Elaine Benes: Wikis


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Elaine Marie Benes
Seinfeld s7e16.jpg
First appearance The Stake Out
(Male Unbonding in production order, 1990)
Last appearance The Finale, Part II (1998)
Cause/reason End of show
Created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.
Portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Gender Female
Occupation Editor, Personal Assistant to Mr. Pitt
Family Alton (father)
Unnamed mother
Gail (sister)
Grandma Mema (grandmother)
Children Isabelle
Relatives Holly (cousin), Pete (uncle)

Elaine Marie Benes (/ˈbɛnəs/) is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998), played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Elaine's best friend is her ex-boyfriend Jerry Seinfeld; she is also good friends with George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus received extensive critical acclaim for her performance as Elaine, winning an Emmy, a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards.


Elaine's debut

Unlike her three close friends, Elaine is absent from the pilot episode (episode one). Previously the female role was supposed to be Claire, the waitress played by Lee Garlington, but was moved to Monk's Restaurant and Lee was dropped from the role. Elaine first appears in the second episode, "The Stake Out" but in production order she appeared in a final scene eating M&Ms in "Male Unbonding." NBC executives felt the show was too male-centric, and demanded that creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David add a woman to the cast as a condition for commissioning the show, as revealed in the commentary on the Season 1 and 2 DVD. In addition to the first episode, Elaine did not appear in a two-part episode ("The Trip") and thus appears in fewer episodes than the other main characters.

Real Life Inspiration

After it was discovered that Jerry Seinfeld once dated Carol Leifer, speculation grew that Elaine was based upon Leifer, though that was later refuted. According to Seinfeld's biography (written by Jerry Oppenheimer), Elaine was based on Susan McNabb (who was dating Seinfeld when the character was created), though eventually named after Elayne Boosler. Also, the character was partially based on Monica Yates, the daughter of novelist Richard Yates. Larry David once dated Monica Yates, and the two remained good friends after they broke up.[2]


Elaine is normally intelligent and assertive but superficial. She is one of the boys, and, despite the troubles they go through as a group, she remains the closest female friend to the main male cast in the entire series. Her traits are usually edgy and neurotic and she has a tendency to easily get angry with almost everyone. She has ruined her friends' ambitions, like throwing George's toupee out the window after trying to explain the irony behind it in "The Beard" or revealing all along what Jerry said in "The Cheever Letters" about the "panties her mother laid out for me".

Elaine "dates" many men, a trait lampooned in Season 7's "The Sponge", where she is desperate to buy a cache of discontinued contraceptive sponges before they are all bought up. She coins the word "spongeworthy" debating her then-boyfriend's prospects of intimacy at the expense of her inventory.[3]

Generally, her hair was long with curls or waves, but underwent changes over the years. By Season 7, her hairstyle has matured and has a more modern look for the rest of the series. In "The Soul Mate", Elaine regrets her short hairstyle at Jerry's apprehension over the look. It is shoulder length again by "The Little Kicks", and straightened once more from season 8's "The Summer of George" to season 9's "The Betrayal". In season 9's "The Strike", it is damaged when affected by steam. In "The Smelly Car" a valet makes Jerry's car and Elaine's hair smell like BO.

Her clothing is normally quite conservative; however, her breasts play a major part in three episodes: In "The Pick" she sends out a Christmas card with a photo of her accidentally baring a nipple. When George confronts her over not receiving one, she angrily replies by rubbing his head between her breasts. In "The Shoes", she wears a low cut dress in an attempt to get Jerry and George a second chance at a deal with NBC executive Russell Dalrymple after George blew the initial one by staring at Dalrymple's daughter's chest. In "The Gum", a lost button causes inadvertent exposure of her cleavage, which she is oblivious to. Occasionally she is entirely out of her usual attire, as in "The Betrayal" (when she wears an Indian outfit and hairstyle) and "The Millennium" (in which she dons Mayan dress). Elaine also wears glasses at times, usually during work hours.

Although she is friends with George, Elaine tends to be combative with him. Still, Elaine does see him as a good friend: in "The Wife", he argues with Elaine over her love interest, who is threatening to kick him out of the health club, and she ultimately decided to back him up and blackmail her love interest (who did not wipe off his equipment after using it.) In "The Dinner Party", George admits to Kramer that he is afraid of Elaine when she gets angry. The character of Elaine as smarter and more successful than George was occasionally reversed for comic effect: In "The Opposite", George has success and happiness doing the opposite of whatever his instincts tell him while Elaine falls on hard times; in "The Abstinence", George becomes smarter while not having sex, but Elaine gets dumber. In a few episodes Elaine and George work together, most notably in "The Cadillac".

With Kramer, she does comes to him sometimes for help. She asks him and Newman to help her get rid of a neighbour's dog in "The Engagement". In "The Slicer", she asks him first to lose power at her neighbours' house and also to feed the cat with meat. In "The Watch" she asks him to pose as her boyfriend so she can dump Dr Reston, her psychiatrist. The only conflict is in "The Seven" over a girl's bike in which Newman is the judge over the dispute.

Elaine's openness often leads her or her friends into trouble. In "The Betrayal", she reveals to Jerry that she slept with the groom at a wedding. When she tells George that she slept with Pinter, his outburst caused the bride, Elaine's nemesis Sue Ellen Mischke, to call off the wedding. In "The Outing", her wisecrack about Jerry and George being gay becomes a source of misunderstanding.

Elaine also ends up in awkward situations, often with unpleasant results. In "The Pen", an uncomfortable sofa bed causes her to take muscle relaxants, leading to a Marlon Brando impersonation (screaming "Stella!" from A Streetcar Named Desire). In "The Airport", she has an awful time flying in coach while Jerry enjoys first class.

Elaine's signature move is expressing incredulity by giving people a vigorous two-handed shove, occasionally knocking her victim to the floor from the force. Usually she also yells "Get out!" in shock. It is all taken in good stride by her friends, although in "The Bizarro Jerry", she pushes Kevin, receiving negative feedback from him and his bizarro group.

Elaine is the only main character who does not own a car. In "The Busboy" (off camera), "The Wait Out", and "The Pothole" she borrows Jerry's. In "The Burning" she borrows then-boyfriend David Puddy's. Also, it's revealed that she is a bad driver who slams on the brakes and wildly steers the car.

She is also a breathtakingly poor dancer. Her performance at a J. Peterman company party, the central plot theme of "The Little Kicks", causes George to describe it as "a full-bodied dry heave set to music." The moves are repeated in her bedroom in a scene of the episode "The Slicer". Both clips appear in "The Clip Show, Pt. 1"[4].


Elaine is the only main character whose mother never appears. Benes' father, a gruff novelist named Alton Benes (portrayed by Lawrence Tierney), a character based on the novelist Richard Yates, was featured in the episode "The Jacket". He is an alcoholic and a war veteran, and is very well-respected in the literary community. In the same episode, Elaine's father asks how her mother is; later, in "The Wait Out", Elaine reveals to David Lookner that her father left her and the rest of her family when she was nine years old.

Elaine has a sister, Gail, and a nephew who are first mentioned in "The Pick". In "The Wait Out", it is revealed that Gail lives in St. Louis. She also makes reference to a brother-in-law in "The Phone Message".

Elaine has a cousin, Holly, who appears in "The Wink". In this episode, reference is made to Elaine's Grandma Mema, from whom Holly inherited a set of cloth napkins.

In the first season episode "The Stock Tip", Elaine mentions she has an Uncle Pete. In "The Secret Code", she mentions another uncle who worked in the Texas School Book Depository with Lee Harvey Oswald.

In the 2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Seinfeld reunion show, which takes place eleven years after Seinfeld's finale, it is revealed that Elaine has a daughter, Isabelle, through a sperm donation from Jerry.

Background and education

Unlike Jerry, Kramer, and George, Elaine is not a native of New York, having grown up in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland. In "The Letter," she reveals herself to be a Baltimore Orioles fan, donning an Orioles cap at a New York Yankees game. In "The Dog", she tells George she moved to New York in 1986, which, by coincidence, is the year Jerry moved into his apartment across the hall from Kramer (as seen in "The Betrayal"). She began dating Jerry later that same year.

In "The Pick" Elaine mentions having sent a Christmas card to "Sister Mary Katherine" and "Father Chelios", implying that Elaine was brought up Catholic. She repeatedly asserts herself to be either agnostic or atheist, however, such as when she agreed with Jerry's assessment of what she wanted out of life as "a barren, sterile existence that ends when you die" and when she expressed shock and revulsion when her longstanding boyfriend, David Puddy, was a devout Christian. However, she is seen making the sign of the cross before entering Jerry's apartment to retrieve a manuscript while it is being fumigated in "The Doodle", and crosses herself again in "The Betrayal" after turning her back on a Hindu altar (she non-verbally negates this action). This may suggest that Elaine was raised Catholic.

Elaine is confirmed not to be Jewish in "The Postponement", when she talked to a rabbi about not being herself after finding out George got engaged before she did. She tells him she is not of his faith. Elaine also states that she's not Jewish in "The Fatigues." She partially speaks Spanish in one episode "The Little Jerry".

Though her ethnicity is never made clear, the name Beneš (anglicized as Benes) is a common Czech surname. Her ethnicity is incorrectly assumed to be Hispanic in "The Wizard".

Elaine claims to have an IQ of 145 (although her scores range from 85 to 151) and completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University (her "safety school") as a French Literature major.


Elaine works several steady jobs throughout the show's entire run, mostly as a writer or editor.

  • During season two to season five, she works at Pendant Publishing under her boss Mr. Lippman, where she served as a copy editor before losing her job at the end of the fifth season when the company went bankrupt, and a merger that would have saved the company was thwarted by a misunderstanding resulting from her penchant for chewy, speech-impairing Jujyfruit candies ("The Opposite").
  • She later becomes a personal assistant to the eccentric and demanding Justin Pitt, starting in "The Chaperone", but later is fired when Pitt thinks she and Jerry are conspiring to kill him in "The Diplomat's Club". Her duties for Mr. Pitt included largely mundane tasks, such as buying socks for him or removing the salt crystals from his pretzel sticks (as featured in "The Mom & Pop Store").

Romantic relationships

Elaine has a string of boyfriends, most of whom appeared for only an episode or two.


  • Elaine and Jerry had dated for a while before the show began. They began dating in 1986 (as revealed in "The Truth"; per "The Betrayal", this would have been shortly after Jerry moved into his apartment and shortly after Elaine herself first moved to New York, suggesting Jerry was her first New York boyfriend), then dated for three years up until 1990, indicating they began dating in mid-1986 and broke up in mid-1990. However, in two later episodes they consider making their relationship intimate again. In season 2's "The Deal", they create a set of rules whereby they can sleep together but remain only friends. However, their theory is ruined when Elaine is furious over Jerry giving her $182 as a birthday gift. In season 5's "The Mango", Jerry is shocked to discover that Elaine had faked her orgasms while they were together. Elaine isn't too concerned, but a bitter Jerry is unable to let it go and unsuccessfully demands another chance. Ultimately, as they are about to bitterly part ways, she finally agrees to give him another chance "to save the friendship". Though the friendship goes back to normal, the attempt fails as Jerry is unable to perform.
  • The idea that Elaine and Jerry still have feelings for each other occasionally comes up in the series. In season 3's "The Tape", Elaine jokingly leaves a dirty message on Jerry's tape recorder which reignites Jerry's (along with George and Kramer) passion for Elaine. In the episode "The Fix-Up", Kramer stops an argument between Jerry and Elaine and tells them, "Can't you two see that you're in love with each other?" The two, however, dismiss it. In season 6's "The Mom & Pop Store", when Elaine is temporarily deafened by a big band music party, Jerry jokingly asks her to marry him. In season 7's "The Cadillac", after Elaine realizes that Jerry is financially successful, she begins to flirt with him incessantly. In season 8's "The Abstinence", Elaine abstains from sex with her boyfriend until he passes his medical exam. This results in such mental congestion that she becomes markedly less intelligent. She then begs Jerry to have sex with her, but he turns her down, saying that the situation was "too weird". However, this was likely just a desperate attempt from Elaine, as she then goes as far to ask if Kramer was home. In season 9's "The Serenity Now", Jerry's uninhibited and exaggerated emotional state causes him to ask Elaine to marry him. Shocked, she makes an excuse and leaves. She returns later to accept his proposal, but Jerry has by that time settled to his usual stable emotional state and says "I don't see it happening." In "The Finale", when they think their plane is about to crash, Elaine says "Jerry, I've always...", but the pilot is immediately able to steady the plane. Elaine later explained that she had been confessing that "I've always loved United Airlines." Jerry questioned Elaine about Puddy when she first started dating him and was disappointed she'd be dating his mechanic, telling her "You always want to know who your ex-girlfriend is dating".

David Puddy

  • Elaine's longest relationship, besides that with Jerry, is with David Puddy (Patrick Warburton), an auto mechanic turned car salesman whom she dates starting in the latter half of season six and later for the majority of season nine. Puddy's personality and physicality contrast those of Elaine: he is of minimal intelligence and maturity, and of much greater bulk than Benes. Elaine and Puddy break-up and make-up repeatedly during their relationship, often doing so several times in one episode as demonstrated to extreme effect in "The Butter Shave" and "The Voice". It's also known that the phrase "Yeah, that's right" carried on to Elaine in which she uses the phrase a few times whenever she hangs around with Puddy. It is likely that Puddy does not have great feelings for Elaine. This is shown in a few episodes. In "The Voice", Puddy claims he just likes to see her and have sex. In the same episode, when Elaine tells him that they're back together, he answers "Oh, no". In "The Finale", when Elaine is about to be taken away to jail, she emotionally tells Puddy to "not wait for her". Puddy answers back with a simple and casual, "Alright", leaving Elaine in shock and confusion. And the fact that they constantly break-up in various episodes explains that they can't maintain a long-term, loving relationship.

Men attracted to Elaine

  • Newman has a long-running crush on Elaine over the course of the series. Even though Jerry shows Elaine's "Christmas Card" in "The Pick", he reveals his feelings in "The Soul Mate" until "The Reverse Peephole" in which Elaine tries to get the fur coat but he is already in love with Svetlana.
  • In "The Tape", George, Jerry, and Kramer become attracted to Elaine after hearing a joke erotic message that she recorded on a tape on which Jerry was recording one of his live shows.
  • In "The Serenity Now", Elaine attracts the romantic attentions of both Mr. Lippman and his 13-year old son, Adam. George tells her she has 'shiksa-appeal, the attraction Gentile women have over Jewish men ("Jewish men love the idea of meeting a woman that's not like their mother").
  • In "The Cigar Store Indian", Elaine becomes the obsession of a nerdy television fanatic named Ricky whom she meets on the subway; he shows up at the Costanzas' home with a paper bouquet for her which he made out of Frank Costanza's copy of TV Guide (which Elaine had accidentally left with him). In a later episode, "The Pie", it is revealed that Ricky designed a mannequin in Elaine's likeness.
  • In "The Big Salad", an office supply store clerk, Barry, who has become obsessed with Elaine constantly calls Jerry about a pencil order she placed for Mr. Pitt.
  • In "The Contest", John F. Kennedy Jr., who works out at the same gym as Elaine, lets her know through the countergirl that he would like to meet her. Elaine and John ride together briefly in a cab.
  • In "The Jimmy", Elaine thinks she is being set up on date with a handsome man from the gym that she fancies, but instead she has unwittingly agreed to a date with a strange man named Jimmy who refers to himself in the third person.
  • In "The Shoes", Elaine catches the eye of NBC president Russell Dalrymple by wearing a décolletage. Elaine breaks off the relationship after one date, sending Russell into an emotional spiral that causes him to quit his job and join Greenpeace to impress her. Russell's departure from NBC causes Jerry and George's pilot to be rejected, and it is implied at the end of "The Pilot" that Russell dies at sea during a Greenpeace mission.
  • In "The Van Buren Boys", J. Peterman suggests that when Elaine writes the "romantic escapade" section of his autobiography, she can feel free to throw herself into the dialogue.

Other notable boyfriends

  • She dates baseball player (and Kramer and Newman's nemesis) Keith Hernandez in "The Boyfriend".
  • She also dates Tim Whatley, a dentist who appears in several episodes, most notably "The Label Maker".
  • Over several episodes in season 4, she dates "Crazy" Joe Davola, who is simultaneously stalking Jerry, unbeknownst to her until "The Opera".
  • In "The Masseuse", she dates a man named Joel Rifkin, who shares the same name as a notorious serial killer.
  • In "The Opposite" she dates Jake Jarmel, an up and coming writer and star client of Pendant Publishing. He breaks up with her for stopping to buy jujy fruits after hearing he was in a car accident. In an earlier episode, "The Sniffing Accountant", they had broken up over his reluctance to use exclamation points. Later, in "The Scofflaw", Elaine taunts Jarmel by wearing a pair of glasses that are identical to his—he's upset because he thought he had the only pair. She then gives them to Mr. Lippman, Jarmel's publisher, who inadvertently angers Jarmel by wearing them to a book promotion.
  • In "The Bizarro Jerry", she dates Kevin, the nice, kind antithesis of Jerry whose friends Gene, Feldman and Vargas are polar opposites of George, Kramer and Newman, respectively, each described as coming from the backwards Bizarro World of Superman comics.
  • In "The Stall", her boyfriend Tony, dubbed a male bimbo or "mimbo" by Jerry, becomes George's new idol.
  • In "The Wallet" she dates her psychiatrist, Dr. Reston, who has such control over her she calls him her Svengali (but mispronounces it "Svenjolly").
  • In "The Checks", her boyfriend Brett is so obsessed with the song "Desperado" that she feels ignored whenever the song comes on. She tries to find a song that they can share and comes up with "Witchy Woman", but it doesn't work. Both songs are by the Eagles.
  • During a restaurant dinner with a married couple, Michael and Robin, in "The Good Samaritan", Elaine makes up an elaborate story that she once dated a romantic matador from Spain named "Eduardo Corrochio", which is actually the name of a famous Spanish tap dancer in the late 19th century.
  • In "The Wizard", Elaine isn't sure if her new boyfriend Darryl is African-American or not and gets mixed signals when she tries to find out. Turns out he is white and thought Elaine was Hispanic.
  • In "The Non-Fat Yogurt", Elaine dates Lloyd Braun. Since Lloyd works for the mayor, she tells him that the city would be a better place if everyone wore name tags. He mentions this to the mayor and the mayor eventually loses his election as a result.
  • In "The Little Jerry", Elaine is dating Kurt, who proposes to her right after he realizes he's going bald.
  • In "The Maestro", Elaine begins dating Bob Cobb, a conductor who insists on being calling "The Maestro". They eventually go to Tuscany together.
  • In "The Junk Mail", Elaine dates Jack, the television pitchman for The Wiz.


Elaine's quick temper makes her several enemies and gets her into several confrontations over the years:

  • She has a long-running hatred and inferiority complex for former schoolmate and candy-bar heiress Sue Ellen Mischke. Elaine's nickname for Sue Ellen was "The Braless Wonder" because she never wore a bra in high school, which enticed Elaine's boyfriend to dump her for Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen appears in four episodes: in "The Caddy", she struts down the street wearing a bra as a top, causing Kramer to crash George's car; in "The Bottle Deposit", Elaine spends $20,000 on a set of golf clubs (owned by John F. Kennedy) for Mr. Peterman when she is caught in a vicious bidding war with Sue Ellen at an auction; in "The Abstinence", Elaine boasts to Sue Ellen about dating a doctor but then is made to look foolish when her boyfriend is completely useless during an emergency at the coffee shop; finally, in "The Betrayal", Elaine is so unhappy at receiving an "Unvitation" (a super-last-minute invitation) to Sue Ellen's wedding, that she travels all the way to India just to show up.
  • Elaine conflicts with Frank Costanza on several occasions. Frank refers to her as "supercilious" in "The Chinese Woman". In The Cigar Store Indian, she angers him first by taking his TV Guide without asking and then by spilling her gyro on it. Then, in The Little Kicks, she and Frank come to blows after George is arrested along with Elaine's co-worker Anna. Elaine says to Frank "I could drop you like a bag of dirt!" to which he replies "You wanna piece of me? You got it!". Later when Jerry chides her for fighting with an old man, she says "Hey, he wrote the check, I cashed it", suggesting that she won the fight.
  • Her abortion argument with restaurateur Poppie gets him so angry that he loses control of his bladder in "The Couch" and again in "The Doorman."
  • The Soup Nazi Jerry, George and Elaine go out to a new soup stand Kramer has been raving about; its owner is referred to as the "Soup Nazi" due to his temperament and insistence on a strict manner of behavior while ordering. Jerry explains the procedure for ordering which George accepts, but Elaine rebuffs.
  • In "The Summer of George", Elaine makes enemies out of her co-worker Sam (Molly Shannon). First, when Elaine criticizes Sam's way of walking ("It's like she's carrying invisible suitcases"), Sam gets furious and threatens revenge. Then, Raquel Welch (who was recently fired from a musical for dancing without swinging her arms), sees Elaine describing the walk to the police and thinks that Elaine is making fun of her and attacks her. Both events end up arousing Jerry, Kramer, George and even the police, because as Jerry tells Elaine, men love "catfights".
  • In "The Understudy", after she thinks her Korean manicurists are making fun of her, she angers them by bringing in Frank Costanza, who is fluent in Korean, to eavesdrop on them.
  • In "The Fire", Elaine reveals her hatred for her overly energetic and always-happy colleague Toby. Then, when Toby loses her pinky toe in an accident (caused by Jerry), an outpouring of office sympathy leads Toby to a major promotion instead of Elaine, who is more qualified.
  • In "The Visa" she and Jerry anger Pakistani immigrant Babu after she fails to notice Babu's visa application among Jerry's mail that she is picking up for him.
  • In "The Engagement", she is so incensed by a neighbor's barking dog that she hires Newman and Kramer to kidnap it.
  • In "The Merv Griffin Show", Elaine is annoyed by her co-worker Lou who constantly "sidles" up behind her. But when she gives him a pack of Tic-Tacs so that she can always hear him coming, the sound drives Peterman crazy saying "It reminds me of the Haitian Voodoo Rattle Torture".
  • In "The Friars Club", Elaine is positive that her co-worker Bob (Rob Schneider) is faking being deaf to get out of doing any work. But when she tries to test out his deafness by pretending to flirt with him, Peterman overhears, thinks it is real and sets them up on a date.
  • Elaine has had run-ins with her co-worker Peggy on a few occasions. In "The Susie", Peggy tells Elaine, who she thinks is a woman named Susie, that Elaine Benes is a "dolt" and a "disaster." Later, in "The Apology", Peggy thinks Elaine has germs, and in retaliation Elaine deliberately coughs on Peggy's doorknob, rubs her stapler in her armpit and rubs her keyboard on her butt.
  • Oddly, Elaine makes a particular enemy of Chinese restaurants on no fewer than three different occasions. In "The Chinese Restaurant", she makes a fool of herself when she tries to bribe the waiter to get her a table faster. Then in "The Race", she gets "blacklisted" from a Chinese delivery restaurant for refusing food delivery, and then gets her Communist boyfriend blacklisted as well. Finally in "The Pothole", she pretends to live in a janitor's closet in a different apartment so that she can live inside the delivery zone of a certain Chinese restaurant. She was also once sued by a Chinese deliveryman named Ping for causing him to get in a bicycle accident in "The Virgin" although "Notes about Nothing" says that Elaine doesn't have a storyline. This storyline falls out in "The Visa" and it's left unresolved.


  • In "The Andrea Doria", Elaine dates Alan, a "bad-breaker-upper", who makes her feel insecure about having a big head.
  • In "The Smelly Car", Elaine's boyfriend Carl is repulsed by her when her hair stinks of B.O. from riding in Jerry's car. She goes to extreme lengths to get the smell out but nothing works, and he continues to be grossed out.
  • In "The Postponement" Elaine confides in a rabbi that she is jealous of George's engagement to Susan Ross because George would be getting married before she did and she considers George to be a loser. The Rabbi proceeds to tell everyone in Elaine's apartment complex and later on his public access TV show about Elaine's insecurity.

Influence/effect on others

  • In "The Chinese Woman", Jerry describes how Elaine has had a destructive effect on her relationship with her friend Noreen. It is revealed that over the course of their friendship, Elaine has convinced Noreen to join the army, go AWOL from the army, dump her "high talker" boyfriend, and dump her "long talker" boyfriend. Eventually, Kramer steps in and forbids Elaine to have any more contact with Noreen.
  • In "The Muffin Tops", Elaine convinces her former boss Mr. Lippman to start his own business selling just "muffin tops". However, they soon run into problems when nobody will take the leftover stumps, and only by calling in "The Cleaner" (who turns out to be Newman) can they get rid of them.
  • In "The Non-Fat Yogurt", Elaine suggests to Lloyd Braun, an advisor to Mayor Dinkins, that everyone in the city should wear name tags. Lloyd Braun suggests this idea to Dinkins and he likes it so much that he adds it to his campaign, subsequently leading to his loss in the mayoral elections. In "The Gum", it is revealed that Lloyd Braun also loses his job and later suffered a nervous breakdown.
  • In "The Pilot" Russel Dalrymple's love for Elaine drives him to the point near the end of the show that he joins Greenpeace just to impress her and dies in the aftermath.

Pet peeves

  • In "The Baby Shower", Elaine expresses disdain with the world's interest in the Kennedy family, but in Season Four's "The Contest", Elaine crosses paths with John F. Kennedy, Jr. at her gym and becomes so infatuated with him (and the fantasy of becoming "Elaine Benes Kennedy Jr.") that she loses her self-control as well as the 'contest'. Elaine is crushed to learn that "John John" is dating Jerry's ex, Marla "the virgin" (Jane Leeves).
  • Elaine does not hesitate voicing her strong positions on certain political issues. For example, in "The Couch", she broke up with her boyfriend, Carl, after finding out that he was Pro-Life.
  • In "The Stranded", she engages George's girlfriend, Ava, in a heated argument regarding a fur coat. Although she presented a similar stand in other episodes, she also said "Who has the energy anymore?" in "The Reverse Peephole" when Puddy begins wearing fur and she is asked by Jerry why she isn't up-in-arms. She would also go on to throw David Puddy's aforementioned fur coat out the window in a similar fashion, saying to the coat, "Goodbye, Dr. Zaius."
  • In "The Puerto Rican Day", several things make her angry: the sight of a dog with its ears flipped inside out; her slow-moving taxicab; the thought of missing her "Sunday weekend wind down"; and finally, being trapped under a set of bleachers while desperately trying to find her way out of streets blocked off for the parade.
  • In "The Boyfriend", Elaine reveals her disgust for smokers, which helps lead to a break up with Keith Hernandez. Her dislike of smoking also gets her into an argument with a fortune-teller in "The Suicide". However, in "The Calzone" and "The Foundation" she is seen smoking with a Cuban cigar in those rare moments. She is also seen smoking a cigar in "The Blood", however, she only does this to make herself look bad in front of the mother of the child she's babysitting.
  • In "The Beard", Elaine hates George's toupee so much (because of the effect it has on his personality) that she rips it off his head and throws it out the window, screaming, "I don't like this thing and here's what I'm going to do with it!"
  • In "The Pledge Drive", Elaine gets increasingly annoyed when people start eating their chocolate bars with a knife and fork, a habit started by Mr. Pitt which spreads across the city. Finally, at the end, she stands up and screams to the people at Monk's, "What is wrong with all you people? Have you all gone mad?!"
  • In "The Gymnast", Elaine becomes furious at Mr. Pitt's obsession with his 3D art poster, and smashes it in half.
  • In "The Burning", Elaine is furious that Puddy isn't attempting to save her from going to hell. When he asks, "You stole my Jesus fish, didn't ya?" she angrily replies, "Yeah, that's right," then does the devil by putting second fingers on her head and sticking her tongue out.
  • On a few occasions Elaine seems to get easily upset because of the overuse or underuse of exclamation points. This happens in both "The Sniffing Accountant" and "The Muffin Tops".


  • Various characters (including Elaine herself) sometimes call her "Lainey."
  • In "The Susie", she develops an alter-ego named Susie after being called that by Peggy.
  • In "The Pick", Elaine is nicknamed "Nip" by her colleagues after her Christmas card picture, taken by Kramer, accidentally reveals one of her nipples.
  • In "The Ex-Girlfriend", Jerry dubs Elaine "The Queen of Confrontation."
  • In "The Contest", Elaine is also called "The Queen of the Castle."
  • In "The Nose Job", Elaine is Wanda Pepper in order to pick up Kramer's jacket.
  • In "The Wink", Kramer calls her Veronica, a reference to Archie Comics.
  • After sustaining a head injury, Kramer referred to her as "Carol" (potentially a Growing Pains or Brady Bunch reference as he referred to George as "Mike" in the same episode as well; it could also be an inside joke, a reference to Carol Leifer, on whom the character was rumored to be based)
  • In "The Package", Elaine is "Paloma", Uncle Leo's caretaker, in an effort to check on her medical history charts in a doctor's office.
  • In "The Strong Box" George refers indirectly to Elaine as "Lois Loan" because her boyfriend is poor.
  • In "The Opera", a psychotic stalker, Joe Davola, calls Elaine "Nedda" (the female lead in the opera "Pagliacci").


The Seinfeld cast was placed sixth on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters.[5]



  1. ^ Season 8 Episode 16, "The Pothole" http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/ThePothole.htm
  2. ^ Bailey, Blake. A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates. Picador, 2003.
  3. ^ http://www.sonypictures.com/tv/shows/seinfeld/episode_guide/?sl=episode&ep=709
  4. ^ Seinfeld - Cast and Characters
  5. ^ "The 100 Greatest TV Characters". Bravo. http://www.bravotv.com/The_100_Greatest_TV_Characters//index.shtml. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  6. ^ How it Began (a making-of-the-show documentary)

External links

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