|Family|| Father: Morty Seinfeld|
|First Appearance||"The Seinfeld Chronicles"|
|Last Appearance||"The Finale, Part 2"|
|Former Occupations||Umbrella salesman|
|Portrayed By||Jerry Seinfeld|
Jerry Seinfeld redirects here. You may be looking for Jerry Seinfeld (actor).
Jerry's main friends are George Costanza, Cosmo Kramer and his ex-girlfriend Elaine Benes. Jerry (though not without exceptions) typically represents the voice of reason amidst George, Elaine, and Kramer's antics, and can be seen as the focal point of the foursome's relationship. Jerry is somewhat of an eternal optimist, as he rarely runs into major personal problems. Jerry is the only main character on the show to maintain the same career throughout the series (except for the episode where he is forced into bootlegging). Considering his job as a comedian, he is the most observational character, usually sarcastically commenting on his friends' quirky habits, almost essentially the "New York Jew"-type character. He seems to have a new girlfriend every week, but the relationships usually end for fairly superficial reasons. He is also an almost obsessive compulsive neat freak; he once threw out a belt because it had touched a urinal, and once commented on finding out his toilet brush had been placed in the toilet that, "I can replace that." Jerry was born and raised in Massapequa, New York (according to "The Race" commentary).
Jerry is the most grounded character in the show, a figure who is "able to observe the chaos around him but not always be a part of it." Plot lines involving Jerry often concern his various relationships — Jerry often finds "stupid reasons to break up" with women which, according to Elaine, occurs "every week."
Jerry is generally completely indifferent to what goes on in his friends' lives, seeing their misery as merely an entertaining distraction, as well as an opportunity for joke material. He often plays along with their hare-brained schemes, though this is often just so that he can see them fail. In the episode "The Serenity Now", Jerry lets out his emotions and cries, and is perplexed by the experience ("What is this salty discharge?"). In "The Foundation" Elaine points out that he has "never felt remorse," to which Jerry replies, "Yeah, I feel kinda bad about that." When something bad happens, he will often nonchalantly say, "That's a shame." A recurring joke is Jerry not helping Elaine carrying groceries or heavy objects; in fact, he acts with no regard to see her struggling. One general trait of him, Elaine, and George, is not to let go of simplistic remarks and goes to great lengths to be proven right, like the time he rented a house in Tuscany, Italy just because The Maestro told him there were not any available or buying his parents the same car over and over again creating a great financial loss to him.
Despite his usual indifference to his friends and their actions, Jerry apparently is quite satisfied with his life, to the point that he actually feels worried about anything that may threaten the group lifestyle. In the episode, "The Invitations", for example, Jerry admits that he feels depressed about George getting married, seeing as how George will eventually leave the group and Jerry will never see him again. Once Elaine told him that she was "Getting out" of the group, Jerry became so worried about a near future of just him and Kramer that he almost unknowingly walked into the street with a car approaching while thinking about a horrible future life with just Kramer. In the episode, "The Bizarro Jerry", Jerry also grows panicky about losing the group dynamic when Kramer becomes too busy with his fake job and Elaine temporarily leaves to join the bizarro group, claiming that "The whole system's breaking down!" Jerry himself perfectly sums up his relation to his three friends in the episode "The Letter". In a deleted scene from that show, he claims that his friends are "not more important" than his girlfriends, but "they're as important."
Jerry rarely runs into major personal problems, unlike George and Elaine. In "The Opposite", this tendency is explicitly pointed out, as Jerry goes through a number of experiences after which he invariably "breaks even," even as his friends are going through intense periods of success or failure. In "The Rye", during a particularly trying time for Elaine, she angrily tells Jerry, "You know, one of these days, something terrible is going to happen to you. It has to!" Jerry simply replies, "No, I'll be fine." Many of the problems he does run into are the result of the actions of his nemesis Newman, a disgruntled postal worker. In "The Old Man", George asks, "What kind of person are you?" Jerry replies, "I'm pretty much like you, only successful."
However, with Kramer around, Kramer persuades Jerry to do some things that he's reluctant to do. In "The Mango", Kramer gets Jerry to buy fruit for him, after Kramer gets banned from the store, over an argument with the owner. This is until the owner bans him because his order is similar enough to Kramer's, that it's obvious he's buying fruit for Kramer. The famous example is in "The Chicken Roaster", in which Kramer and Jerry switch places resulting in also switching personalities. Also, there are a few episodes which Jerry does get into an argument with Kramer in which he is incredibly stubborn, protecting his interest in episodes like "The Chaperone", "The Caddy" and "The Kiss Hello".
Jerry always wears a suit whenever he has to do his comedy act. There are a few times which he has to wear unusual items of clothing. Kramer has persuaded Jerry three times in which he has to wear the "pirate shirt" in "The Puffy Shirt", the cowboy boots in "The Mom and Pop Store" and the fur coat in "The Reverse Peephole". Like George, his hairstyle is normal throughout the series. There are only two episodes in which his hairstyle changes: once after Jerry is forced to install a low-flow shower head in "The Shower Head", and after he reluctantly agreed to get his hair done by an Italian barber in "The Barber".
As in real life, Jerry is a fan of comic book characters, particularly Superman, who is his hero. As far as sports, Jerry is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Knicks, New York Giants and New York Rangers. In early episodes, a Yankees hat sat on the counter near his computer. Later on, by the middle of season 3, it was replaced with a Mets cap, possibly to better reflect Jerry's real-life support of the Queens side. Jerry is also portrayed as a neat freak in numerous episodes.
Jerry grew up in New York with George, who, according to "The Outing", were friends ever since an encounter in gym class in their school days, although Jerry once beat George up in the fourth grade. Flashbacks in episodes such as "The Library" portray Jerry and George in high school. A pizza place which they frequented is portrayed in "The Frogger". Jerry and George attended school together at Edward R. Murrow High School, John F. Kennedy High School and university at Queens College. After college, Jerry briefly worked as an umbrella salesman and reportedly invented the "twirl" to make the umbrella look more attractive. He eventually quit the job and went into stand-up comedy. Jerry's PIN for his bank account is Jor-El, who is the father of Superman, while George's PIN is BOSCO, the chocolate sauce brand as portrayed in "The Secret Code".
Jerry's parents are Morty and Helen Seinfeld, a retired Jewish couple living in Florida. Unlike George, who can't stand his parents, Jerry does love his, but he still prefers them living in Florida rather than New York, so that they don't interfere with his private life. Although born and raised Jewish, Jerry apparently doesn't practice and generally doesn't "observe" many traditions, like the real Seinfeld. As shown in "The Soup Nazi", he does not keep kosher, as he is seen eating crab bisque. He also has a sister (mentioned in "The Chinese Restaurant"), although she is never named, and never appears on screen. In order to avoid his old friend Joel in "Male Unbonding", Jerry pretends to have promised to tutor his nephew - it is unclear if the nephew really exists or is simply fabricated as part of the excuse.
Jerry has an uncle, Leo, an eccentric minor character who appears in 15 episodes. Uncle Leo has a son, Cousin Jeffrey, who works for the parks department, about whom he constantly talks, but who never appears. In "The Stake Out", Jerry speaks to an "Uncle Mac", as well as a cousin "Artie Levine". In "The Truth", Jerry mentions a cousin named "Douglass" who has an obsession with Pepsi. In "The Pony Remark", Helen, Morty, Jerry, Elaine, and Leo attend a 50th-anniversary party for Manya and Isaac, an elderly couple whose relationship to Jerry is never explicitly defined. Manya is described as a Polish immigrant. In the same episode, Jerry references having an "Aunt Rose", and Helen mentions a family member named "Claire" who is getting married. In "The Soup", Jerry mentions an "Aunt Silvia", who he compares to Elaine in terms of conversation.
Jerry is notorious for his detached approach towards relationships and for breaking up with women for the slightest of flaws or for the most minor of reasons. According to the ninth-season DVD release of the series, 73 different partners have been seen or alluded to over the course of the series.
Jerry and Elaine had once dated, then had sex on some other episode, apparently a lot longer than the two date others in the series, and they usually mention that things didn't work out. There are subtle references to the fact that it was Jerry who ended it. However, they slept together at least twice after breaking up: In "The Deal", they create a set of rules whereby they can sleep together but remain only friends. Their theory is ruined, however, when they start squabbling too much (Elaine is furious when Jerry gives her $182 cash as a birthday gift). By the end of the episode the two decide to be a couple again, which lasts at least until "The Pen" where Jerry tells his parents that "we decided that we don't work out as a couple." Later, in "The Mango", Jerry is so upset at learning that Elaine had faked her orgasms while they were together, that she agrees to give him another chance "to save the friendship". Despite this, Jerry and Elaine do prove that a former couple can still remain friends.
There are several other hints throughout the series that suggest that Jerry and Elaine still have feelings for each other:
- In "The Stake Out", Elaine becomes jealous when Jerry flirts with another woman (Vanessa) at a party that Jerry is accompanying her to.
- In "The Tape", when Jerry listens to an erotic message on his tape recorder that Elaine made as a joke, and he becomes attracted to her again.
- In "The Dinner Party", Jerry and Elaine are sitting in the back of Kramer’s car. Since Kramer doesn’t have a heater, Jerry tries cuddling with Elaine to stay warm, but she refuses and pushes him off her.
- In "The Cadillac", after Jerry buys his parents a Cadillac and Elaine realizes how much money he has, she becomes very flirtatious towards him.
- In "The Abstinence", when Elaine is denying her current boyfriend sex in the hope that it will help him pass his medical licensing exam, she begs Jerry to have sex with her, but he steadfastly turns her down.
- In "The Serenity Now", when Jerry's emotions come flooding out after being locked up, he confesses his love for Elaine and proposes to her. Later, the horrifying tale of George's life frightens him back into his formerly cold demeanor and he takes back his proposal.
- In "The Finale", when they think their plane is about to crash, Elaine says "Jerry, I've always loved...", but the pilot manages to steady the plane, so Elaine awkwardly finishes her comment later by saying, "I've always loved United Airlines."
- In "The Wig Master", Jerry goes crazy when a sales clerk hits on Elaine in front of him.
- In "The Boyfriend", Jerry becomes Jealous of both Keith Hernandez and Elaine when Keith asks Elaine out.
- In "The Junior Mint", Elaine asks Jerry to accompany her to the hospital as her boyfriend to fool one of her exes. Jerry smiles and responds, "Well, I think I've played that to some degree before."
Other than Elaine (who he dated for 3 years) the person Jerry has dated the longest is Jeannie Steinman; apparently, Jerry and Jeannie are exactly alike. He met her in The Invitations and got engaged to her in the same episode. Soon after, Elaine goes to Mexico for the summer, coming back to discover that Jerry's relationship with Jeannie ended about a month earlier when they both screamed out "I hate you!" in the same booth. Jerry accounts it as "the first truly mutual breakup."
Long term relationshipsEdit
Other than Elaine, Jerry has only dated a few other women for more than one episode:
- He starts dating Vanessa in "The Stake Out" and breaks up with her in "The Stock Tip". Although she is only seen in these two episodes, Jerry dated her throughout the course of four episodes (three in production order). They break up because of an uncomfortable weekend trip to Vermont.
- He dates Marla, a virginal woman in the closet business, in "The Virgin" and "The Contest" and Tia, a model, in "The Airport" and "The Pick". These relationships are strange in that both women break up with Jerry for reasons of disgust, rather than it being the other way around.
- He dates Dolores (a.k.a. Mulva) in "The Junior Mint" and "The Foundation". (Season 4 then Season 8). This was the only time he dated a woman for 2 episodes that weren't in a row.
- He dated Rachel over the course of four episodes, and she appears in all these episodes: "The Raincoats" (a two-part episode), "The Hamptons", and "The Opposite". Rachel ends the relationship, but Jerry, who was "even steven" at the time, didn't become upset, and was confident that he would find another girlfriend (which he did in the deleted scenes for that episode).
Only three times in the entire series has Jerry considered marriage.
- The first time was with his "perfect" girlfriend, Jeannie, in the Season 7 finale, "The Invitations", but he soon learned that he didn't want to be with someone exactly like himself. In the first Season 8 episode, "The Foundation", Jerry tells Elaine that he had a perfectly mutual break-up with Jeannie over the summer.
- Jerry almost got engaged a second time, to Elaine. In the Season 9 episode "The Serenity Now", after Jerry undergoes a personality change and becomes deeply sensitive and emotional, he proposes to a shocked Elaine. She leaves the apartment, but returns later to accept his proposal. By that point, however, he had gone back to his old self and he turns her down.
- In the Season 6 episode "The Mom and Pop Store", after Elaine loses her hearing from sitting in front of a big band music group, and attending a party with Jerry, Jerry asks Elaine to marry him. Although she cannot hear him, this could have been partially in jest.
Jerry's approach to relationships is notoriously fickle, and he has broken up with women, or provoked them into breaking up with him for some of the most trivial of reasons.
- For refusing to taste his pie at the coffee shop ("The Pie").
- For wearing the same dress on every date (she dumped him for snooping around her closet) ("The Seven").
- For eating her peas one at a time ("The Engagement").
- Because she had "man hands" ("The Bizarro Jerry").
- Because he realizes he doesn't want to be with someone exactly like himself ("The Invitations").
- Because she had once dated Newman, who had ended the relationship ("The Big Salad").
- Because she wouldn't give him a massage ("The Masseuse").
- Because he drugged a woman with wine and turkey so he could play with her old toy collection. ("The Merv Griffin Show")
- Because he kept spitting out the mutton she cooked for him and hiding it in her napkins ("The Wink").
- Because he cheats on his "wife" to give another woman to give her the dry-cleaning discount. ("The Wife")
Jerry's famous guest star girlfriendsEdit
- Teri Hatcher in "The Implant" and in "The Finale".
- Marcia Cross in "The Slicer".
- Courteney Cox in "The Wife".
- Jami Gertz in "The Stall".
- Jane Leeves in "The Virgin" and "The Contest".
- Jennifer Coolidge in "The Masseuse".
- Janeane Garofalo in "The Invitations".
- Kristin Davis in "The Pothole" and "The Butter Shave".
- Amanda Peet in "The Summer of George".
- Marlee Matlin in "The Lip Reader".
- Catherine Keener in "The Letter".
- Debra Messing in "The Wait Out" and in "The Yada Yada".
- Christine Taylor in "The Van Buren Boys".
- Lauren Graham in "The Millennium".
- Lori Loughlin in "The Serenity Now".
- Melinda Clarke in "The Muffin Tops".
- Mariska Hargitay in "The Pilot".
- A.J. Langer in "The Fatigues".
- Anna Gunn in "The Glasses".
Career and financesEdit
Jerry is also very financially successful and occupationally stable in comparison with his friends (and perhaps with other standup comedians in general) and never seems to be at a loss for money, in comparison to George and Elaine who go through various phases of being extremely successful (more than Jerry's ever been) and extremely unsuccessful (also more than Jerry's ever been). Throughout the entire series, Jerry has been involved in numerous financial and material losses; however, he is almost always unfazed by these losses, equal to his lack of emotions when breaking up with women, indicating that he apparently has more than enough money to do with what he wants. Generally, his losses are due to his friend's actions, especially Kramer's.
- For example, Jerry buys his father a Cadillac Fleetwood and buys it back after his parents sell it, spending over $20,000. Jerry himself seems to only drive luxury European makes, such as BMW ("The Smelly Car") and SAAB, although in early episodes such as "The Ex-Girlfriend", he drives a mid-70s American coupe. In "The Apartment", it is revealed that Jerry could easily lend Elaine $5,000 for an apartment. Also, Jerry is regularly called upon to pay the check for the group at Monk's and allows Kramer to depend on him for food. Despite his apparent financial security, his parents seem to think he needs money, offering to pay for everything when they visit him (even if they have no money, as seen in "The Watch") and occasionally urging him to find a new job.
- In "The Jacket", Jerry buys a very expensive suede jacket (the exact price is not revealed), but the jacket gets ruined when he wears it going out with George, Elaine, and Alton Benes. Jerry tried to wear it inside out and the inside of the jacket is candy stripe pink, and Alton forbids him to wear it like that, thus forcing Jerry to wear it in the snow, ruining the brand new jacket. He doesn't seem to be too upset by that, not even mentioning to Elaine that her dad is the reason his jacket is ruined.
- In "The Checks", Jerry is revealed to be famous in Japan where he appears in the opening montage of Japanese TV's "Super Terrific Happy Hour" and he even continues to earn royalties from each appearance (although each royalty check is only for twelve cents).
- Jerry spends most of the series making a living from stand-up comedy, except for the periods when he and George co-write their own sitcom. Jerry also acts in the pilot episode of their show "Jerry", playing himself.
- Twice, Jerry is encouraged to switch to a career at Bloomingdales in their Executive Training Program. First his parents suggest it after he bounces a check; then in another episode, George and Kramer suggest it after he starts dating a "loser".
While Jerry's career is successful and his opening and closing stand-up bits are always successful, his stand-up performances depicted within the show are often disastrous. His stand-up comedy style is often described in the series as "making observations".
- In "The Red Dot", Jerry's stand-up is cut short by Dick who is drunk over being "on the wagon" and "off the wagon".
- In "The Trip, Part 1", the hotel chambermaid throws Jerry's notes away causing him to stumble and bumble his way through a performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
- In "The Fire", Jerry is thrown off his act by Kramer's girlfriend Toby, who heckles him and later sees his entire crowd run for the exits when George screams "He's got a gun!" when referring to a prop comic.
- In "The Diplomat's Club", Jerry's manager oddly warns him that the pilot of the plane in which he flew to the show was in the audience. Jerry tells that there is no way that could bother him but when he takes the stage, he can't stop looking at the pilot.
- In "The Abstinence", Jerry is twice bumped from playing an assembly at his old middle school. When he finally takes the stage, he's promptly booed for his opening act about homework. David Letterman later calls him to bump him from the Late Show due to the poor middle-school performance.
- In "The Butter Shave", Jerry intentionally "takes a dive" to expose Kenny Bania, whom Jerry had accused of benefiting from the fact that Jerry warms up the audience for him.
- In "The Finale, Part 2", Jerry performs stand-up for his fellow inmates in jail but gets no laughs (except from Kramer) and is heckled and threatened by a prisoner who was in for grand theft auto (the last scene of the series).
- Jerry has an obsessive insistence on cleanliness and neatness. A girlfriend of his (played by Teri Hatcher) comments that "he would have made a great Nazi" because "everything has to be just so."
- In "The Pothole", Jerry inadvertently knocks his girlfriend's toothbrush into the toilet bowl, and after she uses it, he is unable to bring himself to kiss her. As revenge, she proceeds to put one item of his in the toilet without telling him what it was; a distraught Jerry, thinking it could be anything, ends up throwing away virtually every item in his apartment in panic. Upon learning it was the toilet brush, he reassures himself that it can be replaced (his girlfriend is later bombarded with toilet water following a plumbing accident in her bathroom, causing him to break up with her). Elaine says that in some instances, his cleanliness can verge into a serious disorder.
- In "The Voice", he throws out a belt because it touched the edge of a urinal.
- In "The Butter Shave", he throws out a shoelace because it touched the floor of a men's room.
- "The Statue" is the only show in season two when cleanliness is discussed (between Jerry and Elaine).
- Jerry is horrified when Poppie forgets to wash his hands after using the bathroom, and refuses to eat the food he prepared in "The Pie". His look is described like he had just "seen a ghost."
- Jerry almost gets into a state of panic when he finds out that Kramer is not wearing any undergarments under his pants in "The Chinese Woman".
- During the course of events in the episode "The Limo", Jerry and George are misidentified as Nazis. Elaine remarks that Jerry is not a Nazi: "He's just neat."
Jerry has a long-running hatred of Newman, describing him as his "sworn enemy" in "The Andrea Doria" and showing general contempt for him at their every meeting. Newman usually reciprocates, although at other times he seems quite pleased by Jerry's hostility, as if it is a testimony to his effectiveness at irritating him. Seinfeld has also commented in interviews that Newman is his "Lex Luthor". The origin of their feud is never explained.
Jerry's snide greeting for him with "Hello Newman" becomes a trademark of their relationship. Even Jerry's mother utters the greeting, with as much displeasure as Jerry, in "The Raincoats, Part 2". Jerry wants rid of Newman so badly that he once even helped him on his postal route so that he could get a prized transfer to Hawaii ("The Andrea Doria").
Despite their antagonistic relationship, Jerry and Newman have ended up working in unison on rare occasions. In "The Sniffing Accountant", Jerry worked with Kramer and Newman to find out if their accountant was on drugs. In "The Soul Mate", Jerry and Newman help each other with their romance problems. Newman told Jerry about Kramer's crush on his then-girlfriend, Pam, while Jerry helps Newman get a chance to date Elaine. In “The Soup Nazi”, Newman alerts Jerry to Elaine’s troublemaking at the soup stand.
Certain instances would even define their relationship as one of friendship or at least mutual tolerance built around their shared friend, Kramer. In "The Pick", Jerry casually walks over to Newman's apartment and brings him back to his own to examine Elaine's Christmas card. Newman apparently puts up little fight and doesn't make any sarcastic remarks, then walks out without a confrontation. In "The Old Man", Jerry says "my friends" in reference to Kramer and Newman and in "The Bottle Deposit" he has no qualms about leaving Kramer and Newman alone in his apartment, trusting they'll "keep an eye on one another". Finally, in "The Barber", Jerry allows Newman to use his bathroom (he told him to flush twice) and even sit down and watch Edward Scissorhands with him, a move which comes back to haunt him later.
- A few times, Elaine refers to him by his full name "Jerome".
- In "The Robbery" he calls himself the "Master Packer".
- In "The Statue" he is referred to as "the King of Comedy" by Raymond Bochinski.
- In "The Boyfriend" he calls himself Kel Varnsen to help George with his "Vandelay Industries". He also uses this nickname in "The Puerto Rican Day".
- In "The Contest" he calls himself "Lord of the manor".
- In "The Limo" he refers to himself as "Dylan Murphy" along with George as "O'Brien" just to get in the limo.
- In "The Maestro" Jerry asks Elaine to call him "Jerry the Great" in response to Bob Cobb being called "The Maestro."
Jerry Seinfeld, like the other main characters on Seinfeld, has used a pseudonym in order to get himself out of various sticky situations. Jerry's is Kel Varnsen, the arch-rival of H.E. Pennypacker (Kramer's pseudonym) and a wealthy developer/industrialist. Notably, both of them, as well as Art Vandelay (George's pseudonym), appear in the episode "The Puerto Rican Day." Jerry, as Varnsen, also answered his phone posing as Vandelay Industries in order to aid George's unemployment fraud. It was widely postulated that Jerry's alias was actually "Kal" both to honor his father, whose name was Kalman, and as an homage to Superman, whose Kryptonian name was "Kal-El". It was revealed on the Seinfeld 4th season DVD, however, that the name is spelled "Kel." Jerry also once claimed his name was Dylan Murphy, a man who immigrated to America from Ireland when he was a boy, so he and George could ride in a limousine reserved for a man named "O'Brien". As Dylan, Jerry cited a cereal famine as his reason for immigration.
Classic Jerry moments Edit
- Argues with a dry cleaner about the state of his clothes. ("The Stock Tip")
- Puts the phone down on a telemarketer. ("The Watch")
- Puts a PEZ dispenser on Elaine's leg during a piano recital, causing Elaine to break into fits of laughter. ("The Pez Dispenser")
- Forced the closing of Kenny Rogers after shaking a poorly made Russian hat made out of rats. This caused Kramer to spend nights saying "Kenny?" with a banner saying "Kenny, Come Back", considering how he was against it for the brightness of the sign, but eventually enjoyed the food. ("The Chicken Roaster")
- Pays for a coat he didn't even want in the first place. Attempts to return it, citing "spite" as his reason. ("The Wig Master")
Famous Jerry quotes Edit
- "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" (In “The Outing”, Jerry denies that he is gay, but does not want to be seen as homophobic.)
- "But I don't want to be a pirate!" (Jerry agrees to wear an outfit without seeing it and it turns out to be ruffed like a pirate's shirt.)
- "But I don't want to be a cowboy!" (Jerry is forced to wear cowboy boots after Kramer loses all of Jerry's shoes.)
- "But I don't want to be Switzerland!" (Jerry opposes holding the Risk game board as a neutral party for Kramer and Newman.)
- "Oh, that's a shame." (usually said seemingly sarcastically)
- "Hello, Newman."
- "Why, I'd have to be Superman, Lois."
Jerry is the only character to appear in all episodes. George comes close, by only missing one episode, "The Pen". Kramer is a close third, having missed only two (the aforementioned The Pen and The Chinese Restaurant). Elaine missed the most episodes, primarily due to the maternity leave of Julia Louis-Dreyfus.