When it was on the air, Seinfeld was the number one program around, and some of the characters, comments, and episodes featured throughout its nine-season run are still hilarious examples of late-80s and early-90s comedy. The series ran for a total of 169 episodes, and while most of them are as funny and relevant to this day (an impressive feat for "a show about nothing"), not all of them can be considered classics. In fact, some of the worst Seinfeld episodes have been panned by both critics and fans alike.
Now, let's not mince words here: Seinfeld was (and still is) one of the greatest shows ever made. That said, some episodes have aged better than others. Whether the comedy wasn't on-point, the topics were more offensive than originally intended, or parts of the dialogue were so off-character that they were hard to believe, these 12 episodes are often considered by both viewers and critics to be low moments in an otherwise standout series.
Check out the select few episodes that are widely considered to be flops and vote up all the ones you think missed the mark. That way new viewers can prepare themselves for the low points (which admittedly aren't many) in an otherwise fantastic series.
When Jerry finds himself on a flight next to a boorish alcoholic, he does whatever he can to stop their conversation. The man doesn't pick up on Jerry's disinterest in him, and when he suffers from some sort of medical attack, Jerry's proximity to the man makes him the default go-to to care for his dog, Farfel. The canine in question was never seen on screen but was clearly meant to be a large, aggressive, and nonstop-barking creature. Jerry hates caring for the animal and finally gets rid of it when the man shows up weeks after his medical debacle.
Why it falls short: One of the features of this episode was the relationship between George and Elaine. Because of the dog, Jerry wasn't able to do much with the group, which left them having to hang out with one another. They felt uncomfortable without their Jerry buffer, which was strange because their relationship seemed very friendly up to this point in the series. It didn't make much sense for the characters, and while the episode works as a standalone, it falls flat when compared to the series as a whole.
9845Not as good as the rest?
- Original Airing: Oct 09 1991
- Season: Seinfeld - Season 3
- Episode Number: 4
Jerry is plagued by a childhood friend he no longer likes named Joel Horneck. He and George reason that he never stopped hanging out with him because he's a man, and the best way to end their relationship would be to treat him like a woman he was breaking up with. He gives it a shot, and the man breaks down in tears. Elaine makes her first appearance in the show and offers her advice in killing the relationship, and Kramer hatches his latest get-rich-quick scheme: a pizza place where you make your own pie.
Why it falls short: This was the fourth episode of the series, and it introduced Elaine, but she wasn't given much to do. This is addressed later in the series when the two men admit that they didn't know how to write for a woman, which was effectively a callback to her earlier appearances. There were some funny points throughout the episode, but the overall storyline about Jerry breaking up with an old childhood friend isn't incredibly memorable and made for a weak episode.
7738Not as good as the rest?
- Original Airing: Jun 14 1990
- Season: Seinfeld Season 1
- Episode Number: 4
The pilot episode of the series is certainly not the best the show had to offer, and that's okay since it's a pilot. It centers around Jerry and his love life with George on hand to help him out with advice. Kramer... or Kessler, as he was named in the episode, is introduced. The dynamic between the characters is likely what helped get the show an order with NBC, but it's easy to look back on and see that the episode was far from the series' best.
Why it falls short: It lacked Elaine, the pacing was horrifically slow, Jerry's love life is far from interesting, and the show would have never attained the prominence it achieved had the format remained exactly as it was presented in the pilot.
7135Not as good as the rest?
- Original Airing: Jul 05 1989
- Season: Seinfeld Season 1
- Episode Number: 1
"The Puerto Rican Day" features the main cast coming home from a game and finding the city completely gridlocked. The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade is the culprit, and after Jerry gets into a feud with another driver, nobody is going anywhere. The episode shows each of the men conning their way into a townhouse to use the bathroom and catch the last few minutes of the game while Elaine desperately attempts to get home but to no avail.
Why it falls short: There were a lot of bottle episodes on Seinfeld, but this one is the dullest. More than that, it was incredibly racially offensive, and NBC even apologized for airing it. Overall, it's just not a funny episode, and that leaves the offensive bits standing out as the most prominent feature. Most people don't like this episode, and there are plenty who outright hate it.
8074Not as good as the rest?
- Original Airing: May 07 1998
- Season: Seinfeld - Season 9
- Episode Number: 20