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The Ridiculous George Storyline On Seinfeld You Probably Didn't Know Was Based On A Real Story

Of all the memorable television series that hit the airwaves in the 1990s, one might easily argue that few had a larger impact on the pop culture landscape than NBC's hit sitcom "Seinfeld." In fact, the series, which was infamously dubbed "a show about nothing" during its primetime heyday, essentially redefined what a sitcom could be. And as for that "show about nothing" tag, it wasn't entirely accurate, as "Seinfeld" was essentially about a tight-knit group of friends (played by Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards) navigating everyday life in New York City.

Their stories were, of course, often centered around seemingly mundane, day-to-day events like waiting for a table at a restaurant or getting lost in a parking garage. Where "Seinfeld" set itself apart from every other show on television at the time was its uncanny ability to transform those mundanities into absurdist comic fables that somehow never felt too far removed from reality. And according to long-time "Seinfeld" writer Carol Leifer, even a beyond ridiculous Season 7 storyline involving George Costanza (Alexander) was based on a real story. Here's which one. 

George's rye bread debacle was inspired by actual events

As some "Seinfeld" superfans know, Carol Leifer is thought to have been the inspiration for the character Elaine Bennis. She is, of course, also a well-respected comedian in her own right, a long-time friend of "Seinfeld" co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and a talented comedic writer who penned numerous episodes of the show over the years.

One of those episodes is the memorable Season 7 installment that found George Costanza attempting to replace a loaf of rye bread his parents (Jerry Stiller and Estelle Harris) spitefully took back home with them after it wasn't served during a dinner with the family of his fiancée, Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg). And according to Leifer's statements to news.com.au, that beyond ridiculous setup actually happened to a friend of hers. Leifer explained, "I have a friend from high school who said she had a great 'Seinfeld' idea. She said, 'We had a dinner party the other night and these people brought a bread to serve at the dinner and I forgot to put the bread out and I noticed at the end of the night they took the bread home."

The story seemed to Leifer like ideal fodder for a "Seinfeld" tale, and she claims Larry David agreed once she'd pitched it, stating, "I remember saying to my friend, 'You know what? I'm going to pitch to Larry and Jerry because I think there's something there.' And sure enough when I pitched it to them, Larry David was like, 'That's a show. We're definitely doing something with that,' and that became the episode called The Rye." It's not entirely clear just how much of the real story made its way into the "Seinfeld" episode. But given the way things played out, we should hope it merely served as a framing device.