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Questionable Things We Ignore In Seinfeld

"Seinfeld" is one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, hailing itself as a "show about nothing" surrounding the lives of four hilariously awful people constantly trying to get their way. For a show about nothing, however, there was a lot going on that would be considered pretty risque even for the time. "Seinfeld" follows Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George on a series of often self-destructing schemes and self-imposed arguments that almost always revolve around their dating lives. Many of these moments are still funny, but every rose has its thorns.

For a show that had been on the air for nine seasons of television over the course of nine whole years, it's no surprise that some questionable things popped up from time to time. "Seinfeld" is regarded as one of the funniest shows of all time (and for a good reason), but there is still room for questioning some of these more troublesome moments. These range from little gripes in logic and continuity to more significant instances of unacceptably uncool jokes that may have gone too far. With all that being said, here are some of the questionable things we ignore in "Seinfeld."

Why did so many women like George Costanza?

If there's one constant thread throughout the entire run of "Seinfeld," it's that women want George Costanza for some reason. Now let's make something clear: we aren't trying to dunk on George's looks by any means! Jason Alexander is a bald icon, and we all have felt the touch of his "art of seduction" second-hand, but the problem with George is more in his personality. As a character, George is a horribly selfish and insecure man who often says the worst possible things a person could say in any situation. Why would anyone like that? What is the appeal in a man so pathetically clueless? It must be all that chest hair.

George Costanza consistently convinces beautiful, intelligent, hard-working, and ambitious women to date him even though he's a generally pretty terrible guy. He lies, cheats, and often steals throughout the show to the point that you think his potential partners would see right through him. After all, we can't forget about "The Conversion," the episode where he tried to convert to the Latvian Orthodox religion so that his girlfriend's parents would approve of their relationship! While it's true that most of George's relationships fail thanks to his own behavior, it makes us wonder what people see in him in the first place.

Jerry's living situation makes no sense

The primary setting of "Seinfeld" is Jerry's famously cozy apartment, where our main characters meet in every episode to hang out. The apartment consistently has been a place that makes almost no sense no matter how you slice it for several different reasons.

First and foremost, his apartment number has changed multiple times throughout the show. First, the number was stated as "#411" in its appearance in season one, episode four titled "Male Unbonding" but has at other times been called "3A". Furthermore, an apartment in downtown New York City would be insanely expensive even in the 90s economy. How could Jerry (an up-and-coming comedian), Newman (a postal worker), and Kramer (unknown) possibly live in the same building and seemingly pay the same rent? Not to mention that according to some intrepid internet sleuths, Jerry's hallway, as seen in the show, breaks all known laws of physics and logic, meaning that it physically could not exist!

George is a pervert

Back to the man of the hour, George Costanza. In addition to being one of the main "on the market" members of the "Seinfeld" cast, he also happens to be a massive pervert. In the show, there are several instances where George's lust for women gets him into compromising situations that could have easily been avoided if he just behaved like a normal person.

In particular, there's one moment in the show that remains in infamy because of George going too far with his wandering eyes. During the season four, episode fifteen-episode, titled "The Shoes," George and Jerry have somehow managed to get a meeting with an NBC executive to pitch a "Jerry" show to the network. This moment of meta-commentary is pretty amusing but is quickly ruined when George is caught staring at the cleavage of the NBC executive's underaged daughter.

While it may have been funny at the time for something like this to happen, it has become clear just how gross and unacceptable this joke was even back then. George being a not-so-great guy is part of his charm as a character, but this behavior is way over the line, even for him.

The entire Babu Bhatt storyline

One of the more baffling plotlines of "Seinfeld" is Jerry's relationship (if you can even call it that) with Babu Bhatt. This Pakistani immigrant opened up a restaurant where Jerry became the first customer. In his attempts to "help" Babu bring in business, he inadvertently ruins the man's life time and time again.

In season three, episode twenty-four, titled "The Cafe," Jerry comes up with the misguided idea for Babu to market his restaurant as "Pakistani themed" to bring in more business. Instead, this decision forces Babu to close his restaurant as a result of the bad advice. Their relationship deteriorates even more in later seasons when Jerry somehow manages to get Babu detained and deported during one of his schemes. Everything that happens to Babu Bhatt because of Jerry is honestly pretty horrifying, especially because it's played for laughs just how much this person's life is ruined thanks to Jerry. At least we get some great scenes of Babu yelling at Jerry to make up for it.

Lots of gay panic

If you watch the entirety of "Seinfeld," there's one thing that becomes clear, being kind of homophobic was totally fine in the 90s. It wasn't that the show was trying to be hateful to the LGBTQ+ community, but it's undeniable that there is a lot of gay panic packed within this show that needs to be addressed.

Several episodes revolve around characters that are gay and it's somehow a problem, or characters who aren't gay, but people think they are instead. One of the most famous lines from the show is based on this when in the season four episode "The Outing," Jerry and George are upset that they've been mistaken as a gay couple by a newspaper journalist. Throughout the episode, as the two are bemoaning their situation, they continually add the line: "Not that there's anything wrong with that" in reference to being gay. While this line is one of the most enduring quotes to come out of the show, it downplays the inherent homophobia in these two characters being so worked up about people thinking they're gay.

Another example of this is during the season six episode titled "The Beard," when Elaine becomes obsessed with trying to convert a gay man that she finds attractive. The entire premise of this episode definitely wouldn't fly today, and for a good reason. It's awful to try and seduce someone with a different sexuality since it shows a blatant disrespect for their sexual autonomy.

Jerry seems to have an Asian fetish

In yet another example of "Seinfeld" characters displaying cancellable behavior, Jerry spends almost an entire episode proudly proclaiming that he has an Asian fetish. In the terribly titled season six episode "The Chinese Woman," Jerry goes on a blind date with a woman named Donna Chang, who he assumes is Chinese because her last name is "Chang." Not only is this completely racist from the get-go, but Jerry's attempts to explain his behavior make this even worse.

Aside from being pretty messed up to assume someone's race based on their name, it is even more messed up to proudly proclaim that you have an Asian fetish to the world. Elaine even calls him out on this in the episode, to which he replies that "It's not racist if I like them." That's not how this works, Jerry! There has been a long history of white men fetishizing women of other races, and it's super disrespectful to perpetuate that even in a show like "Seinfeld." Clearly, they knew they were pushing it with this one by having Elaine say anything, but it seems like they thought it was funny enough to slip through the cracks. It's pretty clear that this episode wouldn't see the light of day if it was made today.

Way too much body shaming

"Seinfeld" never shied away from making fun of people for any reason, especially their looks. While it usually was an even balance of jokes at everyone's expense (especially George, whose baldness and stockiness were the frequent target of ridicule), plenty of innocent bystanders got body-shamed way too much.

Troublingly, many of the female characters the boys dated or were in the process of dating were picked apart by characters like Jerry, who went out of their way to find physical issues to complain about. One such instance involved Gillian, a woman Jerry consistently described as having large "man hands," which became a deal-breaker for him. While funny in the context of the show, it's hard to sit by while Jerry is actively body shaming this poor woman who can't control the size, or manliness, of her hands. Similarly, in the season three episode titled "The Nose Job," George makes similarly vain criticisms about a woman he's courting who has a seemingly large nose for his liking. Beyond that, the show constantly makes fun of characters for their height, weight, personalities, mannerisms, class, job, and everything in-between. Could you give it a rest, guys?

All of Kramer's elaborate schemes

One of the most enduring forms of comedy during "Seinfeld's" run was putting Cosmo Kramer into ridiculous situations stemming from his elaborate (and often illegal) schemes. Each one seems crazier than the last and almost always backfires on him and those around him.

While Kramer's antics may make us laugh, it's also hard not to think about the dark implications of some schemes gone wrong. Harmless ones like Kramer's attempt to never leave the shower by making it his permanent home is just a total comedic farce. Still, there are other instances where Kramers's actions could definitely get people hurt.

The worst example of this is in the season seven episode titled "The Secret Code," where Kramer buys a police scanner, inserts himself into a fire station, and crashes a fire engine that he snuck onto. There's no telling how many innocent bystanders got hurt from Kramer delaying (or even destroying) that fire truck on its way to save the day. You've got blood on your hands, Kramer.

Elaine's terrible dancing

If you've watched "Seinfeld," you probably know that Elaine Benes can't dance. It became the topic of an entire episode in season eight called "The Little Kicks," where everyone tries to skirt around telling Elaine just how bad of a dancer she is. But honestly, how could Elaine go her entire life without anyone mentioning she dances weirdly? Someone other than Jerry and company must have noticed this sooner. In real life, if you do something different than everyone else, there's a very good chance you'll get made fun of for it early in life.

The Elaine dance has become a part of pop culture, with many people doing their own versions simply because of how funny it looks. There's no denying it's a hilarious dance to see someone do, but within the episode, it's pretty uncool how everyone treats Elaine for her inability to dance like a normal human. Her coworkers instantly lose respect for her after seeing her dance and start undermining her authority. Making fun of someone is one thing, but bringing that disrespect into the workplace for something completely unrelated is going way too far.

Using immigrants as punchlines

It's not just Babu Bhatt that gets a disturbing treatment in "Seinfeld," as immigrants frequently end up being the butt of jokes regardless of the situation. For some reason, this show tends to say that people from other countries are funny simply because they're different from the main characters. And while the writers probably mean well since they try to make fun of everyone, it still paints an uncomfortable picture when looking back on the show.

One particularly awful instance of this was in the season eight episode "The Checks," an episode centered around Jerry, George, and Kramer interacting with people from Japan in an attempt to pitch their show. The worst part of this episode is when Kramer hosts a group of Japanese businessmen, spending all their money and forcing them to sleep in an oversized chest of drawers instead of a bed. This absurd moment is indicative of the series as a whole being generally unkind to people from other countries and cultures.

Why does Jerry hate Newman?

One of the long-running gags in "Seinfeld" is the contentious relationship between Jerry and his neighbor, Newman. Jerry absolutely hates Newman, and the feeling is mutual, but nobody ever really explains what Newman did to deserve such horrible treatment. Jerry described Newman as the "Lex Luthor to his Superman," but that doesn't track when we are never told why Jerry has it out for the guy.

Newman, for all his flaws, seems like a pretty reasonable guy. He's a hard-working member of the United States Postal Service. Despite some intense opinions about how "the mail never stops" (via the Season 4 episode "The Old Man"), it's clear that Newman's passionate about his line of work. He also has a cordial working relationship with Cosmo Kramer, and the two frequently join forces for some of those elaborate schemes we mentioned earlier. While Kramer may be a bad influence, it's clear that Newman can be a rational accomplice despite how negatively Jerry portrays him in conversation. It's pretty uncool how much animosity these two have for each other and how they never explain where all this comes from. One of these days, they should just sit down and hash it out like adults.

Nobody ever learns anything

As a show, if one idea could describe "Seinfeld," it's that nobody ever learns anything. This is by design since it's much funnier for characters like these to never really grow as people, so they can continually get into the same trouble they always do. The show is unique for this and has inspired imitators like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" for that very reason. With that being said, it is definitely unpleasant to think about how truly terrible these people would be if they actually existed.

Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are horribly selfish people who constantly screw each other over and everyone around them. They break hearts, destroy property, steal, lie, and completely ruin lives in the process. It's no wonder that the show decided to end its nine-season run with "The Finale," which finally punished these characters for their behavior by sending them to jail. As far as finales go, "Seinfeld" was one of the most controversial of all time (right up there with "The Sopranos" and "Game of Thrones"), but in some ways, it's fitting that all these characters finally faced some consequences for their actions.