Penny provides most of the laughs in the Big Bang Theory but most audiences are not aware that she could have been a very different character. According to a secret behind-the-scene fact, Penny was supposed to be called Katie. She could have been a tough woman with a soft inner personality.
The character was also meant to be portrayed by Amanda Walsh and not Kaley Cuoco. However, test audiences reacted badly to the initial pilot, forcing CBS to switch up the character completely and gave her a ‘dumb blonde’ personality for comedic purposes. It turned out to be a good move. Secret facts aside, here are a couple of details about Penny that audiences missed in the sitcom.
10 The Times She Was Snubbed By Hollywood
Penny’s string of brief gigs during her time in the series might be hard to keep up with. But the following are all the companies/projects she has provided her services for. In the first season, she briefly works as a bartender. She then goes on to be a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory. She later appears in a pornographic film, thinking she is doing a cat food commercial.
Penny gets close to achieving her dream of being an actress when she fictitiously gets cast in the real-life musical Rent but her scenes never got to appear in the final cut. She also lands a role in the procedural drama NCIS, but her scene is cut again. In the Season 7 premiere, it’s revealed that she had an explicit cameo in a low budget horror movie titled Serial Apeist. Penny later lands a job as a sales representative at Bernadette’s pharmaceutical company.
9 Similarities To Another TV Character
Penny is quite similar to Degrassi Community School graduate Paige Michalchuk from Degrassi. Both of the characters were the most popular students in their respective high schools.
Both of them are also Caucasians with blonde hair. Their mannerisms are similar too. In addition to that, they both enjoy referring to people by random names rather than real names. Penny constantly refers to people as “sweetie” while Paige refers to them as “hon. “And while Penny has shown hints of bisexuality, Paige is open about her bisexuality.
8 She Enjoys Freeloading
Penny has a habit of freeloading. When Sheldon’s mom disapproves of a t-shirt she is wearing, she protests, saying that it means a lot to her because it helped her get free drinks. She also uses Sheldon and Leonard’s Wi-fi, instead of paying for her own. Annoyed by this habit, Sheldon frequently changes the password to sentences such as “Penny, get your own Wi-Fi” and “Penny already eats our food, she can pay for Wi-Fi”.
Penny does indeed confess that she lets Leonard pay for all her meals and movie tickets. She normally tells him that she’ll pay him back but she doesn’t do so since she’s aware that he is kind and won’t have a problem with it.
7 Her Dating Statistics
Penny has had quite the adventure in the dating market. In the Season 4 premiere, Sheldon calculates the number of romantic partners that Penny has had over the years and it sums up to a lot. He does this by extrapolating all the data he jas gathered over the past 36 months.
Sheldon’s calculations lead him to the number 193. This surprises Amy. She wonders whether Penny has gotten intimate with all her dates. To answer this, Sheldon goes on to calculate this too and comes up with the number 31. Penny argues that Sheldon is close but not entirely accurate.
6 Her Last/Maiden Name Is Never Revealed
Penny is the only main character whose last/maiden name is never revealed. When she marries Leonard, she acquires his surname Hofstadter to but her own middle name still remains a mystery.
Back in 2009, series Co-creator Bill Prady promised fans that Penny’s last name would be revealed someday. However, this never happened. In 2014, executive producer Steve Molaro backtracked on Prady’s comments by stating that Penny’s last name will forever remain a secret.
5 Her Childhood Achievement
The other main characters often make jokes about Penny’s poor knowledge of cars. For a long time, she wasn’t aware that her car was a 1980s Volkswagen Cabriolet Mk1 convertible. She also fails to notice the “check engine” sign on her car whenever it pops up. This keeps on frustrating Sheldon.
And whenever Penny had problems with her computer, she would normally seek help from her neighbors. However, it was revealed that Penny had mechanical skills at some point in her life. When she was 12, Penny built an entire tractor engine all by herself, at the farm where she grew up.
4 Her Mysterious Sister
All of Penny’s family members appear briefly in the series, except her sister Lisa. Not much is known about Lisa but Penny has let out a few details while talking to her friends or colleagues.
In Season 6’s ninth episode titled “The Parking Spot Escalation,” Penny confesses to Amy and Bernadette that Lisa gave her her first-ever wax using duct tape and melted crayons. And in Season 9’s third episode titled “The Bachelor Party Corrosion”, Penny mentions that Lisa’s water broke at her own wedding.
3 Love For Games And Sci-Fi Movies
Penny is gifted at both board games and video games. She beats Leonard in chess despite not knowing what either of the pieces is called. She also displays extraordinary skills in playing Halo 3 despite being an amateur at the game. This angers Sheldon who wonders how she did it.
Penny has been heard quoting Star Trek and Star Wars. In season 7’s twenty-second episode titled “The Proton Transmogrification”, she becomes concerned that she becoming too nerdy when she realizes she can understand all of the Star Wars puns made by Raj and Howard.
2 Eating Habits
In the pilot episode, Penny reveals that she is a vegetarian but she breaks the rules by eating fish and steak whenever she wishes. This technically rules her out as a vegetarian but she still identifies as one.
Penny also loves Chinese food but she eats it with a fork instead of sticks, a trait that Sheldon considers her worst. She has done this on several occasions while having dinner with Leonard or having lunch with all her friends. She also has a tendency of double-dipping her egg rolls.
1 She Is Booksmart Too
Penny has mostly been portrayed as a streetwise person rather than an academic maestro. But there have been a few occasions where Penny has proved that she can give Sheldon a run for his money.
In Season 2’s second episode titled “The Codpiece Topology,” Penny educates her date about the concept of Schrödinger’s cat by Austrian-Irish physicist Erwin Schrödinger. And in the fourteenth episode of Season 5 titled “The Beta Test Initiation”, she expertly discusses beta testing. She manages to speak Ubbi Dubbi fluently too.