Nothing mixes better with New York Sports than the greatest show of all-time courtesy of Jerry and Larry David, “Seinfeld.”
“The Mets have 75 games on cable this year.” –Kramer
That’s all Kramer needed to say to convince Jerry to meet the Russian immigrants who’d set him up with illegal cable.
That moment came during the episode “The Baby Shower” of season two and since then it became apparent the show Seinfeld would forever connect the dots between social single-life and New York City sports.
The Mets, obviously, have a huge connection thanks to Jerry’s fandom. From Keith Hernandez‘s appearance in season three to the actual pilot episode, the franchise was fully entrenched.
The Yankees took on more of a role — perhaps due to Larry David’s fandom — via George’s dream job scenario during the last episode of season six all the way to the end of season eight. Players like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Danny Tartabull made cameos. Even Buck Showalter was convinced to change the uniforms from that god-awful polyester to cotton.
And, of course, who could forget the George Steinbrenner character. Frank Costanza (like most of us) couldn’t figure out the Jay Buhner trade.
The Knicks were twice mentioned in the series. Once Jerry had to give away his two tickets in “Male Unbonding” and then late in the series Kramer got into a fight with Reggie Miller and Spike Lee. (They all went to the strip club afterward. It was all good.)
Hey, even the Giants, Rangers and Devils picked up key spots in the series, all in season six. Lawrence Taylor was forced to look to the skies upon hearing the name of “Joel Rifkin” through the Giants Stadium PA system.
Sorry, Jets. Even though Larry David is a huge fan of the franchise, you guys (along with the Islanders and Nets) could never squeeze into an episode.
Forget the spots. There’s been too many to count. What we’ll do now is countdown the greatest Seinfeld episodes of all-time.
- The Stock Tip (Season 1)
- The Pony Remark (Season 2)
- The Heart Attack (Season 2)
- The Statue (Season 2)
- The Baby Shower (Season 2)
- The Busboy (Season 2)
- The Nose Job (Season 3)
- The Cafe (Season 3)
- The Tape (Season 3)
- The Letter (Season 3)
- The Pez Dispenser (Season 3)
- The Pitch (Season 4)
- The Ticket (Season 4)
- The Opera (Season 4)
- The Virgin (Season 4)
- The Bubble Boy (Season 4)
- The Airport (Season 4)
- The Pick (Season 4)
- The Movie (Season 4)
- The Junior Mint (Season 4)
- The Pilot (Season 4)
- The Mango (Season 5)
- The Glasses (Season 5)
- The Lip Reader (Season 5)
- The Non-Fat Yogurt (Season 5)
- The Barber (Season 5)
- The Masseuse (Season 5)
- The Raincoats (Season 5)
- The Fire (Season 5)
- The Big Salad (Season 6)
- The Soup (Season 6)
- The Mom & Pop Store (Season 6)
- The Race (Season 6)
- The Switch (Season 6)
- The Kiss Hello (Season 6)
- The Doorman (Season 6)
- The Scofflaw (Season 6)
- The Maestro (Season 7)
- The Hot Tub (Season 7)
- The Rye (Season 7)
- The Wig Master (Season 7)
- The Bizzaro Jerry (Season 8)
- The Chicken Roaster (Season 8)
- The Little Jerry (Season 8)
- The Comeback (Season 8)
- The Nap (Season 8)
- The Betrayal (Season 9)
- The Voice (Season 9)
- The Burning (Season 9)
Tom Cherones was the director of the series up until season six at which point Andy Ackerman took over. And obviously, Larry David — who co-created the show with Jerry — left the series after season seven. In my humble opinion, the series really dipped once David left the show. Seasons eight and nine are rough at times and are scarce in the top 25.
When thinking about that true New York feel and what Seinfeld was made of, season three — just one season prior to the breakout of season four — really hit home the Big Apple feel. Season five very well could be the best season of the nine, pound-for-pound.
The season that gets snubbed the most here is season six. While there are several in the notables section, only two appear in the top 25. It’s a tremendous season with a ton of funny episodes, but none that really stand out from the others. All are solid across the board.
The toughest of the notables to leave off the big boy list are “The Airport,” “The Busboy” and “The Fire.” All three showcase George’s miserable nature at his best.
Top Notable: The Soup Nazi (Season 7)
“No soup for you!” –The Soup Nazi
Sure, perhaps it’s a little overrated purely due to the iconic punchline of, “No soup for you!” That much is certain. At the same time, watching Kramer get robbed of Elaine’s brand new armoire and George’s constant self-destruction in his engagement to Susan really brings a lot to the table.
25. The Cheever Letters (Season 4)
“Maybe I’ll go visit my mother. She just bought me some new panties and they’re all laid out for me.” –Elaine
“The Cheever Letters” was a great one based on a couple angles. First and foremost, Elaine brought the house down with perhaps the loudest moment in series history with the episode capper:
Secondly, this is just the beginning phase of George ruining Susan’s life.
Mainly, this was really the first episode in the series that started to push the limit of sex talk:
24. The Fusilli Jerry (Season 6)
“Assman? I’ll show him Assman!” –Frank Costanza
It doesn’t get much better when Kramer accidentally receives the wrong license plate dubbed “ASS-MAN.” Naturally, he’s going to use it to his advantage.
Twist and turns lead to Frank Constanza needing an emergency room visit due to a Fusilli Jerry:
23. The Phone Message (Season 2)
“Oh, no thanks. Coffee keeps me up at night.” –George
Classic Constanza is on display in this early-series great and is most definitely not for the casual Seinfeld fan. “The Phone Message” is for the diehard fan of the series.
It happened before the rise of the group’s dominant sexuality. All four were much more tamed and quite about each’s activity. For this specific storyline, both George and Jerry have dates on the same night. Jerry’s goes swimmingly but George makes a huge blunder only George could experience:
When he tries to patch things up, his blunder turns into downright embarrassment:
The acting here is phenomenal. The reaction in the car once he fully allowed himself to realize what he had done was one of the most priceless reactions of the entire series.
22. The Opposite (Season 5)
“Hi, I’m George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.” –George
That along with talking back to movie bullies and George Steinbrenner himself is all part of the thrills of “The Opposite.” Never does George win. This is why this episode is so endearing on so many levels.
21. The Fix-Up (Season 3)
“Is there a pinkish hue?” –George
Again, the classic Constanza reaction is such a part of this series that it’d be impossible to ignore. In season three’s “The Fix-Up,” George is so desperate for a date that he relents to his initial “hell no” reaction to being set up with Elaine’s friend.
Just how he “relents” what makes it so funny. “Thick, lustrous hair” on a woman is apparently very important to the picky bald man:
20. The Revenge (Season 2)
“What’s the big deal? We’re just gonna put a little concrete into the washing machine.” –Kramer
What happens when Kramer is playing with a bag-full of concrete? Absolute hilarity ensues:
The brilliance of the episode stems from the brain of Larry David as this is the true story of him sticking it to the boss on Saturday Night Live while quitting and then returning on Monday morning as if nothing ever happened:
19. The Engagement (Season 7)
“You know what? No champagne.” –Jerry
To start a brand new season, both George and Jerry vow to change their lives. Instead of acting like children, they would find happiness through marriage and family. One of these two men were quickly talked out of marriage by Kramer:
The other doesn’t have a Kramer to consult and actually gets engaged. His misery, George’s engaged misery to Susan kick-starts the entire theme for the season:
“That’s what you’re gonna wear?” –Susan
18. The Outing (Season 4)
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” –Everybody
It’s tough to find legitimate Seinfeld rankings these days due to the mere fact that so many publishers are so politically correct that they’ll talk bad about a groundbreaking episode like “The Outing.” Although the show never once denigrates homosexuality, many will rank this episode near the bottom just so it doesn’t gain any more traction than it has for the last two-plus decades.
We won’t do that. There’s no insult here.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that” is a phrase that’ll live on forever. The writing is sheer genius. George’s split-second reaction to finally realizing that the NYU reporter thinks they’re gay is what comedy is made of:
17. The Cigar Store Indian (Season 5)
“What’s this? A prophylactic wrapper?” –Frank Constanza
With one coincidental drive-by, Kramer destroys Jerry’s chances with an attractive Native-American woman:
We find out Frank Constanza collects TV Guide and see George grounded after his parents find a “prophylactic” wrapper in the master bedroom.
16. The Couch (Season 6)
“Poppy peed on my sofa! My new sofa, Poppy peed on my new sofa.” –Jerry
The back-and-forth between Jerry and Poppy through season six was one of the more memorable storylines of the season. In “The Couch,” Poppy does damage to Jerry’s new sofa in a way only Seinfeld can bring to the table.
15. The Merv Griffin Show (Season 9)
“Hey! It’s our good friend George Constanza!” –Kramer
There’s nothing much that’s going to invade the top 25 from seasons eight or nine, but “The Merv Griffin Show” separates itself from the pack.
The moment George is introduced by Kramer is the moment the entire episode comes together:
Only the character of Kramer could pull this one off.
14. The Conversion (Season 5)
“I have the Kavorka Jerry.” –Kramer
One of the more underrated episodes of the series is “The Conversion.” Very subtly, this one grabs your attention in a gloomy sort of way. George is depressed thanks to his girlfriend’s parents not allowing her to date him based strictly on religion. Elaine casually provides hope by claiming to convert to Latvian Orthodox (a completely fictional faith) would be “romantic.”
George, obviously, does convert and Kramer gets caught up in the mix as he tries to free himself from Kavorka.
13. The Bris (Season 5)
“Be realistic, George.” –Kramer
If any line can sum up the character of Kramer, it came during the episode of “The Bris.”
- Kramer: “Now George, you have room in the car for the pigman.”
- George: “The pigman can take the bus.”
- Kramer: “George, if the pigman had a car he’d give you a ride.”
- George: “How you do know? What if the pigman had a two-seater.”
- Kramer: “Be realistic, George.” (Prior to looking at Jerry and chuckling.)
The pigman, the Godfather-like ending, the gloating over a parking spot by Constanza and the subsequent damage done to the car thanks to the suicide — it’s all part of one of the best Seinfeld episodes ever.
12. The Red Dot (Season 3)
“Was that wrong?” –George
“The Red Dot” is the picture-perfect George episode. His reaction to Mr. Lipman asking if he had sex with the cleaning woman on the desk in his office creates the most George-like response of all-time:
He’s thinking about all the possible excuses he could come up with yet cannot find the right one. You can see it on his face. He dug deep yet nothing could cover it up.
Then, we have Kramer’s moment, “You can smell me without the drink.”
Kramer, while drunk, accidentally exposing George with the red dot is just the beginning of the episode.
11. The Dinner Party (Season 5)
“Why don’t we get them a couch.” –George
Aside from the opening scene, the entire episode plays outside of Jerry’s apartment. Eventually, Jerry and Elaine are teamed up while the hilarious duo of George and Kramer do their thing. Before they split up, George can’t believe how much they have to bring to the dinner party. He can’t understand why his presence alone isn’t a gift in itself.
Eventually, after George tells Kramer to double-park, they get trapped in by a double-parker, possibly Sudam Hussein:
In one scene, a foreigner bumps into George’s Gore-Tex coat at the newsstand and the dialogue is just brilliant.
- “Big coat. Big coat,” the man says as George is scared of a beatdown.
- “You better be careful with that thing. You’ll start a war.” –Kramer
Even Kramer conveniently forgetting his wallet while forcing George to pay for the bottle of wine with a $100 bill brings us more greatness.
10. The Parking Garage (Season 3)
“What’s the point? We’ll all be dead eventually.” –George
“The Parking Garage” was the single most miserable and enjoyable episode for the cast. Rumor had it that Elaine was sick and Kramer actually hurt himself while slamming the air conditioner into the back of the trunk:
How brilliant was the idea? Four friends walking around mall parking garage looking for their lost car. It also brought us pretty funny stand-up from Jerry as it pertains to the numbers and colors of the parking garage. Instead of numbers, they should use words that you wouldn’t forget such as, “Your mother’s a whore.”
9. The Implant (Season 4)
“They’re real and they’re spectacular.” –Teri Hatcher’s character
We know what Jerry goes through with Teri Hatcher’s character, but how about George? The man goes to Detroit with his girlfriend only because Kramer tells him he can get a death in the family fee on his airfare.
Worst yet, his cold reaction to Megan Mullaly’s character’s death in the family brings us a really dark side of Constanza:
8. The Sniffing Accountant (Season 5)
“Do you know about the different cup sizes and all?” –Frank Costanza
“The Sniffing Accountant” is such a classic it brings us golden angles from everywhere. First, Jerry, Kramer and Newman stakeout their accountant due to a suspicion of using drugs. Kramer provides instant comedy in every way while undercover and at the bar:
Even funnier than the official Kramer beer chug with the cigarette in the mouth was the blooper:
The other classic story was the unemployed George being set up with a job interview by his father as a bra salesman. Learning about bras from Frank Costanza is one hell of a thing:
7. The Contest (Season 4)
“I’m out!.” –Kramer
Usually topping everybody’s list, “The Contest” is No. 7 on our list for a couple of reasons. Yes, it’s an absolute classic that deserves all the Emmy’s that came its way. Beautifully written by Larry David who experienced the same contest in real life. Not once did the word “masturbation” creep up on the screen at all. The misery of George to start the episode gets everything rolling:
When Kramer so valiantly told the crew he was out, the house came down:
As great as this episode was, it really lives on those two moments. There are funnier episodes. There aren’t too many funnier ones, but you get the idea.
6. The Marine Biologist (Season 5)
“Who wants to have some fun?!” –Kramer
From finding out Kramer really did make a hole-in-one to playing the part of marine biologist thanks to Jerry’s quick-thinking, it doesn’t get much better than “The Marine Biologist.”
“But I’m not a marine biologist.” –George
“Yes, I know that.” –Jerry
5. The Hamptons (Season 5)
“I was in the pool! I was in the pool!” –George
There are three “bring the house down” moments in “The Hamptons.” First and foremost, everybody’s favorite when George, after attempting to see Jerry’s girlfriend naked, is immediately put back in his place by the comedic gods:
The second one came earlier when Kramer tells George oh so casually that they all saw his girlfriend (Jane) topless. George’s reaction is priceless:
“I know, it’s great. I saw Jane topless.” –Kramer.
The final moment comes when Kramer is exposed to the ugly baby:
4. The Chinese Restaurant (Season 2)
“If anything happens here, can I count on you?” –George
What two-bit nothing show would ever run an entire episode while waiting to be seated at a Chinese restaurant? Simply incredible, what Seinfeld pulled off those days during the early 1990’s. “The Chinese Restaurant” was as groundbreaking an episode as there was.
George’s struggles in needing to contact his girlfriend topped the list of angles in this one:
3. The Subway (Season 3)
“His father was a mudder.” –Kramer
Like much of season three, “The Subway” is as “New York” of an episode as it gets. None of it takes place at Jerry’s apartment and after breakfast (in which George so innocently asks who leads the dance at a lesbian wedding), the foursome go their separate ways.
We’re first introduced to Kramer’s gambling issues:
Elaine is stuck in a nightmare:
Jerry makes a friend in a nudist who also loves the Mets:
And, of course, George’s lies on the subway lead him into serious trouble:
The best part of the episode came when the undercover cop saved Kramer after acting like a blind homeless man earlier in the show. Obviously, George calls him out in his own unique style by saying, “That guy’s not blind.”
2. The Puffy Shirt (Season 5)
“How can I move back in with those people?” –George
“The Puffy Shirt” not only brought the low-talker into fame, it finally brought on the dynamic of Frank and Estelle Costanza as George was forced to move back in with his parents in Queens after having been unemployed since the end of season two.
But then, something so incredibly un-George-like happens that it throws us all off. He strikes gold and becomes a hand model. He’s busting. He has it all. He cannot believe it. He’s even skipping through the park. That’s when his storyline runs into the puffy shirt angle as Kramer’s hot iron ruins his life.
It’s a classic that begins an entirely new era: George in Queens with his parents.
1. The Boyfriend (Season 3)
“There had to have been a second spitter.” –Jerry
The greatest ‘Seinfeld’ episode of all-time is “The Boyfriend” with Keith Hernandez.
First of all, Hernandez shows up out of nowhere in the gym locker room after George has been exposed as a chucker. Kramer has to meet Newman, leaving Jerry and George to chat with the 1979 NL MVP.
The two storylines that clash in George’s unemployment ventures and Hernandez’s encounter with Kramer and Newman in ’87 are what make this the best of all time.
First, we have George doing George things. The man lies about Vandelay Industries and goes as far as to throw a kid out of a phone booth in order to reach Jerry about the lie. He then gets kicked out of a cab after Kramer hangs up on him.
The level George would go to keep this unemployment thing going was astonishing.
The capper is the JFK reconstruction of Kramer and Newman getting spit-on (supposedly) by Hernandez.
It may have also been the first, “Hello Newman,” out of Jerry’s mouth in the entire series.
This, the greatest episode of all-time brings a sports and a new york city feel to Seinfeld’s comedy that simply cannot be matched.
Breakdown (75 Episodes)
- Season 1: 0 in Top 25, 1 in Notables
- Season 2: 3 in Top 25, 5 in Notables
- Season 3: 5 in Top 25, 5 in Notables
- Season 4: 4 in Top 25, 10 in Notables
- Season 5: 9 in Top 25, 8 in Notables
- Season 6: 2 in Top 25, 8 in Notables
- Season 7: 1 in Top 25, 5 in Notables
- Season 8: 0 in Top 25, 5 in Notables
- Season 9: 1 in Top 25, 3 in Notables