Big Bang Theory Boss Reveals Plot of 100th Episode: 'It Is a Little Risky'

Call it the “The Moving Forward by Moving Backward Paradox.” For its 100th episode, The Big Bang Theory is revisiting Penny and Leonard’s thwarted romance — and the sitcom’s own origins.

“We’ve been watching over this year how in small ways the relationship was talking at them,” exec producer Chuck Lorre told TVLine Thursday night at a bash celebrating the milestone. “The friendship is going well, but then we throw in a moment where she was drunk and [said] she regretted breaking up with him. So, although it is a little risky, it felt like the right thing to do, to explore Leonard and Penny again in the 100th episode.

“It felt true to the characters,” he added, “that they would want to try again.”

Not only that, but it also felt true to the series itself. “When we wrote the 100th episode, we went back and watched the pilot,” explained exec producer Bill Prady, because “we wanted to circle back to the inciting incident for [everything], which is when Leonard, who has Sheldon  [pulling] him away from the world, meets Penny, who pulls him toward it. So, that’s what we set out to explore in the 100th episode.”

Is it safe to intuit from all this that Penny and Leonard do get back together? Yes, probably… and kinda-sorta. “That relationship isn’t done,” Prady confirmed, “but it’s also not easy. Penny and Leonard have a special connection, but they are going to have a hard time of it.”

So might viewers. “Not everything is quite as it seems,” teased Simon Helberg (Howard). “There are some twists and turns.” However, added Kunal Nayyar (Raj), the outing doesn’t have so many twists and turns that we’ll be thinking, “‘Why the heck is all of this happening? What show am I watching?’ It is not a gimmicky episode.”

“It’s a very weird way,” concluded Lorre, “that the episode plays out. I hope people like it.”

I have a sneaking suspicion we will. What do you think? And are you relieved/excited/nervous to see the show reunite Penny and Leonard? (Reporting by Carrie Bell)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. MaryK says:

    I had hoped they would keep away from L/P. really really hoped. This season they haven’t had any chemistry at all, but then I’m not a Leonard fan. I know it’ll never happen but I do ship sheldon/penny, but when you think about it; because they have fantastic chemistry, I think it would make good comedy if we saw those two clashing when in a relationship. I think in the end it would make them realise they are content because they challenge each other in a good way. It seems impossible for sheldon, but this season he has developed quite a lot. But I don’t think the writers will give us shenny shippers what we dream of! I’d rather penny found someone new than ever get back with leonard. Btw when are they gonna sort out leonard/priya? They can’t just leave a story line the way they did!

  2. Eurydice says:

    I don’t care what they do as long as Penny’s life starts moving in some direction or other. She just seems to caving in on herself, looking all frumpy and depressed, her hair all lank and droopy, her shoulders even more slumped (if that’s possible). I’m glad to hear the writers are going to put some effort into her character – I figured they’d given up on Penny in favor of Amy and Bernadette.

  3. Liz says:

    Not crazy about Penny and Leonard. Always found him whiny and mean. Someone in these posts mentioned how Penny shouldn’t be with anyone on the show — I agree! And for those who think that Sheldon shouldn’t be the one to focus on — originally, the show was about Leonard and his friends. They probably focused on Leonard since Johnny Galecki was more known than Jim Parsons. Jim Psrsons has done a remarkable job with the character — his two Emmys and Golden Globe Award are a testament to that. I am not sure Big Bang would be as successful if Jim Parsons left. He has really brought that character to life.

    I know Johnny Galecki has been nominated for a Golden Globe but why? There was nothing in Season 4 that really impressed me.

  4. amanda says:

    Please leonard and penny have a connection. U can’t change that. As for raj he needs someone completely different. Amy and sheldon are perfect for each other. How things keep going sheldon will keep losing up. And Howard and bernadette I don’t know about them. She is great but don’t know if I like them together.

  5. Nicole says:

    I love Leonard and Penny together, and I agree, Sarah, it makes sense to me too. I’m really excited for this episode.

  6. jenn says:

    Penny and Leonard have to end up together. Like so many couples on long running tv shows, it’s hard to deny the on screen attraction between these two characters. I’m looking at you Barney and Robin! And throw into that Ross and Rachel, Grissom and Sara, House and Cuddy. At least the first two couples did in deed end up together. I realize these are procedurals or sitcoms and not serials or soap operas, but character development still matters and should make sense in the end.

  7. TBBTFan says:

    I like TBBT for the comedy, for the bits of science and general geekery and for the GROUP dynamic. Please… Let “Lenny” rest in peace. They tried it, it didn’t work, they need to move on. I find the “will they, won’t they, on again, off again” crap obnoxious. Make it stop.

  8. Shelli says:

    I would luv to see some awkward sex scenes w/ Sheldon/Amy like doggie-style or Horse-backing style. That would be totally hilrious!!! And Amy would say to Penny,”it felt like making out w/ Amnesia Eric on True Blood” & Sheldon says to Leonard,He had a strange dream that he went back in time & made Whoopy w/ his girl verion of his self.

    But I really hope I luv to would Leonard & Penny end up 2gether. I always think they made for each others. It was very sad when I saw that ep where they broke,because He said “I luv you” but she didn’t say “I luv you” back & she starting feeling guilty after she broke up w/ him.

  9. Roxanne says:

    I am THRILLED that they’re returning to focus on LP! Here’s hoping they can work through their issues and stay together for good this time.

  10. juanito aponte says:

    i’m not one for the leonard and penny relationship. i could care less about that but people please penny and sheldon DON’T belong together. yes they do work well together but sheldon is like that annoying brother to penny. they have that sibling chemistry. also i enjoy the friendship between howard and raj. to me some of the best scenes involved raj and howard. they’re like joey and chandler. they’re best buds lol

  11. Ella says:

    Leonard and Penny are booooooring. Sheldon and Penny have insane chemistry. That would be the kind of risky they should take.

  12. Giselle says:

    Yes! The Sheldon/Penny chemistry smokes. The Leonard/Penny chemistry… well, it doesn’t exist. When I watch scenes with Leonard and Penny, even when they were dating, I never get the impression that there’s any sort of spark between them. Leonard seems like the stereotypical nerd who is rendered catatonic by the hot blonde but isn’t actually compatible with her.

  13. Kristin C says:

    Regardless of who I ship and who ends up with who, I just want Penny to have a frakkin’ life! Drinking and pining after Leonard on every episode is boring. At least with the whole Rachel and Ross storyline they had Rachel develop from a spoiled waitress to an independent woman that had a successful career.
    I want Penny to be something more than the hot blond waitress that Leonard, being the Nice Guy should “win” like she’s some kind of prize. Lorre and Prady can say all they want about Penny having such a ‘important’ role on this show but I think my idea of important is VERY different from the creators and writers.

  14. roberta says:

    I agree! Just because people have ‘chemistry’ doesn’t mean they belong together. I feel the ‘chemistry’ makes for hilarious banter between the friends and it’s their differences that fuels much of the witty interactions. Penny doesn’t have enough incommon with any of the boys to sustain a relationship once the novelty wears off & the day-to-day crap kicks in.

  15. Karen says:

    I love every single minute of every episode. Not one has been a disappointment. My favorite couple? Bernadette and Howard. She needs to haul off and smack him one when he does his macho chest beating thing around her. What a momma’s boy! LOL.

  16. Mindy says:

    Dunno about you, but the Shenny really has the most interesting interactions compared to the “canon” couple…where romance never seems to be around if at all.

  17. Michele K says:

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss Penny and Leonard together

  18. Deon says:

    I agree with pjm. No more breakups with leonard and penny. I’m sorry but for people who say penny and sheldon would make a great couple, are you out of your minds? Lol they interact great but its a sibling type relationship. Anything romantic would be the most awkward thing ever. Like the producers said Leonard and Pennys hopefulness for a relationship is what kick started the show in the beggining and there isn’t a show out there, Friends for example that didn’t fulfill that hope before or at the end, that’s what keeps viewers in love with a show

  19. yassin :) says:

    check this video, sheldon scares leonard :p it is amazing :D

  20. Y P Thompson says:

    The seminal episode this season for me was Leonard and Penny going out on a date that wasn’t a date, and him learning he could state his own opinions and needs without feeling intimidated, and her learning that he actually had a rather strong center to him. The way forward in that relationship, as she tells him, is for him to be more assertive and confident, even if it means that they have a slightly more combative relationship. I like them when they are teasing each other. Sheldon is purposely portrayed as asexual-he is attached to Amy because she is the one being who can speak to him on his intellectual wavelength and at the same time give him some sort of comfort-she isn’t just a ‘female Sheldon’ she is a version of Sheldon if he were to come more out of his shell and begin to express (if sometimes inappropriate ways) his own feelings and desires. That may never happen-but I think that is what is going on in their relationship. The fawning, very crushy behavior we see from Amy towards Penny reminds me of silly girls in junior high with crushes on popular girls-they wanted to ‘be’ those girls while at the same time, knowing full well that they wouldn’t even be happy if they were. I hope Amy will back off from the inappropriate remarks to Penny as she starts to see Penny not as an ‘idol’ but as human being.

  21. Angie says:

    Heck yes, I want to see Penny & Leonard together! If they go slowly this time and make it last, it would be better.

  22. h says:

    The last time Leonard and Penny dated, we found out after that he basically wanted sex from her…and as that was what she was used to from men, it didn’t bother her. If they do go forward, I don’t know… maybe no sex…actual dating for a while before jumping into bed again…. This would be so much easier if I didn’t already know what was happening in the episode. As for Sheldon and Penny, I guess they’re as canon as they’re going to get, for me, their interactions were/are my favourite part of the show – though they’re dwindling terribly. I’d love an alternate universe episode in which they discuss ‘what ifs’ and whatnots. Maybe then exploring that relationship, to satisfy fans, without actually making it happen in well…this universe. Everyone’s a winner.

    Personally, I’d like to find out if they’re ever going to address Amy’s maddening girl crush on Penny. Which has turned out to be my second favourite interactions on the show.

  23. Carolina Uckermann says:

    thats great! I love Penny and Leonard!

  24. Starry eyes says:

    Please people, stop the hate! … On the characters, the relationships and the beautiful people who make this show (actors, producers & writers). This show is great, just because the writers and producers take us on unfamiliar paths with these brilliant characters! It’s lovely and unique especially because it’s about intelligent people and smart humor.. a far cry from all the other fluff we get to see on TV.. So please try and react accordingly. I hope the writers stay true to themselves and the characters THEY created.. and keep surprising us with new ep’s and growth for all characters! With love,

    • Fercita. says:

      React accordingly to what? Online fandom wouldn’t be as interesting if there weren’t disagreements, living wouldn’t be interesting if everyone agreed on anything and stay placidly like mindless drones who are not capable of constructive criticism, and as far as I’ve seen no one is hating here, disliking something or not agreeing with it does not equal hating. People is stating their own opinion and I’m sure writers know not all people will like what they write, they have to take it diplomatically and learn from opinions if they can.

      It’s about what they want to write, do they want to write a good show? A fun show? A show with depth? Or just something light? When they establish what they plan to do then good writing is giving everything an equal development and equal care, and they are not doing that. The give LP so much depth (that honestly doesn’t translate well on the show/they are not conveying the message they want to give) but the characters themselves stay mediocre. What is that? There are expectations, you can’t have people staying quiet.

  25. Inesmilano says:

    PENNY & LEONARD BELONG TOGETHER buuut i think like most of fans that when they’re together they’re BORING >>> I know why…
    PENNY changed too much over the years, now she fits TOO WELL with the rest of the geeks and is only lacking a masters degree in some science option.

    (kinda like the relationship in SEASON 3 of TWO AND A HALF MEN between Alan & Kandi) now THAT’S WHAT BBT is missing out on regarding PENNY & LEONARD.

  26. Caitlin says:

    YAY. I personally love Penny and Leonard as a couple. Penny and Sheldon as a couple is so far fetched. Their chemistry is that of a FUNNY kind and a amusing friendship. There’s no sparks there.

  27. candice says:

    Anyone miss the old days when it was just the boys + penny ?
    as much as i like bernadette and Amy, i wish they didnt have as much screen time, i feel like penny is rarely with the boys now :(
    i understand their needed for character development but…AHH !

    Had to get this off my chest.


  28. Mary22 says:

    LEONARD and PENNY have a special relationship???? PLEASE!!! Are they kidding or something??? All Leonard and Penny have is SEX!! Meaningless sex and that’s it! They don’t have the chemistry to keep on getting together!! It’s not believable!! As friends they’re ok, but as lovers they suck the big one!! Their storyline is so freaking boring!!! C’ mon writers!! You can do better than that!! GIVE US THE SHENNY ALREADY!! SHELDON and PENNY have that special something!! It’s there were the REAL spark is!!! SHENNY FTW!!!

  29. Shenny_lover says:

    I think that the reason why some people say that Sheldon and Penny have a siblings chemistry is because they don’t want to admit that they attract each other more than Leonard and Penny! I personally don’t care if Leonard and Penny get back together or not. It doesn’t make much of a difference. I’ll ship SHENNY until the end.

    • Christy K says:

      They do tease it, don’t they?! Its maddening!!! I think it will happen eventually, especially since they would make a hilarious couple to watch.

  30. mel says:

    There is still over 2 years to go people, don’t freak out just yet. Anything can happen. The writers are teasing Shenny fans horribly this season, the married couple thing, the date and episode 99… but we are still a very hopeful fan base and we wont ever quit. I do not know nor will I ever see anything special or awesome between L/P they are the most boring tv couple to watch and PLEASE stop comparing them to R/R from Friends, other than a science guy and a pretty girl, they are nothing alike. So annoying to compare them.
    I really hope Prady/Lorre explore the Shenny idea sometime in the series, how else would they or anyone know it wouldn’t work, as most people constantly remind us?

  31. meanrice says:

    More Raj. More Raj getting over this asinine cant talk with girls in the room.For God’s sake he’s known Penny for how long and he cant even muster a hey? I dont find that funny anymore. Instead of Penny and Leonard focus can we develop Raj? I so want more for his character than his im lonely and desperate jokes.

  32. TheGirl says:

    I wish more intelligent people watched the show. Anyone who thinks that Penny and Sheldon would have a healthy and romantic relationship clearly needs to get an education. That relationship would be more disastrous than any other relationship ever explored on tv OR fan fiction. The two have great chemistry as friends. I don’t understand why people can’t love friendships on tv or in movies without having to make them romantic. Life isn’t all about romance and sometimes friendships are better anyway. If Sheldon and Penny ever kissed it would be the most awkward thing on tv. Hell, if Sheldon kissed ANYONE it would be awkward. He can’t even hug someone without it being weird and uncomfortable. Leonard and Penny is realistic. They broke up because they both had issues they had to grow from. I think this season has proved that they can’t be friends and that’s because there are feelings. Leonard makes Penny a better person and Penny humbles Leonard in ways his friends cannot do. Get a grip people. If you met Sheldon and suggested that he and Penny date he would get a restraining order after giving you a 5 hour lecture on how it would never work and is completely far fetched. Stop reaching for romance where a perfectly perfected friendship has been formed.

  33. rick says:

    penny and leonard should get back together, i’t makes the show so fun. him speaking science stuff and her trying to understand what the heck he said. Her face expressions are the coolest. and for sheldon he really needs a girlfriend like amy to keep him in mental check

  34. Nick says:

    This is how I hope and think it will all play out:
    Leonard with Penny; the creators of the show wouldn’t keep them apart if they’ve had a connection since the pilot.
    Howard with Bernadette; obviously because Bernadette is the only one who will give Howard a chance.
    Sheldon with Amy; I think Sheldon will eventually come out of his creepy little shell a little and at least have a slight romantic relationship with Amy.
    Raj with New Character; I think Raj may find someone exactly like him, a shy indian girl who cant talk to guys and theyll bring out the best in each other.
    And then Im sure Priya will get back together with her ex from India but I never liked Priya all that much anyway.

  35. Sheldork says:

    go follow @sheldorks on twitter

  36. LS1Squidley says:

    I agree with the statement “As much as these two have had their friction, I don’t think they could survive without one another.” Now the only thing to do is develop their Relationship Agreement.

  37. Gina says:

    I think Sheldon should be with Amy and Lenard should be with Penny. I’m new to the show so I am still learning the characters. I have been watching up to 6 episodes a day on DVR. I love the show and I hope it stays around for a while.

  38. Perla LaGadeon says:

    Hurraa – Sie kriegen sich wieder. Da freue ich mich jetzt schon drauf.
    Ehrlich! Ganz toll… Schließlich warte ich da schon seit 2 Staffeln wie verrückt drauf. Bin ein ganz großer Fan.

  39. Christy K says:

    Sorry, maybe I am in the minority, but I love the idea of Sheldon and Penny together!
    They share a great dealmof sexual tension, and romantic chemistry, not sibling-like at all. Honestly, I have watched every episode, and it looks like the writers have been setting up them up for the future. Oh, it will happen!

    They feed off each other, and open each other up to new possibilities. This whole “sheldon is asexual” thing is ridiculous! I also don’t see how having them together would destroy the show. Penny would not change him, and if anything, the show would be a little more exciting.

    Plus, Leonard and Penny are dreadfully boring together.

  40. Rob says:

    The show works because the characters grow. Leonard, Penny, and Sheldon have all grown. Penny can no longer date morons. Leonard has a better understanding of women and a little more confidence (Priya helped). Sheldon had been trying to learn about people. Lastly, Penny’s dad knows Leonard is the One. He will help. It’ll be Penny and Leonard at the end. Sheldon will finally respond to Amy. This will happen over the next two seasons. I used my time machine so I know.

  41. Amanda says:

    I agree with Tyler I have loved Leonard and penny with each other from the start, but I do think it’s a little soon to be putting them back together. I thunk right now I’m at a place where I’m just starting to want them to date again, so the writters should wait til at least the end of the season.

  42. chuck says:

    You do not understand the show if you really want Sheldon and penny together. There is more of a rivalry then a romance between them, Penny that is learning to be a geek, and Sheldon whom is the biggest geek of them all! Sheldon is to smart to understand human relations, and therefor will never be in a relationship with somebody he couldn’t communicate with. Same goes for Penny she would be unhappy because she would always be corrected by Sheldon. Leonard however cares about other people. He feels love where Sheldon wouldn’t ever since his mi-ma died. I doubt he even loves his mother. And Raj as the boyfriend? I don’t even mean just Penny… HE CAN’T TALK TO WOMEN UNLESS HE IS DRUNK! he’ll have to date a rock star to be able to have a normal relationship! HE COULDN’T EVEN TALK TO PENNY WHEN HE WOKE U NEXT TO HER!!! Leonard and Penny are the 2 that should be. He is calm, sweet, gentle and caring towards penny where the others would just drive Penny insane!

    Disagree, or agree with me… it doesn’t matter, but I have a strong sense of the next thing that will happen…

    You’ll be surprised.

  43. Tim Frazier says:

    The only reason they haven’t got back together is becuase Leonard doesn’t know Penny is in love with him. If they address that, it would be much better.I liked when they were together becuase of how crazy they drive Sheldon. It made it that much better, and just think about Leonard/Penny and Sheldon/Amy on a double date. That would make a funny episode. Its good if they get back together!!!

  44. God, no! says:

    Creators should never listen to fans (or we’d only have horrible shows like Glee). Fans have plenty of wishful thinking but understand very little of the characters’ personality and how they unfold. They usually like to reflect themselves and what they think life should be to something or someone they think they feel for.
    But Fictional characters have their own logic instead.

    Sheldon and Penny together it’s so unrealistic and OOC that if it were to happen it would send shivers down my spine in horror! I would stop watching the show! I don’t need bad quality fan fiction, I want serious writing!

  45. Emily.. says:

    Youre an idiot!!!

  46. nikki says:

    sheldon and penny are the best match and there is something there, you just have to look, after the past episode that aired i felt a big vibe between them. it would be a hilarious and great relationship on screen, something i think there is more hints at throughout the series than leonard and penny.
    leonard and penny is boring. she needs someone like sheldon, who completes her and she for him. i could give a 100 reasons or more why they are perfect but its not the time or place. however… l/p just need to move on already. i am bored with this idea just reading this

  47. laurellestars says:

    I’m so sick of seeing Leonard and Penny off and on and off again, I like Lenny but I hate being yanked around like that! I hope they define that messy relationship this season.

    If Lenny doesn’t work out, I’m ready to see Shenny. Those two have sooooo much chemistry and Sheldon keeps getting growing as a person in every season, so I think Shenny would work out well in the end.

    I can’t stand seeing Sheldon with Amy, I feel those two are gonna destroy each other because they BOTH lack emotional maturity and their friends won’t always be there to help them solve their problems.

  48. BF says:

    I keep hoping Leonard and Penny get back together. They were fabulous.

  49. DBOgre says:

    I believe that Leonard and Penny should be together, and the conflicts they encounter should make their relationship that more solid. Penny should continue to drag Sheldon back into the human race, but not as a romantic relationship. And I believe that Raj needs to find a girl who likes a “strong, silent type”; perhaps one who is totally against alcohol? That could be a very amusing source of relationship conflict, imho. Especially if she insists on talking (not taking) their relationship into reality. Just my $0.02.

    ({Knock(3)+$0.01} * 3) = my favorite T-shirt

  50. Liz says:

    Yes yes yes! Leonard and penny are so meant to be together they have so much chemistry and Leonard deserves to get together with penny for good, I really hope they do it would perfect the show for me. Penny has chemistry with sheldon but not as a boyfriend, besides his character isn’t capable Of providing a meaningful relationship. It seems right too that penny still lists after Leonard my only frustration is that they don’t hurry up and get it on for good!