The Big Bang Theory Recap: The Sub Way

Simon Helberg as Howard, Kunal Nayyar as Raj, Johnny Galecki as Leonard. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS
The Big Bang Theory
Episode Title
The Viewing Party Combustion
Editor’s Rating

You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and Leonard Hofstadter. All Leonard wants to do is enjoy Game of Thrones with his friends, and he's even sprung for a giant submarine sandwich to make the evening a little more festive. That's where the trouble begins.

A party sandwich, Sheldon points out, makes the evening seem like a party. And Sheldon … well, he likes a party as much as the next man, "as long as the next man doesn't like a party." Leonard tells him his presence will ensure it's not a party, and seems willing to overlook Sheldon's fussiness about the supersized snack. But when Sheldon reminds him of the next day's quarterly roommate-agreement meeting, Leonard's ’tude shifts, and leads to all-out war. Okay, the nerdy thirtysomething scientist version of all-out war.

Try as Sheldon might to get Leonard to agree to attend the meeting, he refuses. They don't need to meet every three months, he says, prompting Sheldon to point out that's something they can discuss at a roommate-agreement meeting, which is scheduled for the next day. When Penny throws her two cents in, siding with Sheldon instead of her husband (she's memorized the Pledge of Allegiance, so she wants to attend to show off her new knowledge), things go from bad to worse. Enter Amy Farrah Fowler, who sides with Leonard, saying she was only pretending to be fond of the relationship-agreement meetings Sheldon subjected her to. Now Leonard is angry at Sheldon and Penny, Sheldon is angry at Leonard and Amy (and George R.R. Martin, because there are no new GoT books for him to spoil for Leonard).

And wait, who's that stomping up the hallway between apartment 4A and Penny's abode? Howard and Raj, who are in a tiff of their own regarding Raj's humblebrag about the fact that he's dating two women — Claire and Emily — at the same time. "Guys are the worst," he says. "I let Emily make me a frittata, and I kept the leftovers in Claire's fridge that night. I'm such a dog."

So, Sheldon, Penny, and Raj take half the sandwich to Penny's apartment to watch Game of Thrones, while Leonard, Howard, and Amy camp out in 4A to also watch Game of Thrones. When Stuart arrives in a Jon Snow getup — complete with cloak and Kit Harington–like locks — he breaks the tie and throws his allegiance over to Penny's party, because Howard claimed that the gathering would be a costume party.

Oh, but sweet revenge — that meaty, salty, gluten-y revenge — will be Stuart's, because Howard Wolowitz is nearly brought down by the party sandwich. One of the meats tucked inside Leonard's sub (a.k.a. hoagie, grinder, or hero, depending on your part of the country) is mortadella, which contains pistachios, which make nut-allergic H. Wolowitz's face blow up so much that he looks like a Mr. Bill-ish clay version of himself.

Huh. Who knew mortadella had pistachios? Not Leonard Hofstadter, that's definitely for sure. The evening ends with a party sandwich partly eaten, Game of Thrones mostly unwatched, and the entire gang sitting in the emergency room whilst Wolowitz is de-pistachioed.

Sheldon's takeaway? "The important thing is, I said that big sandwich would ruin everything, and I was right."


  • Sheldon has a gavel for roommate-agreement meetings and discussions about roommate-agreement meetings. But that gavel is stored in his bedroom, so when he needs a stand-in to use in the living room, he pulls a smaller, foldable gavel from his desk drawer. It's his "travel gavel."
  • Sheldon's main item on the agenda for the meeting: a discussion about whether they should switch from Post Raisin Bran to Kellogg's Raisin Bran, which Leonard finds to be a frivolous topic. "You realize one of them has sugar on the raisins?" Sheldon asks.
  • Howard, countering Raj's faux-complaint about being tired from dating two women at the same time: "You're exhausted? Try folding every five pages in a pregnancy book so your wife thinks you read it."
  • Sheldon on Leonard rebelling against the quarterly roommate-agreement meeting: "This is what a generation raised on The Simpsons looks like."
  • Penny, assuring Sheldon she's up-to-date on GoT: "Dragons, snow zombies, and all the hot guys are dead."
  • Sheldon: "Oh, I don't know … Theon Greyjoy looks pretty good for a guy who had his genitals cut off."
  • Stuart, admitting he's jealous of Raj's wealth of women: "The closest I've come to dating two women is that time I dated one woman."
  • Stuart, explaining his outfit to Bernadette: "Howard thought it would be funny to tell me it was a costume party."
  • Bernie: "That wasn't nice."
  • Stuart: "No. But he almost died, so … we're cool."
  • Sadly, as is almost always the case, Stuart does not get the last laugh. After Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj taunt him about his "Jon Snow horse" — i.e. his girls bicycle with a basket on the front — he tells them they no longer have bathroom privileges at the comic-book store. Victory nearly at hand, he promptly rides away, gets his cloak caught in the bicycle chain, and flies over the handlebars.