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Characters: Seinfeld
List of major, recurring and minor characters from Seinfeld.


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     The Group 

Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld)

Elaine: "Everything always has to be so jokey with you."
Jerry: "I'm a comedian..."
  • Anti-Hero: Type V Why does he fight the antagonist(s)? Because he's either bored, obsessed or just picky.
  • As Himself
  • Author Avatar
  • Berserk Button: He finds it very emasculating whenever someone he's hanging out with gets asked out on a date right in front of him. Even if it's a gay man getting asked out by another gay man.
    Jerry: How do you know we're not together?!
  • Born Lucky: Jerry was at his funniest when everything goes right for him, which is often. Much of an episode is dedicated to reiterating the fact that everything consistently turns out all right for him, and nobody else. And then he gets thrown into prison with the gang for a year. But before then, he's pretty darn lucky.
    Elaine: (exasperated) You know, one of these days, something terrible is going to happen to you! IT HAS TO!
    Jerry: (nonchalant) No, I'll be just fine.
  • The Casanova: Had relationships with around 75 women over the course of the series.
  • Catch Phrase: "OH MY GOD!" and "That's a shame."
    • "Hello... Newman."
    • "I don't want to be an X!"
  • Control Freak
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Easily Forgiven
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Informed Judaism
  • It's All About Me
  • It Amused Me: As far as Jerry is concerned, his friends exist to provide him with enjoyment at their misery.
    George: What gives you pleasure?
    Jerry: Listening to you. I listen to this for fifteen minutes and I'm on top of the world. Your misery is my pleasure.
  • Jerkass
  • Jews Love to Argue
  • Lack of Empathy: And unlike George and Elaine, who if pressed will at least acknowledge that they are horrible people, Jerry seems to relish it.
  • Manchild
  • Manipulative Bastard: The real life Jerry has stated that if the character Jerry sees his friends about to do something that will backfire, he will often push them towards doing it in order to watch the results for his own amusement.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: A Running Gag with him is finding some minor flaw with his Girl of the Week that causes him to break up with her, including one woman whose flaw was being simply too perfect.
  • Mistaken for Gay: With George in "The Outing".
  • Neat Freak: Taken to near-pathological levels when his girlfriend put something of his in the toilet and wouldn't tell him what it was. It was the toilet brush. When he finds out, he's relieved... because he can easily replace it.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: While the character Jerry Seinfeld is rarely what you'd call nice, in interviews, at least, the real Jerry Seinfeld comes off as quite a bit more acidic than his aloof TV persona.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Subverted. Jerry's mother can't be persuaded that her son isn't a nice Jewish boy, although he very obviously is not.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He tries to help Babu save his restaurant and avoid getting deported. Both fail due to outside circumstances and Babu later testifies against him, sealing his fate at the trial. They were probably the only genuinely good and unselfish things Jerry ever tried to do.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Outside of the openings, he's rarely seen performing standup (which is supposed to be his livelihood) and even more rarely seen writing new material, something which is often lampshaded by other characters. Despite this he's very successful at it, makes the most money of the group, and regularly appears on shows like Leno and Letterman.
  • Only Sane Man: Most of the time.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite his many faults, he is very generous with his money and gives a lot of very nice gifts to his friends and family. Of course, Seinfeld being the kind of show it is, it usually ends up backfiring horribly on everybody.
  • Really Gets Around: All of the main characters do to a certain extent, but he had more girlfriends than any of them.
  • Sex God: Apparently.
  • Status Quo Is God: Seems to have this as a superpower, causing Kramer to call him "Even Steven". Everything tends to even out for him and leave him no better or worse than when he started. To test this, Elaine takes 20 bucks from him and tosses it out the window to test his theory, and sure enough when Jerry puts on his jacket to leave he puts his hand in the pocket and finds 20 bucks. This also explains how he's dated so many women. Whenever he has a break-up he'll always find a new woman very soon.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist

George Costanza (Jason Alexander)

"For I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots."
  • Ambiguously Jewish
  • And Starring: "And Jason Alexander as George".
  • Anti-Hero: Type V
  • Author Avatar: Basically a more evil version of co-creator Larry David.
  • Blind Without 'Em
  • Breakout Character
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: George comes up with surprisingly brilliant schemes, but for the purposes of completely pointless things. One can only wonder how successful he'd be if he put the effort into work that he puts into avoiding work.
    • In "The Abstinence", it's shown that if he stops obsessing about sex and uses his brain for other things, he becomes a genius (although that episode shows that this applies to all men, not just George).
    • Referenced in one of the few pieces of Jerry's standup that had to do with the plot: "I've got a friend on welfare right now, and if they had any idea of the time and effort that he has put into keeping this thing going, I'm sure they'd give him a raise. He's down at the office every day, making all kinds of excuses. He's doing an incredible job not working."
  • Butt Monkey: Nothing goes right for him. Ever.
  • Catch Phrase: "George is getting upset!" is a minor one.
  • The Chew Toy
  • Consummate Liar
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dirty Coward: Is willing to shove old ladies and children to the floor in order to get away from a fire.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Once faked a disability in order to get a number of perks at his job. This went as far as having a secretary carry him to his office.
    • To be fair, his leg was injured when he took the job, and he was even about to tell his new boss that he wasn't really disabled. Then his boss had to go and mention the private bathroom he would be getting...
  • Dismotivation
  • Evil Is Petty
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic (exhibiting most of the negative traits and just about none of the positive ones)
  • Go-to Alias: Art Vandelay
  • Groin Attack: He never carries a pen because he's afraid of it accidentally puncturing his scrotum.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood
    • Freudian Excuse: It's implied that his childhood is what caused his very warped view on the world and humanity. In his eyes, everyone else is a selfish jerk, so to get ahead, he needs to be the biggest and most selfish jerk of them all.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Is bald, overweight, often unemployed, and his personality flaws are too long to list. The show draws heavy attention to what a loser he is, yet he had sex with 43 (very attractive) women over the course of the show.
  • It's All About Me: Upon hearing about Susan's death, his reaction is to get a cup of coffee with his friends.
  • Jerkass
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Best seen when he gets Susan Killed Off for Real and shows no remorse.
  • Kavorka Man: Kramer is the Trope Namer, but it applies to him too. He has dated many attractive women during the series, despite being a short, stocky bald man with virtually no positive qualities.
  • Lack of Empathy
  • The Lancer: To Jerry.
  • Large Ham
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After indirectly killing Susan and acting elated after her death, he is put on the board for the Susan Ross Foundation, taking away much of his free time and leaving him with the constant reminder of how wealthy he would have been had she not died. This may have even been the entire point of the Foundation, since Susan's parents never liked George very much, and also suspected (along with everyone else on the board) that he murdered Susan deliberately.
    • After faking involuntary muscle spasms in his arm in front of Lloyd Braun, Lloyd gets him a doctor's appointment, which George has to go to in order to keep up the act. The doctor examines George, deduces that he's faking, and angrily tells him to get out. As George leaves, he bangs his arm, which causes him to have real spasms exactly like he was faking before.
  • Lazy Bum
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Jason Alexander is, by all accounts, the exact opposite of George in real life. As an amusing demonstration of this, during the show's early days Alexander often complained to Larry David and the other writers that the character and his associated plots were too unrealistic because he couldn't fathom how a real person could behave like that, at which point David told him those stories were based on events from his own life.
  • Mistaken for Gay: With Jerry in "The Outing".
  • Pet the Dog: His genuine guilt over and desire to help a busboy that he accidentally got fired. It's one of the only times in the series where he shows any sign of empathy.
  • Real Men Wear Velvet: Or at least they would, if it was socially acceptable. He finally manages to live out his fantasy of dressing in all velvet when dating a girl who doesn't care about physical appearance. Unfortunately for him, he gets Squicked when she starts to suck on a peach pit from a peach he ate, and breaks up with her.
  • Schemer
  • The Scrooge: Even when he is making money, he's still incredibly tightfisted. This has included searching for money under vending machines and even taking tips back from waiters.
  • The Slacker
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Early in season 4 when they agree to write the pilot for NBC and he thinks he's not getting enough money. Specifically, he seems to think he deserves as much money as Ted Danson.
  • The Sociopath
  • Suddenly Shouting: "George is getting upset!"
  • This Loser Is You (Until he starts doing the Opposite).
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Sure he probably deserves the bad things that happen to him more than the other three but that said, he does get a pretty big win in the last episode of season 5 when doing everything the opposite of what his instinct tells him gets him a new high profile job (with the New York Yankees!), a beautiful girlfriend and finally gets to move back out of his parents house. Pretty much the only episode to have a happy ending for George.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Self-proclaimed 'Lord of the Idiots'. He's really not exaggerating. In general, it seems to be more an issue of really bad decision making, and not a question of intelligence. When he wants to be, he's brilliant.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate syrup, specifically Bosco, as Kramer deduces.
  • The Unfavorite: Somehow manages to be this despite being an only child. His parents (or at least his mother) clearly favour Lloyd Braun over him.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Easily the worst of the four main characters, he's selfish, insensitive, untrustworthy, abrasive, cowardly, dishonest, annoying, cheap, lazy and stupid. And is a borderline sociopath and a Villain Protagonist.
  • You Have Boobs, I Must Obey!: "Every woman on the face of the Earth has complete control over my life... and yet, I want them all. Is that irony?"

Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

"I can't spend the rest of my life coming into this stinking apartment every ten minutes to pore over the excruciating minutia of every single daily event."

Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards)

Jerry: "You sure have a lot of friends; how come I never meet any of these people?"
Kramer: "They wonder why they never meet you."

  • Anti-Hero: Type II
  • Big Eater: Usually of Jerry's food, since he's apparently too lazy (or unemployed) to shop for himself.
  • Breakout Character
  • Brilliant, but Lazy
  • Brutal Honesty: Very often. Particulary with George's large-nosed girlfriend
  • Bungling Inventor: Every once in a while he comes up with an invention which he plans to use to start up his company "Kramerica Industries", but they never turn out so well. He also had the idea for a pizza place where you make your own pizza, which he almost got off the ground with help from Poppy, but the two got into an argument about pizza toppings reminiscent of a pro-life vs. pro-choice argument and abandoned the whole thing.
    • In one episode he suggests a restaurant that just serves variations of Peanut Butter and X sandwiches called "PB@J's". A few years later such a restaurant actually opened in California.
    • In another episode he and Frank come up with an idea for a male-brassiere that could stand to make them millions and has a bra company very eager to buy the concept off them, but it falls through simply because the pair can't agree on what to call it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: When he applies himself to something, he usually does very well.
  • The Casanova: Claims to be this several times but Kramer had the fewest onscreen girlfriends of all the main characters, likely simply for the reason that his personal life gets explored the least on the show. This is made up for the fact that he tends to get much better (and harder to get) girlfriends than Jerry and George. Hell, the man got Uma Thurman's and Elle MacPherson's phone numbers, just like that. After all, "he's Kramer".
  • Catch Phrase: "Giddyup!"
  • Character Tic: He twitches and spasms so often it could be considered exercise.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Has espoused a variety of crazy ideas, such as that the government is secretly experimenting on pig men and withholding a cure for cancer. On occasion, he turns out to be right.
  • Drop-In Character
  • Dynamic Entry: One of his trademarks.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Is depicted as a shut-in named "Kessler" who hasn't left the apartment building in years and owns a dog in the pilot.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Cosmo, though he eventually embraces it.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Try no-hour work week.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Friends Rent Control: Out of the show's nine year run, Kramer has held a legitimate job for all of four episodes. In one case, he wasn't even an employee of the company he was working at.
    • This is lampshaded by George when Kramer goes to a baseball fantasy camp.
      "Why does Kramer need to go to a fantasy camp? His whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down $2000 to live like him for a week. Do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbours, and have sex without dating. Now that's a fantasy camp!"
  • The Gambling Addict
  • The Ghost: None of his oft-mentioned friends (Bob Sacamano, Jay Remenschneider and Lomez) have appeared on screen.
    • Justified by Jerry himself in Entertainment Weekly's "Special Seinfeld Issue," May 4, 1998, covering the entire run leading up to the finale. In the "Introduces" section of the review of "The Pony Remark," Jerry said that cousin Jeffrey and Bob Sakamono were never seen because "they became too large in our imagination for anyone to fill those shoes."
    • Lampshaded in one episode, where Jerry wonders to Kramer why he's never met any of these friends of his. Kramer responds that they're all wondering why they've never met him.
  • Go-to Alias: H.E. Pennypacker, as well as the last name "van Nostrand". Over the course of the show he's been Doctor, Martin, and Professor Peter van Nostrand.
  • Hipster: According to Elaine.
  • Honor Before Reason: In fact, of the main characters, he's the only one with any genuine moral code.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: He's 6"4" so most of his relationships fall into this.
  • Idiot Houdini: Much to his friends' chagrin, as they all avert this trope.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The only one to ever show genuine kindness or depth.
  • Jewish Mother: Briefly takes on the characteristics of one while trying to cook a lot of Jewish food for Jewish Singles Night.
    Kramer: (to Jerry) "Eat! Eat! You're nothing but skin and bones!"
  • Kavorka Man: The Trope Namer
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: The only person who cares about his fellow human beings in the franchise... and is portayed as an idiot by Larry David because of it.
  • The Klutz
  • Large Ham: Easily outstrips any other Large Ham on the show.
  • Last Name Basis: Even after his name is discovered.
  • Loony Fan: Is nicer to celebrities than he is to his own friends. His slavish devotion to Bette Midler in "The Understudy" stands out particularly.
  • Manchild
  • Messy Hair
  • Morality Pet: A minor one for Jerry, as he lets him use his home and fridge without expecting anything in return.
  • Nice Guy: Compared to the other guys? Hell yes.
  • No Name Given: Until The Reveal that his first name is Cosmo.
  • Sarcasm-Blind
  • Show Stopper
  • The Slacker: Look at his entry under 'Friends Rent Control' and you'll see how this trope could be renamed The Kramer.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: As "The Real J. Peterman".
  • Team Dad: He's often quick to lecture his friends on their actions even if he is no better.
  • Token Good Teammate: The only member of the group with a conscience.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: But still the best human being out of the four.
  • Wacky Guy
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Kramer has stated and been told numerous times that he has no job, but he frequently appears in episodes having purchased some bizarre, completely random, and expensive objects, objects like a professional-grade deli meat slicer ("The Slicer"), boxes and boxes of Cuban cigars ("The Bubble Boy", plus various other episodes), a high-end blazer, golf clubs, and a leather suitcase.
    Kramer: Are you sure you don't have a fax machine? Because there's a lot of stuff in my apartment I've never seen before.
    Elaine: Then maybe you have a fax machine.
    Kramer: (beat) You just blew my mind.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?
  • You Just Had to Say It: "You're as beautiful as any of them... you just need a nose job!" "And you... look just like Jerry." and "Why don't you just give up... Well that's what JERRY says!"
  • Zany Scheme: Usually masterminded by him, with Newman's help.

     Recurring Characters 

Newman (Wayne Knight)

"Hello Newman"
Multiple Characters

Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller)

  • Abusive Parents: Even for a sitcom, Frank is still kind of an asshole.
  • Ambiguously Jewish : He seems like it but isn't. He's a Italian Catholic, and one episode established him as being a big deal in his chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. Larry David has stated George is half-Jewish on his mother's side.
  • Angrish: Jason Alexander has stated this is because Jerry Stiller often had trouble remembering his lines, and the gibberish he spouted was funnier.
    Frank: (shouting) You couldn't smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe.... (Trails off mid-sentence, soon speaking again in a calmer voice) I lost my train of thought.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Evil Is Petty: It's very easy to see where George gets it.
  • Evil Patriarch
  • Freudian Excuse: Provides many for George: eyeglasses, Festivus, etc.
  • Jerkass
  • Large Ham
  • No Indoor Voice

Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris)

Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg)

  • Bi the Way: Briefly becomes a lesbian, but it "didn't take". It's implied that dating George is what drove her to lesbianism, since she hooks up with the woman George dated after her.
  • Butt Monkey: Big time, easily the biggest one on the show. Susan goes from being a respected NBC executive to getting vomited on, having her father's cabin burn down, finding out her father was gay, losing her job at NBC, and later getting killed by poisonous envelopes.
  • Control Freak: Constantly, George is such a doormat when it comes to her.
  • Dark Comedy: Her death and the gang's reaction to it are the best examples of this in the entire series.
  • Killed Off for Real

Crazy Joe Davola (Peter Crombie)

J. Peterman (John O'Hurley)

George Steinbrenner (Larry David (voice), Lee Bear)

David Puddy (Patrick Warburton)

  • Catch Phrase: "That's right."
  • The Ditz
  • Fur and Loathing: Elaine hates his "man-fur" coat in "The Reverse Peephole," calling him "Dr. Zaius". Notice this isn't because fur is morally wrong, just that he looks terrible in it.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Not married to Elaine, but her steadiest boyfriend, despite neither being very fond of the other.
  • On-Again, Off-Again Boyfriend: Whether or not Elaine was dating Puddy or not would depend entirely on what works for the episode. Their unstable relationship was lampshaded often.
  • One Head Taller
  • The Stoic: Naturally, played pretty heavily for laughs.
    Elaine: (Being sent to prison for a year) Puddy.... Don't wait for me.
    Puddy: (Shrugs) Okay.

Jackie Chiles (Phil Morris)

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The last word of most of his sentences is often repeated, restated, reiterated.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Aids Kramer in a number of these, in particular he was very, very eager to "get a piece" of the tobacco industry. These lawsuits always wind up humiliating him due to Kramer's stupidity.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: An obvious parody of Johnnie Cochran. For the record, Cochran liked the performance quite a bit until Morris was preparing to do commercials as the character, at which point he asked him to stop.
  • Token Minority: Only major black recurring character on the show.

     Minor Characters 

"The Soup Nazi" Real name: Yev Kassem

  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Kramer mocks everyone else for referring to him "so callously" as 'Soup Nazi', but offers no alternative appellation.
    Jackie Chiles: Soup Nazi? You people have a pet name for everything.

Alton Benes (Lawrence Tierney)

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