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  • Accidental Aesop: The show actually does teach a few good lessons.
    • Don't lie. So many plots were kicked off by white lies to one degree or another that it's really not worth it.
    • As divisive as the finale was, it shows why it doesn't pay to be a Jerkass.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Kramer, what with his spasms and bottomless bank account, is thought by some fans to be a drug dealer. Other theories include him having Asperger's.
  • Award Snub: The sets for the episode "The Parking Garage" were ironically not nominated for an Emmy for being too good, so that the voters assumed the episode was filmed in a real parking garage.
    • More glaringly all the actors in the cast except for Jason Alexander walked away with an Emmy at one point or another (though Jerry Seinfeld's Emmy was as a producer rather than an actor) despite George being the fan favorite character (perhaps tied with Kramer) of critics and most of the fanbase.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Jerry mentions a sister in "The Chinese Restaurant."
    • Susan's father had an affair with John Cheever. This is never followed up on. Even in the episode itself.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Grand Finale and the Downer Ending. Was it funny Laser-Guided Karma for such awful people or just cruel?
    • Susan's death and the group's utter lack of reaction has much the same issue. Black Comedy at its finest or tastelessly cruel? George Steinbrenner, the real one, filmed a cameo for the episode but asked that it be removed because he found killing her to be so tasteless that he didn't want to be involved in that episode.
    • "The Betrayal." The "Backwards Episode" gimmick is either ground-breakingly hilarious or a confusing mess.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Elaine in "The English Patient." Her only "sin" was not liking the movie.
    • Played for Laughs with Newman. He may be the closest thing that the show had to a Big Bad but he never does anything really worse than Jerry.
  • Double Standard: Present in the episode "The Sniffing Accountant" in regards to "feeling someone's material" (that is, rubbing a part of someone's shirt between the thumb and index finger). When a man does it with a woman's shirt, it's treated as the nonverbal equivalent of a death threat (though Elaine's boyfriend Jake Jarmel was somehow exempted from it). But when a woman does it with a man's shirt, nobody so much as raises an eyebrow.
  • Dude, Not Funny:
    • Jerry's stand-up about suicide might have produced more grunts of disgust than laughs. Of course, YMMV here, big time.
    • There's also the time he purposely bombed on stage to make things harder for Kenny Bania, the guy following him:

Jerry: So, what's the deal with cancer?

Audience member: I have cancer!

Kramer: Ooh, tough crowd.

    • On the other hand, there was some legitimate Black Comedy as well: the end of the episode "The Checks", where they lost the patient (Elaine's then-boyfriend) because one of the doctors was too busy paying attention to his favorite song (like the boyfriend had done).
    • The show got in major hot water with the Puerto Rican community when "The Puerto Rican Day" featured Kramer burning the country's flag, despite it being an accident. The DVD set features interviews of everyone lamenting how the joke was blown out of proportion, and cast such a pall over the show right as it was ending.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Just about any of the show's many, many recurring and one-off characters are extremely popular with Newman, Frank Costanza, The Soup Nazi and Bookman the Library Cop being some of them more prominent examples. The writers even noted that there was no reason to keep bringing Puddy back but they loved Patrick Warburton so much that they had to keep bringing him back.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Interpretations of the final episode have claimed that, in reality, the airplane on which the four leads were flying crashed, killing them all. Their trial was actually a stand-in for their judgment in the afterlife, and their prison sentence represents them being damned to hell for all eternity (or, more pleasantly but less likely, given the nature of the characters, is representative of a very lengthy stay in Purgatory).
    • The reunion episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm basically squelches the Hell theory, as we see the foursome going about their daily lives, such as they are, back in New York.
    • No Exit does have four people stuck in a waiting room forever as a punishment...
  • Fanon Discontinuity: There are good amount of fans who want to pretend that "The Finale" never happened.
  • Fountain of Memes: Hoo boy... One of the biggest pre-internet sources of Memetic Mutation in the history of media: "Yada, Yada, Yada", "NO SOUP FOR YOU!", "Hello... Newman", "Serenity now!", "Not That There's Anything Wrong with That", "Master of Your Domain", "These Pretzels are making me thirsty", "Maybe the Dingo ate your baby", "I don't wanna be a pirate!", "You very, very bad man!", Vandelay Industries, shrinkage, man hands, spongeworthy, assman, puffy shirt, Festivus, double dip, high-talker, low-talker, close-talker ... the list is enormous. There was even a period in The Nineties where adults began referring to themselves in the third person, like the character of Jimmy.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: In the episode 'The Masseuse', Elaine is trying to get her boyfriend Joel Rifkin to change his name to avoid being confused with a serial killer. One of the names Elaine suggests (whilst reading a baseball magazine) is O.J. Seven months after this episode aired, O.J Simpson was accused of murder, leading to one of the most controversial murder trials in US history.
    • Also, either this or Harsher in Hindsight, in the episode "The Fire," George Costanza accidentally causes a fire in the kitchen during a birthday party, and then flees by shoving over, among others, an old lady in a crutcher and a birthday clown to flee out of the door, earning him the wrath of several birthday attendees. It becomes significantly more uncomfortable to watch after similar behavior was witnessed onboard the Costa Concordia when it capsized and sunk.
    • In one episode, Kramer has a black girlfriend, and he accidentally gets overmanned in a tanning machine. the girl's father looks at Kramer as a racist, something that happened to Michael Richards in 2006.
  • Growing the Beard: "The Chinese Restaurant" proved to the world that "a show about nothing" can in fact be very fun to watch.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Jerry's love of Superman gives a few:
      • One of his girlfriends was played by Teri Hatcher. Jerry dated Lois Lane!
      • Jackie Chiles played Martian Manhunter on Smallville.
      • Jerry has a Squee moment when he claims Sue Ellen is Elaine's Lex Luthor. Sue Ellen's actress, Brenda Strong, would play Lillian Luthor in Supergirl.
      • At one point, George and Jerry have a debate about how serious a character Superman should be which sounds eerily like fan debates about the character's portrayal in the DC Extended Universe. After Man of Steel, the real Jerry Seinfeld took on the position that Superman should be a more optimistic character.
    • George Steinbrenner uses Kramer's idea to heat Yankee uniforms in the oven and exclaims "I smell a pennant!". That season, the Yankees won their first world series in 18 years.
      • ...In six games...
    • In "The Bizarro Jerry," Bizarro Kramer dreams of a machine that could function both as your alarm clock and tell you the weather only to dismiss it as a technological impossibility.
    • Jerry tries his hardest to be politically correct in "The Cigar Store Indian", particularly trying to avoid the word reservation around a Native American woman. Years later, the real Jerry would complain about how political correctness stifles comedy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: George is a moron and an amoral schemer, but man does his life SUCK.
  • Moral Event Horizon: George feeling relieved over Susan's death (as well as the rest of the gang's indifference) may be one for some fans. The fact that in the season 8 premiere Jerry and George almost get emotional when discussing Spock's death but are indifferent when visiting Susan's graveside.
    • In-Universe, in the finale Babu's story of how Jerry ruined his life seems to be seen as one by the jury and seals the group's fate to some degree.
  • Never Live It Down: The finale.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Crazy Joe Davola.
  • No Yay: When Season 2 was ending, the network was pushing for Elaine/Jerry. Both Seinfeld and Larry David didn't want this to happen and confirmed that the majority of the fanbase didn't either, ending the idea.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Tim Whatley is played by Bryan Cranston.
    • Drake Bell is the kid playing Frogger before George and Jerry cause him to mess up.
    • Several big names started out in Seinfeld. Courtney Cox was Jerry's fake wife in "The Wife", Jon Favreau was the Eric the Clown in "The Fire" and Patton Oswalt was the video store clerk in "The Couch."
  • Seasonal Rot: No one would label Seasons 8 and 9 as bad but it's very clear that Larry David left the show in the seventh season as the show became Denser and Wackier.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The Trope Namer. At the time, a show about the minutiae of daily life was seen as far too boring for any television audience. Now, it's a played out cliché.
  • Strawman Has a Point: George in "The Wedding Invitations." People only look at a wedding invitation for two seconds before either mailing it back or tossing it. Why spend a lot of money on it?
  • True Art Is Angsty: Vincent at the video rental store seems to believe this, much to Elaine's chagrin, as she describes his movies as "emotionally exhausting." When Kramer suggests a summer comedy instead, Vincent does not take it well.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In "The Junior Mint".

 George: "Yes, I look forward to many years of looking at the triangles."

    • Jerry dates an artist who guilts George into buying one of her paintings. "It's a bunch of lines! You're telling me you couldn't paint this?"
  • Unfortunate Implications: If successful, Kramer's lawsuit against Sue Ellen Mischke in "The Caddy" would lead to a public dresscode, and presumably one that treats women harsher than men.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Seinfeld explored every facet of daily life in the The Nineties. As a result, it was outdated within a few years of its ending. Some plots couldn't even happen with cell phones.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The four in "The Finale." While they are terrible people, a lot of the character witnesses' statements are taken out of context, or only from one side of the story, and the quartet was rarely outright malicious in any of the flashbacks.
  • Values Dissonance: In "The Secretary", George is painted in a positive light for discriminating against attractive applicants. At one point he explains to one that while she is qualified, he would not hire her based solely on her looks.
  • Weird Al Effect: People are more familiar with George's answering machine message ("Believe it or not, George isn't at home...") than The Greatest American Hero, whose theme ("Believe it or not, I'm walking on air...") it was based on.
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