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The Most Terrible Things Larry David Ever Did

Larry David doesn't care what you or anyone else thinks. That's why he's so much fun to watch. For over 15 years, Larry has railed against social slights imagined and otherwise on Curb Your Enthusiasm, proving once and for all that misanthropy can be a lot of fun, as long as you've got the right guide.

But while the fictional version of Larry might be entertaining for the audience to watch, he's an absolute nightmare for the rest of Curb's characters. That won't stop him. Call him a jerk, a monster, a narcissist, or a "bald bastard." He doesn't care. He's Larry David. He's heard worse.

He downplayed his ex's sexual assault

Empathy doesn't come easily to the Curb version of Larry David. That's one of the reasons why we love him. But Larry's complete inability to care sometimes pushes him a little too far, as in the first season finale, "The Group." In the episode, Larry runs into an old flame, Lisa, who asks Larry to accompany her to an incest survivor's group. As you might imagine, it doesn't go well. When Larry learns that Lisa was molested by her stepfather, he argues that it's not really incest, because Lisa and her abuser aren't related.

Marginalizing someone else's misfortune is a Larry David staple. Given the severity of Lisa's trauma, however, Larry's decision to pick a fight over semantics feels especially cold, especially in a culture that regularly dismisses women who say they've been raped. It doesn't help that Larry goes on to mock the incident, either. While sitting in on the therapy session, he cavalierly invents a story about an uncle who molested him as a child. It's not all fiction, however. Larry really does have an uncle who really is an osteopath. At the end of the episode, the group leader, who's also directing a play that Larry's wife Cheryl is appearing in, meets Larry's actual uncle and promptly tears him apart.

So, to recap: Larry dismissed the real sexual abuse victim, made people think his uncle is a sexual predator, and used an incest survivor's group to get sympathy for something that didn't actually happen. And this is just the first season!

He exploited his handicapped date

George Costanza is based on Larry David, but Larry David is not George Costanza. Still, it can be hard to tell the difference: they're both bald, self-centered, insecure, and unbelievably rude. They both ate an eclair out of the garbage.

And while Curb Your Enthusiasm is a lot more relaxed—and much fouler—than Seinfeld, occasionally the show's Larry David (who is close to, but not exactly like the real Larry David) engages in behavior that'd be right at home on Curb's network predecessor. In "Denise Handicapped," Larry starts seeing Denise, a woman in a wheelchair (naturally, Larry didn't know she was disabled when he asked her out—and she's disappointed when he shows up for a date and ends up being bald). As far as relationships go, Denise and Larry is a bust (especially the sex). Yet Larry decides to keep things going when he realizes just how much of his terrible behavior people are willing to forgive now that he's dating a disabled woman.

It's basically like the Seinfeld episode "The Butter Shave," in which George pretends to be handicapped in order to get preferential treatment at work, except that Larry's exploiting another person's real disability, and not his own pretend one. Larry clearly doesn't see Denise as more than a get-out-of-jail-free card, either: she's only saved in his contact list as "Denise Handicapped," which causes major problems when Susie chucks Larry's phone into the ocean.

He robbed his friend's parents' graves

You don't have to be among the living to suffer at Larry David's hands. Marty Funkhouser, one of Larry's friends, knows this all too well. When Marty dad dies, Larry attends the open-casket funeral, only to discover that the elder Mr. Funkhouser is going to be buried with one of Larry's favorite golf clubs (Larry suspects that Sven, the antagonistic clubhouse manager at Larry's country club, is responsible). This being Larry, of course, he doesn't just take the slight and move on. Instead, with help from his manager Jeff, Larry switches out the club for a replacement—and is subsequently discovered in the middle of the funeral service.

And then, when Funkhouser's mother passes away, Larry does it again. Ida Funkhouser dies in a car accident, and mourners set up a roadside memorial in her honor. It's a moving tribute. It's also a handy spot for Larry to pick up bouquets of flowers without paying for them, like when he needs to apologize to the headmistress at a prestigious private school. Or when he needs to apologize to his housemate, Loretta Black. Or when he's trying to make peace with Loretta's mother, Auntie Rae. This time, Larry has an excuse—Marty owes him $50—but it's not a good one. Why Marty remains friends with Larry, we'll never know.

He called Cheryl's aunt a... well, you know

The Funkhousers aren't the only ones posthumously disgraced by Larry. After Cheryl's aunt passes away, Cheryl's grieving family asks Larry to handle the obituary. He's a writer. It should be easy.

And yet, in true Larry fashion, he messes everything up anyway. It's not clear whether Jeff, who writes out the obituary that Larry dictates to him, made a spelling error, or if the folks at the newspaper inadvertently changed the "a" in "beloved aunt" to a "c." Either way, Larry's tribute takes on a very, very different meaning, and he takes the blame.

Things get even worse when Cheryl's sister's boyfriend breaks up with her after the funeral, allegedly acting on Larry's advice. Enraged, Cheryl kicks Larry out of the house, forcing him to crash at Jeff's—where he accidentally gropes Jeff's mother. All in all, "Beloved Aunt" is a historically poor showing for Larry—and given everything that he's been through, that's saying something.

He invited a sex offender to a Passover seder

Larry might be a self-centered, misanthropic scrooge, but he has room in his heart for sympathy. He just doesn't always apply it in the right situations. For example, in "The Seder," Larry befriends his new neighbor, Rick. Like Larry, Rick is bald. He likes golf, and gives Larry some killer tips. He also helps Larry carry his groceries. Larry thinks Rick is a swell guy, and invites him to join the Davids' annual Passover seder.

There's just one problem: Rick is also a registered sex offender. If you're not up on your Jewish holidays, Passover is a family event. There will be children. Now, Curb Your Enthusiasm never reveals exactly what sort of behavior got Rick on the sex offender list. It could be something as benign as urinating in public. But because we don't know—and neither does Larry or Cheryl—it's remarkably uncomfortable, even by Curb standards, when Jeff's daughter collapses, and the only person at the seder who knows mouth-to-mouth is, well, Rick. Funny? Maybe. Gross and inappropriate? Absolutely.

He killed a beloved swan (and maybe a fellow golfer)

Larry likes golf more than he likes most people, and anything that interrupts his time on the links risks incurring his wrath. That's true of Norm, one of the other members at Larry's country club, and the golf course's iconic black swan. In "The Black Swan," both cross paths with Larry, and both wind up dead well before the episode ends.

In the case of the swan, it's outright murder. The swan attacks Larry and Marty Funkhouser during a round of golf; in order to defend himself, Larry brandishes his club and smacks the swan, sending a plume of feathers flying. It dies on the spot. Unfortunately, the swan happens to be the country club owner's pride and joy—the bird even inspired the club's swan-shaped crest. As Mr. Tagahashi investigates the avian murder, Larry ropes his friends into helping with a cover-up. It doesn't last, and the truth eventually comes out.

With Norm, things are a little more complicated. Larry didn't lay a finger on his fellow sportsman, but when Larry and his golf party are stuck behind Norm, who makes his way through the course at his own pace, Larry begins yelling at him. As the confrontation escalates, Norm's blood pressure rises, and before long he suffers a heart attack and dies. Larry didn't kill Norm, exactly, but the man would probably still be alive if he hadn't had the simple misfortune of golfing in front of Larry David.

He taught a kid to make Nazi-themed crafts

For a long time, "Larry vs. Michael J. Fox" seemed like it was going to be Curb Your Enthusiasm's de facto series finale. It's not, but if it had been, at least the show would've gone out with a bang.

The trouble starts when Larry's latest girlfriend, Elizabeth, takes longer than expected to get ready for their date. While he waits, Larry amuses himself by drawing Hitler moustaches and swastikas in Elizabeth's magazines. It's a little odd, but doesn't actually cause any harm until Elizabeth's seven-year-old son, Greg, catches sight of Larry's handiwork. Without realizing what it means, Greg falls in love with the swastika design. "I like how the lines just go straight, up, down! Straight, up, down!" Greg exclaims.

Now, Greg is a flamboyant little guy. He likes fashion and Project Runway. And so, when Greg's birthday rolls around, Larry goes out of his way and gets Greg an uncharacteristically thoughtful gift: a sewing machine. Elizabeth scolds Larry for trying to make Greg gay—and besides, Susie argues, Greg's too young to be sexually attracted to anyone of either sex—but it doesn't matter. Larry got Greg a perfect gift. Greg loves the sewing machine. In fact, by the time Larry shows up with a replacement gift, Greg's already managed to use it—to sew Susie a custom pillow sham with a swastika front and center.

Guess who takes the blame?

He drugged his friend's girlfriend

It's not the drug that's important—as per the title, the drug that Larry slips Richard Lewis' girlfriend in "The Benadryl Brownie" is only an anti-allergy medication. It's that he's slipping drugs—any drug—to a person who doesn't want it in the first place. See, Lewis' latest squeeze is a Christian Scientist. That means she trusts God, not modern medicine, and refuses science-based medical treatments. That ends up being a problem when she eats some peanuts a week before the Emmys, inflaming her allergy and causing her to break out.

So, Larry and Richard hatch a plan: they'll lace a brownie with Benadryl and trick Lewis' girlfriend into violating her religious beliefs, saving Richard the embarrassment of walking down the red carpet with a woman who looks like "turnips and blood" (Richard's words, not ours). Ultimately, it doesn't work. Oh, Larry manages to complete his scheme and deliver the drugged brownies a full day before the ceremony. Unfortunately, they don't taste very good. Lewis' girlfriend appreciates the effort but refuses to eat the brownies (even Richard admits they suck), and Richard's forced to take his date to the Emmys as-is.

He hung up on his wife while she was trying to say goodbye—for good

Everybody has a breaking point, even Cheryl David, Larry's long-suffering wife. It just took her five and a half seasons to reach it. In "The TiVo Guy," while traveling alone, Cheryl ends up on a wildly turbulent flight, and suspects that she may not survive the voyage. In a panic, she calls Larry on her cell to say goodbye and to let Larry know she loves him. But the reception isn't very good, leading to a broken and fragmented conversation, and Larry ends up blowing her off once the TiVo serviceman arrives to perform some much-needed repairs.

For Cheryl, that's it. It's not just the phone call, of course. Larry's numerous feuds, irrational outbursts, or generally abhorrent social behavior turn her off. He talks during sex. He spent an entire season trying to sleep with another woman—any other woman. Cheryl lands and promptly informs Larry that she's filing for divorce. His life changes forever.

Most of the couple's mutual friends side with Cheryl, and rightfully so, throwing Larry's social life into disarray. His favorite restaurant refuses to seat him. The TiVo still doesn't work. It's one of the few times in Curb Your Enthusiasm's long run that Larry really, truly suffers as a result of his actions, and the whole following season—the one with the pseudo-Seinfeld reunion—is dedicated to Larry's attempts to win Cheryl back. Of course, he does, and then blows it anyway. This is Larry David, after all. He's not going to get a happy ending.

He peed on a picture of Jesus

You don't have to live in Curb Your Enthusiasm's wacky, cynical world for Larry David to ruin your day. Look at how devout Christians responded to the season seven episode "The Bare Midriff." While most of the episode focuses on Larry and Jerry's plans for the fictional Seinfeld reunion and the revealing outfits worn by their flabby assistant, in a side story, Larry accidentally creates a miracle when he pees on a picture of Jesus.

It's not a malicious act. Larry is on new medication, which makes his streams of urine flow like they're being shot from a firehose. With all the extra pressure, Larry has trouble aiming, and a single stray drop lands on the savior's face. Naturally, Larry leaves the drop of pee in place, the painting's owners think the image is producing real tears, and chaos ensues.

Unsurprisingly, some people weren't happy with the storyline. The head of the Catholic League blasted the show in the press. Prominent Christian bloggers accused Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm of religious discrimination, and accused HBO of having a double standard when it comes to spiritual topics. Still, despite the minor outrage, HBO stood by David and Curb. "The show is full of parody and satire," the company explained. "Larry David makes fun of everyone, most especially himself. The humor is always playful and certainly never malicious."

Strong words, but we'll let Larry's victims be the judge of that, thank you very much.