It was only a matter of time before we got to Seinfeld in our "Who is the actual worst?" series. (Or, in the case of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, "Who is the actual best?" Or, in the case of The Umbrella Academy, "Who is the most tragic?") Everyone in Seinfeld is supposed to be awful, so it's natural that we would want to determine who is the worst person in the series (or at least from the main cast because it's obviously Newman). Keep in mind, we will only be judging the characters here, not the actors. While Michael Richards tirade at The Laugh Factory is damning, that is inadmissible evidence regarding the character he plays, Cosmo Kramer.
Remember, we are but a fly on the wall in the Seinfeld universe - A very annoying, judgmental fly, with an unbiased perspective on these characters' moral happenings. So with that out of the way, let's begin:
The Case For Jerry:
Jerry is portrayed by the show to be the sensible one, and there's no doubt that Jerry is, indeed, the most logical and grounded of the four. In fact, he's so sensible that it might border on psychopathy. Jerry has so rarely cried that when he finally does cry, he questions the "salty discharge" coming out of his eye sockets.
Jerry is basically Dennis Reynolds with a laugh track. His rap sheet isn't as long or as egregious, but his sins come from that same place of selfishness and narcissism. Take the episode, "The Pool Guy," where Jerry refuses to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Ramon the pool boy, not because Jerry is incapable of the procedure, but because he finds Ramon to be a nuisance and the whole thing rather icky. Or take the episode "The Merv Griffin Show," where Jerry uses alcohol and sleeping pills to incapacitate a woman so he can play with her toy collection.
As Elaine points out in the clip above, Jerry breaks up with a woman every week without remorse. This is true, and his reasons are also incredibly shallow to boot. If someone dumps a lady for having "man hands," then it shouldn't be surprising that he would also engage in cockfighting or steal a loaf of bread from an old lady.
The Case For Elaine:
Elaine's crimes aren't as nefarious as the others, but what she lacks in criminality she makes up with intention. Elaine is downright sadistic in her methods. It's not enough for her to get her way. She has to see her victims squirm as she does it. The most famous example of this is when Elaine forces the closure of a small soup shop.
She branded this man a "Nazi" simply because he enforced strict rules to keep his food line moving. This man did nothing to Elaine, other than to refuse her service after she held things up. She responds by destroying the man's entire livelihood. It was being a Karen before being a Karen was even a thing. However, this is only the start of her callousness against immigrants. In the episode "The Visa," Elaine manages to get Babu deported, and while this wasn't intentional, she's exceptionally indifferent and negligent towards the whole matter.
Elaine is shallow and uncaring even by Seinfeld-ian standards. She ends her engagement with Kurt after he is wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Elaine knows he is innocent, but breaks up with him anyway because who knows how long it will take to get sorted out, and he might end up bald by then. She also broke up with Tony after he got in a rock-climbing accident, and even stops off at the hospital to buy candy for herself after finding out her boyfriend was in a terrible accident.
The Case For Kramer:
Kramer is the wild card, so we'd expect Kramer to have some depravity to add to this list, and unlike Newman on his mailing routes, Kramer delivers. The case against Kramer is mainly one of quantity. We'll start with this iconic scene in which Kramer burns down George's fiance's log cabin after being careless while smoking a cigar.
There's also the time he kidnapped a dog because it was bothering Elaine (we'll file that one in the Elaine column too), the time he pins an assault charge on his intern, and the time he accosted Fred Savage.
But Kramers indecencies are more about the day-to-day. He mooches off Jerry constantly to the point of not even carrying his wallet around. He convinces his friends to park in handicap spots, impersonates a doctor on numerous occasions, and continuously files various frivolous lawsuits. While lacking Elaine's maliciousness, or the inherent sociopathy of Jerry, Kramer makes up by sucking in sheer volume.
The Case For George:
Finally, we come to George, who (checks notes) killed his fiance.
Yeah, this might make him the immediate winner. Sure, it was by accident. How was George supposed to know that licking enough envelopes could be lethal? But it's how George treated the situation afterward that, for me, makes him the winner. He felt no remorse, instead trying to secure funds from Susan's massive estate.
Then add on all of George's other bullshit, and you've got yourself a real monster. Okay, so he's a bumbling, pathetic monster, like Frankenstein, with his legs sewn backward, but he's a monster. Let us count the ways: George has Jerry call in a bomb threat to Yankee Stadium to get out of doing work. He pretended to be handicapped to get a job and to use the handicapped bathroom. He removes a hospitalized man's IV drip out of spite. And who could forget his pièce de résistance?
George manages to take all the garbage ways his other friends behave and bring them together like a douche Megazord. It's George for the win. At least he's 1st in something.
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Top Image: NBC