Seinfeld: The 10 Best Episodes After Larry David Left The Show

Seinfeld fans often label the sitcom's later seasons as its worst, but there are a few gems with Jerry and the gang after Larry David's departure.

After the seventh season of Seinfeld, series co-creator Larry David left the show. Jerry Seinfeld kept the series going for another two seasons, even after David left the writers with quite a mess to clean up by controversially killing off Susan Ross in the season 7 finale.

Since David’s absence can be felt and there’s an overall decline in quality, the eighth and ninth seasons of Seinfeld are generally regarded to be the show’s worst — except for maybe the first season when the series hadn’t found its feet yet — but there are still plenty of gems to be found in the final seasons of Seinfeld.

The Bizarro Jerry (Season 8, Episode 3)

Elaine is stuck between two groups of three men on the street in Seinfeld.

This episode screams of an idea that lifelong Superman superfan Jerry Seinfeld had been kicking around for years, and after Larry David left and he became the sole head writer, he was finally able to do it.

There’s a supernatural element to season 8’s “The Bizarro Jerry” as Elaine befriends a guy who’s Jerry’s opposite in every way. The episode explores this premise beautifully, introducing an alt-universe George who’s honest and generous with money and an alt-universe Kramer who knocks before entering an apartment and comes up with good business ideas that he doesn’t see through.

The Little Kicks (Season 8, Episode 4)

Elaine dancing in an office party in Seinfeld

Described by George as “a full-body dry heave set to music,” Elaine’s hysterically awful dance moves were introduced in season 8’s “The Little Kicks.” Every character has something funny going on in this episode, in addition to Elaine’s dancing.

Jerry and Kramer get roped into a bootlegging operation at the movies while George gains a reputation as a bad boy and leans into it.

The Chicken Roaster (Season 8, Episode 8)

Seinfeld - The Chicken Roaster

Jerry and Kramer contend with a bright red light when Kenny Rogers opens a chicken restaurant across the street in season 8’s “The Chicken Roaster.” Meanwhile, Elaine is audited after abusing the Peterman account and has to track down an $8,000 sable Russian hat that George charged to the company.

In one of Seinfeld’s great latter-day meta gags, Jerry Seinfeld plays Kramer and Michael Richards plays Jerry as the two characters switch apartments and morph into each other.

The Comeback (Season 8, Episode 13)

Seinfeld - The Comeback

We can all relate. After someone lands the perfect insult and everyone’s had their laughs, a great comeback comes to mind on the drive home. That’s what happens to George after a business meeting in season 8’s “The Comeback.” As he’s wolfing down shrimp, a co-worker says, “Hey, George, the ocean called — they’re running out of shrimp.”

George goes to drastic measures, even traveling across the country, to fire off his comeback: “Oh, yeah? Well, the jerk store called — they’re running out of you.”

The Yada Yada (Season 8, Episode 19)

Seinfeld Elaine and Peterman in the Yada Yada ep of Seinfeld.

Of the many phrases that Seinfeld introduced into the pop-culture language — “shrinkage,” “spongeworthy,” “double-dip” etc. — one of the most applicable in real life is the eponymous catchphrase from “The Yada Yada.”

In addition to coining “yada yada,” which it didn’t really coin because it’s been around since the days of Lenny Bruce, this episode also coined the term “anti-dentite.”

The Serenity Now (Season 9, Episode 3)

Frank Costanza tries out a new method to control his rage in “The Serenity Now.” All he has to do is utter the titular phrase if he finds himself getting angry. The only problem is, he yells it, so it doesn’t do much for his anger.

At the same time, he buys a bunch of computers and decides to sell them out of his garage. He hires George and Lloyd Braun to sell them for him.

The Betrayal (Season 9, Episode 8)

Seinfeld 'The Betrayal' episode with the whole gang at the wedding in India.

It’s a testament to just how special Seinfeld was that in its final season, it did something as inventive as telling a story backward. The episode’s reverse chronology is a reference to the Harold Pinter play Betrayal.

The plot concerns Jerry, George, and Elaine being invited to a wedding in India, but there are also flashbacks exploring some of the unseen backstories of the series.

The Strike (Season 9, Episode 10)

The characters having the Festivus meal in Seinfeld

Best known for introducing the world to a Festivus for the rest of us, season 9’s “The Strike” is filled with hilarious moments. From Kramer working at H&H Bagels to Elaine going to extreme lengths to get a free sub, there’s more to “The Strike” than Festivus.

But Festivus is, of course, the episode’s greatest contribution to the Seinfeld lexicon. Fans have celebrated Festivus in lieu of Christmas every year since “The Strike” aired.

The Dealership (Season 9, Episode 11)

Seinfeld - The Dealership

A whole episode set at a car dealership might not sound too riveting, but every character has something hilarious going on. Jerry needs to keep Elaine and Puddy together so Puddy will give him a good deal on a car.

Meanwhile, George goes through hell to get a candy bar from the vending machine and Kramer goes on a test drive and tries to see how empty the gas tank can get before the car stops.

The Bookstore (Season 9, Episode 17)

Seinfeld - The Bookstore

Jerry uncovers a massive criminal conspiracy in season 9’s “The Bookstore,” as he catches Uncle Leo stealing, tells his parents, and learns that all old people like to steal. If they get caught, they pretend to be confused. This leads to a hilarious Cape Fear parody with Uncle Leo taking Max Cady’s place.

Meanwhile, George struggles to offload a book he was forced to buy when he was caught taking it into the bathroom. Wherever he tries to get rid of it, they notice that it’s been flagged.

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