Big Bang Theory: We Still Don’t Know Penny’s Maiden Name

Quite a while back I posted about how we don’t know the last name of the character Penny on The Big Bang Theory….although I was a little less eloquent about it. The specific article was titled “What The Hell is Penny’s Last Name?!“, and I published it in 2012. Now, years later, we know her NEW last name (Hofstadter, upon marrying Leonard), but we still don’t know her original last name. Penny Hofstadter, née ???


We know the last name of every other major character on the show, and many of the minor characters as well. To recap:

  • Leonard Hofstadter
  • Sheldon Cooper
  • Howard Wolowitz
  • Rajesh Koothrappali 
  • Bernadette (Rostenkowski) Wolowitz
  • Amy Farrah Fowler
  • Penny (???) Hofstadter
  • Stuart Bloom
  • Barry Kripke
  • Emily Sweeney

I really thought that we would discover her last name in the proposal scene – Leonard gets down on one knee and says “Penny ___ ____, will you marry me?” Or then in the wedding scene, I was hoping we would hear “I, Penny ___ ____, do take you, Leonard Hofstadter…” But no! No last name, and that’s in a total of 4 proposals! Granted, two of those were initiated by Penny so it would be odd if she said her full name when proposing to Leonard. After they are married, Leonard uses her full name to ask if she will stay married to him. But by now her full name is Penny Hofstadter, so the mystery remains.

Personally I’m hoping it’s something silly, like Penny Dime or Penny Lane. I would also be okay if her last name was Penny, and her first name is actually a nickname. It isn’t 100% confirmed that her first name is Penelope, so she could be going by a last name nickname in place of a less stage-worthy first name. Maybe when she goes to auditions she markets herself as just Penny, like Cher or Madonna. But that doesn’t seem like it would carry over well into her new professional lifestyle.

Will they ever reveal Penny’s last name on The Big Bang Theory? I certainly hope so. At this point it’s looking like it will be a season or series finale shocker, but I wouldn’t put it past them to slip the detail in unexpectedly. Time will tell!


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