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One Notable Way The Big Bang Theory's Penny Evolved Over Time, According To Kaley Cuoco

Penny touting Sheldon by taking all the washers on his laundry night on The Big Bang Theory

Kaley Cuoco spent over a decade playing everyone’s favorite girl-next-door Penny on The Big Bang Theory. Over the CBS sitcom's 11-season run, viewers saw Penny evolve from Leonard and Sheldon’s hubba-hubba actress neighbor to Leonard’s career-oriented wife. But her character's growth on the show wasn’t just about her career and relationship choices, as Cuoco reflected on another notable way Penny's evolution was evident across her time on The Big Bang Theory.

Having started the classic sitcom when she was 21, there were some noticeable changes in Kaley Cuoco's character as it continued. Some of that had to do with the actress' evolution as a woman, which led to some stylistic changes in Penny’s look, and The Big Bang Theory alum talked to the magazine W about Penny’s most noticeable change:

I started 'Big Bang' at 21 years old. I was the cute girl next door to the nerds. It was all about booty shorts, Juicy Couture zip-ups. And as the years went on - Penny grows up, Kaley grows up - all of a sudden it's like, 'Can I have a long sleeve shirt? How about a slack? How about a loafer? I never wanna see that high heel again!' I had every color of the Uggs - Uggs with shorts, those were the days! I don't think it was hard to wear that stuff and be funny, I think. I love being funny no matter what. I think even that was kind of self-deprecating. And also that was so long ago.

Though Kaley Cuoco has moved on from Penny, having already earned awards noms for HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, many TV viewers will always see her as the beloved character. But they might not even realize how much her wardrobe changed from Season 1 to Season 12. When you put Cuoco’s age and archetype in the earlier seasons, her wardrobe development made sense. Just the mention of booty shorts and colorful Uggs conjures the haphazard fashion phases of the 2000s. So, Kaley Cuoco’s wardrobe choices certainly made the sense during that period, since she was the cute, bubbly neighbor whom Leonard and the guys fawned over. But the actress and character had to mature over such a lengthy period.

Being the cute neighbor allowed Kaley Cuoco to be the hot girl on a top-rated sitcom, which wasn't something that The Big Bang Theory was angry about at the time. Cuoco couldn’t help but think about Penny’s revealing wardrobe with some fondness, and llooked back at those earlier seasons and her younger self by saying:

When I think about how many years ago that was, it was a different time. Also, by the way, at 21 I was hot. I wanted to show that stuff off. You would not catch me dead in a sexy cat costume now! I just had a litter of kittens - never doing that again.

Kaley Cuoco tying her new kittens to Penny’s cat costume showed how far she’s come in her career. And also sounds like she isn't too interested in playing a live-action Catwoman after voicing Harley Quinn. But at least, Cuoco was aware of the situation and leaned into it. Cuoco and Big Bang Theory fans can relive Penny in her Juicy Couture tops and Uggs by watching the CBS sitcom on HBO Max while waiting for The Flight Attendant Season 2.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).