Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David’s groundbreaking series, Seinfeld, was famous for dovetailing storylines. The incredibly talented team of writers perfected the art of telling two seemingly unrelated stories, somehow resolving them both at the same time in the same scene.
Seinfeld’s B-plots tended to be more memorable than the average sitcom episode because they often ended up tying into the A-plot through some ironic twist of fate. From George’s toupee to Kramer’s iconic vanity plates, these are the best B-plots from Seinfeld’s nine-season run.
Kramer’s “ASSMAN” Vanity Plates (The Fusilli Jerry)
Kramer makes a pasta figurine of Jerry in “The Fusilli Jerry,” but he’s also the focus of his own B-plot in which he accidentally gets somebody else’s vanity plates that read, “ASSMAN.” He says there’s been a mistake – “I’m not the Assman!” – but he’s forced to keep the plates.
He ends up changing his entire lifestyle and parking in spots reserved for doctors because the plates make him look like a proctologist with a good sense of humor.
George Gets A Toupee (The Scofflaw)
“The Scofflaw” primarily revolves around an eyepatch-wearing Kramer trying to bring “white whale” Newman to justice, but the B-plot sees George running into an old friend who now wears a toupee and so he decides to get one for himself. The show made a lot of jokes about George’s baldness, but this is one of the only storylines dedicated to it.
This storyline continued into the next episode, “The Beard,” which built on it by pairing up George with a bald woman. It culminates in Elaine ripping the toupee off of George’s head and throwing it out the window. It was a nice change of pace to see George with some confidence, for once.
Kramer Becomes A Calvin Klein Underwear Model (The Pick)
While Jerry is trying to convince his model girlfriend that she merely saw him scratch his nose in “The Pick,” Kramer learns that the idea for the new Calvin Klein cologne she’s modeling was stolen from him.
Klein is taken with Kramer’s look and ends up hiring him as an underwear model. Kramer is flattered with the job offer and before too long, he’s strutting around Klein’s office in his briefs. Michael Richards never missed an opportunity for physical comedy, and he found plenty of opportunities when Kramer became an underwear model.
The Bro/Manssiere (The Doorman)
When Kramer sees Frank Costanza without his shirt on in “The Doorman,” he suggests he could use some support. They team up to design a bra for men and find that there’s more demand for the product than they expected.
However, Kramer and Frank’s promising business venture hits a bump in the road when they get deadlocked on the name. Kramer wants to call it “the Bro,” but Frank wants to call it “the Manssiere.” This was one of the first episodes to utilize Michael Richards’ hilarious chemistry with the late, great Jerry Stiller.
George Crashes A Family’s Screening Of Breakfast At Tiffany’s (The Couch)
In the B-plot of “The Couch,” George tries to rent the movie adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s after failing to read the Truman Capote classic for his book club, but the video store tells him that the last copy was just rented out.
So, George sneaks behind the desk, steals the address of the last family to rent the movie, and pays them a visit. They reluctantly let him in and he’s immediately picky about his snacks and his seat on the couch. Being a rude, demanding guest, despite the imposition of gate-crashing a family’s movie night, is classic George.
Kramer Takes Over Moviefone (The Pool Guy)
Kramer gets a new phone in “The Pool Guy,” and his number is 555-FILK, which is very similar to the number for the local movie information line: 555-FILM. Kramer is inundated with calls from people who misdialed looking for movie times and so he eventually just starts looking up the information they want, instead of redirecting them every time.
Some of Seinfeld’s greatest storylines simply involve Kramer taking on an unconventional new career, like ball boy, bagel maker, CEO of Kramerica Industries – or, indeed, operating Moviefone. Things take a frightening turn when the real Moviefone operator shows up looking for the guy who’s been stealing his business.
Man Hands (The Bizarro Jerry)
The A-plot of season 8’s “The Bizarro Jerry” is one of Seinfeld’s most hysterically self-aware storylines, as Elaine befriends a man who is Jerry’s exact opposite and then finds that his friends and his apartment are all the polar opposites of Jerry’s. But there’s also an unforgettable B-plot involving Jerry himself.
He starts dating a woman who’s perfect in every way, except she has huge, coarse hands that Jerry terms “man hands.” The episode wrings a ton of hilarious visual gags out of juxtaposing closeups of her hands (which actually belonged to a male crew member, according to the DVD commentary) with Jerry’s befuddled reactions.
George “Double-Dips” At A Wake (The Implant)
The B-plot of “The Implant” is arguably even more memorable than the A-plot. George is desperate to solidify his latest relationship, and when she loses a family member, he sees the funeral as the perfect opportunity to become her boyfriend.
Of course, George being George, he ruins the wake with a classic faux pas. He’s already on thin ice for trying to acquire the death certificate to get a discount on his flight, but the final straw is when he “double-dips” a chip.
Kramer Vs. Plaza Cable (The Cadillac)
Jerry unwittingly gets his father impeached as condo board president after trying to be a nice son by giving him a car in the season 7 two-parter, “The Cadillac.” Back in New York in the B-plot, Kramer exacts revenge against Plaza Cable Company for keeping him waiting and tracking mud into his apartment years earlier. The cable guy catches on to Kramer’s illegal cable hookup and Kramer spends the episode evading him to give him a taste of his own medicine.
At first, he just leaves the cable guy on hold, but as their rivalry intensifies, Kramer is eventually chased across rooftops. This storyline is hilariously cathartic for anyone who’s ever been messed around by a cable company.
George’s Short-Lived Career As A Hand Model (The Puffy Shirt)
Season 5’s “The Puffy Shirt” sets up George’s season-long story arc as he reluctantly moves back in with his parents. When he goes out to dinner with them, he bumps into a talent scout who believes he could have a lucrative career as a hand model. This instantly turns George vain and superficial, as one would expect.
This is one of the Seinfeld B-plots that dovetails with the A-plot, as George’s modeling career is cut short when he’s pushed into a hot iron for insulting Kramer’s girlfriend’s puffy shirt design.