George Costanza’s 10 Most Pathetic Moments on ‘Seinfeld’

George is the GOAT of self-embarrassment
George Costanza’s 10 Most Pathetic Moments on ‘Seinfeld’

We all know someone like George Costanza, or even worse, we can relate to him in our lowest moments. George represents the absolute worst level of decision-making, where the impulse of acting on all the wrong instincts prevails — often going against his better judgment, the advice of his friends and/or societal norms at large. 

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And yet, he’s capable of even outdoing himself in this regard. Here, then, are his 10 most pathetic moments…

Eating Ice Cream on TV

In “The Lip Reader,” George and Jerry go to the U.S. Open. Kramer sees George eating an ice cream sundae on TV, being mocked by the commentators for having it all over his face. After George’s girlfriend Gwen breaks up with him, he’s convinced it’s because of the ice cream and hires Jerry’s deaf girlfriend to eavesdrop on her at a party via lip reading. Can’t see anything wrong with that plan.

Buying Cashmere for Elaine

It’s no surprise that George is also a man on a budget. In “The Red Dot,” Elaine gets George a job. To show his gratitude, he buys her a cashmere sweater that’s very, very marked down due to a small red dot. After George gives the sweater to Elaine, Kramer immediately points out the dot, which George tries to pretend he didn’t see. Later in the episode, after sleeping with the cleaning lady, he re-gifts it to her, but she also immediately notices the dot.

Condom Wrapper

What’s more humiliating than your parents grounding you as an adult? In “The Cigar Store Indian,” George meets a woman at a furniture refinishing store and has sex with her in his parents’ bed. His mom finds the condom wrapper, and they confront him about it in front of Jerry: “I’m gone two weeks, and you turn our house into Bourbon Street!”

Cheating on IQ Test

In “The Cafe,” George’s girlfriend asks him to take an IQ test for her education course. Since he’s drowning in insecurity and scared of being embarrassed, he begs Elaine to take the test for him. Which, of course, leads to Monica catching Elaine trying to return the test to George through a window.

Stealing Glasses from a Blind Man

“The Glasses” starts with George losing his glasses, but it’s so much more than that. The episode revolves around George trusting his vision way more than he should, to the point that he’s convinced he sees Jerry’s girlfriend kissing someone else. He finally gets new glasses, not realizing they were designed for women, and convinces a blind man to switch frames with him.

The Human Fund

There’s no person on earth less likely to give gifts during the holidays than George. In “The Strike,” he creates a fake charity called “The Human Fund” so he can claim to have made donations in people’s names instead of actual gifts. When his boss discovers that it’s phony after trying to make a company donation, George jumps on his father’s revival of his fake holiday Festivus as an excuse for his lie.

Eating Out of the Trash

In “The Gymnast,” we see George charm his girlfriend’s family at lunch, only to be caught moments later dining on a partially eaten chocolate eclair from the trash. After several similar coincidences throughout the episode, she’s convinced that George is homeless.

Pretending to Have a Disability

“The Butter Shave” finds George getting a new job with a playground equipment company. When his boss sees him using a cane for a temporary injury, he assumes George has a permanent disability. When George realizes such a disability would secure him access to a private bathroom and other perks, he decides to go along with it.

Robbed with No Money

In “The Subway,” George lies to a woman on the train about his job, saying he works in the stock market. They go back to her hotel room, where she handcuffs him to the bed and tries to rob him before realizing he’s broke and unemployed. After taking the $8 in his wallet, she leaves, causing him to miss his job interview.

Running from Fire

It wouldn’t be a pathetic list without “The Fire.” In this episode, George attends a birthday party for his girlfriend’s son, where he gets into an argument over the clown being unfamiliar with “Bozo the Clown.” Shortly afterward, a small grease fire sends George into a panic, shoving women and children out of his way so he can evacuate the building first. After he tries to defend his actions as brave, his girlfriend breaks up with him.

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