Big Bang Theory Scoop! Things Get 'Messy' for Leonard and Penny, Plus More Nerdy Fun

When last we geeked out with CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Leonard watched Penny do the Walk of Shame — away from his own bedroom, in fact, where she had comically (and very drunkenly) slept with Raj.

Though that unlikely coupling isn’t by any means a keeper, things will nonetheless be quite complicated for Leonard and Penny when Season 5 arrives this fall — and TVLine has the scoop on what’s to come.

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“Every year, we’ve left ourselves a big mess at the end of the season. It’s fun to do, and we also like things complicated for Leonard and Penny,” series boss Bill Prady told us at the inaugural Critics’ Choice Television Awards, where Jim Parsons aka Sheldon won for Lead Actor in a Comedy. “We’re working right now on untangling the mess we left.”

To that end, although Leonard (played by Johnny Galecki) and India-bound Priya (Aarti Mann) were on the verge of splitsville in the season finale, they will decide to try to keep their romance chugging along — even with 7,500 miles separating them.

“We’re going to put Leonard in a long distance relationship with Priya — and we made that good and messy, too,” says Prady. Couple that set-up with the fact that Penny (Kaley Cuoco) still has feelings for her brainy ex, and the result is “Leonard with two women and no sex,” Prady chuckles.

And as sad as that sitch may be for poor Leonard, it’s good news for fans of what from Day 1 made the hit comedy’s geeky heart beat. “It winds up putting romantic things on hold for a while, and gives us a chance to get back to some good, nerdy storytelling,” says Prady. “We can get silly again.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

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  1. Lisa says:

    Oooh this sounds great!! Looking forward to an extra-nerdy next season.

    • darclyte says:

      This show always makes me feel so White and Nerdy. As much as I love the theme song, I’d love to see the cast do a version of Weird Al’s tune. Click my name for Al’s video.

  2. Matt says:

    More Amy Farrah Fowler please!!!!! Can’t get enough of her.

  3. jw says:

    Maybe we’ll get some better Leonard stories. Last season didn’t treat him very well…he was just kind of the snarky side-kick.

  4. Alex says:

    Bring on the “good, nerdy storytelling”! I feel like that got a bit lost at the end of last season and am looking forward to it coming back.

  5. Ahava says:

    No no no. Leonard with Penny is very tired. There’s no real chemistry there no matter how much they try to force it. Just let the romance be for a while! Let Howard and Bernadette become this show’s Marshall and Lily. Leonard and Penny are like Ted and Robin: okay at first, but it doesn’t work out in the long run. Take a hint from HIMYM and capitalize on the unique chemistry between Penny and Sheldon…

    • Alex says:

      So does that make Sheldon Barney then? Interesting analogy.

      • Ahava says:

        They *are* the breakout characters of their respective shows. And the most quirky, and the ones who would never be in a relationship, etc.

        • jenna says:

          and I think they should continue to not be in a relationship. I feel like throwing them together would ruin the dynamic between the two

          • Trevor says:

            Personally I love the idea of Barney and Sheldon together. Oh? That’s not what you meant? Well, I STILL love the idea!

      • coleman889 says:

        They both provide a weird dynamic for the group and the show itself.

    • Nell says:

      Huh? I for one would NOT like this show to become ANYTHING like HIMYM. Bad idea all round.

      • Ahava says:

        Oh, neither do I. I was just using the relationship dynamics as a comparison, because HIMYM definitely did a better job capitalizing on two unlikely characters’ chemistry (and then they ruined it). But I agree wholeheartedly, BBT should stay well away from becoming a HIMYM clone.

    • Neite says:

      I absolutely agree with this. You cant tell me it wouldnt make TBBT 100% more interesting if there was some romantic developement between Penny and Sheldon. The ratings would skyrocket.

      • Rox says:

        Totally agree, I miss Penny and Sheldon moments. The kind of moments we had in season 2, in which Penny was a major catalyst for Sheldon’s growth. Amy is fun too, but it’s taken away from Penny and Sheldon a bit. I hope they find a good balance there in season 5.

        Not interested in Penny and Leonard for the most part, they would have to do some damn good writing for me to get into these two as a real couple. I hope they let it rest for a bit, especially after the season finale shocker.

    • squishy says:

      I stop watching HIMYM because Robin (I think that’s her name) goes around and dated all of her friends. That totally ruined the show for me. I started this show hoping it’s nothing like that… and yet season 4 ending, quiet a shocker for me. I just want a good ending hoping that Leonard and Penny will hook up again and STAY together for the rest of the show. NO MORE HIMYM RELATIONSHIP CRAP.

    • Bella says:

      No, penny and Sheldon are not meant to be together, there more like strange brother and sister. Leonard and penny still have chemistry and are meant to be together since the first time they met.
      Also about more nerdy stories, I don’t have a problem with that because it brings a lot of fun and is normally the funniest part of the show, but the writers can’t just stop with the romance between Leonard and penny. This is because the show will get boring and then there will be no reason for penny anymore so she will get smaller and smaller parts in the story as she drifts off into the background as an extra character. This will cause a decrease in viewers, which I don’t want to happen as I love this show.

  6. Amy says:

    Yea for more nerdy fun! That is what makes this show tick. Also, want to see Leonard and Penny together again, but I am okay with waiting. I hope to see more of Leonard and Sheldon’s moms.

  7. Nicole says:

    More Amy! More Shamy! More girls!

    And shouldn’t the title be Leonard and Priya, not Penny?

  8. Joe says:

    I’m confused. Penny is, at base, an excellent person. Leonard is,at base, a stand up guy. He has admitted his love for her already. Merely pressing the reset button on them is not moving the narrative forward. The things I found refreshing about these characters is the innocence beneath all of the other stuff. I think the interesting thing is to investigate what love means for these two characters. If Leonard does indeed love Penny, and he has been willing to face massive boyfriends, and Sheldon and his operant conditioning in trying to change Penny, having him in a long-distance relationship is far from realistic. Make him realize what love means…loving that person, rough edges and all. Penny continuing to dither is merely retreading last year. Investigating how this works is an interesting journey.

  9. Lisa says:

    Forget HIMYM (because I don’t watch it and know none of the references). Leonard & Penny are Ross & Rachel to a tee! The nerdy scientist and the pretty, out of his league waitress. And just like Friends, they tease it in the beginning, put them together and have it fall apart, but keep them in each other’s inner circle, always teasing the idea of them getting back together and just like Ross, Leonard will now be the sad, no sex loser lol. And believe me, I’m not mocking them for mirroring Friends, because Friends was super popular and successful and by all means, run with it. If the series ends the way Friends did, Leonard/Penny fans will be happy.

  10. Ariel says:

    please just get Leonard back with Penny!

  11. wheaton says:

    Tbh i dont want to see leonard and penny get back together, the show is just boring when they are dating, i think the writers should be original this time and have them not get together, at least until the very end of the show.

    • david says:

      Funny thing is that the show had it’s highest ratings when Leonard and Penny were dating.

      I for one am all for it.

      • Fer. says:

        Not true. It’s been statistically proved that the rating on a season is the result of the previous one. Why you think the TBBT had less viewers in season four? I think five million people not watching has to be more than just preferring to see AI. And it’s still saying something, they preferred to see AI for a reason, be it a classic or because they started not liking TBBT enough to see it in the prime time.

        Season three had more viewers because people like Sheldon/Penny, which had great spotlight the previous season.

        I don’t care if you want to get Penny with you writers (through Leonard) but people want more Sheldon/Penny, not strictly romantic, but why not give us what we want if you know you get more viewers that way?

      • Ashley says:

        Season 2 has been the best so far IMO (I’m only up to season 4), and that was before Penny and Leonard happened.

        Season 3 just did have some awesome episodes, but they were all ones that didn’t focus on Leonard/Penny. This is a comedy, and those two just aren’t funny together in my opinion. When they are a couple too much focus is put on their relationship versus the two as individuals have their own storylines with the guys in the group. I’m fine with them ending up together but I think it’s better for the show if they are apart. Just my two cents.

        • Ashley says:

          Plus, like others mentioned the Penny/Sheldon storylines are one of the best parts of the show (and I’m talking about as friends), and when Leonard and Penny were together we saw a lot less of that. The one standout was when the guys went camping and got high by accident and Sheldon had to take Penny to the hospital. I think that’s one of the best episodes ever and it involved no Penny/Leonard.

  12. paula says:

    please let Raj speak to women next season, it’s getting tired and boring now

  13. Molly says:

    Love BBT!

  14. Dan says:

    I for one think it would be more fun to se PENNY and SHELDON getting together. They have alot more chemistry than Penny has with Leonard imo.

    Leonard is kinda weak and I am still pissed at the awful things he and the others did to sabotage Sheldons entire world out of spite.

  15. Joe says:

    I don’t see Leonard and Penny as boring, it’s how they are being used that is unimaginative.Many people liken them to Ross and Rachel from friends, or some other TV show. What would, in my opinion, be interesting is to take it into a new direction. Have Leonard be the man in Penny’s life that does not run away or have an alternate agenda…he has been the guy to focus just on her. The comedy can evolve from the “duck out of water” quality that living in their different worlds would consist of.

    The writers of this show have created a unique character with Sheldon, it’s time for them to get away from the standard sitcom mindset with other characters as well. The couple must either a. get together and then break-up or b. not get together. For a program that has captured lightning in a bottle re new understandings of old prejudices (i.e. nerds are cool) its time for them to break away again.

  16. Ivet says:

    I was hoping Penny and Leonard are done :/ oh well…

  17. Aline says:

    No Priya!! Leonard and Penny much better, the group that has established nerds + Amy, Bernadette, Penny is really great!! Anyway looking forward to next season!!! LOVE TBBT!

  18. un-holy says:

    Yeah, right, they will return to the nerdy stuff. Like I can trust them after the relationship mess of last season.

  19. DN says:

    These producers mess with the core characters, but have no qualms with letting supporting players move forward in a relationship? The writing is getting worse and worse in that regard.

    Howard and Bernadette’s relationship grows while experiencing the bumps in the roads, but Leonard and Penny need to be brought together and then pulled apart? Bad writing.

  20. J. Norman says:

    I don’t care how they (the BBT producers) want to spin it. They made a big mistake by having Penny sleep with Raj in the season finale.
    The idea of the show was for Penny to be (at least kind of) unobtainable to the nerds. Then they hooked her up with Leonard. Not a great storyline, but marginally acceptable. But then they decided that this was not in keeping with the show premise, so they broke them up.
    Now they have the “unobtainable Penny” hitting the sack with Raj. She has simply lost her appeal now that they have made it clear that “just get her drunk” and you’re in like Flint.

    No, no matter how they spin it, they have some serious damage control next season. May be too late. They have ruined the appeal of Penny as the next door neighbor.

  21. Abe Froman says:

    They’ve turned Penny into a slut. How many drunken hookups has she had?

    • Digusted says:

      She’s not a slut, she’s a young adult, and a pretty normal one at that. And you’re a misogynist jerk.

      • grenadeh says:

        That;s pretty much equivalent to the word slut, if your defense is to say “She’s a young adult.” Not all of us are completely promiscuous poor drunken decision makers (which I might add it’s been 4 years, the characters are 30 this year. Not a young adult. Penny’s what, 28? If you go by one year per season, as they seem to have been doing.) Not calling her a slut, and I don’t agree that she’s lost her neighbor appeal, if nothing this just makes her akin to many other female sitcom characters. It’s also not really misogynist to make that statement. Believe it or not a lot of guys, hopefully the ones who would find this show funny. aren’t too interested in “playing the field” or members of the opposite sex who do. It gives off an aroma of failure when you can’t or don’t maintain a stable relationship. Personally I’d like to see Sara Gilbert return, as well as a return to some cameo appearances (though not Sheen of course) like Lewis Black or George Smoot or Michael Trucco, Leonard Nemoy, Katee Sackhoff, etc.

        I’m also not sure what I’d like to see happen with leonard and penny. Frankly I find Priya 1 dimensional and boring and annoying, I’d rather them reuse the Brian George laptop bits some more with Raj. I’d also like to see Raj get over his disorder – maybe they could have a breakthrough with those 2 different experimental medicines and in season 5 he could finally have more speaking parts, as his is mostly physical comedy at this point. They seem to have deviated from the seinfeld formula in the past two seasons and they would do well to return to it. Like recurring sub-plots that develop over the course of the show, that would be appreciated, for day 1 fans.

  22. JWS says:

    Dang, I was hoping we were rid of Priya. Oh well, you can’t have everything. Hooking up Raj & Penny=big mistake. They did make her kind of a slut in that regard. Love the girl group!! Great dynamic there. I’d comment more, but I’d be all day.

  23. Angry says:

    killed the show off, y would Leonard (or any other guy) wanna get with a woman whos slept with one of his friends. i sure as hell wouldnt!!!, a woman who sleeps with a guys friends is effectively killing off any chances she might have of reconciliation. Well done writers in killing off a perfectly good show!!!!! If it aint broke dont fix it!!! fools!!!

  24. C says:

    I totally agree that now raj and Penny have slept together it has ruined any chance of Leonard and penny getting back together but the writers will try spin some bs that they didn’t fornecate on leonards bed and that they we just simply slept naked in same bed without anything going on it will be interesting to see how they try to fix damage but a lot of people wanted to see the tension that Leonard and penny had cause they liked each other now Leonard will hopefully disregard penny and raj as friends and they can go on their merry way. Next season will probably be last

  25. Dee Grande says:

    I started watching TBBT in the third season. I rented seasons 1-2 so that I could catch up. Every episode is funny and so is every character. We especially like Amy F.Fowler and her SKYPE conversations with Sheldon. My husband and I are looking forward to season 5.

  26. Sean says:

    You are all forgetting one thing.
    raj and penny woke up in the same bed….You are just assuming they had sex…….And now so are the group on the show.
    Now we know that penny can hold her drink….But can Raj?
    Because he becomes “drunk” enough to talk to woman after one sip.
    Or eating a mouth full of “brandy cake”…so i`m thinking he could pass out pretty easly.

  27. Evanah says:

    HI! Huge TBBT fan here. I absolutely love the nerds vs. world concept of this show, love the characters (Sheldon is brilliant :)), tagline, theme song, everything. Anxious for season 5 now.

    Thoughts and suggestions:

    Penny & Leonard – as someone already mentioned, bringing them back 2gether in near future doesn’t sound right, (esp. now that Penny & Raj have a ‘situation’), but even w/o that, P+L would be boring and forced I think, if they should end up together save it for the end of the show. Priya somehow doesn’t fit in, so long-distance thing with Leonard is cool, as long as she’s not omnipresent in the show.

    Penny & Raj – Hmmm :) was there coitus or not? Either way, Penny now has a bit more slutty status which should put some distance between her and Leonard. Also, I’d like to see Penny enter some sort of celibacy for a while, because of what happened with Raj, and to kinda sorta ‘find herself’, learn acting maybe? :)

    Sheldon – I have to say I love how he becomes a little tiny bit more human each season :) that has a lot to do with Penny, and so I’d like more focus on their relationship. I’d also like to see them together but not likely to happen (Penny with 3 of 4 friends?). Anyway I like their chemistry.

    Amy – I like her, Mayim’s great. Anxious to see what happens with Shamy.

    P.S. May I suggest shirtless Sheldon in season 5? xD work it into the script people, you know we want it!

    • Eleanna says:

      Leonard and Penny: It would be boring if L and P get back together(during season 3 when they were dating I was no intrested at all and now he’s with Priya anyway). I’d like to see something different, -like Sheldon and Penny come sorta closer…xD
      Sheldon and Amy: I think Shamy is good idea too (but I prefer Shenny^^). In the last episodes we saw Amy and Sheldon kiss, but it would be more naughty(xD) if Amy found another boyfriend(nerd or not) and Sheldon gets kinda jealous… in his own geeky way.
      P.S: I’m looking forward to seeing the bachelor party of Bernadette and Howard. Just how Sheldon will react if he attends it… -.^ -And a shirtless Sheldon would certainly work! ;)

  28. Shamy-Foreva says:

    I want to see more Shamy. I suggest an episode where the group intentionally gets both Sheldon and Amy drunk so they become more ‘human’ and finally make their relationship official and admit to being boyfriend and girlfriend. Tho they shouldn’t have a drunken hook-up, that would be too fast for their relationship. Shamy needs to be dragged out so we can really see Sheldon and Amy grow as a couple<3

  29. Chris says:

    Get Leonard and penny back together they were good together !!!!

  30. charlotte says:

    I actualy really liked that raj and penny slept together i think it was a good twist and for those saying it makes the character seems slutty or is unrealistic to sleep with 2 of the 4 friends i think is wrong it seems a very realsitic situation as she has realised shes lost leonard. I hope to see more shamy in season 5 though i do like the idea of developing sheldon and pennys relationship, it’d certainly be interesting. im glad theres going to be less priya though i didnt really like her character.

  31. Nickster says:

    What is up with all you people who want Sheldon in a relationship??? Most of show’s success is because of him, and to make his character non-asexual would kill the show.

  32. Chantal says:

    The reason BBT is so popular is because the writers know not to give people what they want. We thrive on conflict and heart break. The only people who like “happily ever after” are kids watching disney flicks. Petfect situations are boring. Leonard and Penny getting back together or Sheldon sleeping with a woman would be “jumping the shark”. I hope they don’t change Sheldon or any of the characters. I’m not too happy with the Howard/Bernadette situation either. Love Bernadette, but Howard being a horny creepy pig is his charm!

    Bring back the nerds!

    • Ashley says:

      I agree about Penny/Leonard but disagree about Sheldon. He’s evolving as a character and they’ve already established his interest in Amy as more than a friend whether he’s admitting to it or not. I think him eventually being in a relationship would just be a part of the natural evolution. It wouldn’t be a conventional relationship anyways. He would still be the same nerdy, weird, arrogant guy we love, that’s not going to change. I don’t really think the asexual part is as important.

  33. Tobby says:

    Well, i think Sheldon and Amy should get schnockered at the wedding rehersal. Bernadette catches them making out..drunken of course. Amy bolts out. Sheldon shirtless wondering what is going on as Amy started kissing on him. Bernadette catches shoe or trips and falls down near/on Sheldon. Howard then walks in on a shirtless Sheldon with Bernadette. okay, maybe too much conflict? Either way…Sheldon could just say. I don’t know what it is with women throwing themselves at me all of sudden.

  34. Hanka says:

    Amy should be thrown out, is boring and embarrassing. I want more nerd jokes.

  35. Hannah says:

    Frankly the only relationship i would like to see develop is between Sheldon and Amy. To all those people who dont think there should be any romance thats just stupid. the best shows always have some romance. it provides tension and awkward situations that people love.

  36. soccergirl says:

    can’t wait for the season to start, but they should get penny and leonard to get back together in the middle of the season

  37. Bill says:

    I was a HUGE fan of this show until the season finale, Turning Penny into a SL^T and having her sleep with Raj was just too much and I don’t think I’ll be watching for the first time since the show premiered :(

    • Ashley says:

      Did she actually sleep with Raj? I haven’t gotten as far as season 5 yet.

      But I take issue with calling her a slut either way, that’s uncool. And besides, if she wasn’t a slut sleeping with all those other guys the past 4 seasons why does sleeping with Raj suddenly make her one? That doesn’t make sense.

  38. BLAZED says:

    they need to get penny and Leonard back together just not right off the bat. mean Leonard pretty much fights for 2 full seasons to get penny. then wow you get a half season with them together. to be broken up by wil wheaton. that just dosent seam right. now you have penny pretty much where leonard was when the broke up she’s pretty much in love with its pretty much going to be the first season all over again but with the roles reversed with penny trying to get with leonard like he was with her.

  39. allie says:

    I think Leonard and Priya aren’t good together she seems too much of a snob and too good for him. I want wil wheaton to be in another episode again for season 5 sheldon and his nemesis is HILARIOUS :)

  40. Nick says:

    Where and what site can I watch season 5 episode 1 ?
    Am living in UK

  41. Danielle says:

    Keep Leonard and Penny as romantic interests PLEASE!
    Also, I want less of Bernadette and Amy… The show started with the five core characters (Leonard, Penny, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard) and I think it should stay that way. It takes away, I think, from the show.

    • Ashley says:

      They have to bring in love interests for the guys. Plus, Sheldon/Amy is hilarious. I personally find the constant Penny/Leonard stuff the weak point of the show.

  42. Precious says:

    I want more penny an Leonard!!!

  43. Autumn says:

    I love Leonard and penny together! I think penny and Sheldon’s moments are awesome but not for a couple. I don’t mind waiting for penny and Lenoard to get back together but I hope it does work out that way. Ps I love love amy!!

  44. Ashley says:

    I’m a new fan of the show but I have to say I find the Penny/Leonard couple storline really boring. I prefer when they aren’t together because it takes away from the group dynamic and the comedy rather than adding to it when a large focus is on their relationship in an episode.
    I much prefer the Sheldon/Amy pairing. At least that’s hilarious. Leonard is kind of a doormat, no offense, and he’s the least funny character on the show. I prefer storylines that involve the whole group or Penny and Sheldon (as friends). At least they’re really funny when interacting.

  45. bella says:

    Penny and Sheldon are not meant to be together, there more like strange brother and sister. Leonard and penny still have chemistry and are meant to be together since the first time they met.
    Also about more nerdy stories, I don’t have a problem with that because it brings a lot of fun and is normally the funniest part of the show, but the writers can’t just stop with the romance between Leonard and penny. This is because the show will get boring and then there will be no reason for penny anymore so she will get smaller and smaller parts in the story as she drifts off into the background as an extra character. This will cause a decrease in viewers, which I don’t want to happen as I love this show.

  46. Rodbod says:

    Absolute BBT fanatical fan. Penny and Sheldon, one night mistake and an einstein is created with all the magical mad support mechanisms clicking effortlessly into place. Can you imagine Aimy Fairfax’s ongoing reactions when placed in the role of “Mother?”

  47. AJ says:

    Leonard and penny belong together….. damnit can’t you see that
    they were so happy in season 3….. then penny got scared…. Penny + Leonard was the coolest thing in the damn series

  48. AJ says:

    Penny should get back together with Leonard… they were so good together…. it was heart breaking when the split up……. worst season ever…… Please let them get back together

  49. dan says:

    They need to put Sheldons mom in more along with Amy, But NO PRIYA please!!!!!!!