Seinfeld is making waves again because of its arrival on the Netflix streaming platform. The classic ’90s show has spent some time in limbo after being a fixture on Hulu for a few years, but now fans can watch the show about nothing in all its glory.
Seinfeld was easily my favorite show as a kid, and while it may have pushed some boundaries as to what topics were suitable for prime time television, it was widely lauded for the clever storylines that often took the mundane and made it funny. One episode, for example, involves the cast waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant. I used to tape episodes on VHS and watch them during season breaks, and they never got old. To have the entire show on streaming is a pure joy of convenience. I’m sure I binged the show once during its stint on Hulu, and will probably go through it again now that it’s on Netflix—though who knows how long that will take.
Perhaps one of the best shows of all time, it was also produced during that glorious era before wokeness destroyed everything. So, in honor of Seinfeld’s debut on Netflix, I’ve compiled ten episodes that couldn’t be made to today,
1. “The Puerto Rican Day Parade” (Season 9, Episode 20)
This episode has been offending the snowflakes since it aired. When Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer get stuck in traffic because of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, they abandon their car and get into all sorts of hijinks, and the episode ends with Kramer accidentally igniting and stomping on a Puerto Rico flag, causing an uproar. NBC had to apologize for the episode after it aired. Frankly, I’m surprised that Netflix didn’t simply exclude the episode from their service. I’m not a particularly big fan of the episode, either, but that’s because the episode is overall not very funny, and as the last true episode before the even worse finale, the show truly never got a proper send-off.
2. “The Maid” (S9E19)
In this episode, Jerry finds himself sleeping with his maid, who ends up not doing such a great job with the actual cleaning, leaving Jerry to wonder what he’s paying for. In the #MeToo era, this episode likely wouldn’t fly. The negative portrayal of prostitution would similarly offend someone, I’m sure, for stigmatizing “sex workers.”
3. “The Merv Griffin Show” (S9E6)
Kramer finds the discarded set pieces of The Merv Griffin Show and puts them together in his apartment, and proceeds to treat his life as a talk show. But today’s woke audiences won’t appreciate the storyline where Jerry drugs the woman he’s dating so he can play with her massive collection of vintage toys. Jerry even seems proud of what he’s doing and gets George and Elaine in on the action.
4. “The Butter Shave” / “The Voice” (S9E1&2)
George gets a job at a playground equipment company because he is believed to be handicapped because he’s walking around with a cane due to a prior injury. In “The Butter Shave” his ruse is discovered, and in the following episode, he refuses to leave the company, particularly because he’s grown fond of the accessible bathroom at his disposal. No doubt this plotline would be considered insensitive to disabled people.
5. “The Diplomat’s Club” (S6E22)
George tells his black boss he looks like Sugar Ray Leonard, which makes his boss think George is racist. “I suppose we all look alike to you,” he tells him, which prompts George to set out to prove he’s not by trying to find a black friend, which he can’t. He resorts to recruiting the man who exterminated Jerry’s apartment in an earlier episode. Episodes like this call attention to the lack of diversity of the core cast, which would make the show “too white” for the woke audiences of today.
6. “The Jimmy” (S6E19)
In this episode, Elaine has tickets for a benefit for the Able Mentally Challenged Adults (AMCA). Kramer finds himself as the guest of honor after being mistaken for being mentally challenged when a dental procedure temporarily leaves him drooling with a speech impediment. If that plotline doesn’t offend somebody, the one where Jerry suspects the dentist of taking advantage of his patients after putting them under will.
7. “The Beard” (S6E16)
Oh boy. In this episode, Elaine fancies she can convert a gay man into falling for her—and succeeds, albeit temporarily. Even entertaining the idea that homosexuality is a choice, or could be changed, would be enough to get the social justice warriors out to cancel the episode, if not the entire show. No one would touch it now, and this episode wouldn’t be possible.
8. “The Cigar Store Indian” (S5E10)
Jerry attempts to impress a friend of Elaine by giving her a gift. The gift ends up being a cigar store Indian, and in the process of giving it to Elaine, he offends the woman he was trying to impress because she’s Native American. The rest of the show deals with Jerry trying to prove he’s sensitive to minorities, and he frequently has to censor himself to avoid saying something that might be inadvertently offensive to her. A humorous take on oversensitivity, I’m not sure the snowflakes would agree today.
9. “The Outing” (S4E17)
After a prank results in Jerry and George falsely being “outed” as gay, the remainder of the episode revolves around them trying to prove they are not. Each assurance that they’re not gay is quickly footnoted with them saying, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” yet, there’s no doubt in my mind this episode would be deemed homophobic.
10. “The Note” (S3E1)
George’s homophobia in the early seasons of the show wasn’t problematic at the time, and it certainly didn’t bother anyone when this episode aired. First, George objects to getting a massage from a man and then panics after he gets aroused during the massage. The horror!