"Seinfeld" became a pop culture touchstone of the 1990s and ended when it was one of the highest-rated shows in the country. When asked why "Seinfeld" became so successful, Jason Alexander credited one particular episode with making it a hit.
Alexander credits the cheeky Season 4 episode "The Contest" — which centers around a bet between Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer over how long they can go without masturbation — with turning the show's popularity around. The episode unfolds masterfully as each character fails, and George ultimately demonstrates a shockingly high amount of self-restraint.
"That became national news the next day, and from that moment on, we were sailing sweet," said Alexander of the episode. The script, which also helped popularize the expression "master of my domain," even won an Emmy award for the show.