Jerry and his friends are the focus of the major storylines on Seinfeld, as they try to date, find happiness, and wonder why everyday life is so annoying. From the hilarious episode “The Contest” to less memorable moments throughout the show’s nine seasons, Jerry and the gang are always getting into trouble.
But even though Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer are undoubtedly the best characters on the classic sitcom, they interact with many others, from family members to love interests to neighbors. While some of these people show up a lot, others don’t seem to have much reason for appearing on the show at all.
No Impact: Robin
Robin (Ann Talman) may be married, but that doesn’t stop George from sleeping with her in the season three episode “The Good Samaritan.” It all starts because he says “bless you” when she sneezes.
George can be a sympathetic person, as he’s not all that lucky in love and often thinks that no one would ever go for him. While it should be a bigger deal that he has sex with someone who is married, this is a fairly forgettable episode.
Too Much Influence: Susan Ross
Many Seinfeld fans agree it was good that Susan passed away. The character, played by Heidi Swedberg, wasn’t popular and she had too much influence on the show. Since no one thought that she had much of a personality or brought anything to the series, it’s fair to say she was on the show for too long.
Even George gets tired of her, wondering if things will work out if they do get married, but then he doesn’t have to make that decision because she dies licking an envelope. Perhaps if Susan was only in a handful of episodes, she would be remembered more fondly.
No Impact: Betsy
Some of George’s love interests aren’t as great as others, and Betsy (Megan Mullally) isn’t one of the better ones. She and George date in the season four episode “The Implant” and he doesn’t get along with Timmy, her brother. Besides the fact that this character is portrayed by such a famous actress, there isn’t much else that sets her apart.
Too Much Influence: Newman
Newman has a dark side and the character, played by Wayne Knight, might rub some fans the wrong way. While some think he’s funny and enjoy watching how much he and Jerry loathe each other, others wish he would go away a lot of the time.
Newman is never in a good mood and his hatred of Jerry isn’t even that logical. Jerry isn’t easy to hate, as he’s charming, friendly enough, and funny. Watching these two fight with each other becomes dull after a while.
No Impact: Helen Seinfeld
Helen (Liz Sheridan) adores her son, which is about the only thing that most people can remember about her. While it’s funny that she truly believes that Jerry is a flawless human being, that’s to be expected from many mothers, so it doesn’t really stand out that much.
Helen isn’t as funny as her husband and seems too serious. Even Jerry doesn’t really get along with her that well.
Too Much Influence: Estelle Costanza
George grows in a few ways from season one to the finale, but one thing is for sure, he never stops getting annoyed by his mother and many viewers feel the same way.
Estelle (Estelle Harris) screams a lot and she appears in too many episodes. She doesn’t really get her own storylines, and she’s just there to get mad at George and her husband. It would have been interesting to learn more about her instead of just watching her shriek.
No Impact: Dugan
When Elaine works at the J. Peterman Company, she meets Dugan (Joe Urla), who does some writing there. Elaine’s tenure at the company is full of random quirks and weird moments, but it’s hard to say if this character makes a big impact.
He doesn’t like how Elaine dances, but that doesn’t make him stand out, since no one thinks that she has any talent in this department. Of everyone who Elaine meets during her working life, Dugan seems like the least memorable.
Too Much Influence: Mr. Pitt
Ian Abercrombie’s Seinfeld character Mr. Pitt definitely has too much influence. He’s a frustrating character to watch, as he’s always going crazy about something, and while it’s funny when he uses a fork and knife for a chocolate bar, nothing else about him is that entertaining.
Elaine’s always had a great career, but her time working for Mr. Pitt isn’t much fun for her. He’s given too much screentime and it’s a relief when she finds another position.
No Impact: Uncle Leo
While Uncle Leo (Len Lesser) does pop up from time to time on Seinfeld, he gets on Jerry’s nerves and viewers don’t consider him a favorite relative, at least not compared to Jerry’s dad, who has a much better sense of humor (without even realizing it).
Leo often talks about Jerry’s cousin, which gets boring after a while, and he and Jerry don’t seem to get along all that well. There never seems like much of a reason for Leo to be on the show. At least Jerry’s father fights with a neighbor about a pen and whines about waiting in doctor’s offices.
Too Much Influence: Kenny Bania
Through his world as a stand-up comedian, Jerry meets Kenny Bania (Steve Hytner) who works in the same field … although he isn’t as talented as Jerry (or even close to it). Bania has way too much influence in the sitcom and if he would have been in fewer episodes, it’s fair to say that not many fans would have complained.
Whether he’s saying something is “the best” or “gold” or appearing in an NBC showcase with him, Bania always bugs Jerry, and it gets old.