One long-running mystery The Big Bang Theory series finale surprisingly left unanswered was Penny's real name. While there was a perfect chance to reveal her maiden name, it did not happen.
In the last moments of the series, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) finally realized how important his friends have been to his personal success. He asked everyone to stand during his Nobel Prize speech. As he went down the list of his friends, when he arrived at Penny (Kaley Cuoco) he called her by her married name, "Penny Hofstadter."
Ever since The Big Bang Theory began 12 seasons ago, Penny's last name has been an ongoing mystery, similar to the broken elevator. While that mystery was solved, this one was not.
“I kind of love it,” she said. “So many things are revealed in the last few episodes; you get a lot of satisfying moments. But I kind of love that [we’ll never know her last name].”
"I love it too, 'cause Johnny [Galecki] always says, 'It's Hofstadter! It's Hofstadter, that's her last name,'" Cuoco continued.
In that same interview, Cuoco talked about the spontaneous group hug they shared while filming the last scene. The final shot of the finale had the gang eating Chinese food together, while an acoustic version of the Barenaked Ladies' theme song played.
"I think it was our realization it was our last group scene together," she explained. "We were shooting and I was like, 'Wait a minute, this is the last scene we're gonna shoot.' And we all just went, 'Oh my God' and we all just huddled in and we all just looked at each other and said, 'I love you.' We all just said 'I love you' a million times, and I don't know, it was just a real intense realization."
In April, Cuoco and executive producer Steve Molaro suggested that the mystery was left unsolved for so long, they just left it that way.
"It's kind of a personal thing," she said at Wondercon. "It feels like a jinx. We haven't said it for so long. I feel like if we said it, the world will explode."
"We got nervous and superstitious about giving her [a last name]," Molaro added. "It will always be Hofstadter."
Although the Season 2 Young Sheldon finale included looks at the younger versions of each Big Bang character, it also did not reveal Penny's last name.
While Big Bang is not coming back in the fall, CBS renewed Young Sheldon for two more seasons.
Photo credit: CBS