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100 best Seinfeld episodes of all time

Written by:
August 29, 2020
NBC

100 best Seinfeld episodes of all time

NBC’s “Seinfeld” hasn’t lost an ounce of its comedic luster since it first aired on July 5, 1989. The timeless show, created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, upended every conceivable norm that society could throw its way throughout nine seasons. In turn, a sitcom landscape once dominated by family-oriented fare was taken over by four perennially single friends—Jerry (played by himself), George (Jason Alexander), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Kramer (Michael Richards)—whose Manhattan-based misadventures made for some of television’s most memorable moments. It’s no wonder the show still endures by way of reruns or streaming services like Hulu, which paid $160 million for the rights to all 180 episodes in 2015.

Frequently depicted as a show about nothing, “Seinfeld” was, in fact, the opposite. Specifically, the series knit together multiple seemingly unrelated storylines to masterful effect within any given episode, ultimately leaving no subject unexplored. One might even say that “Seinfeld” was so adept at layering plots within plots—and jokes within jokes—that it can be hard to remember which joke came from which episode.

In honor of "Seinfeld," here is Stacker’s list of the 100 best “Seinfeld” episodes of all time. The gallery was curated using IMDb user ratings; if two episodes have the same rating, the number of user votes is used to break the tie. Counting down from #100 to #1, here are the best episodes from one of the most celebrated television comedies of all time.

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1 / 100
NBC

#100. Season 2, Episode 9 - The Deal

- IMDb rating: 8.4
- Air date: May 2, 1991

The romantic relationship between Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine Benes was purely the stuff of backstory over the course of nine seasons, with one notable exception: 1991’s “The Deal.” In this episode, the two formulate a plan that would allow them to enjoy each other’s company as both friends and lovers. Needless to say, the plan doesn’t work out as intended. Written by Larry David, the Emmy-nominated episode poked sly jabs at NBC’s request that there be more romantic friction between Jerry and Elaine.

2 / 100
NBC

#99. Season 3, Episode 1 - The Note

- IMDb rating: 8.4
- Air date: Sept. 18, 1991

The third season of “Seinfeld” opened with “The Note,” one of the few episodes that gave Jerry Seinfeld a writing credit. In the episode, Jerry, Elaine, and George have Jerry’s dentist forge a doctor’s note so that they can all get free massages. Jerry’s massage goes off the rails when he makes some inappropriate comments regarding child abduction, while George suffers a sexual identity crisis after becoming slightly aroused by the expert touch of his male masseuse.

3 / 100
NBC

#98. Season 3, Episode 3 - The Pen

- IMDb rating: 8.4
- Air date: Oct. 2, 1991

In this season three episode, Jerry visits his parents at their senior community in Florida, where he meets an ill-tempered resident named Jack Klompus (played by Sandy Baron). When Klompus insists that Jerry take a beloved space pen as a gift, Jerry begrudgingly accepts, putting all sorts of problems in motion—some of which would play out over the course of future episodes. This was one of the only episodes not to feature all four of the show’s main characters.

4 / 100
NBC

#97. Season 7, Episode 21 - The Wait Out

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: May 9, 1996

By the seventh season, any given episode of “Seinfeld” was straddling multiple storylines at once—“The Wait Out” being no exception. The episode begins with George’s off-hand comment—“You can do a lot better than him!”—to a recurring character who’s about to get married, prompting her to reconsider the engagement. Meanwhile, Kramer struggles to fit into a pair of jeans, which invariably leads to at least two different situational mishaps.

5 / 100
NBC

#96. Season 9, Episode 17 - The Bookstore

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: April 9, 1998

As popular as “Seinfeld” was for its four famous leads, the show’s numerous recurring characters had just as much to do with its massive success. Among those recurring characters: Jerry’s Uncle Leo, who demonstrates a habit for stealing books in the ninth season's episode, “The Bookstore.” Exhibiting additional poor bookstore etiquette is George, who tries desperately to return a book after reading it in the restroom.

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6 / 100
NBC

#95. Season 8, Episode 10 - The Andrea Doria

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Dec. 19, 1996

In the eighth season's episode, “The Andrea Doria,” George is set to move in to a new apartment until the building’s tenant association decides to lease it to a boat wreck survivor instead. Meanwhile, Elaine finds herself dating a man who’s notoriously bad at break-ups, with multiple injuries to show for it. The episode also features Jerry’s neighbor and arch nemesis, Newman (played by Wayne Knight), who must deliver a massive volume of delinquent mail in order to secure a transfer to Hawaii. Seizing the opportunity to get Newman out of his life, Jerry delivers the mail instead, but the plan backfires after Jerry does the job a little too well.

7 / 100
NBC

#94. Season 9, Episode 9 - The Apology

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Dec. 11, 1997

Jerry’s rotating door of girlfriends was a running gag on “Seinfeld,” with a new love interest appearing on a near-weekly basis. In this episode, Jerry’s girlfriend distinguishes herself in the most unexpected of ways: by never wearing clothes around the apartment. At first, Jerry delights at the prospect, until he discovers that some bodily gestures are best left to the imagination. As usual, that’s just one of numerous plot lines running through the episode, which also has George aggressively seeking an apology from an ex-alcoholic, Kramer cooking dinner in the shower, and Elaine causing her germaphobe co-worker significant distress.

8 / 100
NBC

#93. Season 6, Episode 19 - The Doodle

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: April 6, 1995

In this episode, the girl of George’s dreams draws an unflattering doodle of him, telling Elaine that “looks aren’t important” to her. While initially put off by the insult, George eventually comes around, especially after realizing he can drape himself in velvet without losing her interest. Having a less-productive week is Jerry, who finds himself handling a flea infestation. Who could have brought fleas into the apartment? He wonders. The answer, of course, is Newman.

9 / 100
NBC

#92. Season 7, Episode 8 - The Pool Guy

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Nov. 16, 1995

Worlds collide in “The Pool Guy,” which sees Elaine forging a friendship with George’s fiancée, Susan (played by Heidi Swedberg). As George explains, Susan can never be part of their gang, if only because it ruins his ability to compartmentalize between “independent George" and “relationship George." Meanwhile, Jerry has his own problems. Specifically, he can’t rid himself of the pool guy from his gym, who seems to be under the impression that the two are great friends.

10 / 100
NBC

#91. Season 9, Episode 12 - The Reverse Peephole

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Jan. 15, 1998

While “Seinfeld” delivered big laughs all the way until the end—the ninth season played host to some of its sillier storylines. For proof, look no further than “The Reverse Peephole,” in which Kramer installs a peephole that allows visitors to look inside the apartment, as opposed to other way around. As one might expect, the idea quickly backfires. Meanwhile, Elaine lands herself in hot water after throwing what she thinks is her boyfriend’s fur coat out the window at a party.

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11 / 100
NBC

#90. Season 6, Episode 17 - The Doorman

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Feb. 23, 1995

Jerry and Elaine square off against a diabolical doorman (played by Larry Miller) in this iconic sixth season episode. It begins when Elaine is asked to house-sit for her boss, Mr. Pitt (played by Ian Abercrombie), who lives in a fancy building. Jerry comes to pick up Elaine for a movie, and is convinced by the surly doorman to watch the lobby for a few minutes, only to quickly abandon his post. When a couch is stolen, Jerry and Elaine finds themselves embroiled in the theft.

12 / 100
NBC

#89. Season 8, Episode 11 - The Little Jerry

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Jan. 9, 1997

In this eighth season episode, Jerry bounces a clown-themed check at the local deli, which is then put on display for all to see. The only way Jerry can get his dignity back is if Kramer’s new rooster, “Little Jerry,” purposely loses its next fight. As if that weren’t ridiculous enough, George chances upon the stuff of his wildest fantasies after striking up a sexual relationship with a female prison inmate.

13 / 100
NBC

#88. Season 7, Episode 9 - The Sponge

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Dec. 7, 1995

Elaine’s favorite contraceptive, the sponge, is being taken off the market in this classic seventh season episode. To play it safe, Elaine buys up every remaining sponge in the city, then finds herself struggling to determine whether her new boyfriend is truly “sponge-worthy.” In the same episode, Jerry snags a woman’s phone number off an AIDS charity walk list, then works overtime to keep the information from George—who has a habit of sharing secrets with Susan.

14 / 100
NBC

#87. Season 4, Episode 22 - The Handicap Spot

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: May 13, 1993

In this fourth season episode, the gang finds itself in the crosshairs of an angry mob after George parks his father’s car in a handicap spot, inadvertently causing injury to a woman in a wheelchair. When it initially aired, this was the first episode to feature Jerry Stiller as George’s father, Frank Costanza. For the sake of continuity, the crew went back and re-shot scenes from previous episodes, substituting Stiller for his predecessor (actor John Randolph).

15 / 100
NBC

#86. Season 4, Episode 4 - The Ticket

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Sept. 16, 1992

The fourth season of “Seinfeld” saw Larry David and company exploring new creative terrain, with Jerry and George pitching their own “Seinfeld”-esque show. In “The Ticket,” Jerry and George meet with NBC executives to discuss their sitcom idea. Along the way, they keep an eye out for Crazy Joe Davola (played by Peter Crombie), a pathological stalker who kicked Kramer in the head during the previous episode. As a result of the kick, Kramer now suffers from a temporary mental disorder.

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16 / 100
NBC

#85. Season 5, Episode 3 - The Glasses

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Sept. 30, 1993

In this fifth season episode, poor eyesight strings together a series of comedic storylines. It all starts when George loses his glasses at the health club, and then sees who he thinks is Jerry’s girlfriend kissing Jerry’s cousin. Hoping to replace the glasses at a discount, George visits an optometrist who owes Kramer a favor, eventually walking out with a pair of women’s glasses. While tagging along, Elaine is bitten by a dog, and soon begins to exhibit psychosomatic signs of rabies.

17 / 100
NBC

#84. Season 4, Episode 2 - The Trip: Part 2

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Aug. 19, 1992

Representing a radical departure for “Seinfeld,” seasons three and four delivered a three-part story arc in which Kramer moves to Los Angeles to pursue acting, and ends up being mistaken for a serial killer known as the “Smog Strangler.” The action culminates in “The Trip: Part Two,” with Jerry and George trying to clear their friend’s name. Look for cameos from Larry David, and writer and director Larry Charles, both of whom appear in the background during an apartment hallway scene.

18 / 100
NBC

#83. Season 5, Episode 10 - The Cigar Store Indian

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Dec. 9, 1993

Exploring themes of cultural appropriation and political correctness, Jerry buys a cigar store Indian in this fifth season episode, and presents it to Elaine as a gift. This doesn’t bode well for Jerry’s current crush, a friend of Elaine’s who happens to be Native American. The episode finds Jerry walking on eggshells as he tries to avoid common phrases that might be construed as racially insensitive. Things take a turn for the worse when the woman asks for her TV Guide back after telling Jerry he could keep it, which prompts Jerry to nearly utter a harsh colloquialism.

19 / 100
NBC

#82. Season 3, Episode 22 - The Parking Space

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: April 22, 1992

In this season three episode, everyone is supposed to be watching the big fight at Jerry’s apartment. Instead, all eyes are focused on a different kind of fight going down curbside. Specifically, George and a man named Mike Moffitt (played by Lee Arenberg) bicker over the rights to a parking spot, since one man was backing into the spot while the other was sliding in front-first. Every onlooker—including two police officers—take sides in the dispute, which was inspired by an incident that happened to writer Greg Daniels’ father.

20 / 100
NBC

#81. Season 3, Episode 16 - The Fix Up

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Feb. 5, 1992

In this Emmy-winning episode, George reluctantly agrees to be fixed up on a date with Elaine’s close friend, Cynthia (played by Maggie Wheeler). While George initially fears the worst, he and Cynthia end up hitting it off, getting romantic in George’s kitchen. As it turns out, however, both parties didn’t necessarily see the date in the same light, and the episode becomes an interesting play on perspectives.

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21 / 100
NBC

#80. Season 3, Episode 11 - The Alternate Side

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Dec. 4, 1991

In this unforgettable season three episode, Kramer is cast in a Woody Allen movie and tasked with delivering one line of dialogue: “These pretzels are making me thirsty.” The film shoot proceeds to take its toll on George, who has agreed to park cars on behalf of the block’s residents, in order to help them avoid tickets. Also featured in the episode is a famous sequence involving Jerry and a car rental agent, who doesn’t seem to have a car available despite the fact that Jerry made a reservation.

22 / 100
NBC

#79. Season 3, Episode 12 - The Red Dot

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Dec. 11, 1991

George initially struggled to find work during the early seasons of “Seinfeld,” before scoring a sweet job with the New York Yankees. In this season three episode, Elaine helps out by getting George a job at her company, Pendant Publishing. How does George thank her? By buying her a defective sweater and sleeping with the cleaning lady, naturally.

23 / 100
NBC

#78. Season 2, Episode 7 - The Revenge

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: April 18, 1991

Showing an early knack for straddling multiple storylines before the device was popularized, this season two episode finds George, Jerry, and Kramer plotting revenge against the people who wronged them. In George’s case, it’s his former boss, and for Jerry and Kramer, a dry cleaner who may have stolen money. Newman is first introduced as a character in this episode; however, he’s voiced by Larry David and doesn’t appear on-screen.

24 / 100
NBC

#77. Season 2, Episode 3 - The Jacket

- IMDb rating: 8.5
- Air date: Feb. 6, 1991

In season two’s “The Jacket,” audiences meet Elaine’s surly father for the first and only time. Played by Lawrence Tierney with perhaps a little too much authenticity, Mr. Benes doesn’t take kindly to Jerry or George and their light-hearted, humorous ways. According to legend, Tierney was originally supposed to have a recurring role on the show, but his bizarre behavior on set convinced the cast it was better not to invite him back.

25 / 100
NBC

#76. Season 7, Episode 15 - The Shower Head

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Feb. 15, 1996

Playing out one of Jerry’s worst nightmares, this season seven episode has his parents visiting New York, pestering him on a daily basis. To get his parents back to Florida, Jerry resorts to shamelessly deceptive measures. The plan goes awry, however, after the Costanzas decide to move into the same Florida living community as the Seinfelds, prompting the Seinfelds to rethink their entire agenda. Meanwhile, Kramer and Newman buy super-powerful shower heads, and Elaine’s drug test comes back positive for opium.

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26 / 100
NBC

#75. Season 9, Episode 7 - The Slicer

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Nov. 13, 1997

After losing his job with the Yankees, George is once again looking for work in season nine, and potentially finding it at a company called Kruger Industrial Smoothing. The only problem is that George and his new boss were involved in a contentious showdown at the beach years ago, and it’s only a matter of time before the boss remembers. Facing her own ordeal is Elaine, whose neighbor went on vacation and forgot to turn off the alarm. After blowing the neighbor’s electrical fuse, Elaine discovers that she killed both the alarm and the automatic cat feeder. Enter: Kramer’s deli slicer, which she and Kramer use to slide meat under the neighbor’s door.

27 / 100
NBC

#74. Season 7, Episode 7 - The Secret Code

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Nov. 9, 1995

The word “Bosco” was never quite the same after this hilarious season seven episode. More than a popular chocolate sauce, “Bosco” is George’s secret bank code, which he refuses to disclose to even his closest friends. In a moment of weakness, George tells the code to J. Peterman’s ailing mother, who utters it over and over again before passing away. Peterman (played by John O'Hurley) becomes obsessed with the word, sending George into a panic.

28 / 100
NBC

#73. Season 6, Episode 22 - The Face Painter

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: May 11, 1995

One of the show’s most memorable guest characters was David Puddy (played by Patrick Warburton), Elaine’s on-again-off-again boyfriend during the later seasons. In season six’s “The Face Painter,” Puddy shows off his New Jersey Devils pride, traumatizing a priest in the process. Meanwhile, George boldly professes his love for a zookeeper, but can’t tell if she heard what he said. Also featured in the episode is a battle of wills: Kramer versus a monkey at the zoo.

29 / 100
NBC

#72. Season 7, Episode 14 - The Cadillac

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Feb. 8, 1996

A special hour-long episode, divided into two parts, season seven’s “The Cadillac” follows Jerry as he heads down to Florida to gift his dad a fancy new car. The gift doesn’t exactly go as planned, however, with everyone in the neighborhood suddenly thinking Jerry’s dad is too good for them. Back in New York, George goes on a date with actress Marisa Tomei, despite the fact that he’s engaged.

30 / 100
NBC

#71. Season 5, Episode 18 - The Raincoats

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: April 28, 1994

Another hour-long episode split into two parts, season five’s “The Raincoats” finds Jerry’s parents stopping in New York on their way to Paris. While in the city, Mr. Seinfeld gets back into the raincoat business, after discovering that a coat he once designed is surging on the second-hand market. In the meantime, the Seinfelds scheme their way out of dinner with the Costanzas, who they “can’t stand.”

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31 / 100
NBC

#70. Season 9, Episode 1 - The Butter Shave

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Sept. 25, 1997

Season nine opens with George on the hunt for a new job, and Kramer on the hunt for a better shave. George ends up at a toy company, where he becomes persona non grata after faking an injury in order to use a better bathroom. Kramer ends up slathering himself in butter, lying out on the rooftop and overcooking himself.

32 / 100
NBC

#69. Season 9, Episode 2 - The Voice

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Oct. 2, 1997

In this season nine episode, Jerry and his friends poke fun at his new girlfriend’s navel, personifying it with a voice that says “Helloooo! La la la.” When the girlfriend finds out, she delivers an ultimatum: either the voice goes, or she does. Jerry is suddenly confronted with a very difficult, very mature decision.

33 / 100
NBC

#68. Season 5, Episode 6 - The Lip Reader

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Oct. 28, 1993

In this season five episode, Jerry starts dating a deaf lineswoman (played by deaf actress Marlee Matlin), who has the ability to read lips. After George catches wind of her talent, he asks her to read lips on his behalf, hoping he can figure out why he was spontaneously dumped by a former lover. Series writer Carol Leifer came up with the idea after listening to deaf comedian Kathy Buckley tell a similar story on “The Howard Stern Show.”

34 / 100
NBC

#67. Season 3, Episode 23 - The Keys

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: May 6, 1992

In the season three finale, the first of a three-part story arc, Jerry kicks off a series of mishaps after asking Kramer for his spare keys back. Feeling disillusioned by the whole ordeal, Kramer leaves New York for Los Angeles at the end of the episode. Consider it the closest “Seinfeld” ever got to a genuine cliffhanger.

35 / 100
NBC

#66. Season 4, Episode 21 - The Smelly Car

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: April 15, 1993

“It’s a presence! It’s the beast!” declares Jerry in this season four episode. He’s describing the virulent, indestructible smell that a parking valet left in his car. Meanwhile, George bumps in to his old girlfriend—and future fiancée—Susan, only to discover she’s now dating women. Susan ends up with relationship troubles of her own, however, once her girlfriend goes running in to Kramer’s arms.

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36 / 100
NBC

#65. Season 4, Episode 8 - The Cheever Letters

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Oct. 28, 1992

In this season four episode, Jerry gives dirty bedroom talk his best shot, and upsets his date in the process. Similarly out of her element is Susan, who discovers that her father once had a torrid love affair with author John Cheever. As luck would have it, the secret never would have come out had Kramer not burned down her father’s cabin in a previous episode.

37 / 100
NBC

#64. Season 9, Episode 16 - The Burning

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: March 19, 1998

In this episode, George learns the value of leaving the room on a comedic high note. Elsewhere, Kramer and his friend Mickey Abbott (played by Danny Woodburn) fight over roles while acting out diseases for medical students. Speaking of diseases, Jerry’s girlfriend of the week believe she once contracted an STD after riding a tractor. Meanwhile, Elaine suffers deep disappointment upon discovering that Puddy is religious.

38 / 100
NBC

#63. Season 3, Episode 7 - The Cafe

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Nov. 6, 1991

Jerry offers what he thinks is sage advice in this episode when a Pakistani man named Babu Bhatt (played by Brian George) opens a restaurant in the neighborhood. Taking Jerry’s suggestions to heart, Babu redesigns his menu, and begins serving authentic Pakistani food. When the restaurant still fails, Jerry wonders if maybe his pearls of wisdom weren’t so wise after all. Meanwhile, Elaine helps George cheat on an IQ test, only to botch the answers.

39 / 100
NBC

#62. Season 3, Episode 14 - The Pez Dispenser

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Jan. 15, 1992

In this episode, a Pez dispenser causes Elaine to burst into laughter at George’s girlfriend’s piano recital. Luckily for George, his girlfriend doesn’t know where the laughter came from, at least not for the time being. When she eventually finds out, she breaks up with George, taking away his short-lived upper hand.

40 / 100
NBC

#61. Season 5, Episode 7 - The Non-Fat Yogurt

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Nov. 4, 1993

A non-fat yogurt trend has taken New York by storm in this season five episode. As it turns out, however, the yogurt might not be as free of fat as it purports. That might explain Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s high cholesterol. Well, that or the fact that a scientist tainted Giuliani’s blood while making out with Kramer.

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41 / 100
NBC

#60. Season 2, Episode 4 - The Phone Message

- IMDb rating: 8.6
- Air date: Feb. 13, 1991

This season two episode sees George in quite the predicament upon leaving a series of awkward voice messages on a woman’s answering machine. Upon discovering that the woman has been away for a few days and presumably out of contact with her machine, George and Jerry concoct a scheme to replace the answering machine tape before she can press play. Larry David reportedly based this plot on a similar, real-life incident.

42 / 100
NBC

#59. Season 7, Episode 12 - The Caddy

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Jan. 25, 1996

In this episode, Kramer and Jerry get into a car crash after being distracted by Sue Ellen Mischke (played by Brenda Strong), a formerly braless candy bar heiress who now wears a bra—a gift from Elaine—as a top. With his golf swing compromised from the crash, Kramer takes Sue Ellen Mischke to court, where his caddy suggests that she try on the bra that distracted them. In an obvious nod to the O.J. Simpson trial, the bra doesn’t fit and the lawsuit falls apart.

43 / 100
NBC

#58. Season 6, Episode 12 - The Label Maker

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Jan. 19, 1995

Before earning accolades for his roles on shows like “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Breaking Bad,” actor Bryan Cranston played dentist Dr. Tim Whatley on “Seinfeld.” In this season six episode, Elaine discovers that Dr. Whatley re-gifted a label-maker that she once gave him. When she confronts him about the gift, they end up making out on Whatley’s doorstep. Speaking of romance, George has found himself a new girlfriend, and she has a dream apartment featuring a luxe velvet couch. The only catch is that the girlfriend lives with a roommate who looks just like George.

44 / 100
NBC

#57. Season 8, Episode 15 - The Susie

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Feb. 13, 1997

Larry David exited “Seinfeld” after the seventh season, but that didn’t stop the eighth season from churning out some of the show’s most iconic episodes. Among them was “The Susie,” in which Elaine gets mistaken by a co-worker for someone named Susie. Once the situation escalates, Elaine and Jerry realize they have no choice but to kill off the non-existent woman. The episode ends at Susie’s funeral, where J. Peterman confesses that he and the actual Susie were once an item, and Jerry and Elaine are accused of murder.

45 / 100
NBC

#56. Season 8, Episode 17 - The English Patient

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: March 13, 1997

Another eighth season classic, this episode finds Elaine at odds with just about everyone over her negative opinion of the award-winning film, “The English Patient.” Meanwhile, Jerry visits his parents’ gym in Florida, where he meets an uber-competitive 80-year-old man named Izzy Mandelbaum (played by Lloyd Bridges). Izzy throws out his back lifting weights and ends up in the hospital, soon joined by his own son and father. That’s bad news for the Mandelbaum crepe franchise, which now needs people to roll the crepes. There to fill the void are several Dominican cigar rollers sourced by Kramer. As if that wasn’t enough plot already, the episode also features a storyline where George begins dating a woman far out of his league, after she mistakes him for a previous boyfriend.

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46 / 100
NBC

#55. Season 9, Episode 11 - The Dealership

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Jan. 8, 1998

Revisiting a tradition established during the early days of “Seinfeld,” this season nine episode centers most of its action in an alternate location. As the title suggests, that location is a car dealership, which Jerry visits in hopes of getting a nice discount from Puddy, who works there. Joining Jerry for the occasion is Elaine—who fights with Puddy, and George—who fights with an auto mechanic over candy bars. Meanwhile, Kramer pushes the concept of a test drive to its furthest limits, potentially costing a salesman his job in the process.

47 / 100
NBC

#54. Season 7, Episode 1 - The Engagement

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Sept. 21, 1995

Season seven’s premiere episode presented viewers with long-term commitment, a concept they never expected to play out on “Seinfeld.” Specifically, the episode finds George proposing to former girlfriend Susan Ross, kicking off an arc that would run through the entire season. On the opposite side of the tracks is Elaine, who hires Kramer and Newman to kidnap a dog that’s been keeping her up at night, and subsequently wonders if she’s hit rock bottom.

48 / 100
NBC

#53. Season 8, Episode 22 - The Summer of George

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: May 15, 1997

It’s “The Summer of George” in the eighth season finale, which finds George receiving a severance package, setting proactive goals and failing to achieve most of them. In the same episode, Kramer serves as a seat-filler at the Tony Awards, and gets whisked on stage to accept an award he didn’t earn. As it turns out, Kramer can keep the award under one condition: that he fire the notoriously difficult Raquel Welch from a play. The episode climaxes with George slipping on the stairs and ending up in the hospital, closely mirroring the seventh season finale.

49 / 100
NBC

#52. Season 8, Episode 21 - The Muffin Tops

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: May 8, 1997

In this season eight episode, George is mistaken for a tourist by an attractive woman from the tourist bureau, and decides to go along with it, a move that ultimately costs him his cushy job with the New York Yankees. Elsewhere, Elaine and her former boss go into business selling muffin tops, and end up with too many stumps on their hands. There to help is Kramer, who’s started a reality bus tour after having all his life stories stolen by J. Peterman. Providing the real-life inspiration for Kramer’s tour was Kenny Kramer, Larry David’s former neighbor, who launched a similar enterprise when “Seinfeld” was at the height of its success.

50 / 100
NBC

#51. Season 5, Episode 15 - The Pie

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Feb. 17, 1994

Inspired by one of Jerry Seinfeld’s personal experiences, this season five episode finds Jerry on a date with a woman who refuses to taste a piece of pie, and likewise refuses to say why. The episode introduces guest character Poppie (played by Reni Santoni), an emphatic restaurant owner with questionable hygiene. Also featured in the episode is a mannequin that bears a striking resemblance to Elaine.

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51 / 100
NBC

#50. Season 4, Episode 13 - The Pick

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Dec. 16, 1992

Embarrassment abounds in this season four episode. Elaine sends out a personalized Christmas card that ends up being a little too personal. Then, Jerry’s girlfriend thinks she sees him picking his nose, which more or less ends the relationship. That same girlfriend works at Calvin Klein, which has a new beach-themed fragrance on the market: Ocean. The only problem is Kramer thought of the idea first.

52 / 100
NBC

#49. Season 5, Episode 12 - The Stall

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Jan. 6, 1994

Jerry’s girlfriend Jane (played by Jami Gertz) won’t share her toilet paper, and doesn’t have a “square to spare” in this season five episode, when Elaine begs for one from the adjacent bathroom stall. To avoid a potential disaster, Jerry goes to great lengths to keep Jane and Elaine apart. Speaking of disaster, George and Kramer go rock-climbing with Elaine’s boyfriend, Tony, who ends up falling and smashing his handsome face.

53 / 100
NBC

#48. Season 5, Episode 1 - The Mango

- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Air date: Sept. 16, 1993

In the season five premiere, Jerry suffers a sexual identity crisis when Elaine reveals that she faked pleasure during some of their previous encounters. To make up for it, Jerry persuades Elaine to give him one last chance in the bedroom, where he struggles to perform. Perhaps one of Kramer’s mangos, supposedly an aphrodisiac, will help.

54 / 100
NBC

#47. Season 8, Episode 5 - The Package

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Oct. 17, 1996

In this episode, Jerry and Kramer commit mail fraud, triggering an intense showdown with Newman at the post office. George and Elaine have their own respective adventures. For George, that means engaging in what he thinks is a tit-for-tat picture exchange with an attractive girl at the photo place. For Elaine, it’s searching all over New York for a doctor who will tend to her rash, and coming up empty-handed after being labeled as “difficult” on her medical report.

55 / 100
NBC

#46. Season 8, Episode 16 - The Pothole

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Feb. 20, 1997

Future “Sex and the City” star Kristin Davis appears as Jerry’s girl of the week, Jenna, in this season eight episode. What could very well be a slightly longer relationship is derailed after Jenna uses a toothbrush that falls in the toilet. For Jerry—a perpetual neat freak—it’s simply too much to handle. The tables are turned, however, when Jenna puts something of Jerry’s in the toilet, and doesn’t tell him what. When both parties agree to move past the issue, the relationship finally seems back on track, until Jenna’s sewage pipes explode while she’s in the bathroom.

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56 / 100
NBC

#45. Season 7, Episode 5 - The Hot Tub

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Oct. 19, 1995

In this season seven episode, Jeremiah Birkett plays Jean-Paul, a professional runner who once overslept on the morning of an important Olympic race, missing the event. Jean-Paul is now staying at Elaine’s for the New York City Marathon, but Jerry doesn’t trust Elaine with timekeeping duties. Taking the runner under his wing, Jerry gets increasingly paranoid that he’ll fail to get Jean-Paul up in time for the race. Practically ensuring as much is Kramer’s infamous hot tub, which blows a fuse in the building, setting back all the clocks.

57 / 100
NBC

#44. Season 7, Episode 4 - The Wink

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Oct. 12, 1995

A squirt of juice from a grapefruit causes George to develop an uncontrollable winking habit in this season seven episode. Misconstruing one of George’s winks is Kramer, who consequently sells a birthday card signed by the New York Yankees, meant for Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The card ends up in the hands of a little boy, who’s willing to give it back if Paul O’Neill hits two home runs in the next game.

58 / 100
NBC

#43. Season 8, Episode 13 - The Comeback

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Jan. 30, 1997

In this episode, George gets one-upped at a business meeting, and simply refuses to the let the insult go. Armed with what he thinks is the perfect response, he proposes all sorts of crazy business ideas to management in hopes of landing another meeting with the man who insulted him. When the moment finally arrives, George is one-upped again. Left with no other choice, George proclaims, “Oh yeah? Well, I had sex with your wife!” only to find out the man’s wife is in a coma.

59 / 100
NBC

#42. Season 7, Episode 10 - The Gum

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Dec. 14, 1995

Lunacy is in the air in this season seven episode, which sees the return of guest character Lloyd Braun (now played by Matt McCoy). Having just been released from a psychiatric institution, Braun seeks a mentor in Kramer, who’s overseeing the re-opening of a revival movie theater. Experiencing his own mental breakdown is George, who’s convinced that a cashier at the diner shorted him $20. Jerry’s not having such a normal day either—he did just buy $100 worth of Chinese gum, after all.

60 / 100
NBC

#41. Season 4, Episode 3 - The Pitch

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Sept. 16, 1992

While the “Seinfeld” writers frequently modeled their story ideas after real-life experiences, Larry David took that concept to the next level in season four, when he incorporated a story arc based loosely on the show’s own origins. Kicking off the arc is episode three, “The Pitch,” in which George and Jerry put together a sitcom “based on nothing.” The sitcom television landscape—and “Seinfeld” itself—was never quite the same.

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61 / 100
NBC

#40. Season 5, Episode 19 - The Fire

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: May 5, 1994

Starring Jon Favreau as Eric the clown, this season five episode takes George’s self-centeredness to some truly shameless lengths. It begins when a fire breaks out during a boy’s birthday party. George—who’s dating the boy’s mother—swiftly adopts an “every man for himself” attitude, pummeling both old women and young children on his way out the door. In other words: classic George.

62 / 100
NBC

#39. Season 4, Episode 19 - The Implant

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Feb. 25, 1993

In this episode, Jerry has mammaries on the mind, as he struggles to figure out whether or not a girl named Sidra (played by Teri Hatcher) has breast implants. To get to the bottom—or top—of things, he enlists help from Elaine, who accidentally lunges at Sidra’s bosom in the gym sauna. Despite the encounter, Elaine’s diagnosis remains inconclusive. When Jerry’s plot is eventually exposed, Sidra heads out the door, but not before informing Jerry that “they’re real, and they’re spectacular.”

63 / 100
NBC

#38. Season 4, Episode 23 - The Pilot

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: May 20, 1993

Not to be confused with the show’s actual season one pilot, season four’s “The Pilot,” an hour-long episode, sees Jerry and George’s sitcom finally hitting the airwaves. No longer exclusively a show about nothing, “Jerry” stars Jerry himself in the lead role: a middle-aged New Yorker who ends up with a court-ordered butler on his hands. After being viewed by a swath of “Seinfeld" characters, the pilot is canceled abruptly by NBC. Thankfully, “Seinfeld” didn’t suffer a similar fate when it first aired in 1989, despite low ratings at the time.

64 / 100
NBC

#37. Season 3, Episode 18 - The Boyfriend Part 2

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Feb. 12, 1992

“Seinfeld” offered no shortage of celebrity cameos over the course of its nine seasons, with New York Mets baseball player Keith Hernandez among the most notable. In “The Boyfriend Part 2,” Hernandez continues his bromance with Jerry, and his romance with Elaine. Meanwhile, Kramer and Newman pursue the “second spitter theory,” a JFK-style conspiracy involving Hernandez and a magic loogie.

65 / 100
NBC

#36. Season 3, Episode 8 - The Tape

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Nov. 13, 1991

In this season three episode, George orders an experimental cream from China in an attempt to reverse his baldness. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. As for Jerry, he’s preoccupied with a tape he recorded during his most recent stand-up routine, which features seductive utterings from a mysterious woman. As it turns out, the woman is Elaine, who was completely joking when she made the recording. Nevertheless, Jerry, George, and Kramer become suddenly infatuated with their dirty-minded friend.

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66 / 100
NBC

#35. Season 3, Episode 5 - The Library

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: Oct. 16, 1991

The closest “Seinfeld” ever got to “Rashomon” was this season three episode, in which Jerry swears he returned “The Tropic of Cancer” back to the library in 1971. After speaking with some people from his past, however, Jerry realizes his memory might not be as sharp as he thought. Putting on the pressure is a library cop named Sam Bookman, played brilliantly by actor Philip Baker Hall. By the end of the episode, Jerry and George are no closer to finding out what happened to the book. Just before the credits roll, it’s revealed that the book ended up in the hands of their old gym coach, Mr. Heyman, who’s now homeless and living outside the library.

67 / 100
NBC

#34. Season 2, Episode 11 - The Chinese Restaurant

- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Air date: May 23, 1991

Reportedly inspired by Larry David’s own experiences waiting for a table at Los Angeles restaurant Genghis Cohen, this groundbreaking season two episode similarly finds Jerry and the gang waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant. And that’s pretty much the whole premise. For somewhat obvious reasons, NBC initially balked at the idea, until David threatened to quit the show. In the end, David won, and television history was made.

68 / 100
NBC

#33. Season 7, Episode 22 - The Invitations

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: May 16, 1996

Season seven ended on a rather dark—albeit thoroughly comedic—note with “The Invitations.” In the episode, George is crippled by stress over his upcoming wedding, then granted a last-minute reprieve when Susan spontaneously passes away. The cause of her death? Licking the poisonous envelopes for their wedding invitations, naturally. Not including the series finale, this was the last episode written by Larry David before he exited the show.

69 / 100
NBC

#32. Season 7, Episode 20 - The Bottle Deposit

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: May 2, 1996

Yet another two-part episode, “The Bottle Deposit” follows Kramer and Newman as they embark on a cross-country journey in a mail truck, all to play the margins in a bottle deposit scheme—which, as it turns out, is illegal in real life. The plan is compromised when Kramer spots Jerry’s stolen car and hastily gives chase, only to have JFK’s golf clubs thrown at the mail truck windshield. Abandoning the truck, Kramer and Newman make their way to a farm, where chaos naturally ensues.

70 / 100
NBC

#31. Season 6, Episode 20 - The Fusilli Jerry

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: April 27, 1995

The first episode to feature David Puddy as Elaine’s boyfriend, “The Fusilli Jerry” has Puddy imitating one of Jerry’s sexual “moves.” Feeling like he’s had material stolen, Jerry demands that Puddy stop using the move. In response, Puddy comes up with his own move, which is described by Elaine as a “big-budget movie with a story that goes nowhere.” Meanwhile, Kramer makes a name for himself as the “A**man,” and also makes a pasta statue of Jerry that ends up in Mr. Costanza’s rear end. Fun times.

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71 / 100
NBC

#30. Season 9, Episode 10 - The Strike

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: Dec. 18, 1997

While called “The Strike” in honor of Kramer’s temporary job—and subsequent strike—at a New York bagel store, this season nine episode is better-known for introducing the world to Festivus. What is Festivus exactly? A holiday that George’s father invented, involving a series of bizarre rituals, including wrestling matches known as “feats of strength.” As Elaine says with regards to George’s often inexplicable personality: “another piece of the puzzle falls into place.”

72 / 100
NBC

#29. Season 4, Episode 20 - The Junior Mint

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: March 17, 1993

In this episode, Elaine visits an ex-boyfriend named Roy in the hospital, to find that he’s whipped himself into shape in the time since they broke up. They make plans to get together after Roy’s surgery, but things take a turn for the worse after Kramer and Jerry—who are watching the surgery from a viewing deck—accidentally drop a Junior Mint into Roy’s body. Meanwhile, Jerry has his own problems, in that he can’t remember the name of the girl he’s dating, despite her clue that it rhymes with a female body part. Mulva?

73 / 100
NBC

#28. Season 3, Episode 13 - The Subway

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: Jan. 8, 1992

Another episode largely centered around a central location—or in this case, four separate locations—“The Subway” chronicles the misadventures of the show’s four main characters as they ride four respective subway cars. For Jerry, that means sitting across from a naked man. For George: getting swindled by a subway siren.

74 / 100
NBC

#27. Season 3, Episode 17 - The Boyfriend Part 1

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: Feb. 12, 1992

Sparks fly in “The Boyfriend Part 1,” first between Jerry and former Major League Baseball star Keith Hernandez, then between Hernandez and Elaine. Suddenly, Jerry and Elaine find themselves battling for his affection. Meanwhile, Kramer and Newman discuss the time Hernandez hit them both with a single loogie, wondering aloud if there was, in fact, a second spitter.

75 / 100
NBC

#26. Season 4, Episode 7 - The Bubble Boy

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: Oct. 7, 1992

In this legendary episode, Jerry, Elaine, George, and Susan head up to Susan’s family’s cabin, but not before stopping at a house along the way. Residing in the house is a young boy named Donald, a huge fan of Jerry’s who happens to live in a plastic bubble for medical reasons. After losing Jerry on the road, George and Susan arrive alone at Donald’s house, where a bitter match of Trivial Pursuit ensues.

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76 / 100
NBC

#25. Season 3, Episode 6 - The Parking Garage

- IMDb rating: 8.9
- Air date: Oct. 30, 1991

Another episode in the location-based tradition, “The Parking Space” finds Jerry and the gang lost in a mall parking garage. While trying to remember where they parked, Jerry gets caught publicly urinating, and Elaine’s goldfish dies. At the end of the episode, they finally find the car only to discover that the engine won’t start.

77 / 100
NBC

#24. Season 8, Episode 18 - The Nap

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: April 10, 1997

George Costanza might be a lazy sociopath, but that doesn’t mean he can’t experience the occasional flash of brilliance. Proving as much is “The Nap,” in which George has a special compartment built into his office desk, allowing him to take midday naps without getting caught. The plans goes awry when Steinbrenner plants himself in George’s office and refuses to leave until George appears.

78 / 100
NBC

#23. Season 7, Episode 19 - The Calzone

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: April 25, 1996

In this episode, George spontaneously finds himself on Steinbrenner’s good side, thanks exclusively to the calzones they both eat for lunch every day. However, once a tipping fiasco gets George banned from the Italian restaurant that makes the calzones, George turns to Newman, and then Kramer, for help. As one might expect, things don’t go exactly as planned, especially after Kramer shows up at the restaurant with a sack full of pennies.

79 / 100
NBC

#22. Season 7, Episode 11 - The Rye

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Jan. 4, 1996

Representing a bona fide recipe for disaster, George’s parents come over for dinner at Susan’s parents’ apartment, bringing a loaf of rye bread as a gift. When they realize the bread was not served, the Costanzas take it back, causing George to look bad by association. Eager to make it appear as if the loaf never left the apartment, George and Jerry concoct a scheme involving a fishing rod and Kramer’s horse. What could go wrong?

80 / 100
NBC

#21. Season 9, Episode 18 - The Frogger

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: April 23, 1998

In this episode, George and Jerry visit a pizza place they used to frequent as teenagers. Once there, they discover that the place is about to go out of business, taking George’s top Frogger score along with it. In order to save the top score, George finds himself playing a game of real-life Frogger, as he navigates the arcade machine through traffic.

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81 / 100
NBC

#20. Season 8, Episode 4 - The Little Kicks

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Oct. 10, 1996

Elaine might not be aware of it, but she’s quite possibly the world’s worst dancer. George discovers as much in this episode, when he attends Elaine’s office party and witnesses her dance moves with his own eyes. Meanwhile, Jerry is forced by Kramer’s friend into a career as a movie bootlegger. This is one among many “Seinfeld” episodes to feature made-up films like “Cry, Cry Again,” and “Death Blow.”

82 / 100
NBC

#19. Season 9, Episode 3 - The Serenity Now

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Oct. 9, 1997

Most characters on “Seinfeld” could use some good old-fashioned relaxation, and as this season nine episode proves beyond a shadow of doubt, chanting “serenity now” over and over again is not that therapy. The technique doesn’t work for Lloyd Braun or Mr. Costanza, and it certainly doesn’t work for Kramer, who ends up destroying a bunch of computers in a fit of cathartic rage. Unfortunately, those computers belonged to George, who was hiding them from his father after claiming he sold them to non-existent customers.

83 / 100
NBC

#18. Season 6, Episode 11 - The Switch

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Jan. 5, 1995

This iconic “Seinfeld” episode is considered downright essential for two distinct reasons. The first is the delivery of one of George Costanza’s most diabolical schemes, which involves having Jerry make a lewd suggestion to his girlfriend of the week in order to allow Jerry to start dating her roommate instead. The other reason: the reveal of Kramer’s elusive first name: Cosmo. Cosmo?! Cosmo.

84 / 100
NBC

#17. Season 6, Episode 10 - The Race

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Dec. 15, 1994

Like something out of his wildest “Superman”-based fantasies, Jerry starts dating a dark-haired girl named Lois in this season six episode. There’s just one major problem: Lois’ boss is Duncan Meyer, an old rival of Jerry’s who insists correctly that Jerry once cheated in an important high school race. Rather than clear up the matter with another showdown, Jerry boldly declares, “I choose not to race.” After Duncan threatens to fire Lois, however, Jerry is forced to prove himself a worthy runner once again.

85 / 100
NBC

#16. Season 4, Episode 12 - The Airport

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Nov. 25, 1992

Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up routines frequently skewer airlines, yet his character has no complaints when flying first class in this season four episode. Elaine, on the other hand, has a miserable experience back in coach, prompting her to try and sneak into first class no matter how desperate her attempts may seem. Over at the airport, Kramer and George have their own respective misadventures as they wait for Jerry and Elaine’s plane to arrive.

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86 / 100
NBC

#15. Season 5, Episode 2 - The Puffy Shirt

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Sept. 23, 1993

In this brilliant episode, Kramer is dating a “low talker,” meaning a woman who speaks with a very soft voice. That makes it hard to hear what she’s saying during dinner with Jerry and Elaine, who find themselves nodding reflexively. As it turns out, Jerry was agreeing to wear a puffy-sleeved, pirate-style shirt on an upcoming TV appearance, a move that could have disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, George rises to success—and then quickly flames out—as a well-paid hand model. As for the puffy shirt, it’s currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

87 / 100
NBC

#14. Season 3, Episode 19 - The Limo

- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Air date: Feb. 26, 1992

An episode few “Seinfeld” fans are likely to forget, “The Limo” dives into spy thriller territory, complete with mistaken identities and lethal handguns. It begins when George pretends to be a man named Mr. O’Brien, so he and Jerry can steal O’Brien’s limo ride from the airport. As it turns out, however, Mr. O’Brien is a notorious neo-Nazi, in town for a major speech at Madison Square Garden.

88 / 100
NBC

#13. Season 8, Episode 9 - The Abstinence

- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Air date: Nov. 21, 1996

In this episode, George is forced to give up sex for six weeks, and the experience opens up all sorts of new pathways in his previously preoccupied brain. On the flip side of that coin is Elaine, who also gives up sex, only to discover that it plunges her into a dim-witted stupor. Meanwhile, Jerry is bumped from a gig at his old junior high school, and Kramer becomes the new Marlboro Man.

89 / 100
NBC

#12. Season 8, Episode 8 - The Chicken Roaster

- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Air date: Nov. 14, 1996

In this episode, a Kenny Rogers Roasters moves in next door to Jerry and Kramer’s building, and the restaurant’s glowing red sign starts keeping Kramer up at night. As a result, he and Jerry switch apartments, and switch personalities in the process. Jerry forces Kramer to move back upon finding out that Kramer is hooked on the chicken. Unfortunately for Kramer, however, the restaurant shuts down after Jerry distributes rat fur all over its interior.

90 / 100
NBC

#11. Season 8, Episode 19 - The Yada Yada

- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Air date: April 24, 1997

Giving “Seinfeld” one of its most enduring colloquialisms is this season eight episode, in which George’s girlfriend “yada-yadas” through every story, cutting right to the chase. At first, George is delighted with the technique, until she potentially “yada-yadas” over an affair with her ex-boyfriend. Tormented by the prospect, George asks her to go back and elucidate on her previous stories. The good news is that she didn’t sleep with her ex. The bad news, however, is that she’s a kleptomaniac.

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91 / 100
NBC

#10. Season 6, Episode 18 - The Jimmy

- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Air date: March 16, 1995

While at the gym, Jerry and the gang meet an interesting basketball player named Jimmy in this season six episode. While Jimmy is a rock star on the court—until he gets injured, that is—he also has the idiosyncratic tendency of referring to himself in the third person. That’s a problem for Elaine, who thinks Jimmy’s setting her up on a date with a guy named “Jimmy,” when in fact, he’s asking her out himself.

92 / 100
NBC

#9. Season 5, Episode 20 - The Hamptons

- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Air date: May 12, 1994

Few “Seinfeld” episodes pack in as many jokes per scene as “The Hamptons.” In the episode, Jerry and the gang visit a couple’s beach house, where the couple introduces their ugly baby. Soon after, Jerry’s girlfriend walks in on George in a state of undress. Normally, George wouldn’t mind, but in this particular instance he’d just been in the pool—where the water was cold.

93 / 100
NBC

#8. Season 9, Episode 8 - The Betrayal

- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Air date: Nov. 20, 1997

“Seinfeld” fans thought they’d pretty much seen it all by season nine, and then “The Betrayal” came along. This boldly experimental episode starts at the end and journeys backward, making it truly unique in the annals of television. Most of the plot centers on Sue Ellen Mischke’s wedding in India, though it’s really the show’s backwards execution that continues to impress viewers to this day.

94 / 100
NBC

#7. Season 9, Episode 6 - The Merv Griffin Show

- IMDb rating: 9.2
- Air date: Nov. 6, 1997

In this episode, Kramer finds discarded set pieces from “The Merv Griffin Show” sitting out by the trash, and proceeds to create a talk show in the middle of his apartment. At first, Kramer and his sidekick Newman adopt a wholesome, traditional approach, but then they decide to mix up the format, mirroring shows like “Jerry Springer” instead. That doesn’t bode well for Jerry, who’s been secretly drugging his girlfriend in order to play with her vintage toys. Jerry admits as much on Kramer’s show, just before the girlfriend emerges from backstage.

95 / 100
NBC

#6. Season 8, Episode 3 - The Bizarro Jerry

- IMDb rating: 9.2
- Air date: Oct. 3, 1996

Like something out of a “Superman” comic book, this episode finds Elaine making three new friends, each of whom represents a “bizarro” version of Jerry, George, and Kramer. Meanwhile, George finagles his way into a secret underground club filled with nothing but gorgeous models. Having slightly less luck is Jerry, who’s dating a woman with oversized “man hands.”

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96 / 100
NBC

#5. Season 5, Episode 14 - The Marine Biologist

- IMDb rating: 9.3
- Air date: Feb. 10, 1994

Presenting a monologue for the ages is this season five episode, in which George pretends to be a marine biologist in order to impress a woman he’s dating. The ruse is going well enough until the two come upon a beached whale with breathing problems, whom only a marine biologist can save. As George explains in the historic closing monologue, the sea was angry that day, “like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.” After a wave launches him atop the whale’s back, George reaches into the blowhole to withdraw the obstruction: one of Kramer’s golf balls.

97 / 100
NBC

#4. Season 4, Episode 17 - The Outing

- IMDb rating: 9.4
- Air date: Feb. 11, 1993

In this classic episode, Jerry and George are mistaken for a gay couple—“not that there’s anything wrong with that”—by a local reporter. After the Associated Press picks up the story, Jerry must clear things up to friends and family alike. George, on the other hand, decides to go along with the story, using his presumed homosexuality as an excuse to break up with his girlfriend.

98 / 100
NBC

#3. Season 5, Episode 21 - The Opposite

- IMDb rating: 9.6
- Air date: May 19, 1994

Things finally start going George’s way in this season five episode, in which he does the opposite of everything he would normally do. Not only does such a maneuver land him a hot date, it eventually scores him a job with the New York Yankees. Making his grand debut as the voice of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is none other than series co-creator Larry David.

99 / 100
NBC

#2. Season 7, Episode 6 - The Soup Nazi

- IMDb rating: 9.6
- Air date: Nov. 2, 1995

Inspired by a real-life—and recently bankrupted—operation, “The Soup Nazi” centers on a chef with a very strict ordering-out policy. When a customer fails to abide by the policy, the man retracts the order, famously shouting, “No soup for you!” The episode is so enduring and iconic that actor Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi, claims he’s recognized more for the role nowadays than he was when the episode first aired.

100 / 100
NBC

#1. Season 4, Episode 11 - The Contest

- IMDb rating: 9.6
- Air date: Nov. 18, 1992

It’s no secret that “Seinfeld” co-creator—and real-life George Costanza—Larry David based numerous storylines on his personal experiences, and nowhere does that work to the show’s advantage more than in “The Contest.” This edgy, Emmy Award-winning episode finds Jerry and the gang making a bet to see who can be “master of their domain.” The result was must-see TV at its finest, and a major contributor to the show’s historic success. In 2009, TV Guide named it the best TV episode of all time, and rightfully so. It’s also the number-one “Seinfeld” episode based on IMDb user ratings—when paired with the number of votes.

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