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"The Opera"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 49
Written by Larry Charles
Directed by Tom Cherones
Original airdate November 4, 1992
Guest stars

Peter Crombie

Season 4 episodes
Seinfeld – Season 4
August 1992 – May 1993
  1. "The Trip, Part 1"
  2. "The Trip, Part 2"
  3. "The Pitch"
  4. "The Ticket"
  5. "The Wallet"
  6. "The Watch"
  7. "The Bubble Boy"
  8. "The Cheever Letters"
  9. "The Opera"
  10. "The Virgin"
  11. "The Contest"
  12. "The Airport"
  13. "The Pick"
  14. "The Movie"
  15. "The Visa"
  16. "The Shoes"
  17. "The Outing"
  18. "The Old Man"
  19. "The Implant"
  20. "The Junior Mint"
  21. "The Smelly Car"
  22. "The Handicap Spot"
  23. "The Pilot, Part 1"
  24. "The Pilot, Part 2"
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Opera" is the 49th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It was the 9th episode for the 4th season. It aired on November 4, 1992.


"Crazy" Joe Davola leaves Jerry a message saying he will put the "kibosh" on him. Kramer has tickets for the opera Pagliacci, and everyone is going, including Elaine and her boyfriend, Joey. Elaine drops in on Joe's apartment where she discovers that he has a wall of pictures that he took "with his telephoto lens." After repeatedly calling her "Nedda" and insinuating she is cheating on him, he tries to trap her in the apartment, so she maces him with cherry Binaca and ends their relationship.

Jerry, Kramer, Elaine, and George go to the Opera, where they discover that Joe isn't coming, and, since Susan can't come either, they have two extra tickets. George and Kramer attempt to scalp the tickets, each trying to one up the other, because George tries to sell the tickets for too little, and won't listen to Kramer.

As Jerry and Elaine wait for their friends to return, they are asked by a street performer impersonating Canio for a tip. Jerry had flipped a coin, and it was taken by another spectator, so he didn't have any money for the clown, which annoyed him.

Meanwhile, Joe is getting ready for the Opera by working out and crying to Canio. He then puts white make-up on. Later, we see Joe, as a clown, walking through a park, and he is being mocked by a group of menacing men. He uses martial arts to knock them all out.

Kramer is approached by a clown who wants to buy the leftover ticket to Pagliacci.

Jerry and Elaine are still standing outside, and they get to talking about "their nutjobs" and, discover that each of their Joes is the same person. They freak out, because Joe is probably now out to get both of them. Soon, the clown returns, and when Jerry tells him that he doesn't have any money, the clown responds, "I don't want any money." As they both stand there, Elaine thinks she smells cherries and the clown says, "It's Binaca", just as the real Canio starts to sing. Jerry and Elaine both scream and run away.

George has finally agreed to sell the ticket to someone as Susan runs up and says she can actually attend. George gives her ticket to her, and deftly gives the man his own; since he will not attend the show, he must then invent an explanation that will please Susan.

Kramer shows up with the tickets, and he, Elaine and Jerry take their seats. They are joined by Susan, and "Harry Fong", the chubby Asian man to whom George sold his ticket. They ask where George is, and Harry says that he got George's ticket. Jerry and Elaine ask who got the last ticket, and Kramer says, "Some nut in a clown suit" just as the curtain comes up, causing Jerry and Elaine to panic as the episode closes.


  • Elaine's mention of the overture prompts Jerry to sing the theme song to The Bugs Bunny Show ("Overture, curtain, lights/This is it, we'll hit the heights..."). When he's finished, Elaine says, "It's so sad that you get your high culture from Bugs Bunny cartoons." Writer Larry Charles doted over this reference to make sure he got the song's lyrics exactly right.
  • While George and Kramer try to sell the tickets and Kramer try to sell the tickets at a too high a price, George asks Kramer if he thinks it's a Metallica concert.
  • Although this episode ends on a cliffhanger, the deleted scenes may somehow tell how Jerry and Elaine got out unharmed. In a deleted scene, it shows "Harry Fong", Susan, Kramer, Joe Davola, and the street performer watching the opera (all in different moods and reactions on the opera). However, it does not show Jerry or Elaine in there watching, so it is assumed they got out unharmed just as the opera was starting (and possibly the street performer got their tickets).
  • The characters in the episode repeatedly, and mistakenly, refer to the lead character in the opera as "Pagliacci" (which is plural), rather than Canio (his name) or Pagliacco (Canio's clown character).


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