For a show about nothing, Seinfeld has a lot of continuity errors, plot holes and shot mistakes. That’s to be expected for a TV sitcom, yet it’s still fascinating to see the kinds of things often overlooked by the writers and production crew.
Here’s 10 major continuity errors that Seinfeld fans probably never noticed. Do they detract away from the show’s side-splitting hilarity? Certainly not. In fact, each one might give you a chuckle! Let’s take a look.
It’s worth noting that the show had some real trouble pinning down what floor Jerry lived on in his apartment building. This was especially true in season 1, when the number was changed several times.
His apartment was first located on the fourth floor, then dropped down to the third floor, before finally settling on the familiar 5A, which continued on for the remaining seasons. It’s possible Jerry moved several times, but that’s unlikely given his penchant for staying in one place.
The 7th season episode “The Hot Tub” featured Jean-Paul, a runner from Trinidad & Tobago who stops off in New York for a race, and decides to stay with Elaine. After Jerry questions Elaine about her dubious history keeping time, Jean-Paul eventually decides to stay with Jerry, instead.
During a scene when Elaine is out looking for Jean-Paul, she recounts past conversations in her mind, one of which is Jean-Paul saying “I trust Elaine, she is my friend.” This conversation between Jean-Paul and Jerry never took place while Elaine was present.
The Season 4 episode “The Airport” features Jerry getting bumped up to first-class, while Elaine is destined for coach. The episode exaggerates the glaring distinction between the two classes, with typically funny results.
The only problem is, the plane Jerry and Elaine are riding on is from Southwest Airlines, which doesn’t offer first-class – only Business Select rates.
We all know Wayne Knight played the insufferable Newman for most of the show’s run, but that’s not how he started out. In fact, Newman was originally introduced as an off-screen character in the second season episode “The Revenge.”
In this episode, Newman was a buddy of Kramer with suicidal tendencies and voiced by none other than co-creator Larry David, himself. While David would go on to voice George Steinbrenner in later seasons, his stint as Newman would later be redubbed by Wayne Knight himself, for continuity purposes.
Actor Jerry Stiller wasn’t the first choice for George’s loudmouthed, mentally unstable father Frank. That part was given to John Randolph (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), who introduced the character as quiet and calm in demeanor – a stark contrast to what he’d later become.
When Seinfeld gained popularity, the season 4 episode “The Handicap Spot” was re-shot with Jerry Stiller in the role, plus a collection of extras and other cast members. It effectively retconned a massive continuity error in the show.
Both Jerry and George have hinted that they have siblings during the course of the show, though no evidence has ever been presented to back up the claim. The second season episode “The Chinese Restaurant” sees Jerry mentioning that he has a sister, while the third-season episode “The Suicide” finds George referencing a brother.
Future episodes did little to back either of these plot threads up, and there’s every reason to believe that both Jerry and George were only children, given the rhetoric of their parents.
The Rye Problem
The seventh season episode “The Rye” is notorious for having one of the worst continuity errors of the entire show, though most fans probably didn’t give it a second thought. It involves George reeling a rye bread from the ground level to the above apartment complex, only to turn around and see Susan standing there with her parents in befuddlement.
Trouble is, the episode fails to explain how Susan made it into the apartment, in the first place. With Jerry and Kramer standing outside, it would have been impossible for her to enter through the front door, and New York brownstone complexes have no back door.
The season 7 episode “The Friar’s Club” features a scene where Kramer falls asleep on a woman who mistakenly believes he has died on top of her. In reality, this wouldn’t be an issue that would pop up.
When laying on someone, chest expansion would be quite noticeable – more than enough to determine that the person was simply unconscious, rather than dead. Funny? Yes. Believable? Not in the slightest.
The Infamous Side-Switching Newspaper
One of the funniest Seinfeld episodes of all time is undoubtedly the season 3 episode “The Boyfriend,” where George attempts to scam his insurance by giving them Jerry’s number while passing it off as the head office of Vandelay Industries.
Naturally, Kramer answers the phone and botches the entire scheme, while George runs out screaming from the bathroom, only to trip over his own pants and fall to the ground in disgrace. The scene features a newspaper lying by George’s side, which appears to switch from left to right without explanation. Also, the rug is different.
This continuity error spans the entire series and focuses on Monk’s Cafe, a key setting where Jerry and friends congregate. The restaurant exterior shot was taken from an actual restaurant at the corner of Broadway and West 112th Street, with the name “Tom’s Restaurant” on one side, and the word “Restaurant” on an adjacent side, which was used for the shot.
The interior of the cafe doesn’t line up at all with the exterior of Tom’s Restaurant, with the door placement, windows sizes, curtains, and dressings all incorrect. While not a huge deal, it’s a glaring continuity error, nonetheless.