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Top 10 Funniest Seinfeld Running Gags

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Top 10 Funniest Seinfeld Running Gags How are we going to narrow it down to 10? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Seinfeld Running Gags. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best running gags from the nine seasons of “Seinfeld.” These can be recurring lines, actions, or personality quirks.
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How are we going to narrow it down to 10? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Seinfeld Running Gags.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best running gags from the nine seasons of “Seinfeld.” These can be recurring lines, actions, or personality quirks.

10: Who is This?

Simple yet effective is perhaps the best way to describe this classic running gag from everyone’s favorite show about nothing. The joke worked like this: a member of the gang – usually George – would call Jerry in a frenzy, making an urgent and highly specific request that only Jerry would understand, and he’d reply by asking in a nonchalant manner, “who is this?” The gag works because of the juxtaposition between George’s desperate, often hysterical behavior and Jerry’s cool, calm, collected way of responding to it. Of course sometimes Jerry himself fell prey to joke, but it always worked best when it was George on the other end of the line.

#9: Elaine and Puddy Breaking Up

David Puddy, often referred to simply as Puddy, was Elaine’s on-again off-again boyfriend who first popped up in the Season 6 episode, “The Fusilli Jerry.” The running gag between these two was that they broke up and got back together so often it became totally meaningless to both of them. Of course they were never really “meant to be,” not with Puddy’s odd characters traits (the face painting anyone?) or his laissez faire attitude toward their relationship, and Elaine’s seemingly never-ending list of turn-offs. The highlight of the gag came in Season 9 when Elaine and Puddy broke up, got back together, and then broke up again all on a single flight.

#8: Fake George Steinbrenner

“Seinfeld” had a knack for incorporating caricatures of real people into the show to great comedic effect and Fake George Steinbrenner was the crowning achievement. Larry David provided Steinbrenner’s voice while actors Mitch Mitchell and Lee Bear acted as his physical stand-in (though his face was always obscured). The character made his first appearance in Season 5 and had a recurring role until George was traded from the Yankees to Tyler Chicken. Fake Steinbrenner was prone to outbursts of emotion, bad baseball decisions, and for flailing his arms in a ridiculous manner. The real George Steinbrenner was a fan of the show and even had a cameo in Season 7, though it ended up being cut.

#7: George Talking About Himself in Third Person

“George is getting upset!” Such is the way George Costanza spoke at various points throughout “Seinfeld.” He picked up the habit after meeting Jimmy, a peculiar man who always referred to himself in the third person. George being George decided to try it out for himself. The gag just works, plain and simple. It is easily quotable and a whole lot of fun to try out on your friends. Just don’t do it too much because nobody likes a guy who only talks about himself.

#6: Kramer’s Business Ideas

The physical comedic force that was Cosmo Kramer was nothing if not a loveable goof. Of course when he wasn’t bursting through doors or talking about his many – seemingly nonexistent – friends, he was drumming up new and increasingly bizarre business ideas. From a pizza restaurant where you get to make your own pie, to the infamous “Peterman Reality Tour,” Kramer had an ostensibly never-ending list of ways to make money. Oh, and let’s not forget his coffee table book about coffee tables, which he almost pulled off in Season Five. Of course, it didn’t end well…

#5: George's Fake Jobs

Throughout “Seinfeld,” George held numerous jobs, from his time as a hand model to his years working with the Yankees. And yet, it’s the jobs that he claims to have held, but never actually did, that stand out the most. George at various points throughout the series claimed to be an importer / exporter, a marine biologist, a latex salesman, and an architect. Often times he would also assume the pseudonym Art Vandelay when discussing his pretend jobs. Of course the only thing better than watching George fumble through some half-assed lie about a job he just made up is watching him get fired from his real jobs, which happened quite often.

#4: Jerry Dumping Women Over Minor Flaws

Jerry dated a lot of women, with the official number listed at 73. And yet, he somehow managed to torpedo every single relationship he was in. This was mainly due to his compulsion for seeking out flaws in the women he went out with, regardless of how small they might have been. Jerry broke up with a woman because she ate peas one at a time and broke up with another because she had “man hands.” Neurotic, fickle, and emotionally detached, Jerry wasn’t exactly boyfriend material.

#3: Get Out!

The physical humor in “Seinfeld” was always top notch. And while most will point to Kramer as the best physical comedian of the bunch, it’s Elaine’s penchant for pushing people in a fit of excitement that remains one of the show’s most memorable gags. While the situations for when she doled out this peculiar push varied, it was always followed by the exclamation, “Get out!” Elaine was prone to moments of manic behavior, but none more enduring than this one. Nobody was immune to her physicality, as Elaine utilized the signature move on Jerry, Kramer, and George at one point or another.

#2: Hello Newman

It would happen every couple of episodes. Newman would bump into Jerry and the two would share the following exchange. Both men had their own way of saying hello, but the one similarity is that they’d both do it in a way that expressed their deep seated hatred for one another. Even Jerry’s mom would address Newman with contempt! The reason behind their dislike of one another was never revealed, but it hardly mattered. The pleasure of this gag came from its consistency and the fact that Newman was such a dastardly little weasel and Jerry was so utterly offended by his presence. And you thought you hated your neighbor!

#1: Kramer’s Crazy Entrances

Who’d have thought that the way Kramer entered Jerry’s apartment would become the most memorable gag? Throughout the show’s 180 episode run, Kramer found increasingly bonkers ways to fly through his neighbor’s door: he slide in, he fell in, he came in with his hands full, he came in bandages, he came in smoking cigars; hell, once he even came through the door holding a still-ongoing game of risk. And every time he did, the audience went nuts. You know you have one of the best jokes in sitcom history when people are still laughing nine seasons later. Just one last thing… did Jerry ever lock his door?
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