The characters of Big Bang Theory are:

  • Sheldon Lee Cooper
  • Leonard Leakey Hofstadter
  • Howard Joel Wolowitz
  • Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali
  • Bernadette Maryanne Rostenkowski-Wolowitz
  • Amy Farrah Fowler


Penny!? That's it? No last name, or even a middle name?

  • 13
    Her last name may soon become Hofstadter. Oct 24, 2014 at 6:50
  • 3
    @pacoverflow Since smart is the new sexy, it may soon became Cooper ^_^ Oct 24, 2014 at 14:24
  • 3
    @Soner Why not Kripke then - he's smarter than Cooper. :) Oct 24, 2014 at 17:00
  • @SandySands: wait for it .... dary! Maybe you confused it with HIMYM, which has now finished the last season.
    – user15422
    Oct 24, 2014 at 18:52
  • 1
    @user15422 now I'll never know what @\SandySands said... :-(
    – Michael
    Oct 25, 2014 at 1:48

5 Answers 5


From Penny's Wikipedia entry:

In contrast to all other characters, Penny and her father's surname have not been revealed. Co-creator Bill Prady stated that Penny's last name will be revealed eventually. Executive producer Steve Molaro, however, has since stated her surname will remain a secret.


Now that Penny and Leonard are married, her last name is Hofstadter. Leonard got down on one knee in episode 2 of this season (9) and asked her, "Penny Hofstadter, will you stay married to me?" to which she said yes. Typically such formal proposals include middle names (and a maiden name in some cases) but since she doesn't have any, it was short and simple.

  • 2
    Spoilers! Ahhhh! :/
    – RedCaio
    May 15, 2016 at 5:30
  • I'm quite surprised how you people imply that marriage automatically implies that her name has changed. Is it somehow required for the bride to change her name in the US? :/
    – Sawarnik
    Jan 30, 2018 at 17:23
  • 12
    I didn't assume anything. The lines of the script had him calling her that. Jan 30, 2018 at 18:04

After some research, this is what I found to be the latest update regarding Penny's last name (before she married Leonard) or her maiden name:

Writer Steve Molaro said: ‘[Eventually] we got nervous and superstitious about giving her one.’

He added: ‘It will always be [her married name] Hofstadter.’

The same information is present over various other websites as well.



An eagle-eyed fan on Reddit noticed Penny's last name mentioned in one of the packages with her materials in Season 2 episode 18 The Work Song Nanocluster.

Link to the Reddit post.
Link to the ScreenRant article.

While the Wikia for TBBT does not show any last names for Penny, it does however mention Teller as the last name for Penny's dad, mom and brother.


Sandun found Penny maiden name.

However, during a good part of the story, before she marries Leonard, her legal name was Johnson.

Indeed she did marry Zack Johnson in Las Vegas, and even though both thought the wedding was just for fun, the marriage was in fact perfectly valid. This was told in The Thanksgiving Decoupling, season 7 episode 9. The wedding itself is not in any episode, but in the Trivia section of the page I am linking they say this happened three years before that episode, so she was indeed Mrs. Penny Johnson for three years.

Penny needs a proper divorce from Zack before she could marry Leonard, and after some hesitations Zack agrees to sign the divorce papers at the end of that same episode, so Penny can legally marry Leonard a bit later.

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  • I just gave the exact episode where Penny's wedding in Las Vegas with Zack is told. Zack signs the divorce papers at the end of that very same episode.
    – Alfred
    Jan 12 at 0:31
  • 3
    Being married doesn't legally change your name. You have to do that separately. Jan 12 at 2:29

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