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Recap: Penny And Aggie There Are No Rules
"I'm just...open. Whatev, you know? Screw labels."
— Lisa

Fred has Daphne, Sara, Lisa and Aggie over, and they take turns revealing the weirdest thing they've ever felt. For Fred, it's the worry that he should be worried about things that could go wrong, but he's too optimistic in the end even to worry much about that. For Daphne, it was hating that she no longer hated her stepfather. For Sara, it was her attempt, before test kissing Marshall, to distinguish between wanting him, and wanting to want. Lisa says simply, "Metacognitive Sehnsucht." Aggie's answer is somewhat different from the others: she had a dream of being in love with a mall mannequin, and she has no idea what it means.

Fred then puts on a DVD of Iron Man so that everyone can tease Lisa about her current crush on Robert Downey, Jr. Afterwards, Fred shows Alien: Resurrection so as to provoke Daphne into ranting about how "everyone conspired against" Joss Whedon's screenplay. To shut her up, Sara kisses her passionately, and they begin making out on the sofa as the movie plays. This makes Aggie uncomfortably aroused, a feeling exacerbated when Lisa silently invites her to make out with her too. Though momentarily tempted, Aggie turns her head away and Lisa, unperturbed, simply cuddles with Fred.

At the mall a couple of days later, a still-troubled Aggie does her Christmas shopping, when Lisa calls out to her and she trips on the escalator in fright, dropping her parcels. As she helps Aggie gather everything, Lisa jokingly offers to "kiss it better," and Aggie snaps at her. Stung, Lisa apologizes for the other night, saying she'd figured Aggie would understand she was just playing. Aggie demands to know what would've happened if she'd taken Lisa seriously and kissed her. Lisa shrugs, and Aggie becomes all the more infuriated.

Noting that Lisa's never liked the guys she likes, Aggie accuses her of having been waiting all along just to kiss her. Insulted and exasperated, Lisa lays out her attitude towards kissing: whereas Aggie wishes to save her first kiss for someone special, she's always taken a more casual attitude towards it. She confirms that she doesn't in fact like Marshall or Darren, but not for the reason Aggie thinks: for Marshall, it was his emotional issues and involvement with Karen, whereas for Darren it was that he's "a big ol' sack of 'eh.'" Nevertheless, when Aggie told her she'd kissed Darren despite not being in love with him, Lisa thought she'd changed her mind about casual kissing. (In fact, Aggie had merely kissed Darren on the cheek when wishing him well.) Thus her overture to Aggie the other night.

Aggie, somewhat mollified, nonetheless says Lisa could've warned her she was bisexual. Lisa, for her part, refuses that or any other sexual orientation label, explaining her lack of women celebrity crushes with the claim that "Female celebrities are bitches." Amused, Aggie embraces her, saying that they can still hug and wrestle, just not engage in "play makeouts." Lisa, choked up at having nearly lost her best friend, agrees.

As they embrace, Aggie suddenly recalls, in rapid succession, Sara having said Marshall was the only guy she'd ever been interested in before discovering she was gay; Aggie herself having been genuinely in love only with Marshall; her feeling of arousal when Lisa offered to kiss her; and the mannequin dream. Then she looks up and sees the very mannequin she'd dreamed of, only now wearing a dress. Putting it all together, Aggie realizes she likes girls.

Tropes

  • Anything That Moves: Discussed. While angry with her, Aggie asks Lisa whether for her "Any lips of any gender'll do".
  • Bi the Way: Previous arcs had dropped hints about Lisa's "open" sexual preferences, but this is the first storyline to confirm it.
  • Celebrity Crush: In this arc, Lisa has a thing for Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Closet Key: Lisa, for Aggie. (The previous winter, Aggie had gotten mildly aroused after crashing head-first into Karen's chest, but she chose to interpret that as "leftover tingles from Marshall" and neither discussed nor thought about it afterwards.)
  • Collective Groan: Everyone's reaction to Lisa's "metacognitive Sehnsucht" quip.
  • Coming-Out Story
  • Creator Worship: In-universe, Daphne displays this for Joss Whedon. She believes that whatever's good about Alien: Resurrection is due to the elements of his screenplay left intact, and that everything wrong with the film is due to Executive Meddling in areas ranging from casting to lighting.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Aggie accuses Lisa of being the "patient friend" variation on this.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Aggie's love dream about the mall mannequin presages her discovery—at the mall, standing near the same mannequin—that she likes girls.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: In a Flashback panel showing a preteen Lisa practicing kissing with a friend at a girls' camp, her hair is already tied in six pigtails, albeit shorter ones.
  • Hidden Depths: Lisa, generally portrayed as a combination of Deadpan Snarker and Genki Girl with a penchant for Memetic Mutation speech, reveals a thoughtful, deeply compassionate side while explaining, of all things, her crush on RDJ:
    But Robert... you know he used to be a cokehead, right? You can see it in his eyes. He's been kicked around. He's been not good enough. What's wrong with wanting to hold hands with someone like that and tell him everything's gonna be all right?
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Aggie recalls that Marshall had been the only guy Sara found attractive before realizing that she was gay. Because Aggie had once been into Marshall herself, but not genuinely interested in Darren nor any other guy, she now concludes that he was her one male exception, too. (In fact, Word of God later clarified that Aggie, while preferring women, does have some degree of attraction to men in general.)
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lisa's flippant answer of "metacognitive Sehnsucht", to the question of "What's the weirdest thing you've ever felt?", highlights the pattern in Fred's, Daphne's and Sara's answers: they're all feelings about feelings (metacognition), or yearning (Sehnsucht) to have, or not to have, a particular feeling.
  • Love Bubbles: Appear in Aggie's dream; when she almost kisses Lisa; and when seeing the mannequin at the end of the arc.
  • Make-Out Kids: Sara and Daphne end up making out in their friends' presence, their kisses audible over the movie. This bemuses Fred, who's gay, while pleasantly turning Lisa on and uncomfortably arousing Aggie.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Aggie, at some point prior to this chapter, mentions to Lisa that she kissed Darren after realizing she wasn't in love with him. However, she fails to specify that it was a parting kiss on the cheek. So Lisa assumes Aggie is now into casual making out, just like she is. Lisa's abrupt and non-verbal invitation to kiss her leads Aggie in turn to assume that Lisa is romantically interested in her and, worse, that she's been biding her time all along, while pretending just to want her friendship. The result is an argument which briefly endangers that friendship.
  • Revealing Hug: As Aggie hugs Lisa, the reader (but not Lisa) can see Aggie piecing together the evidence about her sexuality.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Sara gives Daphne one to stop her from ranting about the "betrayal" of Whedon's screenplay.
  • Slapstick: When Lisa surprises her at the mall, Aggie loses her balance on the escalator, drops her packages, and falls bottom over head.
  • Slut Shaming: Aggie does this vis--vis Lisa; see under Anything That Moves. She also characterizes Sara's and Daphne's make-out, together with Lisa's desire to do the same, as an "orgy."
    Lisa: Technically an orgy would've involved, y'know, sex.
Penny And Aggie Her Private ChambersRecap/Penny and AggiePenny And Aggie Pre History

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