10 Seinfeld Moments That Haven’t Aged Well
Seinfeld is no stranger to touching on touchy topics. Sometimes, however, it touches the touch topics a little too much and crosses the line that it was balanced on so delicately before. A rewatch of any 20-year-old show is bound to have its “Oh, we don’t say that anymore” moments, so here are 10 that we spotted.
Elaine Tries To Convert A Gay Man
In the season 6 episode, “The Beard,” Elaine pretends to be the girlfriend of a gay man in order to please his homophobic boss. After a fun night at the opera, Elaine goes full Mike Pence and tries to ‘convert him,’ and asks if he’s thought about “changing teams.” Yikes! This episode would 100% not fly by today's standards unless it was being released by The 700 Club. Do better, Elaine. We’re still waiting for an iPhone note-style apology on your Instagram.
Elaine Doesn’t Know Her Boyfriend’s Race
The Seinfeld gang can’t figure out one important thing about Elaine’s new boyfriend… his race! How does Elain crack the case? She hears hip-hop music blaring from his apartment and sees some African masks. Perhaps this could slide if Elaine didn’t later call her black waitress “sister,” followed up by “It’s okay, my boyfriend is black.” Talking about race is fine in comedy but it’s best to avoid stereotypes, those are just lazy.
Stomping The Puerto Rican Flag
“The Puerto Rican Day Parade” was initially so offensive that it was pulled from circulation and NBC was forced to make a formal apology. If you forget, this is the episode where Kramer stomps on a burning Puerto Rican flag. After being mobbed by a crowd Kramer yells, “It’s like this every day in Puerto Rico!” The president of the National Puerto Rican Coalition called the episode an “unconscionable insult” to Puerto Ricans.
An unreleased episode was deemed so controversial it was pulled from production, giving David and Seinfeld two days to write “The Phone Message” to replace it. The show titled “The Bet” aka “The Gun” was an episode written by Larry Charles in an attempt to bring some dark humor to the sitcom. Elaine essentially buys a gun to show Jerry how easily it can be done. Elaine ends up pointing the gun to her head saying “What do you want? The Kennedy?” According to Jason Alexander, Louis-Dreyfus refused to do the episode after reading the scene.
Jerry And George Oogle An Underage Girl
Alright, this one I clocked the very first time I went through the series, in the episode “The Shoes.” Who on earth approved this storyline where George and Jerry stare at an underage girl's chest?’ Then they defend their stance by saying it doesn’t matter the age as long as they’re in the field of view? This is a wild scene that is so unwittingly creepy, not to mention the fact that Jerry was famous for dating a 17-year-old when he was 39.
The Cigar Store Indian
America finally stopped using Native Americans as punchlines like 9 years ago, but Seinfeld had to realize this was at crossing the line while they were filming “Cigar Store Indian”. This episode features Jerry gifting Elaine a cigar store Indian statue with a card reading “Let’s bury the hatchet, we smokem peace pipe.” Then Jerry chants a racist Native American imitation. C’mon NBC, how did you let this one slip through the cracks! The rest of the episode is a comment on how far white men will go to try not to be accidentally racist, but it just misses the mark.
Larry Charles, the same writer from the unproduced “Gun” episode, wrote another script that was revealed to have been doxxed by NBC. This episode entitled “The Salad” had George get in trouble for observing, “You know, I have never seen a black person order a salad.” NBC shot back right away saying they were not comfortable commenting on the dietary habits of African Americans.
The Gang Are Peeping Toms
Ok, “The Contest” is an absolute gem of an episode, we all know that. However, it has never sat well with me that a big portion of this episode is devoted to staring at a naked woman who has no idea three men are watching her? Yes, she leaves the curtains open and walks around all the time, but there’s still something eerie about staring at a naked lady without her consent.
Jerry Drugs His Girlfriend
Season 9, episode 6 named “The Merv Griffin Show” has a major problem. The subplot of Jerry and the gang continually drugging his girlfriend Cecile is just plain wrong. Obviously, the joke is referencing “this is what r*pists do” but what is the punchline? That they do the things assaulters do to play with toys? We know the gang are fundamentally bad people, but this is the stuff of Cosby.
The Braless Wonder
This one is a small offense but since when are Elaine and the gang so conservative? This is the episode fueled by Elaine’s hatred over her frenemy she dubbed “the braless wonder.” Then later on when Elaine gifts her a bra, she is appalled to see her wear it under a sport coat. Slut-shaming is OUT, Elaine. Let the poor lady wear whatever she wants. This honestly makes Sue Allen Meschke seem a lot cooler in her defiance of Elaine’s stylistic demands.
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