Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / Seinfeld

Go To

This show is the Trope Namer for:

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: The writer of "The Conversion" had no idea that Latvian Orthodox was a real religion and was trying to make up a fictional one.
  • Advertisement:
  • Acting for Two: Jerry Stiller in the tag of "The Doll".
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Patrick Warburton would often be found behind the set silently running line in his head with a look of intense focus. A director saw this and turned it into the Running Gag of Puddy sitting up on his couch with an inexplicable Thousand-Yard Stare whenever he was home alone.
  • Banned Episode: One of the last episodes of the series, "The Puerto Rican Day", was initially pulled after its original broadcast, mainly because NBC felt the episode was too offensive with its depictions of Puerto Ricans, as well as a scene involving Kramer (accidentally) burning a Puerto Rico flag, causing an angry mob of Puerto Ricans trashing the streets, and vandalizing Jerry's car (to which, Kramer remarks, "It's like this every day in Puerto Rico."). In 2002, the episode was quietly added to the syndication package with the infamous scene uncut (Kramer's line, "It's like this every day in Puerto Rico" is absent, though it could be a case of being Edited for Syndication); Sony Pictures Television stated that enough time had passed since the initial furor to merit its inclusion.
  • Advertisement:
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: While observational jokes that start out "What's the deal with [X]?" are considered Jerry's signature shtick, he actually only said that line a handful of times on the show, and it was always done specifically as a Self-Parody. The one non-ironic "What's the deal with [X]?" was actually delivered by George, in The Deal.
    George: What's the deal with Aquaman? Could he go on land, or was he just restricted to water?
  • California Doubling:
    • For the most part unnoticeable note , but in some parts it's apparent.note 
    • Jerry's apartment is actually an LA building, with very noticeable earthquake retrofitting (the diamonds on the side).
    • Advertisement:
    • The highway Kramer chases Jerry's mechanic on in "The Bottle Deposit" - said to be the Ohio SR 135 - is the Pasadena Freeway.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Larry Miller was originally cast as George, but it was decided that, just to make George a little bit more pathetic, he needed to be short. Miller eventually appeared as a doorman that could give The Janitor a run for his money.
  • The Cast Showoff: In "The Junior Mint", Jerry gets bored with Elaine catching up with Roy the artist in the hospital and breaks out a yo-yo to pass the time, showing real Jerry's prowess with one.
  • The Danza:
    • Jerry Seinfeld's character is named... "Jerry Seinfeld." (Justified in that Character!Jerry is a fictionalized version of Real!Jerry.)
    • George's mother Estelle is named after her actress. But they couldn't name his father the same way because they already had a Jerry (though George's dad was originally played by John Randolph before being recast with Jerry Stiller).
    • The cashier at Monk's Café is named Ruthie Cohen and is played by actress Ruth Cohen.
    • In "The Kiss Hello", Wendie Malick as Wendie the delicate genius.
    • In "The Frogger", Peter Stormare plays Slippery Pete.
    • Averted in the case of John O'Hurley, who played Jacopo Peterman, even though the character's Real Life counterpart was named John Peterman.
  • Defictionalization:
    • For a while during the Turn of the Millennium, Eggo had toaster muffin tops. In fact, their advertising gimmick to get people to "Leggo" your Eggo muffin tops was to pretend you were having muffin stumps.
    • John O'Hurley invested in the real-life J. Peterman Company, helping its real-life namesake buying it back from a bankrupt company who bought him out.
    • Ali Yeganeh's Real Life soup business - which has since expanded into a franchise - now mentions its Seinfeld connection on its packages, uses the slogan "Soup for You!" and, since 2015, has used Larry Thomas (who played his fictional counterpart) as its spokesperson, although the term "Soup Nazi" is still banned from being used in association with the business.
  • Descended Creator: As the show went on, Larry David had more and more Creator Cameos usually seen only from behind or voicing unseen characters like George Steinbrenner, a part David continued to voice for some time after he had already left the series as a writer.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Jason Alexander directed season 3's "The Good Samaritan".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The luncheonette was originally Pete's Luncheonette, and had Claire (played by Lee Garlington) as a waitress, who was a regular. Pete's was replaced by Monk's Café, and 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.
  • Edited for Syndication: Most episodes feature little dialog cuts here and there to save time for more commercials. Also, a 2015 Cracked article pointed out that TBS speeds up reruns by about 7%; you can see a comparison here.
    • The episode which suffers the worst in this regard is "The Yada Yada", as it originally ran 26 minutes in its NBC premiere.note 
    • Since 2010, most markets air the episodes in a cropped format (similar to a x1.2 zoom on most DVD players), and as such, all on-screen titles (opening credits, closing credits, subtitles, etc) have been changed accordingly. Some episodes also have either repositioned the show logo in the opening, or left alone, resulting in half of the 'S' in Seinfeld being cut off.
    • (also Early Installment Weirdness) The pilot episode had an entirely different theme song, the on-screen title was ''The Seinfeld Chronicles'', the credit titles were in a different font, and the end titles played over a plain black screen. In syndication, however, the original theme is replaced with Jonathan Wolff's theme, The Seinfeld Chronicles title is replaced with Seinfeld, the titles are in the tradition Movie Poster font like the rest of the series, and the end titles are plastered over still shots of Jerry's standup riffs.
    • The series finale was originally aired as a 75-minute "extra-length" episode. Being chopped into two parts for syndication ended up eliminating several testimonies by other "witnesses" at the trial (many of whom are shown departing for Massachusetts for the trial, and seen in background shots in the courtroom).
    • Newman first appears in a voice-only cameo in "The Revenge", in which he was voiced by Larry David. In syndication, the voice was redubbed by Wayne Knight, who by that point had been cast as the character and appeared on the show.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Writers Gregg Kavet and Andy Robin have admitted to changing Jerry Stiller's lines during production of "The Fatigues" to get Frank Costanza to speak with noticeable pauses.
    • Jerry's rapt attention to George's "The sea was angry that day, my friends" monologue in "The Marine Biologist" was the result of the real Jerry's astonishment at how Jason Alexander was flawlessly reciting a monologue he'd been instructed to memorize mere minutes before the cameras rolled.
    • Jerry and George's fear and discomfort of Elaine's father in "The Jacket" wasn't entirely acting. The actor who played him, Lawrence Tierney (whom you may also recognize as crime boss Joe Cabot), was an incredibly intimidating presence on set, and his erratic and discomforting behavior (including stealing a kitchen knife at one point) unsettled practically everyone.
    • Kathy Griffin has said that Seinfeld's annoyance towards her character Sally Weaver was genuine, as Jerry Seinfeld really did find her an irritating person. So much so, that Seinfeld actually snapped at her during production of one of her episodes.
    • Jason Alexander disliked working with Heidi Swedberg, as he felt as though their comedic styles didn't gel and they generally weren't on the same page. He repeatedly pleaded with Larry David to remove her from the show, as he didn't like working with this person whom he felt threw him off his game. David countered that Alexander's discomfort with Swedberg was exactly why the George/Susan relationship was so hilarious, as the actor's contempt for the actress perfectly spilled into his role as a deeply unhappy fiance.
    • Larry David stated on numerous occasions that the fact that real-life Jerry couldn't act played perfectly into in-universe Jerry's character, given that his deadpan delivery of his lines reflected the sarcastic detachment you'd expect from a stand-up comic.
    • Frank Costanza's strange, stilted manner of speaking was often a result of Jerry Stiller struggling to remember his lines. Jason Alexander would later posit that it was actually Stiller's frustration that made the character so hilarious and memorable.
  • Executive Meddling: George getting caught for having sex in his parents' bed was initially written as their finding the condom in it, which the network saw as a level of Squick too far even for the show's typical level of boundary-pushing, so it was toned down to just the wrapper.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Julia Louis Dreyfus had both her sons over the course of the series. For the first, production wrapped on the season before she began showing (which is why Elaine is absent for "The Trip"). For the second, the crew gave her the more traditional technique of carrying props in front of her belly or hugging the throw pillows while sitting on Jerry's couch. During her appearance on Jerry Seinfeld's show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee two decades later, Lewis recounted how Jerry had proposed writing her second pregnancy into the show with an episode where Elaine gets fat... then retracted the idea when it immediately caused a hormonal Dreyfus to burst into tears.
    Julia: So there are two things I have to say about that: One is that you have no interpersonal communication skills. The second thing is, it was a great idea and we should have done it. It would have been a great storyline. I actually regret it.
  • Hostility on the Set
    • In a 2015 interview on The Howard Stern Show, Jason Alexander revealed that the main cast had difficulty working with Heidi Swedberg, who played Susan Ross (George Costanza's girlfriend/fiancee). Alexander, along with Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus complained to Larry David that Swedberg didn't mesh with the main cast. When Alexander's comments made the newswaves, he (and the rest of the main cast) apologized to Swedberg on Twitter, saying that she was a fun person to work with.
    • As mentioned above, Jerry Seinfeld and Kathy Griffin (who played Susan's former roommate Sally) did not get along, and she only appeared in two episodes.
  • I Am Not Spock: Every cast member except Jerry Seinfeld.
    • Wayne Knight infamously snapped at a fan who greeted him with "Hello, Newman..." on a bad day. He'd eventually make peace with the role again by playing Newman in a 2020 PSA encouraging people to vote due to the Trump administration's interference with the postal service, playing off Newman's passion for the mail.
    • Jason Alexander had had more of a sense of humor about it, remarking "Hey, I'm still getting the royalty checks." after a fellow panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher agreed with him by saying "You know, George is right..."note  Later, during the 2010 World Series of Poker, he mentioned he was grateful for George Constanza, because he'd otherwise be known as the guy who tried to rape Julia Roberts.
    • During the series run, Michael Richards took a vacation to a rural part of Bali, assuming it would be the last place on earth anyone would recognize him as Kramer. While hiking in the jungle, he was recognized immediately by some locals who pointed him out and exclaimed "KRAMER!!" As it turned out, they had set up a hut with a DIY TV hookup running into a nearby city just to watch his show (dubbed rather crudely in Balinese).
    • Following the Laugh Factory incident, various media outlets kept referring to Michael Richards as Kramer, to the point that the real Kramer, Kenny Kramer, issued a statement saying that he personally was not a racist.
    • All four cast members reunited for an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Before that, in season 2, a plotline revolved around Larry trying to get a show off the ground about an actor who can not escape their previous popular sitcom role, first with Jason Alexander and then with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
  • Image Source:
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Jason Alexander rather impressively sings badly on purpose for George's answering machine message, despite being an accomplished Broadway singer.
    • Barney Martin, who played Jerry's father, Morty Seinfeld, often commented that many Jewish viewers of the show would tell him how much his character reminded them of their own fathers, despite him actually being of Irish Catholic extraction. On the other hand, Jerry Stiller, who plays George's father Frank Costanza, is a Jewish man playing an Italian Catholic.
    • In one episode, Elaine's boyfriend claims he thought she was Hispanic because of her last name and dark hair, which Elaine quickly denies. note  Julia Louise-Dreyfus is actually part Mexican. Similarly, another episode had a plot revolving around Elaine's "shiksappeal," despite Louise-Dreyfus being Jewish.
  • Leslie Nielsen Syndrome: John O'Hurley as J. Peterman. Before this, he was mostly known for dramatic roles, including on soap operas. But his Cloud Cuckoolander portrayal of J. Peterman opened the door for more comedic roles in other movies/shows, including as the first King Neptune in SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • McLeaned: Almost twenty years after its airing, the most controversial twist ever on the show (Susan's death) was revealed by Jason Alexander himself to be more than just a creative decision: Heidi Swedberg was reportedly very difficult to work with, not so much as a person but as an actress her instincts were not on board with the rest of the castnote . While the writers knew they needed to end her engagement to George somehow, by virtue of the "No Hugging, No Learning" rule, the idea of actually killing her stemmed from a remark Julia Louis-Dreyfus made during a cast lunch after a particularly excruciating bit of filming with Swedberg: "Don't you just wanna kill her?"
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: The project began as just a 90 minute special about a day in Jerry's life, and how it inspires his stand-up material that night. Jerry and Larry David couldn't quite stretch the script to fill the 90 minutes, so they reduced it down to a half hour as a series pilot. As Jerry would later say, "We couldn't make 90 minutes, so we made 90 hours."
  • Missing Episode:
    • "The Puerto Rican Day" has a scene where Kramer (accidentally) burns a Puerto Rican flag. Many viewers were highly offended, and NBC decided to leave the episode out of syndication for several years. It started to appear in the syndication package with the flag-burning scene untouched in the summer of 2002; Sony Pictures Television stated that enough time had passed since the initial furor to merit its inclusion.
    • For a time, "The Invitations" was removed from syndication because Susan dropping dead from licking toxic envelopes reminded people of the anthrax mail scares. It returned to rotation in summer 2002.
  • Name's the Same:
    • In two Season 9 episodes, Elaine and George put up with a charity worker named Rebecca de Mornay, who, unlike the young white girl Tom Cruise hooked up with, is a Sassy Black Woman.
    • In Season 5's "The Masseuse," Elaine dates a man named Joel Rifkin, which causes a stir amongst those she knows, who tease her for dating a man who shares the name of a notorious serial killer.
  • Newer Than They Think:
    Annie Reed: This man sells the greatest soup you have ever eaten, and he is the meanest man in America. I feel very strongly about this, Becky; it's not just about the soup.
    • Before the movie Yeganeh's restaurant had been the subject of a 1989 article on The New Yorker.
    • Before Tom's Restaurant became the exterior for "Monk's Café", it was briefly seen in a 1978 episode of The Bionic Woman and was the inspiration for Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" (1987).
      • Fun fact: both Seinfeld and Bionic Woman only used the exterior to establish a setting, as both shows were shot in studio in Los Angeles.
  • Old Shame: Regis Philbin loved the series, so he was disappointed that when he guest starred, he was given a line that he didn't think was funny (three variants of "This guy's bonkos!"). The producers insisted it would be hilarious, but his lines didn't get very many laughs with the studio audience. Regis dreaded watching that episode for that reason.
    • On Access Hollywood, Jerry admitted that he doesn't watch Seinfeld himself, comparing it to looking back through a high school yearbook. He would much rather focus on his current work, such as his stand-up and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Phil Bruns originally played Morty Seinfeld, but after his initial appearance, he was played by Barney Martin.
    • Larry David originally played Newman in "The Revenge" (he provided his off-screen voice), but his first on-screen appearance was by Wayne Knight. In syndication, Knight dubbed over David's voice in "The Revenge" to provide some continuity. However, both versions of the episode are available on the DVD set.
    • John Randolph originally played Frank Costanza in "The Handicap Spot". Later, Jerry Stiller replaced him in "The Puffy Shirt". For syndication, John Randolph's scenes in "The Handicap Spot" were re-shot with Jerry Stiller in his place, again to provide continuity. However, as with the previous example, both versions are available on DVD. One weird effect of this is that George says his father is bald in an earlier episode, which fit Randolph but not Stiller.
    • Lloyd Braun was initially played by Peter Keleghan, and later played by Matt McCoy in "The Gum" and "The Serenity Now".
    • Mr. Lippman was originally portrayed by Harris Shore in "The Librarian". And then starting with "The Red Dot", Richard Fancy took over the role.
  • The Other Marty:
    • Larry David voiced Newman in "The Revenge" before Wayne Knight was cast. In syndication, the offscreen lines were dubbed over by Knight to provide some continuity.
    • Frank Costanza was played by John Randolph in "The Handicap Spot", but in syndication his scenes were re-shot with Jerry Stiller, who had replaced him as of "The Puffy Shirt", to provide continuity. The crew wanted to do this with Jerry's father in the pilot after Barney Martin was cast, but everyone had aged too visibly for it to work.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Daniel von Bargen, who almost always played stern, humorless authority figures, here is the shiftless and irresponsible Mr. Kruger.
    • John O'Hurley mostly played soap opera villains before this show, but has done quite a few more comedy roles since.
    • Len Lesser had a long career playing mostly cops and tough guys before he was cast as the eccentric, annoying Uncle Leo.
  • Post-Script Season: Most of the production staff considers season eight to be a "bonus" season and season nine an "extra bonus" season, as they wanted to end the series after season seven.
  • Produced By Castmember: Given that the show was based entirely on Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up career, and an underlying theme of how comedians get their material, NBC appointed Seinfeld himself as a producer, and later still, when Larry David walked away from the series after its seventh season, Seinfeld was promoted to executive producer.
  • The Production Curse: The Seinfeld curse, in which Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richardsnote  failed to find success after the end of the series, as all tried to launch new sitcoms as title-role characters and almost every show was canceled quickly, usually within the first season. Eventually, the Emmy award-winning success of Louis-Dreyfus' The New Adventures of Old Christine (despite an abrupt cancellation) and later Veep broke her from the curse; of her eight Emmys for performances, seven of them have come post-Seinfeld, with three more as Veep producer.
  • Quote Source:
  • Reality Subtext: Phil Morris has noted that his delivery of the line "I've been wanting a piece of them for years" regarding tobacco companies very much reflects his real life antipathy toward the industry because...well, just look at his name.
  • Recycled Set:
    • The roadside diner Jerry and Elaine visit in "The Bubble Boy" later serves as Reggie's, otherwise known as "The Bizarro Coffee Shop".
    • Anytime any character ends up in the hospital, they recuperate in the exact same two or three rooms.
    • The restaurant where Gail Cunningham cooks was later recycled as Poppie's restaurant.
    • Rabbi Kirschbaum, Susan's pregnant cousin, Jerry's girls of the week from "The Switch" and "The Sponge," and others all live in the same apartment.
      • Jerry's girls from "The Seven" and "The Summer of George" live in George's apartment.
      • Jerry's girl who had him on her speed dial lives in Elaine's apartment.
  • The Red Stapler: Sales in Pez skyrocketed the week after "The Pez Despenser" aired. The company later acknowledged this by making dispensers made to look like the four main characters.
  • Star-Making Role: While Jason Alexander was more than a respectable actor beforehand, Seinfeld offered him his greatest exposure. He's grateful for it too, because he's remarked that, otherwise, "he'd be remembered as that guy who tried to rape Julia Roberts".
  • Technology Marches On:
    • Cell phones could have cleared up a lot of the show's stories. And then the finale features Elaine being chastised for making an important personal call on one as if it's not important enough to make at home, which comes off very strange now.
    • Current viewers probably wonder why George doesn't just sell the book he took into the bathroom with him at the bookstore on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The ending of the episode "The Parking Garage". Originally, the four of them were supposed to get in the car and drive off. But the car they had had an undercharged battery and wouldn't start. After all the frustration of shooting the episode, they realized that the car being dead was just so much more perfect than anything they could have come up with.
    • Jerry's line in "The Junior Mint," "Let's go watch them slice this fat bastard up." His quickly taking a sip of coffee afterwards was to keep from laughing.
    • In "The Bottle Deposit", the farmer's daughter yells "Goodbye, Norman!" as Newman leaves. The actress forgot the line and called out the wrong name, which the crew found hilarious. On the DVD you can see a crew member tell her "It's Newman, actually" once the shot ends, to which she does a massive Face Palm.
  • Trope Namer;
  • Unfinished Episode:
    • "The Bet," was written as something completely different, in that it was more of a seriocomic episode that dealt with Elaine buying a handgun for self-protection (actually a BB gun replica) and Jerry betting her that she'll never even use it; meanwhile, Kramer returns from a trip and claims to have had sex with the flight attendant in mid-flight and Jerry and George try to track her down betting that Kramer's story is bogus. The script made it to table reading, but the cast felt it was too dark and not very funny, so it was shelved and ultimately never made.
      • "The Bet" lives on as an Internet urban legend in the form of a "creepypasta" story alleging the episode was filmed and all but one copy destroyed. Naturally, the episode supposedly contains disturbing and supernatural phenomena happening to the actors and crew.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • "The Bubble Boy" has Jerry and Elaine getting lost when the car they are following to their destination goes through a light turning red that they have to stop at. Modern viewers can be excused for having no idea why this would be a problem at all; GPS would solve this problem, as would cell phones. Jerry and crew having neither immediately marks the show as mid-90s. (And for you younger readers — yes, this used to happen. You had to hope that the person you were following would notice you weren't behind them any more and pull over to wait for you.)
    • The finale featured a bit where Elaine is reprimanded by Jerry for calling someone to ask about their health on a cell phone (rather than calling on their home phone). With the ubiquity of cell phones in the new millennium—to the point where some people don't even have a home phone—it seems almost laughably outdated to suggest that calling someone on a cell phone rather than a home phone would be seen as rude.
      • In general, the widespread use of cellphone technology in the years after many of these episodes were aired would have made the plots of a few episodes easily resolvable. For instance, the episode "The Boyfriend, Part 1" has part of its plot revolve around George attempting to scam the unemployment office by giving them Jerry's phone number and claiming that to be his new employer. Jerry goes along with it, but the scheme gets derailed when Kramer answers the phone in complete ignorance of the scam while Jerry is out. If this were done on a show set when cell phones were nearly ubiquitous, it'd be easy to question why George wouldn't have given the unemployment office Jerry's cell phone number instead. In addition, this particular plot might have just fallen apart from the start in the age of widespread use of internet search engines if a savvy unemployment office employee bothered to look up George's fake company and find that "Vandelay Industries" doesn't exist.
    • One gag in "The Opera" revolves around Jerry singing the intro to The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show, a program that would be cancelled just two years after Seinfeld finished airing. While Looney Tunes shorts would continue to be re-aired on TV even today, not since 2000 would it ever be through a dedicated compilation program with intros, outros, and framing scenes like what Jerry references.
    • "The Puerto Rican Day Parade" heavily features a guy with a laser pointer as a plot point. Laser pointers are treated as novelty objects, and a plotline hinges on a movie theater patron trolling the audience by pointing one at the screen, which was a brief fad in the 90s.
    • Any episodes involving airports due to the fact that the characters are always shown as waiting right outside arrival gates. As well as the fact that it, like any other show set in New York City, is bound to feature a shot of the Twin Towers. The episode "The Airport" in particular would never happen today. George and Kramer are able to buy a ticket at the last minute from the departure gate as opposed to the entrance lobby of the airport, where you have to buy them today, due to security measures instituted after 9/11.
    • When Elaine starts dating a man who shaves his head, Jerry visibly reacts to his appearance and later quips to Elaine, "Is he from the future?" Fittingly, shaved heads would become much more mainstream after a few years.
    • In "The Handicap Spot" Jerry mentions "every big [boxing] fight" in the same breath as the Super Bowl.
    • Averted with Puddy's Martin Brodeur jersey in "The Face Painter". Brodeur went on to play for the New Jersey Devils for two more decades after the episode aired and even after he retired his jersey remains a popular choice with the team's fans.
    • In one episode, George wishes that ketchup and mustard would come in squeeze tubes (similar to toothpaste), though Jerry tells him they do come in squeezable bottles now, though George argues he's never seen such.
    • Keith Hernandez lights up in a bar in "The Boyfriend". Rather dated now that many states have adopted "no indoor smoking" policies.
      • This became dated during the show's run, with Kramer setting up a smoking room in his apartment after having to join smokers outside the coffee shop.
    • Elaine's subplot in "The Contest" has John F. Kennedy Jr. joining her aerobics class, a few years before he died in a plane crash. It's especially uncomfortable when she dreamily says "Elaine Benes Kennedy Jr." considering that JFK Jr.'s wife also died in the plane crash.
    • Newman's rant about how "the mail never stops". With the increased prevalence of paying bills online and less actual letter writing, there is less mail than there used to be, though online shopping has led to an increase in parcel post.
    • In "The Burning" Jerry figures his girlfriend's "tractor story" has to involve a disfigurement, to which George replies "Is she always carrying a pen that she never seems to need?", a reference to Senator and then-recent presidential candidate Bob Dole, whose right arm was paralyzed in World War II, causing him to spend his political career putting a pen in that hand so people wouldn't try to shake it.
    • Kenny Rogers Roasters, a plot point in "The Chicken Roaster", hasn't been a presence in North America since the early 2000's, with its final location in Canada shutting down in 2011. All of its restaurants are now in Malaysia, Philippines, and China.
    • Jerry's haircut in "The Barber" is considered disastrous, with his friends mocking him and the studio audience laughing at the mere sight of it. To a modern audience, it doesn't look that remarkable given that everyone has '90s Hair. Elaine laughing her ass off when she sees the hair makes for an especially jarring scene, given that she has borderline '80s Hair.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito and Nathan Lane were considered for George.
    • Jerry's "friend" character was also going to be a comic, but he and Larry David decided that one standup act at the end was enough, so they changed him to a "guy who hangs out with showbiz people but isn't in showbiz" character.
    • Rosie O'Donnell was considered for the role of Elaine.
    • Elaine's father was intended to be a recurring character, but then they hired the notoriously ill-tempered and intimidating Lawrence Tierney to play him, and after filming the episode, no one wanted to work with him again. Among other things, Jason Alexander and Jerry were genuinely intimidated, and Tierney was seen stealing knives from the apartment set.
    • The waitress Claire in the pilot was meant to be a recurring character, but the producers thought she was too abrasive and the show needed a female lead, so Elaine was written in. Lee Garlington, the actress who played Claire stated once that she thinks another reason why she wasn't asked back is because her and Larry David had disagreements over how Claire should be portrayed. David wanted her to be kinda ditzy, but Lee played her as more deadpan.
    • The writers considered making the Soup Nazi an actual Nazi - according to David Mandel, his colleagues talked about ending the Soup Nazi's episode with the character fleeing to the jungles of Brazil, where he "would return to the other Nazis — the actual former Nazi war criminals — with his soup recipes."
    • "The Sniffing Accountant" has the scene where Kramer chugs a glass of beer while smoking a cigarette. In one unaired take, he lets out an unscripted belch. The staff considered putting the take in the episode but production was laughing too hard from them to use it.
    • There were apparently plans for a Spin-Off about Jackie Chiles, but they fell through.
  • The Wiki Rule: WikiSein, the Seinfeld Wiki.
  • Write What You Know: Festivus was originally a family holiday invented by the father of Dan O'Keefe, who co-wrote The Strike. The O'Keefe Festivus was a very lighthearted Calvinball sort of holiday that was never celebrated exactly the same way twice. For the episode the younger O'Keefe altered it to be more ritualized and to reflect the cantankerous nature of Frank Costanza.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Larry David based the George character off of himself, and many of the plotlines allegedly were based on real life experiences he had, and how he reacted to them.
      (paraphrasing) Jason Alexander: This is ridiculous. This could never happen to someone, and even if it did, no one would react that way.
      Larry David: What are you talking about? It happened to me, and that's exactly how I reacted!
    • Kramer was based on David's neighbor Kenny Kramer.
      • This was even parodied in the series: In "The Muffin Tops", Kramer starts his own bus tour, proclaiming himself to be the real J. Peterman (to differentiate himself from the anecdotes he supplied to J. Peterman's autobiography). This mirrors real life, as Kenny Kramer has run Kramer's Reality Tour and Kramer's Reality Road Show, the gimmick being that he's the real life Kramer.
    • The whole arc about Jerry and George pitching "a show about nothing" to NBC was based on how Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David actually pitched Seinfeld.
    • In addition, Bob Balaban's recurring role of Russell Dalrymple, the fictitious president of NBC who works with Jerry and George on a television pilot and later becomes Elaine's love interest, was modeled on then NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield, who had allowed David and Seinfeld to produce the Seinfeld pilot. Amusingly, Balaban later went on to play Littlefield outright in the 1996 made-for-TV film The Late Shift, a dramatization of the struggles that occurred at NBC when Littlefield selected Jay Leno to replace Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, instead of David Letterman, as well as narrate the audiobook version of Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV, a book Littlefield co-wrote with T.R. Pierson which documented Littlefield's career at NBC.
    • The famous Soup Nazi was based on a real soup kitchen owner in New York. He did not take it well, and banned the entire cast and crew from ever coming to his kitchen, in person no less. Wayne Knight was actually proud of this — he'd eaten there when he lived in New York and would usually have an unpleasant time — and be shortchanged a strawberry. Ironically, Jason Alexander had eaten there a lot too, but never had a bad experience.
      Wayne Knight: The fact that he was so upset by the publicity was great!
      • He got better, though. The Original Soup Man is selling his soup to this day, and today he puts sly references and even the image of his TV counterpart on some of his promotions, though his official 'ordering instructions' now include 'Never say the N word'.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:
    • A relatively small point: declaring Elaine not to be Jewish was something Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld or someone had literally just thought of when the opportunity came to write about "Shiksappeal." She had previously been considered by the writers and inferred by the audience to be Jewish (after all, Julia Louis-Dreyfus herself is Jewish).
    • At the start of Season 7, Larry David had no idea how he would resolve the storyline of George getting engaged to Susan, beyond there being no way they would actually get married.
  • Written by Cast Member: Jerry Seinfeld co-wrote at least one (and usually more than one, especially in the early years) episode in all but the last two seasons.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: