Leonard and Penny were always the endgame on The Big Bang Theory, but was a relationship with him the right choice? Would Zack have been a better couple?
Penny’s relationship with Leonard was a long-running story in Big Bang Theory. Fans couldn’t wait to find out if they would ever cross the bridge from friendship to romance. And while the couple had their fair share of ups and downs, they eventually got engaged through marriage in season 9.
Before Penny fell in love with Leonard, however, there was Zack Johnson. Penny dated many men before Leonard, but returned to Zack after she and Leonard broke up. Zack and Leonard were completely opposites, but each had endearing qualities. And while she broke up with Zack, who can say that Penny made the right decision?
10 Zack: he got along with all his friends
As clueless as Zack was, he wasn’t a bad guy. In fact, he really liked Penny and treated her well. He even got along with his friends! After meeting the gang for the first time, he became fascinated by their work in science and was also interested in comics. Just because he was a tall, strong man didn’t mean he couldn’t get along with the likes of Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard. If Penny and Zack dated long term, it would have been good for Penny if Zack was friendly with his friends.
9 Leonard: Your Intelligence-Inspired Penny
Ironically, it was after Penny dated Zack for the second time that she realized how distracted her former love interests were. Dating Leonard ignited something in her that made her want a cultured man; a man of substance.
Leonard also inspired Penny to aim for the stars and try higher education. If Penny never knew Leonard and co, she may have remained an actress in distress for much longer than she was. It was exciting to see Penny try something new and excel at it.
8 Zack: his future wealth slipped away for a penny
There are many fans who think that Penny was only with Leonard because of his personal success. Similarly, there are fans who think that Leonard is only with Penny because of her beauty. If Penny really was with Leonard just for his success, then she would be kicking herself for letting Zack go. In season 12, Zack told Penny that he sold his father’s company and made millions. Now he was living the good life on a boat. If Penny wasn’t in love with Leonard, living a rich life on a yacht sounds like her thing.
7 Leonard: he was her sense of stability
After growing up on a farm, moving to Los Angeles from Nebraska, and trying one role after another, Penny needed some stability. He didn’t realize the routine he was in and that there were other opportunities that he was ignoring.
Leonard was the missing piece in his life. He inspired her to do more, to do better, and he was the only person she could trust. Whenever something went wrong in her life, she always went to Leonard.
6 Zack: They had more in common
Other than their mutual understanding of Sheldon, what else did Penny and Leonard have in common? They were the perfect example of what happens when opposites attract.
A life with Zack could have been more satisfying for Penny. I would have had someone who had mutual interests and conversations. They both enjoyed bars, were on vacation in Las Vegas, and both were outgoing. Their relationship could have been more colorful and exciting.
5 Leonard: their bond was unbreakable
It says a lot about Penny and Leonard’s relationship that they were able to remain friends during each breakup. Starting out as friends and staying friends proved that their bond was unbreakable. They put aside their personal feelings so as not to spoil the tight-knit group dynamic, especially once Amy and Bernadette were on stage. Through 12 seasons of ups and downs, Leonard and Penny remained in each other’s lives.
4 Zack: they could have worked together
Penny and Zack met while she was working as a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory and he was the restaurant’s menu provider. In season 10, Penny was tired of being a pharmaceutical sales representative. and looking for something else. So when Zack found her and offered her a job at his menu company, she seriously considered it. She was familiar with sales, understood the food industry, and worked well with Zack. It was a win-win.
Unfortunately for Penny, Leonard hated the idea of her working with her ex-boyfriend, and even Zack’s partner was against the idea. If they were dating, this could have been a great business decision.
3 Leonard: They were always going to turn to each other.
Even when Penny and Leonard thought they were overcoming each other, something always reminded them that they should be together. When Penny had some dates with Stuart, they ended as fast as they started when she accidentally called him “Leonard” while they kissed. Similarly, when Priya told Leonard to stop being friends with Penny, he didn’t have the courage to do so. He adored Penny and was not ready for her to leave his life. Try as they might, they couldn’t separate from each other.
two Zack: It never made Penny feel less than enough
Leonard made Penny not feel good enough on more than one occasion. Although it was not his intention, he embarrassed her for not having a college degree. Nor did he tell her that her mother would come to town because she thought she would not fit in with her family. On multiple occasions, Penny felt that their differences were strong enough to separate them. Zack, on the other hand, never made Penny feel ignorant or an idiot. He enjoyed it just the way it was.
1 Leonard: They were best friends.
One of the best bases for any relationship is friendship. Penny and Leonard were friends before dating and remained friends when they broke up. As time went by, they became closer as friends and earned mutual trust and respect. Nobody knew them like the other. Even if Penny and Zack tried to make it work, her bond with Leonard would have led her back to Apartment 4A.
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