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"The Wife"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 81
Written by Peter Mehlman
Directed by Tom Cherones
Original airdate March 17, 1994
Guest stars

Courteney Cox

Season 5 episodes
Seinfeld – Season 5
September 1993 – May 1994
  1. "The Mango"
  2. "The Puffy Shirt"
  3. "The Glasses"
  4. "The Sniffing Accountant"
  5. "The Bris"
  6. "The Lip Reader"
  7. "The Non-Fat Yogurt"
  8. "The Barber"
  9. "The Masseuse"
  10. "The Cigar Store Indian"
  11. "The Conversion"
  12. "The Stall"
  13. "The Dinner Party"
  14. "The Marine Biologist"
  15. "The Pie"
  16. "The Stand In"
  17. "The Wife"
  18. "The Raincoats, Part 1"
  19. "The Raincoats, Part 2"
  20. "The Fire"
  21. "The Hamptons"
  22. "The Opposite"
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Wife" is the eighty-first episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. The 17th episode of the 5th season, it was originally broadcast on March 17, 1994.


Jerry's girlfriend, Meryl (Courteney Cox), poses as his wife in order that she may share in his 25% dry cleaning discount. In fact, Jerry is having fun with the idea of having a wife, even if it's just to start a sentence. George urinates in the shower while at the health club and fears he may be reported to management. Elaine gets mixed signals from Greg, a prospective boyfriend in whom she is interested. As if things couldn't get more complex, the man Elaine has her eye on is the same person who caught George urinating in the shower.

Jerry eventually cheats on his "wife" with another woman in order to give her the discount. Meanwhile, Kramer is losing sleep because Jerry took his quilt to the cleaner, taking advantage of the discount. Kramer goes to get a tan to impress his girlfriend's family, and ends up falling asleep on the tanning bed.

As it happens, Greg wants to date a female gym instructor and not Elaine. Then he discovers Elaine is friends with George. The episode ends with Kramer meeting his girlfriend's family, who are black, and Kramer being horribly tanned to the extent that he appears to be in blackface. The girlfriend's father then angrily says "I thought you said you were bringing a white boy home! I don't see a white boy! I see a damn fool!"


George: They could kick me out of the health club if he tells them!
Elaine: So what do you want me to do?
George: Talk to him!
Elaine: How can I do that?
George: You said the guy gave you an open-lipped kiss!
Elaine [enunciating for emphasis]: Yes, but then he wiped his hand on the top of the bot-tle when I of-fered him wa-ter!
George: Well, that doesn't mean anything!
Elaine: Are you kidding?! That's very significant! If he was interested in me, he'd want my germs! He'd just crave my germs!
Jerry [bored]: She's right, George. Bottle-wipe is big.
George: Well, what about the open-lipped kiss?
Jerry [still bored]: Bottle-wipe supersedes it.
George: Yeah, you're right, you're right...[to Elaine] All right, maybe he's not interested, but you still know him. Can't you just ask him?
Elaine: George...but if I ask him now, I'll have no chance of going out with him.
George: Why?
Elaine: I...I dunno...
George: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Could it be because you don't want him to know that you have a friend who pees in the shower, is that it?
Elaine: No, that's not it!
George: Oh I think it is! I think that's exactly what it is!
Elaine: Why couldn't you just wait?
George: I was there! I saw a drain!
Elaine: Since when is a drain a toilet?!
George: IT'S ALL PIPES! What's the difference?
Elaine: Different pipes go to different places! You're gonna mix 'em up!
George: I'll call a plumber right now!
Jerry: All right, can we just drop all the pee-pipe stuff here?


  • For the syndicated repeats, this episode is just one in a few this season to keep Jerry's opening stand-up routine intact.
  • Jerry's remark "We'll always have pancakes," is a reference to Humphrey Bogart's line "We'll always have Paris" from the 1942 film Casablanca.

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource


The Wife
by Emily Dickinson


She rose to his requirement, dropped
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
Of woman and of wife.

If aught she missed in her new day
Of amplitude, or awe,
Or first prospective, or the gold
In using wore away,

It lay unmentioned, as the sea
Develops pearl and weed,
But only to himself is known
The fathoms they abide.

Poetry by Emily Dickinson (edit list):
By alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y.
By number 1-99, 100-199, 200-299, 300-399, 400-499, 500-599, 600-699, 700-799, 800-899, 900-999, 1000-1099, 1100-1199, 1200-1299, 1300-1399, 1400-1499, 1500-1599, 1600-1699, 1700-1775.


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