Jason Alexander’s character on Seinfeld has become a sitcom icon, as George Costanza is insecure, funny, and perfectly matched to his best friend Jerry. While his dynamic with Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Kramer (Michael Richards) is interesting, he really shines when chatting with Jerry at their favorite restaurant or in the stand-up comedian’s apartment.
George is pretty set in his ways and it takes a lot for him to change. But even though he maintains the same personality traits for all nine seasons of Seinfeld, his behavior does seem a little different in certain episodes. Of course, no matter what happens in his life, he’s always the same loveable George.
Changed: He Has Many Different Jobs
Instead of having the same job for all nine seasons of Seinfeld, George seems to change jobs constantly.
He works for the New York Yankees, as well as Kruger Industrial Smoothing and Play Now which sells equipment for playgrounds. He also works at Elaine’s company Pendant Publishing. Of course, George isn’t very good at any of these positions.
The Same: He’s Always Scheming
George is always coming up with ways to make money, ways not to work, or sleeping under his desk.
He would rather not put in a ton of effort in his daily life, and he loves to scheme and think about the future. It’s one of the funniest parts of this character’s journey, but living this way does lead to a lot of pain and suffering, as sometimes George’s schemes are discovered and he’s back to square one again.
Changed: He Moves Back In With His Parents
Jerry has some annoying family members and George’s parents are definitely in that category as they scream more than they talk normally.
George changes on Seinfeld because he gives up his apartment and moves in with his mom and dad. It’s a step backward in life for him, and it’s hard for him to find his confidence after this (not that he had much to begin with).
The Same: He’s Always Insecure About Dating
George is single for a good chunk of Seinfeld and he often acts like a woman will never even look his way again. It’s tough for him to imagine that he’ll get an epic love story as he thinks that he can barely get a date.
George is always insecure about his love life, and this is something that stays the same throughout the whole show. Even when he does have a date, he’s almost unhappy about it because he convinces himself that it won’t lead to anything or go well.
Changed: He Tries A Toupe
In the sixth season episode “The Beard,” George tries out a toupe and then dates a bald woman, which really upsets him.
Elaine upsets him even more by literally grabbing his toupe and throwing it outside. This is one reason why Elaine and George have a tough relationship. It’s definitely proof that George at least attempts to change the way that he looks.
The Same: He Lies On A Regular Basis
George is constantly lying, whether to get a job, stay in a job, or when he makes up someone named Art Vanderlay (of Vanderlay Industries).
Viewers can’t help but respect how George really commits to these lies, though. The best example? In the fifth season episode “The Marine Biologist,” he fakes this job, and he tells an overly dramatic story: “So I started to walk into the water. I won’t lie to you boys, I was terrified!… I don’t know if it was divine intervention or the kinship of all living things, but I tell you, Jerry, at that moment – I was a Marine Biologist! The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli!
Changed: He Goes Against His Gut Instincts In One Episode
The season five episode “The Opposite” is a fascinating look at what can happen to George when he goes against his gut instincts.
He decides to do things he wouldn’t normally do and he’s able to live on his own again, he finds a new woman to date, and he also is hired by The Yankees. He not only changes his behavior but his life changes as a result.
The Same: He’s Self-Deprecating No Matter What
Whether calling himself “Lord of the idiots” or saying that no one is attracted to him, it’s hard not to notice how self-deprecating George is.
It’s easy to feel sympathy for George when he is constantly saying negative things about himself. He doesn’t seem particularly happy with his life, except for some brief moments throughout the series, and his outlook could definitely be better. When Jerry asks him “Can’t you at least die with a little dignity?” George responds, “No, I can’t. I can’t die with dignity. I have no dignity. I want to be the one person who doesn’t die with dignity. I live my whole life in shame. Why should I die with dignity?”
Changed: He Gets Engaged To Susan
Everyone hates the character of Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg) and it’s definitely odd when she and George become engaged. Instead of staying single for the entire show, George does make a change when he asks this character to marry him.
Sure, he’s not madly in love with her and it’s only because he thinks that he should commit, but at least he tries to move forward with his life. It does make sense that Susan ends up dying before they can tie the knot.
The Same: He’s Socially Awkward And Says The Wrong Thing
From making a comment about a couple’s relationship that leads to them splitting up, to obsessing over a parking space for way too long, George doesn’t have a lot of social graces.
George has hilarious lines of dialogue and most of them prove that he’s socially awkward. He’s prone to saying the wrong thing and getting himself into really weird, sticky situations. This is something that never changes about him, and even though it’s a shame for him, it’s a lot of fun to watch.