Season four introduced us to one of my favorite characters while season five gave us one of the best scenes of the series and in season six the show with all its absurdism and nonsense truly made Seinfeld the show about nothing.
Season 4 (1992-1993)
Episode 7 (47): “The Bubble Boy”
The titular “bubble boy” is one of my favorite characters in the series. He’s vain and cocky, just like George, but because he’s terminally ill (and a child), we are supposed to feel sorry for him. But George’s ego doesn’t allow him to feel pity, and his competitive fire almost leads to accidental manslaughter. And, of course, Kramer is his usual, clumsy self. RIP Susan’s Father’s Cabin.
Episode 11 (51): “The Contest”
This is one of the best episodes of Seinfeld, simply because it’s an entire half-hour about masturbation without even mentioning the word itself. “Master of your Domain” has become part of the vernacular in many friend groups (it was in mine during the high school years). It’s also an interesting parallel to the main characters’ personalities. Their thoughts and actions over the course of the series are very much masturbatory, each one only thinking of themselves.
Episode 13 (53): “The Pick”
We’ve all been in this situation: you go to scratch your nose, maybe even adjust your septum piercing, and you’re accused of digging for green gold. And, let’s be candid here: you probably were up to your knuckle in snot; you just didn’t want to admit it. Jerry gets so defensive about being accused of picking his nose, even though he dumps women because they have “man hands” or have a terrible laugh.
Season 5 (1993-1994)
Episode 2 (66): “The Puffy Shirt”
“But I don’t wanna be a pirate!” is something I’ve said many, many times in my life. Do I own a puffy shirt? No. Do I want one? Possibly. Everyone remembers the iconic exclamation, but let’s give credit to George’s storyline as well. George becoming a hand model is a perfect representation of how elitist he sees himself. He is lauded as something he had no idea existed, but becomes a diva anyways. Classic Costanza.
Episode 14 (78): “The Marine Biologist”
This episode has the best scene of the entire series. George’s retelling of his experience as a “marine biologist” has the wittiest dialogue in the show’s nine-season run. It’s a perfect scene: George’s verbal cadence, the timing of the “big reveal,” and Kramer’s incredulous reaction and spectacular one-liner. If you’ve never seen this scene, stop reading right now. Google it. Watch it. Savor it. Bask in its comedy gloriousness.
Episode 18/19 (82/83): “The Raincoats”
The real winner here in this double episode is the Schindler’s List debacle. When I was a kid, I, of course, didn’t realize what was so upsetting about people kissing during a movie. Then I learned that kissing during that movie was what was upsetting. No, I haven’t seen Schindler’s List, but this episode brought it to my attention. “You were kissing during… Schindler’s List!?”
Season 6 (1994-1995)
Episode 3 (89) – “The Pledge Drive”
The synopsis from Wikipedia is as follows:
Elaine’s boss Mr. Pitt eats a Snickers bar with a knife and fork, starting a trend that seems to sweep the city. Jerry and Elaine deal with a couple (Dan and Noreen) that sound similar on the phone. Jerry cashes checks long since written by his grandmother, causing her account to become overdrawn. When Jerry’s grandmother tries to call him about the checks, Elaine answers the phone and assuming its Dan (a “high-talker”) tells off Jerry’s grandmother telling her to drop dead. Jerry works on a public television fundraiser and convinces George to bring Yankee Danny Tartabull to the taping. When Dan attempts to confront Jerry about the allegations, Jerry again mistakes Dan’s voice for Noreen’s, leading Kramer to think that Dan has a thing for Jerry. Kramer then passes himself off as a PBS executive, suggesting Dan watch various LGBT related programs. George meanwhile delays Tartabull to chase down a driver who supposedly gave him the middle finger.
This episode is filled with so much absurdism and nonsense that it truly is a gem in the Seinfeld catalogue. Go watch it.
Episode 5 (91) – “The Couch”
“Poppie peed on my sofa!!!” is another standout line from the middle seasons of the series. Plus, the always-stellar Patton Oswalt guest stars as a video star clerk. Elaine’s firm stance on abortion is stunning because subjects of this level of controversy were not common on television at the time, especially on NBC.
Episode 10 (96) – “The Race”
Yeah, I yelled, “I choose not to run” at my high school gym teacher when we were supposed to run the mile. But while that line is a classic, the standout of the episode is the race itself. Slowing it down and placing the Superman theme on top is television gold, and one of my top five segments of the series. It’s something I often think about as I run in slow-mo through my house while cars backfire outside.