Penny Pingleton
The 1988 and the 2007 Penny


Penny "Lou" Pingleton




Prudence Pingleton (1988)
Prudy Pingleton (2007)
Paddy Pingleton (father) (1988 only)


Tracy Turnblad
Corny Collins (probably)
Little Inez Stubbs
Motormouth Maybelle
The Corny Collins Show Members (Some)


Amber Von Tussle (formerly)
Velma Von Tussle (probably)
The Corny Collins Show Members (Some, formerly)
Franklin Von Tussle (probably) (1988 only)


Seaweed J. Stubbs (boyfriend)


Hairspray (1988 film)
Hairspray (2007 film)

Portrayed by:

Leslie Ann Powers (1988)
Amanda Bynes (2007) Ariana Grande (2016)

Penny Lou Pingleton is a character in the 1988 film Hairspray and its 2007 remake. Penny is Tracy's best friend, and her only friend until she meets Link and Seaweed.

Personality and Role Edit

Penny is a ditzy, socially-awkward teenage girl whose best friend is Tracy Turnblad. Both girls share a deep interest in the Corny Collins show, where they are seen rushing over to Tracy's house to watch in both films.

In the 1988 film, she tries to audition for the Corny Collins Show, but it denied due to her social-awkwardness. In the 2007 remake, she attends the record hop with Tracy, and in both films, she is seen rushing over to the Turnblad residence to show Tracy's parents their daughter's debut on the Corny Collins Show.

After Tracy becomes an overnight sensation in Baltimore, she is introduced to Seaweed, one of Tracy's black friends, and the two fall in love instantly.

Penny is also at the mercy of her racist, religiously-devout mother, who tries to keep her away from blacks by any means, even going to the extreme of locking her in her bedroom, and in the 2007 film, ties her to her bed.

However, Seaweed comes to the rescue, and the two realize their love for each other, and in both films, it is implied that Penny would no longer return to her mother.

In the 2007 film, she and Seaweed join in the finale "You Can't Stop the Beat" on the Corny Collins Show, and watch on as Seaweed's younger sister Little Inez is crowned "Miss Teenage Hairspray 1962" and as Tracy and Link cement their new relationship with a kiss.

Actresses Edit

Penny was played by actress Leslie Ann Powers in the 1988 film, and in the 2007 remake, she was played by actress Amanda Bynes. In the 2016 live version, she was played by hit singer and actress, Ariana Grande.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.