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VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox, Jesse Singer
A bad penny always turns up! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for Penny's best disses, comebacks and just those times she went beast mode. Our countdown includes moments from episodes “The Skank Reflex Analysis”, “The Large Hadron Collision”, “The Nerdvana Annihilation” and more!

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for Penny’s best disses, comebacks and just those times she went beast mode. Which of Penny’s savage moments is your favorite? Let us know in the comments

#30: When Sheldon Cleaned Her Apartment

“The Big Bran Hypothesis”

Okay, so the intention is certainly nice – who doesn’t love a clean apartment, right? Especially when you’re not the one doing the cleaning. The problem, of course, comes from the fact that Sheldon broke into her place at night and did it while she was sleeping in the other room. It’s pretty creepy, particularly because this was only the second episode of the series and the strong bond Penny and Sheldon would eventually form was years away. When she woke up the next morning, the only bond she was considering was, as she told Sheldon, bonding her shoe and his rear end.

#29: Face Time

“The Geology Methodology”

The “Big Bang” guys might be geniuses, but their high IQs don’t always equate to street smarts or understanding about relationships. For those matters, Penny is often their go-to person for advice. However, if you ask Penny for advice, you need to be prepared for the hard truth which is something Raj learned when he tried to convince her that he could handle a casual relationship. Now, to be fair, no one in the group would’ve bought that line from Raj, but Penny’s response to his claims was particularly direct and funny.

#28: Sends Leonard On Walks

“The Military Miniaturization”

Few people can go from sweet to savage the way Penny can. There are tons of instances and one liners to showcase this but one of our favorites comes during the episode “The Military Miniaturization”. She and Bernadette are talking about how uneasy Howard has been since the guy from the military showed up at their house. In response, Penny offers up her own guidance for when she sees Leonard is feeling anxious. While taking a long walk sounds like very genuine and wholesome advice, one simple question quickly clarifies that it’s for her benefit more than it is Leonard’s.

#27: Penny’s From Nebraska


Penny being from Nebraska comes up on multiple occasions throughout the series. Sometimes it’s used as a way to poke fun at her and her Cornhusker roots. Other times it comes out in her toughness and take-no-prisoners attitude towards life that her genius friends just don’t have. Remember when Leonard and Sheldon had a break-in at their apartment? Well, unlike the guys, Penny’s first response isn’t fear, but rather frustration that she wasn’t home at the time. Then there was her declining paintball because in Nebraska there are only two reasons they shoot things (and neither one is paint related).

#26: Everyone’s a Doctor... Except Howard

“The Roommate Transmogrification”

While Sheldon is usually the one picking on Howard for not having his PhD, he isn’t the only one who has some fun pointing it out. Even Dr. Gablehauser, the head of the Physics department at the California Institute of Technology, makes sure Howard knows that he knows he isn’t a doctor. Penny gets in on the shade-throwing when Bernadette announces to the gang that she’s going to get her PhD. Penny points out that pretty much everyone at the table is a doctor except for Howard. Although, she takes a slightly longer and savagely funnier route getting to that point.

#25: Penny’s Puzzles

“The Comic Book Store Regeneration”

What would you do if you found out your best friend was testing you with small puzzles and comparing your results to those of chimpanzees? You’d be pretty miffed right? Well, so was Penny when she found out Amy was doing as much to her. First, she confronted her friend and gave her a piece of her mind in her typical Penny way. Then, a little later on in the episode, when Amy hoped to make it up to her, Penny flung back with a puzzle of her own, though it didn’t take much solving to figure out.

#24: Forever 63

“The Santa Simulation”

When it comes to Amy’s fashion sense, Penny has some rather strong opinions. Sure, there was the whole hating-Amy’s-wedding-dress thing. But Penny’s thoughts on her clothing didn’t start there. In season 6, the girls put on a little fashion show for the guys, who have chosen a boys-only game of D&D instead of spending time with their partners. Penny first announces Bernadette’s sexy outfit, and mentions it being from Forever 21. Then, as Amy shows off her conservative garb, Penny takes a stab at where this particular ensemble might be from.

#23: Pop Culture Call-Out

“The Work Song Nanocluster”

We can all agree that Sheldon knows a lot about a lot of things. But, as we’ve seen on multiple occasions, pop culture is the glaring outlier in his knowledge. Penny takes the opportunity to keep her genius friends in check whenever she can, and this scene is a perfect example. When Sheldon tells her she could create a viable business with her Penny Blossoms, he follows up by being just a little too high and mighty about his smarts and Penny has the perfect response. Oh, we marvel at how such a simple question can make him fall so far.

#22: Speaking on Behalf of All Women

“The Vacation Solution”

Howard’s aggressive and slimy flirtations towards Penny in the early seasons of the show brought out her savageness, both verbally and physically. This brashness would come up again when Howard was hesitating about signing a prenuptial agreement prior to his marriage to Bernadette. Penny made her thoughts on the matter very clear and advised Howard with about as much grace as a reversing dump truck. She even went as far to say that she wasn’t just speaking for herself but for all womankind. How Howard ever looked himself in the mirror after that is beyond us.

#21: Calling Out Amy’s Mom

“The Bow Tie Asymmetry”

Amy’s mother is a woman with some very hard-held opinions about pretty much everything and she is certainly used to getting her way. For the most part, she does… until she meets Penny. Well, not just regular Penny. We’re talking, Maid-of-Honor Penny! On Amy’s wedding day, Mrs. Fowler gets up out of her seat, announcing that things are taking too long and that Sheldon must have stood her daughter up. Well, Penny’s not having any of that. She was admittedly a lot nicer than she could have been, probably as a function of the special occasion, but she was strong and direct, and put Mrs. Fowler in her place beautifully.

#20: Penny’s Magic Potion

“The Love Spell Potential”

When the ladies’ trip to Vegas is derailed, Penny, Amy, and Bernadette join the guys for a game of “Dungeons & Dragons.” Penny’s first zinger of the night follows Sheldon’s apprehensions over playing the game with women. We could almost hear the collective gasp of D&D fans everywhere who felt personally targeted by her cutting remark. Still, Penny realizes that if she’s going to spend the evening with Sheldon Cooper, she’s going to need some help. And luckily, she knows just the (rather on-theme) magic potion to do the trick. Harsh? Maybe. But we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t thought about quoting her when dealing with difficult people in our own lives.

#19: “What up Moonpie?”

“The Terminator Decoupling”

When Sheldon forgets his flash drive at home, it’s Penny to the rescue. Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of asking politely which prompts Penny to have a little fun pushing all his buttons. Arguably the most savage moment is when she goes through Sheldon’s private correspondence with his Meemaw. If he was ever going to explode with rage, this would be the moment. Although she admits she went too far, she still can’t help one more dig. We wonder how Sheldon reacted when he got home and saw the fate of his novelty puzzle box… In Penny’s defense, this might’ve all been avoided if Sheldon had just started with “please.”

#18: No Robot Is a Match for Penny

“The Robotic Manipulation”

In the first episode of season four, Howard finds a multitude of uses for the robot arm he built, including using it to serve up dinner. Luckily, he did so before… well, surely you remember what he used it for after that. Everyone’s super impressed by this new technology, perhaps none more than Sheldon, who informs Penny that she might one day lose her waitressing job to a similar machine. Most robots might be quick and efficient, but they don’t have Penny’s loveable charm and unparalleled customer service—as she so quickly reminds Sheldon. We don’t condone contaminating other peoples’ food but, if Penny got around to it a few times… well, we’re also not saying Sheldon didn’t deserve it.

#17: Directing Sheldon to the Right Person

“The Hamburger Postulate

Sheldon’s a creature of habit, and he values a rigid routine. In this episode, he’s finally become accustomed to the burgers at The Cheesecake Factory and considers making the establishment his permanent Tuesday eatery. Since this is still pretty early in their friendship, Penny hasn’t yet warmed up to Sheldon or grown accustomed to his jibber-jabber. So, when he asks her about the possibility of reserving their table every week for the foreseeable future, she dismisses his query with a snarky retort. Leonard’s amused, but he’s the only one laughing at their table. Poor Sheldon, always misunderstood. Still, no one could fault Penny for beating around the bush.

#16:Messing with Raj

“The Vengeance Formulation”

As you likely recall, in the earlier seasons of “The Big Bang Theory,” Raj struggled with speaking to most women - unless he was intoxicated. We’re told he suffers from selective mutism, a very real and severe anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, on the show, it’s often played for laughs. It was perhaps best encapsulated by this exchange between Penny and Raj. Penny walks into the apartment and immediately addresses Koothrappali. He freezes up and looks crestfallen as the pressure builds. What was she expecting? That somehow the element of surprise would free him from his disorder? She then reveals she’s just messing with him, and everyone laughs. But you have to admit: that was pretty brutal.

#15: Penny Gets the Breast of Leonard

“The Raiders Minimization”

Leonard’s initially dismayed when his mom’s book is on Penny’s class reading list. However, he soon realizes what a powerful tool it can be and uses it to manipulate her. It’s Howard’s failure to replicate Leonard’s success later on that causes the truth to come out. Penny sets quite the trap for her devious boyfriend. We can’t imagine a more brutal punishment than getting him all riled up before unleashing his cold straight-talking Psychiatrist mother on him. And, as we all know, Beverly Hofstadter can barely open her mouth without letting loose a tirade of biting quips. We imagine Leonard learned his lesson in the same way one has a bucket of ice water dumped on them.

#14: Penny Was a Jerk as a Teenager

“The Speckerman Recurrence”

When Leonard gets an unwelcome blast from the past, Penny’s forced to reevaluate her own youth. With some help from Bernadette and Amy, she soon realizes that she was not a nice person as a teen— and that’s putting it mildly. What she calls a harmless prank is actually super cruel. She tries to make amends, but it’s too little too late. So her friends suggest she’ll feel better by performing good deeds. While she’s initially on board, this glimmer of altruism quickly fades away. Usually, we’re all for Penny’s savageness, but stealing clothes from a donation bin is all kinds of low. We’re glad she ultimately had a change of heart.

#13: Penny’s Not Into Howard & Raj’s New Look

“The Gothowitz Deviation”

Before meeting Bernadette, Howard went to disturbing lengths to meet women, often dragging Raj along in his crazy schemes. In one of their most outlandish attempts, the duo dresses up in Goth style, tattoo sleeves and all. Penny wastes no time informing the guys exactly what she thinks of their new look. After they leave, Leonard can’t help but make a jibe of his own too. This provides the perfect setup for Penny, who knocks it out of the park with these pithy last words. Penny’s delivery may be cruel, but her advice is usually sound, something Howard and Raj come to learn by the end of the night.

#12: Penny’s Got No Time for Toys

“The Nerdvana Annihilation”

Penny’s understandably mad when the guys’ new movie memorabilia costs her a day’s pay at work. In her fury, she ruthlessly berates them, taking aim at their likes, hobbies, and collectibles. We can understand why she’s angry, but jeez – did she have to make it so personal? It doesn’t help when Sheldon seemingly misreads her frustration or just chooses to ignore it, inciting this fiery takedown of the time machine. We have to admit, our hearts sank a little when she called them all “pathetic.” The impact her berating leaves on Leonard in particular is heartbreaking. True, she later apologizes, but she ultimately can never unsay her harsh words.

#11: Fighting for Her Friends

“The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition”

Whether she’s warding off Howard’s advances or tormenting Sheldon, Penny gets her fair share of snappy comebacks in this episode. However, perhaps the most memorable of them all is incited by her rivalry with new neighbor, Alicia. Penny feels threatened when there’s a new Queen Bee in the hive and tries her hardest to get back on top. Although she’s jealous of all the attention the guys give their new neighbor, she also recognizes that she’s just using them. Things turn catty fast during their confrontation, and Penny demonstrates just how far she’ll go to defend her friends. We don’t know what the guys would do without Penny in their corner.

#10: No Time for Raj’s Shaming

“The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification”

Yes, Penny’s a fierce defender of her friends, but she’s also not above using Leonard’s infatuation with her to her advantage. In fact, we imagine she’d have to sell a whole lot of cheesecakes to even make a dent in the tab she amassed for all that takeout. Still, we don’t approve of the way Raj, assisted by Howard, shames her for scoring a free meal. But this is Penny we’re talking about, and she won’t take that kind of talk from anyone, as Raj soon finds out. If she were paying in savage takedowns, Penny would’ve repaid her debt several times over and still had plenty to spare.

#9: Keeping Her Libido in Check

“The White Asparagus Triangulation”

Sheldon has a habit of speaking out of line. However, Penny's never afraid to put him back in his place. In season two, Leonard starts dating Dr. Stephanie Barnett, much to Sheldon's delight. He tells Penny that out of all of Leonard's girlfriends, she's the only one he finds "tolerable"— yes, Penny included. Then, in a very Sheldon-esque way, he asks his neighbor to refrain from acting upon her urges so as to not come between Leonard and his Sheldon-approved paramour. Penny's unimpressed and responds with a biting remark. Unfortunately, her fiery comeback is lost on Sheldon. However, we all got it and collectively "oohed" and gasped at our televisions.

#8: Sheldon’s an Alien

“The Large Hadron Collision”

Throughout the show, it’s been implied that Sheldon’s either a robot or not of this planet. Penny seems to buy into the latter, based on a couple of cutting remarks she’s thrown his way over the years. For instance, after their apartment gets robbed, Sheldon decides to leave Pasadena forever, leading Penny to ask him how the mothership will find him if he keeps moving around. A few episodes later, Sheldon corners her in the laundry room to convince her to let him take her place on Leonard’s Switzerland trip. She knows what’s coming and responds with a suitably disparaging clap back. We don’t know if aliens exist, but Penny makes some pretty compelling albeit sarcastic arguments.

#7: Helping Leonard Get His Tuition Refunded

“The Itchy Brain Simulation”

Leonard agrees to walk a mile in Sheldon’s metaphorical shoes until he resolves the problem of a long overdue DVD. The idea is that a sweater will represent Sheldon’s figuratively itchy brain when it comes to unresolved issues. However, things quickly spiral out of hand when what was seemingly an easy task soon becomes an impossible mission. Leonard spends much more time in the uncomfortable garment than expected, and it starts taking a physical and emotional toll. Penny urges him to take it off when Sheldon isn’t around, but he refuses. So, she tries another, more direct approach to highlight his stupidity. We wonder what stung more: that sweater or Penny’s sharp tongue.

#6:The Importance of 21 Seconds

“The 21-Second Excitation”

In this episode, the guys enthusiastically get ready to go watch a version of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that contains 21 extra seconds of footage that’s never been released. Howard extends the invitation to Penny, but she’s not exactly grabbing her fedora and whip and jumping for joy. She even pokes a little fun at the guys over their excitement. Leonard comments that they’d still be a couple if she understood the value of an extra 21 seconds, but Penny disagrees. It’s rather harsh, especially in front of his friends, but still incredibly funny. If the joke went over your head, Howard and Raj are on hand to help bring it home. Leonard might want some ice for that double burn.

#5: Poking Fun at Howard’s Dating Record

“The Cushion Saturation”

Until Penny introduced him to Bernadette, Howard’s dating record wasn’t exactly something to write home about. We’re told that his dates usually required payment or inflating, and his handful of flings never lasted long. So when he gets a phone call during dinner and happily declares that he’s going to get busy that night, Penny’s understandably confused. What she doesn’t know is that Howard and Leslie Winkle have recently started a friends-with-benefits relationship. So when he gleefully shares his evening plans, she jumps straight to the most logical explanation. Penny’s a master of throwing shade at the guys, but this has to be one of her finest and funniest moments of savagery.

#4: “Quick Draw”

“The Skank Reflex Analysis”

In one of the show’s most surprising moments, we learn that Penny and Raj spent the night together. Following this, it becomes clear that both parties have very different takeaways from the night’s events, leading Raj to make a confession. Penny lets him down gently, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to show off to his friends later on. When Penny stops by to tell the guys she’s decided to move home, Raj tries to make it all about him. If only he’d seen the look on her face, he probably would’ve stopped talking sooner. But, with just a few short sharp words, Penny’s able to render him silent.

#3:Fighting with Sheldon

“The Panty Piñata Polarization”

In arguably one of the most iconic episodes, Penny and Sheldon engage in battle after he banishes her from the apartment. The escalating feud sees both pull out all the stops to come out on top, and some of it is plain vicious. However, it also gives us some of our favorite acerbic quotes courtesy of this Nebraska native. Penny delivers the first blow when she refuses to take Sheldon’s order at The Cheesecake Factory. Later during their heated exchange in the laundry room, she fires back at Sheldon with the ultimate comeback. Perhaps she has no idea what Sheldon’s talking about, but that doesn’t stop her from getting the last stinging word.

#2: Penny Takes Down Howard

“The Killer Robot Instability”

Being a savage isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and sometimes it’s even warranted. Case-in-point: Penny reaches her breaking point with Howard’s incessant lewd remarks and lets him have it. She doesn’t hold back, and her harsh words leave everyone in stunned silence. In her defense, Penny had been warding off Howard’s crudeness for ages while he showed no consideration for her feelings. Yes, Howard’s feelings got hurt by her scathing remarks, but at least he finally got the message. Many fans believed this was a turning point for Howard Wolowitz, and he was better off for it. And we have Penny and her barbed words to thank for that.

#1: Avenging Sheldon (& Glenn the Battle Ostrich)

“The Zarnecki Incursion”

While the guys are often the primary targets of Penny’s caustic tongue, they’ve also benefited from it. When Sheldon’s “World of Warcraft” game gets hacked, they venture on an unsuccessful mission to retrieve the stolen virtual goods. To add insult-to-injury, Leonard’s car breaks down on the way home, so they call Penny to pick them up. She decides to show them how to get revenge in Nebraska-style and confronts Sheldon’s online nemesis. If Penny’s words didn’t sting, then her sharp kick most certainly did. We’re not condoning violence, of course. Say what you will about Penny, but she knows how to get a job done. And when she goes into savage beast mode, it’s usually a bonus.