Newman’s 10 Most Diabolical Moments on ‘Seinfeld’
“Perhaps there’s more to Newman than meets the eye,” Elaine once suggested. To which Jerry replied, “No, there’s less. I’ve looked into his eyes... He’s pure evil.”
While it’s never confirmed why Jerry despised Newman so much, several moments throughout the series help to back up his claims. What we’ve gathered below is an indictment of Newman’s 10 most evil moments on Seinfeld, ranked from just moderately fiendish to full-on diabolical genius...
Snitching on Jerry for Making Out During ‘Schindler’s List’
Newman catches Jerry making out with his girlfriend at the theater while watching Schindler’s List. This wasn’t Jerry’s finest moment, but he hadn’t seen his girlfriend for weeks and was “getting a little backed up.” Instead of keeping it to himself or making a snide insult to Jerry, Newman makes up a ruse about needing to borrow detergent to tell Morty and Helen Seinfeld that Jerry and his “buxom little friend, Rachel, were going at it pretty good in the balcony.”
No one likes a snitch, but Newman’s actions here are somewhat justifiable because nobody should be making out during Schindler’s List.
Giving Jerry Fleas
Not only is Newman a pest, but he also carries pests and passes them on to Jerry, who contracts fleas and can’t understand how. Until, that is, Elaine mentions finding Chunky wrappers around Jerry’s apartment, leading Jerry to declare, “Oh, I know the chunky that left these Chunkys! Newman!” A few episodes earlier in “The Big Salad,” Newman had seen Chunkys in Jerry’s apartment and exclaimed, “Oh, Chunkys!” as he took one from the kitchen counter.
Traffic Ticket Lie
Newman contests a traffic ticket in court and concocts an elaborate story about why he was speeding: he was rushing home to save a friend (Kramer) from committing suicide due to being distraught about never becoming a banker. However, Kramer gets kicked in the head by Crazy Joe Devola and forgets the lie they devised, resulting in Newman having to pay a $75 fine. Newman does lie under oath, but who hasn’t, right?
Trying to Bust Jerry for Mail Fraud
After Kramer convinces Jerry to let him destroy his stereo for an insurance claim, Newman believes he has proof of Jerry committing mail fraud. Newman intensely interrogates him — a nod to Basic Instinct, where Wayne Knight played a similar role. However, during the questioning, he realizes that Jerry is not at fault, as Uncle Leo was the person who signed for the package. Newman then happens upon a picture of Jerry and the stereo, giving him the ammunition to “finally haul Jerry out of his cushy lair and expose him to the light of Justice as the monster that he is…” leaving Jerry having to pay a small fine.
Though Newman is looking for any flimsy excuse to catch Jerry doing something wrong, he’s actually doing his job here, so it’s not terribly evil.
Newman’s selfish and deceptive side shines as he’s willing to risk it all for love. The building’s landlord, Sylvio, wants to evict Newman because he reversed the peephole on his door, but Kramer vouches for his friend and convinces Sylvio to let him stay. Mere moments later, Kramer witnesses Newman kissing Sylvio’s wife. Newman not only had an affair with a married woman but also risked Kramer’s reputation and a possible eviction in the process.
Newman is passively vengeful after learning that he didn’t get his coveted transfer to Hawaii. Distraught, he begins storing mail in Jerry’s storage unit rather than delivering it. Jerry pleads with Newman to remove it from his locker, explaining that it’s illegal, and asks his nemesis if he’s quit his job. “Kind of,” Newman replies. “I’m still collecting checks. I’m just not delivering mail.” Later, after learning there’s still hope of getting the transfer as long as he delivers the stored mail, Newman enlists Jerry for help, which is also illegal.
Newman goes full-blown devious when helping revive Kramer’s discarded bottle-deposit scheme. He suggests illegally using his mail truck to give them the necessary overhead reduction and steals cans — even from homeless people — to get the job done. His evil plan almost works until a psychotic mechanic absconds with Jerry’s car, losing the cans in the process.
Newman isn’t just a villain to Jerry; he’s also a scourge upon the NYPD. He manages to rack up more parking tickets than anyone in the city, which is fun at first but soon has him looking over his shoulder. When Kramer realizes Newman is “The White Whale,” he takes him to court, where the judge says, “In all my years on the bench, I have never come across anything quite like this.” She eventually decides that Newman will have to keep his car in a garage, which causes him to start crying uncontrollably.
Newman reaches complete sociopath levels here. The health club’s pool guy, Ramon, wants to be friends with Jerry but becomes bitter after being rejected. He then disrupts Jerry’s swim by poking him with a pool stick. Jerry pulls on the stick, causing Ramon to fall into the pool right as Newman is cannonballing. Jerry and Newman argue that someone has to give Ramon mouth-to-mouth or else he could die, but neither wants to do it. The only reason this isn’t Newman’s most foul moment is because Jerry is equally at fault.
Finally, we see Newman’s full-on diabolical genius when he helps Elaine with her dog problem.
In particular, Elaine is having trouble sleeping because of a yapping dog when Kramer offers a solution: “What if there should be an unfortunate accident? I know someone who specializes in these kinds of sticky situations.” Of course, Kramer’s contact is Newman, who, as a mailman, has had previous canine conflicts. Elaine is uncomfortable taking Newman up on it, as she doesn’t want to actually harm the dog, so Kramer suggests a simple kidnapping instead — much to Newman’s disappointment.
The plan soon unravels, ending with the police arresting the trio. While Elaine and Kramer seem nervous, Newman calmly answers his door with a cigarette and asks the officer, “What took ya so long?”