Penelope is initially portrayed as the troublemaker and likes to be in control of most situations. In reality, however, Penelope is keen to protect her ex-girlfriend, Josie Saltzman, in a bid to perhaps gaining her affection again in the future. She kept close eyes on all of the students at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted through the use of an enchanted pen which collated all diary entries into one centralised diary.
After realizing her efforts with Josie are futile — and no longer being able to bear watching Josie put herself second best — Penelope leaves the Salvatore School to finish the school year at an elite school in Belgium. Penelope remarks that she had been waiting for Josie to ask her to stay, but that she is still in love with her.
Not much is known about her early history, except at some point after her arrival to the Salvatore Boarding School, she dated Josie. Partially due to Josie focusing too much of her attention on Lizzie and too little on her own self interest, they eventually broke up.
In This is the Part Where You Run, Penelope sits in Chemistry of Magic, subbed by Dorian Williams. He's instructing the class the proper use of syllables in the language of spell casting. He then instructs for Penelope to show the class what happens when a love charm is mispronounced. As she prepares the spell, she notices Lizzie and Josie Saltzman chaperoning a new potential student. She gives Josie a quick wink and performs the spell. The stink spell, as Dorian calls it, causes a putrid smell to immediately fill the classroom.
Later that night, Penelope and her friends attend a party at the old mill. She sees Josie and they lock eyes but don't exchange any words. Her smile fades as she and her friends walk away.
With the party over, she meets MG in the kitchen. He tells her that he has the munchies. She eagerly tells him that she can help with that and bares her neck. MG immediately tells her that they'll get in trouble and backs away, reigning in his hunger. She doesn't care; she tells him that rules are meant to be broken and she is an equal-opportunity evil temptress, and his binary assumptions about sexuality are dated. Again, she bares her neck and asks him if he's going to "suck her dry". MG kisses her several times before he moves on to her neck. As he prepares himself to bite her, they are caught by Josie, and Penelope wipes her lip with her thumb and smirks, implying she just wanted to mess with her. MG stands dazed and confused as they both walk away.
The following night, Penelope gathers outside the boarding school with a small group of girls. As she and the other girls talk, Josie stands in the distance and goes, seemingly, unnoticed. Josie, after talking with MG and hers her ex laugh with her friends casts a fire spell and sets her right arm on fire. She yells for someone to put it out as it quickly makes it way up her arm. Some of the surrounding girls throw their jackets over her to smother the flames. Josie walks away, unashamed of attacking her ex-girlfriend.
In Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Penelope catches Lizzie and Josie off guard as they quietly discuss what Josie was up to the prior night and why she experience throwing up black goo. Penelope suggests that she's pregnant, rather she insults her weight, suggesting that it's just the way her jersey fits her. Josie tells her to go away and she agrees, in fact, she's already gone. However, before she goes, she gives Josie a 'hot tip'; that the next time she tries to burn her ex's hair off, make sure she can't rock a lob. She runs her hand through her hair, smiles, and leaves Josie standing alongside her sister.
Lounging in a chair, reading a book, Lizzie and Josie pass by while talking about Rafael. She mentions that she just saw Rafael. She informs them that he's not going to be at the annual game against Mystic Falls High School. He, like their father, Alaric, has hopped on the "Hope-Train" out of town. She smirks, licks her finger and flips another page in the book as Lizzie and Josie look at each other and walks away.
Later in the day at the game, MG approaches Penelope. She informs him that the "nerdling approach" never got any dude anywhere. He's still mad at her for the stunt she pulled the previous night, for taking a shot at Josie. Penelope, however, offers another viewpoint. Lizzie is mad at him and, hence, she sees him for a change. She informs him that what she did was deliberate and she offers that she can help him get her. MG questions what's in it for her, but she brushes it off as charity work. In the next play of the game, she instructs him to impress her. He does as he's asked and scores the next point for their team. Though Lizzie is mad at him for not purposely failing, she smiles from the sideline and gives MG a nod.
As the tide of the game changes, Lizzie, Rafael, and MG use their supernatural abilities to gain the upper hand and score more points for their team. Penelope stands on the sidelines, happy. Josie, however, calls her own audible and wants them to lose. Penelope offers a third option. They can win the game without the aid of any of their supernatural abilities - fair and square. Lizzie agrees with Penelope's plan and rallies her team. She smirks as the team heads back to the field.
Despite losing the game, Penelope catches MG off guard as he leaves the boy's showers. It was time for a strategy session. MG, however, is done with Penelope's games, that all he's accomplished today was getting the wrong girl to look his way. She informs him that what he wants to happen is a long-con and for him to trust her. In order for Lizzie to pay him attention, having her nemesis, Dana, like him is just one piece of the puzzle and today, despite how it looks, is a win for him. He knows that she hates Lizzie and wonders why she cares so much. She tells him, leaning in close to his ear, that some people just want to watch the world burn; she walks past him and leaves the hallway.
In Malivore, Penelope sits on the stairs among six other witches. She tells them that Lizzie only cares about herself and if your interests do not align with hers, then you're as good as witch non grata. She believes they deserve a better candidate. Josie, however, catches her talking with the witches to not to vote for Lizzie for the honor council. Josie angrily confronts her asking if she is running for honor council to spite Lizzie. She stands and the other witches leave them before they speak one-on-one. Josie tells Penelope that it's low for her to do that to Lizzie, but Penelope just responded by joking about their former sex life by saying that Josie liked it when she went "low." This flusters Josie, but she continues to argue with Penelope, citing that she doesn't even like extracurricular activities, let alone anything that involves a moral compass. Penelope even takes a shot at her one-witch ethics committee plagiarizing the "I'm With Her" slogan for Lizzie's campaign. Josie brushes it off telling her that Hope was exactly an option. She demands that she bows out now and threatens to crush her if she doesn't. However, Penelope only responds saying that Josie crushes on her and that Josie knows she is right about Lizzie being unfit for office.
As the day progresses, Penelope catches Josie making a deal with another deal with a witch student, trading Lizzie's sweater for her vote. Josie accepts and the witches shake. Penelope smirks as Josie notices her out of the corner of her eye, though they do not exchange words.
With the time for the students to cast their votes, Penelope shows off her skills with telekinesis and blows a kiss to propel her vote into the ballot box. Her vote, for Josie, is the last to be cast and Emma Tig calls attention to the assembly of students. Penelope sits a couple of rows behind Lizzie and Josie, the students section off by their respective species. Emma announces the representatives; Rafael and Kaleb for the werewolves and vampires, respectively. Finally, Emma announces that Josie was won the witch vote over Lizzie; Penelope even beat out Lizzie, gaining the second highest amount of votes. Josie immediate looks behind her at Penelope, who simply points and winks to her, infuriating her all the more.
After voting, Penelope finds Lizzie working out in their school gym, releasing her anger out on a punching bag. Lizzie confronts Penelope asking if she wanted to take its place. Penelope continues to make her own punches, telling Lizzie that it's the rest of the witches who knew how bad she'd be at the job for honor council. She's fed up with the constant hate and asks what she did to make her hate her so much. Penelope, however, tells her it's not about her but in fact about how she treats Josie. Lizzie retorts that she loves Lizzie, but Penelope sheds her own light on their sibling relationship. She asks if Josie ever wanted to run for the council before she just assumed she'd win. She points out that she's left her with no room for herself and that Josie spends all of her energy taking care of her. Josie doesn't have time for a real relationship because of Lizzie, that she's a black hole of time and energy, never giving any back to Josie. Penelope admits that Josie, however, would never burn her sister's world down, so she will do it for her. She walks away with Lizzie coming to tears over what she just said.
In Mombie Dearest, Penelope bids Lizzie and Josie a "Happy birthday, witches!" and offers them cupcakes. Lizzie mocks her speech from their previous encounter, asking if she's come to burn her world down. Josie intervenes and asks what she wants. Penelope however, tells them that she's here to cheer them up since their mom is not coming home for their birthday. This is news to them and she informs them that she overheard them cancel her pickup at the office. Lizzie is angry over this new information and with Penelope slams the door in her face.
Later in the day as students are preparing for Lizzie and Josie's sweet sixteen, MG confronts Penelope. Despite MG's frustration and mistrust with her, she tells him that she's here to help. She admits that telling them that their mom wasn't coming was directed at Lizzie, but tells MG that Lizzie is taking Rafael has her date to her birthday party. She questions MG's effort to make her party perfect and demands that he take charge of his feelings to free himself from Lizzie. MG is persistent and refuses to take "no" for an answer. Penelope relents and makes him a deal. She'll keep Rafael away from the party long enough for MG to take his shot with Lizzie, which she assumes he will inevitably fail, and when it's over and Lizzie has broken his heart, once again, he has to promise her that he'll let Lizzie go. MG accepts Penelope's offer.
Penelope finds Rafael and Hope practicing how to dance for Lizzie and Josie's party and casts a boundary spell over the gym. She explains that the spell will wear off in about an hour, plenty of time to continue to practice the Waltz, and walks off without giving any more of an explanation.
As Lizzie leaves Josie to get ready for their party, Penelope knocks on her bedroom door and greets her with a "Hey, Jo Jo." She asks if Josie needs an escort. Josie mocks her request, asking if she knew anyone with a heart not made from stone. Penelope apologizes about earlier, that she saw a chance to make Lizzie suffer and took it despite how it would make Josie feel. She attempts to mediate the tension between her sister and Penelope, but Penelope tells her that Lizzie sucks the air out of the very room she's in. She continues to explain that she's crawled so far down the codependence rabbit hole, that she thinks that taking care of herself is selfish. She reassures Josie that it isn't and wonders when she'll actually start taking care of herself. Josie tells her that she's fine but she points out that the party starts in five and it's a shame that she spent all her time helping Lizzie get ready.
Penelope attends the party and watches from the balcony as MG and Lizzie dance. After some time passes, she asks another student if they've seen Josie, who's nowhere to be found. With the arrival of Rafael to the party, MG loses Lizzie, as Penelope predicted. She finds MG outside at the Old Mill and asks if he's seen, Josie. He doesn't know and assumes she's having the time of her life at her party. She rolls her eyes stares at MG, who tells her he's ready for battle. She refuses to dual him and holds him to their previous deal: Lizzie Saltzman is canceled. As Hope stalks through the woods, she mocks her but Hope's not interested. Initially, she was going to ignore Penelope, but stops and asks for help. She explains to her and MG that Josie has been buried alive by her possessed, resurrected, biological mother. They follow after Hope, grabbing shovels to help her find Josie.
As they walk through the cemetery, MG is attacked by a reanimated corpse. Penelope attacks the corpse but misses its head. MG corrects her that, in order to kill a "walker", you have to go for the brain. Penelope, unamused with his nerdy banter, tells him to call it a zombie as more zombies burst up from the ground. They fend them off and Hope instructs MG to go ahead and find Josie, that she and Penelope can hold them off. Hope asks how she wants to handle the situation, i.e. with magic. She offers that they DIY it and pretend they're Lizzie Saltzman. Hope likes the suggestion and continues to attack the zombies in the head. MG finally finds where Josie has been buried and they rush off to free her.
With Josie saved, Penelope and MG wait for her outside the showers. MG feels like he's an actual superhero and she laughs him off. Josie leaves the showers and thanks MG, ignoring Penelope. She calls after Josie, asking what about her, that she, too, helped. Josie tells her that she's the reason she was buried in the first place, that she took her advice and went for something she wanted. She made the selfish move and ended up fighting a zombie. She's angry and Penelope takes it as Josie tells her that there's room for people in the world that just care about other people and not everybody has to be a showboat. Penelope admits that she's right. The world needs the selfless and the selfish to keep spinning. She happens to be the latter. She takes Josie in and they embrace in a heartfelt kiss. Josie breaks it off to tell her that she hates her, but Penelope already knows. Despite her words, Josie leans back in for another kiss.
In There's a World Where Your Dreams Came True, Penelope appears in the apocalyptic reality as the member of the resistance. She's angered to see Lizzie show up at Josie's memorial vigil, especially knowing that she was the one who killed her implying even in this reality that Penelope still has strong feelings for Josie. She blows sleeping powder on Lizzie at Alaric's request and later on is seen fighting against those who oppose supernaturals. This reality is wished away by Lizzie.
In We're Gonna Need A Spotlight, she first approaches Josie, who is in conversation with Hope. She hands Josie a letter and tells her to read it in private. She is practicing with the other witches for the annual talent show but is stopped by Lizzie who is displeased with the performance so show. Much later, Josie, who has been infected with a mind-control slug, comes up to Penelope and asks her if she wants to get away together. They then take a walk into the woods where the urn is around an entrapment spell, and both of their eyes glow green, revealing Penelope is infected as well. Josie asks Penelope what she had written in her letter, and Penelope kisses her, telling her that was what was in it. Josie smiles and asks her if she knows that they are never getting back together. Hope shows up and uses magic against Penelope, knocking her out in the process and freeing her from the slug not long after. After Alaric announces a talent show re-do, Penelope joins the other witches in their performance and listens as Josie sings.
In Let's Just Finish the Dance, Penelope approaches Josie, who is preparing for the annual Miss. Mystic Falls beauty pageant. She offers company to Josie, as well as an excuse out of helping out with such a misogynistic event. Josie denies and tells her that she is a contestant, and will be helping Lizzie win. Josie reveals that she has not yet read the letter Penelope wrote to her.
She is present when Lizzie steps down from the Miss. Mystic Falls pageant in favor of Hope competing. Penelope is upset for Josie's sake. Penelope changes her mind and persuades MG to step down as Josie's partner and steps up to the role herself. During dance rehearsal, when Josie attempts to trip and fall, Penelope smoothly catches her. Josie is mad at her for ruining Lizzie's plan. Penelope asks her if she had wanted to win the title of Miss. Mystic Falls, which Josie denies and says Lizzie planned for Hope to win.
The next time that Penelope and Josie encounter one another, Josie pulls out a pen, which Penelope had cast a spying spell on and had given to everyone at the school for Christmas. Soon after, Penelope encounters Landon drinking alcohol outside, stealing the bottle, she starts a conversation. She reveals that Hope has been keeping a secret from Landon. Penelope shows up to escort Josie down the stairs at the beauty pageant, where Josie reveals that she is going to fall down the stairs onto Hope's biggest rival. Penelope disagrees and says that Josie is so much better than that, that she could win if she wanted to, and that she believed in Josie. They share smiles, but Josie catches Lizzie's eye and "trips" down the stairs. Penelope offers no help to Josie on the floor and seems frustrated. Penelope asks Josie what she would do if Penelope were no longer there to fight for Josie. Josie is confused, and Penelope tells her yet again to read the letter. Josie goes off to read the letter and is shocked to find out that Penelope is leaving the Salvatore School.
Josie catches Penelope as she is leaving, and asks if she was going to say goodbye. Penelope's mom had gotten a job in Belgium, and Penelope was going to a new witches only school. Josie with tears in her eyes tells Penelope not to leave. Penelope says that she had been waiting weeks for Josie to give her one reason to stay, but instead she got a thousand reasons to leave. She says that her heart can not take Josie always putting herself second. She does not want to watch and see what happens to Josie next. Josie is confused, so Penelope pulls out a big book from her handbag, that had recorded all the writing her spy pens had collected. She hands it to Josie and tells her to read what her dad wrote about the Merge. They are both crying at this point, and Penelope brushes Josie's tears from her face and tells her that one day Josie will understand why Penelope did everything she did. Penelope kisses Josie and the two embrace. Penelope shakily tells Josie that she loves her. Penelope walks off with her suitcase, and Josie watches on, the book clutched in her hands.
Penelope is described as being "evil" by a couple of her classmates. However, this could just be because she let down someone she knew. It is shown that she is knowledgeable in the art of witchcraft being her teacher asked her to demonstrate how a spell could go awry. Also, Penelope seems to be quite popular and has an outgoing personality with her friends. She is also shown to be quite flirty.
Later on, in a conversation with Lizzie, she implies that the reason for her breakup with Josie was because Josie couldn't truly be happy with her, while caring for Lizzie's problems and that she is willing to ruin Lizzie for the way she treats her twin. While not excusing her, this reveals that she, in fact, cares about Josie in her own way.
Penelope is a pretty young woman with medium-light colored skin, hazel eyes, and wavy brown hair. She originally had long wavy hair, but her ex-girlfriend burnt off most of it by using magic. She now wears her hair in a bob-style. She also has an athletic build and tends to wear natural makeup accentuating her facial features.
Powers and Abilities
Penelope possesses all the standard powers and abilities of a witch. She is a talented young witch and has performed a variety of spells of varying complexity. One such spell worth mentioning is her barrier spell over the Salvatore Boarding School's gymnasium. The spell would only last for an hour and, according to Hope, only she or Lizzie or Josie, by siphoning, could undo the spell. Another interesting use of her magic was spelling an untold number of pens for the students as a Christmas present. The spelled pens would copy anything written with the pen in Penelope's personal journal, to which she would use the information to spy on the study body. Josie equates the magic inside one spelled pen is enough magic to levitate an elephant.
"You know, for weeks, I have been hoping that you would give me one reason to stay. Instead, you gave me a thousand reasons to go. Losing on purpose, always putting yourself second. My heart can't take it. And I will not wait around and watch what happens to you next. [...] One day, you will understand why I did everything I did. I love you, Jo-Jo. I love you with all of my obnoxious, selfish, evil heart."
Josie is Penelope's ex-girlfriend and frenemy. Although their history isn't known yet, it is stated several times that Penelope hurt Josie prior to their romantic relationship ending. Penelope often teases Josie and Josie calls her "evil" behind her back every time she irks her. Josie is angry at both Penelope and MG when she catches them making out, much to Penelope's amusement. In revenge, Josie burns Penelope's hair with a spell. Later, Penelope confronts Josie about burning her hair and states that she likes her new bob, which annoys Josie even more. It is clear that their relationship will not take a turn for the better anytime soon. However, angry tensions between them lighten up after Penelope helps MG and Hope save Josie's life from being buried alive. Penelope initiates a kiss after this even though Josie claims to "hate" Penelope, which Penelope knows is a lie being Josie kissed her back. Their relationship continues to be complicated until Penelope decides to leave the boarding school. The future of their relationship is up in the air, but there is still hope for them when they kiss each other ‘goodbye' in tears and Penelope declares her love for Josie before leaving the school with her luggage.
Penelope is good friends and allies with her classmate, MG. Penelope is often trying to help MG win over Lizzie, despite it irritating her. However, MG is smitten with Lizzie, which frustrates Penelope being she has a bad history with Lizzie and her twin sister. Penelope also cares about MG as a friend and doesn't want to see him hurt by people like Lizzie, which is evident when Penelope stood by his side on Lizzie and Josie's sweet sixteen after Lizzie ditched him to dance with Rafael. Penelope even incited a makeout session with MG once, but this was when she convinced MG to drink her blood instead of animal blood. Despite this very brief hookup, MG and Penelope have remained friends. They also seem closer in Mombie Dearest after saving Josie from zombies together. Their friendship becomes long-distant when Penelope leaves the boarding school.
Penelope and Lizzie have an antagonistic relationship with each other. Lizzie's dislike for Penelope is mostly due to being the ex-girlfriend of her twin sister, Josie, and Penelope's dislike towards Lizzie is due to the way Lizzie's selfishness affects Josie. They also insult and humiliate each other whenever they have the chance. Penelope feels that Lizzie will destroy Josie if she stays at the boarding school, so Penelope decides to leave the school partly because of Lizzie and partly because she can't witness Lizzie hurting Josie any longer.
Penelope and Hope (Former Classmates/Former Allies)