Rachel Paige
September 09, 2015 9:19 am

You probably don’t think of The Big Bang Theory as being a dark show, riddled with deeply tormented characters. Uh, that’s not The Big Bang Theory we know and love about a group of guys who really like comics, and their next-door-neighbor. The show has certainly evolved over the years, giving all the characters depth, and a little love in their lives. Still, nothing about the series has appeared dark or gritty over the last 9 seasons — this isn’t like some Batman origin story, guys.

But now, thanks to a new fan theory found on Reddit, we can’t help but look at the show in a different light. And a dark light, at that. SeraniumFilledClock has posted an extensive theory about the show and two of its main characters, couple Leonard and Penny. We see it as an opposites-attract type of story, but these two might be more alike than we realize.

The gist of it is this: SeraniumFilledClock believes that Penny and Leonard are drawn to one another, not because of true luv, but because they both suffer from psychological problems. For Penny, in the beginning she’s presented as a pretty, popular girl, but as the seasons go one she doesn’t have any friends — other than Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj. Penny can’t get her life together, suffers from a drinking problem, and she “eventually gets so desperate to the point that she goes to these alien people for not just friendship, but familial loyalty.” Why? Because  Penny’s “self hate and defeating tendencies are dangerous” and have driven her to Leonard.

And we haven’t even gotten to Leonard yet.

Leonard, meanwhile, suffers from problems, too, like the fact that he was mistreated by his cold mother during childhood, and now lives with Sheldon. He’s mistreated present-day by that insane roommate agreement, along with Sheldon’s high-strung tendencies and routines. As SeraniumFilledClock writes, “The reason that Leonard loves Penny isn’t because she’s pretty, its because they’re compatible. They both are self defeating and are trying to fill voids in their lives without ever facing the problem. Problems which are so deep that it drives them crazy from time to time.”

According to this theory, that shared emotional conflict is the glue holding this relationship together (even after breaking up countless times). “This pattern of obsessive and/or neurotic love and bonding is the only one any of the characters have,” SeraniumFilledClock explains. Though Penny and Leonard have proven their love for one another, to each other (and to the audience), their relationship still is a little bit odd. But if we look at it through the lens of psychological reasoning, we’ll admit, it does make a bit more sense. They’re just trying to fill their lives with what they’re missing, and to find solace in each other. They’ve still got a love story, it’s just not a true “opposites attract” love story.

As SeraniumFilledClock sums up at the very end, “[everything] in the Big Bang Theory isn’t about nerds, it’s a tragedy about people who’ve lost everything and are laughing it off in a new life together.” Though they might have inner turmoil individually, Penny and Leonard are still solid together, and that’s what matters at the end of the day. So, bazinga.

(Image via CBS)

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