‘Seinfeld’s Most Meta Moments, Ranked

It’s an article about a show about nothing pointing that out
‘Seinfeld’s Most Meta Moments, Ranked

Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld had no idea how iconic Seinfeld would eventually become when first creating it. But when the show did hit it big, it presented the opportunity to poke fun at themselves and their series. And so, they added numerous meta moments along the way, with layers of jokes to now unravel. 

Which inspired us to single out our nine favorite meta moments from Seinfeld and rank them below...

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In Season Nine, George discovers that he gets a positive reception when making a funny comment during a meeting but that he always adds a follow-up that misses the mark. Jerry advises George to leave the meeting after his first comment, which is how he says comedians do it in Vegas: “Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, say ‘Goodnight’ and walk off.” 

This obviously is a meta-reflection of Seinfeld’s decision to end his series. While Seinfeld was television’s highest-rated show and could have notched up many more seasons and paychecks, he chose to walk away instead.


In Season Eight’s “The Muffin Tops,” Elaine helps write J. Peterman’s autobiography, including some of Kramer’s life stories due to a lack of exciting material. At Peterman’s book signing, Elaine runs into her old boss, Mr. Lippman, who works for the book’s publisher. “Why is it every half-wit and sitcom star has his own book out now?” he ponders. 

The line, seemingly aimed at Peterman, is a meta-joke about Seinfeld, who wrote a book, Seinlanguage, as Seinfeld was becoming popular.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Season Six’s “The Race” culminates in an epic race between Jerry and his high school rival, Duncan Meyer. Jerry mistakes a car backfiring at the start of the race, giving him the advantage to take home the win. He celebrates with an embrace from his girlfriend, Lois, after which he looks into the camera and winks at the audience. This is all a nod to his real-life love of Superman, as he parodies the Man of Steel himself when he hugs Lois and says, “Maybe I will, Lois. Maybe I will.” 

Jerry breaks the fourth wall on other occasions, too. The best examples are during the two clip-show episodes. First, in Season Six’s “Highlights of 100,” he introduces the clip show as his TV persona, talking to the audience about the show. He says, “George, Elaine, Kramer and I have had many experiences, both positive and negative. Well, mostly negative. But we persevered because we’re people… real TV people. And for 30 minutes a week, that’s pretty important to us.” 

Then, in the episode that aired before The Finale, “The Clip Show,” Jerry talks to the audience about the show again as he explains, “Every week a whole new set of problems would just crop up out of nowhere, except for summer where nothing seemed to happen for months at a time,” referring to the fact that the show didn’t air any new episodes over the summer.


In the first episode of Seinfeld, “The Seinfeld Chronicles,” Kramer’s character was called “Kessler.” David’s real neighbor, Kenny Kramer, is the inspiration for the character, and David wanted to use “Kessler” because he knew that Kenny Kramer would file a lawsuit if they used his real name. However, Jerry got attached to “Kramer,” and insisted upon using it. 

In Season Nine’s “The Betrayal,” Jerry calls back to the character’s name change with a subtle line when moving into his apartment. He says, “Hi, I’m Jerry Seinfeld. I saw your name on the buzzer; you must be Kessler,” finally closing the loop on the name change.

Re-Pitching The ‘Jerry’ Show

In Season Four, the Jerry show was a huge meta arc, and four years later, in Season Eight’s “The Checks,” the joke was revived. Kramer’s Japanese tourist friends love the show’s concept, suggesting Kramer pitch the idea to the Nakahama Broadcast Corporation for a Japanese audience. Jerry drags his feet, saying, “The pilot was awful; it failed.” George, however, rationalizes that it may work in Japan: “It failed here because, here, every time you turn on a TV, all you see is four morons sitting around an apartment whining about their dates.” 

George is obviously poking fun at the fundamental concept of Seinfeld and its many clones.  

Newman Loves Sally Weaver

Quirky comedian Sally Weaver, played by Kathy Griffin, was in two episodes of Seinfeld, the first of which was in Season Seven. After her cameo, Griffin had an HBO stand-up special, and in her set, she made jokes about how Seinfeld was rude to her during her appearance on his show. Instead of getting upset, Jerry thought Griffin’s set was funny and created a meta-story line where Sally Weaver returns with a one-woman show called Jerry Seinfeld Is the Devil. It’s so popular that when Elaine wants to see it, Jerry says, “Good luck, it’s sold out for the next three weeks.” 

Afterward, she and Jerry eat lunch together at the coffee shop. Newman sees them and shyly approaches Sally to tell her that he’s a fan and has seen her show six times. It’s unsurprising that Newman, Jerry’s arch-rival, supports an anti-Jerry show, but the real meta moment is when he says, looking directly at Jerry, “It’s so great to see a show that’s about something.”

Knocking Jerry’s Comedy

Throughout the series, George, Elaine and Kramer all make fun of Jerry’s stand-up and acting abilities, which is a meta-joke about the real Seinfeld as a comedian and actor. Kramer says, “You’ve given this comedy thing your best shot. You had some good observations, but it’s over.” Also, when the gang is practicing the line, “These pretzels are making me thirsty,” and Jerry gives his version, Kramer says, “No, that’s no good. See, you can’t act.”

Better yet, when Newman is throwing his “Newmannium” party and is forced to invite Jerry, he reluctantly says, “You don’t want to do your act or anything, do you?” Earlier in the series, Morty Seinfeld’s neighbors suggest that he stole money to buy a new Cadillac. Morty tries to explain that Jerry bought it for him, but the residents of Del Boca Vista don’t believe him. As Jack Klompus explains, “Your son could never afford that car. We all saw his act last year at the playhouse. He’s lucky he can pay his rent!” Others agree with the critique, adding, “Jack’s right; he stinks!”

The Bizarro Jerry

The most meta episode of Seinfeld is “The Bizarro Jerry,” where Elaine meets new friends that are the exact opposite versions of Jerry, George and Kramer. The entire concept is a meta exercise on the show’s characters, creating a quirky parallel universe. 

Kevin, Jerry’s “bizarro” counterpart, decorates his apartment in the opposite way that Jerry’s apartment looks, replacing Jerry’s bicycle with a unicycle and substituting Jerry’s Superman statue with a Bizarro Superman one. The Bizarro George, Gene, is reserved and extra-honest. He found a pay phone erroneously allowing free long-distance calls, and instead of exploiting it, he called the phone company to immediately report the glitch. Finally, there is Feldman, the Bizarro Kramer, who knocks at the door instead of coming in unannounced and buys groceries for Kevin. Feldman also has practical ideas, like an alarm clock that automatically tells you the weather when you wake up, which is a meta-joke on absurd Kramer suggestions like a roll-out tie dispenser when your tie gets a stain.

The whole thing is great, but two moments in particular stand out: The first is when Elaine explains to Jerry why she wants to hang out with her new friends: “Well, I can’t spend the rest of my life coming into this stinking apartment every 10 minutes to pour over the excruciating minutiae of every single daily event.” 

The second is when Kevin, Gene and Feldman have a nice group hug and Kevin declares, “Me so happy, me want to cry.” This is a very specific reference to David and Seinfeld’s motto for Seinfeld: “No hugging, no learning.”

The ‘Jerry’ Show

When NBC executives approach Jerry with an opportunity to create his own television show, he and George begin spitballing possible ideas for the series. As they’re having an ordinary conversation about salsa at the coffee shop, George says, “This should be the show… Just talking.” To which Jerry asks, “Just talking, what’s the show about?” 

“It’s about nothing,” George enthusiastically replies. 

The concept of a Jerry show — a show within a show — is meta already, but the added layer of the fictional sitcom having essentially the same premise as Seinfeld is what makes this the most meta moment from the series. 

George continues to think about the concept of “a show about nothing,” mentioning that there could be a character based on himself, on Elaine and on Kramer. “Kramer, now he’s a character,” Jerry responds. George later says, “Remember that time we were waiting for a table at the Chinese restaurant...? That could be a TV show!” This, of course, is a reference to Season Two’s “The Chinese Restaurant,” which occurred on one set, in real-time and without a real storyline. It’s a meta-moment because NBC executives objected to the episode’s premise, but David insisted on producing it anyway, and audiences had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to it. 

After George pitches this idea to Jerry, he suggests meeting the NBC executives together. Jerry rhetorically asks, “Since when are you a writer?” George scoffs and replies, “What writer? We’re talking about a sitcom!” This is a subtle reference to David and Seinfeld, neither of whom were sitcom writers before the show began. 

Finally, Jerry and George’s pitch to the NBC executives was very much how David and Seinfeld pitched The Seinfeld Chronicles. It’s also worth noting that David would often storm out of meetings with NBC executives, which we also see George do when he tells them, “If you want to keep doing the same old thing, then maybe this idea is not for you. I, for one, am not going to compromise my artistic integrity. And I’ll tell you something else… This is the show, and we’re not going to change it.”

Meta or not, he certainly had that right. 

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