40 Best Seinfeld Episodes Sorted by Character + 10 of the Best Ensemble Episodes
Seinfeld coming to Netflix is cause to celebrate and a good time to revisit the series that is often called “the best sitcom of all time.”
Quotes from Seinfeld are commonplace in today’s vernacular. “Sponge-worthy, “yada yada yada,” and “Jerk Store” are just a few. There are actually Festivus holiday cards and even a Lego set of Jerry’s apartment. The series has earned its position as a giant of pop culture and set a high standard for every sitcom that came after.
All 180 episodes of the Emmy-winning series will be available to stream on Netflix October 1st, 2021, and most of those episodes are exceptional. Breaking down the best episodes and moments on Seinfeld takes some creative classification. Below are 50 of the best Seinfeld episodes sorted by character as well as ten episodes where the fab four shine as an ensemble.
Are These The Best Seinfeld Episodes?
Jerome “Jerry” Seinfeld
“But I don’t wanna be a pirate!”Jerry Seinfeld
Seinfeld is based on the stand-up comedy of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. It’s not much of a stretch to play a fictionalized version of himself, but Seinfeld crafted the perfect character to be the nucleus of this group of neurotic New Yorkers. His observational humor and amusing takes on social situations are the lifeblood of the series.
Jerry’s particular and nitpicking nature leads to many hilarious hijinks for him and his friends. He’s usually the level-headed one that grounds the chaos and provides reasonable insight into unreasonable predicaments. But, there are also times where his idiosyncratic traits get him into sticky social positions and dilemmas. The following ten episodes highlight some of Jerry’s strengths, quirks, and blunders.
“The Puffy Shirt” Season 5 Episode 2
A low-talker causes trouble for Jerry, Elaine, and George on this episode, but Jerry is the one that is embarrassed publicly. A polite nod to something inaudible that Kramer’s girlfriend says at dinner becomes an unwitting agreement to wear a puffy pirate shirt for his upcoming appearance on The Today Show. He’s unable to get out of it and wears the shirt, getting ridiculed by Bryant Gumbel and, subsequently, getting Elaine fired from the Goodwill Benefit Committee. Kramer says he’s been given the chance to be a trendsetter, to be the first pirate, to which Jerry replies with a panicky whine, “But I don’t want to be a pirate!”
“The Pez Dispenser” Season 3 Episode 14
Jerry certainly has his child-like ways. He loves cereal, comic books, and toys, so he is thrilled when Kramer gives him a Tweety Bird Pez dispenser. Jerry takes it with him to George’s girlfriend’s very serious piano recital and places it, standing upright, on Elaine’s leg during her performance which causes Elaine to laugh uncontrollably. It ultimately ruins George’s relationship, but at least the intervention for his friend is successful. “He’s doing great on the rehab. He’s hooked on Pez!”
“The Kiss Hello” Season 6 Episode 17
Jerry’s storyline on this episode turned out to mirror real life. On the show, Jerry is fed up with the kiss-hello obligation that goes from one woman, Elaine’s friend Wendy, to all the women in his building, thanks to Kramer’s initiative to encourage the tenants to get to know each other better. He finally tells a neighbor that he’s uncomfortable with it, and the whole building turns against him.
In 2017, the comedian found himself in a similar situation to that of his fictional counterpart. On the red carpet, popstar Kesha tried to give him a hug as a greeting, to which Seinfeld replied, “No thanks.” The encounter ended up going viral with Kesha explaining to SiriusXM Hits 1 in Hollywood hosts, “I should’ve known better. I’ve seen the [Seinfeld] hugging episode, that was my fault.”
“The Cafe” Season 3 Episode 7
Jerry becomes obsessed with The Dream Cafe, a restaurant across from his apartment that is not doing well, and is determined to help. He tells the owner, Babu Bhatt, that he should focus the cuisine on that of his homeland, and then congratulates himself on the good deed, I am such a great guy. Who else would’ve gone through the trouble of helping this poor immigrant? I am special. My mother was right. Of course, I’ve never had Pakistani food. How bad can it be? Jerry’s advice does not bring success and Babu closes the cafe and blames Jerry.
“The Voice” Season 9 Episode 2
Jokes are very important to Jerry. When he comes up with a funny voice and catchphrases for his current girlfriend’s belly button he clings to it tighter than the woman herself. Once he tells her about the voice, she gives him an ultimatum: it’s either her or the voice and he happily chooses the voice. He goes to her place and says, “Hellooo!” in the voice when she answers the door. Jerry goes crawling back to her when he finds his friends have tired of it, but a giant ball of oil from Kramerica Industries gets in the way.
“The Pen” Season 3 Episode 3
Jerry starts drama at his parents’ retirement complex, all over a pen. It’s a pretty cool pen, though. Astronauts use it in space and it can write upside down. Jack Klompus is to Morty Seinfeld as Newman is to Jerry. Jack creates a big stink over the pen even though he insisted Jerry take it. And that is just the first of the mishaps that happen while Jerry and Elaine are in Florida. Elaine’s back goes out from sleeping on the pullout bed and Jerry gets two black eyes when he goes scuba diving. He does try to look at the bright side, telling Elaine that their time will fly by:
“Well, today’s almost over. And weekdays always go by fast. Friday we’re leaving. It’s like two days, really. It’s like a cup of coffee. It will go by like that!”
“The Race” Season 6 Episode 10
“I choose not to run.” That’s how Jerry protected his pride back in high school and he uses it again as an adult. In ninth grade, Jerry won a track race due to a head start that no one saw. Only Duncan Meyer, who came in second place, suspected. Fast forward to adulthood, and Jerry is dating a woman who works for Duncan. To save face in front of her, he lies and refuses a rematch, but the pressure becomes too great. At the race, Jerry gets another head start thanks to Kramer and he wins the race. Not only that, Jerry, the Superman fan, gets to date a woman named Lois.
“The Junior Mint” Season 4 Episode 20
Jerry doesn’t remember the name of the woman he’s dating and now it is too late to ask. Many attempts are made but fail. Jerry consults with George and they use the clue she gave him which is that it rhymes with a part of the female anatomy. She catches on and asks him to tell her what her name is, leading Jerry to guess “Mulva.” It finally comes to him just a moment too late, but he runs to the window and calls out after her, “Dolores!”
“The Pony Remark” Season 2 Episode 2
This is an episode where Jerry kills a little old lady. No, not the one he stole the marble rye from, a different one. It’s not known for certain if his derogatory remark about people with ponies upset her enough to result in death, but that is what the optics are. “Who figures an immigrant is gonna have a pony?”
“The Pick” Season 4 Episode 13
A model that Jerry is dating thinks she sees him pick his nose, though he was “clearly on the outer edge of the nostril. He gives her an impassioned speech in at the offices of Calvin Klein where Kramer is in a dispute with the designer over a scent. “Are we not human? If we pick, do we not bleed?” Elaine has a monologue that mirrors Jerry’s when she defending herself over an accidental nipple slip on her holiday card. “Because it’s not me that has been exposed, but you! For I have seen the nipple on your soul!”
George Louis Costanza
“It’s not a lie if you believe it.”George Costanza
It’s true, Seinfeld is based on Seinfeld’s stand-up, but that makes up only half of it. Larry David co-created the series with Seinfeld, and the character of Jerry’s best friend, George Costanza played by Jason Alexander, is based on the real-life character of David.
As the most neurotic of the bunch, George is almost in a constant state of distress. Interacting with his fellow humans proves to be a difficult task for him. He’s often self-deprecating, always on the lookout for loopholes in societal expectations, and is “incredibly careful with money.” His neuroses consistently get him into trouble. Read on for the best and the worst of the complex character of George Costanza.
“The Stakeout” Season 1 Episode 2
“The Stakeout,” otherwise known as Art Vandelay’s origin story, is the beginning of a few running gags pertaining to George: that he wants to be an architect and using importer/exporter as a fake job in his lies. It also solidifies, in just the second episode, George’s BFF status with Jerry, showing that he will always be the faithful wingman.
“The Nap” Season 8 Episode 18
The last thing George wants to do at work is actual work. However, naps are a top priority for the Assistant to the Traveling Secretary of the New York Yankees. He has taken up napping during business hours under his desk, but he just can’t leave it at that. George asks Jerry’s contractor to convert underneath his desk into an ideal sleeping-on-the-job nook. This leads to two bomb threats and, ultimately, the desk being destroyed.
“The Truth” Season 3 Episode 2
Aside from George’s monologue at the end of “The Marine Biologist” (see below), George’s exasperated breakup speech to pretentious Patrice is one of his best and a true thing of beauty. All the little things about her that bother him come spilling out when she insists that he tell her the truth:
“The truth. You want the truth? It is your earrings. It is the chopsticks, but it’s so much more. You’re pretentious. You call everyone by their full name. You call my doorman, Sammy, ‘Samuel,’ but you didn’t even say ‘Samuel,’ you went ‘SamuELLE.’ Papie-ay mach-ay? What is papie-ay mach-ay?”
“The Frogger” Season 9 Episode 18
This episode is another instance where George goes unnecessarily far for some meaningless recognition. In this case, it is to keep his high score on the Frogger game at the pizza place he and Jerry used to hang out at during high school which is going out of business. He recruits some of Kramer’s shady acquaintances to help him with moving the machine while still keeping it plugged in. The plan promptly falls apart; the Frogger is destroyed, and it’s game over for George’s legacy.
“The Marine Biologist” Season 5 Episode 14
“You know I’ve always wanted to pretend that I was an architect!” Jerry should’ve known better because way back on Season 1 Episode 2, “The Stakeout,” Art Vandelay, the architect, was born. Although, for a chance at a date with Diane DeConn, George is willing to play along. Jerry’s lie leads him into the ocean where he finds Kramer’s golf ball in the blowhole of a whale. It’s a whale of a tale that George recounts for the group in one of the greatest monologues of the series. “The sea was angry that day, my friends…”
“The Comeback” Season 8 Episode 13
George can often be described as petty. This episode shows the lengths he will go to get back at someone that has (in his mind) wronged him. A colleague jokes about George eating during a meeting, saying, “Hey George, the ocean called; they’re running out of shrimp.” He thinks of a comeback too late but becomes obsessed with trying to use it. Revenge trumps his usual stinginess and he flies all the way to Ohio to recreate the scene. It works but then swiftly backfires. “Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you,” he replies with what he thinks is a real zinger even though the others tell him it doesn’t make sense. His rival shoots this down, handily, with a comeback of his own, “What’s the difference? You’re their all-time bestseller!”
“The Heart Attack” Season 2 Episode 8
George’s hypochondria and frugality collide in this episode which is yet another example in a long line of them where his cheapness results in disaster. Rather than pay a doctor to perform a simple tonsillectomy, George goes to a holistic healer recommended by Kramer (of course) in an attempt to save money. He ends up purple, taken by ambulance to the hospital where his tonsils are removed and his medical bill is bigger than it would’ve been before.
“The Andrea Doria” Season 8 Episode 10
George is not above invoking pity to get what he wants. In order to get a great apartment, he must get the tenant association to feel more sorry for him than an Andrea Doria survivor. After he learns that the tragedy wasn’t all that tragic, George asks if he can plead his case, claiming that he’s suffered more in life. It’s as if every mishap, blunder, failure, and misfortune he’s experienced has led him to this moment. The association is moved by his harrowing story and he wins the apartment, but Elaine’s insult-slinging ex-boyfriend ends up getting it after bribing the super.
“The Seven” Season 7 Episode 13
George would like to name a future child of his own “Seven.” This is such an interesting piece of insight into the character. When Susan’s expectant cousin decides she likes the name, George does everything to keep them from using it, protecting the name as if it was…well, his own baby.
“The Summer of George” Season 8 Episode 22
There’s no list of Costanza episodes without “The Summer of George.” With a three-month severance package from the Yankees, George, takes three months off to do nothing. Real shocker. He doesn’t get dressed or visit Jerry. Instead he calls him and asks him to describe what’s happening at the apartment. When he eventually tires of the extreme laziness, he helps Jerry as his “dating intern” for the busy woman he is seeing and takes up frolf (frisbee golf).
Some poetic justice brings “The Summer of George” to a close with him ending up in the hospital from a mishap with invitations. It’s the same doctor delivering the bad news that had when Susan died in the Season 7 finale, and it’s the same indifferent reaction of his friends. So much for the Summer of George.
Elaine Marie Benes
“Maybe the dingo ate your baby.”Elaine Benes
The character of Elaine Benes was added to Seinfeld due to the execs at NBC calling the show too “male-centric.” It may be one of the most successful “afterthoughts” in TV history. Brought to life by the incomparable Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elaine is the perfect character to pal around with the guys and round out this wacky group.
Elaine is similar to Jerry in that she is more even-keeled than anxious George or the eccentric Kramer, but she definitely has her silly and foolish moments. There’s history between her and Jerry as they had dated before the timeline of the pilot episode. She seems to only tolerate George and endure Kramer, but, nonetheless, they are among her closest friends. Here are the ten best episodes that exude big Elaine energy.
“The Little Kicks” Season 8 Episode 4
Aside from Elaine’s famous “Get out!” shove, her signature dance moves are a defining characteristic whether she likes it or not. Described as “a full-body dry heave set to music,” Elaine’s little kicks make for a very memorable moment in the episode that continues on throughout the series as an inside joke.
“The Stranded” Season 3 Episode 10
Elaine’s response to tedious small talk is pure gold. From “smacking herself senseless” while talking to a guy who is “going off on the peanut,” to telling an obnoxious woman who’s wondering where her fiance could be that “Maybe the dingo ate your baby.” She says the latter not once but twice and with emphasis. Elaine is making her own fun at this dull party.
And as a bonus, she really lets George’s co-worker have it for wearing a fur coat.
“The Stall” Season 5 Episode 12
On this episode, Elaine gets revenge on a stingy stall neighbor and dates a mimbo, or what the youths these days call a himbo. A woman in the bathroom stall at the movie theater refuses to give Elaine any toilet paper, saying that she does not have “a square to spare.” It turns out that the woman is Jerry’s girlfriend, Jane, (and revealed later to be a phone sex worker that Kramer has been calling). At the coffee shop, Elaine recognizes her by her “flinty” voice and runs into the bathroom ahead of her. Jane finds herself now in a stall with no toilet paper, prompting Elaine to respond, “I don’t have a square to spare. I can’t spare a square.” The satisfied look on Elaine’s face when she comes out of the bathroom, arms full of toilet paper rolls, is priceless.
“The Sponge” Season 7 Episode 9
This is the origin of the term, “sponge-worthy,” which became popular following the episode. With a limited supply of Elaine’s preferred contraceptive, she begins to ration. She refuses to give one to George so he can have make-up sex with Susan, and she makes her current boyfriend plead his case to determine if he is “sponge-worthy.”
“The Susie” Season 8 Episode 15
Peggy, a co-worker, calls Elaine “Susie” and Elaine doesn’t correct her. Things escalate quickly from there. Elaine, in a meeting with Peterman and Peggy, manages to be both Elaine to Peterman and Susie to Peggy. It’s a brilliant performance from both Elaine the character and Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine. It comes to the point where Elaine must kill Susie off and she does so by way of suicide An actual funeral is held for the imaginary employee, and Peterman even says goodbye in a descriptive eulogy.
“The Bus Boy” Season 2 Episode 12
On the second season finale, Elaine has a guy friend from Seattle staying with her. She promptly tires of him and is desperate for him to leave. She meticulously prepares for his departure, but all hopes are dashed when they oversleep and Elaine is defeated by a five car pile-up on Rockaway Boulevard. These moments with Elaine in her nightgown frantically packing his suitcase and recounting her harrowing journey to Jerry and George are hysterical.
“The English Patient” Season 8 Episode 17
There is always that one movie that you hate and everyone else loves. So it goes with Elaine and The English Patient. Tired of arguing with lovers of the Oscar-winning film, she tells her boss, the one and only J. Peterman, that she hasn’t seen it. He will not stand for it and demands that she see it at once, accompanying her himself. She is unable to make it all the way through and explodes in an outburst in the middle of the theater, “Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert and just die already!”
“The Beard” Season 6 Episode 15
This episode is on Elaine’s list solely for her reaction to George wearing a toupee. George complains about Kramer setting him up with a bald woman and one of the best Elaine/George interactions ensues.
Elaine: Do you see the irony here? You’re rejecting somebody because they’re bald.
Elaine: You’re bald!
George: No, I’m not. I was bald.
They have a skirmish where Elaine grabs for the toupee and once she is able to yank it off him, she runs over to the window and says, “I don’t like this thing! And here’s what I’m doing with it.” To George’s dismay, she throws his piece out the window and walks away smirking and satisfied.
“The Burning” Season 9 Episode 16
Elaine is going to hell, according to her on-again, off-again boyfriend, David Puddy. After discovering that the preset radio stations in his car are all set to Christian rock, she asks him if he’s religious. He says he is, but it’s okay that she’s not because he’s not the one going to hell. Obviously, this irks her, but also the fact that he believes in something spiritual is bothersome. “I got him because he seemed so one-dimensional. I feel misled.”
“The Pie” Season 5 Episode 15
It’s double the Elaine and double the fun on this episode when Kramer comes across a mannequin that looks just like her. Evidently, the TV Guide guy on the bus from Season 5 Episode 10, “The Cigar Store Indian,” designs them in her honor. “TR-6? I prefer to think of her as …Elaine.” Well, Elaine is furious about how the snobby store is displaying her so she steals it with Jerry as getaway driver, who jokes, “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a hankering for some Doublemint Gum.”
“Giddy up!”Cosmo Kramer
Cosmo Kramer is the zaniest one of the bunch. Even if you’ve never seen a single episode, you know this to be true. Michael Richards brings incredible physicality to this offbeat character. As Jerry’s neighbor, he is around a lot, barging in with his unique entrances and inserting himself into the status quo of the others’ lives.
Kramer always has some scheme cooking or a bizarre project in the works. He jives to the beat of his own drum and makes no apologies for who he is. Sometimes he helps his friends out of jams and other times he creates the jams. This lively, unconventional character adds a quirky charm to the series. Check out these ten episodes that have that distinct Kramer vibe.
“The Little Jerry” Season 8 Episode 11
Kramer buys a hen that is actually a rooster and names him Little Jerry Seinfeld. He got the hen for eggs and since he mooches food off Jerry so much it makes sense that he names it after his gracious neighbor. He also has a bit of a gambling problem so when Marcelino, the owner of their neighborhood bodega, invites Kramer to put him in a cockfight, he agrees. Needless to say, it doesn’t turn out well, ending with Kramer jumping in to protect Little Jerry just as we know he would for Big Jerry.
“The Chicken Roaster” Season 8 Episode 8
Kramer boycotts Kenney Rogers Roasters, a fast-food chain that has opened up a restaurant across from his building. The red light from the neon sign beams right into his window, and it starts to mess with him.
Jerry: How’s life on the red planet?
Kramer: It’s killing me. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, all I can see is that giant red sun in the shape of a chicken!
He then proceeds to make himself a bowl of cereal but pour in tomato juice instead of milk. “That looked like milk to me, Jerry! My rods and cones are all screwed up!”
“The Sniffing Accountant” Season 5 Episode 4
This episode contains a moment that belongs on every list of Kramer’s best hits. Doing some undercover investigating for Jerry, Kramer, who’s got on the mohair sweater that Jerry gave him and sunglasses, talks up his mark at a bar. He simultaneously downs the entire stein of beer and while smoking a cigarette.
This incredible feat was unscripted and in the first take he belched and a puff of smoke came out. The burp was deemed too broad and he did it a second time.
“The Serenity Now” Season 9 Episode 3
When Kramer does something, he goes all out. So when he takes Frank Costanza’s old screen door off his hands, it becomes a whole thing. It becomes Anytown, USA, in fact. He creates an idyllic front porch set-up in the hallway with the screen door as the focal point. And he affects a pastoral demeanor, too, playing the part of someone who has a screen door, apparently.
It serves as his happy place until some neighborhood kids vandalize it. He uses Frank’s “Serenity Now” mantra to curb his anger, but eventually, he blows and destroys a bunch of computers that George was storing at his place. It’s like Lloyd Braun says, “Serenity now, insanity later.”
“The Wait Out” Season 7 Episode 23
Kramer has a very distinct style sense. There’s a vintage vibe, a timelessness, to his regular shirt-slacks combo. So when we see him in super tight skinny jeans, it is shocking.
He puts them on to prove to Jerry that he can still rock the denim. “I’ve got the body of a taut, pre-teen Swedish boy.” Problem is, though, he can’t take them off. It ruins Mickey’s Actor’s Studio audition and frightens a child he ends up babysitting because he can’t bend his knees in the slim-fit. “You’re walking like Frankenstein!”
“The Fire” Season 5 Episode 20
Kramer becomes a hero for saving Elaine’s vivacious co-worker’s severed pinky toe, packing it on ice in a Cracker Jack box, thwarting a mugging on the bus, and getting it to the hospital in time to have it reattached. He very animatedly tells the story to George and Jerry, prompting George to exclaim, “You’re Batman.”
“The Fusilli Jerry” Season 6 Episode 21
This episode is when Kramer gets the mythical moniker “Assman” due to mixed up license plates at the DMV. We also get to see his artistic side when he start making pasta sculptures of his friends. He makes one for Jerry out of fusilli pasta because he’s “silly,” and plans to make one for George using ravioli. “See, the hard part is finding a pasta that captures the individual.” A few episodes later on Season 6 Episode 24, Kramer crafts one for legend Bette Midler out of macaroni.
“The Muffin Tops” Season 8 Episode 21
Kramer’s storyline on this episode is based on the real-life Kramer’s “Kramer Reality Tour.” When the stories he sold to J. Peterman end up in his autobiography, Kramer decides to capitalize on it. “I’m a part of popular culture now.” Ever the entrepreneur, Kramer starts “The Peterman Reality Bus Tour,” prompting Jerry to say, “The last thing this guy’s qualified to give a tour of is reality.” Needless to say, it doesn’t take off, and the last run turns into a dump tour with Kramer trying to unload Elaine’s muffin stumps.
“The Wizard” Season 9 Episode 15
An episode wherein Kramer retires to Florida to live at Del Boca Vista and becomes a puppet to Morty Seinfeld’s master in the cutthroat politics of senior resort living. Their campaign implodes due to scandal; Kramer going barefoot in the clubhouse which is a violation. In the meantime, though, he gets some knock-off Wizard organizers called Willard from the mythical Bob Sacamano’s father!
“The Butter Shave” Season 9 Episode 1
The image of a very tanned Kramer with the body of a juicy, roasted turkey makes the rounds every Thanksgiving. Kramer has one of his hare-brained ideas and that is to lay out in the sun covered in butter. He falls asleep while tanning and basically cooks his skin. “Stick a fork in me, Jerry. I’m done.”
“These pretzels are making me thirsty.”Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer
Each character on Seinfeld is funny in their own right, but when they are all working in harmony (or disharmony) it is pure magic.
Naturally, one would think that these are primarily bottle episodes where they are stuck together in some situation. However, there are quite a few where the characters are apart but are still bringing the magic in their respective scenes. Below is just a sampling of these episodes that highlight the cast as a whole.
“The Merv Griffin Show” Season 9 Episode 6
Kramer gets a late-night talk show, Jerry plays with vintage toys, George injures and then cares for a squirrel, and Elaine deals with a sidler on this jam-packed episode. Each storyline is great and then they all overlap in ingenious ways. The scene where Jerry, Elaine, and George are all “guests” on the “show” with Kramer as host is one of the best ensemble scenes of the series.
“The Movie” Season 4 Episode 14
This episode is like “The Parking Garage” (see below) but at the movie theater. Nothing goes right and the group splits up and keeps missing each other until they are reunited in the end. The best part about it is the descriptions they come up with for one another.
Kramer on Jerry: He’s a guy that’s five foot eleven. He’s got a big head and flared nostrils.
George on Kramer: A guy with like a horse face, big teeth, and a pointed nose.
Movie theater clerk on George: A short guy with glasses; looked like Humpty Dumpty with a melon head.
George on Elaine: A pretty woman, kinda short, big wall o’ hair, face like a frying pan.
Elaine on Kramer: A tall, lanky doofus with a bird face and hair like the Bride of Frankenstein.
“The Opposite” Season 5 Episode 22
Jerry’s Even Steven-ness is scientifically proven on this episode. George is struggling in life and Elaine is doing great; Jerry is getting along fine in the middle. Jerry tells George that if everything he does is wrong, he should try the opposite. George takes this philosophy to heart and things start turning around for him. At the same time, Elaine’s good fortune runs out. Meanwhile, Jerry is still skating by in the middle. “Everything’ll even out. See, I have two friends; you were up and he was down. Now he’s up, you’re down. You see how it all evens out for me?”
And where’s Kramer in all of this? Oh, just promoting his book and spitting coffee on Kathie Lee Gifford while appearing on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.
“The Betrayal” Season 9 Episode 8
“The Betrayal” is where Seinfeld switched things up with a gimmicky episode structure and pulls it off. Big time. The episode goes backwards and it makes the very most of it with tons of jokes that play with the concept. Jerry, George, and Elaine travel to India for the wedding of Sue Ellen Mishke, Elaine’s long-time nemesis. Kramer stays back in NY and has his own reverse adventure that involves a wish exchange and a lollipop. It’s brilliant from start to finish. Or should I say finish to start?
“The Contest” Season 4 Episode 11
This might be the most iconic episode of the series. The group bets on who can go the longest without masturbating, and since the show aired on network primetime, they had to get creative with their wording. The script resulted in Larry David winning an Emmy for Oustanding Writing in a Comedy Series.
Kramer is the first to fold as Jerry predicted. “You’ll be out before we get the check.” Elaine is next following her encounters with JFK Jr. at the health club. Jerry drops out due to the pressure of dating a virgin and the exhibitionism of a nude neighbor. George is declared the winner until he admits that he cheated on Part 1 of “The Finale.”
“The Strike” Season 9 Episode 10
It’s not Festivus without the whole gang! George’s alternative holiday tradition from childhood is back to haunt him, coming out of the crawlspace when Kramer get’s Frank to reinstate the unusual festivities. The audience, along with his friends, his boss, some randoms from the off-track betting place that had Elaine’s “standard fake” phone number, and Jerry’s two-faces girlfriend, get to witness the bizarre Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength. “I’ve got a lot of problems with you people!”
“The Dealership” Season 9 Episode 11
Like “The Chinese Restaurant” and “The Parking Garage” (see below), “The Dealership” takes place at, you guessed it, a dealership. The dealership where David Puddy now works as a car salesman. He tells Jerry that he’s going to give him an insider deal, but little does Jerry know, that deal is contingent upon Puddy’s relationship status with Elaine. Jerry ends up trying to “sell” them on being a couple.
Meanwhile, George and Kramer have their own dealership adventures. Jerry brought George along so he would make sure he wouldn’t get ripped off, but George is too hungry to focus. A fickle vending machine, a cheeky mechanic, and a candy line-up push him to his limits.
Kramer also pushes limits, those of a car he is test driving, but he is testing something of his own.
Kramer: Oftentimes, Jerry lends me his car and I find myself in a situation where the car is almost out of gas. But, for a variety of reasons, I don’t want to be the one responsible for purchasing costly gasoline.
Rick: So, you wanna know how far you can drive your friend’s car for free.
Kramer: Well, I make it up to him in other ways!
Alas, Jerry gets the insider deal but doesn’t take it because of Puddy’s high-five.
“The Parking Garage” Season 3 Episode 6
The premise for this episode is one that lives up to its “show about nothing” legacy. The gang has gone to the mall and when they’re done shopping, they are unable to remember where they parked. While this situation is uneventful, watching these four deal with all the obstacles is captivating and it makes for a memorable episode.
When they finally find Kramer’s car, the script direction was that they were supposed to drive off. However, the picture vehicle wouldn’t start, but Richards kept trying the ignition while the other actors reacted. It ended up being the perfect capper to this episode where so much had gone wrong.
“The Dinner Party” Season 5 Episode 13
An enormous Gore-tex coat, a chocolate babka, a cinnamon babka, the end of a fourteen-year-old no-vomit streak, and a double parking dictator. This episode has a lot of hoops for George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer to go through, and it’s all for a dinner party. The obstacles they face and their reactions to them are priceless.
“The Finale” Season 9 Episodes 23 and 24
“The Finale” gets a bad wrap. Sure, the situation is absurd, but so are many of the other shenanigans that these four get into. Each character has their fair share of moments of poor judgment and has been mean-spirited, but it isn’t noticed in the context of New York City nor is it in a sitcom that centers around slightly horrible people. Put them in a quaint small town and they are painted in a different light, and it gets them arrested. Their only chance at winning the lawsuit are the character witnesses, and thus all their past bad deeds come back to haunt them.
This episode was much anticipated and pretty much any finale isn’t going to live up to the hype for the majority. This storyline honors the dishonorable characters and it gives them a send-off that they, frankly, kind of deserve. Seinfeld stayed true to its “no hugging and no learning policy” all the way to the end with a very fitting finale.
Seinfeld is now streaming on Netflix!