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The Big Bang Theory Creators Think That Amy's First Love Was Actually Penny

On the Season 3 finale of "The Big Bang Theory," audiences watched in awe as Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) find Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) his perfect match on a dating website. Just like Sheldon, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) is highly intelligent, socially awkward, and shares a disdain for soiled hosiery.

According to Parsons, that was the initial goal of the cardigan-wearing neurobiologist –- to be as similar to his on-screen persona as possible. He told EW in late 2022, "I know at the audition they said they needed a female version of Sheldon, basically, but that's untenable long-term. There was no choice but to evolve the character."

Regarding her relationship with Sheldon, Amy certainly does evolve. In the beginning, she's perfectly content only seeing him via video chat, is okay with having a baby in a coitus-less fashion, and doesn't mind not putting a label on their unorthodox situation. But as time progresses, her interest in Sheldon goes beyond just appeasing her mother. He's the first man that Amy dates and falls for, and she craves a traditional future with him.

However, according to "The Big Bang Theory" creators, there's another love in Amy's life that was actually established before Sheldon. It's a platonic kind of love, but one she's wanted even longer than a romantic connection.

Amy always craved friendship more than a relationship

Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, creators of "The Big Bang Theory," told EW last September that Amy's first true love isn't Sheldon — it's Penny (Kaley Cuoco). When Amy meets Sheldon for the first time, she makes it clear that she's only there because of an agreement with her mother that she'll go on one date per year. While Amy doesn't need a man, she does want friends.

"She wanted girlfriends and a social life with other women because she was denied that as a child," Lorre said. "That was the first breakthrough with her character. It wasn't with Sheldon, it was with the girls."

Thanks to Penny and Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), Amy gets to experience everything she missed out on as a girl, like sleepovers, shopping, and getting to call someone her "bestie." Prady said, "She got to go through the kind of adolescence she wished she could have gone through as a kid."

Much of Amy's desire to fit in was inspired by the real-life high school struggles of the writer and executive producer Steve Molaro. In "The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series," he said it was cathartic to see the pretty and popular Penny embrace Amy as her friend. Lorre praised Molaro for adding this personal touch, noting that it "made it a better show, a richer show, and it opened the door to stories that wouldn't have been told otherwise."