10. "The Jimmy" A sneaker salesman (who only refers to himself in the third person) inspires George to purchase a pair of plyometric training shoes so he can dunk. After getting a dose of Novocaine at the dentist, Kramer drools on the floor, injuring Jimmy – "Jimmy might have a compound fracture!" – and forcing George to take over his sales route. Later, Kramer is mistaken for a mentally handicapped man and serenaded by Mel Tormé, and Jerry believes Tim Whatley is running a sex service. Underrated.
9. "The Label Maker" On the episode that popularized the phrase "regifting," Jerry has two tickets to the Super Bowl, but can't attend due to the Drake's wedding. So he gives them to Whatley, who, in turn, gives him a label maker, which Elaine believes is the same one she gave him for Christmas, yada yada yada, Jerry ends up at the Super Bowl with Newman. Also noteworthy: George's love of velvet, Newman and Kramer's epic game of "Risk," and the use of a Ménage à trois as a plot device for the second consecutive episode (after "The Switch").
8. "The Face Painter" Plain-spoken Puddy paints his face in a show of support for the New Jersey Devils, much to Elaine's horror. After terrifying a visiting priest (and Elaine threatens to break up with him), he promises to stop face-painting alltogether...though he never said anything about chest painting.
7. "The Opposite" George has a life-altering realization at the beach: "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." Using his new mantra, he insults George Steinbrenner, gets a job with the Yankees and impresses a beautiful woman with his honesty ("My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents.") First appearance of Larry David as the voice of Steinbrenner.
6. "The Understudy" George bowls over Better Midler in a home-plate collision during a softball game, which clears the way for Jerry's girlfriend Gennice – her understudy – to star in the Broadway adaptation of "Rochelle Rochelle." The entire city of New York is convinced George injured Midler on purpose (ala the Tanya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal), and when Gennice finally takes the stage, she has a problem with the laces on her boot, and, like, Harding, tearfully asks to start over.
5. "The Comeback" Jerry purchases a brand-new tennis racquet at the recommendation of the club pro, Milos, only to discover he is a terrible player. Shamed, Milos attempts to buy his silence by giving Jerry his wife, a plan the backfires and forces Jerry to throw a match in order to give the pro his pride back. He does so in spectacular fashion ("Another game for Milos!") Meanwhile, George embarks on an epic L'esprit de l'escalier quest to deliver a retort to a former co-worker who zings him about shrimp. The episode that gave us the phrase "the Jerk Store."
4. "The Letter" Elaine tells her boss, Mr. Lippman, she must attend to her sick father in order to get out of attending his son's bris. Free, she takes Jerry's girlfriend up on her offer to sit in the owner's box at a Yankees game, but causes a commotion when she refuses to remove her Baltimore Orioles cap. When a photo of the altercation appears in the newspaper, she must prevent Lippman from seeing it. Meanwhile, a painting of Kramer becomes a sensation ("He's a loathsome, offensive brute...yet I can't look away!")
3. "The Race" An underrated sixth-season episode about Christmas, Communism and a controversial ninth-grade race. Jerry knows he got a head start, but refuses to admit it, and has avoided any and all challenges in the decades since – "I choose not to run," he proclaims – until an old rival shows up and Jerry agrees to a rematch. To the strains of the Superman theme, he defeats his foe, though once again, he gets a jump start, this time thanks to Kramer's backfiring car.
2. "The Marine Biologist" Sure, Kramer's golf obsession is merely a subplot, but when he unknowingly drives a Titleist ball into a whale's blowhole, he fulfills George's lifelong dream of being a marine biologist, and inspires one of the greatest scenes in Seinfeld history, as Costanza regales the gang with the epic tale of how he saved the fish (mammal, whatever) in question. His Hemingway-esque highlights – "The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli" – have become the stuff of TV legend.
1. "The Boyfriend" A no-brainer. Keith Hernandez sets the standard against which all other athlete cameos are measured, engaging in a bro-mance with Jerry, wooing Elaine and getting accused of salivary assault by Kramer and Newman. From the Zapruder-style reenactment of the spitting incident (which introduced the phrase "Magic loogie" and the second-spitter theory) to the debut of Vandelay Industries, it's not only the greatest sports-centric Seinfeld ep, it's also one of the show's all-time best. And, despite the fact he won two World Series titles and an MVP award during his career, it's still the only thing people ask Hernandez – who currently works as an SNY broadcaster – about.
"To this day, people come up to me in airports and ask 'What was it like kissing Elaine?'" he tells Rolling Stone. "Everywhere I go, people still crack jokes about the Seinfeld show."
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