The Best Seinfeld Episodes To Stream On Netflix

The greatest Seinfeld episodes from the series' nine-season run.

By Robert Scucci | Published


It’s an undisputed fact that Seinfeld is the best sitcom to ever air on television, and you cannot deny its influence and reach. But we understand that some of you may have grown up in a Friends household, and are just now seeing the error of your ways. If you’re interested in getting into Seinfeld later in life, but are overwhelmed by the fact that there are 180 episodes of the iconic series to dive into, then you’re in luck!

We’ve put together a Seinfeld primer for you that features eight of our favorite episodes. Once you watch the episodes on this list, you’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed and may feel inclined to watch the whole series from start to finish.

The Puffy Shirt – Season 5 Episode 2

One of the reasons that Seinfeld is so universally appealing is because it takes the concept of communication breakdowns to a heightened level. In “The Puffy Shirt,” Jerry unknowingly agrees to wear a shirt that Kramer’s girlfriend, Leslie, designed that looks like a shirt that pirates used to wear. But Jerry would have never agreed to wear this shirt if Leslie wasn’t such a “low-talker.”

If Leslie just talked a little louder, or if Jerry listened a little harder, he wouldn’t have to wear such a monstrosity on The Today Show. To make matters worse, Jerry’s spot on The Today Show was meant to promote a Goodwill benefit to clothe the poor and homeless.

After getting heckled, Jerry denounces the shirt on air, and Leslie finally speaks up in the form of loudly calling Jerry a bastard. Needless to say, the puffy shirt did not go over well, and Leslie’s inventory ironically gets donated to the homeless.

The Merv Griffin Show – Season 9 Episode 6

Season 9 brought us some memorable, yet strange episodes, but they all hold up to this day. In “The Merv Griffin Show,” Kramer stumbles across the entire set of The Merv Griffin Show in a dumpster, decides to set it up in his apartment, and pretends that the show is still on the air. To make matters more ridiculous, Kramer recruits Newman to be his co-host.

Meanwhile, Jerry becomes enthralled with his girlfriend Celia’s vintage toy collection, but she doesn’t allow him to go anywhere near the toys. In a fortunate turn of events, Celia gets drowsy from a nighttime pain reliever that Jerry gave to her upon her request, and Jerry realizes that he could play with her toys while she’s passed out.

In an effort to “boost ratings,” Kramer invites Jerry onto the Merv Griffin set, which he rebranded to be more in the style of a Jerry Springer tabloid-type show. Jerry talks at length about drugging Celia, but only before Kramer reveals that she was sitting “backstage” the entire time.

The Chinese Restaurant – Season 2 Episode 11

“The Chinese Restaurant” is one of those Seinfeld episodes that you have to watch in full to truly appreciate. Considering that Seinfeld has been celebrated as being a “show about nothing,” there really isn’t much in the way of plot in this episode, but rather the interactions that happen between Jerry, George, and Elaine in a singular setting.

The gang decides to quickly stop in at a Chinese restaurant without reservations before going to see a one-night showing of Play 9 from Outer Space, but to their dismay, there are no tables open.

Throughout this episode, we see Jerry and George become increasingly frustrated, and Elaine becomes increasingly hungry. For his own amusement, Jerry offers Elaine $50 to walk up to a random table and eat an egg roll off of somebody’s plate. After a failed attempt at bribing the maître d’hôtel to give them a table in a timely fashion, they go their separate ways.

As they leave the Chinese restaurant, maître d’hôtel calls their party, but they’re already gone.

The Yada Yada – Season 8 Episode 19

We already mentioned that Seinfeld often sources its humor through the use of egregious miscommunications, and “The Yada Yada” is a prime example of this comedic device. George becomes increasingly frustrated with his girlfriend Marcy, who uses the phrase “yada, yada, yada” to shorten her stories.

George is led to believe that Marcy uses this phrase to skirt around her sexual impropriety, as well as her shoplifting habit.

Meanwhile, Jerry’s dentist, Tim Whatley (Bryan Cranston), reveals to Jerry that he has converted to Judaism. But after a few brief exchanges, Jerry suspects that Whatley only converted to the religion so he could make religious jokes. When Jerry’s concerns circle back to Whatley, it results in Jerry having a particularly painful, and prolonged dental procedure.

The Parking Garage – Season 3 Episode 6

Much like “The Chinese Restaurant,” “The Parking Garage” is another one of those classic Seinfeld episodes that takes place in a singular setting. But this time, the gang is lost in a parking garage after a trip to a large shopping mall in New Jersey.

Not only is Kramer lugging around a giant air conditioner while looking for his car, but Elaine is also racing the clock because she bought a goldfish that she needs to transfer to a suitable fish bowl so it doesn’t die.

To make matters more complicated, Jerry has an urgent need to go to the bathroom, and George is running late to a dinner engagement with his parents. It doesn’t take long for Jerry and George to get arrested for public urination, and Elaine’s goldfish dies. When they finally find Kramer’s car, it won’t start.

The Contest Season 4 Episode 11

It’s not uncommon for a group of friends to have a friendly wager every once in a while, and the gang in Seinfeld is no exception to this rule. In “The Contest,” Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all throw money down to see who can go the longest without engaging in self-gratification after George was caught doing the nasty by his mother and vowed never to touch himself again.

With $450 at stake, they’re faced with temptation as they slowly drop out of the contest in their respective moments of weakness.

Kramer loses after seeing a naked woman in the apartment across the street from Jerry’s apartment. Elaine drops out after sharing a cab with John F. Kennedy Jr., and Jerry’s virgin girlfriend Marla storms out of his apartment when he tells her about the contest. Though we don’t know for sure whether Jerry or George won the contest, the payoff at the end of this episode is arguably worth more than $450.

The Marine Biologist – Season 5 Episode 14

Avid Seinfeld fans know all too well that George Costanza is a pathological liar, and will do whatever he can to get ahead in life. In “The Marine Biologist,” everything backfires when Jerry tells George’s college crush Diane that he’s now a marine biologist, and now he has to act the part.

Meanwhile, Kramer gets really into golf despite his obvious lack of skills.

Both of these plot lines converge when George and Diane happen upon a beached whale, and the crowd is begging for a marine biologist to help neutralize the situation. Not wanting to get caught in Jerry’s lie, George reaches into the whale’s blowhole, and extracts Kramer’s golf ball, which was obstructing the whale’s breathing.

The Soup Nazi Season 7 Episode 6

Did you think we’d do a Seinfeld list without bringing up “The Soup Nazi”? Whether you’re a Seinfeld fan or not, there’s no doubt in our minds that you’ve heard somebody yell “no soup for you!” at least once in your life.

The premise of this Seinfeld episode is simple: Jerry, George, and Elaine visit a new soup stand, but the owner rules the counter with an iron fist. Any minor perceived infraction that the Soup Nazi witnesses results in a ban from his establishment.

The problem is that the soup is so good, that their attempts to follow the Soup Nazi’s rules end up having adverse effects on their personal lives.