“Seinfeld,” which ran for nine seasons on NBC from 1989 to 1997, is one of America’s most beloved (and quotable) sitcoms. It gave us the catchphrases “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” “Serenity now!” and “shrinkage,” among dozens of others, yada, yada, yada.
The series premiered as “The Seinfeld Chronicles” on July 5, 1989, so HowtoWatch is celebrating the show’s 30th anniversary with its own chronicle of frequently asked Seinfeld questions.
For a comedy that was all about “no hugging” and “no learning,” there’s a lot to love and unpack.
Where can I watch “Seinfeld?”
All nine seasons of “Seinfeld” are on Hulu, which owns the streaming rights for the entire series. You can buy single episodes or full seasons digitally through several outlets, including Amazon and YouTube; we suggest purchasing full seasons because it’s the better value (you’ll save almost half the price in most cases).
If you want “Seinfeld” on Blu-ray, sorry, no soup for you: The series is still available only on standard-definition DVD.
On live TV, TBS runs “Seinfeld” blocks on weekdays between other classic sitcoms. You can usually catch an episode or two on local TV, too. Like Newman in the hallway, Seinfeld is nearly impossible to avoid.
♦ Hulu (free with subscription)
♦ YouTube ($1.99 per episode; full seasons for $19.99 each)
♦ Google Play ($1.99 per episode; full seasons for $19.99 each)
♦ Vudu ($1.99 per episode; full seasons for $19.99 each)
♦ Prime Video ($2.99 per episode; full seasons for $19.99 each)
♦ iTunes ($19.99 per full season; complete series for $99.99)
♦ “Seinfeld: The Complete Series” DVD Set ($114.99, Amazon)
Which “Seinfeld” episodes should I watch?
With 180 episodes, “Seinfeld” can be a bit daunting for newbies — where to start? Taking critical rankings and fan accolades into account, as well as our own biases (we’re Team Elaine all the way at HowtoWatch), we’ve compiled nine must-see Seinfeld episodes, one from each season.
♦ “The Stake Out” (season 1, episode 2)
This is the episode that introduced the integral fourth member of the Seinfeld gang, Jerry’s ex, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Jerry attempts to “accidentally” run into a woman he’s interested in by “staking out” her work place (also known as stalking in 2019). Not cool, but ... Elaine!
♦“The Chinese Restaurant” (season 2, episode 11)
In a self-contained episode that takes place entirely in a Chinese restaurant, Jerry, Elaine and George (Jason Alexander) bicker hilariously while waiting (and waiting ... and waiting) for a table. Writer Larry David threatened to quit if NBC, which hated the episode, didn’t air it.
♦ “The Subway” (season 3, episode 13)
Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer (Michael Richards) each go on their own solo misadventure, which doesn’t happen often in the ensemble world of “Seinfeld.” Jerry meets a naked Mets fan, Elaine goes to a lesbian wedding, George is hustled by a female crook and Kramer wagers on a horse race.
♦ “The Contest” (season 4, episode 11)
In a censor-baiting episode, the gang makes a bet between themselves as to who can go the longest without ... ummm ... self-gratification. Kramer is out almost immediately, followed by Elaine after she has a chance run-in with John Kennedy Jr. It’s never made clear if Jerry or George “won.”
♦ “The Marine Biologist” (season 5, episode 14)
George pretends to be a marine biologist to impress a date, which goes well until they happen upon a beached whale in need of rescue. The episode ends with an epic recital of his heroism by George, producing a golf ball extracted from the whale’s blowhole. Bringing it all around: the ball was Kramer’s.
♦ “The Fusilli Jerry” (season 6, episode 21)
The DMV mistakenly gives Kramer a vanity license plate reading “ASSMAN,” which he assumes belongs to a proctologist. A string of wacky events later, Kramer ends up as that proctologist’s patient. This is also the episode that brought in fan-favorite Puddy (Patrick Warburton).
♦“The Soup Nazi” (season 7, episode 6)
The episode that introduced one of Seinfeld’s most infamous side characters, an Argentinian soup purveyor with extremely strict rules about ordering at his stand. “The Soup Nazi” was based on a real New York soup vendor, who claimed Seinfeld “ruined” his business (it didn’t).
♦ “The Yada Yada” (season 8, episode 19)
The title refers to George’s new girlfriend’s habit of abbreviating juicy details of stories with a dismissive “yada, yada, yada,” which became one of “Seinfeld’s” most popular catchphrases. The phrase was later referenced in tribute on other TV shows, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Simpsons.”
♦ “The Serenity Now” (season 9, episode 3)
George’s perpetually angry father Frank (Jerry Stiller) adopts the mantra “Serenity now!” to help lower his blood pressure — but he always screams it, hilariously negating the calming effect. It’s a rarity for a show to introduce such an enduring catchphrase in its final season, but now try not yelling it.
The 9 most-googled “Seinfeld” questions
“Seinfeld” ended just before the internet became a thing in the late ’90s, but it’s still one of the most-searched TV shows on Google. Using SEM Rush, we identified the nine most-googled questions about “Seinfeld” the show and a couple about Jerry himself.
1. How old is Jerry Seinfeld?
Jerry is 65, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 29, 1954. He was 35 when “Seinfeld” debuted, less than a decade after he began his stand-up comedy career. Not quite an overnight success, but close.
2. How many seasons are there of “Seinfeld?”
“Seinfeld” ran for nine seasons on NBC, the majority of which aired on Thursdays, the same night that launched NBC sitcoms like “Cheers,” “Friends” and “The Office.” Jerry reportedly turned down $100 million to make a 10th season because, in numerology, nine means “completion.”
3. How much is Jerry Seinfeld worth?
Despite turning down a huge payday for another “Seinfeld” season, Jerry’s done — to paraphrase writing partner Larry David — pretty, pretty, pretty good for himself without it. At last count, Jerry was worth $950 million, just short of a cool billion, thanks mostly to “Seinfeld” syndication residuals.
4. Is “Seinfeld” on Netflix?
Hulu bought the streaming rights for “Seinfeld” for $180 million in 2015, so you won’t find it on Netflix, like, ever. But you can watch Jerry’s latest series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” on Netflix. It’s a talk show, though — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
5. Where was “Seinfeld” filmed?
Even though it’s considered one of the ultimate New York shows, Seinfeld was filmed almost entirely on Los Angeles soundstages — three, in fact: Universal Studios Hollywood, the CBS Studio Center, and Ren-Mar Studios. Exteriors, like Tom’s Restaurant, were shot in New York.
6. How many episodes of “Seinfeld” are there?
There are 180 “Seinfeld” episodes total, including the original pilot, “The Seinfeld Chronicles.” To compare, “Friends” made 236 episodes, “Cheers” served up 275, and “The Simpsons” have cranked out 662 (and counting).
7. How tall is Jerry Seinfeld?
Jerry Seinfeld is an average 5’11” — though his poofy ’90s hair probably made him an even 6 feet tall. He’s taller than “Seinfeld” co-stars Jason Alexander (5’5”) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (5’3”), but shorter than Michael Richards (6’3”).
8. When did “Seinfeld” start?
Seinfeld debuted on July 5, 1989, as “The Seinfeld Chronicles.” Besides being about a group of friends who aren’t connected through work or family, “Seinfeld” also broke new sitcom ground by having those friends never “grow” or “learn.” It was “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 1.0.”
9. Where can I watch Seinfeld?
As we covered earlier, you can watch Seinfeld on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, TBS, and in syndication on local TV stations. All nine seasons are also available on standard-definition DVD, but not Blu-ray — no, not even for Festivus.
Happy 30th from HowtoWatch, “Seinfeld!” We would have bought a gift, but the Jerk Store called and said they’re running out of you (there’s a “Seinfeld” catchphrase for every occasion).