Even though Seinfeld claims to be a show about nothing, the New York-set series features hundreds of memorable and dynamic characters across 9 seasons and 172 episodes. The series’ core cast of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are all iconic in their own ways, but there is no denying that Seinfeld boasts one of the best supporting sitcom casts.
From poorly chosen romantic partners to quirky and unconventional bosses to overbearing and uniquely hilarious mothers and fathers, Seinfeld has many recurring characters that appear much more frequently than other supporting players in typical sitcoms do.
10David Puddy – 10 Episodes
Elaine Benes has an incredibly complicated dating history, but none of her boyfriends have the staying power that David Puddy (Patrick Warburton) does. Dimwitted and lovable, Puddy is a genuinely good guy who just doesn’t always meet Elaine’s high expectations.
But even though their relationship is far from conventional, Puddy still appears consistently in the series for a total of 10 episodes across seasons 6 and 9, including the controversial series finale.
9Mr. Wilhelm – 11 Episodes
One of the most surprising characters to appear most frequently in the series is by far Mr. Wilhelm (Richard Herd), the Traveling Secretary to the New York Yankees who had the unenviable job of serving as George Costanza’s boss. George has many careers across Seinfeld, but his time with the Yankees organization lasts the longest, which explains the duration of Wilhelm’s role in the series.
Mr. Wilhelm was featured in 11 episodes across seasons 6 to 8, during George’s chaotic tenure with the Yankees organization, and also made an appearance as a trial audience member during the series finale.
8Uncle Leo – 14 Episodes
One of Seinfeld‘s most frequently appearing characters is one that manages to be completely iconic and beloved no matter how absolutely strange he is. Uncle Leo (Len Lesser) is by far one of the best creations to come out of the series, a man who is larger than life and entertaining in every possible way.
Beginning in season 2, Uncle Leo is a recurring presence within the series, appearing for a total of 14 episodes across seasons 2 to 9, including memorable episodes such as “The Pony Remark,” “The Pen,” “The Pledge Drive,” and “The Bookstore.” Leo frequently stoked Jerry’s guilt at neglecting his family, often to his own benefit.
7Morty Seinfeld – 20 Episodes
As the first of the two characters portrayed by two actors to appear regularly throughout the series, Jerry’s father Morty Seinfeld (Phil Bruns, Barney Martin) appeared in a total of 20 episodes. Morty appeared in each season of the series, with Bruns in the role in season 1 and Martin in the role from seasons 2 to 9.
Morty most frequently appears in episodes relating to the happenings at the retirement community Del Boca Vista, regularly getting on Jerry’s nerves and getting into schemes with the likes of Kramer.
6J. Peterman – 20 Episodes
There are many strange workplaces in Seinfeld, and even stranger bosses and coworkers to boot, but none of them are as bizarre and iconic as the quirky and clueless J. Peterman (John O’Hurley). The owner of the J. Peterman Company appears in 20 episodes of the series, recurring regularly across seasons 6 through 9.
Episodes that feature Peterman prominently are some of the series’ best, including “The Chicken Roaster,” “The Van Buren Boys,” “The Susie,” “The Muffin Tops,” and “The Summer of George.” Peterman is best known for his outlandish tales of romance and adventure, which frequently irritates Elaine to comical effect.
5Helen Seinfeld – 20 Episodes
Although Morty Seinfeld is a much more ridiculous personality prone to producing comic situations, Jerry’s mother Helen Seinfeld (Liz Sheridan) likewise appears in 20 episodes across the series’ 9 seasons.
Helen is overbearing and overly affectionate with Jerry, but perhaps the most significant and hilarious contribution to come from her character’s duration on the series is her rivalry with her own son’s nemesis, Newman.
4Frank Costanza – 25 Episodes
As hard as it may be to imagine, there are 3 seasons of Seinfeld in which Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller, originally John Randolph) doesn’t exist. From season 4 onward, Frank goes on to become an integral part of the Seinfeld universe, appearing in a total of 25 episodes.
Frank-centric episodes such as “The Strike” and “The Serenity Now” produce some of Seinfeld‘s most quotable moments, and Frank’s weird business relationship/competitive friendship with Kramer is one of the series’ best creations.
3Estelle Costanza – 25 Episodes
Just like her husband and frequent sparring partner Frank, the absolute icon that is Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris) also appears in a total of 25 episodes between seasons 4 and 9. Estelle’s distinct voice and her tendency to snap at both Frank and George frequently result in hilarious screaming matches.
Her relationship with Frank is incredibly contentious throughout the series, leading to the couple briefly splitting, and always causing poor George to become wrapped up in his parents’ drama, particularly during the period in which he is living with them.
2Susan Ross – 27 Episodes
Ironically, or perhaps fittingly for a show filled with so many distinctly terrible people, one of the most frequently used supporting characters in Seinfeld is, in fact, one of the the show’s worst characters. Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg), George’s fiance, is one of the most polarizing additions to the series, appearing in 27 episodes across seasons 4, 7, and 9.
Susan is first introduced as merely part of the NBC team during Jerry and George’s efforts to land a television deal. It’s when Susan and George begin dating, and eventually become engaged, that Susan’s role in the series becomes unbearable, and eventually leads to her shocking demise.
1Newman – 43 Episodes
There is no other character in the Seinfeld universe who could have possibly been the most utilized supporting player in the series. But the most shocking part of Newman (Wayne Knight) being the most recurring minor character is the fact that, no matter how omnipresent he may feel, he is only in 43 episodes out of the show’s 172 episode run.
Even though he is only in about 25% of the series, the loathsome Newman is still one of the most significant players in the series. Whether through his hilarious schemes with Kramer, his rivalry with Jerry, or any other bizarre storyline he gets dragged into, Newman is the series’ most reliable source of humor when it comes to its immense supporting cast.