What Made Seinfeld One of the Most Popular Sitcoms of All Time?

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David made the American show Seinfeld. It ran on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, for nine seasons and 180 episodes. It’s about Seinfeld’s personal life with three of his friends: his best friend George Costanza (Jason Alexander), his ex-girlfriend Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and his next-door neighbor Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards). Most of the story takes place in an apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. People have called it “a show about nothing” because it often shows small, everyday things. During the first few episodes, the character of Jerry Seinfeld does stand-up comedy, and he often talks about things that happen on the show.

In the late 1980s, when Jerry Seinfeld was becoming more popular as a comedian, NBC gave him the chance to make a show. He asked his actor friend Larry David to help him think of a good idea for a TV show. West-Shapiro Productions and Castle Rock Entertainment made the show, and Columbia Pictures Television was in charge of showing it to people. 

Seinfeld is one of the best and most important shows ever made, according to most people. Publications like Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and TV Guide have all said that it’s one of the best shows on TV.

Main Characters of Seinfeld

These four important characters in “Seinfeld” make up a lively group that shows off their different personalities, quirks, and how they interact with each other. Each character’s unique qualities add to the show’s fun, which is why people all over the world love and remember them.

1. Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld is a stand-up comic who lives in New York City. He is played by Jerry Seinfeld himself. He is the show’s main character and the voice of reason in the middle of all the chaos. Jerry is known for his dry sense of humor, his funny observations, and his sarcastic comments. He is often in funny situations as he juggles his love life, friendships, and job as a comedian.

2. George Costanza

 Jerry’s best friend since college is George Costanza, who is played by Jason Alexander. George is a nervous, fearful person who has never had a job. He is known for making jokes about himself, lying a lot, and getting into bad relationships. George gets into funny situations all the time and is always looking for approval and success, even though he often falls short.

3. Elaine Benes

Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Elaine Benes, who used to be Jerry’s girlfriend and is now a close friend. She is sure of herself, says what she thinks, and lives on her own. Elaine has a unique sense of humor, and she is known for her signature dance moves and catchphrases like “Get out!” and “Yada yada.” During the show, she has a number of interesting jobs, such as working for J. Peterman and as an editor.

4. Cosmo Kramer

Jerry’s friend, Cosmo Kramer, is played by Michael Richards. He is strange and odd. Kramer often shows up at Jerry’s place without warning because he has wild hair, is very active, and is hard to predict. He is known for having big ideas and strange plans. He also has a knack for finding ways to get around things. Kramer becomes an important part of the group, and wherever he goes, he often brings chaos and laughter with him.

Top 10 Episodes of Seinfeld

1. The Abstinence

– IMDb user rating: 9.0
– Season 8, episode 9
– Air date: Nov. 21, 1996

In this episode, George is forced to stop having sex for six weeks. This forces his brain, which had been busy with other things, to make new connections. On the other side of that coin is Elaine, who also stops having sex, only to find that it makes her stupid. In the meantime, Jerry loses a job at his old middle school, and Kramer takes over as the new Marlboro Man.

2. The Yada Yada

– IMDb user rating: 9.0
– Season 8, episode 19
– Air date: April 24, 1997

In this season eight episode, George’s girlfriend “yada-yadas” through every story, getting right to the point. This has become one of the most well-known phrases from the show. At first, George is happy with the method, but then she “yada-yadas” about a possible affair with her ex-boyfriend. George, who can’t stand the idea, asks her to go back and tell him more about her other stories. She didn’t sleep with her ex, which is good news. The bad news is that she has a problem with stealing.

3. The Merv Griffin Show

– IMDb user rating: 9.0
– Season 9, episode 6
– Air date: Nov. 6, 1997

Kramer finds set pieces from “The Merv Griffin Show” by the trash, and he uses them to make a talk show in the middle of his apartment. At first, Kramer and his sidekick Newman take a traditional, good-natured approach. Later, they decide to change things up by copying the style of shows like “Jerry Springer.” That doesn’t look good for Jerry, who has been quietly drugging his girlfriend so he can play with her old toys. On Kramer’s show, Jerry says the same thing right before his lady comes out from backstage.

4. The Hamptons

– IMDb user rating: 9.0
– Season 5, episode 21
– Air date: May 12, 1994

Few episodes of “Seinfeld” have as many jokes in each scene as “The Hamptons.” In the episode, Jerry and the rest of the group go to a couple’s beach house, where the parents show off their ugly baby. Soon after that, Jerry’s woman comes in and sees George naked. George wouldn’t mind normally, but he had just been in the pool, where the water was cold, so he didn’t like it.

5. The Bizarro Jerry

– IMDb user rating: 9.1
– Season 8, episode 3
– Air date: Oct. 3, 1996

In this episode, Elaine makes three new friends who are all “bizarro” versions of Jerry, George, and Kramer. It’s like something out of a “Superman” comic book. In the meantime, George finds a way to get into a secret basement club where beautiful models hang out. Jerry has a little less luck because he dates a woman with big “man hands.”

6. The Marine Biologist

– IMDb user rating: 9.2
– Season 5, episode 14
– Air date: Feb. 10, 1994

In this episode, George claims to be a marine biologist to impress a girl he’s seeing. It’s a monologue for the ages. The plan is going well until the two come across a beached whale that is having trouble breathing and can only be saved by a marine scientist. The sea was angry that day, George recounts in his famous closing monologue, “like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.” After being thrown onto the whale’s back by a wave, George reaches into the blowhole and pulls out one of Kramer’s golf balls, which is blocking the hole.

7. The Outing

– IMDb user rating: 9.4
– Season 4, episode 17
– Air date: Feb. 11, 1993

In this classic episode, a local reporter thinks Jerry and George are a gay couple—”not that there’s anything wrong with that”—which is funny. After the story is picked up by the Associated Press, Jerry has to clear things up with his friends and family. George, on the other hand, decides to go along with the story and use the fact that his girlfriend thinks he is gay as a reason to break up with her.

8. The Opposite

– IMDb user rating: 9.5
– Season 5, episode 22
– Air date: May 19, 1994

In this episode, George does the opposite of everything he would normally do, and things finally start to go his way. Not only does this get him a hot date, but it also gets him a job with the New York Yankees in the long run. Larry David, who helped make the show, will be the first person to play Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

9. The Soup Nazi

– IMDb user rating: 9.5
– Season 7, episode 6
– Air date: Nov. 2, 1995

“The Soup Nazi” is based on a real business that went bankrupt, and it’s about a cook who has very strict rules about ordering out. When a customer doesn’t follow the rules, the man takes back the order and famously says, “No soup for you!” Because of how well-remembered and well-known the episode is, Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi, thinks that people today remember him for the part more fondly than they did when it first aired.

10. The Contest

– IMDb user rating: 9.6
– Season 4, episode 11
– Air date: Nov. 18, 1992

Larry David, who helped make “Seinfeld” and was the real-life George Costanza, based many of the stories on his own life. And nowhere does this personal link help the show more than in “The Contest.” Jerry and the rest of the gang make a bet to see who can be “master of their domain” in this edgy episode, which won an Emmy Award.

The result was must-see TV at its best, and it was a big reason why the show became one of the most popular in TV history. It was named the best TV episode of all time by TV Guide in 2009, and rightly so. It’s also the most popular episode of “Seinfeld” based on IMDb user scores and the number of votes.

Reasons Why The Show Was So Popular

1. Seinfeld Was A Show About Nothing

When Seinfeld came out in 1989, most sitcoms were still made in the same way they were in the 1970s. Seinfeld had the guts to say that shows didn’t have to be serious or have a clear storyline. Seinfeld instead focused on the small things that happened in the lives of four selfish New Yorkers.

The “show about nothing” changed the way comedy was done on television. Before Seinfeld, most sitcoms had a “A” story and a “B” story, and each episode had a running joke.

Seinfeld changed the way a show was put together. Before the group got together, each character had their own storyline.

2. Seinfeld Showed The Worst Of People

Seinfeld didn’t care that no one liked any of the characters. In the years to come, comedic figures would copy these jokes about themselves.

Seinfeld was one of the first comedies to show the worst parts of its characters to make the audience care about them. Smart writing, realistic situations, and skilled actors helped the audience see their worst traits mirrored back at them.

The effects of Seinfeld went beyond comedy. “Its calm belief that characters didn’t have to be likeable as long as they were interesting foreshadowed a change in TV drama that wouldn’t settle until the late ’90s, when HBO made a show about violent gangsters into an award-winning hit,” Matt Zoller Seitz wrote for Vulture in 2014 when talking about the TV legacy left by both Seinfeld and The Sopranos. “We tend to forget that Tony Soprano wasn’t the first highly practical hero to lead an important, long-running show named after him. Jerry Seinfeld did it.”

3. Fans Loved The Seinfeld Characters

Even though they are bad, the characters in this show are some of the most well-known in history. George is a 90s version of what we now call “nice guy syndrome,” because he can’t get away from his own weaknesses. He is creepy and annoying, and he thinks he can have sex with any woman he wants. Of course, he never does.

Elaine was one of the first female characters in a show who didn’t try to hide who she was. She was just as involved in the weekly pranks as the male characters and was never set aside as a love interest. She had weird jobs and a pretty bad love life, but she never gave up being a woman or being weird.

4. Seinfeld Heralded The Death Of The Multi-Camera Sitcom

For decades, the multi-camera comedy was the norm on TV. It’s when a sitcom is filmed like a play, with multiple cameras in set places to catch the action, usually in front of a live audience. Seinfeld is one of the last shows to use more than one camera, breaking the rules of a format that has been used a lot.

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were forced by NBC to make the show multi-camera, but they broke almost all of the rules for how multi-camera comedies were supposed to work. After they broke all the rules, it was hard for other people to figure out how to make a show.

As the show went on, Seinfeld and David added more single-camera scenes, like the shots of the gang going down the street, which had to be pre-recorded and shown to the studio audience. This let the writers break the story up into small pieces and change the pace.

5. No Conflict Resolution In Seinfeld

Almost never does a Seinfeld episode end with the problem solved. Usually, the gang is in more trouble than when the show began. Even though these often nihilistic conflicts are generally more funny than sad, and the gang never learns from their mistakes, this happens more often in modern shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Seinfeld is popular because its problems are usually very small and easy to relate to. David and Seinfeld are experts at making whole show episodes out of the strange things that happen in real life. Some of the most popular episode plots include trying to find a good place to nap at work, trying to get the hot woman’s phone number, and lying about your job to impress a date.

6. All The Seinfeld Catchphrases

In the sitcom, many words were created, made more famous, or brought back into use. The show gave us phrases like “Yada, yada, yada,” “No soup for you,” “Master of my domain,” and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Phrases like “man hands,” “shrinkage,” “regift,” and “double dip,” which were often used on Seinfeld, have become part of everyday language. Even though they weren’t the first to say these things, they brought them to a wider audience and helped make them familiar sayings in many homes.


Seinfeld became one of the most famous sitcoms ever because it had a unique idea, great writing, memorable characters, was easy to relate to, and had an effect on culture. The “show about nothing” idea of the show, which was to find humor in everyday things, kept people watching. It stands out from other sitcoms because of its sharp, funny writing, smart plots, and funny observations. Characters like Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer, who stand out in people’s minds, have become societal icons. People liked how the show could talk about big ideas in a way that was funny and easy to understand. It has had a big impact on shows and pop culture, which makes it even more of a classic in the history of television.