Penny Benjamin is a character who was implied to be a former love interest of Maverick. She is first referenced when Maverick and Goose are getting chewed out by Stinger (after the Cougar incident), who indicates that Maverick has been previously disciplined (twice by Stinger himself) for "a history of high-speed passes over five air control towers and one admiral's daughter!" Goose then whispers Benjamin's name to Maverick as if to remind him of who she was. Goose also told his wife about the incident, who then repeated it back to Maverick:
- "He told me all about the time you went ballistic with Penny Benjamin."
- - Carole Bradshaw to Maverick
Benjamin is not seen in Top Gun; she is only mentioned by Stinger, Goose and Carole.
It has been speculated that in Top Gun: Maverick, Penny Benjamin is the character portrayed by Jennifer Connelly. Connelly's character owns a bar in proximity to the TOPGUN detachment's location and is a single mother to a daughter named Miriam. One source has also indicated that her father is named in the film and also appears in the film.