Penny’s last name was never formally recognized in The Big Bang Theory, but it may have been revealed in season 2.

For twelve seasons, Big Bang Theory delighted fans with its nerdy humor, wacky characters, and full-length recurring parts. However, one mystery remained until the end: Penny’s last name. As the only female member of the original cast, Kaley Cuoco’s character appeared in every episode, but her last name was shrouded in mystery until a Reddit user pointed out that the series craftily revealed it in season 2.

Fans came up with all sorts of crazy theories over the years to explain Penny’s lack of last name: Penny was a spy, Penny was her stage name, she’s following in Madonna and Cher’s footsteps, and she just doesn’t have one. . The truth is much simpler. The original pilot didn’t feature Penny, but a smart retail store clerk named Katie, played by Amanda Walsh. Katie did not perform well with test audiences, so she was replaced by Penny, whose lighthearted and naive personality better balanced Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki). His lack of last name was nothing more than an oversight. By the time it became a fan-favorite mystery, there was no natural way to reveal it.

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Superstition also played a role in maintaining the mystery. At a 2019 WonderCon panel before the series finale, executive producer Steve Molaro was asked if Penny’s last name would be revealed. He made it clear that it is a mystery the writers intended to leave unsolved, adding: “[Eventually] we got nervous and superstitious about giving him one. “Cuoco expressed a similar sentiment to CBS News in 2017. Although she had “an idea” of what Penny’s last name might be, Cuoco was as in the dark as fans about her character’s full name and preferred it that way, saying, “It’s personal. It feels like a curse. We haven’t said it in so long. I feel like if we did say it, the world would explode. “

Fan wondered for years what Penny’s last name was, given that all the other main characters in Big Bang Theory they had their full names used frequently. However, as Reddit User He points out, it appears that Penny’s last name was actually revealed in season 2, so subtly that most viewers never realized it. In season 2 episode 18, “The Work Song Nanocluster”, Penny enlists the help of the children to start a flower barrette making and selling business called “Penny Blossoms”. Sheldon hands her a package of supplies with the name “Penny Teller” on the label.

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Before settling on the rightful name for the comedy, the Chuck Lorre / Bill Prady comedy was going to be called “Lenny, Penny and Kenny”. Fortunately, the audience escaped the forced rhyme scheme (and named Galecki’s character “Lenny”). The creators traded Kenny for Sheldon to honor Sheldon Leonard, one of the most notable television producers in Hollywood history. The meaning of Penny’s name is unknown, but it could pay tribute to the magical comedy duo Penn & Teller. Teller even appeared in an episode of the last season as Amy Farrah Fowler’s father.

It’s unclear if the show’s creators intended to reveal the name or even recall the mystery package because over the years, people involved in the show repeatedly claimed that Penny’s last name was a secret or had never been known. written. As such, the tradition surrounding Penny’s last name will likely continue, although once she and Leonard were married, she became Penny Hofstadter. However, the fast-looming mailing etiquette seems to be the most definitive answer that Big Bang Theory Fans will be getting one of the biggest unsolved questions on the show.

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