The Peraltiago ship isn’t the only reason to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but honestly, you could sell the show on it. (In fact, this whole article is me trying to do just that.) If you don’t already watch, you might know B99 as the show that got canned by Fox last year… and then the internet lost its collective mind.
Thanks to the outpour of support from fans – including Mark Hamill, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Josh Groban – NBC picked up the show, and it’s currently airing its sixth season. So if you haven’t started it by now, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.
Now, I could go on for literal pages about what makes this one of the best shows on television. However, I’m only going to focus on the OTP of B99: Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago. Or, as the fans call them, Peraltiago.
Jake and Amy are detectives in the Nine-Nine, a precinct in Brooklyn, New York, and much of the show focuses on their rivalry turned friendship… turned romance.
I jumped on the Peraltiago train with the literal first episode, and it’s been a gift that keeps on giving. So let’s count down the top ten best Peraltiago moments… at least, from the first five seasons. (And, yes, there are spoilers ahead!)
10. When Amy said she’d wait for him.
Season Four ends in a really dark place. Jake and his friend Rosa have been framed by a corrupt lieutenant for a series of robberies, and now, they’re looking at over a decade in prison. “Crime & Punishment” is one of the most painful episodes in the whole series. But there is one thing to take the edge off: the knowledge that Jake and Amy’s relationship is stronger than this.
“I’ll wait for you,” Amy promises. “And I’ll keep fighting for you and so will everyone at the Nine-Nine. We’ll do whatever it takes.”
With that, Jake goes to court to face the jury, and the audience tries to keep the sound of their sobbing to a minimum.
9. When Jake read Harry Potter for her.
Jake and Amy are the absolute definition of “opposites attract.” The quote from Season One episode “Old School” really sums it all up.
JAKE: It’s the best book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read fifteen books.
AMY: Fifty books is not a lot. Wait. Did you just say fifteen?
But in Season Four’s “The Fugitive”? Jake reveals in an offhand comment that he started reading Harry Potter just because Amy loves the series so much. And now he’s hooked too. Amy’s so thrilled, they temporarily forget about the suspect they’re trying to arrest so they can gush about it.
AMY: How sad is it when Cedric dies?
JAKE: Literally. Crying. On. The. Toilet.
8. Their first kiss.
At the end of Season Two, the Nine-Nine is at their lowest point. (Okay, their lowest point thus far.) Captain Holt has just been forcibly promoted, which means they’ll have someone new in charge of the precinct. But, of course, none of them want anybody but Holt.
Jake and Amy, both of whom have lowkey started viewing Holt as a substitute father figure, are in absolute shock. Meanwhile, they end the episode in the evidence locker, and Amy asks how Jake’s doing with the change. He miserably replies, “Basically handling it the way I dealt with my dad leaving: repressing the hell out of it.”
However, there is one good thing that comes out of all this. Despite her rule of not dating cops, and despite all their false starts, Amy finally just says “screw it” and lays a big ol’ kiss on Jake.
7. When they were “Johnny and Dora.”
This moment actually directly precedes the one above. While investigating a case, Jake and Amy go undercover as “Johnny and Dora,” a recently engaged couple. And, uh, let’s just say they’re really good at this whole “acting like they’re madly in love” thing. Suspiciously good. For instance, when “Johnny and Dora” get asked how they knew they were meant to be, their answers seem a touch… personal.
“He makes me laugh,” Amy says with a smile.
“And, you know, there’s really no one else’s opinion who I care about more than hers,” Jake adds.
To make matters worse (for them – for us, it’s pretty awesome), they have to lock lips to keep the ruse going. Twice. And when they finally break away from that kiss to arrest the perp, it’s pretty obvious their heads are still spinning.
AMY: NYPD! Freeze! We are police colleagues!
JAKE: You’re under arrest! This is a work event!
6. When they first said, “I love you.”
One of the biggest roadblocks in the Peraltiago ship is Jake’s general immaturity. He grows and develops a lot over the course of the show. Still, the man has clearly never met a healthy way to deal with adult emotions in his life. Naturally, Amy is sometimes a little exasperated by this, especially after they start dating for real. In Season Three’s “The Cruise,” she complains, “Every time we get emotional, he’s like, ‘noice, smort.’”
But at the end of the episode, as he and Amy dance together, Jake comes through.
AMY: I love you.
JAKE: Noice. Smort. [pause] I love you, too.
…And then they find out they accidentally wound up in a dance class for widows (“Now, turn to your partner and tell them how your spouse died!”), but, still, it’s a nice moment.
5. “Everything’s fine. I’m talking to you.”
Remember how I said “Crime & Punishment” was sad? Well, the opening of Season Five is even worse. Jake is in federal prison for a crime he’s completely innocent of, and no one outside the Nine-Nine believes he was framed. He spends the entire episode trying to survive the harsh penal system and eventually resorts to obtaining a contraband cell phone. Why? So he can hear Amy’s voice again.
Jake can’t bring himself to tell Amy everything he’s been through – about being threatened by other prisoners or getting beaten up by a guard, or the fact that his cellmate Caleb is a cannibal (though Caleb doesn’t like that term). When Amy asks if he’s okay, Jake simply says, “Everything’s fine. I’m talking to you.”
Oh, that noise you just heard? Pay no attention, that was just my heart shattering into a zillion pieces. Can we move on to some happier Peraltiago moments, please?
4. The “worst date ever.”
At the start of the show, Jake and Amy have a bet going to see who can get the most felony arrests in a year. If Amy wins, Jake has to give her his car. If Jake wins, Amy has to go on a date with him… and he promises to make it the worst date of her life. When he does win, he goes the extra mile. He picks out a tacky dress for Amy to wear, arranges for them to recreate the jig scene from Titanic, “which we have prepared for in no way, shape or form,” and hires a choir to sing to her about how Jake defeated her. Even the asking-out is ridiculous, with Jake dropping to one knee in the middle of the precinct.
“Amy Santiago, you have made me the happiest man on earth. I spent one whole dollar on this ring. Will you go on the worst date ever with me? You have to say yes.”
Jake, of course, insists he’s totally doing this to humiliate Amy. (Not because he likes her or anything.) Even though, as his best friend Charles Boyle points out, he went to a lot of effort for an allegedly fake date.
BOYLE: Jake, do you know why little boys pull little girls’ pigtails on playgrounds?
JAKE: ‘Cause they’re so easy to grab. They’re just begging to be pulled.
BOYLE: Because they like the girls, and that’s the only way they know how to get their attention.
JAKE: What are you saying?
BOYLE: All of this teasing, this elaborate date, somewhere down deep, you like Amy. Like, “like her,” like her.
JAKE: Okay, that’s straight-up insanity.
BOYLE: How much did you spend on tonight?
JAKE: $1,400, but all of it’s on credit cards, so it’s, like, $5 a month for the next two thousand years. I do not like Amy!
BOYLE: You’re putting a lot of effort into a joke.
Things get thrown off-track when Amy and Jake are called on-duty to sit on a roof and stake out for some suspects, and from there, things actually get pretty good. They start talking and end up legitimately enjoying each other’s company. And, to cap off their night, they manage to get their suspects… by pretending to be a feuding a couple. By the time they drop the act and stop “arguing,” even the criminals are shipping Peraltiago!
“I’m sad Y’all are arresting me,” one of them says, “but I gotta say, I’m glad you’re back together.”
Like I said… suspiciously good at acting madly in love.
3. The wedding.
In the Season Five finale, Jake and Amy finally get married. Of course, this being a sitcom, their wedding day is a total disaster at first. Not least because there’s a freakin’ bomb threat at their venue. To make matters worse, the head of the bomb squad is Amy’s ex-boyfriend… who’s still in love with her… and fully intends to make this take as long as possible in hopes of stopping the wedding altogether. Romantic!
But, with help from everyone around the precinct, Jake and Amy manage to have a perfect ceremony… just not the way they planned. Despite all the disasters popping up around them, they have a wedding with all their friends, live music, a beautiful dress for Amy – and Captain Holt even officiates! And after five seasons of buildup, the audience finally gets to see Jake and Amy tie the knot.
Of course, the Peraltiago wedding would’ve made the list no matter what. Like Jake says, he’d gladly marry Amy in a dumpster. But we’re still glad he didn’t have to.
2. The entirety of “Chasing Amy.”
From the beginning of the show, Amy’s dream is to become the captain of her own precinct — but to do that, she’s got to work her way up the ranks, starting with going from a detective to a sergeant. In Season Four’s “Chasing Amy,” she’s up for her sergeant’s exam, and she is freaking out. Like, creepily singing to herself in the middle of the night, destroying microwaves with her nightstick freaking out. Luckily, not only is she super-smart and super-prepared, but she’s also got a super-boyfriend to help her out.
JAKE: You’re going to ace this test.
AMY: You only think that because you love me, and love has made you dumb.
JAKE: I disagree. If anything, love has made me smarter. Remember last week when I boiled an egg?
AMY: That was big. I really proud of you.
Jake is on the top of his boyfriend game this entire episode. Not only does he prepare a practice exam for Amy to take (complete with authentic distractions), but when Amy suddenly vanishes from the precinct, he goes to chase her down, because he is not letting her miss out on this opportunity. He finally finds her on the rooftop where they concluded “the worst date ever,” or, as Jake puts it, “The night that you flirted with me for twenty seconds, and I became obsessed with you forever.” Finally, Amy explains why she ran off: she’s scared that when she becomes a sergeant, everything between her and Jake will change
“Things are so good right now,” she says. “I don’t want to screw that up by getting transferred or becoming your boss.”
Jake, however, soothes her concerns by saying that he always knew she’d be his boss one day. This is her dream, and she’s worked her butt off to get this far.
“You can’t be afraid to be successful. You’re too good for that.”
And with this pep talk, Amy makes it to her exam on time… and nails it, just like Jake knew she would.
1. The proposal.
Yes, I’m ranking the Peraltiago proposal above the wedding. Why you might ask? Because it is just so them.
One of the highlights of B99 is the yearly Halloween Heist when all the detectives (plus the civilian administrator, Gina) compete to find one specific object before midnight to prove that they’re the smartest person in the precinct. The first year it was Captain Holt’s Medal of Valor. Then for the fifth year, it was a championship belt (or cummerbund, as Holt would insist on calling it) with the phrase “Amazing Human / Genius” engraved into it.
Amy spends the whole episode boasting that she’s got the heist in the bag. She knows Jake so well, there’s no way he could possibly surprise her. (“I love you and treasure you and YA BORE ME!”) And, at midnight, it appears she’s right. She and Jake are in the evidence locker, and Amy’s gotten the belt/cummerbund (cummerbelt?).
“Guess that means I’m an amazing human-slash-genius,” Amy says.
“Yeah,” Jake replies, “but you might want to look at the inscription on that there belt.”
“Oh no. What’s it say?!” She turns the belt over. “‘Amy Santiago, will you… marry me…’”
She turns, and there’s Jake, down on one knee. “Surprise.”
The proposal really emphasizes what makes Jake and Amy the perfect couple. For example, they know each other incredibly well. Enough that Jake was able to maneuver everything all night to get Amy in the evidence locker at the right moment. But they still haven’t lost the ability to surprise each other. Not to mention, Jake, who hates losing, sets the whole thing up to make sure Amy wins.
Even better, at the top of the episode, Jake claims that planning that year’s Halloween Heist was all that got him through his time in prison. Which means, the entire time he was sitting in a cell for a crime he didn’t commit, Jake was going over the Heist in his head… fine-tuning the perfect proposal to Amy.
The cherry on top is that Boyle, the undisputed captain of the Peraltiago ship, got to be the first to hear the happy news. Predictably, he goes from “frantic about the Heist” to “squeeing and fainting with pure joy” in about half a second.
And at that moment, I swear we were all Charles Boyle.
Do you watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Are there any Peraltiago moments I missed? Tell me your favorites in the comments down below! And if you haven’t watched B99 yet… please do. You won’t regret it.
Where to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Thursdays at 9 PM on NBC, or on Hulu
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