I am no one's seed-pod. I am not a person-in-the-making, I am a person now.
The most experimental of all Penny and Aggie
arcs, this storyline concerns Penny's decision regarding whether she should abandon the life she knows and join Rich on the road. Penny stands frozen, her inner voices alternating between telling her she'd be out of her mind to do so and affirming her love for Rich. The scene switches to a convention of twenty potential future Pennies, in the year 2020, gathered to discuss and vote on what the present-day teenage Penny should do. The "twenty who represent trillions
" of possible selves, half of whom followed Rich and half of whom didn't, range from the realistic (author, defense attorney, homemaker) to the fanciful (nuclear holocaust survivor, "holosocialite and fashion vlogger," cyborg Starbucks assistant manager), and from the successful to the pathetic and in-between. Three out of twenty not only went with Rich but stayed with him permanently.
After several possible-future Pennies relate their stories, and their views as to whether they made the right decision, the group votes thirteen to seven against following Rich. However, present-day teenage Penny objects to their presumption in deciding for her. Acknowledging that running away with him will be risky, she nevertheless maintains that if there's a "one in twenty" chance she can make it with the man she loves, that's all she needs. She tells the potential Pennies who didn't choose Rich to "go to hell," and they fade from existence; an overweight, defeated looking Penny, who had lost the popularity war to Karen, smiles gratefully as she vanishes. Then, as Rich, in "reality," begins to start off, Penny catches up to him and they ride off together.
The arc concludes with a controversial two-strip sequence in which one of the potential future Pennies, a bestselling "bitchlit" author, reflects on the conference at home while receiving a foot-rub from her partner, a decidedly masculine-looking and conservative Aggie who credits Penny with helping break her out of her "hippie phase" and teases her for sounding like a liberal in wondering whether teenage Penny made the right choice. Nonetheless, she tells Penny, if experiencing "lean times with Rich" before hooking up with her "taught you to be more selective with your compassion...then things worked out for the best."
- After the End: Nuclear apocalypse survivor Penny.
- Alternate Self
- Biker Babe: The Penny who, apparently, took after Rich the most.
- Butch Lesbian: The potential future Aggie sports a boyish haircut and a man's suit.
- Cyborg: Starbucks assistant manager Penny.
- Domestic Abuse: Counsellor Penny alludes to Rich having hit her and her having left him.
- Gay Conservative: The potential future Aggie.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: One of the two Pennies who went into public relations overindulges in the punch.
- Housewife: One of the Pennies is this character to a T (no pun intended), complete with sunny smile, polka-dot dress, matronly figure and cookies she's baked for her fellow attendees.
- I Want My Jetpack: Parodied with one of the Pennies who travels to the convention this way, her takeoff setting fire to a "Stop using Jetpacks" protest sign.
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: When conservative future Aggie credits author Penny for helping break her out of her "hippie phase," Penny replies, "Wasn't all I was breaking—".
- MRS Degree: Trophy Wife Penny says, "Went to college, got my MRS..."
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Penny and Aggie normally falls within the teen dramedy genre. This arc is one of only four exceptions, the others being Fan Glam No. 21, a Speculative Fiction story which takes place within the Fans! universe; The Belleville Interviews, a Police Procedural; and Cyndi and Charlotte, a Psychological Thriller.
- The Runaway: Penny.
- Ship Tease: The arc's ending.
- Shrug of God: Campbell has kept mum on the question of whether Penny's possible future selves are found only in her imagination, are metaphors for different aspects of her character, or exist within respective Alternate Timelines.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Defied. Although Penny has dated both Badass Biker Rich and Nice Guy Duane, she finds that she genuinely loves only the former. Thus, when one of her hypothetical future selves urges her to use "common sense" in deciding whether to run away with Rich, this is her sarcastic response:
Ooh, what if he doesn't make six figures? Ooh, what if I want kids and he doesn't? Whiiiine
I better hook up with the nice class president!
- What If?
- Will They or Won't They?: In at least one potential future, Penny and Aggie do.