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This Iconic Seinfeld Food Moment Almost Looked Totally Different

Perhaps due to its setting in New York City — known for its diverse cuisine — food played a pretty big role on "Seinfeld" throughout the show's nine-season run from 1989 to 1998. The gang frequently hangs out at Monk's Café, with the exterior of the fictional coffee shop portrayed by the real Tom's Restaurant, in Morningside Heights. In Season 7, Episode 6, "Soup Nazi," they visit a takeout place based on a real restaurant run by strict proprietor Albert Yeganeh. In Season 6, Episode 2, "The Big Salad," Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gets undeserved credit for a salad she didn't buy. And in Season 6, Episode 6, "The Gymnast," George (Jason Alexander) grabs and eats an eclair he found in the garbage.

When we're talking iconic moments on "Seinfeld," however, it should come as no surprise that Kramer (Michael Richards) is at the center of many of them. And one of the funniest pivoted from the way it was originally planned.

Kramer has his share of food fights

When Kramer isn't creating chaos for everyone around him, he's often causing trouble for himself. In Season 5, Episode 1, "The Mango," he gets banned from a fruit shop. In Season 6, Episode 20, "The Doodle," he sics a dog on Newman (Wayne Knight) for eating his last Mackinaw peach. He turns himself into a target of Newman's appetite in Season 9, Episode 1, "The Butter Shave," when he slathers himself in butter, bakes in the sun, and smells so delicious that Newman tries to eat him.

In Season 4, Episode 20, "The Junior Mint," food isn't the only focus of the many converging storylines. Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) is having trouble remembering the name of the woman he's dating, with only her comment that it rhymes with a female body part as a clue. Elaine's passion for a former boyfriend, Roy (Sherman Howard), is reignited when she sees him in the hospital and notices his weight loss. Jerry and Kramer are invited to observe Roy's surgery from above the operating room, and that's when food gets into the picture.

Treating the surgery like everyday entertainment, Kramer has naturally brought along a snack. He pours a handful of Junior Mints from a box and shoves them into his mouth. He keeps his eyes on the action down below, as Jerry turns in disbelief. Soon Kramer is badgering Jerry to have some candy too. Suddenly, the Junior Mints have stolen the spotlight. But as the script was originally planned, it wasn't always meant to be that way.

Apparently, popcorn isn't a funny food

As they argue, Jerry pushes Kramer's hand and a single Junior Mint sails into the air, about to create huge consequences. They watch in horror as the Junior Mint lands inside the patient. Soon, Roy has a life-threatening infection, and George decides it's a good time to invest in Roy's art, which he expects to skyrocket in value after the poor guy's death. At this point, the candy is driving the show. And the funny thing is it was originally supposed to be popcorn that Kramer was eating.

As "Seinfeld" writer Andy Robin told HuffPost Entertainment, he thought of popcorn because the idea was to portray Kramer acting as if watching surgery was the same as seeing a movie. But then he had a conversation about it with a family member. "I was on the phone with my brother, running the story by him, and he said, 'No, make it Junior Mints because it's funnier,'" Robin revealed.

Why that's true is hard to say. Dissecting comedy is often what kills it, after all. But there's no denying Junior Mints was the superior comedic choice in this case. As Kramer puts it in the episode, "Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate. It's peppermint. It's delicious. It's very refreshing!"

Maybe those are the very reasons Junior Mints got a much-deserved pop culture moment.