Seinfeld: How Elaine Changed From Season 1 (& How She’s The Same)

Elaine goes through a lot over the course of Seinfeld - and while she grows in some ways, in others, she is just the same ol' Elaine.

There has never been a character like Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on Seinfeld. Whether she’s hanging out with Jerry, George (Jason Alexander) and Kramer (Michael Richards) or going on yet another bad date, Elaine is always true to who she is.

Fans can relate to Elaine in so many moments and as the seasons go on, there are some things about Elaine that start to change. Sure, she never grows up (and neither do the other characters), and that’s definitely the point of the popular sitcom. But even though she maintains her neurotic personality for all nine seasons of the show, there are some times when she acts differently than she did in the first season.

Changed: She Moves Up In The Publishing World

Elaine holding up her hand on Seinfeld

It’s always hilarious watching Elaine work at the J. Peterman Catalog. She works in publishing for all nine seasons of Seinfeld and near the end of the show, she is an editor at this company, and then she is put in charge when the boss has a breakdown.

George has tons of random jobs on Seinfeld but Elaine manages to hold onto her career. She changes throughout the show as she moves up in the publishing industry and seems to be doing really well (except when she makes that mistake with The Urban Sombrero).

The Same: She Gets Upset About Little Things

Elaine Benes in Jerry's apartment on Seinfeld

Elaine’s best episodes always involve her neurotic personality. Although she changed in some ways from the first season, she always gets upset about little things.

From obsessing over a close talker to a boyfriend not writing an exclamation mark on a phone message, any mistake or quirk is enough to totally ruin Elaine’s day (or month).

Changed: She Comes To Terms With Being Platonic With Jerry

elaine and jerry on seinfeld

From the very beginning of Seinfeld, fans know that Jerry and Elaine once had a thing. It seems like they’re better off as pals, but there’s always a spark and some chemistry between them, especially since they have strong flirty banter in almost every scene.

RELATED: Seinfeld: 10 Hilarious Things Fans Noticed In The Background

In the second season episode “The Deal,” the two characters try a friends-with-benefits situation. They eventually realize that they should stay friends. Elaine changes from the pilot because she learns more about herself and what kind of relationship she wants. She knows that Jerry isn’t right for her and this is much better than pining after him for all nine seasons.

The Same: She Never Commits Or Finds Love

Elaine Benes and David Puddy in bed on Seinfeld

Elaine’s dating life is often treated unfairly but it’s true that in all nine seasons of Seinfeld, she doesn’t find love.

She also seems to have trouble with commitment, as she will come up with any random reason not to date someone anymore. Anything from a look they once gave her to a certain quirk that they have is fair game (nevermind that she’s not exactly perfect, either).

Changed: She Becomes More Aggressive

Elaine pointing her finger at Peterman on Seinfeld

Elaine is always a hilarious person who says what she wants and doesn’t act like others do. But in the later seasons of Seinfeld, she becomes much more aggressive and seems to stop trying to be nice and friendly.

In season 8, Elaine creates a fake coworker named “Susie,” which is a totally crazy thing to do. Some of Elaine’s actions in the last few seasons aren’t quite as funny, cute, and quirky as they are at the beginning.

The Same: She’s Always Socially Awkward

Elaine smiling on Seinfeld

It’s funny when Elaine can’t dance and Seinfeld fans can recall so many times when she embarrasses herself in front of co-workers, friends, or strangers.

RELATED: Seinfeld: 10 Best Kramer-Centric Episodes (According To IMDb)

Elaine is always socially awkward, and that is something that stays the same about this sitcom character. She can’t be polite for the sake of it and sometimes finds herself being rude to a stranger because she simply can’t help it. This isn’t great, of course, but it’s just part of who she is.

Changed: She Becomes Meaner To George

George passes an IQ test to Elaine in Seinfeld

As the show goes on, Elaine is much meaner to George. From throwing his toupe out a window to the season five episode “The Dinner Party” when George is terrified of Elaine, it’s definitely clear that these two don’t have a great friendship.

Elaine has a much stronger personality than George, and since he can be pretty weak at times, it’s no wonder that she can get under his skin so much.

The Same: She Never Finds A Dream Apartment

elaine and the barking dog on seinfeld

From a terrible roommate (who even begins sleeping with Kramer) to a barking dog that makes it hard to sleep, Elaine has really bad luck with her living situation.

RELATED: 10 Recent Sitcoms That Give Seinfeld A Run For Its Money

Elaine actually takes the dog, which is one of the worst things that she’s done and something that is wild to imagine now. Elaine stays the same throughout all of Seinfeld because she never seems to find a dream apartment. It feels like she will always settle for whatever she can get.

Changed: She Actively Avoids Things She Doesn’t Want To Do

Jerry and Elaine in Seinfeld

In the season nine episode “The Frogger,” Elaine decides that she hates celebrating the birthdays of her coworkers. She decides to pretend to be sick so she doesn’t have to deal with it.

Elaine changes because she starts avoiding things that she doesn’t want to do. At the start of the series, her attitude is that life sucks sometimes but attending a party or going to an appointment is just what has to be done. By the end of the show, she’s done pretending.

The Same: Her “Get Out!” Catchphrase

elaine on seinfeld

Elaine has many classic quotes and she also says the catchphrase “get out!” on a regular basis. She says it in the season two episode “The Apartment” and in many other episodes, including season seven’s “The Soup Nazi.”

It’s hilarious when Elaine says this and also comforting that no matter how much she changes from the pilot to the final episode, she is always fully herself. And Seinfeld fans love her quirky personality.

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