One of the most quoted sitcoms ever, the best Seinfeld lines have transcended the show and are icons of pop culture. But that doesn’t mean lesser quality lines from the show deserve to be lost with time.
With Larry David as the head writer, Seinfeld stacked so many memorable quotes into a single episode, it’s hard to keep up with the brilliance when the lines are arriving so fast and furious. Sure, there is a laugh track, but some of the quotes David, Jerry Seinfeld, and the writers came up with deserve a standing ovation.
9 “Probably To Give The Woman A Chance To Change Her Mind.” – Jerry
Seinfeld never shied away from addressing topics that were once considered taboo for television. It’s the accuracy of how the writers approached the topic that helps the show continue to maintain its relevance. One such topic is why it’s so difficult to open a condom package.
George’s complaint about the packaging of condoms struck a chord with audiences because many have asked the same question. The icing on the cake comes with Jerry’s response, which is framed as a joke about the universal experience but is also directed towards George.
8 “What’s the deal with lampshades?” – Jerry
“What’s the deal with lampshades? I mean if it’s a lamp, why do you want shade?”
In 2021, it’s easy to rewatch Seinfeld and walk away with the opinion that Jerry is a mediocre standup comedian. His humor hasn’t aged as well as other comedians from his generation, as the observational style of comedy seems relatively safe in retrospect.
In “The Butter Shave,” Seinfeld pokes fun at his own brand when he purposely tries to elicit a hostile reaction from the crowd so they will take their anger out on fellow comedian Kenny Bania. The phrase “What’s the deal?” is often associated with Jerry’s comedy, and this is one instance it’s used in self-mockery.
7 “I like to get the Daily News.” – George
Kramer sometimes adapts a searing, brutal realism in his observations, especially when it comes to George’s personal and professional failings. In “The Keys,” Kramer makes George realize that he has no job, money, dating prospects, or anything to look forward to in life. His only reason for waking is to pick up the Daily News.
While the quote is often overlooked due to it being a part of a larger dialogue between the two characters, George’s delivery of the final line captures what it feels like when one realizes they are merely floating through life.
6 “What kind of sick society are we living in when nice is bad?” – George
What makes George one of television’s greatest characters is his self-deprecating sense of humor. He recognizes his shortcomings and points them out on a consistent basis. In “The Cafe,” George rails against the cliched notion that women prefer bad boys over nice guys.
Out of all the characters, George is the most critical of society, which stems from his lack of confidence, even though he had several great girlfriends throughout Seinfeld.
5 “Why Do I Always Get The Feeling Everybody’s Doing Something Better Than Me On Saturday Afternoons?” – Jerry
Long before the term “FOMO”(— ear of missing out — entered the national lexicon, Jerry perfectly summed up this feeling of worry and despair while trying to find his car in “The Parking Garage.”
The quote also captures what many experience on a daily basis while living in a bustling city. With so many options, it’s hard not to think there is always something better one could be doing with their time.
4 “Tuesday has no feel.” – Newman
“Tuesday has no feel. Monday has a feel, Friday has a feel, Sunday has a feel…”
Stick Jerry, Kramer, and Newman into a scene together and hilarity is sure to ensue. In “The Sniffling Accountant,” the trio are private investigators, stuck inside a car together on a stakeout.
Newman’s quote is a reaction to Kramer commenting that the day felt like a Tuesday. It eloquently captured the slog of Tuesdays — not dreadful enough to evoke Monday feelings and not nearly as thrilling as the end of the week. Tuesdays are devoid of feeling.
3 “Can you die from an odor?” – Elaine
“Can you die from an odor? I mean like if you were locked in a vomitorium for two weeks, could you actually die from the odor?
What makes this line so memorable is Elaine’s seriousness in her delivery at the beginning of a scene in “The Alternate Side.” It appears out of nowhere, and almost as soon as she asks it, the subject is changed.
While this line is remembered fondly amongst fans of the show, another quote from the same episode explains its lack of popularity. “The Alternate Side,” contains Kramer’s most famous line: “These pretzels are making me thirsty.”
2 “Boxers! How do you wear these things?” – Kramer
“Boxers! How do you wear these things?! Look at that — they’re baggin’ up, they’re rising in! And there’s nothing holding me in place! I’m flippin’! I’m floppin’!”
Seinfeld addressed the heated boxers versus briefs debate in “The Chinese Woman,” when Elaine suggested Kramer switch to boxers since briefs supposedly cause infertility. Upon switching, Kramer soon realizes that boxers don’t provide the support that come with briefs.
Kramer is at his funniest on Seinfeld when extenuating circumstances force him to change his routine, and even something as simple as picking new undergarments proved to be one of his best lines that nobody talks about.
1 “You know, we’re living in a society.” – George
George’s critiques against society originated in “The Chinese Restaurant,” after an unpleasant encounter with a woman at a payphone. After having spent the entirety of the episode waiting for a table at the restaurant, George takes center stage and expresses his frustrations to anyone who cares to listen.
“We live in a society,” has transcended the show and became a popular meme, though many associate it with the Joker instead of Seinfeld. “The Chinese Restaurant” is notable for being the first episode where the show perfected its formula and began the ascent to greatness. With quotes like this, it’s easy to see why.