Although the titular standup comic in Seinfeld is thick as thieves with his ex-girlfriend Elaine Benes, and constantly hangs out with his intrusive neighbor Cosmo Kramer, George Costanza is undeniably his best friend. They grew up together, share everything with each other, and they each frequently rope each other into their wacky schemes.
From fishing a rye loaf into a third-floor apartment to giving each other the worst dating and life advice imaginable, George and Jerry are two peas in a pod, making for some of the best Seinfeld episodes. There’s never any shortage of laughs to go around as these two very flawed characters bumble their way through their late 30s.
Updated on October 12th, 2021 by Derek Draven: George and Jerry have been through many misadventures together, and there are many more to reference. The series hasn’t lost any of its edge or comic wit over the years, thanks in part to the relationship of these two key characters. They’ve faced down dating conundrums, workplace problems, and logistical nightmares with all the finesse expected from two selfish guys only interested in themselves. That makes for great comedy, and a laundry list of the best Seinfeld episodes that never seem to get old, no matter how many years pass on.
The Seinfeld Chronicles (Season 1, Episode 1)
Every show has trouble finding its footing in the first season, and that goes double for sitcoms. However, it was clear from the beginning that Seinfeld was something different, and part of the magic stemmed from Jerry’s relationship with George. Even in the very first episode, the two were bouncing jokes off of each other in the best way.
The story revolves around a woman coming to stay with Jerry for a few days, and whether she has any romantic feelings for him. The laughs are plenty as Jerry and George over-analyze every single word she says in an attempt to decipher what she’s feeling, only for the entire thing to blow up in their faces.
The Heart Attack (Season 2, Episode 8)
In a lot of the best Seinfeld episodes, Jerry functions more as a reactionary character; a foil for his friends. A prime example occurs in season 2’s “The Heart Attack,” where George thinks he’s on the cusp of death, one of Seinfeld’s best recurring gags.
It turns out that he didn’t have a heart attack at all, but Jerry takes the opportunity to have some fun with his friend’s hypochondria, before telling him. When George asks Jerry to smother him and put him out of his misery, Jerry goes on to actually do it, much to George’s shock.
The Scofflaw (Season 6, Episode 13)
George feels betrayed when he finds out his old friend Gary Fogel (played by guest star Jon Lovitz) was diagnosed with cancer and never told him. He feels even more betrayed when he finds out that Jerry already knew, and chose not to tell him, citing George’s terrible poker face and inability to keep secrets.
This proves to be true when Gary confides in George that he lied about having cancer, and Jerry drags the truth out of him. This makes Jerry furious with Gary, but George makes him keep his anger to himself so that he can get Gary’s luxurious parking space at a massive discount.
The Jacket (Season 2, Episode 3)
George and Jerry get a little comedic help from actor Lawrence Tierney in this season 2 episode, where he plays Elaine’s stone-faced and intimidating father Alton. The story circulates around a stylish suede jacket that Jerry decides to pick up, which unfortunately has the worst inner lining in the world.
Later, the two are forced to entertain Anton Benes while Elaine is held up. It’s agony for the two as they try desperately to find something relatable to talk to Alton about, eventually running to the safety of the restroom for a breather. All this, while characters spontaneously burst into singing “Master of the House” from Les Misérables” at random intervals.
The Nap (Season 8, Episode 18)
George has the underside of his desk altered to allow him to sleep at work in season 8’s “The Nap,” but his luxurious new life comes crashing down when George Steinbrenner brings his grandkids into George’s office, and wonders where he is.
Thinking on his feet, George calls Jerry to get him to phone in a bomb threat to Yankee Stadium to distract Steinbrenner, and get him out of the room. When George calls in a panic, Jerry, of course, says, “Who is this?” It wouldn’t be the first time he took the opportunity to mess with George when he was staring down the barrel of a crisis.
The Rye (Season 7, Episode 11)
George’s dad steals back a rye bread that his future in-laws forgot to serve in season 7’s “The Rye,” and in order to avoid it becoming a big thing before he and Susan have even gotten married, George decides to sneak a replacement loaf into her parents’ apartment to cover it up.
He enlists Kramer to get Susan’s parents out of the apartment, and Jerry to pick up the rye and bring it over. However, things get complicated when Susan’s parents ask Kramer to take them home early, and Jerry has to mug an old lady for the bakery’s last rye loaf. And then, there’s the whole fishing pole thing, which went over like the Hindenburg.
The Deal (Season 2, Episode 9)
In reality, this episode is more about Jerry and Elaine, but George factors into it as well. It happens after Jerry and Elaine decide to sleep together one night after hanging out casually in his apartment. Jerry breaks the news to a shocked George, then proceeds to give details about they’re only going to have sex casually, while remaining friends. It’s one of those (very) rare heartwarming moments in Seinfeld, even if it doesn’t pan out.
George scoffs at the idea, citing the differences in needs between men and women. When Jerry tells him that the two have developed a rule system, George is actually kind of impressed with how much thought that they put into it. It’s another episode where the two over-analyze the situation from every angle in an attempt to justify a really bad idea.
The Understudy (Season 6, Episode 24)
Jerry and George take part in a charity softball game in the season 6 finale “The Understudy.” The comedy club’s team plays against a Broadway musical’s team with Bette Midler as their star player.
When George accidentally tackles Midler to the ground during an intense home run, she is injured so badly that she has to drop out of the musical. This allows Jerry’s melodramatic new girlfriend, the understudy, to take over, while George and Jerry are vilified around the city.
The Marine Biologist (Season 5, Episode 14)
George is a known liar. In fact, he probably lies to people more than he tells the truth, but that’s part of his character’s schtick. In season 5’s “The Marine Biologist,” the tables are turned when Jerry lies on his behalf, dumping a major problem on his lap that he never intended to deal with.
It all started when Jerry bumped into the “it” girl from their college who asks about George. Rather than spill the beans about how much of a failure George is in life, Jerry instead claims that he’s a marine biologist. The lie goes so far that George ends up having to save a beached whale’s life in one of Seinfeld’s funniest episodes.
The Lip Reader (Season 5, Episode 6)
This episode was very memorable thanks in huge part to guest star Marlee Matlin. Jerry becomes attracted to her character Laura, during a visit to the US Open. At the same time, George’s girlfriend breaks up with him, and he believes it’s because she saw him eating ice cream in an unflattering manner.
The funniest scene of the episode features George and Jerry having dinner with Laura. While covering their faces with various items so Laura can’t read their lips, they discuss a plan to invite her to a party so she can decipher the reason why George’s girlfriend broke up with him, from afar. Laura knows exactly what’s going on, and doesn’t seem to mind one bit, making the hoop-jumping so much more hilarious.
The Engagement (Season 7, Episode 1)
In the season 7 premiere “The Engagement,” Jerry and George talk about how they’re going nowhere in their lives, and they need to settle down and start a family. It’s a moment of rare poignancy and self-awareness for these two extremely selfish and inward-thinking individuals, but it doesn’t last long.
George races over to his ex-girlfriend Susan’s apartment and proposes to her right on the spot. After a chat with Kramer about the downsides of marriage, however, Jerry gives up on the whole idea. When George learns that Jerry didn’t go through with their pact, he’s furious, but Jerry claims they never made one in the first place.
The Pitch (Season 4, Episode 3)
Throughout the fourth season, the writers introduced quite a self-aware Seinfeld storyline in which Jerry is approached by NBC executives about possibly developing a sitcom for the network, just like the real-life encounter that led to the show itself coming to fruition.
Since Larry David was Jerry’s co-writer and co-creator – not to mention the inspiration for George Costanza – the character became Jerry’s co-writer and co-creator for the show within a show. In the episode “The Pitch,” they go into NBC’s offices with a half-baked premise for “a show about nothing,” which George pitches a little too well.
The Limo (Season 3, Episode 19)
The brilliance of Seinfeld was its ability to mock extremely serious subject matter and make audiences laugh the entire time. “The Limo” is the best example of this, focusing on a story where George’s car breaks down on the way to pick up Jerry from the airport. Jerry spots a limo driver waiting for a guy named Donald O’Brien, who was kicked off his plane.
They decide to impersonate O’Brien and take his limo, which turns out to be heading to Madison Square Garden. Jerry and George think they’re going to a Knicks game, but it turns out O’Brien is the leader of a white supremacist movement with a wildly controversial speaking engagement. The two are forced to pretend to be racists in order to keep up the charade and avoid being murdered in the back of the limo. It sounds horrible, but the show finds a way to make it absolutely hilarious.
The Switch (Season 6, Episode 11)
Seinfeld struck paydirt with gut-busting episodes like this one, featuring George and Jerry trying to figure out how to weasel the latter out of a relationship with one woman, in order to date her roommate. It’s the ultimate buddy episode, with both characters toiling away into the wee hours of the night, trying to come up with a solution to the ever-persistent “switch” paradox.
Finally, George comes up with a surefire plan to make it happen. He tells Jerry to suggest a ménage à trois between himself, his girlfriend, and the roommate, which is designed to repulse the former while flattering the latter. It seems like a solid plan until Jerry finds out that they’re both into it. George is ecstatic, but Jerry is just plain freaked out.
The Outing (Season 4, Episode 17)
When a reporter from the NYU newspaper arranges to interview Jerry in season 4’s “The Outing,” a series of misunderstandings lead her to believe that he and George are closeted gay men in a relationship. To date, it’s one of the show’s most quotable and enduring episodes, not to mention the funniest.
The premise sounds controversial, but thanks to the episode’s satirical focus, it’s a laugh-fest from start to finish. “The Outing” is iconic for its popularization of the phrase “…not that there’s anything wrong with that,” which became one of the most memorable quotes in Seinfeld.
Squid Game: Why [SPOILER] Kills Themselves
About The Author