|Air Date||May 16, 1996|
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"The Invitations" is the final episode of the seventh season of Seinfeld. It originally aired on May 16, 1996. It is notable as being the last episode written by co-creator Larry David before he left the series at the end of this season. He did, however, return to write the series finale in 1998. This episode was directed by Andy Ackerman.
George and Susan go shopping for wedding invitations and George decides to buy a cheap brand. Meanwhile, Kramer tells Jerry that the bank will offer anyone $100 if they are not greeted with a "hello" by a teller when they enter the building. Jerry and Elaine realize that once George gets married, it will just be them and Kramer. However, Elaine tells Jerry that she's tired of being single and will probably leave "the group" after George gets married. As Jerry imagines a life with just him and Kramer, he is nearly hit by a car, but is saved by Jeannie Steinman (Janeane Garofalo), a woman whom he discovers to be a lot like him. They both eat a lot of cereal, even at restaurants, and enjoy reading Superman and Supergirl comic books.
Elaine wants to have a part in George's wedding, but Susan says no. Kramer, who was going to be an usher, is also told no after he calls Susan "Lily" when he bumps into her and George walking in the street. George can't believe he is actually going to go through with the wedding and desperately wants to find a way out of it without confronting Susan. Elaine suggests he try smoking in front of her, since she hates it. However, it doesn't work when George gets sick from the cigarettes. Kramer suggests a pre-nup, but when George tries this, Susan laughs it off. George realizes he is stuck.
Kramer goes to the bank and wants $100 after the teller says "Hey" instead of "Hello." He and the manager settle for $20 since he got a greeting that started with an "H". Jerry proposes to Jeannie and she accepts. He tells George that they are getting married on September 21 and that he kept his side of the pact that they originally made in the Season 7 opener, "The Engagement". Kramer, who originally didn't like Jeannie because she was too much like Jerry, has a change of heart and congratulates him, telling him he'll get to like her. Jerry starts having doubts.
George goes out as Susan stays home to get the invitations ready. As she is licking the envelopes, she notices they taste funny. The episode later cuts to a more worn-out Susan continuing to lick envelopes and finally passing out. George arrives home and finds her collapsed on the couch. He, Kramer, Jerry and Elaine all meet up at the hospital, where George is told by the doctor that Susan has died. The cause: the glue on the cheap envelopes was toxic. He tells his friends, and they accept it and go to the coffee shop. Jerry, however, is now in George's role as the fiancé who made the mistake of proposing before thinking. Now single again, George tries to get back together with Marisa Tomei. Marisa hangs up on him, ending the episode.
The real George Steinbrenner supposedly filmed a scene for this episode, far in advance, but it was in the context of George and Susan's wedding, and thus didn't fit into the finished product. It is speculated that the writers once intended on George to get married, as the seventh season was originally supposed to be the series' last.