should brush up on them now.

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On the other hand, if you’re a curious new viewer to the series, then you should look up these 10 questions that will help you in understanding who Penny is. She was the main female character on the show and has had her share of characterization. Read on further to have your questions answered about Penny.

10 What's Her IQ?

Maybe why Sheldon used to give Penny a hard time over her lack of intelligence was because she was proven to be below average in this regard. As far as IQ levels are concerned, Penny scores a low 97. Scoring below a 100 puts a person in the lower percentile in the world in intelligence levels, and Penny falling under this pretty much handed Sheldon a loaded gun.

She does fit the bill, though, seeing as she was dense enough to think the Cold War was fought in winter, and how she didn’t even know how to spell Asthma. She also abandoned her attempts at studying physics, and she instead memorized a scathing version of Sheldon's point of view without realizing it was undermining Leonard's work.

9 How Old Is She?

Every character other than Penny was much younger than their real-life counterparts, while Penny was almost exactly the same age as her actress. When the series began, Penny had recently turned 21, with the show being set in mid-2007 at that time.

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The finale aired in mid-2019, which makes Penny 33 years old by the end of the series. As far as her birth date is concerned, Penny was born on December 2, 1985. It’s crazy to think that we followed Penny for over a decade, and yet she’s still very young with her whole life before her. They could’ve easily shown us several more years of the character.

8 What's Her Occupation?

Sitcoms always have characters achieving what they most wanted by the end of the story, but Penny was the exception to this unspoken rule. By the time The Big Bang Theory came to a close, Penny was set in her career as a Pharmaceutical sales representative, a role where she was promoted to a team leader.

If you’ve lost track or don’t know where she worked before this career change, Penny used to be a waitress, with experience lasting all of seven years. If you’d have asked her what her real career was before Season 8, she’d have told you she’s an actress. However, Penny has officially left those ambitions behind.

7 Who's Her Best Friend?

The show did a bit of a retcon with Penny by showing she didn’t have any friends prior to befriending Bernadette and Amy. Not counting the guys, Penny had previously been shown to have had an active friend circle who all mysteriously disappeared once the female main characters were introduced.

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Now that the trio of girls was made officially the main friend group, we have two options to be Penny’s best friend: Bernadette and Amy. While Penny has been shown to be on even levels with Bernadette, she was seen openly admitting that Amy was her best friend. Despite how exasperated she might get with Amy, she’s confirmed to be Penny’s bestie.

6 How Many Boyfriends Did She Have?

The numbers never lie when they’re being calculated by a guy with a 187 IQ, and Sheldon calculated that, as of Season 4’s premiere, Penny had been on dates with over 190 men, of whom she had had intimate relations with 31 men. Penny was appalled with that figure, but Sheldon’s math left her baffled at the truth behind it, and she had to concede.

Since the Season 4 premiere, Penny wasn’t seen with any new men, which leaves the 31 men as her final number. Granted, she didn’t actually date most of them, but we’ll be counting them as her romantic interests for the purposes of this point.

5 What's Her Education?

Penny ended up making a six-figure annual salary by Season 9, which is an astounding achievement considering she’s had no formal college education. She was confirmed to have at least graduated high school, but never completed college as she dropped out to pursue her acting aspirations instead.

Some people incorrectly think she completed her studies in Season 6 when she went to community college, but this was proven to not be the case when Sheldon revealed in a later season that Penny had dropped out once again. Still, does it really matter how educated she is when she’s eventually outnumbered Sheldon in the money-earning department?

4 Who Are Her Family Members?

Penny’s family history was only alluded to for the first decade we saw her on the show, but this was elaborated upon when she had her wedding with Leonard. Her father was the most recurring member, and Penny was shown to be closest to him. Her mother was still married to her father, making Penny the product of a tightly-knit family.

Although we only saw her brother appear onscreen, Penny, in fact, had two siblings, as Season 1 had her talk to her sister on the phone. Her brother had been hinted to have been involved in manufacturing drugs, which was confirmed when we saw him.

3 What Were Her Most Significant Acting Roles?

At some point, you just need to look back at what you’ve managed to achieve and decide whether your passion is really where you’re supposed to head toward. Penny underwent this introspection, where we saw that her entire acting experience could be counted on one hand.

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Her biggest role to date had been a role in the slasher film titled Serial Ape-ist, where she was killed by a murderous ape. Another credential had her be featured in a hemorrhoid commercial, while she managed to snag the lead in a play held below a bowling alley. Finally, her role in NCIS ended up being cut altogether.

2 How Many Times Has She Been Married?

Leonard Hofstadter and Penny Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory finale

Those who aren’t diehard fans will get this answer wrong every time, as Penny wasn’t married to just Leonard. In a Season 7 episode, it was revealed that Penny had married her ex-boyfriend Zack in a Las Vegas ceremony, thinking it wasn’t legal.

This meant she had been married to Zack for all of three years before Leonard insisted she get a divorce to make the separation official. Afterward, she married Leonard while knowing exactly what she was doing, making him her second husband. It’s both funny and ironic that Penny has been married twice since she had the most issues with commitment.

1 What's Her Last Name?

This is a secret The Big Bang Theory creators seem to be intent on taking to their graves because we never did find out what Penny’s surname was. Of course, she did end up having a surname when she married Leonard and took his name as hers.

This was confirmed when Leonard referred to her as “Penny Hofstader” shortly after they were married, and promotional materials use the Hofstader name when listing Penny. What her maiden name was supposed to be is something that we may never know, but at least the show did give us something rather than leave Penny with just a single name.

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