One show focused on family, and the other was all about friends. Kaley Cuoco took on the roles of Bridget and Penny as she rose to stardom with both gigs, though she reached new levels of success with The Big Bang Theory, becoming a household name. We shouldn't discredit her portrayal of Bridget on 8 Simple Rules though, as some believe that had it not been for that role, maybe she would have never been cast to the CBS show. The program debuted in 2002 and got off to a great start as Cuoco instantly played the role of a "love symbol" to the teen audience. Although the show only lasted three seasons, the 76 episodes were enough to solidify her as a huge force.
Of course, in 2007, The Big Bang Theory would destroy the sitcom world (in a good way), shattering all expectations. Set for 12 seasons, the show is still ongoing at this point with the main characters making nearly a million dollars each per episode. Had it not been for the stunning Penny character, you wonder if the show would have been as successful.
In the article, we take a unique look at Cuoco in both shows and put her characters against one another. Let us know who you find steamier; the Penny character from Big Bang or the Bridget character from 8 Simple Rules. Enjoy this epic clash folks! Let’s begin.
15 Big Bang – Penny’s Debut
Fittingly, we start at the very beginning of Cuoco’s Big Bang Theory run as the picture above comes from the show’s pilot. A date the fans of the show and the cast members will never forget, the CBS sitcom made its debut on September 24th, 2007. Check your calendars folks, as the series is just a couple of days away from celebrating a decade of existence; now that’s remarkable.
In the pilot, Penny made her on-screen debut as the neighbor of both the wacky Sheldon and shy Leonard. Penny was working at the Cheesecake Factory during the opening episode. Her debut made waves instantly as the character immediately connected with the crowd. Not only was her personality infectious but man, did she ever have the looks to back it up! That was only the beginning of the Penny love affair that started ten years ago.
14 8 Simple Rules – Underwear Don’t Care
Before there was Penny, Cuoco was known as Bridget Hennessy by the masses. 8 Simple Rules made its debut on national television long before Big Bang in September of 2002. The sitcom was Kaley’s first involvement on a prime-time cable TV show.
Early on, the show was a major hit and the Bridget character was a huge reason for that success. Although the program appealed to a younger demographic, Cuoco pushed the envelope with some edgier attire as she played the role of a young rebel. Her demographic of teenage boys were likely salivating every time she appeared on-screen. The picture above is one of Cuoco’s most memorable “Not So PG” outfits from the show as she had a little bit of her undergarments showing; it provided quite the moment and a steamy one to say the least.
13 Big Bang – The Bikini Scene
One thing Kaley hasn’t been afraid to take on in the past is a good old fashion bikini scene. On both shows, Kaley appeared in the revealing attire. So the question is, when did she wear it best: In this picture from Big Bang or in the following picture from 8 Simple Rules years before?
Cuoco was not afraid to showcase her fine “assets” and that isn’t too surprising given her intense training methods outside of work. Cuoco loves to practice yoga and is usually seen at the studios very frequently in the LA area. Heck, if you type in “candid picture of Kaley Cuoco” you’ll likely find that most of the pics feature Cuoco going to get a workout in at the yoga studio or finishing up with a protein drink in hand. With all that work, she isn’t afraid to flaunt the goods.
12 8 Simple Rules – The Other Bikini
Yup, Cuoco was rocking bikinis long before Big Bang; heck, she even wore a revealing outfit during Charmed, a show she joined before Big Bang. Even back in the day when yoga wasn’t such a necessity in her life, she could still rock the hell out of a bathing suit.
This was one of the many moments on the show that proved Cuoco was the dominant s*x symbol and she grew to massive popularity as a teen star because of it. The show was eventually cancelled in 2005 due to low ratings, but before that, the numbers skyrocketed and one would think Kaley had a big hand in that. Despite the show lasting a mere three seasons, it’s remarkable to see the impact that it made worldwide. What’s even more staggering is that they managed to release 76 episodes in that amount of time.
11 Big Bang – The White Undershirt
What made the Penny character so great and endearing to the audience was the fact that Kaley portrayed the role as an average girl next door. Even when she was dressed in comfortable attire as you see in the picture above, she still managed to take our breath away. Rocking the white top, fans and even non-fans of the show are drooling at the sight of this picture because of a certain “Not So PG” pair of “assets”. That’s as descriptive as we’re going to get.
Character depth has been huge on the show and one of the biggest reasons as to why it’s lasted over ten years. Cuoco’s s*x appeal added a new dimension to the show, and without her acting chops and beauty, it’s hard to imagine to show being as successful.
10 8 Simple Rules – Halloween Attire
We now switch gears in this battle and focus on a clash of Halloween costumes featuring Bridget’s portrayal of Britney Spears on 8 Simple Rules and in the next picture, we’ll take a look at Penny’s Big Bang Halloween costume. Which you prefer, depends entirely on your taste.
The "appeal" card usually tends to get pushed a little further during these types of episodes as the writers and producers have an excuse to make one of their main characters reveal a little too much. That was the exact case with Cuoco as she’s dressed up in the steamiest Halloween attire, including the picture you see above as she rocks the short skirt and her trademark, low-cut shirt (that shows off that smooth stomach). The ABC audience was drooling at the attire back in the day and we assume lots of people were also drooling at the next costume on the list.
9 Big Bang – Halloween Attire Number Two
If this was a boxing bout, Bridget just landed a shot right to Penny’s stomach, however with this picture, we can say Penny lands one right back and some would argue the velocity of the shot is even harder. Okay, enough with the boxing references, what we’re trying to say is that Penny looks fine as hell and many would argue that this is the steamier costume of the two.
Rocking her portrayal of Wonder Woman, fans of the show drooled at this costume; even if you don’t like comics you appreciated the ensemble. Penny’s assets were on full display, from her long legs that she also showcased in the previous picture to her “Not So PG” friendly cleavage; this costume truly had it all going on. Although her character had a rocky night on the episode, most fans watching the show can’t say the same.
8 8 Simple Rules – White Top Response
So Penny scored some big extra points earlier in the article for her white top outfit. Well, it turns out, Bridget rocked the top long before Penny did as she responds with a vengeance in this clash, wearing the steamy top out and about. Somewhere out there, Bridget Hennessy is smiling.
Following the show, things could have changed drastically for Cuoco who took on both films and TV shows. She found great success on Charmed, so much so that the series wanted to create a spinoff based on her character alone. The time period for that was around 2007; can you imagine Cuoco took the spinoff and left Big Bang on the table? Man, would things ever be different. Thankfully, she stuck to her strengths and stayed in the world of sitcoms - becoming a global star. We can all agree Kaley made the right choice following her run on 8 Simple Rules.
7 Big Bang – The Black Dress
We’ve showcased Penny and Bridget in some steamy attires, but we now throw a curveball in this article featuring a picture of Penny in a stunning dress. Once again, this is a huge blow to Bridget, as the dress compliments Penny in all the right places. From her slimming look in the dress to the “Not So PG” cleavage featured, the live pause button was likely pressed a couple of times during this episode of Big Bang!
Fans of the show have been most certainly spoiled in the last decade as the series released 231 episodes. Perhaps nobody could have predicted the amount of success the show would receive. Many initially believed that it would only cater to a niche audience, but yeah, that hasn’t been the case. Rumors are speculating that the show is to be cancelled following the 12th season, but we can only hope those are only rumors.
6 8 Simple Rules – Purple Short Top
For those of you that remember Kaley on 8 Simple Rules, you likely remember the sitcom Goddess usually rocking this signature type of shit. The Bridget character was known for wearing low cut shirts that exposed her stomach and the picture you see above identifies that. Her pose is also of the “Not So PG” nature which just adds to the brilliance. With such a picture, Bridget scored some big points in this heated encounter.
Before her debut on 8 Simple Rules, Cuoco made some brief cameos on other sitcoms, appearing on shows like Ladies Man, which would be her first encounter with CBS and a Disney Channel original film, Alley Cats Strike. The cameos weren’t insanely prestigious, but they were enough to get the star noticed for her portrayal of Bridget that truly started it all.
5 Big Bang – The Short Hair Look
With such a long run on the show, the Big Bang pictures of Penny are much more diverse, especially the pic you see above as the former Cheesecake Factory waitress rocked an all new look. The rumor mill ran wild when she debuted with the look; many thought it was a part of the show as Penny was finally leaving the acting life for a job as a sales rep. Some even believed she made the change because of her new life as Leonard’s loving wife, but apparently, both were not the case.
Big Bang had nothing to do with the cut as Cuoco cut her hair for a film she took part in during the summer. Kaley apparently offered to wear extensions on the show, but the producers were ultimately okay with the new look as it was regarded as a breath of fresh air for the character. Regardless of whether or not you preferred the before-look, there’s no denying Penny still looks like an A+ beauty!
4 8 Simple Rules – The Housewife Look
Oh Bridget, you did again. This is a steamy throwback shot of Cuoco rocking a tightly fitted pink shirt. Your eyes are likely drawn to a certain pair of “assets”, but remember, it was a family show! Wearing the gloves as well, Cuoco is the total package in the picture and looking like an ideal housewife. Leonard scored big time with this beauty on Big Bang!
As we stated in the article, 8 Simple Rules was the initial platform that launched Cuoco into stardom. Had it not been for the exposure, one would assume she would have never reached her current staggering net worth of $45 million, which is in large part because of The Big Bang Theory. Still only just entering her 30s (at 31), that net worth will only increase with or without the sitcom.
3 Big Bang – Lingerie Attire
The Big Bang Theory has used the "appeal" card many times in the past and it wasn’t just with Penny. Even the likes of Bernadette and Amy took part in some steamy scenes with their partners throughout the show. However, no disrespect to them, but the scenes paled in comparison to Penny’, and the show was well aware of that as she took part in the most “Not So PG” scenes throughout the series.
This outfit was one of the absolute best as fans salivated at the ensemble. Purple is our new favorite color here on The Richest.... but seriously, rocking the purple nightwear lingerie, hearts and imaginations were running wild during this epic scene that was truly one of the most memorable for various reasons. Some might say Penny just landed the knockout blow in this clash.
2 8 Simple Rules – Stunning Cheerleader
Okay, we admit Bridget just took a huge shot in this bout but she got up and landed one last stiff righthand with this bomb of a picture going for the knockout of the clash. This is one of the most iconic 8 Simple Rules photo featuring Bridget in some lovely cheerleading attire. Looking at such a picture, we're wishing the series lasted a little longer!
Cuoco's role on the show was played to perfection as she served as the "popular girl" hanging out with the higher ups of the school and taking part in cheerleading, while her sister was portrayed as the "book-worm" type that struggled to fit in. The dynamic of the show worked perfectly, though the appeal was lost after the tragic passing of John Ritter who was essential to the program. Had it not been for his tragic passing, without a doubt, the show would have lasted longer.
1 Big Bang – Penny & Sheldon's Laundry Room Scene
So Bridget scored some major points with the prior picture but this one might be the final blow to determine the winner of the clash. In one of the most iconic scenes in not only Big Bang, but recent sitcom history, the two beloved characters took part in one of the steamiest scenes of the entire show, which took place in the laundry room. A shirtless Penny wearing nothing but a bra and short shorts seriously blocked our lungs. What a spectacle that scene was.
Sheldon and Penny are essential to the show's success and the producers are well aware of that. As of March of 2017, the two were making $900,000 per episode, and that was after a 10% pay cut which allowed some of the others on the cast to receive a pay increase.
So, there you have it folks. So who do you think took this clash? Let us know via Facebook!