Did Seinfeld ever have an actual dramatic moment?

I never watched the show when it first aired, but my dad watches the reruns all the time so I’ve seen (or rather ‘heard’) most all the episodes a few times over. Most all sitcoms have at least a few truly dramatic moments, not necessarily per episode but usually at some point during a season at least. Not a true ‘very special episode’ or anything, but something that hushes the audience and is not immediately revealed to just be part of a joke.

I can’t say I remember Seinfeld ever doing this even once. Even when George’s fiance dropped dead the whole thing was completely played for laughs. I’m not complaining, I actually hate it that all sitcoms still feel the need to inject random melodrama in them to seem ‘relevant’ or something. But did Seinfeld ever do this? Is there any other sitcom that **never **did this. Even a great show like Arrested Development had the occasional moments of seriousness, and although they always quickly followed it with a dark comedic turn, it didn’t completely negate the drama.

I’ve seen every episode of Seinfeld and I can’t think of any one that was serious in a non-ironic way. I mean, seriously terrible stuff happens - George’s fiancee dies while planning their wedding, Jerry’s advice to a friendly neighborhood restaurant owner ends up driving him bankrupt and getting him deported to boot, they rupture the protective enclosure around a “bubble boy” in a scuffle over a game of Trivial Pursuit, they burn down a cherished family lakeside cabin, … the list goes on and on.

Part of what drives the show is that the main characters are utterly self-absorbed and callous individuals who just walk away from stuff like that. They’re actually terrible people. But terrible people in terribly funny and ironic situations that they essentially deserve to be in.

In Seinfeld, there is no “moral”. There is no sense of “in the end, joking aside, family / relationships / life is really about X”. The joking is never aside. The characters themselves are one step away from breaking the fourth wall and complaining that their lives seem to be manipulated by unseen writers putting them into untenable positions, except that their own character flaws are actually what is doing so.

The “heaviest” Seinfeld was the backwards one. It was intellectually stimulating. Maybe that increases the seriousness. Maybe not.


It’s famously been said that Larry David’s unofficial motto for the show with regards to character development was “No hugging, no learning”.

Probably not exactly what you’re looking for, but I remember a scene or two between Jerry and Elaine very early in the series where they were trying to figure out their relationship. They had dated, then split up, then were friends, then were friends-with-benefits briefly.

The scene when Elaine was in Crazy Joe Davola’s apartment was pretty damned creepy.


The lack of anything serious in a non-ironic way is one of the things I like best about Seinfeld. I applaud the purity and consistency of its completely shallow approach to life.

Or when they produce a pilot of a show, “Jerry”, that is a mirror of the show they rhemselves are in. The main “Seinfeld” cast all have issues with their “Jerry” portrayals that are dead-on accurate.

I was going to post something about that as well.

Not necessarily dramatic but played more “real.”

The last scene of that episode was Elaine saying she couldn’t be friends any more because of the confusing feelings the friends-with-benefits arrangement had created. It wasn’t a tear-jerker, but it wasn’t played for laughs.

I don’t remember if it was resolved in the next episode, or if it was simply ignored after that.

I could be wrong, but was it the last episode of that season and then in the next season it was dropped. I think I remember Kramer asking Jerry if THAT was still going on and Jerry saying it didn’t work out and that was it.

I’m watching the final season of Weeds right now. It has entered my top 3 or 5 all time comedy shows. It has heart grabbing moments a lot.

So maybe that is what Seinfeld was “about.” The purity of no sentiment without the punchline.

There was the deeply philosophical conversation between Elaine and Puddy about God and Hell…

The early episode in which Jerry and Elaine try to be fuck-buddies has a serious 127 seconds when they realize George’s prediction of disaster was correct and they have to figure out how to salvage the relationship.

The serious moments in Seinfeld lasts only for a few seconds. I watch the reruns all the time and there’s only a few I can remember off the top of my head:

Jerry gets shot by the FBI in a dream sequence (but the audience doesn’t know its a dream since there were no tells) for stealing cable then trying to run. But then Kramer picks him up and calls him cable boy and its funny again

During part 2 of the Season 3 finale The Keys, Kramer goes to LA to pursue a dream of acting. There’s a couple of detectives that act all serious when they are investigating a murdered woman who had contact with Kramer, but I think that was more of a parody. Near the end of the episode, when Kramer says he won’t be returning to New York with Jerry and George, Jerry apologizes to Kramer for taking away the keys and Kramer tells him its forgotten. I think that bit of emotion when Kramer forgives Jerry was the only time I’ve ever seen the show hit a dramatic note

In the series finale, when they thought the plane was going to crash, there was a brief few seconds when Elaine seems like she was going to tell Jerry she loved him.

I just realized it was The Trip, part 2, not The Keys, where Kramer goes to LA. Season 3 had a weirdly paced 3 part episode named The Keys, The Trip part 1, and The Trip part 2.

If we’re thinking of the same episode (“The Deal”), they go into it not wanting to lose “this” if they start doing “that”, and it winds up not working out so well – but the very end of the episode is them sleeping together anyway, which throws Kramer for a loop: “this, that, and the other!” Good sitcom stinger, everyone laughs, The End.

I came to post this. This is my least favourite scene of any Seinfeld episode. It went serious really fast. I hated it, it wasn’t funny at all. Just scary and creepy.

Once, Elaine was upset when Kramer gives her a heartfelt present while Jerry gave her cash.