The Big Bang Theory: Why Penny Became a Bartender in Season 4

Die-hard fans must’ve noticed that Season 4 of The Big Bang Theory brought a big change that very few audiences remember. We want to know why Penny Became a Bartender behind a bar. Apparently, it happened due to an unfortunate mishap involving the actress in real life. Penny‚Äôs job change was prompted by an unfortunate accident. Her horse spooked during a riding lesson and caused her to fall. When her horse tried to jump on her, she inadvertently landed on her leg. Kaley Cuoco had to miss two episodes of season 4 of The Big Bang Theory.

Penny later returned to The Big Bang Theory but to hide the cast on her injured leg, the writers decided to put her behind the bar at The Cheesecake Factory instead of the restaurant waitress. Cuoco is an avid horse rider. Even before the Big Bang Theory ended, Cuoco had been spending a lot of her time competing in horse jumping competitions. She noted that her horse riding was a big part of her acting career, explaining, “I have six horses, and they have been the biggest blessing in my life. Horseback riding is why I’m so centered, especially in this business. I wouldn’t have my career without it.”

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In 2017, she came in third with her horse, Escarlata, in a showjumping competition. The actor explained on a talk show that she began competing under a fake name. She quoted:

“I actually started showing under a secret name…I have a little bit of an alias. I’ve been trying to steer clear of being super noticeable but it’s hard when you’re being followed around…I just tried to come up with something simple because it’s always up on a big board so people walk by and they see the name. The problem is too in the horse world, a lot of people know what horses you ride and the names of them. My horses are becoming a little more famous than I am.”

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In any event, back in 2010, Cuoco was taking riding lessons on one of her horses when she was accidentally thrown from the horse. She said “At the end of the lesson, my horse spooked, and I wasn’t really expecting it, and I fell off. I was laughing and my trainer was laughing. It was all very silly. I was getting up, and my horse was still kind of spooked…I think he was trying to get away from me and leaped over me and landed on my leg. I heard the crackling and thought he landed on leaves but those were my bones. I’m not feeling anything, and then I looked. And I was like, ‘Wow, my foot is facing me. That’s not normal!'” Penny’s return to the series included the first of what would prove to be a major part of the show, Penny hanging out with Amy and Bernadette. They basically have a slumber party.

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However, things get too much for Penny when Amy and Bernadette question her over her breakup with Leonard, who Penny noted is a great guy. Penny didn’t want to play anymore and ran off to her room. The scene where she runs off was done by a body double, due to Cuoco’s injury! The injury was surprisingly severe. Cuoco further detailed:

“So I got in there and the doctor doesn’t introduce himself, and he says, ‘OK, we’ve got to go over your options and one of them is amputation.’ All I am thinking is, ‘I’m going to have to call work and tell them I have one foot.'”

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Clearly, they were able to keep from having to amputate her leg but since it happened right before filming an episode of The Big Bang Theory, the writers wrote her out of that episode and the following episode. Cuoco expected them to simply come up with an injury for Penny, like some others shows have done in similar situations but they went a different route. She quoted on a lighter note:

“They’re not writing it in. I’m not going to question it. I was kind of shocked. I thought they were going to, but they’re just going to be hiding me kind of like when you’re pregnant.”


Did you know about this role change before? Well, we are glad she made a complete recovery and nothing irreversible happened.

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Virgo. World Explorer. Adventure Aficionado. Cinephile. Cinema Critic. Caffeine. Champagne. Grammar Nazi. The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Los Angeles, USA
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