6 Seinfeld Fan Theories That Will Blow Your Mind

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Few comedies have been subjected to as much scrutiny as Seinfeld, which premiered on NBC 30 years ago this year and featured a cast of bizarre characters orbiting the life of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Each episode is a stream of intertwined plots, quotable dialogue, and world-building, from Kramer’s various side businesses to Elaine's unfortunate love life.

The audience’s enduring devotion has led to a number of theories about certain story threads. Check out some of the wildest alternative thinking about Jerry and the gang.

1. There’s a reason everyone is always catching up with one another.

Many, many episodes of Seinfeld are predicated on George, Kramer, and Elaine popping into Jerry's apartment to update everyone else on who they’re dating, how their job is working out, or why everyone needs to mind the Soup Nazi. These constant exposition dumps might be due to the idea that Jerry is constantly on tour doing stand-up and is out of town for weeks at a time. By the time he returns, the group has plenty of catching up to do.

2. Kramer is a widow.

Despite an endless stream of failed business ventures—Kramerica, sausage manufacturing, underwear modeling—Kramer never appears at a loss for money. He’s able to afford a New York City apartment without any apparent means of employment. User NwlinsTigers9 of the TigerDroppings.com forum posited that the reason Kramer appears unconcerned with his finances is because he’s a widow living off an inheritance. Having a deceased wife would explain why he attempts to emulate a domestic dynamic with Jerry, seemingly sharing in everything Jerry owns. Those nonsensical attempts to earn money are simply a way for Kramer to occupy his sad, lonely mind following the loss of his significant other.

3. George’s brother committed suicide. Because of George.

Few onscreen families appear to be as dysfunctional as the Costanzas, with George being continually browbeaten by his parents, Frank and Estelle. In 2016, Cracked writer Markos Hasiotis presented a possible motivation for why the family relations are so strained. In the season three episode “The Suicide,” George is reminded that his brother once got a woman named Pauline pregnant. George’s tendency to dwell on the lives of others may have prompted him to call this mystery sibling and remind him his life is in tatters, sending him into a depression that led to him offing himself. In the next episode, “The Fix-Up,” George is clearly dismayed. And in subsequent episodes, his parents’ hostility could be attributed to their resentment over George inciting his brother to make a premature exit. This would also explain the urn seen in the Costanza household, as well as the single table spot left empty when the family gathers to eat.

4. Kramer is a drug dealer.

Kramer’s lack of any obvious source of income will always be puzzling to viewers. According to Redditor IMTHEWIZZ, his lifestyle may be the result of illegal narcotics dealing. Drug usage would explain his frequently erratic behavior and his seemingly insatiable appetite, which sees him constantly bursting through the door to raid Jerry’s refrigerator.

5. The gang has the dynamics of grown-up Peanuts characters.

While not necessarily a plausible continuity theory, there is an argument that the four main Seinfeld characters could be inhabiting some of the dynamics of another group—the Peanuts gang of Charles Schulz comic strip fame. Redditor aehutton framed George as Charlie Brown, with his extreme neuroses and pessimism. Elaine is Lucy, taunting George. Jerry is Linus, clinging to childhood objects (cereal and Superman instead of a blanket). Kramer is alternately Pigpen or Snoopy, mellow and seemingly carefree. This also dovetails with a theory that Kramer is actually a dog prone to spastic movements and uninhibited emotions, and explains why he crashes into Jerry’s apartment with the enthusiasm of a canine.

6. TV’s Jerry is actually a bad comedian.

Jerry Seinfeld is a good comedian. He’s a student of the craft, has been practicing for decades, and sells out live shows to this day. While we extrapolate that to mean his sitcom counterpart was also a good comic, that may not be necessarily true. As one Redditor pointed out, viewers never actually see Jerry “kill” on stage. Distractions like hecklers ruin his concentration. In “The Abstinence,” he bombs in front of a junior high school class. In “The Ex-Girlfriend,” a woman breaks up with him specifically because she found his performance so unfunny. He’s also never shown hanging out with fellow comedians, save for the annoying Kenny Bania. In “The Finale,” even a captive audience of prisoners doesn’t seem amused by him.

HBO Is Offering Nearly 500 Hours of Free Content, From The Sopranos to Succession

Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun talk business and omelettes in Succession.
Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun talk business and omelettes in Succession.
Peter Kramer/HBO

If shelter-in-place orders have you burning through your streaming service selections, HBO might be able to help. The premium network has just announced nearly 500 hours of content will be made available for free beginning Friday, April 3. In a press release, the channel said that content would be unlocked via HBO NOW and HBO GO without a subscription. Viewers can expect a mix of HBO’s original series as well as documentaries and catalog movie titles. For original series, viewers can select these nine shows:

  1. Ballers
  2. Barry
  3. Silicon Valley
  4. Six Feet Under
  5. The Sopranos
  6. Succession
  7. True Blood
  8. Veep
  9. The Wire

Documentary and Docuseries titles include:

  1. The Apollo
  2. The Case Against Adnan Syed
  3. Elvis Presley: The Searcher
  4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
  5. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
  6. Jane Fonda in Five Acts
  7. McMillion$
  8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
  9. United Skates
  10. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest

Movies are from the Warner Bros. library and, unlike The Sopranos, are mostly family-friendly. They include:

  1. Arthur
  2. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
  3. Blinded By the Light
  4. The Bridges of Madison County
  5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
  6. Empire of the Sun
  7. Forget Paris
  8. Happy Feet Two
  9. Isn't It Romantic?
  10. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  11. Midnight Special
  12. My Dog Skip
  13. Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
  14. Pan
  15. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
  16. Red Riding Hood
  17. Smallfoot
  18. Storks
  19. Sucker Punch
  20. Unknown Title To Be Announced

The shows can be viewed directly without a sign-in on the HBO GO and HBO NOW websites or via their apps. (The services are nearly identical, but HBO GO is typically included with a cable subscription; HBO NOW is a standalone streaming service.) If you’d like to sample the full range of HBO series like Game of Thrones, The Outsider, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, the channel is offering a seven-day free trial.

According to the press release, the programming will be available to watch without subscribing through the end of April.

Which Fictional Character Are You? This Online Quiz Might Give You an Eerily Accurate Answer

Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is the unofficial king of witty side comments. Are you, too?
Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is the unofficial king of witty side comments. Are you, too?
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While watching a TV show or movie, you might find yourself trying to draw parallels between you and a certain character you’d want to be. If you’re like many viewers, it’s probably one of the heroic ones—the handsome private investigator with a tortured past and an unerring moral compass or the fearless queen who builds her kingdom from nothing and defends it to the death, etc.

But which character would you actually be? Openpsychometrics.org, a site that develops personality tests, has a new online quiz that might give you an uncannily accurate answer. You’ll be confronted with a series of 28 questions that ask you to pinpoint where you fall between two traits on a percentage-based spectrum. For example, if you’re more playful than serious, slide the bar toward the word playful until you’ve reached your desired ratio. The ratio could be anything from 51 percent playful and 49 percent serious, to a full 100 percent playful and not a single iota of seriousness at all. Other spectrums include artistic versus scientific, dominant versus submissive, spiritual versus skeptical, and more.

Once you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll find out which fictional character your personality most closely matches from a database of around 500 television and film characters. To pinpoint the personalities of the characters themselves, the quiz creators asked survey participants to rate them on a series of traits, and those collective results are then compared to your own self-ratings.

If you scroll down below your top result, you’ll see an option to show your full match list, which will give you a much more comprehensive picture of what kind of character you’d be. My top two results—which, ironically, were the same as Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy’s—were The West Wing’s C.J. Cregg and Joey Lucas, suggesting that we both have a no-nonsense attitude, a perfectionist streak, and an apparent aptitude for national politics that (at least in our cases) will likely go unfulfilled.

The fictional twin of managing editor Jenn Wood, on the other hand, is Game of Thrones’s Tyrion Lannister, unofficial king of witty side comments and all-around fan favorite. This was not surprising. As runner-up, Jenn got her personal hero, Elizabeth Bennet, which, in her words “makes me feel better about myself.” (Jenn has Pride and Prejudice-themed “writing gloves,” which seems important to mention.)

Take the quiz here to find out just how much you have in common with your own personal (fictional) hero.

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