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Heartwarming / Seinfeld

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Seinfeld is the last show you would ever expect a heartwarming moment from, and in accordance with that perception, nearly all the moments are only heartwarming because they are tinged with meta, but there are a few worth mentioning:

  • Most obviously, the montage of still frames, behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers and classic scenes at the end of the penultimate episode, "The Chronicle", set to "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day. We dare anyone who watched Seinfeld during its original run to not break out in goosebumps and feel unable to stop smiling. Doubles as a Tear Jerker, especially during the line "We hope you had the time of your life", because it was so true. The '90s were the time of most presently-living people's lives, and Seinfeld was the end-all-be-all of their entertainment.
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  • In the canon of the show, the scene in "The Pilot, Part 2" (not to be confused with the actual pilot of "Seinfeld") where the actor playing "George" (in "Jerry", the show-within-a-show) comes running up to Jerry right before filming, freaking out and babbling that he can't do it, prompting Jerry to throw his hands up laughing, saying that he's perfect — he's acting just like George.
  • In "The Deal", Kramer's card for Elaine: "Think where man's glory most begins and ends/And say my glory was I had such friends." - William Butler Yeats
  • The viewers witnessing, by implication, how "Seinfeld" was created — George trying to convince Jerry that a show about nothing would be a good idea. Jerry's scoffing response: "Yeah...sure...that'll work." If only he knew...
  • The scene at the end of "The Trip Part 2" when Jerry tosses Kramer his apartment keys, the cause of the argument that led to Kramer moving all the way to L.A.
    • Followed immediately by Mood Whiplash when Kramer does the same thing with his gigantic, fully-loaded key ring that probably weighs enough to seriously injure anyone who caught it.
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  • An episode where Elaine returned from a trip, leading to a enthusiastic few minutes where she hugged all three of the guys. The Reality Subtext is that Julia Louis Dreyfus was returning from maternity leave and all four actors were probably genuinely happy to see each other again.
  • There are very few moments where what could be argued as love is shown. There are well wishes, appreciations, compliments, condolences, concerns and congratulations shared between the main four, but only once is there a hint of actual love: At the end of "The Deal", Jerry and Elaine admit that their deal is breaking their friendship apart. They can not simply have "that" (sex) without consequences and Elaine can't go back to just "this" (friendship). She wants "the other", a true romantic relationship. They start one. Both Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David said that this is the only moment where there is real true emotion between the characters. (Since this is Seinfeld, everything was back to normal by the next episode).
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  • Another meta one: the reason why "The Raincoats" had so many Schindler's List references? It's because of Jerry (real life Jerry, that is) finding out that when making the movie, Steven Spielberg got so depressed he would watch episodes of Seinfeld to help cheer himself up.
  • "The Opposite" has a particularly great theme for George's storyline, in that acting against your instinct can reap huge rewards. By defying his on tendency towards neurotic, Evil Is Petty antics, and behaving like a mature and secure human being, George gets a girlfriend, a new apartment, and a job with the New York Yankees in quick succession.
  • In "The Fix Up", George believes that he knocked up one of Elaine's friends. She later tells Elaine that George showed up at her house to tell her that he would support her and be there if she needed him for anything. It turns out that her period was just a few days late, but given that George is normally enormously petty, callous, and dishonest, it's impressive that his first reaction is to take responsibility for what happened.
  • When Jerry's girlfriend Rachel declines the lobster Kramer has fixed, citing religious prohibitions, Kramer immediately accepts her refusal and tells her that he respects how pious she is ("When you die, you're gonna get special attention."). Later, when she sneaks into the kitchen to try some anyway, Kramer is lying in wait, having known she would be tempted. He then refuses to let her have any, knowing that she'll ultimately regret it. The next morning, she sincerely thanks him for his intervention. (Too bad it's all undone by George sneaking some into the scrambled eggs he's given her).
  • The moment in "The Busboy" when Elaine slogs into Jerry's apartment, having failed in getting apartment-crasher Ed to the airport on time, is given sympathy by Jerry and George. It's one of the few, if only times, in the series that the main characters show compassion for one another. This is the kind of thing that would emit a callous "That's a shame" from Jerry only a season or two later.
  • "The Tape" has a cute scene of Kramer goofing around with his camcorder while Jerry and Elaine pretend to be a porn director and porn star, respectively, doing an interview. While it's obviously meant to be funny, it's also sweet to just see three friends joking around with one another, trying to get one another to laugh.
  • In "The Beard", when Elaine laments that she couldn't convert her homosexual friend into a straight guy, Jerry responds, "Well there's always a place for you, on our team." A misty-eyed Elaine says, "Yeah, thanks."
  • When Elaine mentions that a date dumped her for being too "fat", Jerry seems genuinely angry on her behalf.
  • George begs Jerry to tone down his funny persona so as not to overshadow him and appeal to his new girlfriend. And Jerry. . . complies. It backfires horribly, of course, with the girl LIKING his morose demeanor, but it's sweet that Jerry was willing to do that for his friend.
  • In "The Face Painter" , Elaine tells Puddy that she doesn't like his face painting habits. He instantly says that if it bothers her that much, he'll quit. It's a sweet moment that's quite the contrast to the jerk he turned into in later seasons.
  • The show's portrayal of homosexuality in general is stunningly progressive for the time (remember that this was when it still wouldn't be unusual to hear someone drop the other f-bomb):
    • In particular, the discovery of Susan's father's affair with John Cheever is sure to resonate with anyone who stays closeted for fear of how their loved ones will react.
    "He was the most wonderful man I've ever known! And I loved him deeply, in a way you could never understand."

    • In "The Jimmy", the Jimmy in question, upon noticing two men flirting, sincerely declares, "Jimmy's not threatened by Hank's sexuality. Jimmy's happy for Hank."
    • Throughout the episode "The Outing", everyone's repeated "Not that there's anything wrong with it" makes it clear that for all their neuroses, these people are not homophobic—Jerry explicitly and emphatically declares, "People's personal sexual preferences are no one's business but their own!"
  • In Season 1's "The Apartment" Kramer accidentally sets Jerry back by talking Elaine into borrowing money so she can take the apartment above his, which has slipped out of her price range. Kramer is unable to comprehend why having Elaine upstairs might be a problem, so Jerry explains to him, "You see, you're not normal. ... You're a pod. I, on the other hand, am a human being. I sometimes feel awkward, uncomfortable, even inhibited, in certain situations with the other human beings. You wouldn't understand." Later in the episode Kramer manages to find an even higher bidder to take the apartment, and responds to Jerry's effusive gratitude by saying, "Occasionally I like to help the humans."
  • In "The Puffy Shirt," George has to move back in with his parents because he barely has any money. Kramer, feeling sorry for him, offers to let George move in with him. It's a brief moment, and of course George refuses, but it still shows what a devoted friend Kramer is.
  • A small moment in "The Lip Reader" where Kramer shows that he can both understand and "speak" ASL, saying that he learned it to communicate with his deaf cousin as a child. The implication that Kramer cared enough about a deaf relative that he made the effort to learn how to communicate with them is one of the only times anyone on the show is shown to be so empathetic.

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