The world of Seinfeld is absurd, to say the least, but that doesn’t mean whatever happens within its fictional confines have no bearing on real life. In fact, it’s obvious that several themes resemble those that most people faced in the ’90s (and still do), making the show a slightly-warped reflection of modern society.
When considered from this angle, Kramer’s character on Seinfeld is not easy to resolve into its individual components — in other words, he simply cannot be defined according to, say, the Dungeons & Dragons Moral Alignment scheme, or any equivalent. This is because Kramer himself is a paradox, often bothersome and careless, but also gentle and open to change.
10 Freeloader: Eats Jerry’s Food
The biggest complaint that Jerry has of his neighbor is his eternal barging into his home, an act that’s almost always followed by barging into his fridge and pantry.
If devouring food isn’t enough, there are times when Kramer doesn’t understand the basic concept of sharing, for instance, taking a bite from an apple and asking Jerry to charge him only for what’s been eaten. There is a tab system set up at some point, but this inevitably fails, to nobody’s astonishment.
9 Generous: Takes George’s Boudoir Photos
Most friends (read: Jerry) would balk at the idea of seeing George Costanza in his underwear. This irrational fear, most likely steeped in internalized homophobia, does not appear in Kramer, as he is the one who is the one to suggest the idea in the first place.
In order to return the photo store lady’s alleged compliment, one they discover they are mistaken about only later, Kramer clicks some surprisingly nice pictures of George wearing only his boxers. What’s better is his encouragement, telling his friend that he is “a lover boy!”
8 Freeloader: Uses Jerry’s Apartment Freely
Kramer’s lack of boundaries is beyond concerning, and one might say borderline pathological. Since he has Jerry’s key, he thinks nothing of letting himself in at random times, often leaving the place worse off than earlier.
In one case, he actually walks into his neighbor’s bedroom in the middle of the night, claiming that he can’t sleep and asks if the now irate man wants to do something. To be fair to him, though, Jerry enables this behavior.
7 Generous: Cares About The Seinfelds
One of the great things about Jerry is how obviously he loves his parents, Morty and Helen. He regularly chats with them, exchanges gifts, and travels down to Florida on occasion (even buying his dad a Cadillac.)
Kramer takes his relationship with the older Seinfelds to the next level — he phones them regularly, indulges in a “plot” to sell Morty’s ancient raincoats, and after his coffee table book receives a movie offer, he decides to “retire”, and chooses to stay at Del Boca Vista, where the Seinfelds also live.
6 Freeloader: The Japanese Tourist Situation
Kramer’s schemes have no end, but it’s not like all of them are failures. The tour guide one, however, is a total disaster: Upon receiving around thirty thousand yen from a small group of Japanese travelers, he mistakenly assumes an incorrect conversion rate, consequently eradicating their budget in a single day.
To make things worse, Kramer offers to let them stay in his apartment, forcing them into individual drawers in one of his cabinets. It doesn’t get any better when the excess hot tub moisture in the room seals the tourists shut. All this for $250.
5 Generous: Helps Frank Costanza On Several Occasions
Kramer often involves himself in the Costanzas’ life, much to George’s annoyance. Frank and he try their hardest to sell their latest invention, the “bro”, which only collapses because of the former’s possessiveness for Estelle.
Their partnership returns in “The Strike”, where Kramer tells Frank to restart the forgotten “tradition” of Festivus, which pleases the man but noticeably troubles his son. Cosmo doesn’t seem to care much about George’s feelings on the matter, though.
4 Freeloader: All The Lawsuits
The source of Kramer’s money is a mystery; the only statement he ever makes is “I get by”, implying that he does have income trickling in (how else would he be able to pay for his apartment in Manhattan?)
One explanation for his financial freedom might be all the lawsuits he indulges in, usually at the urging of his lawyer, Jackie Chiles. There’s the hot latte situation, the “bra-less wonder” accident, the tobacco and aging conundrum. The fact that Kramer loses these cases doesn’t change anything.
3 Generous: The Soup Nazi’s (Presumably) Only Friend
Cosmo Kramer’s knack for making friends is truly inspiring; he finds something to love about most people, however repugnant they might appear to others.
The Soup Nazi is a prime example of this personality type: the only reason his brusqueness and outright rancor is tolerated is because of the inimitable quality of his culinary productions. Kramer is shown chatting with him on multiple occasions, even offering him advice about mundane things like home furniture.
2 Freeloader: Tries To Make His Own Cigars
After he gets addicted to the taste of cigars, Kramer searches high and low for a cheap and efficient way to obtain his prized goodies. Unfortunately, the conclusion he reaches is one involving immigrants from Latin America, hoping to use their “cigar-rolling” skills to manufacture his own.
Setting aside the whole morality issue inherent in this idea, the notion that Kramer wants to use cheap labor to create luxury items is uncomfortable at best.
1 Generous: Protected A Rooster At His Own Peril
Kramer’s plan to obtain farm fresh eggs from the safety of his own home backfires when he ends up with a rooster (whom he calls “Little Jerry.”) He gets beguiled into entering his new pet in an illegal cock fight, and the first match goes swimmingly well.
The second time, however, Little Jerry has to defeat a terrifying competitor, so Kramer rushes into the ring to save him, receiving horrific injuries from the other rooster. Of course, Little Jerry disappears forever after this episode.