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The Big Bang Theory: Fans Would Not Want Penny As A Friend In Real Life

Let's be honest: would you really want to be friends with pretty much anybody in the core cast of "The Big Bang Theory"? Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) is pretty mean most of the time and has a total superiority complex. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) caves under pressure constantly and can be deeply inconsiderate. Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) is a huge creep. Raj Koothrappalli (Kunal Nayyar) is ... actually, Raj isn't that bad, but he's definitely not perfect.

And then there's Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a bubbly, friendly, and genuinely smart person who cares deeply for her friends and also doesn't let people get away with tomfoolery. Penny should be easy to like; an obvious contrast to the core gang, she's far more aware of social cues and how to generally exist in the outside world. Apparently, though, fans of "The Big Bang Theory" don't exactly love Penny. Over on Reddit, one thread asked if men would date her or women would be friends with her — and when it comes to the latter question, some fans were pretty harsh. "Female here," replied u/snowbirdie. "I only befriend intelligent girls who actually have a point to their existence, so no." u/Lampmonster1 had a different take: "I think she's a bully. I don't like bullies."

Fans are very divided on Penny

Another poster, u/metssuck, had a very direct criticism of Penny's growth — or lack thereof. "Not at all, maybe if she succeeds and embraces this new job she has, but until she grows up I would not be interested," they commented, referencing Penny's jump from aspiring actress to pharmaceutical rep. u/Somebodycoool agreed, saying, "Nope. Never. She is a bully and mean."

Some Redditors thought Penny seemed pretty fun, though. u/yrddog wrote, "I think she is hilarious. I'd be her friend." u/Desi_M agreed, noting, "I'm a female and I think I'd be her friend. She kinda reminds me of some of my friends as it is lol." 

Clearly, fans are split on Penny, but the fact is that she's an integral part of the overall series. Any growth that the male characters experience typically comes from her, whether she's encouraging Sheldon to come out of his, uh, shell, or helping Leonard learn to be a better partner. In fact, she replaced a totally different character in the show's unaired pilot, proving that her character really is a perfect fit. In any case, "The Big Bang Theory" is over and Penny's not going anywhere, no matter how fans feel about her.

"The Big Bang Theory" is available to stream on HBO Max.