In an age when sitcoms about terrible people are ten a penny – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, You’re the Worst, Arrested Development – it can be easy to forget about the one that started it all: Seinfeld. Compared to some of those other shows, the atrocities committed by the characters of Seinfeld can look like mild misdemeanors. But there are still plenty of awful things that the characters did.
George pushed his way past children and an old lady to escape a fire, Newman fantasized about eating Kramer etc. Here are The 10 Worst Things Jerry Ever Did In Seinfeld, Ranked.
10 Pretending to be an infamous Aryan leader’s assistant for a free limo ride
The Seinfeld episode “The Limo” is a classic example of a farce. George picks up Jerry at the airport and they see a limo driver with a sign that reads, “O’Brien.” Since Jerry saw O’Brien getting thrown off of his plane, they decide to take the limo. However, it turns out that O’Brien is an infamous Nazi figure leading the charge for the white supremacist movement.
Instead of coming clean and getting out of there, Jerry and George continue pretending to be O’Brien and his assistant, because they think the limo is going to a Knicks game, not a Nazi rally.
9 Giving booze to a recovering alcoholic
This one might have been a mistake, but it was a terrible one. In the episode “The Red Dot,” one of Seinfeld’s few holiday-themed installments, Elaine was dating a recovering alcoholic and Jerry got talking to him at her office Christmas party.
He was drinking a non-alcoholic drink and Jerry had an alcoholic one. They put their drinks down and, after the guy left with one of them, Jerry noticed that his drink tasted a little different. He’d accidentally given his boozy beverage to a recovering alcoholic and it wasn’t too long before he was back on the wagon (or is it off the wagon?).
8 Digging up his neighbor’s dead pet bird
In the season 9 episode “The Strongbox,” Kramer tries to hide the key for his strongbox around Jerry’s apartment and their neighbor’s pet bird ends up eating the key and dying.
There are some hilarious references to The Godfather trilogy wrung out of the fact that the bird is called Fredo, and Jerry and Kramer are arguing over whose fault it is that he died (“Fredo was weak and stupid! He shouldn’t have eaten that key!”). Anyway, Jerry and Kramer head over to a pet cemetery in order to dig up the bird’s grave, cut out its corpse, and remove the key. As it turns out, Kramer forgot to lock the strongbox, so it was all for nothing.
7 Getting involved in a cockfighting ring
The episode “The Little Jerry” is named after Kramer’s pet rooster. At first, he thought he’d bought a hen, because he wanted to have fresh eggs for his breakfast every morning and turn a sweet profit selling them, but as it turns out, he bought a rooster. With his dreams of getting rich off of his new pet still on his mind, he decides to train the rooster – who he named “Little Jerry Seinfeld” – to fight.
Before long, Jerry and Kramer are neck-deep in a cockfighting ring with a champion on their hands. In the end, however, Little Jerry faces a competitor he can’t beat and Kramer tries to pull him out of the fight.
6 Becoming a bootlegger with artistic integrity
When Jerry got tickets to see a special early screening of a new action movie called Death Blow, Kramer invited his friend along. The friend turned out to be a bootlegger as he took out a video camera at the start of the movie.
Halfway through, he got sick and forced Jerry at gunpoint to finish shooting the movie. Kramer insisted, “It’s a legitimate business,” but Jerry snapped back, “It’s not legitimate!” and Kramer feebly said, “It’s a business.” However, before long, Jerry got swept up in the bootlegging ring, acting like a diva director with a clear artistic vision.
5 Shaking rat fur all over his friend’s restaurant
Jerry bumped into an old buddy from college and told him to blow off a business meeting to hang out. However, blowing off the meeting ended up getting him fired and he was forced to take a fast food job at the Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken restaurant that just opened up across the street.
But the bright neon sign from the restaurant was keeping Jerry up at night, so he took a knock-off Russian hat made with rat fur that Kramer’s friend sold to Elaine over to the restaurant and shook the rat fur all over it, closing down the restaurant and losing a second job for his friend.
4 Watching and laughing as a man got mugged at gunpoint
To be fair, Jerry wasn’t alone in committing this terrible act – all four of the main characters were in on it. It’s also the last awful thing he did, since it happened in the show’s controversial series finale. After stopping off in Latham, Massachusetts on their way to Paris on NBC’s private jet, the gang heads into town to get something to eat.
There, they see a man getting mugged at gunpoint, and instead of helping out (which some would say is out of character because it could be argued that Elaine would call for help and Kramer, being “Batman” as he is, would step in), they just crack jokes.
3 Drugging a woman to play with her toy collection
This storyline from the episode “The Merv Griffin Show” is one of the most controversial in Seinfeld history. Kramer even points out how dark it is when Jerry appears as a guest on his pretend version of The Merv Griffin Show.
Jerry dates a woman with a vintage toy collection that he wants to play with, but she won’t let him. So, he uses various shady methods – like getting her drunk on boxed wine and slipping her sleeping pills – to get her to pass out and give him time to play with her toys. Eventually, George and Elaine get in on the action.
2 Calling in a bomb threat to Yankee Stadium
When George started taking naps under his desk at work (and even brought in a handyman to extend his desk and add in a couple of compartments for magazines to make it more comfortable sleeping environment), it was only a matter of time before it came back to bite him on the ass.
This happened when George Steinbrenner came into George’s office with his grandkids and posted up, leaving George stuck under there. So, he got Jerry to call in a bomb threat to Yankee Stadium to create enough of a distraction for him to escape. Jerry had a weird amount of fun doing it.
1 Stealing a marble rye from an old lady
“Shut up, you old bag!” There’s no question that stealing a marble rye from a defenseless old lady is the worst thing that Jerry did in all nine seasons of Seinfeld. To be fair to him, he did try to buy it from her for a lot more than it was worth – the bid escalated to a whopping $50 – before he resorted to stealing it. George needed the rye to replace the one that his parents stole back from Susan’s parents after dinner.
No other loaf of bread would do; it had to be a marble rye from Schnitzer’s. From another perspective, this is just Jerry being a good friend.