The Real Reason Fans Can’t Stand Penny From ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Every show on television is bound to have some characters people like and others that people don’t. When it comes to the iconic CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, most casual fans of the show would assume everyone hates Sheldon Cooper. He may be brilliant, but he’s also demanding, inflexible, critical, exhausting, and sometimes rude. Despite all this, he’s actually not the most despised character on the show.

Fans absolutely love Sheldon, flaws and all—in fact, his eccentricities make audiences adore him even more. But it’s a whole other story when it comes to Kaley Cuoco’s character, Penny. There’s more than one good reason that Big Bang Theory fans can’t stand the slightly ditzy neighbor next door.

The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

She’s incredibly self-absorbed

Part of the premise of BBT is watching incredibly intelligent scientists try to interact with their average-minded and totally gorgeous next-door neighbor. This reality could play out in several different ways. The thing fans can’t stand? Penny is always thinking about herself and doesn’t have much empathy for others. She’s a little bit selfish and harsh in her interactions with the other cast members.

Granted, they aren’t too kind to her either. But it’s Penny’s sarcastic comments and rude observations that make everyone less sympathetic to that fact.

Fans think Penny drinks too much

Penny | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Using alcohol to dull the pain of life is a common coping mechanism—but some people take issue with how often Penny uses that crutch and jokes about it, making light of the real problem of alcoholism. Some fans even speculate that she does exhibit signs of the disease based on how often she’s seen using and abusing alcohol.

Then again, Penny is in her 20s, and drinking a lot is a fairly common occurrence that Penny could mature past eventually.

She doesn’t have any friends

In the beginning episodes of the show, Penny is seen throwing parties for friends in her apartment, but gradually she becomes part of Leonard and Sheldon’s small crew and hangs out with them exclusively. This shift seems a little strange, especially since she has so little in common with the group besides the building they live in.

Fans find it unrealistic that Penny would have no friends outside of the group. Unless, of course, she’s a terrible person (which she might be).

Some people think Penny is a gossip

The Big bang theory
Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik)| Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

There are so many times when Penny can be found spouting mean things about people behind their backs or mocking them mercilessly. Her behavior is often juvenile and petty, making her seem more like a mean girl in high school than a grown adult woman.

Plus, these are supposed to be her best friends, for better or worse. If she can’t stand them so much, why bother staying close?

The marriage to Leonard felt forced

It’s the marriage everyone predicted but almost no one wanted. Even though a Penny/Leonard romance felt inevitable, the fact that they tied the knot feels unrealistic and weird. It’s not because Penny is dumb and Leonard is smart—which isn’t even true—but rather because the two are very cruel to each other and constantly cutting one another down with rude remarks.

If Leonard and Penny can’t stand each other, why did they get married?

Penny’s character is a stereotype

Penny and Leonard
Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

One of the worst things about Penny’s character is that she’s just a stereotype of a ditz and isn’t that complex at all. She’s just another “dumb blonde” character that reinforces the idea that if you’re pretty, you’re probably mean and not smart. The character of Penny makes feminists really angry for good reason.

The show is ending soon and so many fans will miss spending time with Sheldon, Leonard, and all the rest of them. Just not so much Penny.