Seinfeld turned the sitcom world on its head when it first aired in the summer of 1989. Over the years Seinfeld became extremely popular, and was famous for being a ‘show about nothing.’ Unlike most sitcoms before it, there wasn’t a family storyline or a lot of relationship drama. Instead the Seinfeld characters drifted through their own little worlds with little regard for those around them. That was what made the show so great. Seinfeld still airs in syndication several times a day no matter where you live, a testament to how big the show really was. Here’s a look at the 5 best episodes of all time.
5. The Chinese Restaurant -5/23/1991
While en route to see a showing of classic bad film Plan 9 From Outer Space, Jerry, George, and Elaine are sidetracked by an endless wait at a Chinese restaurant. During this time George is freaking out over waiting to hear back from a potential girlfriend, Elaine is going insane with hunger, and Jerry is nervous about being caught in a lie he told to get out of seeing his uncle. All are relatable issues, as is waiting by frustrated without getting any real feedback from the people who are making you wait. The show ends with the three giving up and leaving just before their names are called. Kramer isn’t really missed in this brilliant episode.
4. The Opposite – 5/19/1994
Long time loser George Louis Costanza decides that every instinct he’s ever had has been wrong. As a result, George decides to do the opposite of everything he’s ever done. By doing the opposite of what he believes in, George finds himself with a new girlfriend, a hot job with the Yankees and moved out of his parents. Elaine meanwhile suffers the George treatment, losing her boyfriend and her job. If that’s enough, Kramer shows up on Regis and Kathie Lee to promote his coffee table book about coffee tables, with disastrous results.
3. The Boyfriend – 2/19/1992
Mets baseball player Keith Hernandez gives arguably the greatest guest spot in sitcom history, playing himself as he gets absorbed in to the world of Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George. Jerry treats his new friendship with Hernandez as if its a relationship with a girlfriend. Meanwhile Eliane starts to date Keith, much to Jerry’s jealousy. Kramer and his buddy Newman are angry at Hernandez from a spitting incident years earlier, resulting in a hilarious spoof of the JFK assassination. Meanwhile George stoops to new lows in order to extend his unemployment benefits.
2. The Junior Mint – 3/18/1993
Seinfeld was one of the first shows to feature real products regularly in its episodes. But no product placement was ever quite as good as that of Junior Mints. Kramer refuses to believe Jerry doesn’t want a junior mint, which he had brought with him to watch an operation. The mint ends up in the body of the patient, who is Elain’s boyfriend. This causes a series of events including Jerry and Kramer’s guilt over potentially killing the guy, Elaine being superficial about her boyfriend’s weight, and George angry that he survives after he had bought some of his art figuring he wouldn’t have survived. Meanwhile Jerry can’t remember his girlfriend’s name, only knowing that it rhymes with a female body part.
1. The Invitations -5/16/1996
This was Larry David’s last episode of the show until he returned for the finale. This episode of the culmination of a season that saw George get engaged and then find every way he could to get out of it. He ultimately does, after buying cheap invitations with toxic glue, that lead to the death of his fiance. Elsewhere Jerry meets a woman who is just like him, and he gets engaged. He quickly regrets it when he learns that George is no longer engaged. The ending of the episode finds George with little grief suggesting that the gang gets some coffee. He then places a call to actress Marissa Tomei in hopes of getting together with her.