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"The Hot Tub Contamination" is the fifth episode of the tenth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Monday, October 17, 2016.


Sheldon and Amy try to work out their problems created by living together with Leonard and Penny's help, while Howard and Bernadette take a vacation. Raj and Stuart use the hot tub uninvited.

Extended Plot[]

The new couple across the hall, Sheldon and Amy enter apartment 4A without knocking with Sheldon telling Leonard and Penny to explain to Amy how much they enjoy their bathroom schedule. Untrue. Amy retorts that Sheldon can't control every aspect of their lives and that he has to be willing to compromise. Sheldon tells her to look at Penny who compromised and married Leonard Hofstadter. Leonard explains that she didn't compromise, she settled. Penny agrees.


You can't regulate every aspect of our lives.

At the Comic Book Store, Howard and Raj are at the register buying comic books from Stuart. Howard says that he and Bernadette are heading out to Palm Springs for a quick vacation because Bernadette wants to do more things together before the baby comes. Also, he is now at the comic book store because Raj wants to do more things together before the baby comes.

Back in 4A, Leonard tells Sheldon that living together breeds conflict and that you have to learn to compromise. Amy suggests that for starters they keep their toothbrushes in the same holder. Sheldon then says that they should start to see other people. As a male, he has an evolutionary urge to spread his DNA as much as possible. He blames her friend for that urge, biology. Amy tells him to go see other people. Sheldon is worried that he might end up moving back in. Penny just wants to separate them for a while so they can cool down.

In Howard and Bernadette's bedroom, Howard asks her how she is feeling as she continues to throw up. Not so well. She is not well enough for a hot three-hour drive through the desert. So they decide to have a secret vacation at home without telling their friends. Howard also tells her how sexy that is because even though she had been throwing up, he was so turned on.


If we don't fix this, he's moving back in.

Penny is driving Sheldon in her car. He is complaining that as much as they call him difficult to live with, he finds that Amy is even more challenging to live with. Penny does not believe him. Amy breathes on him at night. Leonard does the same thing to Penny. Amy is always complaining about the people at work. Leonard does the same thing to Penny. When Sheldon steps out of the shower, she eyes him like a piece of meat. Leonard does the same thing to Penny and give her a thumbs up. Now Penny is getting annoyed. Sheldon says that for once, he would like to be appreciated for his mind. And so does Penny!

Howard is rubbing Bernie's feet which feels great until he pulls a quarter out from between her toes. Then they hear the front door opening and they start panicking that someone is in the house. After locking the bedroom door, they realize that they don't have their cell phone with them. They hear a bubbling sound indicating that the hot tub is on. Looking out the window they see Stuart using it looking like a boiled chicken breast.

Leonard and Amy are discussing Sheldon in 4A. Leonard describes him as the worst; however Amy considers him high maintenance. Amy has never lived with anyone before and as Leonard adds, she is starting out with Sheldon Cooper. He was making her feel any better. Amy adds that he posted a sign in the bathroom showing the number of days in a row that he didn't without find one of her hair on the soap. Leonard's record was six.


Trespassing the hot tub.

Watching Stuart from their bedroom, Bernadette thinks that is fun watching him float in their hot tub, not unlike having a fish tank. The back porch lights come on and out walks Raj in his swim trunks. Raj jumps in the seemingly empty hot tub, then Stuart pops up gasping for air. Raj screams at him asking what he was doing there. Stuart comes over whenever he thinks that the Wolowitzes aren't home. Once he hid in the bushes pretending to be a raccoon. Bernadette snaps at Howard that she was sure it wasn't a raccoon.

Penny is still driving Sheldon around and now they are both complaining about their partners. Sheldon suggest that they stop for ice cream. Penny agrees. Sheldon wishes that Amy would be that subservient. She has sex one time and then she's Gloria Steinem. While at the ice cream parlor he can look for other women. Penny points out that he had a hard enough time with one woman. Sheldon retorts that being with Amy has awoken the sexual creature within. When he sees a pretty woman walking down the street, he thinks "Hubba-hubba!"

Raj and Stuart are now having wine and they toast Howard and Bernadette and the house key they never asked him to return. Now Bernadette is mad at Howard for not getting it from Stuart. Stuart has no electricity since he hasn't paid his bill. Raj invites him to crash at his apartment since he has broken up with his girlfriends. Their choices. He never told anyone. Stuart asks him how his dating was going and his best date was sitting in the hot tub with Stuart.

Amy and Leonard talking in 4A at the kitchen island. Leonard encourages Amy to hold firm on the bathroom schedule unlike he did. Amy thinks it is easier to give in. Leonard reminds her that she did get him to stop sanitizing his pocket change, putting things other than gloves in the car glove box (Mittens), and he got him to eat a turkey dog. No, that was Koothrappali. She can't walk out on Pinocchio before he becomes a real boy. Amy says that she is also in their relationship and that if he doesn't like it, he can move back to 4A. Leonard says that he can, but he will need a good locksmith.


Sheldon out trolling for women.

While Penny and Sheldon eating ice cream at the ice cream parlor, Penny suggests the girl behind the counter and the one eating strawberry ice cream, Sheldon's favorite. He rejects them. Penny asks him if Sheldon is really looking for someone else. Sheldon tells her that she is wise beyond her years, though at her age she is getting up there. Penny wants to know what the real story is. Sheldon begins a story that he has told no one. When he was 13, on a break from college (They ran out of math that they could teach him.), Sheldon returned home and found his father in in his parents' bedroom having relations with another woman. That is why he knocks three times. The first is traditional and the other two gets one time to get their pants on. What worries Sheldon is that he and Amy have been bickering like his parents did and he doesn't want to disappoint Amy down the road. Penny yells at him that she only wants to share a toothbrush holder together. Sheldon also figures he should apologize to Penny for not first hitting on her since he was looking for another partner. He thinks of Penny as a nanny. Penny tells him to finish his ice cream so she can get him home to bed.


Shamy - happy together.

While enjoying the hot tub, Raj suggests that it is time to leave. Raj gets out, while Stuart doesn't since is not wearing shorts. Howard finally loses his temper and opens the window, yelling at them to buy their own hot tub.

Back in 4A, with Amy enjoying sitting in Sheldon's spot saying how nice it was and that she would start there standing up to Sheldon. Penny and Sheldon return from the ice cream parlor, and Amy quickly shifts to the center of the sofa. Sheldon apologizes for his earlier behavior and he is willing to forego the bathroom schedule. He was never interested in other women and to prove it he is willing to take their relationship to the next level.

Next in Penny's bathroom, Sheldon tells to Amy, "Amy Farrah Fowler, will you share this toothbrush holder with me?" Amy would love to do that. They both put their toothbrushes into the holder and hug with Amy looking very happy. Penny and Leonard are looking on. Leonard wants to know why they had to be there. Penny sheds a tear. "Call me crazy, but I found it moving."



  • Title Reference: The title refers to Raj and Stuart secretly using Howard and Bernadette's hot tub.
  • Taping date: September 20, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 14.20 million people with a rating of 3.5 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 19.17 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #3 for the week ending 23 October 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on October 17, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Bret Botsford of Eggplante! - This week's episode had a fairly surprising and satisfying final result, though sadly, getting there was often a chore, since the humour in this latest episode is a bit clumsy and weak for the most part...The debates between Leonard and Amy regarding Sheldon's behaviour did have some amusing beats, though a lot of it still relies on Sheldon neuroses that viewers are already well familiar with. Truthfully, it was the Penny/Sheldon discussion that made the biggest impact in this episode, with the two surprisingly seeing eye to eye for the most part on things that annoy them about their partner, though this also helps Penny illustrate the idea of compromise to Sheldon. Leonard gets through to Amy just the same, though the episode did sort of take sides in the end, and painted Sheldon as the simple bad guy of the situation.
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • Raj has broken up with both of his girlfriends at their insistence.
  • Stuart kept the key he had to the Wolowitz House, which Howard never asked for him to return.
  • Sheldon knocks three times on the door due to once catching his father having an affair. This is contradictory to the story in "The Staircase Implementation", in which Sheldon tries to enter the room while Leonard is in bed with Joyce Kim. They try to ignore Sheldon's knocking, but he says he will knock until Leonard lets him in. It takes three knocks for Leonard to ask Sheldon what he wants, which Sheldon takes as a cue to enter.
  • Sheldon compromises with Amy by eliminating the famed bathroom schedule and sharing a toothbrush holder with her. 
  • Bernadette is wearing maternity clothes. 
  • Sheldon thinks that Penny would be upset that he didn't hit on her first. He thinks of her as a nanny though it has been more implied that they had a brother-sister relationship.
  • Sheldon refers to Toto and the tornado from "The Wizard of Oz" book and movie series.
  • Gloria Steinem, born March 25, 1934, is an American feminist and journalist, who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • While riding in the car with Penny, Sheldon comments on Leonard's whistling in his sleep, "Have you noticed, it's always an A♭?" When Penny responds, "Is it?" Sheldon (who is supposed to have perfect pitch) whistles an F♯.


Sheldon: Will you please inform Amy how much you enjoy adhering to a strict bathroom schedule?
Penny: Can’t.
Leonard: Won’t.
Penny: Didn’t.
Leonard: No.
Amy: I told you, you can’t regulate every aspect of our lives.
Sheldon: I can if you’d just roll over and accept your fate.
Amy: I’m sorry for bringing this over here.
Penny: Believe me, we know what you’re going through.
Leonard: And I think the most helpful thing we can tell you is no backsies.
Penny: Mm-hmm.
Amy: Sheldon, I understand that you like things a certain way and I’m willing to make some concessions, but you have to be open to compromise.
Penny: She’s right, that’s reasonable.
Sheldon: Oh, look who’s in favor of compromise, the woman that married Leonard Hofstadter.
Leonard: Hey, she didn’t compromise, she settled. There’s a difference.
Penny: Yeah, you tell him, babe. (they fist bump)

Leonard: When you’re going to live with someone, there’s gonna to be conflict. You just have to keep communicating.
Sheldon: I’m open to that.
Amy: Okay, well, for starters, there’s nothing wrong with keeping our toothbrushes in the same holder.
Penny: Sheldon, what do you say to that?
Sheldon: I think we should see other people.
Amy: What?
Sheldon: Well, as a male, I have evolutionary drive to perpetuate my DNA. Restricting myself to a single partner is against my nature.
Amy: We sleep together once a year!
Sheldon: Don’t blame me. Blame your friend, biology. He’s the pervert pulling the strings here.
Amy: You wanna see other people? Go see other people.

Sheldon: You know, people are quick to accuse me of being difficult to live with, but the truth is, Amy is just as challenging.
Penny: Just as challenging.
Sheldon: Yes.
Penny: As you.
Sheldon: Yes.
Penny: Just as challenging as you.
Sheldon: When we’re sleeping, she breathes on me. One night, it got so bad I almost grabbed Toto and headed for the storm cellar.
Penny: Leonard breathes on me, too. It’s not a big deal.
Sheldon: She’s always complaining about people at work.
Penny: Well, so does Leonard. It’s kind of annoying, but it’s not the end of the world.
Sheldon: Do you know when I get out of the shower, she eyes me up and down like I’m a piece of meat?
Penny: You know, so does Leonard. Can’t I just get ready in the morning without him giving me his goofy thumbs-up? “Hey!”
Sheldon: I Know. Sometimes I would just like to be appreciated for my mind.
Penny: Agreed. Thank you!

Bernadette: [hearing the front door open and close] Was that the front door?
Howard: [nervously] It sounded like it... Oh, my god. Someone's in the house!
Bernadette: Lock the door! Lock the door! [Howard quickly races to the bedroom door and locks it]
Howard: We should call the police.
Bernadette: I left my phone downstairs.
Howard: Damn, so did I.
Bernadette: Wait! I have my iPad.
Howard: What are we going to do, email 911?!
Bernadette: That's not helpful!
Howard: You know I rely on humor in times of stress!
Bernadette: Let me know when you start because that wasn't funny! [a click and the sound of bubbling water indicates the hot tub has just been turned on; Howard and Bernadette listen]
Howard: Is that the hot tub?
Bernadette: [as Howard goes to the window and looks out] Who would use our hot tub?
Howard: Well, the answer is both... more and... less disturbing than you think.
Bernadette: [getting up and out of bed] Who is it?
Howard: Stuart. [Stuart is shown relaxing in the hot tub; Bernadette comes to the window] He heard me talking about us going away. I guess he decided to invite himself over?
Bernadette: Should we say something to him?
Howard: Maybe. How about "Hey! You look like a boiled chicken breast."? [they both laugh]
Bernadette: I meant like "What are you doing here?".
Howard: Nah, that's not gonna hurt his feelings.

Bernadette: [she and Howard are still watching Stuart using the hot tub] Is it me, or is there something fun about watching him just float there?
Howard: Maybe this is why people get fish tanks. [the porch lights turn on, startling Stuart] Who just turned the porch lights on?
Bernadette: Is someone else here? [Raj walks out onto the porch in a bathing suit and carrying a towel, a bottle of wine and two glasses]
Raj: Hmm. Must've left the tub on. Good thing I stopped by. [sets the bottle, glasses, and towel down on the table and gets in the hot tub, which appears to be empty] Ah! [a few seconds after Raj gets in, Stuart surfaces, gasping for air; Raj freaks out and screams]

Raj: [to Stuart after finding he's not alone in the hot tub] WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!
Stuart: What are you doing here?
Raj: [glares at Stuart] Maybe Howard and Bernadette said I could be here!
Stuart: Did they?!
Raj: Answer the question: What are you doing here?! [Howard opens the window slightly]
Stuart: I had nothing else to do tonight. [Raj softens] The last couple of months, I come here when I know they're not home.
Howard: What?
Stuart: They heard me in the bushes once, but they thought it was a raccoon. [Raj looks at him, all confused]
Bernadette: [crossly] I told you raccoons don't say "Uh-oh"!

Amy: Why is nothing easy with him?
Leonard: Look, here’s the thing you need to understand about Sheldon. He’s the worst.
Amy: I prefer to think of it as high-maintenance.

Sheldon: She has coitus one time and she thinks she is Gloria Steinem.

Sheldon: Being with Amy has awoken the sexual creature within. When I see a pretty gal walking down the street, I think “Hubba-hubba” like any other guy.

Stuart: You’ve got all your lady friends and…
Raj: Actually, I’m single now.
Stuart: What? When did that happen?
Raj: It’s okay. It’s by choice. Well, their choice, and it’s not okay.

Amy: It’s so much easier to give him what he wants.
Leonard: Oh, true, but think of how much you’ve accomplished. Who got him to stop Pruelling his pocket change?
Amy: Me.
Leonard: And who got him to put things other than gloves in the glove compartment?
Amy: Me. It was mittens.
Leonard: Mmm. And who got him to try a turkey dog?
Amy: That was actually Koothrappali, but I did let him spit it out in my hand.
Leonard: Look, how can you stop now? That’s like walking out of Pinocchio right before he becomes a real boy.
Amy: You know, you’re right. I’m in this relationship, too. I need to stand up for myself.
Leonard: Of course, you do.
Amy: And if he doesn’t like it, he can move back here.
Leonard: Oh, he can try. He’d just need a good locksmith.

Penny: Well, who you gonna hit on? The girl in front of us got strawberry. That’s your favorite.
Sheldon: No, no. If we both like it, I’ll spend the rest of my life opening the freezer and going, “Aw, no strawberry."
Penny: What about the girl behind the counter?
Sheldon: Hmm. Well, she spends her whole day scooping. One arm’s probably bigger than the other.
Penny: Is it possible you might not actually want to meet someone?
Sheldon: You are truly wise.
Penny: Thank you.
Sheldon: I’d say wise beyond your years, but you’re getting up there.
Penny: All right. Come on. What is really going on with you?
Sheldon: Penny, I’m going to tell you a story that I’ve never told anyone.
Penny: All right.
Sheldon: When I was thirteen years old, and on spring break from college.
Penny: Not relating. Go on.
Sheldon: I came home early because they ran out of math to teach me.
Penny: Oh, now I’m with ya. Okay.
Sheldon: My mother was at bible study. I walked in the house expecting to find it empty and heard a sound from my parents’ bedroom. When I opened the door, I saw my father having relations with another woman.
Penny: Oh, that’s awful.
Sheldon: I know. It’s also why I never open a door without knocking three times. I mean, the first one’s traditional, but two and three are for people to get their pants on.
Penny: Well, what happened with your dad?
Sheldon: We locked eyes, I ran to my room, and we never, ever spoke of it.
Penny: You poor thing.
Sheldon: Since Amy and I have been living together, we’ve been bickering like my parents used to.
Penny: And you’re afraid you’re gonna do something like your dad did?
Sheldon: Yes. I need to prepare her now to save her from pain down the road.
Penny: Down the road? Sheldon, she wanted to share a toothbrush holder with you, and now you’re at an ice cream parlor trying to pick up women?
Sheldon: Well, anything can sound silly when you put it in that tone.
Penny: Honey, instead of worrying about pain you might cause in the future, how about trying to fix pain you’re causing right now?
Sheldon: I’m sure you’re right. I suppose I should apologize to you, as well.
Penny: Okay.
Sheldon: That must have hurt watching me look for other women without ever considering you. Please understand that I think of you as more of a nanny.
Penny: Just finish your ice cream so I get you home to bed.

Raj: It's getting late. Maybe we should head home.
Stuart: Yeah. You're probably right.
Raj: You coming?
Stuart: Yeah, just give me a minute.
Raj: Why?
Stuart: You know how you're wearing a bathing suit?
Raj: Yeah.
Stuart: I kind of went the other way.
Howard: [angrily opening the window] YOU JACKASSES JUST BOUGHT YOURSELVES A HOT TUB!! [Raj and Stuart look up in shock to see Howard and Bernadette at the window]

Leonard: What do you think?
Amy: It’s a nice enough spot. You know, if I’m going to start standing up for myself, this is exactly the kind of thing…
Penny: We’re back!
Amy: Oh hi!
Leonard: Hi.
Sheldon: Hello.
Leonard: How you guys doing?
Penny: We’re doing good. I think Sheldon has something he would like to say to Amy.
Sheldon: I want to apologize for my behavior today. It was unnecessary. This is warm. Oh, and also, I am willing to forego the bathroom schedule.
Amy: Oh, really?
Leonard: Why does he get that? We never got that.
Penny: Do you want him back?
Leonard: I’m very happy for you.
Sheldon: Amy, you should know I was never really interested in other women. And to prove how serious I am about us, I’m willing to take our relationship to the next level.
(In the bathroom)
Sheldon: Amy Farrah Fowler. Will you share this toothbrush holder with me?
Amy: I would love to. (Places brushes in holder and hugs)
Leonard: Did we really need to be here for this?
Penny: Call me crazy, but I found it moving.