Sheldon Cooper and his neighbor across the hall, Penny, are so different from one another that it’s a wonder that they have the relationship they do. But, the usually socially awkward Sheldon shares a very unique relationship with his neighbor Penny, and with her develops a friendship unlike any other.
It seems that despite being are friends, Sheldon and Penny annoy one another on a regular basis. Here is a fun montage from an episode in which Sheldon cleans Penny’s apartment because he just can’t handle the thought of her mess being adjacent to their shared hallway.
Despite the annoyance that he sometimes has for her though, Sheldon just can’t seem to be overtly mean to Penny. In another episode, Penny’s singing horrifys both Leonard and Sheldon, but neither of them mention it so as not to hurt her feelings. Sheldon is even compelled to throw away perfectly good take-out to lend truth to the rouse. It is unlikely that he would have thrown away brand new, piping hot food to spare the feelings of Howard, Raj, or even Leonard. (Watch here)
Penny and Sheldon hang out with the other guys a lot, and often run into each other in the shared laundry room of the apartment building. Over baskets of laundry, they share the latest news, and lend advice to one another. Granted, Sheldon’s advice is typically tactless and comes off as rude, but Penny always seems to have a comeback for him, or just blows him off altogether. He is a socially awkward, egotistical mega-genuis scientist, after all.
Even though they have moments of banter, they fulfill needs for one another that no one else in the group is able to. Penny fulfills a maternal role for Sheldon, while Sheldon remains Penny’s friend even after she and Leonard break up.
When the rest of the guys head to Vegas for the weekend, Sheldon returns home from picking up Indian food to find that he has locked himself out of the apartment. Penny makes fun of him a bit, but then takes him in for the evening, and even gives him her bed to sleep in since he’s too tall for her couch.
In this episode and others, Penny sings “Soft Kitty” to Sheldon – a song that his mother sang to him and which brings him comfort. Sheldon has on occasion also sung this song to Penny. The simple song, whose lyrics are: “Soft kitty/warm kitty/little ball of fur./Happy kitty/sleepy kitty/purr, purr, purr” are hilariously infantile, but humanize Sheldon at the same time.
Other ways that Penny nurtures Sheldon are through food. When he sneaks over to her apartment after her split with Leonard, Penny fixes him spaghetti with little hotdog weenies in it, just like Sheldon’t mom used to make it.
While they frequently get on each others’ nerves, Sheldon and Penny have a soft spot in their hearts for one another, and that’s something that fans have capitalized on. Here’s a sample of the huge amounts of fan art out there, dedicated to Penny and Sheldon: