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Characters / Seinfeld

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List of major, recurring and minor characters from Seinfeld.

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The Group

     In General
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Jerry, Elaine and George are heavily implied to have something seriously wrong with them. Complete Lack of Empathy, constant selfishness, unthinking cruelty, continual rejection of any maturity or adult responsibility, and meticulous adherence to some (often fabricated) social code not because they care about others but because it is expected of them. Surprisingly, Kramer is rarely presented as anything other than a regular person who just has a lot of quirks and a wild imagination, while the other three are sociopaths Played for Laughs.
  • Consistent Clothing Style: Each of the four main characters has distinctive articles of clothing:
    • Jerry always wears long sleeved button-downs and sneakers.
    • Elaine wears long coats and high-end blouses.
    • George favors checkered long-sleeve shirts.
    • Kramer wears short sleeved vintage button-downs with crazy patterns such as leaves or lobsters paired with slacks. In Elaine's words, he dresses like a "hipster doofus".
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Jerry (phlegmatic) - generally calm, often to the point of indifference; George (melancholic) - rude, stubborn; Kramer (sanguine) - fun-loving, very energetic, and often erratic; and Elaine (choleric) - confident, hard to embarrass.
  • Jerkass: Much of the humor is derived from all the characters being complete self-interested jerks who have zero Character Development over the course of the series.
  • Narcissist: Probably the best way to describe the four main characters. They aren't totally incapable of empathy. They just deliberately choose not to show any, instead choosing to put themselves and their personal interests front and center. The show never really explains why this is, but one could assume that the general wackiness of their parents and environment probably has a lot to do with it. After all, they did grow up in New York during the '70s and '80s.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: Out of the three guys, we have lazy but friendly Cloudcuckoolander Kramer (nice), dishonest schemer George (mean), and indifferent Straight Man Jerry (in-between).
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Jason Alexander himself feels that Seinfeld is "a very dark show about very dark people". Lampshaded in the final episode, when they're actually put on trial for their selfishness.

     Jerry Seinfeld 

Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld)

Sure, I'm not funny anymore, but there's more to life than making shallow, fairly obvious observations.

  • Amicable Exes: He's Elaine's ex-boyfriend but they still hang out and they're still close friends.
  • As Himself: Only more of a jerk and less rich and famous.
  • Author Avatar: The character "Jerry Seinfeld" played by the real life Jerry Seinfeld doing what he does in real life (comedy) and is also a co-creator of the show.
  • 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.
    Jerry: How do you know we're not together?!
    • In keeping with his extreme cleanliness, things that are messy seem to be the main thing that gets under his skin. In the episode "The Blood," George using Jerry's kitchen to make pudding (skins) makes him lose his temper. Granted, Jerry was trying to go on a diet at the time, but still.
  • Born Lucky: Jerry is at his funniest when everything goes right for him, which is often. Much of "The Opposite" is given over to lampshading the fact that everything always turns out alright 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.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "That's a shame." (Though this phrase was borrowed by George, Elaine, Kramer, and even Newman on different occasions.)
    • "Hello... Newman."
    • "I don't want to be an X!"
    • "Oh I like this idea!"
  • Celebrity Paradox: Subverted. Jerry in the show is still a famous comedian, just nowhere near as famous as he is in real life.
  • Control Freak: After George's therapist doesn't think the "Jerry" pilot script is funny, George accuses Jerry of being a control freak, having taken out all his good lines.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's his defining quality —- for example, when he and Kramer started taking on each other's personalities due to an apartment switch, Kramer's non-existent snark level immediately shot Up to Eleven.
  • Easily Forgiven: Jerry has this in a couple episodes.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Jerry isn't exactly evil (although Newman likes to say he is), more like a bit of a jerk, but in "The Sponge," he openly states that a woman being a genuinely good person is a mood-killing turnoff - though this could well be just another sarcastic throw-away line.
    • In another episode, he grows more and more confused as to why everyone dislikes his perfect girlfriend — George and Kramer seem repulsed at the sight of her, her friends act like he's doing her a huge favor by going out with her, etc. He tries to ignore it, but the last straw is that his parents adore her.
  • Evil Is Petty: Downplay the "evil" part and play the "petty" aspect as far as it can go. While usually not much more than a selfish jerk, Jerry shows his bad side entirely in little ways, like not helping Elaine carry heavy bags.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic (generally calm, often to the point of indifference)
  • Has a Type: A good number of his Girl of the Week interests, along with Elaine, have long, dark hair. Fridge Brilliance if you consider that this fits the profile of Lois Lane (with one of them actually played by an actress who played Lois Lane), and Jerry has a Superman obsession.
  • Informed Judaism: He has a Jewish Mother but that's about it. The one time he brought it up is because one of his fellow comedians converted to Judaism purely so he could make Jewish jokes without offending anyone. This offended him as a comedian.
  • It's All About Me: Not nearly to the extent of George, but Jerry can be very self-centered, especially in his romantic relationships.
  • It Amused Me: As far as Jerry is concerned, his friends exist to provide him with enjoyment at their misery and wacky antics.
    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: His smug attitude and somewhat sadistic sense of humor certainly make him this.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's absolutely right to avoid physical contact from strangers in "The Kiss Hello" but gets unwanted harassment from his neighbors anyway.
  • Jews Love to Argue: He is often arguing with others and especially his Jewish relatives.
  • Jewish Smartass: Jerry is one of the most sarcastic members of the cast, and is to a certain extent a walking Jewish Stereotype, constantly getting into arguments and dealing with an overbearing mother. Jerry's sarcastic personality is an extension of these stereotypes, as demonstrated when he once comments that an acquaintance converting to Judaism so he can make Jewish jokes insults him as a comedian.
  • Lack of Empathy: Unlike George and Elaine, who at least have the decency (when pressed) to be ashamed that they're not exactly good people, Jerry almost seems to relish it.
  • Large Ham: His Varnsen persona in "The Puerto Rican Day."
    Jerry: Brace yourself, madam, for an all-out bidding war. But this time, advantage Varnsen!
  • The Leader: As pointed out by Kramer, Jerry is the "nucleus" of the Group. George, Kramer and Elaine all know each other through their relationships with Jerry, it's his apartment that they always hang out at, and he's the one they're first to go to for help with their problems and schemes.
  • Manchild: It's the pettiness and fixation on Superman (he once dated a woman simply because her name was "Lois") that makes him look like a child.
  • 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 — though this has its limits.
  • Mellow Fellow: Since everything always tends to go his way and he doesn't really care all that much about anything, he's rarely upset. He never really gets mad (George says that, at most, his voice "rises to a comedic pitch"), at least until one of his one-episode girlfriends convinces him to get mad... which leads to him unblocking all of his other emotions... until he convinces George to open up as well, which is harrowing enough to scare him back to normal.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: The other main characters do this as well, but Jerry takes the cake for breaking up with a girl for having no flaws, which he considered a flaw.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • With George in "The Outing". In the same episode, he mentions that a lot of people think he's gay because he's thin, single, and neat.
    • He is offended at not being Mistaken for Gay when a gay man he is talking to suddenly gets approached and asked out on a date by another man, which presses his Berserk Button (see above).
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Comedy writers, specifically. The fact that Jerry is writing a proposed pilot for television and needing to write comedy material comes up in the show quite often.
  • Neat Freak: Taken to near-pathological levels when he accidentally knocks his girlfriend's toothbrush into the (mostly clean) toilet water and she uses it before he gets a chance to tell her. After sanitizing her mouth using every product on the store shelf and even making her rinse with small amounts of bleach, he still can't bring himself to kiss her. When the girl finds out what happened, she gets revenge by putting something of his in the toilet and not telling him what it was. He goes absolutely insane trying to figure it out. Eventually she tells him that it was the toilet brush, which makes him very relieved... because it's something that he can replace easily.
  • 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 among the few genuinely good and unselfish things Jerry ever tried to do.
  • Nominal Hero: Why does he fight the antagonist(s)? Because he's either bored, obsessed or just picky.
  • 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: His general role, especially when it comes to Kramer and Newman's bizarre antics.
  • 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 on somebody.
    • Certain episodes make it clear that while he doesn't care that much if his friends suffer, he doesn't like the idea of not being able to hang out with them anymore, and will take steps to make sure they're still connected and okay, so they can amuse him with their failed or absurd plans.
  • Really Gets Around: 75 girlfriends over nine seasons! Many of whom impossibly good-looking.
  • Sex God: His "Move" is famous. The only exception is Elaine, who claims she faked orgasm the whole time he was with her (That said, she still liked the "Move".).
  • 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, 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.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Despite his Deadpan Snarker status, he does this a fair bit.
    Jerry: It has only one known flaw: The door... MUST BE CLOSED!
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Downplayed. While he isn't a bad guy, most of the time Jerry is more or less a selfish jerk who is often amused by the suffering of his friends - especially George.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "The Blood" shows he has some serious hemophobia. When Kramer starts storing his own blood at home, Jerry gets paranoid that he's going to put it in his (Jerry's) fridge.

    George Costanza 

George Costanza (Jason Alexander)

Only I could fail at failing.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Intensely neurotic, but never officially diagnosed. His numerous tics and bizarre fears (most notably the time he thought feeling pleasure during a massage from a male masseuse might mean he was gay) are signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: On the one hand, he has an Italian last name and his father is allegedly a member of the Knights of Columbus. On the other hand, his mother fits the Jewish Mother stereotype, he's played by a Jewish actor and he is the avatar of co-creator Larry David, who is also Jewish.
  • And Starring: "And Jason Alexander as George".
  • Author Avatar: Basically a more evil version of co-creator Larry David.
  • Blind Without 'Em: He has very poor eyesight; his father bullied him for this, viewing it as a sign of weakness. George's poor eyesight is a plot point in one episode, as he loses his glasses and keeps making one Blind Mistake after another, all the while Jerry believes him when he claims to have seen Jerry's girlfriend-of-the-week cheating on him.
    Elaine: He couldn't tell an apple from an onion, and he's your eyewitness?
  • Born Unlucky: Easily the unluckiest of the four. He's an insecure, paranoid, neurotic and self-loathing loser. Any scheme he tries is guaranteed to fall apart. The "born" part might be literally true, since in one episode, he states that it runs in the family: "My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter. I was raised to give up."
  • 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: Rarely does anything go right for him. That's why he's a funny character.
  • Catchphrase: "George is getting upset!" is a minor one.
  • Consummate Liar: When Jerry wanted to beat a lie detector he went to George for advice; this man lies as naturally as breathing.
  • The Cynic: Despite having a high number of dates in the show's run, George doesn't always have very positive views of romantic relationships. In a couple of instances, he claims that birthdays and weekend trips kill relationships instead of cement them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most dry and witty when it is at his own expense. Against others it fails on both counts.
  • Dirty Coward: In the heat of the moment, he's willing to shove old ladies and children to the floor in order to get away from a fire.
  • The Ditz: 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 pretty smart.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • For the many faults he has, George does not want to be the reason a couple breaks up, which happens to his horror when he makes a joking comment, which makes one break up. Incredibly grief-stricken, he does what he can to bring them back together.
    • He's also genuinely upset that a coworker thinks he's a racist (once again, this is one of the few flaws he doesn't have) and sets about proving that he isn't. True to form, he makes things worse.
    • On one occasion when he believes that he impregnated a woman as a result of a faulty condom (courtesy of Kramer, naturally), his first reaction is to go to her apartment and tell her that he'll support her. It's one of the few occasions he actually goes out of his way to take responsibility for anything.
  • Evil Is Petty: The lengths to which he will go just to gain any kind of minor victory, especially at someone else's expense, are truly astounding.
  • Fat Bastard: He's a fat, cowardly, selfish, impulsive and egotistical man.
  • Fat Best Friend: Downplayed. To Jerry. He had an average build in the earlier seasons but in later seasons, he became slightly overweight.
  • Foil: Jerry's. Both New Yorkers, born and raised; both incorrigible bachelors; both very selfish, cynical, infantile, superficial, petty and loaded with parental issues. Except Jerry can actually make everything work out in his favor.
    George: What kind of person are you?
    Jerry: I think I'm pretty much like you... only successful.
  • For Want of a Nail: Spoofed. In one episode, George says that if he had a mantle piece above his fireplace, he would have had a normal childhood.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic (exhibiting most of the negative traits and just about none of the positive ones)
  • 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.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: On occasion. The other three often seem to only keep him around so their own lives look better by comparison (and in Jerry's case because his melodramatic antics bring him amusement).
    George: She's the loser of the group. Every group has someone that they all make fun of... Like us with Elaine.
  • Go-to Alias: Art Vandelay. He even researched a backstory for this name.
  • Groin Attack: He never carries a pen because he's afraid of it accidentally puncturing his scrotum.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: George is the most short-tempered of the group and resorts to acting petty when he gets upset by by another person.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: His stories and flashbacks to all the shit that his parents put him through is also part of the humor of his character.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Is bald, a bit 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.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Inverted! "Every woman on the face of the Earth has complete control over my life... and yet, I want them all. Is that irony?"
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: He considers watching a movie at someone else's house to be getting out of the house and doing something.
  • It's All About Me: Upon hearing about Susan's death, his reaction is to get a cup of coffee with his friends - though he didn't wanna marry her and the episode needed a somewhat funny ending.
  • Jerkass: He's a selfish, lazy and immature coward.
  • 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. Even Marisa Tomei (not a character played by Tomei, Tomei playing herself) was interested in him before finding out he had a fiancée at the time.
  • Lack of Empathy: Almost never shows remorse for his actions, not even his dead fiancé who was poisoned by the cheap envelopes he insisted on.
  • The Lancer: He's Jerry's best friend - well, as much as anyone could possibly be friends with George - acts as his main confidante, and his severe emotional issues and terrible luck contrast Jerry's unflappable demeanor and good fortune.
  • Large Ham: When he gets worked up, he tends to lose all sense of subtlety.
    I’m not treating you to lunch ANYMORE! You had to tell Julie that I made a special point of telling you that I bought you the big salad, didn’t you? You know, if it was a regular salad, I wouldn’t have said anything, but you had to have the BIIIG salad!
  • 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 - or at least was really careless in some way, causing her death.
    • 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 accidentally bangs his arm on the doctor's desk, which causes him to have real spasms exactly like he was faking before.
  • Lazy Bum: He used severance pay from one of his jobs as an excuse not to get up from his chair for days on end.
    • In "The Hot Tub," he gladly admits to being a Lazy Bum.
    George: This catalog is all about how to score in a foreign country.
    Elaine: Yeah. What do you do all day?
    George: Not that much.
  • Manchild: Lacking in maturity this one; he was even living with his parents for the first few seasons.
  • Mistaken for Gay: With Jerry in "The Outing" as part of a prank that got out of hand.
  • Nervous Wreck: Easily the most neurotic and frantic of the main characters.
  • Nominal Hero: He only counts as "heroic" when he's confronting people worse than him, which isn't often.
  • Obfuscating Disability: He had to walk with a cane for a while when he was injured in "The Summer Of George". When he goes in for a job interview in "The Butter Shave", the cane makes his new boss think he is disabled. Before George can clear things up, the boss mentions that to accommodate his "disability" they would be giving him his own private bathroom, among other things, so he starts faking it. He even goes as far as having a secretary carry him to his office.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • His genuine guilt over and desire to help a busboy that he accidentally got fired. It's one of the few times in the series where he shows signs of empathy.
    • Another instance is when he made a joking remark to a couple whose marriage was on the rocks, which causes them to break up. George feels incredibly guilty about this and helps them get back together.
  • Plato Is a Moron: While working with Jerry on the NBC pilot, George gets a little entitled, thinking he's better than Ted Danson.
  • Schemer: Lots of elaborate plans to avoid getting out of work, impress women or break up with women.
  • 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: He does a lot of work to get out of doing work.
  • 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.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: George is most definitely not smart. However, this didn't stop a large number of viewers from thinking he is just because he wears glasses, to the point that George himself complained in one episode that people keep thinking he's smart when he isn't, and he eventually had to proclaim himself "Lord of the Idiots" just so the viewers would finally get the hint.
  • The Sociopath: Downplayed for comedy's sake, but his extreme selfishness, need for stimulation, and lack of regard for the wellbeing of others are signs of high-functioning sociopathy.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: "George is getting upset!"
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Sure, he probably deserves the bad things that happen to him more than the other three but he gets 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. It's the only episode to have a happy ending for George.
  • Token Evil Teammate: None of the main characters are model citizens, but George's certainly the worst of the group, being willing to shove old ladies and children away to get away from a fire to showing pretty much no remorse after getting his fiancée killed by accident - though granted, he didn't want to marry her in the end.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate syrup, specifically Bosco, as Kramer deduces. Also ostrich burgers.
  • The Unfavorite: Somehow manages to be this despite being an only child. His parents (or at least his mother) often favor Lloyd Braun over him.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Easily the worst of the four main characters, he's selfish, insensitive, untrustworthy, abrasive, cowardly, dishonest, occasionally annoying, cheap, lazy and stupid.
  • Would Harm a Senior: In "The Fire" episode he escapes from a fire by pushing an old lady away without really concern.

    Elaine Benes 

Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

So what you are saying is, 90 to 95 percent of the human population is undateable.

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: 'I've always loved you...nited airlines.'
  • Amicable Exes: She's Jerry's ex-girlfriend but they still hang out and they're still close friends.
  • Big Eater: Even more so than Kramer. A surprisingly large number of her plot lines involve her appetite getting her into trouble.
  • Brainy Brunette: Went to the best university of the four (she went to Tufts), apparently has a high enough IQ that George asked her to help him cheat on his IQ test, and generally has the greatest grounding in culture and literature. What she lacks, then, is common sense and self-restraint, same as the rest.
  • Break the Haughty: One episode in particular had her called to task for abusing the authority J. Peterman left her with to legitimately travel the world. That was basically groveling and something continuously tripped her up at the end of each segment.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Two different jobs despite her pettiness and insanity and held them for years. Pendant Publishing was the publishing company she worked at in the early years, under Mr. Lippman. J. Peterman was when she wrote for the Peterman Catalogue. In both it's suggested she's pretty good at her job.
  • Butt-Monkey: In one example, the universe has an oddly humorous case of Selective Enforcement when it comes to Elaine. Whenever there's something annoying going on (such as a guy loudly going "AHHH!" after each and every sip of coffee, or a dog barking loudly all night long), Elaine is the only one that reacts to it. Most others around her ignore it like Zen masters.
  • Catchphrase: "Get OUT!" [hard shove to the chest]
  • The Chick: Averted. She's just as petty, argumentative, and prone to selfishness as the rest of the main cast, the most physical, the most conventionally successful in the working world, and easily the most intimidating when she wants to be. George is a little scared of her; Kramer knows better than to get in her way.
  • Dude Magnet: Attracts at least one male character in almost every episode; some to the point of obsession.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the pilot there was Claire (played by Lee Garlington), a waitress at Pete's (the prototype version of Monk's), who was a regular. Claire's role was taken over by Elaine (plus Ruthie Cohen and the other waitresses at Monk's) because having the female lead be from such a different social status compared to the rest of the cast would be unworkable.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric (Hotheaded, emotional and confrontational).
  • Giftedly Bad: With her dancing skills, which George likens to "a full-body dry heave set to music."
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take very much effort to get on her bad side.
  • Improbably High I.Q.: Says in The Cafe that her IQ is 145. She later takes a IQ test for George where she gets a score of 151.
  • Ironic Fear: Loves animals, but Elaine is usually seen either giving them harm or running from them.
  • Jerkass: Like the rest of the cast she has a laundry list of character flaws that make her unpleasant to be around.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On a rare occasion, she will restrain herself if she believes her judgments are getting too out of hand and will take the moral high ground if she feels one of Jerry and George's schemes is going too far. Needless to say, these only happen under the most extreme circumstances.
  • The Lad-ette: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld told the writers to write her as if she were a guy.
  • Malaproper: Elaine could fall into this at times. In "The Checks":
    Elaine: Brett said you ran away from him, as if he were the boogityman?
    Jerry: "Boogeyman".
    Elaine: (annoyed, incredulous) Boogey?
    Jerry: I'm quite sure.
    • In another episode, Elaine describes her psychiatrist as a Sven-jolly, which Jerry points out is supposed to be Svengali.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Works for various publishing companies and while it's never anything major (her most literary job was product descriptions for the Peterman catalog) she's often implied to be a decent writer. She was even asked to ghost-write Mr. Peterman's highly-fictional autobiography.
  • Nominal Hero: Sometimes she'll go up against someone less sympathetic, like her Rival, Sue Ellen Mischke.
  • Not So Above It All: Started veering into this territory quite a bit in the later seasons, where she tried on a few occasions to rise above the childish pettiness and absurdity of the rest of the group, only to find she's ultimately pretty much like them.
  • One of the Boys: Possibly Trope Codifier as it was groundbreaking at the time. In one episode she realizes she has no female friends, to which Kramer replies "Of course you don't. You're a man's woman. You hate other women, and they hate you."
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Whenever she is given even a hint of authority she becomes insufferable.
  • Paper Tiger: Elaine can be very mean, tough, and enjoys seeing people run for their lives. However, when push comes to shove, Elaine is very cowardly and loses her edge.
  • The Peter Principle: Elaine is usually really good at her job when she's around the middle (see Bunny-Ears Lawyer), but give her a leading position in a company and she inevitably winds up making terrible decisions.
  • Really Gets Around: Over the course of the series, she goes through a number of boyfriends, both seen and just mentioned. There's also the episode where she panics when she finds our her preferred product for birth control has been discontinued by the manufacturer, and she visits every drugstore and pharmacist trying to find it. One store has an entire case. She buys the case...then becomes much more choosy about her sex partners because she has to conserve the supply she has.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: By the standards of the show; she is the only one to have multiple swears cut short by other characters.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: She drastically overestimates her intellect and competence.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The token female of the main characters.
  • Tears of Fear: When Elaine thinks she is about to die in the finale episode, she starts crying due to her impending death.
  • Tsundere: She can be nice enough at times, but her selfishness and vindictiveness can rival that of the rest of the group.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Again like the others, the audience is supposed to laugh at her petty schemes and occasional lack of empathy.
  • Women Are Wiser: Elaine likes to think she's this. In reality, she's just as much of a petty, self-absorbed jerk as the others.

    Cosmo Kramer 

Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards)

Jerry: You're crazy.
Kramer: Am I? Or am I so sane that you just blew your mind?

  • Based on a True Story: Claimed to be Kenny Kramer's, who had the same relationship with Larry David that Cosmo Kramer has with Jerry Seinfeld.
  • Big Eater: Usually empties Jerry's refrigerator of food, since he's apparently too lazy (or unemployed) to shop for himself.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: With Mickey Abbot, he's the big guy to Mickey's little guy and, yes, he is the doofus of the two who is berated by the smaller-and-smarter one.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He's unemployed and lazy, but he's good at whatever he can do.
  • Brutal Honesty: Kramer does not know nor does he care about social norms or ettiquette in the slightest (Jerry refers to him as a "pod" rather than a human at one point), so he's very prone to this. For example, he straight-up tells George's big-nosed girlfriend that she needs a nose job, and then tells her she got "butchered" when he sees the results. Elaine tries to exploit this when she doesn't want to tell her friend that her hairstyle is extremely outdated for fear of seeiming rude, so she introduces her to Kramer who she expects to be brutally honest as usual... only for her plan to backfire when he says that he likes the hairstyle and convinces her to keep it the way it is when she mentions she was considering changing it. Elaine's mistake was assuming that someone as ignorant of social norms as Kramer would care about keeping up to date with fashion trends.
  • 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 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 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 if you can stand all of his strange quirks.
  • 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 is explored the least on the show. This is made up for the fact that he tends to get quite notable girlfriends, who are often quite harder to get than Jerry's and George's. Hell, the man got Uma Thurman and Elle MacPherson's'' phone numbers, just like that, and also seduced a devout nun and a lesbian. After all, "he's Kramer".
  • Catchphrase: "Giddyup!"
  • Caught Coming Home Late: In "The Bizarro Jerry", Kramer returns from "work" and finds Jerry waiting on him. Jerry is sitting at the table and they argue about Kramer being late.
  • Character Tic: He twitches and spasms so often it could be considered exercise.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: It's summed up nicely when he stores some helium-filled balloons in Jerry's apartment after talking about his New Years 2000 plans.
    Jerry: Those balloons aren't going to last until New Years!
    Kramer: No, these are my everyday balloons.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Has espoused a variety of crazy ideas, such as that the government is secretly experimenting on pig men and are withholding a cure for cancer. On occasion, he turns out to be right.
  • Drop-In Character: He slides into Jerry's apartment with some silly plan or other.
  • Dynamic Entry: One of his trademarks is sliding through Jerry's door.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: in the pilot he is depicted as a shut-in named "Kessler" who hasn't left the apartment building in years and owns a dog. The former was at least explained in 'The Betrayel'.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Cosmo. Not even Jerry knew it for several seasons and years in-universe. He eventually embraces it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Kramer has a tendency to befriend some really unsavory people, even he recognizes that Joe Davola is a dangerous madman, which is proven when Davola attempts to kill him.
  • The Fool: The nicest, most oblivious, and luckiest of the four.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine (fun-loving, very energetic since he doesn't have anything to do, and often erratic).
  • "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.
      George: 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!
    • In the Mad About You crossover episode, it is revealed Kramer is an old friend of Paul Buchman, who owns the apartment (his old bachelor home) and lets Kramer live there.
  • The Gambling Addict: It's implied that he's had gambling problems in the past. Newman calls him a "weak, weak man" when Kramer calls him asking for urgent help because he bet on the arrival and departure times of airplanes with a stranger.
  • The Ghost: None of his oft-mentioned friends (Bob Sacamano, Jay Remenschneider and Lomez) have appeared on screen. This is 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 Sacamano were never seen because "they became too large in our imagination for anyone to fill those shoes." It's 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.
  • Hidden Depths: Knows sign language.
  • Hipster: In the older '40s sense of the word, based mostly on how he dresses like a jazz fan from The '60s. The meaning of "hipster" was vague even when the show was on, still in transit from "wannabe hepcat/ex-beatnik" to "indie rock trendhopper", but being a mildly disestablishment New York oddball with no visible means of support who dresses in vintage clothing adds to the look either way.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: He's 6"3", so most of his relationships fall into this.
  • Idiot Houdini: He gets away with his destructive antics as often as the rest of the cast, but he's just such a lovable goofball no one holds it against him (well, until the Finale anyway...)
  • Innocently Insensitive: Unlike the others, he genuinely means well most of the time and genuinely doesn't see the error in his schemes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be bad like the others, but he's often the only one to 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 — despite the fact that, as he himself points out, he's not actually Jewish.
    Kramer: (to Jerry) "Eat! Eat! You're nothing but skin and bones!"
  • Kavorka Man: The Trope Namer. A Latvian Orthodox priest calls his power over women "kavorka" (meaning "the lure of the animal"). Over the course of the show, he's seduced Uma Thurman, a nun, and a lesbian, offering no explanation other than, "I'm Kramer." This was actually Played for Drama on the episode that named it, since he couldn't control the effect and almost destroyed a nun's life against his own will by driving her to quit just so she could sleep with him.
  • The Klutz: More than any of the other cast members, Kramer provides a lot of physical comedy by frequently tripping and knocking things over.
  • Large Ham: He's easily the most energetic and loudest of the group, right next to George.
  • Lazy Bum: The fact he doesn't have a job enables his energies to go elsewhere, like coming up with wacky ideas or falling.
  • Last-Name Basis: Even after his first name is discovered, everyone still calls him "Kramer" in later episodes.
  • Loony Fan: Is nicer to celebrities than he is to his own friends. His sudden slavish devotion to Bette Midler in "The Understudy" stands out particularly.
  • Manchild: His eccentricities, naivety, and lack of any real job make him come across as immature.
  • Messy Hair: Except for the first episodes, he sports his trademark fountain of hair.
  • The Millstone: Kramer's actions often lead to directly ruining the plans, schemes, and lies of his friends, sometimes with both parties unaware of the fact. Any favors he does for them also have a way of going sour.
  • Morality Pet: A minor one for Jerry, as he lets Kramer use his home and fridge without expecting anything in return.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Try no-hour work week. During the first couple of seasons, it was never outright stated that Kramer had no job; the writers just wanted it ambiguous what it was Kramer did for a living or how he got by. It wasn't about until season three or so that Kramer would occasionally be seen working the occasional odd-job (i.e. modeling for Calvin Klein underwear) or winning a bunch of money at the track. Then come season nine, it's established he's an employee at a bagel bakery who has been on strike for the better part of a decade.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: When Kramer asks Jerry for something he doesn't have or can't do, and Jerry makes a sarcastic joke to demonstrate why Kramer's request can't be fulfilled, Kramer never sees the sarcasm and either looks for an imaginary location as described by Jerry or explains why Jerry's "plan" won't work (this hints at a minor fan theory stating that Kramer has Asperger's - though it's most likely just there for comedy)
  • Show Stopper: His entrances are often greeted by applause, causing the action to briefly stop.
  • The Slacker: It's a cold day in Hell that he's ever seen doing anything remotely resembling actual work; that said, when he actually does put effort into something, it tends to work out quite well.
  • Team Dad: He's often quick to lecture his friends on their actions even if he is no better.
  • Token Good Teammate: The member of the group with the most conscience.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: The kindest of the gang, but also throws around a lot of Brutal Honesty and is a big-time moocher.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • One of his defining traits is how he unintentionally causes trouble for other people. For example, in "The Mom & Pop Store", Kramer points out the faulty wiring in the ceiling of a local shoe repair shop and advises the eponymous Mom and Pop to get it fixed. However, the stop is forced to shut down since they couldn't afford to get the wires fixed. Another episode has Kramer blowing George's chances of getting an extension for his unemployment, as George gave the unemployment office Jerry's number in an attempt to trick them into thinking Jerry was his employer for "Vandelay Industries". Kramer answers the phone while Jerry is out, unaware of George's scheme, and tells the office that they're actually calling an apartment.
    • In fact, Kramer is indirectly responsible for the main characters going to prison at the end of the series. He jumped on the plane to get water out of his ear from swimming earlier, stumbling into the cockpit and causing the plane to make an emergency landing in the town of Latham, where the group witnesses the event that lands them in prison for violating the Good Samaritan law.
      George: You had to hop! You had to HOP ON THE PLANE!
  • 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.
  • 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: Gets up to these frequently with Newman. His "bladder system" to stop oil spills, using the US Postal Service to get extra cents on recycled bottles, that time he tried to drive Kenny Chicken out of business etc.


Recurring Characters

    Ruthie Cohen 

Ruthie Cohen (Ruth Cohen)

The cashier at Monk's Café. She was the secondary character with the most appearances (101 - after her comes Newman, with only 48).

  • A Day in the Limelight: The episode where we discover everyone in the group but George knows her (which he eventually gets to do, because she supposedly "stole" him $20 of change), which featured the two times we see her outside Monk's (once riding a horse, another driving her car).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the pilot Monk's was Pete's and Ruthie's role (plus that of the other Monk's employees, as well as Elaine's) was fulfilled by Claire, a waitress played by Lee Garlington.
  • Satellite Character: Ruthie was the cashier at Monk's, a restaurant where the group happens to be a regular. Otherwise, we know nothing about her other than the group (except George) knew her. Hell, most of the time she wasn't even really a character, but an extra, and we see her only once outside Monk's.


Newman (Wayne Knightnote )

"Hello Newman"
Multiple Characters

  • Affably Evil: When he's not antagonistic, he seems to get along fairly well with the cast.
  • Almighty Janitor: Played with. Newman likes to treat his job as a postal worker as if he is part of a complex and sinister organisation of almost unlimited authority which has amassed a surprising amount of power and influence throughout modern society. On some occasions, it's implied that this actually is the case; on others, it's just Newman having delusions of grandeur.
  • Badass Boast: "When you control the mail, you control — information!"
  • Big Eater: Much humor is derived from his enormous appetite, such as the ending of "The Muffin Tops."
  • Catchphrase: "Hellooooo... Jerry."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Not nearly to Kramer's extent, but he can be pretty weird at times; from obsessing over a scam involving recycling in "The Bottle Deposit" and considering cannibalism because Kramer smells like food in "The Butter Shave."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like most of the characters, he has a very dry wit.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Broccoli is a "VILE WEED!"
  • Driven to Suicide: Spends the duration of his introductory episode as an offscreen character threatening to jump off the roof of the apartment building.
  • Evil Laugh: A loud and sinister laugh accompanies his conversations with Jerry.
  • Fat Bastard: A tubby guy for Jerry's arch-nemesis (Jerry is noted for being "thin" but also a jerk).
  • Fat Best Friend: He's noticeable paunchy, and is close friends with Kramer.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Kramer seems to be the only one who likes him - though Jerry tolerates him on occasion.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He writes poetry.
    • According to Jerry, he's also a fantastic tennis player.
  • Kavorka Man: He's as attractive as George and nastier than him (which is saying something, because George is a pretty unpleasant person) and yet he's had numerous girlfriends over the course of the series. One of the less trivial of Jerry's many trivial breakups occurred because he found out that the girl had dated Newman...and that he had dumped her. This gave her Even Beggars Won't Choose It status in Jerry's eyes, absent evidence of any fault.
  • Large Ham:
  • Only One Name: Just Newman. Various points in the series hint to it being his surname, so it could be a case of Last-Name Basis.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    • "Hello... Newman."
    • "Newman!"
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: He's a mailman, but he's rarely shown doing his job, as the characters point out. This was done deliberately as a Take That! toward the postal service.
  • Psycho for Hire: He is a mailman. He claims the reason they sometimes go crazy is because "the mail never stops".
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Jerry; the Lex Luthor to his Superman.
  • Smug Snake: Would really like to be a Magnificent Bastard, but Newman is often as pathetic as George and Elaine.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He loves himself some Chunky bars.
  • Villains Out Shopping: When he's not antagonizing Jerry or helping Kramer with a Zany Scheme, he's usually doing fairly mundane tasks.
  • Villainous Crush: He has a thing for Elaine. Whether this follows from his dislike for Jerry or whether it's the cause of it is unclear.

    Frank Costanza 

Frank Costanza (Jerry Stillernote )

  • Abusive Parents: It's heavily implied that the reason George is so messed up is from having him as a father; the deal with Festivus, calling him "weak" for needing glasses, etc.
  • Ambiguously Jewish : He seems like it but isn't, despite being played by a Jewish actor. He's an Italian Catholic, and one episode established him as being a big deal in his chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. However, his wife is Jewish so maybe it's rubbed off on him over the years.
  • 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: It seems to be a Costanza family trait; there are plenty of instances (Festivus, the "Serenity Now" thing, and the Insane Troll Logic he frequently resorts to) that show Frank ain't exactly all there.
  • Collector of the Strange: He collects TV guides.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Inverted. He refuses to take off his shoes no matter what. Apparently it's because he's embarrassed by his "foot odour problem".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Takes great pride in his charity work and when he learns that someone in the wheelchair was in a accident, plans to make sure a donation for a tv goes STRAIGHT to her... To bad he left his son to handle the task.
  • Evil Is Petty: It's very easy to see where George gets his mean-spirited shallowness; like father like son.
  • Evil Patriarch: It's heavily implied that Frank's terrible parenting is the reason why George turned out the way he is.
  • Freudian Excuse: Provides many for George: eyeglasses, Festivus, etc.
  • Hidden Depths: It's revealed that he speaks fluent Korean, having gone there frequently because of his job selling statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, which were manufactured in Korea.
  • Jerkass: He's like George in this regard but louder and more aggressive. Where George might cower, the father will continue being berating and insulting.
  • Large Ham: He's very loud and forceful.
  • No Indoor Voice: It's rare to find a scene where he's not yelling at the top of his lungs.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Parodied. He was an army cook who was forever traumatized and wracked with guilt over the time he used too much spice on some food (which was also expired) and made his platoon sick, and vowed never to cook again after that.
    Frank: I sent 16 of my own men to the latrines that night! They were just boys...
    • Later in the episode, after Kramer finally convinces him to get over his fear and start cooking again, a man starts choking on the food he made because Elaine grabbed and shook him while he was eating. Coincidentally, this man has an odd fashion sense and likes to dress in army fatigues. The sight of a "soldier" coughing causes Frank to suffer a traumatic flashback and he starts destroying all the food.

    Estelle Costanza 

Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris)

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Her religion and ethnicity are never stated outright, but she's played by a Jewish actress and embodies basically every Jewish stereotype known to humankind.
  • Jewish Complaining: She's very fussy and prone to exaggerated kvetching in the most nasal Borscht Belt accent Estelle Harris can muster.
  • Jewish Mother: Her ethnicity is not revealed in the show, but she's portrayed by a Jewish actress and acts like a stereotypical Jewish mother.
    Jason Alexander: There's no way she can be anything but Jewish.
  • Jews Love to Argue: More often than not, she's arguing with her husband about something or other, and in the most offensively stereotypical "Jewish Mother" voice imaginable.
  • No Accounting for Taste: She and Frank can't seem to speak to one another without shouting arguments.

    Susan Ross 

Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg)

  • Black Comedy: Her death and the gang's reaction to it are the best examples of this in the entire series. It is described later as "restrained jubilation".
  • Bridezilla: Becomes a bit of one as the wedding approaches, what with her refusal to let Elaine be an usher, declaring it to be "out of the question" as though a female usher is an utterly abhorrent and unheard of idea.
  • 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.
  • Character Death: Via the toxic glue found in extremely cheap wedding invitations. She and George were expecting about 200 people.
  • Control Freak: Constantly, George is such a doormat when it comes to her.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She's a little bitchy about not wanting Kramer to be an usher at the wedding, but she's also right about the likelihood of him falling down or doing something stupid.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: She starts out okay, but gets nastier as time goes on, though this is actually understandable given the calamities that befall her - plus being together with George.

    Crazy Joe Davola 

Crazy Joe Davola (Peter Crombie)

Hello Jerry. I have a hair in my tongue. You know how much I hate that. Of course you do, because you put it there.

  • Ax-Crazy: Hence why he's called Crazy Joe Davola.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He soundly kicks the asses of several thugs who try to mug him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Davola's always polite and soft-spoken, only raising his voice in his final appearance. He's also the only antagonist in the show that the cast is horrified of and is actually dangerous.
  • Monster Clown: Dresses up as a clown in 'The Opera' and then beats up a gang of punks.
  • Mugging the Monster: Never mess with a clown.
  • Never My Fault: Blames Jerry for all his problems and not the fact that he is batshit insane.
  • The Sociopath: He's clinically sociopathic; without his medication, he's dangerous.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Elaine, complete with Stalker Shrine.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Davola wouldn't be out of place as a villain in a serious drama. The cast is terrified of him, with even Kramer considering him too crazy to be around; this gets Kramer nearly killed. He nearly kidnaps Elaine with the intention of murder when he suspects she's cheating on him, which she wasn't.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out his eventual fate after trying to stab Jerry in 'The Pilot'. He was most likely arrested.

    J. Peterman 

J. Peterman (John O'Hurley)

  • Based on a Great Big Lie: His autobiography is actually stories that were bought from Kramer and written by Elaine.
  • Benevolent Boss: Subverted. While he seems an ideal and friendly boss for Elaine, there are many moments where he treats her like crap—butting into her personal life, which he has no right to do, assigning menial tasks to her that aren't her responsibility—fixing his flat tire—firing her over petty things such as her not liking The English Patient, etc. He doesn't seem outwardly malicious though, just genuinely oblivious to the impropriety of such things.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: However crazy he may be, he's pretty damn good at what he does.
  • The Bus Came Back: Inverted in one episode with Elaine having to visit him in Burma to have him approve one of her lavish purchases on her account. Then later on, played straight as he returns to run the company once again.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Quite so. One example has him refuse to make his autobiography action-packed as that is already covered in the catalogues and in another he spends a hefty sum on a ancient piece of confectionary.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Presents himself as one, though it's unclear how many of his stories are true and how much are just his insanity talking (and since he revealed he was addicted to opium, some may even be drug-fueled hallucinations).
  • Hypocrite: Fires Elaine when she tests positive for opiates. When her fake boyfriend relapses into heroin addiction, he demands that Elaine help him detox, threatening again to fire her if she doesn't. Aside from the grossly inappropriate intrusion into her personal life, he's the one indirectly responsible for getting the guy hooked on drugs again—"I gave him the name of some places where he could score."
  • Irony: The one time he could have and should have fired Elaine — after she ate a piece of cake worth thousands — he doesn't, preferring to gloat over her impending sickness.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone calls him "Mr.Peterman" and he introduces himself as "J. Peterman". His first name is only used once to address his dying mother. It is "Jacopo".
  • Miles Gloriosus: If you read the Peterman Catalogue then you would be lead to believe that he has led an exciting life by traveling all over the world. All that stuff is made up by his employees.
  • Nice Guy: Not only very tolerant of Elaine's insanity but initially met her after he saw her crying on the street. In spite of his madness, he might honestly be the nicest guy in the series.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's a thinly (read: not remotely) disguised parody of John Peterman, the owner of the real J. Peterman Company. The real Peterman lost his company to a buyout in 1999, but with financial help from actor John O'Hurley he was able to buy it back.
  • Put on a Bus: At the start of season 8, has a nervous breakdown and goes to Burma, leaving Elaine to run the place. He returns later on in the season.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Yes, there is a J. Peterman Company, as well as a real-life namesake (although the latter's first name is John and not Jacopo). Many Seinfeld fans aren't aware of this, and the Company does not bank on its Seinfeld connection (unlike the real-life Soup Nazi).

    George Steinbrenner 

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

  • Motor Mouth: He talks constantly, and doesn't seem to notice whether people are paying attention or not.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Barely. George Steinbrenner was a real person. For the record, he was a bit put-off when he heard the show was doing it, but quickly became okay with it (enough to agree to cameo in an episode as himself, although the scenes weren't used).

    David Puddy 

David Puddy (Patrick Warburton)

  • Exact Words: Being a New Jersey Devils fan, Puddy likes to paint his face for the games. Elaine is turned off by this and nearly breaks up with him, but he promises her he won't wear facepaint anymore. Instead. he paints his chest to spell out "DEVILS" with other fans.
  • Fur and Loathing: Elaine hates his "man-fur" coat in "The Reverse Peephole," calling him "Dr. Zaius". Notice this isn't because she thinks wearing fur is morally wrong, just because he looks terrible in it.
  • Hypocrite: He encourages Elaine to steal her neighbor's newspaper, believing himself to be too righteous to do so and Elaine to already be damned, so ergo it doesn't matter if she commits a crime. He's forgotten that "leading someone into temptation" can be considered a sin in and of itself and Elaine truthfully points out that a true Christian would be trying to save her soul, not encourage her to sin further.
  • Hypocritical Humor: He stops wearing the man-fur after seeing Jerry wear an identical coat and realizing how ridiculous it looked. He promptly begins wearing an equally ridiculous 8 Ball jacket instead.
  • Last-Name Basis: His first name is rarely ever used. Even Elaine usually calls him "Puddy".
  • 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 Elaine was dating Puddy or not would depend entirely on what works for the episode. Their unstable relationship was lampshaded often.
  • One Head Taller: By a foot; he's 6'3, compared to Elaine's 5'3.
  • The Stoic: Naturally and played pretty heavily for laughs.
    Elaine: (Being sent to prison for a year) Puddy.... Don't wait for me.
    Puddy: (Shrugs) Okay.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Whenever we see him by himself in his apartment, he's always sitting perfectly still on the couch, staring off into space.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He's reasonably nice in his earlier appearances but turns into more of a jerk as time goes on.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Puddy loves himself some Arby's, much to Elaine's annoyance.

    Jackie Chiles 

Jackie Chiles (Phil Morris)

You get me one coffee drinker on that jury, you're gonna walk outta there a rich man.

An Ambulance Chaser who has the misfortune to be Kramer's go-to lawyer, attorney, and counsel.

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a quirky fast talker, but he actually possesses a good deal of legal knowledge, and from what we see of his office and practice he seems very successful. He'd be more successful, though, if Kramer wasn't Kramer.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The last word of most of his sentence is often repeated, restated, reiterated.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Aids Kramer in a number of these, such as suing a coffee company because the coffee was too hot. In particular, he was very, very eager to "get a piece" of the tobacco industry. These lawsuits always wind up publicly humiliating him due to Kramer's stupidity, ineptitude, and foolishness.
  • 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, cease, and desist.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: After two failed lawsuits, Jackie does not want anything to do with Kramer ever again. After the tobacco lawsuit, he files a restraining order against him.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite filing a restraining order against the man, Jackie still defends Kramer and his friends in the finale, conclusion, ending.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After years of Kramer publicly humiliating, Jackie gets a break in the finale. He loses the case, but he gets to hook up with Sidra Holland. As a bonus, he doesn't seem at all bothered by the idea of having Kramer out of his hair for a while.
  • Token Minority: The only major black recurring character on the show, performance, serial.

    Kenny Bania 

Kenny Bania (Steve Hytner)

Jerry: Have you seen his act? He's got a twelve-minute bit about Ovaltine.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Jerry only ever hangs with him because he can't avoid him. They perform at the same clubs, and Bania ropes Jerry into owing him favours.
  • Satellite Character: His role in the show is to annoy Jerry.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He loves to brag about his progress at the gym, and his comedy career when it's going well.
    Bania: I'm gonna go pick up some chicks. Good-lookin' ones, too!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He won't stop talking about how great the swordfish at Mendy's is, though he has also said the pea soup and duck there is "the best."
  • Verbal Tic: He repeats things for emphasis. "That's gold, Jerry! Gold!" "The best, Jerry. The best!"

    Sue Ellen Mischke 

Sue Ellen Mischke (Brenda Strong)

Elaine: Come on, Sue Ellen. You don't wear a bra, you're tall.. we hate each other!

  • Hope Spot: She and Elaine almost became actual friends. Sue Ellen was getting married in India, but Elaine thought she only got an invitation as a ploy for a gift and wasn't actually wanted there. She flew out to India to spite her, but Sue Ellen actually greeted her arrival warmly—saying no one else was willing to fly out. Elaine was made maid of honor and all was well... until Sue Ellen found out Elaine slept with the groom a couple years ago.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Jerry is much more sympathetic to her story after she approaches him wearing only a bra.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She intentionally invokes this by wearing a bra as a top.
  • Old Money: Heiress to the O'Henry candy bar fortune.
  • Passive Aggressive Combat: With Elaine. Elaine buys her a bra as she often goes without, and the next time they meet Sue Ellen is wearing it as a top. She also tends to make some snide comments regarding the disparity in their income.
  • The Rival: To Elaine. Even compared to the Seinfeld rivalry standard, both are very petty with each other.
  • Sugary Malice: She and Elaine act friendly towards each other. Elaine's internal monologue shows that she actually hates Sue Ellen. It's pretty clear Sue Ellen has a lot of contempt for Elaine too; for example, she asks Elaine if she's come to Sotheby's to catch a glimpse of high society and hopes Elaine can find something in her budget.

    Justin Pitt 

Justin Pitt (Ian Abercrombie)

An executive at Doubleday Publishing, whom Elaine works as an assistant for during Season 6.

  • Bad Boss: Makes Elaine do trivial things such as taking the salt off his pretzels and finding the perfect brand of socks for him to wear.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He eats Snickers with a knife and fork.
  • Enmity with an Object: Only allows pencils as he hates ink to the point of having it banned in his office.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In spite of his demanding nature and the menial work he has Elaine do, he thought of her as a daughter and almost put her in his will, but that ended after he thought Elaine and Jerry tried to kill him and promptly fired her.
  • Manchild: Wanting to be one of the rope-holders for the Woody Woodpecker balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade certainly makes him this.

    Mickey Abbott 

Mickey Abbott (Danny Woodburn)

A dwarf actor and a friend of Kramer's

  • Berserk Button: Don't call him a midget; he prefers the term "little person".
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The little guy to Kramer's big guy, and is often the brains behind whatever he is doing with Kramer.
  • Category Traitor: When he wears lifts in his shoes to keep a role, the other dwarf actors find out and he's all but ostracized for it.
  • The Napoleon: What he lacks in stature, he more than makes up for it with his temper.
  • Serial Spouse: Is revealed in one episode to having tied the knot five times, and marries his sixth wife in the same one. He also calls a woman whose second marriage just ended a "lightweight".
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Kramer get into a lot of arguments that frequently get physical, but they still remain friends.

    Morty Seinfeld 

Morty Seinfeld (Phil Bruns, season 1, Barney Martin, season 2-9)

Jerry's father and a former raincoat salesman.
  • Enmity with an Object: Does not like Velcro, much to the point he threw away a wallet Jerry gave him as a gift because it had a Velcro strip.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He is definitely a grouch in his senior years.
  • Papa Wolf: Willing to stick up for Jerry, even if Jerry finds it unnecessary ("The Pen" comes to mind.)
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Becomes more cantankerous once Barney Martin took over the role.

    Russell Dalrymple 

Russel Dalrymple (Bob Balaban)

Minor Characters

     The Soup Nazi 

The Soup Nazi/Yev Kassem (Larry Thomas)

You just cost yourself a soup!

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe, Kramer sees him as a man who simply wants to serve his soup quickly and efficiently and wants customers to respect this goal.
  • Argentina Is Nazi Land: Appropriately, the Soup Nazi flees to Argentina after being "defeated" in his debut episode.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Sure, he's incredibly strict, and will refuse service at the drop of a hat, but he still gets customers around the block because his soup is just that good.
  • Catchphrase: "NO SOUP FOR YOU!", "NEXT!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Though Kramer claims otherwise, the rest of the cast see him as a super strange soup guy.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you screw up the ordering procedure, to quote Jerry, "He yells at you, and you don't get your soup." Even use of Gratuitous Spanish can leave you soupless. Elaine is banned for a year for doing an impersonation of Al Pacino. Al Yeganeh (who served as the inspiration for the Soup Nazi), explained that the reason he has this rule is his soup stand was located in a cold part of town, where patrons had to stand outside before they could enter and order. Customers messing up their order, or requesting a change held up the line.
  • Given Name Reveal: His real name is revealed in the finale when he is called into court as a witness. The main characters are completely baffled when they hear the name called, since they have no idea who Yev Kassem is until he enters the room.
  • HA HA HA—No: After Elaine holds up the line and does a Pacino impression, he smilingly praises the impression. Then...
    You know something? NO SOUP FOR YOU! Come back one year! NEXT!
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Just about anything, no matter how benign, will set this guy off and prompt a boot out the door.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Because of his Super OCD, he is dubbed "Soup Nazi".
  • Ironic Echo: Has his own "No soup for you!" line thrown back at him by Elaine.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he is thoroughly mean to those who question or disobey his rules, he reciprocates Kramer's kindness. Though unlike most uses of the trope, the "heart of gold" aspect of his character does not diminish the Jerkass side.
  • Large Ham: He is a huge presence in his soup shop. He's shouting at the top of his lungs half the time.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When he hears from Kramer how some thugs stole an armoire from a friend, he offers his own as a replacement. It is subverted when he finds out it was for Elaine, as he flips his lid when she comes in to thank him for it.
      Soup Nazi: You? If I knew it was for you, I never would have given it to him in the first place! I WOULD HAVE TAKEN A HATCHET AND SMASHED IT TO PIECES!
    • At the very least, he refunds George's money when he rescinds his soup order.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Yes, the Soup Nazi (Ali Yeganeh) and his business did exist in Real Life (it was originally called "Soup Kitchen International" and is now "The Original Soupman") - in fact, the film Sleepless in Seattle had its Meg Ryan character mention it once before Seinfeld did its "Soup Nazi" episode and, before that, it had been the subject of a 1989 article in The New Yorker. (Wayne Knight had been one of its real-life customers before being banned for doing the episode.) The modern-day business (now a franchise where the strictness of the character is not demanded of the franchisees) mentions the Seinfeld connection on its packages, uses the slogan "Soup for You!" (an obvious reference to the show) and Larry Thomas has been its promotional personality since 2015, although the term "Soup Nazi" is banned from being used in connection with the business.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Simply kissing in his line will get this reaction from him, forfeiting your soup.
  • Supreme Chef: The reason people keep visiting his restaurant despite his Super OCD is because his soup is just that good. Jerry and Elaine agree that it's worth breaking a relationship over.

     Alton Benes 

Alton Benes (Lawrence Tierney)

A published author who is the father of Elaine.

  • The Alcoholic: Elaine jokes that alcohol is her father's religion and that his ethnicity is "half-drunk."
  • The Comically Serious:
    Alton: Which one's supposed to be the funny guy? [...] We had a funny guy with us in Korea. Tailgunner. They blew his brains out all over the Pacific. [beat] There's nothin' funny about that.
  • The Dreaded: Both Jerry and George are flat out terrified of him.
    George: We can't possibly have dinner with him alone!
    Jerry: How are we going to get out of this?
    George: We say we're frightened and have to go home!
    • This was the case behind the scenes as well, given Tierney was an infamously volatile actor from whom no one knew what to expect and as such scared the shit out of cast and crew alike during filming.
  • Guttural Growler: He has a very raspy voice.
  • Obscure Popularity:invoked Apparently there are enough fans of his books In-Universe to have one randomly complementing the book Elaine was holding to her. When the fan asks why Alton was not more popular, Elaine answered he wouldn't want it either.

     Bob Sacamano 

Bob Sacamano

Jerry: "It's routine surgery."
Kramer: "Oh, yeah? My friend Bob Sacamano, he came in here for a hernia operation. Oh, yeah, routine surgery. Now he's sitting in a chair by a window going [high-pitched voice] 'my name is Bob!'"

  • Born Unlucky: If Kramer's stories are to be believed, Bob has went through botched surgery, rabies, and shock treatment at a mental hospital.
  • The Ghost: Kramer constantly brings up Bob Sacamano's misadventures, but Bob himself never appears onscreen. Unlike other friends of Kramer, however, Bob isn't a ghost to the other main characters. He invites the group to a party in "The Fatigues," and Jerry befriends Bob when he takes over Kramer's apartment in "The Chicken Roaster."
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Bob appears to have had several sources of income. In the episode "The Fix-Up," his new job at a condom factory helps set up the plot.

     Lt. Joe Bookman 

Lt. Joe Bookman (Phillip Baker Hall)

You think this is all a big joke, don't you?

  • Cold Ham: He manages to chew the scenery without raising his voice.
  • The Comically Serious: Takes overdue library books and the fines associated with them very seriously, asking Jerry at one point if he's ever killed somebody.
  • Good Old Ways: Pines for the old days when librarians were older, kindly, and had no private life.
  • Inspector Javert: Grills Jerry on his grossly-overdue library book, correctly asserting that he never returned it despite Jerry's protests.
  • Never Heard That One Before: The librarian assures the gang that Bookman, who has been working there for 25 years, has heard all the jokes related to his name.
  • Not So Different: Jerry has a tendency to obsess over petty things as well, but when it comes to library fines, Jerry's a Deadpan Snarker while Bookman is dead serious.
  • Real Joke Name: Lt. Bookman the Library Cop.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's definitely crazy, but he also claims that he doesn't judge a man by the length of his hair or the kind of music he listens to, as long as he respects the rules of the library, and was correct that Jerry hadn't returned the book, and the book is returned as a direct result of his actions, combined with some dumb luck.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Accuses Jerry of thinking he can get away with overdue library books, and thus is "above the law", because he's a comedian.
  • Think of the Children!: One of his major motivations for wanting to make his library a better place is so that children don't have to read vandalized books. Problem is, Jerry isn't being accused of vandalizing a book, but still gets an earful from Bookman.

     Donald "Bubble Boy" Sanger 

Donald "Bubble Boy" Sanger (Jon Hayman)


  • Asshole Victim: Even though his plastic bubble got popped by Susan, he was such a douche that the audience can't help but feel relief to his predicament.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Played with. He has to live in a plastic bubble due to his low immune system, yet he's constantly an asshole to George and Susan, as well as to his own parents. When George fights back, the neighbors become outraged: "What kind of person would hurt the Bubble Boy?" However, the Bubble Boy doesn't even try to use his disability to his advantage in order to get people to excuse his behavior; people just feel bad for him anyway.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He attacks George simply because he refuses to admit that the answer to the Trivial Pursuit question is "Moors", not "Moops".
  • Establishing Character Moment: The viewers learn immediately that he is an awful person the first tme they hear his voice. He screams down to his mother demanding she bring him food and threatens her with violence if she doesn't give him what he wants.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Only his voice is heard. Otherwise, we never get to see his physical appearance.
  • Jerkass: He threatens his mom for food, sexually harasses Susan, and picks a fight with George over a Trivial Pursuit question.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Both his Trivial Pursuit answer—"The Moors"—and his insistence that the "Moops" written on the answer card is a misprint are correct, although George is fully aware of this and is only arguing with him out of spite because he's fed up with his rudeness.
  • Smug Snake: Brags to George about how he is losing to Trivial Pursuit. That's what gets him angry when George calls him "wrong".
  • Spoiled Brat: He is quite demanding to his mother with a sense of entitlement bigger than his bubble.
  • Vague Age: His voice indicates that he's either a late teenager or an adult.

    Babu Bhatt 

Babu Bhatt (Brian George)

You bad man! You very very bad man!

  • Butt-Monkey: Every time he shows up, his life gets ruined even more than it already was.
  • Never My Fault: He blames his failures on Jerry, when most of them were caused by Babu being a terrible businessman or just bad luck.
  • Stereotypical South Asian English: He speaks with an exaggerated singsong tone of voice, says "very" a lot, and also wags his index finger back and forth when speaking.

    Lloyd Braun 

Lloyd Braun (Peter Keleghan, season 5, Matt McCoy, season 7-season 9

  • Always Someone Better: He's usually better than George at something, and George's parents are quick to tell George that. Played with, as he’s actually an incompetent wreck who is even more of a messed-up failure than George; he’s just better at hiding it.
  • Break the Haughty: He’s insufferably smug until he tanks Mayor Dinkins’ election with the name tag idea he stole from Elaine, destroying his own reputation.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He steals Elaine’s nametag idea and passes it off as his own, hoping to use it to get Mayor Dinkins re-elected. The nametag idea proves to be a disaster that causes Rudy Giuliani to win the election and the fallout ruins Lloyd’s life and causes him to have a nervous breakdown.
  • Not So Different: At first glance, Lloyd seems to be Always Someone Better to George, but it becomes clear, even more after his mental breakdown, that he’s just as incompetent and messed-up, of not more so, than George is.
  • Sanity Slippage: After his life is ruined, he suffers a mental breakdown and is left a paranoid, incompetent wreck who once tried to eat a decomposing hot dog he found in the floor of a movie theater. His final appearance heavily implies he murdered a family and stuffed them in his freezer.

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