The Gum

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"The Gum"
The gum
Season 7
Episode 120
Air Date December 14, 1995
Writer(s) Tom Gammill & Max Pross
Director Andy Ackerman
The Sponge · The Rye

"The Gum" is the 120th episode of Seinfeld. The episode was the tenth episode of the show's seventh season. Written by Tom Gammill and Max Pross and directed by Andy Ackerman, it originally aired on December 14, 1995.

Plot synopsis

Kramer tells Jerry and George that Lloyd Braun (Matt McCoy) had a nervous breakdown and was previously in an institution. Kramer is Lloyd Braun's mentor for the time being, and invites him to have coffee with them. Lloyd offers Jerry and George gum from his friend in Chinatown. Jerry reluctantly accepts because he doesn't want to make him feel crazy. Jerry tells Elaine about what happened to Lloyd Braun and she thinks it was because she broke up with him. Elaine tries to avoid Lloyd at the movie theater, so she sits in the front with Jerry after telling Lloyd Braun that Jerry forgot his glasses, which he must wear from now on whenever he sees Lloyd. Elaine loses a button in the theater, so Lloyd thinks she is flirting with him.

Meanwhile, George thinks that the cashier, Ruth Cohen, has stolen his twenty-dollar bill. He decides later that day to drop off gifts at his parents house. He meets with an old friend, Deena Lazzari, who begins to think George is crazy. Deena's father, known as Pop Lazzari, also had a nervous breakdown, and begins to meddle with George's car, which had its engine ruined after he tampered with it. George continues to encounter Ruth Cohen, and just grows angrier at her. At the end of the episode, George's car catches on fire, and at that moment Ruth Cohen is pulled up behind him honking her horn.

Kramer is active in the re-opening of the Alex movie theater. George's nemesis Lloyd Braun, who had a nervous breakdown after messing up David Dinkins' reelection campaign in "The Non-Fat Yogurt", has a pack of Chinese chewing gum that Kramer insists everyone tries. George begs off, stating that he doesn't chew gum.

At the theater, Elaine doesn't want to sit near Braun, so she invents the story that she has to sit with Jerry close to the screen because he supposedly forgot his glasses. While watching the movie, Elaine's ivory button falls off, and she accidentally "reveals herself" to Lloyd and Kramer. Elaine's exposed blouse convinces a policeman to tell a florist to disconnect a hose he was washing the sidewalk with.

George visits a friend, Deena, and her father who had a mental breakdown. Deena's father starts tinkering with George's car's engine. George thinks a cashier at Monk's kept a $20 bill of his on which he doodled. He pursues her, and has to buy a pack of gum to look inside the register, much to the surprise of Lloyd, who thought George didn't chew gum. While confronting the cashier in her car on the street, George's "Jon Voight Car" catches fire from the aforementioned engine work, and it can't be put out by the hose because the florist had to disconnect it.

Jerry must wear glasses while around Lloyd to keep with Elaine's excuse. He exchanges glasses when the ones he got from the lost and found were discovered to belong to Jeffrey Harharwood, an elderly man who owns a film costume institute. The new glasses Jerry wears make it impossible to see clearly, and he inadvertently gives Lloyd a $100 bill to buy the Chinese gum. Kramer eats a hot dog "from the Silent era" and throws up on the sidewalk, and the florist brings his hose back out to clean it. Elaine confronts him about this and he accidentally sprays her. When she comes to the Alex in a wet shirt, Kramer reprimands her because "the Alex is a family theater."

George's friend Deena thinks he is showing signs of mental illness, when he tries to explain the true situation, which sounds ridiculous to her. George wears a Henry VIII costume for a movie screening at the Alex, and he discovers he had the $20 bill all along, but Deena sees him in the costume and thinks he has gone insane. Elaine sees the button on the elderly man and undoes it. Lloyd and Kramer comment that Elaine needs a boyfriend.

Notes about Nothing

  • This is the only episode to feature Ruthie Cohen outside of Monk's Cafe, and one of the few times she has a line.
  • This is the last onscreen appearance of the show's creator, Larry David. He would, however, voice a few characters until the series’ end, including George Steinbrenner.
  • The Jon Voight car catching on fire is based on Tom Gammill's car one morning catching on fire.

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