‘The Big Bang Theory’ Recap and Reaction: “The Hot Tub Contamination”


Things get heated in “The Hot Tub Contamination,” the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory. Howard and Bernadette get some unexpected guests in their hot tub, and Sheldon and Amy face another trial of living together.

Surprise Hot Tub Guests

big bang theory hot tub with raj and stuart
The main plot of the episode was centered at the Wolowitz house. Bernadette wants her and Howard to go on a vacation before the baby comes, but morning sickness prevents that, and they secretly stay home. They then hear someone breaking in, only to discover that it’s just Stuart (and later, Raj) coming over to use their hot tub. Instead of saying something, the couple listens in on the intruders from their window.

This provides some incredibly funny moments and displays the chemistry between husband and wife. Howard’s attempts at flirting after hearing Bernadette throw up were hilarious, yet really sweet since he just wants her to feel better. Equally hilarious was Stuart popping out of the water and scaring Raj once he ran out of air while hiding. Raj and Stuart have a good time in the hot tub and bond over some wine. However, their fun is cut short when Stuart reveals he’s not wearing a swimsuit, and a disgusted Howard opens the window to tell them that they just bought themselves a hot tub.

One small moment that’s worth noting is that Raj reveals he’s now single since Emily broke up with him. He admits that he’s not okay, but he didn’t tell any of his friends because it was embarrassing. It’s heartbreaking to hear, but the scene goes by quickly. Most likely, his break-up will be addressed more in full in a future episode. This will be nice to see since Raj hasn’t had a major plot of his own so far this season.

Routine Disagreements

the big bang theory amy and sheldon have an argument in the living room while Penny watches from the couch
The other storyline of this episode features Sheldon, Amy, Leonard, and Penny. Amy is upset with Sheldon because she’s made a lot of compromises on her end while they live together, but he’s not willing to forgo the bathroom schedule or even share a toothbrush holder. Sheldon, in return, says that he wants to see other women. It’s not a break-up, but Penny takes Sheldon out for a drive and Leonard talks to Amy so they can cool down.

Leonard’s scenes with Amy are quite funny as he makes multiple quips about how horrible living with Sheldon is. But in the end, he does help Amy to grow by helping her see that she needs to stand up for herself in her relationship, and that she’s helped Sheldon improve in his ways so much. It’s nice to see these two interact and bond together as we don’t see it that often.

Meanwhile, Sheldon and Penny vent about their significant others in the car, until he asks to go to an ice cream parlor to hit on women. Penny comments that perhaps he doesn’t actually want to do that when he seems disinterested in the girls she’s pointing out, which leads to a very serious scene. Sheldon shares that when he was 13, he came home to find his father having relations with another woman. It’s an eye-opener for Sheldon’s character. He explains that he fought with Amy because he doesn’t want to end up like his father and hurt her. It’s heartbreaking, but it shows that he really does care about her.

Shamy Reconciliation

the big bang theory episode Hot tub contamination Shamy hug in the bathroom
All ends well, however, when Sheldon and Penny return home. Sheldon apologizes to Amy for how he behaved, and even forgoes the bathroom schedule. The episode ends with Sheldon asking Amy if she would like to share a toothbrush holder with him. He asks it in a style akin to a marriage proposal, which Penny finds moving. They then share the best Shamy hug to date, with Sheldon truly returning the hug and smiling during it. This storyline is a necessary, but beautiful step for the couple as a whole, especially for Sheldon. It’s amazing to see how much more open he is to compromise and apology than he was a few seasons ago.

As a whole, “The Hot Tub Contamination” is one of the quieter episodes of the season, but it’s still significant. Howard and Bernadette seem to be doing well tackling the pregnancy as a team. Sheldon and Amy are almost doing well as they get used to living together. Still, their growth as a couple has been outstanding. It will be interesting to see where their living arrangement takes them in the next episode. And perhaps, we’ll get a more in-depth story as to why Raj is now single. Only time will tell.

Chrissie Miille is a Fan Contributor for FANDOM and an admin on the Danny Phantom Wiki. When not watching Danny Phantom, Voltron, DuckTales, or Star Trek, she's usually neck-deep in another fandom, following the Warriors, listening to Michael Jackson, writing, or stargazing.
Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.