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It was a show that was supposedly about nothing, and yet it left us with some of the most brilliant comic moments on television and a host of catchphrases that entered the American lexicon.
That’s because the show about nothing was really all about the things you never wanted to talk about. Petty grievances, self-involvement and weird quirks we’re all lampooned in brilliantly comic fashion.
So in case you’re in need of a good laugh, you can always turn to this breakthrough ‘90s sitcom. Here’s our pick for the top 15 Seinfeld episodes to get those belly laughs rolling.
15. The Pick (Season 4, Episode 13)
In the main storyline, Jerry gets caught picking (he would say scratching) his nose by his model girlfriend. But it’s the supporting plots that make this a truly hilarious episode.
Elaine’s co-workers start calling her “Nip” after she accidentally exposes herself in her yearly Christmas card. Meanwhile, Kramer scores a modeling gig when he confronts Calvin Klein about stealing his idea for a cologne that smells like the beach. “His buttocks are sublime!”
Finally, the constantly flip-flopping George begs his girlfriend Susan back only to realize he really wasn’t that into her in the first place.
14. The Face Painter (Season 6, Episode 22)
Of all the hilarious minor characters to frequent Seinfeld, Elaine’s lunkhead boyfriend Puddy is definitely one of the funniest. In this episode, Elaine is mortified when he paints his face for a New Jersey Devils hockey game.
Also, in this episode, Kramer gets into a banana throwing contest with a monkey at the zoo (He started it!), and Elaine and Jerry have an inappropriate discussion about their wardrobes at a funeral.
13. Little Kicks (Season 8, Episode 4)
Normally it was Kramer delivering most of the physical comedy laughs in Seinfeld. But Elaine had us all belly laughing in this episode where she dances at a J.Peterman office party. George describes her cringe-worthy dance moves as “a full body heave set to music.”
In a subplot, George pretends to be a bad boy to score a date. Meanwhile, Jerry makes an illegal recording of a movie with a handheld camera and becomes a sought after director. Yes, it took a lot more skill to pirate films back then.
12. The Outing (Season 4, Episode 17)
This one is a bit controversial. Elaine plays a trick on Jerry and George and convinces a reporter that they’re a gay couple. To cover their homophobia, they follow every denial to the reporter with the now famous catchphrase “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Although some people found it offensive, I think it’s Jerry and George that comes off as the idiots here. Remember, this is a show that highlighted all our ugly quirks and weaknesses and made fun of them.
Also, Jerry ‘s line, “I’ve been outed! I wasn’t even in!” is an absolute classic.
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11. The Abstinence (Season 8, Episode 9)
While George practices abstinence, he frees up the brainpower formerly reserved for sex and turns into a genius. Unfortunately, the same does not apply to Elaine. When her boyfriend cuts her off, she turns into a babbling idiot who breaks into giggles while watching a pair of rotating tires.
Meanwhile, Kramer turns his apartment into a smoking lounge and is horrified when he sees the effect it’s had on his face. “Look away, I’m hideous,” he screams. Ah, that’s some classic Kramer.
10. The Marine Biologist (Season 5, Episode 14)
No one knows how to run with a lie better than George. In this episode, he pretends to be a marine biologist to impress a potential love interest, which goes fine until the pair stumbles onto a beached whale with a blocked airhole while walking down the shore.
In one of the funniest Seinfeld moments ever, George recounts how he saved the whale/fish by pulling a golf ball out of its airhole, starting with the phrase, “The sea was angry that day, my friends.”
Later we find out the golf ball belongs to Kramer, who was hitting balls into the ocean earlier. This is the Seinfeld version of saving the whales.
9. Bubble Boy (Season 4, Episode 7)
This episode proved that everything was fair game for comedy, including a bubble boy. When Jerry goes to visit him, we discover the ailing kid is actually a complete jerk. But the bigger kid is George, who goes mano a mano with him over a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Not even a bubble is a safe space in this cynical world.
8. The Chicken Roaster (Season 8, Episode 8)
When a Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant opens nearby, it floods Kramer’s apartment with neon light and turns him into an insomniac. “My rods and cones are all screwed up, “ he laments to Jerry.
And while this episode is pure gold as far as physical comedy from Kramer, Jerry gives him a run for his money. When they switch apartments, they also switch personalities. Suddenly he turns into Kramer and gives one of what may be his best performances.
It’s like Freaky Friday, only funnier.
7. The Puffy Shirt (Season 5, Episode 2)
This is the famous “low talker” episode. Jerry is accidentally roped in to wearing a ridiculous pirate shirt on the Today Show all because he didn’t hear Kramer’s designer friend correctly.
The only thing funnier than the sight of Jerry in puffy sleeves is when he sadly whines, “But I don’t want to look like a pirate!”
6. The Junior Mint (Season 4, Episode 20)
In an all-time classic gag, Kramer’s junior mint goes flying during an operation on Elaine’s ex-boyfriend and plops right into the patient. When his health goes south, George starts buying up the guy’s artwork, thinking that the price will skyrocket when he dies. Which, of course, he doesn’t.
Wow, I really want a junior mint right now. They’re so refreshing!
5. The Fusilli Jerry (Season 6, Episode 20)
Kramer gets tons of attention from people on the street when he mistakenly receives a license plate that reads “Assman.”
And the subplots in this episode are equally funny. Jerry gets into a fight with his mechanic Puddy over a stolen sex move. Meanwhile, George’s dad Frank accuses Kramer of making a move on his wife Estelle when “he stops short” and accidentally ends up with his hands in the wrong place.
The episode comes full circle when an angry Frank lands on Kramer’s fusilli statue of Jerry and has to take a trip to the proctologist.
4. The Opposite (Season 5, Episode 21)
In one of the most memorable George episodes ever, his life takes a turn for the better when Jerry suggests he do “the opposite'' of whatever his instincts tell him to do. A strategy that gets him a girlfriend and a job with the New York Yankees.
Elsewhere, Elaine’s luck heads in the opposite direction when she realizes she’s turning into the new George.
3. The Hamptons (Season 5, Episode 21)
Ahh, the famed “shrinkage” episode. Where women across America got an education, they didn’t know they wanted.
The gang heads off to the Hamptons to see some friend’s newborn baby, who turns out to be horribly ugly. But the real laughs come when Jerry’s girlfriend Rachel accidentally sees George with his pants down after a cold dip in the pool.
Men always knew that some “things” look smaller when they’re cold. Women not so much.
And that’s how “shrinkage” entered the American lexicon.
2. The Soup Nazi (Season 5, Episode 21)
Larry Thomas gives a brilliant guest performance as an impossibly demanding chef that kicks people out of his soup restaurant unless they follow his strict rules. His cry of “No soup for you” still echoes in our ears today.
Elaine and George quickly get themselves banned for bad behavior. And Jerry betrays the woman he’s dating all in pursuit of a bowl of soup. But Elaine finally has her revenge when she discovers the chef’s recipes in an old armoire.
Fun fact: The piece of comedy gold was based on a real New York chef.
1. The Contest (Season 4, Episode 11)
It’s not only one of the best episodes on Seinfeld. It’s one of the best in all of sitcom history. When George’s mother catches him in “a moment of self pleasure” he swears it off completely.
Soon it becomes a contest between the gang as to who can remain the “master of their domain” the longest.
What on other shows could have been lowbrow and smutty is turned into a brilliantly witty episode about a taboo subject?
The comedy and frustration soon crank up due to naked neighbors, sponge baths and JFK Jr. Eventually, the gang falls off one by one. All without ever saying the word, you know what. Genius.
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