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"The Valentino Submergence" is the fifteenth episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode is a Valentines-themed episode, and it aired on Thursday, February 11, 2016.


Sheldon and Amy host a live Valentine's "Fun with Flags" podcast. There is trouble between Emily and Raj. Leonard and Penny go out to dinner and lament their waning youth. Howard and Bernadette find an unexpected guest in their new hot tub.

Extended Plot[]

Sheldon joins the guys in the Caltech cafeteria asks them to join him and Amy for the first live episode of Fun with Flags. He welcomes them to join the timeless love affair between wind and flapping fabric. Leonard says he and Penny are going out for dinner and wouldn't do it any other time either. Howard and Bernadette are going to be breaking in their new hot tub, if you know what he means and Sheldon doesn't. Raj is spending the holiday with Emily, but is not excited about it. He is still wondering about his relationship and is still dreaming of Claire that strong sexy angel. Howard tells him to just get it over, though the guys admit that none of them have ever broken up with a girl.


Raj breaks up with Emily so he can ask Claire out.

Raj visits Penny in Apartment 4B to seek advice. She has had lots of experience breaking up with guys including at least four times with Leonard. Go to her place, tell the truth, make it quick and be prepared for tears. Raj's of course.

At Emily's she is pissed that he is breaking up with her just before Valentine's Day. Raj offers to stay with her a few more days and talk again after Valentine's Day. He then calls Claire and asks her to spend Valentine's Day with him; however, she has just gotten back with her old boyfriend. Raj goes back to Emily, who closes her door in his face after he claims that their love is meant to be. Raj gets very depressed and cries while Penny comforts him while Leonard admits that Penny was right about the tears. 

Sheldon and Amy are setting up for their live broadcast. Sheldon hopes for a lot of audience reaction. Amy tells him to trust her that those interested in flags will be home on Valentine's Day to watch. Also since Amy has become such an integral part of his life and the show he renamed it, “Sheldon Cooper and Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler present 'Sheldon Cooper’s Fun with Flags'. This is also Amy's only Valentine's Day gift.

Howard and Bernadette get ready to use their new hot tub. Bernadette wants him to check the temperature to make sure it's not too hot. Howard retorts that "too hot" is the only temperature he comes in. He has completely shaved down there for their romantic encounter. Then Howard thinks he sees a rat floating around in the tub. He goes for a kitchen strainer while Bernadette turns off the hot tub jets. Neither knows how to do it so they quickly exchange tasks.

Leonard and Penny are waiting for their table; however, there is a wait of an hour even though they had a reservation. Leonard thanked him in a bad-ass fashion. Penny suggests that he slip the maître d' some money. Leonard goes over to again check on their table and he drops a twenty dollar bill on the floor. Leonard asks the maître d' if it was his and the guy announces to the room whether someone lost a twenty. A customer next to him claims it.


Penny tries to flirt with the maître d', but gets mad when he calls her "ma'am".

As "Fun with Flags" is about to go live, Amy realizes during her countdown, they are already on the Internet. After announcing the new title of the show, Amy offers to take any flag related questions or comments. To answer some initial questions. Yes, he is a real doctor. And yes, Amy is his girlfriend. Amy says that she just blinks a lot and is not sending out "rescue me" in Morse code. Their first call is from Raj who wants to know what is wrong with him and why was he so self-destructive. Anytime things are going well, he messes it up. They seem happy. Amy attributes it to good communication. Sheldon wants to cut him off and take a flag question.

Howard tells Bernadette how much he loves her as she is stretch out over the hot tub trying to rescue the animal. It's a rabbit that is alive, but unconscious. Howard checks his phone while Bernie wraps it in a towel. He is to be kept warm, but then he was in a hot tub. If dehydrated, give him some fluid with electrolytes, and wash down his face and genitals. Howard thinks that that would be fun.

Penny is getting tired of waiting and decides to flirt with the maître d'. Leonard is uncomfortable with that until Penny reminds him that she'll be sleeping with him. Penny starts to get friendly, but he claims that there is nothing he can do, "ma'am". Penny jokes that he doesn't have to call her ma'am since they are the same age. He disagrees since he is twenty-one. He asks how old she is. Penny tells him to shut-up and then makes Leonard leave while she's still young.


On Sheldon's live "Fun with Flags" show Amy ends up giving out advice to those lonely on Valentine's Day.

Still talking to Raj, Amy explains that it is common to have doubts after a breakup. Sheldon wants to give out flag facts; however, Amy reminds him that his friend is hurting. Sheldon tries to help but still comes back to flag facts. Another call comes in and it's Barry Kripke who wants to talk about how lonely he is. He's looking for a young slim Asian woman while Sheldon tells his viewers to just call in with flag questions. So Kripke asks if his pole is a flag relate topic. Sheldon is clueless and agrees.

Howard and Bernadette have the rabbit taking some fluids and are very happy they are working together. Howard tells him that he can't go swimming for another hour. They decide to name him Valentino after the holiday. Not Peter or Roger. Valentino Wolowitz Rabbit. Howard plays with him and then gets bitten. Howard is worried about getting rabies. Bernadette tries to calm him down.

Leonard and Penny are now eating fast food in the car. Leonard is worried whether it was a good substitute and Penny calls it freaking amazing. She was both hungry and cranky about getting called ma'am. How about Leonard? He was first called sir when he was in the sixth grade, but he was wearing a sport coat and carrying a briefcase. Penny complains that when they met she was only 22. Where has all that time gone? Leonard quips that she did watch "The Bachelor" a lot. Penny then reminds him that he is almost out of his thirties. They decide they want to do something to make them feel young. Leonard tries to start a food fight and Penny just stares at him.

Amy continues to give the guys advice as Sheldon gets more and more disgusted. She tells then to take time for themselves after a breakup like she did. When Belize became an independent country, they created a flag with a tree on it. Sheldon wants to hang himself from it. Kripke insults Amy, so she cuts him off. Raj still feels lonely so Sheldon shows him the Isle of Mann flag that is comical and has a figure with three legs on it. Amy then asks the viewers for any interested ladies to call in if they want to meet Rajesh. Another call comes in, but it Is just Kripke who wants to know how many men she has had sex with.

Penny is looking up fun things to do like dancing. Skinny dipping at the beach. A sing-along "Moulin Rouge" movie is playing. Leonard isn't happy that it's at midnight, but agrees. Then Penny finds out that it is sold out; however, both are happy about that.

Howard finds out that rabies in rabbits is highly unlikely, but even the smallest chance bothers him. Bernadette suggests that they take him to the vet and have him tested. Unfortunately the rabbit has to be killed and have his brain checked. Howard notices that he is not showing any symptoms, but he wants to go to emergency room just to be safe. Howard leaves as Bernadette says to Valentino, "We'll find another time to tell him I’m pregnant.”


"We'll find another time to tell him I’m pregnant.”

Sheldon now has his head in his lap while Raj goes on. Then he decides that this no longer fun so he erases the word on the white board behind him. It's no longer about flags so he erases that. And Sheldon hasn't been talking so he erases his name. The new Internet show is "Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler presents with". Amy reminds Sheldon that he knows how painful breakups can be. Sheldon then gets dragged in and tells Raj that pain is part of the evolutionary process that provides information from the environment that that behavior isn't good for one. Also, Sheldon admitted that when they broke up he suffered, but was glad that they did breakup since they are a much stronger couple now. He realized how much she really meant to him. During Sheldon's confession, Leonard and Penny burst in dressed as cupid|cupids, wishing everyone "Happy Valentine's Day" and throwing confetti around trying to feel young. Sheldon adds the word "Fun" back to his whiteboard. Sheldon says that he has been corrected and they are having fun.

Finally, Sheldon and Amy are toasting a successful live "Fun with Flags" show and a lovely Valentine's Day. Penny and Leonard are cleaning up the confetti which Penny does not consider to be young and fun. Sheldon drops a factoid that the singular of confetti is confetto. Amy wonders when you would use the singular form. Amy has one stuck on her nose.



  • Title Reference: The name given to the rabbit that almost drowns in the Wolowitz hot tub.
  • Taping date: January 19, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 16.25 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 22.03 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending February 14, 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on February 11, 2016.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on April 14, 2016.
  • In Australia, it aired on Tuesday March 1 with 811,000 viewers.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card
  • Episode transcript [1]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN - It was clear pretty much right away that this episode wasn't going to give Raj the focus he deserved, to say nothing of the perpetually ignored Emily. One of the most baffling mysteries of this show is why actress Laura Spencer was elevated to series regular status this season when she's probably had less screen time than Wil Wheaton...Luckily, you can always count on "Sheldon Cooper's Fun With Flags" to salvage an otherwise disappointing episode...It's disappointing that this episode focused so much attention on Raj's post-breakup blues and so little on the actual breakup. But at least there was ample entertainment to be had in watching Sheldon try to keep his show on-topic and grow progressively more bored and disillusioned. All of this led to a nice moment between Sheldon and Raj...(And there was) the surprise twist (well, not that surprising) that Bernie is pregnant. The connection, I assume, being that the expression "The rabbit died" is another way of saying a woman is pregnant. There must have been a more interesting way to build to that moment. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • Another Valentine's Day themed episode.
  • John Ross Bowie made his 3rd appearance this season as Kripke.
  • Raj breaks up with Emily.
  • Sheldon and Amy do a LIVE Valentine's Day themed "Fun with Flags" episode.
  • Bernadette confesses that she is pregnant.
  • Claire got back with her old boyfriend.
  • Bernadette shares no scenes with Raj, Amy, Leonard, Penny and Sheldon in this episode.
  • Having a rabbit in the episode was symbolic since Bernadette was pregnant and the expression "the rabbit died" meant that one was with child.
  • This is the second time Howard has been obliged to look up how to rescue and treat an injured animal on his cell phone, the first being the bird in "The Clean Room Infiltration" (S8E11).
  • Howard shares no scenes with Amy and Penny in this episode.
  • Leonard says that he stopped counting how many time Penny broke up with him at four, though only three times are seen unless you count when Leonard lied to Sheldon about breaking up in "The Boyfriend Complexity".
  • Laura Spencer had been moved up to the main cast by being listed in the opening credits despite later having her character breakup with Raj.


Bernadette: (to Howard): "Look at that, you shaved it all."

Leonard: "We are young!"

Penny: So, you really going to break up with her?
Raj: Yeah, I think so. Do you have any advice?
Penny: Well, I have broken up with my fair share of guys. I mean, how many times have I broken up with Leonard?
Leonard: I stopped counting at four.
Penny: All right my advice to you is to do It at her place so you can leave when you do. Uh tell the truth, make it quick and be prepared for tears.
Raj: OH, I’m going to do a pre-cry before I go in there. Really dry myself out
Leonard: She meant Emily.
Penny: No, I-I really didn’t.

Emily: You’re seriously breaking up with me?
Raj: Yeah.
Emily: And you thought right before Valentine’s Day was a good time to do it?
Raj: You’re right. Let’s talks again in a few days.
Raj: Hey, Clairie. Hi. It’s-it’s Rajesh. I was…I was wondering if you’re free for Valentine’s Day?
Claire: Sorry, I just got back together with my boyfriend.
Raj: But I just broke up with my girlfriend!
Claire: Right before Valentine’s Day? What an ass!
Raj: Please take me back. Our love was meant to be! [Emily slams door in his face.]
Raj: I’m gonna be all alone on Valentine’s Day.
Leonard: Well you were right…tears.

Sheldon: Oh, speaking of Valentine’s Day, I haven’t forgotten about you tonight.
Amy: What do you mean?
Sheldon: Well, you’ve become such an integral part of my life as well as this show I felt it only right to include your name in the title.
Amy: Oh. {Pause] That is so sweet.
Sheldon: So from now on this program will officially be known as “Dr. Sheldon Cooper and Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler presents Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s Fun with Flags”.
Amy: Catchy.

Amy: Since we’re live, you’ll finally be able to reach out to us with your flag thoughts and flag questions.
Sheldon: Allow us to answer a few quick ones that we get all the time. Uh. Yes, I really am a doctor. Uh. Yes, she really is my girlfriend.
Amy: No, I just blink a lot, it’s not Morse code for “Rescue me.”

Penny: Hi there, what’s your name?
Maitre D': Glen.
Penny: Oh boy, it is crazy I here tonight, huh, Glen?
Maitre D': Well, you know, Valentine’s Day.
Penny: Oh yes, bet your girlfriend is super bummed you had to work tonight. Anyway, look, we have been hear waiting a while and I just…
Maitre D': With all due respect, ma’am, there’s nothing I can do.
Penny: [Chuckles.} You don’t have to call me ma’am
Maitre D': Okay.
Penny: I mean we’re basically the same age.
Maitre D': [Laughs] Okay.
Penny: How old are you?
Maitre D': I’m twenty-one. How old are you?
Penny: Just shut up, Glen. [Grabs Leonard.] Come on, let’s get out of here.
Leonard: What? Why?
Penny: Because I’m young. Let’s go.

Penny: I was just hungry and cranky and I’ve never been called ‘ma’am’ before.
Leonard: Is that a big deal?
Penny: Kind of. When was the first time someone called you ‘sir’?
Leonard: Sixth grade, but I wore a sport coast and carried a briefcase, so…
Penny: Can you believe when I met you I was twenty-two? I mean, it’s crazy. Where did all that time go?
Leonard: Hmm you watched “The Bachelor” a lot.
Penny: Yeah, go ahead and make jokes, but your thirties are almost over.
Leonard: NO, they’re not.
Penny: You’re closer to forty than you are to thirty.
Leonard: Ha, ha. You married an old man.

Bernadette: [To Valentino Rabbit] We’ll find another time to tell him I’m pregnant.

Sheldon: [Toasting.} Congratulations on a successful live show.
Amy: And a lovely Valentine’s Day.

Sheldon: Raj, now, I'm sorry that you're suffering. When Amy and I were broken up, I also suffered. And this may sound surprising, but I'm grateful for having gone through it.
Amy: Really?
Sheldon: Yes. I believe our relationship now is stronger than ever.
Amy: So do I.
Sheldon: When-when we were apart, I learned how important you are to me. And I realize that when two people are in love, sometimes they... [Leonard and Penny burst in.]
Leonard/Penny: Happy Valentine's Day!
Leonard: We are young and fun!