Recap / Seinfeld S 1 E 5 The Stock Tip
The episode starts with Jerry and George sitting at Monk’s Café discussing whether Superman would have a super-sense of humor granted to him by Earth’s yellow sun, when Elaine enters. Elaine is annoyed that her new boyfriend won’t get rid of his cats as she’s allergic, Jerry is thinking of taking his girlfriend Vanessa (from “The Stakeout) on an out-of-town trip for a few days, while George is planning on investing some money in stocks from a new company his friend Simon has informed him about. He convinces Jerry that they should both invest 2500 dollars into it, despite the latter’s misgivings.
Since there would be little plot if George’s scheme worked out flawlessly, the value of the stock plummets in the following days and Wilkinson, the owner of the company, has been unreachable due to being at the hospital. Kramer is inordinately pleased at this turn of events, seeing it as proof that Jerry should’ve invested his money in his planned roll-out tie dispenser instead.
Later on, George decides to visit Wilkinson at the hospital to “tactfully” inquire about what happened to his stock. Returning to Jerry’s apartment as Jerry and Elaine are discussing whether it would be possible to hire a hitman to kill a couple of cats, he informs them that he only had to mention Simon to Wilkinson in order to be thrown out. Convinced that the stock is beyond all hope, Jerry decides to sell his part to cut his losses, but George is determined to keep his in order to “go down with the ship”.
Jerry takes Vanessa to a hotel in Vermont, but terrible weather forces them to remain inside for the whole trip. The boredom eventually causes them to argue, especially when Jerry reads in the newspaper that the stock he sold a week earlier has risen dramatically in value. Their relationship comes to an end, and so does Elaine’s when she gives her boyfriend an ultimatum between her and the cats, while George, in a rare moment of triumph in the series, makes 8000 dollars on the stock. George tries to cheer them up by taking them to dinner and tip them about a new project Wilkinson is working on, some sort of “robot butcher”, but his recent experiences has convinced Jerry that he’s just not cut out for the investor business.
This episode demonstrates the following examples:
- Call-Back: Vanessa makes her second and final appearance in the show. The main reason she was written in was because Larry David realized no break-up scene had been written for her and Jerry which meant they were still dating, and they needed Jerry to be open to pursue other relationships in the future.
- Clip Show: This is the first episode to have a clip included in both of the series clip shows (The discussion about Superman's sense of humor).
- Gave Up Too Soon: When it looked like the stock investment was a failure, Jerry decided to sell his share to save face, while George decided to "go down with the ship". Afterwards, Jerry learns that the stock bounced back dramatically, earning George a financial windfall.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: This episode is one of the few times in the series that George actually tastes success.