Nine Weird Ways Kramer Changed His Apartment on ‘Seinfeld’
The apartment of one Cosmo Kramer is the most mysterious and intriguing question in the Seinfeld universe. Unlike Jerry’s, we never fully absorb Kramer’s apartment, only getting brief glimpses into his abode and home life. We see Jerry’s headshot near Kramer’s front door and the photo of Jerry and Kramer together on New Year’s Eve. We also see Mr. Marbles, the “everyday balloons,” the window covered in chicken wire and the fusilli figurines on the walls. We hear a lot of creaking in Kramer’s apartment, too (“It’s like I’m in the hold of a ship!”).
Despite the scant details, though, Kramer definitely transformed his apartment in unpredictable — and often impractical — ways. Here are some of our favorites…
Episode: “The Pony Remark,” Season Two, Episode Two
Kramer mentions to Jerry that he’s going to “completely change the configuration of his apartment.” He’s getting rid of all his furniture, and he’s going to build different levels. “It’ll have steps, it’ll all be carpeted, and there will be lots of pillows — like ancient Egypt.”
Jerry doesn’t believe Kramer will follow through with it. He’s right, too: After making a bet with Jerry, Kramer decides he no longer wants levels and cancels the bet. However, while it’s not confirmed, Kramer seemingly eventually changed his mind and built the levels. In the Season Four episode “The Watch,” Kramer and Elaine call Dr. Reston from Kramer’s apartment. If you look closely, you can see that they’re actually elevated, with pillows surrounding them. In other words, maybe the K-man went through with it after all.
Episode: “The Junior Mint,” Season Four, Episode 20
Kramer tells Jerry and George about his plans to stain his floors and buy fake-wood wallpaper to surround himself in wood, like a log cabin. (“Wood, Jerry, wood!”) Luckily for Kramer, his “log cabin” turned out a little better than the one he burned down with the Cuban cigars.
Episode: “The Hot Tub,” Season Seven, Episode Five
One of the largest apartment transformations occurs when Kramer’s friend, Lomez, sells him a hot tub, and Kramer puts it in his living room. “It’s got these high-volume accusive jets, oscillating and pulsating, soothing your every aching muscle,” he marvels. He created a spa-like relaxing ambiance with dimmed lights, candles and the sound of bubbling hot tub jets. Even Elaine’s runner friend, Jean-Paul, takes a soak in it and raves that it was “the soak of the year.” But Kramer’s hot tub caused problems for the neighbors when the new heat pump blew out all of the fuses in the building, resulting in Jean-Paul being late for his big race.
Kramer’s hot tub reappears several times throughout the series, including when Newman is stirring a stick of butter for him in “The Butter Shave” and when Kramer is drinking sake with the Japanese tourists in “The Checks.”
The Oversized Chest of Drawers
Episode: “The Checks,” Season Eight, Episode Seven
Speaking of the Japanese tourists, who can forget when they slept in Kramer’s oversized chest of drawers? It’s like Jerry said, “It’s a lovely little bureau and breakfast you’re running.” After saying goodnight to his Japanese friends and closing the drawers they were sleeping in, Kramer turns off a cheetah-print lamp before taking a big yawn and heading to bed. But the “lovely little bureau and breakfast” goes south when the steam from Kramer’s hot tub warps the wood on the dresser, and the Japanese tourists are trapped inside. When Jerry tries to break the chest of drawers open with an ax, the tourists accuse Jerry of being a “dangerous lunatic.”
The Reverse Peephole
Episode: “The Reverse Peephole,” Season Nine, Episode 12
Kramer and Newman elect to reverse the peepholes on their doors to prevent an ambush. Now Kramer can peek into his apartment from the outside to see if anyone is waiting to jack him with “a sock full of pennies.” I especially love when Newman sees Kramer scratching his chest with a back scratcher as he’s listening to opera music. Ultimately, the peephole works against Kramer when the apartment manager, Silvio, bangs on Kramer’s door, demanding to speak with him. Kramer tries to hide, but Silvio yells, “I can see you through the reverse peephole!”
The Screen Door
Episode: “The Serenity Now,” Season Nine, Episode Three
Kramer changes his door for a second time when Frank Costanza disposes of his screen door. Kramer uses the screen door to “enjoy the cool evening breezes of Anytown U.S.A.” But his plan backfires when a few of the neighborhood kids spray shaving cream all over his door and ambush him with “a bunch of grade A’s” (eggs). “Serenity now… insanity later.”
The Shower Head
Episode: “The Shower Head,” Season Seven, Episode 16
The apartment building installs low-flow showerheads in all units, and Kramer says, “Low-flow? I don’t like the sound of that!” The result of the low water pressure is that Jerry, Kramer and Newman aren’t able to wash the shampoo out of their hair and don’t feel like themselves. Newman locates “black-market” showerheads to increase the water pressure. Kramer is interested in the “Commando 450,” which is used in the circus to wash elephants. The final scene of the episode, which remains one of Kramer’s best moments, shows him showering with the Commando 450 installed and him clinging onto his shower curtain due to the intensity of the water pressure.
Garbage Disposal in Bathtub
Episode: “The Apology,” Season Nine, Episode Nine
Kramer realizes his showers are too long when Jerry tells him his showers only take him 10 minutes. “10 minutes? That’s kooky talk!” he exclaims. He tries to make adjustments to his routine to cut down on his shower time but ends up with suds running down his leg. Upon reflection, Kramer realizes, “I’m trying to get out of the shower sooner, and then I ask myself, why? This is where I want to be!” and decides to enhance his tub to be more productive while he’s enjoying a shower. He installs a waterproof phone and calls Puddy to help him install a garbage disposal in his shower drain. With his new garbage disposal, Kramer is able to prepare an entire meal in the shower, which he then serves to Elaine, Puddy and her co-worker, Peggy, as they celebrate Peggy’s first week of being germ-free. Unfortunately for Peggy, this wouldn’t last long when she finds out that Kramer prepared the entire meal as he bathed.
‘The Merv Griffin Show’ Set
Episode: “The Merv Griffin Show,” Season Nine, Episode Six
One of the most notable major décor changes was when Kramer found a discarded set of The Merv Griffin Show and rebuilt the entire set in his apartment. It’s complete with flashing lights, a glitter curtain in the entrance and a stage with chairs for his guests (Jerry, George and Elaine) and co-host (Newman). When Jerry first visits, he’s shocked at how Kramer has transformed his home, asking, “Where are you going to sleep?” To which Kramer replies, “Backstage.” It’s just brilliant all the way around.