It is actually quite fitting how, in a show about nothing, the characters on Seinfeld were known to break up with their significant others for, practically, next to nothing. In just about every other instance, the situation that led to a relationship’s demise was so absurd, it’s a wonder that any of the four main characters from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David’s iconic sitcom managed to have a love life at all. Well, we reviewed some of the best Seinfeld episodes and came up with this collection of our favorite examples of why Jerry, George, Kramer, Elaine, and others got dumped, dumped someone, or yada, yada, yada.
Audrey Won't Try Jerry's Pie (Season 5, Episode 15)
In “The Pie,” Jerry (Seinfeld) offers his girlfriend Audrey (Suzanne Snyder) a slice of the titular dessert from Monk’s that she refuses to try without explanation. And it's a strange moment he obsesses over. What really brings the relationship to an end, though, is when Jerry refuses to try pizza by Audrey’s father, Poppy (Rene Santoni), after he caught him leaving the bathroom without washing his hands. However, Audrey’s reason to refuse the pie is never revealed, and this fan still obsesses over it to this day.
George Tries To Give Evie A Stained Cashmere Sweater (Season 3, Episode 12)
After Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gives back a cashmere sweater he bought her for cheap, due to its red dot, George (Jason Alexander) tries to give it to the cleaning woman at Pendant Publishing, Evie (Bridget Sienna), whom he started seeing after getting a job there. Despite initially jumping for joy over the cashmere — and telling a harrowing childhood story to support her reaction — she ends the fling and gets George fired after discovering the red dot.
Tia Thinks Jerry Picked His Nose (Season 4, Episode 13)
Jerry’s relationship with Tia — a model, played by Jennifer Campbell, that he met on an airplane — is going well. That is, until after stopping next to him at a stoplight, she assumes she catches him picking his nose when he was really scratching it. The incident later inspires George to have Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg) intentionally catch him in the act of a real pick after regretting their reunion… for now.
Elaine Doesn't Think Billy Is Double Sponge-Worthy (Season 7, Episode 9)
When Elaine manages to find a case of her preferred preventative product — a sponge — after learning it has been discontinued, she opts to be more selective about who she uses with. After deciding her current boyfriend, Billy (future Gilmore Girls cast member Scott Patterson), is “sponge-worthy,” she ultimately realizes she “can’t afford two of them” on him.
Jerry Thinks Sidra Is "Enhanced" (Season 4, Episode 19)
Jerry decides to end his relationship with Sidra (future Desperate Housewives cast member, Teri Hatcher) after Elaine convinces him she has had some work done. That is, until an incident in a gym sauna confirms she was wrong, leading Jerry to successfully ask to mend things. But when Sidra learns he and Elaine are friends, she assumes the sauna incident was a deliberate test of her “authenticity,” leading her to walk her “real” and “spectacular” self out of his life.
Kramer Only Really Liked Olive For Her Back Scratching (Season 5, Episode 15)
Kramer (Michael Richards) finds the back-itching remedy he needs in Olive (Sunday Theodore) — a cashier at Monk’s with shockingly long fingernails. However, when his itch is cured and he realizes that was the basis of their relationship, he tries to convince her that he is in a relationship with another woman: a mannequin resembling Elaine.
Melanie Eats Her Peas One At A Time (Season 7, Episode 1)
In Seinfeld’s Season 7 opener, “The Engagement,” George and Jerry actually discuss the “stupid little reasons” they have dumped women over, leading Jerry to give Melanie (Athena Massey) another shot. However, because he can’t stand her preference to eat only one pea per bite at dinner, he unwittingly rescinds his “pact” with George, who is now getting married to Susan.
Every Single Time Elaine And Puddy Break Up (Various)
We would call David Puddy (Patrick Warburton) Elaine’s longest-standing boyfriend on Seinfeld if not for how frequently they would call it quits for his face-painting at hockey games, their differing religious beliefs and more. There's even a whole subplot in Season 9’s “The Butter Shave” that sees them break up multiple times over the course of a single transatlantic flight for increasingly uproarious reasons.
Beth Dumps David Because Of George's Comment (Season 7, Episode 21)
George temporarily ruins the marriage of Beth (played by eventual Will & Grace cast member Debra Messing) and David (The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes) after saying she “could have done a lot better,” causing her to give the joke real, though. David later uses the remark on Susan, which has George convinced she might be considering backing out of their impending nuptials, only to learn her concern was over her meal for the reception.
Jeannie Steinman Is Too Much Like Jerry (Season 8, Episode 1)
At the beginning Seinfeld’s Season 7 finale, “The Invitations,” Jerry thinks he may have found the one in Jeannie Steinman (Janeane Garofalo) because of just how similar in personality they are. However, by the end of the episode, he realizes he could never be with someone like him — a feeling that is revealed to be mutual at the beginning of the next season.
Leslie's "Life Is In Complete Disarray" After The Puffy Shirt Incident (Season 5, Episode 2)
In the iconic “Puffy Shirt” episode, Jerry admits during an interview on Today that he hates wearing the titular garment that he unwittingly agreed to wear by the request of Kramer’s “low talker” girlfriend, Leslie (Wendel Meldrum). After the comment ruins her business and her life, that’s when Kramer bails.
Jerry Tries To Hide That He Does Not Know Delores' Name (Season 4, Episode 19)
In addition to accidentally causing a piece of candy to fall in a surgery patient’s body, Jerry’s predicament in “The Junior Mint” is never discovering what his girlfriend (played by Susan Walters) is named. His only clue is that it “rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.” It is not until after she leaves in disgust when he realizes it’s “Delores,” which is confirmed when they reunite in Season 8’s “The Foundation.”
Julie Seems To Take Credit For George Buying Elaine's Big Salad (Season 6, Episode 2)
In “The Big Salad,” George is happy to buy Elaine the eponymous meal for lunch, but outraged when she thanks his girlfriend, Julie (Michelle Forbes), after she hands her the salad and not him. When Julie catches wind of this obsession, he can’t help but ask how she could “claim responsibility for that salad and accept the thank-you under false pretenses,” only for him to realize his error when she assures she “only handed someone a bag.”
Gillian Has "Man Hands" (Season 8, Episode 3)
Elaine sets up Jerry with her friend, Gillian (Kristin Bauer), who would be perfect for him if she did not have the “hands of a man.” Jerry does, reluctantly, stay with her for a bit, but the fling ends when she injures his wrist when she catches him rifling through her purse, looking for a picture of her for George to use.
George's Girlfriend Looks Like Jerry (Season 9, Episode 13)
When Kramer points out that George’s new girlfriend, Janet (Tracy Nelson), bares a striking resemblance to Jerry — which she even agrees to — it becomes all George can think about. He even begins to fear his initial admiration of her is rooted in some deep-seated infatuation with Jerry, which reaches a relationship-ending peak when a gum accident forces Janet to cut her hair shorter.
Ben Officially Becomes A Doctor (Season 8, Episode 9)
One of the biggest celebrities you may have forgotten were on Seinfeld is Bob Odenkirk, who appears in “The Abstinence” as a man one passing grade away from fulfilling Elaine’s dream of dating a doctor. Little does she know that the future Breaking Bad cast member’s character, Ben, had his own dream of dumping his current girlfriend for someone better once he became a doctor.
Jerry Desperately Wants A Massage From Jodi (Season 5, Episode 9)
Eventual Emmy-winning White Lotus cast member Jennifer Coolidge made her acting debut on the NBC sitcom as a Season 5 episode’s titular masseuse, whose reluctance to work her magic on her boyfriend, Jerry, drives him nuts. In one of the series’ sharpest bits of social commentary, she stands her ground and refuses to indulge when Jerry tries to force her into performing the massage.
Jerry Learns Margaret Dated Newman (Season 6, Episode 2)
A classic Newman moment on Seinfeld occurs when the mailman (played by Wayne Knight) reveals he dated and dumped Jerry’s current girlfriend, Margaret (Marita Geraghty). Jerry soon becomes obsessed over understanding why his nemesis chose to end things with her, ultimately making it impossible for him to even kiss her.
George Attempts To Cheat On Monica's IQ Test (Season 3, Episode 7)
Fearing he will look like an idiot after agreeing to take an IQ test for his girlfriend, Monica’s (Dawn Arnemann), education class, George enlists self-proclaimed genius, Elaine, to take it for him. A series of incidents, such as food stains on the test — courtesy of Brian George as Pakistani cafe owner, Babu Bhatt — lead Monica to discover that George attempted to cheat.
Noreen Realizes Dan Is A High-Talker (Season 6, Episode 3)
Elaine ends up being the indirect cause of many issues for her friend Noreen (Kelly Coffield Park), including ruining her relationship with her high-talker boyfriend, Dan (Brian Reddy). The fate of that relationship is sealed when Elaine mistakes Dan for Noreen over the phone multiple times.
Cheryl Dumps George For A Seemingly Depressed Jerry (Season 4, Episode 14)
Fearing Jerry will leave him upstaged with his new girlfriend, Cheryl (Maggie Han), George asks the comedian to downplay his sense of humor in her presence. He takes the façade so far that she becomes attracted by his dark aura.
Jerry Hides Holly's Mutton In Her Grandmother's Napkins (Season 7, Episode 4)
Elaine's cousin, Holly (Stacey Travis), is not impressed with the comedian's preference for salad over meat. He attempts a recourse by spitting her mutton into her Grandma Memma's napkins, which get taken away with Elaine when she borrows his coat. Elaine's boyfriend then finds them and uses them as bandanas for his dogs, which a horrified Holly discovers.
Both Times Elaine And Jake Jarmel Break Up (Season 5, Episodes 4 And 21)
While not nearly as unhealthy as her relationship with Puddy, Elaine's romance with Jake Jarmel (Marty Rackham) also suffered from repeated breakups due to hilarious reasons. The first was over Jake's dislike of exclamation points, while the second was when he discovered she stopped for Jujyfruits on her way to visit him at the hospital.
Gwen Is A Two-Face (Season 9, Episode 10)
Jerry meets an attractive woman named Gwen (Karen Fineman) at Tim Whatley's (Bryan Cranston) Hannukah party. However, when he meets her for their first date, bad lighting makes her barely recognizable to him.
Rachel Tells Jane About George's Shrinkage (Season 5, Episode 20)
On a trip to the Hamptons, Jerry's girlfriend, Rachel (Melanie Smith), accidentally sneaks a peak at George after spending some time in a cold swimming pool. After sharing this misleading sight with George's girlfriend, Jane (Melora Walters), she decides to head back to New York a little early.
Elaine Tries To Change Joel’s Name (Season 5, Episode 9)
Elaine's new boyfriend (played by Anthony Cistaro) just happens to share a name with real-life serial killer Joel Rifkin, eventually leading her to request he change it. He agrees, but what the couple cannot agree on is a single good alternative moniker.
Jerry Takes Patty's Advice To Let Out Anger Too Aggressively (Season 9, Episode 3)
Jerry's easy-going attitude doesn't sit right with Patty (Full House star Lori Loughlin), who inspires him to let out his emotions a little, which he takes a bit too far. After putting up with his furious overreactions to every little thing, she leaves, causing his first experience with post-breakup sadness.
Kramer Does Not Like Wendy's New Hairstyle (Season 6, Episode 16)
Elaine and Jerry's plan to convince Wendy (Wendie Malick) to change her "old-fashioned" hairdo by introducing her to the tactless Kramer backfires when he ends up loving it. When Elaine's straightforward comment leads her to make the change anyway, that's why Kramer loses interest in her.
Jodi's Dislike Of George Causes Him To Neglect Karen (Season 5, Episode 9)
When George discovers that Jerry's girlfriend, Jodi (Jennifer Coolidge), dislikes him, he can't help but find it irresistible. Of course, it ends up ruining his relationship with Karen (Lisa Edelstein).
Lisi Keeps Finishing Jerry's Sentences (Season 9, Episode 18)
Jerry wants to end things with Lisi (Julia Campbell) for trying guess how he will end every one of his sentences. However, he postpones the breakup -- which proves to be an eight-hour process -- and ends up going back to her immediately after, out of fear of a serial killer that stalks her neighborhood.
Jerry Pretends He Doesn't Know Sheila In The Soup Nazi's Line (Season 7, Episode 6)
After angering a strict local soup vendor (played by Larry Thomas) with PDA, Jerry must choose between his new girlfriend, Sheila (Alexandra Wentworth) and the delicious soup, with the latter getting the edge. He decides to makes up with his "Schmoopie" after learning how much she annoyed George but does end up calling it quits with her by the end.
Who knows who long these relationships could have lasted had the characters taken a page from George's Season 5 philosophy and stuck with their opposite instinct? You can relive these awkward break-ups or check them out for the first time by streaming Seinfeld with a Netflix subscription now!