Big Bang Theory Recap: Rules of Engagement

The Big Bang Theory Penny ProposesDamn you, NCIS. Damn. You.

What was supposed to be Penny’s big break — a cameo in CBS’ hit procedural — turns out to be a total bust in Thursday’s The Big Bang Theory. The setback forces the long-suffering thespian to take stock of both her moribund acting career and, more importantly, her stalled relationship with Leonard.

Short story shorter: She goes and pops the question! And he doesn’t say no! Nor does he say yes!

But more on that in a moment…

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Big Bang‘s first episode of 2014 begins on a positive note, with Penny enthusiastically announcing that she landed a role on the TV show “with all the letters.” Jump ahead several weeks and she’s organizing a Cheesecake Factory-catered viewing party for her NCIS debut. The entire nerd herd turns out for the screening, which only makes the forthcoming blow all the more crushing. While watching the episode, Penny discovers that her scene with Mark Harmon was left on the cutting room floor.

Humiliated, she retreats to her apartment to mourn the loss in private. Leonard, naturally, follows behind her and proceeds to make matters much worse by minimizing the importance of the NCIS gig, arguing, “You only had, like, three lines.” (Um, I’m going to side with Penny on this one, LHo.)

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He attempts to make up for his lack of sensitivity by reassuring her that it’s the business — and not her acting prowess — that’s the problem. “I think you’re really good — I truly do,” he insists. “But this is an incredibly hard thing that you’re shooting for. The odds of anyone becoming a successful actor are a million to one.” Oof. He then suggests she audition for the new Star Wars movies via a contest for fans. Like Howard. Double oof.

Later, an inebriated Penny pays Leonard a visit and opens up about how she’s been going at the acting thing for a decade, to no avail. “I finally get my big break and it goes away,” she laments. “It’s such a mess. I’ve been out here for 10 years and I have nothing to show for it” When he reminds her that she still has him, she has an alcohol-induced epiphany and suggests they get married. Actually, she more than just suggests it — she gets down on one knee and flat-out proposes it. The question renders Leonard speechless, save for a “Ummm… ” She takes his response for a no and storms out, leaving Leonard to wonder — via a rare heart-to-heart with Sheldon — if their relationship is kaput.

Thoughts? Is this the Leonard-Penny proposal you always envisioned? Do you think this is just another bump in the road for the lovebirds? Reaction to Sheldon’s tighty whities? And Bernadette’s laughgasm? And Howard’s Star Wars audition? And Chuck Lorre’s super-sweet vanity card? Hit the comments!

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. John says:

    Bernadette is either a saint or is dipping into the company happy-powder supplies.

    Smiled at the vanity card.

    • Say what? says:

      Bernadette’s fake laughing fit was a direct steal from the fake orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally. Talk about running out of fresh ideas.

      • RUCookie says:

        You do realize that was the whole point, right?!?!?!?!

        • Suzie says:

          No. Most people would have tripped to it immediately and it went on way too long. It wasn’t an homage, it was lazy.

          • kelly says:

            RUCookie is right, the similarity to the fake orgasm in WHMS was totally intentional. I DID catch on to it immediately.

          • KevyB says:

            Obviously, or why would it have needed to take place in a restaurant? My biggest problem with it was that The Simpsons did something similar literally 20 years ago! And similar jokes have happened all over sitcoms since, I agree that it was lazy, like the episode was so Penny-and-Leonard-focused that they had to find a scene for Bernadette that wouldn’t take up too much time but would let her get a laugh.

      • James says:

        When were you born?…Most of the people who watch Big Bang were not even BORN(my opinion) when Harry met Sally…and that show is running out of ideas???????????????REALLY!!!…peace…… James

        • Andrew Murn says:

          >Bernadette’s fake laughing fit was a direct steal from the fake orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally.

          Well of course it was. I was waiting for someone to say “I’ll have what SHE’s having.”

        • rickey says:

          Wow, just because you are ten years old, don’t put people down for being over 20. Even children get this reference. Seems like only the children these days.. like you.. are smartassess. Good luck in your life at Wendys.

    • Laurie Sevy says:

      I wonder if Leonard is learning something important about his relationship with Penny. No matter how much you love someone, after seven years it’s going to feel like the emotional abuse is starting to get to his character. He started out worshipping Penny and overlooked all her flaws and quirks. As time has passed, Leonard has taken quite a few kicks to his emotional and personal currency. Has he partialy wised up to the fact that he is the one doing most of the giving in the realationship? Penny says she loves him. But she only proposes when she feels SHE has nothing else to lose. It’s not a healthy place in the relationship to even consider marriage at this point. All the previous problems can be solved but marriage now is the answer. Penny has to want Leonard more than he wants her for a time.

      • AJ says:

        Great insight on their relationship. You nailed it right on the head.

      • Ella says:

        Agreed. Frankly, I have never liked Leonard and Penny as a couple. Despite the fact that she is much higher than him in the look department, he could definitely do better.

        • nikki says:

          I agree, I’ve never liked penny and Leonard as a couple either. He makes all sorts of grand gestures to her throughout many seasons and she doesn’t even say she loves him until they’be been dating on and off for however many years. She constantly belittles the things Leonard and his friends enjoy and makes it seem as though her daigning them with her presence is some huge favor. I guess beyond her being attractive I really don’t understand what Leonard sees in her. They have no common interests, if they did get married eventually her looks will go and then they’ll just be two people with nothing in common. It’s sad when the side relationships like Howard and Bernadette and even Sheldon/Amy have more substance and compatability than the main characters romance.

      • James says:

        Great post Laurie…..but….Being a TV show with episodes that also change character I believe you might be reading a lot more than is really going on here…20,000,000 million people watch this show every week and even with the flawed premise of marriage between these two they have been friends for most of the series…Would you still have dinner with an ex?,,,maybe yes maybe no.,,,But she does even after the breakup,,,Most of us fans probably want them to hitch up. My question is…What then?…peace…James

        • Andrew Murn says:

          > Being a TV show with episodes that also change character I believe you might be reading a lot more than is really going on here…20,000,000 million people watch this show every week and even with the flawed premise of marriage between these two they have been friends for most of the series

          And it’s just been extended for three more years. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

        • Andrew Murn says:

          20,000,000 million people?

  2. Mel31602 says:

    If anyone didn’t read the vanity card at the end, they should go back and do so. Lorre actually apologizes to a girl whose part was cut from this eposode. Per imdb she was also a star of Laguna beach

  3. Jimmy says:

    I hope this isn’t leading to yet another Penny/Leonard break-up because that’s getting old. Hopefully, it’s just maturity and growth for the characters.

  4. Chester says:

    Penny should have something more than Leonard before she gets married

  5. spartan says:

    I was expecting a Mark Harmon cameo! Oh, well. I assume it’s just another bump in the road for all the shippers who can’t wait for poor Leonard to be saddled with a dumb blonde for life. (THAT sort of thing always works out.)

    • Liz985 says:

      Penny’s not dumb. She’s not as educated or credentialed as the “nerd herd,” but she’s not stupid. Her character, and the relationship with Leonard, wouldn’t be nearly as interesting and fun if she were.

      • DJ Doena says:

        Well… she does go down the road of almost all sitcom characters (Sheldon included). Her initial eccentricities get exaggerated more and more as the years go by.

        I actually would say that Penny’s getting dumber. Just like Joey did on Friends. In season 10 Joey was almost to dumb to tie his sheos*

        The sad part about Penny is that the episode acknowledged that has been bothering me about TBBT for a while. Penny as a person actually doesn’t develop. Just compare runaway bride and waitress(!) Rachel Green(e) who worked her way up and made something of herself.


        • Liz985 says:

          You’re absolutely right about the character exaggerations. I’ve thought the exact same thing about “Friends.” It got to the point where I didn’t even like that series or characters at the end of its run because they were so obnoxious, Monica especially.

          I think TBBT has done a good job, though, of mostly avoiding that pitfall. All of the characters have evolved to some degree. But I agree that Penny’s evolution has been spotty compared to those others. They did throw her a bone when they acknowledged that she could actually act (the “Streetcar Named Desire” episode). But the aspect of the character that really bothers me the most is the whole drinking until she’s s***faced. That a trough the writers have gone to too many times and it brings a rather dark aspect to an otherwise fun show. Penny does need to get to that next level in her life – hopefully it doesn’t include rehab.

          • DJ Doena says:

            I’ve recently heard (I normally don’t really bother with the private lives of the people behind the characters – be it cast or crew) that Chuck Lorre is a recovering alcoholic.

            I don’t know if that’s true but a lot of his characters are drunk a lot of their time. Starting with Charlie (in & out of character) but also Penny, then Molly’s mom and her sister. And Lorre’s latest creation Mom has two recovering alcoholics in it – which is again a sitcom.

          • kelly says:

            I’ve been hoping that the writers would come back to that part of Penny’s acting- the stage.

            Either Amy or Bernadette mentioned Penny’s sometimes excessive drinking before.

            I did laugh when Penny’s father offered to come to Hollywood and “kick Mark Harmon’s ass”.

            The “friend” that irritated me the most by the show’s end was Ross. He was sweet and nerdy in the beginning but by the end was not very nice and really condescending towards the others, Phoebe in particular, because he had a doctorate.

          • KevyB says:

            OMG, I hated Ross so much the last few seasons! It made me sick how the finale was all about him and Rachel AGAIN. Monica gets Chandler, Phoebe gets Paul Rudd and Rachel ends up with that drip!

        • Lauren says:

          Don’t use “to” where “too” belongs in a sentence criticizing the intelligence of a character, or anyone really. Buck up buddy, you aren’t smarter than a 5th grader either. To is a preposition. Too is a denotation of excess. Penny may not understands Leonard’s work, but she understands people, which is a subject that baffles Leonard as much as science baffles Penny. She’s been making steps to become more book smart and Leonard has gotten better with people since he met her. She’s not getting dumber, and her actions in this episode are obviously emotionally based, but sadly none of those emotions really have anything to do with Leonard.This episode was the beginning of Penny accepting that her dreams may not come true. That’s tough. It’s also character growth.

          • DJ Doena says:

            Thanks for the spelling lesson. Maybe I’m just not a native speaker and maybe I already noticed my mistake but the missing edit option made it impossible for me to correct it.

            When has Penny tried to “become more book smart” in the past few years?

            And she’s realized that her dreams may not come true so she makes a desperate attempt to get married? What is this, the 1950s?

      • GoGiants says:

        She’s not ambitious, still a waitress and fights with Leonard as often as possible. She’s using him. He can do better than trash like Penny.

    • mommaknowsbest says:

      I was expecting/hoping for a Mark Harmon cameo as well!!! Oh, well, maybe next time . . .

  6. Brooke says:

    I think leonard should’ve said yes.
    1) they had already talked about the possibility of getting married before in the Howard Bernadette prenup episode
    2) they agreed that penny would propose
    3) it’s not like they just met and she proposed drunk

    • madhatter360 says:

      Leonard was right to say no. One of the biggest problems they’ve had is him wanting more than she was willing to give. Maybe she’ll wake up sober and still want to marry him and be mad that he didn’t accept. More likely she’ll sober up, realize she isn’t ready, and be greatful he didn’t take advantage of her vulnerability to get her to commit to something she’s not ready for.

      • J.Norman says:

        Totally agree.

        This was not a scenario that either party would want as the catalyst for their engagement.

        Do it right at a later time.

    • abz says:

      She basically told him her life is a failure so they should just get married. It’s not like she had anything to look forward to.
      It’s kind of a crappy way to propose to someone. I think he was right to have said no. Also, there was the fact that she was drunk once again.

    • partisan says:

      I think he should have said yes with the caveat that if she reconsidered when she sobered up he would give her an out.

  7. KND says:

    As much as I love Penny and Leonard and hope they end up together forever, a drunken proposal is not the way to go.

    The vanity card was the sweetest thing.

    • Luli says:

      Didn’t understand the thing with the vanity card… would yo care to explain please? thank you

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        The vanity card at the close of the episode apologized to and complimented the work of an under-5 actress who got cut out of the Raj/Stuart mall scene due to time.

  8. Nicole says:

    This is (obviously) not what I wanted in terms of Penny proposing. I didn’t want drama built around it and part of me feels their really sweet scene on Valentine’s Day last year is tainted now. But maybe this will lead to her proposing sober later on in the season. I’m still hopeful – the writers have put so much effort into their relationship from the 100th episode onward that I still have faith.

  9. Brandy says:

    I agree with Jimmy, I hope Penny & Leonard don’t break up for the umpteenth time.Im glad Leonard didn’t say yes cause he was right:she was drunk,upset and would’ve regretted it when she was sober and she said she wanted her next marriage to be real and Penny’s not ready to marry Lenoard, it took 6 seasons to say I love you,in season six she wasn’t ready for them to live together and in season three she broke up with him for saying I love you.Her getting engaged/marriage to Leonard won’t solve her unhappiness with her life /career.Leonard also deserves a better proposal from a sober Penny who’s ready to marry him and knows what she wants and has achieved some personal/professional goals first, who’s happy & comfortable with where she is in life.

    • Brandy says:

      I do hope they get engaged or married in the series finale or sooner and that they’re end game but nows not the time.

  10. Joel says:

    What did the vanity card say? My DVR cut off.

    • John 1138 says:

      It should appear here shortly:

    • Rick says:

      Ironically, an actress had a small part that was cut from the show due to time constraints. Chuck expained what had happened, apologized to the actress, and then said that all her friends and relatives should know she nailed the part.

      • abz says:

        Just curious. Does an actor/actress still get paid even if that happens to them where their scene is cut out without their knowledge?

        • Typically yes. Even extras who don’t end up in shot usually get paid for their time so I’d imagine she gets paid. It’s just a lot harder for proud family/friends and prospective hirers to see the work when they’re cut out.

        • rowan77 says:

          As long as you showed up and played the part, you get paid. It’s not your fault if you get edited out due to time or story constraints. Even if you are terrible in the part, you still get paid, you just won’t be hired by them again.

  11. Androme says:

    I think the heart-heart Leonard had with Sheldon was really sweet. I was kinda surprised that Sheldon, of all people, listened to Leonard, asked questions not toward himself, and really said “I’m sorry”. I did a freaking double take at that. Sure there was the “Kick Me” sign thing at the end, but the whole scene was really heartwarming.

    • ajintexas says:

      Yeah I liiked that part. Sheldon is always presented as such a self-cetnered emotionless person. It was nice to see him show that he actually cared about his friend.

  12. leigh says:

    It was wise for Leonard not to say yes. He would never know if penny really wanted the marriage or if she did it because of the ncis failure. Penny needs to grow up some before she gets married.

    • David says:

      This is exactly what I was thinking. (You get married because you love someone, not because you think your life is a failure otherwise.)

  13. Mark says:

    I thought Season 6 was the best season of the show but season 7 has been a let down. There have been some great episodes like the Thanksgiving & Christmas ones but the sweater episode was the worst episode I have seen. Tonight’s episode had some good moments but I would say it was ok.

  14. whw says:

    I think the real test of how much Penny values Leonard will only come if she has a taste of success, and gets access to at least B list Hollywood guys. Would she dump him in a second? What if, however, Leonard shares in a Nobel Prize for his work on the Hawking team. Does that make him “big enough” to justify her staying with him after she achieves some notoriety of her own?
    I love the two of them, but the writers need to take them somewhere because Penny “settling” for sad, nerdy, needy Leonard violates the first rule of relationships– equity. It has to cost both people something to be in the relationship, or else they will never value it.

    • Larry says:

      That was the point of Alex to show Penny not to take him for granted.

    • GoGiants says:

      How about Leonard settling for trashy, rude, unambitious Penny? He can do better than her by a mile. So she’s pretty, why does that matter?

      • ajintexas says:

        Yeah this bothers me. I don’t feel like they are equals by a long shot. Why does being a somewhat hot blonde suddenly make up for the gap in intellect and education? She’s a waitress that drinks too much. Leonard should realize that all she is to him is good looking and nothing else. Never works.

  15. Morgan says:

    This episode made me hate Penny even more. She constantly shows that she settles for Leonard. He works so hard in their relationship, and she is just coasting along. I would like to see how she is in a relationship with him after actually succeeding in Hollywood as one poster suggested.

    • GoGiants says:

      Agreed. Penny uses all of them, especially Leonard. Hate them together, he deserves better than her. She’s a drunk, unambitious, lazy loser.

  16. Luli says:

    Bernadette was hilarious in this episode!! Couldn’t stop laughing in her fake laugh attack! Hands down the best part of the episode!

    • abz says:

      Lol that was the best part of the episode.

    • Tenney says:

      The Bernadette laughing scene was my least favorite part of a really good episode. They just kind of took the diner scene from When Harry met Sally and changed it from an orgasm to laughing. Not to rip on a otherwise really good episode, but if you’re going to mimic something that’s already been done, you’ve got to find a way to do it better, like Seinfeld did with the “you can’t tell I’m faking it” episode.

  17. Alicia Joy Kolenda says:

    What a depressing way to start the new year. I look to my favorite shows to set the tone of the new year. This wasn’t it. I hope we get back to a bit of science, a dash of family based humor, and a whole lotta happy human nature. I am glad it dissed the NCIS shows though. WAY too much violence desensitification with all of those types of shows.

  18. Larry says:

    They won’;t get engaged but will continue dating that is my guess

  19. SW says:

    Just so tired of the Penny/Leonard relationship. Penny’s character has not matured at all. Leonard’s character has grown and could do so much better. He’s making all the sacrifice while she takes advantage of it.

    Think it’s time for them to part as a couple and have them pair up with others. But first, give Raj a girlfriend already.

  20. april-ann says:

    I have that blouse.

  21. Justin says:

    Leonard was 100% right to reject Penny’s inebriated proposal. I like the deal they made where Penny proposes to Leonard (quite funny when I still think about it LOL), but Leonard deserves so much better than a drunken, upset proposal from her. I don’t think they’ll break up over this, but Penny really needs to reevaluate her status in this relationship because she is clearly the lucky one given the great guy that Leonard is. I feel bad that this break didn’t work in her favor, but she still has some maturing to do.

    I loooooved Bernadette’s fake laugh!!! How she just laughed and then turned it off like that was hilarious!! Also seeing Raj and Stewart try to talk to, well, anybody was funny too.““

  22. Mel says:

    Always taken by the growth of Sheldon’s character as the seasons go by. Cold and seemingly uncaring has become almost warm and compassionate at times. And by surprise when it happens.
    Couldn’t Penny’s character have a little surprise and twist as well? Life changes us all as time goes by. Maybe a chance meeting at The CheeseCake Factory with someone life changing?
    A fender bender in LA traffic that creates an epiphany about what is really important in her life and who? She needs to grow a little as a character. Kaley can do it, she’s very good at her craft.

  23. Mel says:

    Wasn’t much of a comedy tonight. Too heavy for a sitcom. It was an important episode, but still they took the heaviness a bit too far. It is a comedy after all and not a drama.
    Leonard and Penny will weather through this, I believe and be stronger as a result, but boy it was a painful episode to watch. Johnny and Kaley nailed their scenes though and did some of their best work.

    Sheldon was completely out of character the whole episode and even Amy was not really in character at times. Not my favorite Shamy episode either. I do think Sheldon may have been testing the waters a bit by dropping his pants. It seems he may be having intimacy with Amy on his mind and wanted to see her reaction. He looked a bit scared before she reacted and after her reaction, seemed happy and relieved. So I think it was all leading to something in the future. Even saying that though, it came across as very odd.

    Raj and Stuart are getting a bit old and tiring to watch be so pathetic all the time.
    Melissa was by far the star of the show. Her laugh was infectious and boy did I ever flashback to “When Harry Met Sally”. It really felt a lot like that. Melissa nailed the scene!

    While I feel it was too dramatic for a sitcom (it is okay to have some serious stuff and drama, but nothing was funny tonight other than Bernie), and it was important, I don’t think this will rank high on repeat watching by most fans of the show.

  24. James D says:

    I thought Leonard Did right by Penny he didn’t want to take advantage. Can we please get past this Penny is a drunk thing it’s loosing its charm. Kaley is a capable actress I’m sure the writers could come up with something funny for her to do other than constantly having a wine glass in her hand. BTW Sheldon dropping his pants and Amy’s look was pretty priceless.

  25. abz says:

    I still love the show, but I’m getting tired of many of these storylines. Raj needs a boyfriend already. Perhaps Stuart. I know they said that he wasn’t gay, but they continue to allude to it each and every episode and with this episode, they ended up showing how he was able to talk to a man instead of a normal woman. Move the storyline. Jeez. Either find him a permanent girlfriend or hook him up with Stuart.
    Horny Amy, while hilarious at times, is also getting old. Move the Shamy relationship forward already, It’s bound to be hilarious when things ACTUALLY start happening.
    I kinda miss the nerdy, science and work aspect of the show. I mean I definitely enjoyed it when they brought the women on to the show because they brought something new to the show, but they used to be able to find a nice balance. Now it’s just relationship drama after drama. Every episode. Raj wants to meet a “girl”. Howard fights with Bernadette. The three girls gossip and they all sit around watching TV eating dinner. I miss the work pranks and the sillyness. Hell even when they sit around playing games and Howard did the Nicolas Cage impressions, that was hilarious.
    Anyways, I will continue to watch because it still makes me laugh every now and then, but I hope it returns to what it used to be.

    • Say what? says:

      Better yet get rid of Amy. She’s supposed to be a brilliant scientist who longs to be pretty and desirable, yet she still is a drab mess after years of hanging with Penny & Bernadette? Not likely. She’s the worst part of the show.

    • ajintexas says:

      I miss the work too. One of the best parts of the show was when Howard was an astronaut. What a huge deal and Sheldon was still not impressed by any means lol. I’d like to see them move Howard forward. Surely since he is an astronaut now his career should be taking him to new and exciting things.

      • abz says:

        Yes. Those scene with the other astronauts hazing him were great; even seeing them sit in the cafeteria and talk and having problems with their work or coworkers was funny. Also, I really miss Howard and his mom and their drama. That stuff was hilarious and I get that it’s been cut down since he’s now married, but I still miss it, “Are you a sex criminal?” –> AHAHAHA

        • Andrew Murn says:

          They either had to marry him off or kill him off. The original Howard character was totally embarrassing. Much better story lines around his new character. I loved the letter from his father, and his song to Bernadette.

          Allowing Raj to talk to women was a start for his character – but it’s not clear where this is going. His antics toward the end of the Scavenger Hunt made me cringe. Maybe he’ll be killed off – or possibly be given a recurrent role rather than being a regular.

  26. David says:

    I’m kind of starting to not want to see Penny and Leonard together anymore. He was a jerk to her and it kind of seems they are going through the motions sometimes.

  27. Tori says:

    I get why Raj is not in a relationship; he is to darn superficial!!! Bernadette even noticed it in the car with his comment about normal people being “fatties and uglies” until he get the whole fantasy of having a woman who is a perfect beauty out of his head, his only relationship will be Stuart and Stuart deserves better.

  28. DAVID says:

    I am surprised, but … look what happens to many successful series when they marry off the principle characters. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. I think Leonard will say yes, but I think he was waiting for her to sober up to make sure she was actually serious. Penny has dones some impulsive things in the past. Does this mean that Penny moves in with Sheldon and Leonard? If not, that would definitely be breaking the show’s dynamic as well. I dont think there will be another Leonard/Penny break up … just some interesting episodes coming up.

  29. crog says:

    I thought the episode wasn’t that good. This season of bbt hasn’t been that good and overall the quality has declined so much for me over the past few seasons, even though it has gotten so popular. Two and a half men was way better last night.

  30. Sergio says:

    I like the show but start to get bored…

    Characters stalled: Raj can to talk to women but can get one (is gay or not?), Amy dreaming on getting laid, Penny still a looser, etc…

    Hope that this is not the beginning of the end for the show.

  31. Brooke says:

    Ok, I just had an epiphany.
    It’s not that Leonard doesn’t believe penny can make it as an actress, it’s that he doesn’t want her to. He’s afraid that if she makes it big, she’ll hook up with one of her costars and leave him. Last night’s episode just proved why I hate Leonard and penny as a couple. If you can’t trust who you’re with, then what’s the point?
    TEAM SHAMY! :)

    • ajintexas says:

      I thought it was in poor taste for Leonard to crap all over her dreams. I kind of wondered if he did it on purpose as well and then felt guilty when she came in talking about what a failure she was and proposed. He practically shamed her into it.

      • abz says:

        I saw it more as him giving her a dose of reality. It’s obvious Leonard cares deeply for her and often has vomit mouth where things come out in a bad way, but I think it was something she needed to hear. Maybe he should’ve discussed it with her when she was sober, but then again she’s rarely sober. Penny is sort of lost and in what seven seasons has had the least character progression on the show. She says she wants to be an actress, but have we really seen her try. She’s no Rachel Berry. Once every 20 something episodes we hear about something she’s been doing like a commercial or a play, but that’s pretty much it. They completely forgot about her going back to school as well. Penny needed to hear it and of course Leonard was gonna back track because she’s a mean drunk and because he really loves and doesn’t like hurting her.

        • Andrew Murn says:

          Although there is a continuum in the storyline, each episode is self contained (who got tenure for instance – what happened with Stephanie?). The writers see a way to make a joke – or a series of jokes, and run with it. It doesn’t have to carry into future episodes.

  32. Michael says:

    I loved this episode because it actually had some character development in it which is something that has been totally lacking season. Hopefully Penny will understand that Leonard deserves better than a drunk proposal.

  33. A fan says:

    The Leonard and Penny issue makes perfect sense considering their personalities. Leonard is a scientist, so he sees the world in probabilities and likelihoods. He knows the likelihood that Penny will become an actress is very small. Penny’s more of an artist type, she feels like she’s meant to be an actress and she thinks she has what it takes. Their personalities are bound to clash. And good for Leonard for not jumping on the proposal. Also good for him for not trying to fix it that same night. Their relationship is not going to be repaired or moved forward while either of them is drunk. If she still wants to marry Leonard when she’s sober and not feeling so terrible, I’m sure he’ll be happy as a clam.
    As for the diner scene being replicated, I’m cool with it because they added Howard’s line (“Yeah, well I fake my orgasms”) which was obviously a direct reference. Am I the only one who wanted to know how that Sandwich/rabbi joke ended?

  34. Cate Amos says:

    The best Penny and Leonard scene I’ve seen this season was when she showed him the box of all the “stuff” he’s given to her through the years. This tells me that she does truly love him and that she’s not just “settling” as many people think. Sure she mooches off the guys regularly, but I don’t see her so much as a “user” that others do. I feel she is the most instrumental in getting Sheldon to come out of his shell enough so that he can maintain a relationship with Amy; she didn’t put up with any of Howard’s BS when he was single and trolling for women (she even set him up with Bernadette although I’m sure it was a result of “these are the two shortest people I know” line of thinking); she has always been a shoulder for Raj to cry on when the guys weren’t emotionally available. In the pilot episode, she treated all four of them to dinner when the favor she asked of Leonard and Sheldon went sideways. A “user” wouldn’t consider these men her friends. She has shown them that “non-brainiac” women can see the worth in all of them and wouldn’t just want to have them around to hook up their computer or stereo systems. It’s sad that she has been in a holding pattern of sorts since the beginning of the show, and I’d like to see her grow some more before she and Leonard make a strong commitment. The Christmas episode showed us what life would be like without Sheldon – I’d like to see how their lives would differ without Penny.

  35. Luis says:

    Leonard knew very well that nothing good could come from accepting Penny’s drunken, self-pitying proposal. He definitely screwed up the supportive boyfriend role after Penny’s part got cut, but his heart was in the right place. I suspect things could get worse for Leonard and Penny before they get better, but they will get better eventually. Socially awkward Leonard didn’t know how to make the point about the difficulty making it as an actor while still being supportive, and Penny is staring at the thought of life as a waitress. They still have a ways to go before thy are ready for marriage. Penny will eventually propose, and I bet when it happens, it will be spectacular.

    I thought the bit with Raj and Stuart was mildly funny, but Raj’s social anxiety is starting to get a little tiresome as a plot line.

    Howard and Bernadette continue to crack me up. That tribute to “When Harry Met Sally” split my sides! They are such a cute couple and the idea that Howard essentially married his mother, minus a couple of hundred pounds, is hilarious.

    Finally, I have no idea what was up with Sheldon last night. The entire scientific analysis of humor device seemed like something completely out of left field and out of character for Sheldon. The pans-dropping scene, which was funny because when isn’t pants-dropping funny, still made no sense. I was touched by the scene with Sheldon and Leonard at the end of the show, even with the “Kick Me” sign at the end.

    It was an uneven episode, but was forever boosted by the vanity card at the end. Even if Chuck Lorre wasn’t Jewish, it’s clear he understands the meaning of the word “mensch.”

  36. Leonie says:

    I loved that tbbt isn’t afraid of drama or dramatic episodes. I enjoyed the break from constant comedy in a comedy show.
    I wonder whether Amy really/finally wants to break up with Sheldon. She’s waited so long for him to be intimate with her and you can see how unhappy she is about how he acts. That being said, I love their scenes together. But I would also love to see how a break up would affect both of them.
    I guess I never realized how much Penny drinks. She does need to evolve in some way though. What ever happened to her college classes? Did she get a degree or something? Maybe she can find some work in that field or something.
    The fake laugh went on a bit too long. But I loved the way Bernadette suddenly stopped like nothing ever happened. Great comedic timing!

  37. Ashlyn says:

    I don’t like what they are doing with Raj. He used to be my favorite character, but they keep making him more feminine and socially inept. It’s really starting to grate on my nerves.

  38. Pat says:

    I think Penny’s proposal will be looked at the same by the group as Leonard’s proposal during sex. There will be jokes about it the rest of the season. When the real proposal happens, it will be sweet and somehow it will involve the whole group.

  39. Andrew Murn says:

    A year ago, Leonard promised never to propose to Penny again. He told her that if she wanted to propose to him, he wanted the whole nine yards – down on one knee etc.

    If nothing more, this gets past that road block – and Leonard can propose again.

    BTW – I do not want the sexual tension between them to be solved until the very last episode. Once they marry, Leonard will no longer be living with Sheldon, and the whole premise of the show will be over. .

  40. Sonny says:

    I don’t think anyone here is getting it. Penny feels she’s failed. She overreacts and gets down on herself. If she can’t act, she thinks, she concedes and decides that marrying Leonard would be the alternative, and the stability of marriage.

    She didn’t fail. SHE WAS JUST EDITED OUT, like the under-5 on this episode. Penny is still a good actress. ALL actors suffer setbacks like this. Penny will see this when she recovers from the drink. Later, she will thank Leonard for being her ROCK and understanding her condition and the situation, AND, not saying yes or no.

  41. Hook Penny up with Raj for a change. The show sorta set that up a few seasons back so its not new ground.

  42. angie says:

    Why are they making Raj out to be some sort of creepy guy who can’t get a girl? And is it just me or are they making Penny stupider? I was hoping for much more out of this season and it’s failing

  43. Bryan says:

    I didn’t have the new episode on my dvr??? Anyone else have this problem

  44. Nancy Eddy says:

    Leonard should have said that he wasn’t going to answer until she sobered up and asked him again.

    • Leonie says:

      I think it came completely out of the blue for him. He didn’t get to respond anything besides ‘uuhhmm’ because Penny immediately got up and left. Or something along those lines. She didn’t let him gather his thoughts or give him time to say anything ‘uuhhmm’.

  45. Kevin says:

    I didn’t care for this episode. I feel I have really got to know the caracters over the years. I truly don’t believe Leonard would have said those things. He would have supported Penny completely. I also think the writers need to watch all previous episodes before having a character to make a statement such as last week when Sheldon said he never did a retraction. He did a couple years back over the North Pole incident. I’m done for now.

  46. CBSFAN2014 says:

    After reading most of the comments, it is plain to see we need something new from penny. The rest of the gang have things going on and happening for them in one way or another. Even if she meets various stars at work, or goes on more acting tries. we should see something. A few commercials something.
    I love the new comedic run with the team, hope we can win the #1 comedy this year.

  47. Abc says:

    Well I think some of the comments were a little harsh on “Friends”. I think some of the characters did change over time but it wasn’t too bad. I don’t know if I would say Joey got dumber either. I mean I remember him doing some of the dumbest things early on but mostly just saying stupid things later on. Also, who doesn’t change over. 10 year time period? I mean I know I have over the last 10 years.

  48. Mikael says:

    Penny needs some growth in the job department, like Rachel on Friends. It can be done! She needs to show more love for Leonard, because I always liked them together but now I’m thinking he should just date Alex. Maybe this episode will be the start of Penny getting her act together. And Bernadette has become my favorite character!

  49. Nuno says:

    If I were a writer. I would make Penny make the ultimate sacrifice for Leonard. She’s offered an acting carreer in New York and will have to move but realizes she can’t leave because she loves Leonard. I would then have her test Leonard and see if he would let her go, as we all know he would because he loves her and her happiness is important to him. On there way to the airport Penny sets up important moments from their lives together that she pretends to not notice and throw Leonard off by odd ball comments. All leading up to her over the top proposal. All this while Sheldon finally has sex with Amy and he can’t get enough (realizes what all the fuss is about). Raj should met a girl and this girl should be like Penny in almost everyway, creepy way. She’s a hostess at a fancy restuarant who’s trying to be an actress. Howadett have to move in with his mother to take care of her.
    That’s the direction I would take.

  50. Helene says:

    This show seems sometimes to be runnings out of fresh ideas, and it has already ripped off ‘Friends’ so much that I bet that is where the show will go. Just like Joey got a part on a soap opera Penny is going to get a similar part, become successful, and it is going to break Penny and Leonard up yet again (they will get back together again sometime, just like Ross and Rachel). I bet that they save their wedding for the finale of the series. They will ‘ jump the shark’ much sooner by giving Bernadette and Howard a baby first though. It is always a bad sign when a show brings in a baby, or another kid (going all the way back to ‘cousin Oliver’ on ‘The Brady Bunch’). I just wish every other scene did not involve them sitting around eating and/ or drinking. Once you notice that it is so annoying. And Amy and Bernadette never wear pants. What’s up with that? Are they Amish scientists or something. Thanks for reading my rant. :)