Kaley Cuoco Comments Make Penny’s Big Bang Theory Ending Even Worse

Kaley Cuoco’s candid comments about Penny’s controversial ending on The Big Bang Theory make it much worse. As the only original female lead of the nerd-centric sitcom, Penny appeared in all 12 seasons until the sitcom wrapped up in 2019. This gave CBS enough time to flesh out the character for a satisfying send-off. Unfortunately, while The Big Bang Theory finale was primarily great, Penny’s final fate as an expectant mother after explicitly saying that she didn’t want to have kids was its most controversial aspect.

Apparently, Cuoco disagreed with Penny’s controversial Big Bang Theory ending which makes the character’s send-off worse. Per the new book, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series, the actress says she « actually wished that they did not [make Penny pregnant] » because she believed in how important the messaging was with the character’s decision not to have kids. While she was glad about how things turned out for the Hofstadters, she « was actually voting for her not to [get pregnant].” Cuoco’s comments highlight the problematic execution of Penny’s pregnancy twist. If she wasn’t sold on it, they should have acknowledged her concerns and made an effort to address them instead of just going with the lazy and unearned send-off for the character.

On paper, Penny and Leonard’s final Big Bang Theory arc wasn’t all that bad; the premise was actually interesting. The problem stemmed from how the narrative was executed. Instead of tackling it with care, it was treated almost like an afterthought. There wasn’t any focus on the Hofstadters actively resolving their conflicting stance on having kids. There was no indication that Penny was willing to change her stance on the matter, which makes her joyful reaction during the reveal confusing. Granted that she could have changed her mind along the way, The Big Bang Theory should have explicitly shown that she, too, wanted the baby despite her earlier thoughts about the idea. Without it, it seemed that she was robbed of her agency which isn’t a good look considering The Big Bang Theory’s problematic depiction of Penny in its earlier seasons.

It doesn’t mean that The Big Bang Theory finale should have totally gotten rid of Penny’s pregnancy arc. In fact, they could have stuck with the same final fate for the Hofstadters, but they needed to properly set it up. Instead of spending so much time focusing on Sheldon and Amy’s Nobel Prize bid, perhaps, CBS could have given the Hofstadters’ storyline more screen time to be fleshed out. Otherwise, they could have just left the matter up in the air — with that Penny and Leonard taking things slow in terms of figuring out what their future married life looks like. Since The Big Bang Theory finale didn’t really do a massive shake-up with the way the Pasadena gang was living, having an open ending for the Hofstadters could have worked within that parameters anyway.

As The Big Bang Theory’s primary love line, it’s understandable that CBS was keen on giving the pair a feel-good send-off. Unfortunately, Penny and Leonard’s supposed TBBT happy ending was so rushed and half-baked that it may have set up a potentially rocky marriage for them. As seen in George and Mary’s Young Sheldon relationship, accidental pregnancies could lead to marital problems down the road.