While Seinfeld is obviously based on the life of comedian and star Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander’s George Costanza and the rest of their unique but relatable friend group each took their share of the spotlight, though George’s annoying traits and innumerable schemes definitely made him one of the most memorable cast members.
Of course, George can also at times be one of the sweetest members of Seinfeld‘s unforgettable group of friends, though his acts of kindness are also usually tainted by his lie-filled schemes and workarounds that made “Cantstandya” so enjoyable to watch as he navigated his way through a number of careers, homes, and relationships for nine hilarious seasons.
Annoying: Fighting Over A Parking Space
The third season episode “The Parking Space” features an incredibly relatable moment for drivers as George manages to find a perfect spot to park on the busy New York street outside of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment.
Unfortunately, he takes a little bit too long congratulating himself on his skills at parallel parking that another passionate driver (played by Lee Arenberg) attempted to pull in the same space behind him. A long and drawn off stand-off ensued that irritated Geroge’s friends and the rest of the drivers on the road, as well as a pair of cops who get in on the argument as well.
Sweetest: Jerry’s Wingman
While George is usually a pretty self-centered person, he is still always there for his friends it it benefits him in some way or he isn’t able to come up with an excuse to get out of it. This often results in George acting as Jerry’s romantic wingman, such as he did in the first season episode “The Stake Out.”
When Jerry attempts to initiate a “coincidental” meeting with a woman he met briefly at a party, George goes along with his friend and helps him plan the meeting. Of course, he gets carried away in the lie and his obsession with architecture, resulting in the creation of “Art Vandelay.”
Annoying: The Spasm
George is a self-admitted compulsive liar which can be combined with his stubbornness for comedic results, though it can become an annoyance even to himself sometimes, as fans saw in the fifth season episode “The Non-Fat Yogurt.”
When George was caught in the act of nudging Jerry with his arm to avoid his rival Lloyd Braun, George decides to lie and says he has a spasm, causing Braun to set up a doctor’s appointment for him. George had to keep lying to his parents and the doctor who called him a faker, though his “injury” actually developed in a moment of karmic justice.
Sweetest: Bought Elaine A Big Salad
It’s somewhat of a testament to George’s less-than-altruistic character that when looking at his sweetest accomplishments in the series, something as trivial as picking up some food for a friend while out on the town can even be considered.
However, when George didn’t get acknowledged for purchasing Elaine’s “big salad” in the similarly titled sixth season episode, he began to resent his girlfriend, who handed Elaine the food. Another small, sweet act that was completely tainted by George being George.
Annoying: Moved Back In With His Parents
While George’s relationship with his parents was always perfect for a laugh on Seinfeld, it was not the happiest of families, and George and his father, in particular, had a contentious relationship that only worsened when George was forced to move back home.
Despite the added moments of comedy with his parents, George became increasingly frustrated by his time there and his annoyance at his living situation was felt by his friends and the viewers until he finally was able to move out on his own again.
Sweetest: Let His Father Live With Him
Even with George’s tense relationship with his father Frank (played perfectly by the late Jerry Stiller), he opened up his home to his father after his parents’ separated, which was first revealed in “The Chinese Woman.”
Frank moved into George’s apartment in the sixth season episode “The Doorman” where he even shared the same bed with his son. Frank and Estelle (played by Estelle Harris) would eventually reconcile after Frank suffered a traumatic episode with “The Fusilli Jerry.”
Annoying: Compare Himself To Ted Danson
George had quite a few different jobs over nine seasons of Seinfeld, though one of his most interesting potential careers was alongside Jerry when they pitched a TV show about nothing to executives at NBC.
Things were starting to look up for Jerry and George’s new writing career, though George couldn’t stop complaining about the perks and benefits they were getting from the studio. He repeatedly compared himself and the treatment they received to Cheers’ star Ted Danson, even when he was flying on NBC’s private jet with his friends on a free trip.
Sweetest: Tried To Replace The Rye
When a gifted loaf of marble rye bread from the Costanza’s was neglected to be served by George’s future parents-in-law at dinner, Frank Costanza secretly took back the rye after the awkward dinner which George feared would cause a lasting feud between the families.
George creates an elaborate plan to secretly replace the rye with the help of Jerry and Kramer, though a series of incidents that included the mugging of an elderly woman and an overly flatulent horse resulted in George being caught red-handed while trying to prevent a war between families.
Annoying: Fatally Cheap
Another defining and annoying trait of George’s is the fact that he is incredibly frugal when it comes to his finances, which has never been more evident than in the seventh season finale episode “The Invitations.”
As George and Susan (played by Heidi Swedberg) shopped for wedding invitations, George picked the cheapest envelope possible and left Susan to lick and prepare the envelopes. When Geroge arrived home later he found Susan passed out, and later learned that she had died due to the toxic glue on the cheap envelopes purchased by George.
Sweetest: Saved A Whale
One of George’s brightest moments in the entire series happened in the fifth season episode “The Marine Biologist,” which followed George as he attempted to live in a lie about his job that was told by Jerry to George’s former crush.
George pretended to be a marine biologist in order to keep the date with his crush, which obviously isn’t considered a sweet act. However, when they encountered a struggling whale on the beach, George was forced to try and help and managed to save the whale’s life when he extracted a golf ball from his blowhole.