The Big Bang Theory became a couple-based show by its fifth season, as everyone other than Raj was in relationships that lasted 'till the final episode. Leonard and Penny seemed to be heading the Ross and Rachel route of the “Will they/Won’t they?” trope until season five, but became a permanent couple and never broke up.
Since they were such a long-lasting couple–and the couple which was promoted the most by the show–it’s time to stack up whether they really were the best relationship we saw. Our consensus is split, but you can decide for yourself by checking out the 5 times Leonard and Penny were the best couple and 5 times they should’ve broken up.
10 Best Couple: 'Raising' Sheldon Together
This came at a time when Leonard and Penny had actually broken up in the previous episode, but it highlighted how that decision was more of a spur of a moment thing. Here, Leonard and Penny had constant arguments; however, they rallied through to find Sheldon when he was in distress.
By the end of the episode, they agreed to be there for Sheldon the same way a divorced couple is for their child. They really should’ve gotten back together here, as it showed that they would be great parents if they ever had kids.
9 Broken Up: When Penny Wanted To Break Up
It was really weird of Penny to want to break up with Leonard by the time season six of The Big Bang Theory started, seeing as she had pined for him all of season four and gotten back together with him the following season.
At this time, Penny came across as very selfish, with her calling the relationship with Leonard as a “boring kind of love.” It was as if she was a child who wanted a toy, only to toss it aside when she did get her hands on it. Leonard didn’t deserve to be thought of that way, and Penny should’ve broken up with him rather than string him around at the time if that’s how she felt.
8 Best Couple: Leonard Buying Her A Car And Penny Paying Him Back
At a time when Penny was painfully strapped for cash, Leonard decided to help her out by buying her a car when her original one was too far gone to be fixed. It was a very nice gesture, especially when he didn’t want her to pay him back at all.
But pay him back she did later on when she’d gotten a high-paying job. Although Leonard was annoyed that she thought he wanted the money back, they did get past this problem. It was the kind of mature tackling with relationship issues that good couples need rather than holding one in contempt.
7 Broken Up: Penny Treating Him Like An Afterthought
This pretty much remained a character trait of Penny throughout the series, and if Leonard wanted to leave her because of it, then we wouldn’t have faulted him either. You’ll have noticed Penny liked to get inebriated whenever Leonard brought up his interests or his work life, making it clear she didn’t really care.
Most of Leonard’s smaller problems were dealt this way, and while Penny did care about larger issues, she didn’t give the time of day to Leonard for the little things. It was like she forgot he was her husband a lot of the times; if Leonard was really such a bore for her, she should’ve let him go.
6 Best Couple: Admitting Their Love
Leonard told Penny he loved her way back before she finally said it. He was, in fact, in love with her right from the first episode, but we’ll consider his season three admission as the official one. Penny took all the way till season six to admit to him she felt the same way.
While one would think this isn’t a case of a strong relationship, you have to consider how guarded Penny was in commitments. This meant she was finally able to step out of her comfort zone and be willing to love again after being brushed aside by Kurt. As for Leonard, he got to live his dream of professing his love to the girl he always wanted, and more importantly, he got to hear it said back to him.
5 Broken Up: When Leonard Was Unfaithful
It went out of character when Leonard revealed he had locked lips with a female co-worker for a long time when he was away from Penny before season seven, seeing as having Penny was always Leonard’s biggest dream.
For all of Penny’s faults, at least she wasn’t unfaithful to him. And when the supposedly nice guy turned out to be foul, Penny would’ve had our sympathies had she decided to dump him. It’s a good thing they looked past this, but Leonard being unfaithful was alarming knowledge since he had earlier done the same to Priya; this meant he couldn’t be trusted completely.
4 Best Couple: Penny Making Him The Blanket With Sleeves
By the end of season two, it was very clear they both had feelings for each other, resulting in this cute moment where Penny knitted Leonard a blanket with sleeves to wear in the North Pole. Knowing how awful Penny was in these kinds of things, it was a very sweet show of affection on her part.
Making it even cuter was when Leonard actually did wear the blanket with sleeves. He was seen wearing it in the last seconds of the second season finale, showing to us how his strong feelings for Penny would outlast the extreme cold he was in.
3 Broken Up: All Those Proposals
It became a recurring joke how Leonard constantly wanted Penny to marry him, only for the latter to always change the subject or simply run away from the situation. In the season five finale, Leonard accidentally shouted out he wanted to marry her in a moment of passion, which then made him morph into a kind of jerk during Howard and Bernadette’s wedding.
However, in the following seasons, it was Penny who made it frustrating by constantly either turning him down or making her own proposals that clearly were more damage control than genuine thought. If it were a real scenario, this couple would’ve been heading for a permanent break up.
2 Best Couple: Supporting Sheldon Even When He Was A Jerk
Sheldon greatly offended Leonard when he said any idiot could have a kid and that his Nobel award was a bigger deal than Penny and Leonard becoming parents. This resulted in Leonard being reluctant to stay in Switzerland for Sheldon’s big moment.
Penny would change his mind by pointing out that Sheldon didn’t really mean it, and that they still needed to be there for him. It was a wonderful display of what a mature wife would do, and Leonard seeing her point also made him a husband who respected his spouse’s opinion. Plus, it did end up making Sheldon emotional enough to dedicate his award to his friends.
1 Broken Up: When Penny Revealed She Didn't Want Kids
The finale made a rather lame attempt at redeeming Penny for being very selfish earlier on in the 12th season by making her pregnant by mistake and then accepting it. She had earlier decided by herself that she didn’t want to be a mother and tore Leonard’s heart out by telling him he wouldn’t be a father.
It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are; these kinds of big decisions should be made before one gets married. Had Penny told Leonard she didn’t want kids earlier, odds are he would’ve broken up with her – and you know what? We would’ve been on his side. It worked out in the end, but not informing your husband of a decision of this magnitude was a really awful move.