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The Best Episodes Of Seinfeld According To IMDb

Ah, Seinfeld. Even decades after the iconic show's finale, fans around the world still reference it in regular conversation. And really, who doesn't like Seinfeld? Somehow, this sitcom has a quote that's perfectly suited for every situation in life.

Don't feel like explaining to your boss why you're late for work? Just tell them, "I got up and yada yada, and now I'm here." Are your kids driving you crazy? You can always look up to the sky and shout, "Serenity now!" with desperate fury. Is a customer giving you a hard time at work? "No soup for you!" Well, that last one might get you in trouble, but you can still enjoy the catharsis of yelling it in your head.

In celebration of Seinfeld's many classic scenes, lines, and jokes, let's take a look back at the best episodes of the series and examine what makes them so great. According to IMDb, these are the highest-rated episodes — and we're willing to bet you can remember a killer line from every single one.

The Soup Nazi (S7E6)

What makes this particular episode so memorable isn't the main cast, but the antagonist: Yev Kassem, the unforgettable Soup Nazi. Jerry, George, and Elaine are eager to eat at a new soup shop, but they're afraid of the chef, who enforces strict rules. Not only is Kassem easily offended, but if you tick him off, he kicks you out with a brutal, shouted edict: "No soup for you!"

The plot thickens when the characters learn how delicious his soup is. Most of the customers are fed up with the Soup Nazi's nasty personality, but they put up with his shenanigans because he makes the best soup in town. Inevitably, things go awry for our main cast: The Soup Nazi takes back George's order after he complains about not getting enough bread, and Elaine gets banned for a year because she ordered the wrong way. Jerry and his girlfriend Sheila kiss while visiting the soup shop, and Kassem takes issue with it. To stay on his good side, Jerry disavows Sheila. Somehow, Kramer, of all people, befriends the Soup Nazi — the two forge a close bond over a stolen armoire. It's a ludicrous, quotable whirlwind of an episode, and pure Seinfeld greatness as a result.

The Opposite (S5E21)

"The Opposite" features what might be Jason Alexander's funniest performance. The episode begins with George reflecting on his life and concluding that every decision he's ever made was wrong. In a moment of pure genius, he decides to do the opposite of everything he would normally do. 

Every opposite decision he makes improves his life significantly. George orders a meal at Monk's that he would never get, and lo and behold, an attractive woman named Victoria coincidentally orders the same meal. She initiates a flirty conversation, at which point George drops this gem: "I'm unemployed and I live with my parents." He lands a date with Victoria.

Later, George gets an interview to work for the New York Yankees. Adhering closely to his oppositional ethos, George criticizes the manager's practices during the interview, which somehow lands him the job. He's so amazed by his success, he decrees that "the opposite" is now his personal philosophy.

As George's life rockets upwards, however, Elaine's tumbles down: She gets kicked out of her apartment and loses her job. By the end of the episode, Jerry observes that Elaine has "become George" and reflects on the irony of their circumstances. It's an absurd episode that never misses a chance to get weirder, resulting in a true showcase of talent from the main cast.

The Contest (S4E11)

In this episode, George's mother catches him performing — ahem — a certain private act. She's in such shock, she falls over and is hospitalized. George is so embarrassed, he resolves to never do that again, but the gang is skeptical of his self-control. This conversation develops into a competition to see who can go the longest, with each person wagering $100. The men force Elaine to contribute $150, arguing women have an inherent advantage in this arena.

Of course, every character immediately faces temptation. While visiting his mother in the hospital, George observes an attractive nurse bathing a woman. Kramer has a neighbor who walks around naked in front of her windows. Elaine meets John F. Kennedy Jr. at her gym. Jerry has to refuse to sleep with his girlfriend at one point, and watches children's cartoons to sedate himself.

"The Contest" is a high-wire act of an episode that somehow manages to blend the Kennedy family, relationship drama, and a taboo topic into a bizarre, perfect whole. Does there exist a more brilliant feat of wink-wink-nude-nudge phrasing than "master of my domain"? We think not.

The Outing (S4E17)

"The Outing" focuses on an experience everyone can relate to: The fear of being misunderstood. While eating at a restaurant, Elaine notices a stranger trying to eavesdrop on her conversation with Jerry and George. Elaine decides to mess with the stranger, and starts loudly hinting that Jerry and George are in a closeted relationship. It's intended to be a funny prank among friends, but it turns out that the eavesdropping stranger is a reporter who wants to interview Jerry.

The reporter, Sharon, eventually visits Jerry's apartment, and George is present during the interview. During the conversation, Jerry and George inadvertently convince Sharon even more that the two are a couple. Once Jerry and George realize her misunderstanding, they insist they aren't gay — "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

At first, Sharon believes them, but later, she overhears Jerry and George joking that they really "fooled her." Sharon ends up publishing an article that "outs" Jerry and George as a couple. For the rest of the episode, Jerry and George struggle with two fears: They don't want the world to think they are gay, but at the same time, they don't want anyone to think they're homophobic. This is that rarest of episodes: Something totally '90s, but not in a way that makes you groan decades later. It's goofy, it's weird, and it's utterly Seinfeld.

The Marine Biologist (S5E14)

Jerry runs into Diane, a woman George had a crush on in college. Looking to help his friend out, Jerry tells Diane that George has become a marine biologist. Impressed, Diane asks for George's number. However, George is frustrated with Jerry: Convincingly pretending to be a marine biologist is a tall order.

Meanwhile, Kramer gets his hands on 600 golf balls, which he plans to hit into the ocean. He returns disappointed, as he missed every shot except one, and also got sand in his clothes.

Not long after, George and Diane are at the beach when a beached whale in need of medical attention is found. Diane, plus the crowd that forms, call upon George to use his skills as a marine biologist. George approaches the whale.

Later, while talking with the gang, George recounts what happened next: "The sea was angry that day, my friends." Apparently, George discovered the whale's problem quickly — its blowhole was clogged. George boldly stuck his hand into the blowhole and removed Kramer's golf ball. The gang is in shock, and Kramer can only respond, "A hole-in-one." 

The Bizarro Jerry (S8E3)

This episode is downright Twilight Zone. Elaine's ex-boyfriend Kevin looks and acts like Jerry, but also has peculiarly un-Jerry-like traits. Thus, Jerry dubs Kevin "Bizarro Jerry." Oddly enough, Kevin has two friends named Gene and Feldman, who both look and act like George and Kramer, respectively. As the plot develops, fans are introduced to each character's "bizarro" doppelganger. As Jerry scientifically explains, in comic books, there is a "bizarro universe" where another version of every person exists. Obviously, that is where these odd characters come from.

One reason "The Bizarro Jerry" goes down in history as one of the best episodes is that it leaves viewers with a tantalizing question: Who's your bizarro version? And have you ever met someone who is clearly the bizarro version of a friend or family member? It's fun to ponder alone or in a group, and acts as a killer icebreaker, even years after the episode's debut.

The Merv Griffin Show (S9E6)

Every subplot in "The Merv Griffin Show" is memorable. Kramer finds the set pieces to The Merv Griffin Show in a dumpster. Kramer decides to resurrect the show by refurbishing the set pieces and placing them in his apartment. Whenever guests visit, Kramer pretends he's hosting a live episode, even though there are no cameras. This includes interviewing the guests, and even taking commercial breaks during which Kramer simply eats chips and drinks soda.

While driving with his girlfriend Miranda, George accidentally runs over some pigeons. Miranda is horrified, but George argues that there's a deal between humans and pigeons: Pigeons get out of the way of cars and humans overlook pigeons pooping on statues. George accuses pigeons of breaking their deal. Matters only get worse when George tries to miss hitting another pigeon, but in the process, runs over a squirrel. Miranda insists that George pay for the squirrel's life-saving surgery, but in classic George fashion, he tries to find a way out of it.

Meanwhile, Jerry wants to play with his girlfriend Celia's toy collection, but she won't let him. So Jerry hatches a plan to sneak sleep medication into her food and play with the toys while she's out. However, Kramer invites Jerry to The Merv Griffin Show and gets Jerry to confess to this dastardly plot. All the while, Kramer has Celia backstage. The episode is a perfect symphony of strangeness.

The Hamptons (S5E20)

"The Hamptons" can be summed up in two phrases any Seinfeld fan will recognize: "breathtaking" and "shrinkage."

Our four beloved characters travel to the Hamptons to visit Elaine's friend and her new baby. Elaine thinks the baby is rather ugly, but keeps it to herself. She's flattered when a doctor friend calls her "breathtaking," even bragging about the compliment to others. But she becomes confused when the same doctor calls the ugly baby "breathtaking." Eventually, she confronts him about using the word, and he admits that it's just "something people say" to be nice, which only confuses her further.

George is convinced he will have sex with Jane, his girlfriend, during the trip to the Hamptons. But while George is out on an errand, Jane strangely decides to sunbathe topless in front of Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine. When George finds out, he's furious and demands to see Jerry's girlfriend, Rachel, naked as compensation. George attempts to catch Rachel in the nude by barging in on her while she's changing. This doesn't work, but moments later, Rachel accidentally walks in on George while he's changing and sees his shrunken ... well, you know.

George is upset, insisting that he was suffering from "shrinkage" from being in the water. He desperately tries to get Rachel to understand this, even involving Jerry in the process, but it doesn't work. Eventually, Rachel spills the secret to Jane, and Jane leaves in the middle of the night.

The Chicken Roaster (S8E8)

Usually, Jerry plays the straight man to his eccentric companions. But "The Chicken Roaster," things take a comedic twist. It starts with a new Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant opening up across the street from Kramer's apartment. The establishment puts up a bright neon sign, which shines a red light into Kramer's place. Kramer can't do anything to minimize the red light and it drives him crazy.

In an act of desperation, Kramer begs Jerry to switch apartments, which Jerry reluctantly agrees to do. As the episode progresses, the red light from the chicken restaurant sign makes Jerry act more and more like Kramer. At the same time, Kramer begins taking on Jerry's speech and mannerisms. Jerry and Kramer make efforts to shut down Kenny Rogers Roasters by boycotting the establishment.

Matters become more hilarious when Kramer tastes the restaurant's chicken ... and becomes addicted. He asks Newman to sneak him meals, all to hide the truth from Jerry.

The most hilarious moment of the episode arrives when Jerry discovers that Kramer is secretly supporting the business. Jerry sees Newman at Kenny Rogers Roasters suspiciously ordering broccoli, a food that Newman absolutely loathes. At first, Newman swears that he loves broccoli, until Jerry forces him to eat a piece. It's then that Jerry realizes Newman is sneaking chicken to Kramer. Does there exist a more bizarre and hilarious betrayal in television history?

The Abstinence (S8E9)

At the beginning of "The Abstinence," George learns he cannot have sex with his girlfriend for six weeks, due to a medical issue. As time goes on, it becomes clear that the lack of sex makes him smarter. George takes advantage of this newfound power to learn Portuguese and give batting advice to New York Yankees player Derek Jeter.

Elaine starts seeing Bob, a doctor who hasn't yet earned his license to practice. She's shocked to learn Bob knows very little about medicine when he fails to help a civilian experiencing a medical emergency. Elaine then uses George's strategy to help Bob get his license. By refusing to sleep with Bob, she theorizes, he will get smarter and pass his exam. However, in the process, Elaine becomes more stupid due to the lack of sex. Later, she becomes so desperate for sex to regain her intelligence, she begs Jerry to sleep with her. He politely turns it down because it's "too weird."

Meanwhile, Kramer gets kicked out of Monk's for smoking a cigar. He then meets others who have experienced similar bans from public places. Kramer opens his apartment up as a smoking lounge, much to the displeasure of the gang. As the episode progresses, Kramer's face becomes leathery from excessive smoking. He then hires a lawyer to sue the tobacco company because smoking ruined his good looks, which are supposedly Kramer's "livelihood."

The Limo (S3E19)

"The Limo" is a roller coaster of comedy and plot twists. When George picks up Jerry at an airport, the two see a limousine chauffeur holding a sign with the name "O'Brien" on it. Jerry recalls that O'Brien missed his flight earlier that day, and suggests to George that they pose as O'Brien to score a free limo ride.

George assumes the identity of O'Brien and Jerry poses as his friend. The two gleefully hop in the limousine and call Elaine and Kramer from the vehicle's phone, intending to pick them up as well. However, the longer Jerry and George sit in the limo, the more suspicious things become.

The chauffeur picks up two strange individuals, who evidently have never seen O'Brien, but are very big fans of his work. One of the passengers hands George a transcript of the speech that O'Brien is to give that evening. Jerry and George read the transcript in horror: As it makes clear, O'Brien heads a chapter of a Neo-Nazi organization.

They hear a bang outside the limo, and one of the passengers draws a pistol, expecting a real gunfight. It turns out to be a flat tire, but as you can imagine, Jerry and George are ready to get off this merry-go-round. To make matters worse, Kramer starts believing that Jerry has been leading a double-life as O'Brien.

The Yada Yada (S8E19)

George's girlfriend Marcy uses the phrase "yada yada yada" in peculiar ways: She mentions her ex-boyfriend visited, and, well, "yada yada yada." George worries that Marcy used the phrase to cover up having sex with her ex, so he goes on a mission to uncover the truth. As it turns out, Marcy actually uses "yada yada yada" to cover up her shoplifting.

Meanwhile, Jerry's dentist has recently converted to Judaism and is already telling Jewish-themed jokes. Jerry suspects that Tim only converted for the jokes, and is offended — not because Jerry is Jewish, but because Jerry is a comedian. Jerry later tells a dentist-themed joke, which his dentist takes affront to. During a subsequent visit, the dentist deliberately puts Jerry through a painful procedure. When Jerry recounts all of this to Kramer, Kramer calls Jerry an "anti-dentite."

Kramer and his friend Mickey are double-dating two women, Julie and Karen, but can't determine who should date who. They come up with various schemes to figure out who Julie and Karen want to end up with. For example, Kramer and Mickey plan to show up super early to a double date, sit on opposite sides of the table, and see who each woman sits with. Unfortunately, Julie and Karen are already there when the men show up. Ultimately, Mickey marries Karen, but apparently, Julie liked Mickey all along. "The Yada Yada" is Seinfeld in its purest form: Absurd, complex, and totally unique.