A Season 1 ‘Friends’ Episode Creates a Plot Hole in a Classic Season 9 ‘Seinfeld’ Episode

In the season 9 episode of Seinfeld, “The Frogger,” George Costanza became obsessed with the notion of preserving his high score on a Frogger video game housed inside a local pizzeria. Jerry told the neurotic George that unplugging the game would wipe the high score. The theory led George Costanza to figure out a way to keep the gaming console running while he transported it. He may not have needed to. If unplugging the video game wiped the scores, George’s high score would have been erased years prior. That is if Seinfeld did exist in the same television universe as Friends, as we are led to believe it did. Was there another G.L.C., or did Jerry lie to George?

George Costanza claimed to have set a high score in Frogger 10 years before the season 9 ‘Seinfeld’ episode aired

In the Seinfeld episode, “The Frogger,” George and Jerry go back to visit their high school hangout. Figuring out where George and Jerry grew up is a bit complicated. It is suggested they lived in some episodes in Bayside, in Queens. In other episodes, Long Island is mentioned. Still, in others, George and Jerry claim to be alumni of a school in Brooklyn.

Regardless of where the duo grew up, George claimed to have set the high score 10 years before the episode aired. That means George set the high score in 1988. George would have been in his late 20s and already living in Manhattan in 1988. The pizzeria used for exterior shots of Mario’s is located on 1st street in Manhattan. For simplicity’s sake, we can assume the pizzeria was, in fact, in Manhattan and not in another borough. If we believe that to be true, then George’s high score should have been wiped out by a blackout mentioned in season 1 of Friends.  

According to a ‘Friends’ episode, a power outage in 1994 would have wiped out George’s high score

In the season 1 episode of Friends“The One with the Blackout,” the gang passes the time during a citywide blackout. In the opening scene, Monica Geller was told by her mother that the power was out to all of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

The cast of 'Friends' during season 1 of the famed series
The cast of ‘Friends’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

If George and Jerry’s fictional hangout was located on the east side of Manhattan, as the real exterior storefront was, it was well within the confines of the blackout zone mentioned by Monica. “The One with the Blackout” aired in 1994, four years before the Seinfeld episode featuring the Frogger game.

Friends and Seinfeld were in the same TV universe. The two prolific shows were linked through Mad About You. Paul Buchmann, the main character in Mad About You, sublet his apartment to Cosmo Kramer. Jamie Buchmann and her best friend walked into Central Perk in a different episode, linking the three series together.

' Seinfeld ' cast members sitting in a restaurant booth
The cast of ‘Seinfeld’ | George Lange/Getty Images

Since the shows existed in the same universe, it’s safe to assume any major event that affected the characters in one show affected the characters in the other. Since Monica and her pals experienced the blackout, so did George, Jerry, Elaine Benes, and Cosmo Kramer. Mario’s Pizza would have experienced the power outage, too. During the blackout, the game console would have been turned off, and the game’s data would have been deleted in 1994. The deleted data would have included George’s record score set in 1988.

So, what was the story behind George’s high score?

So, what exactly happened? There are two ways to explain away the strange Seinfeld situation. Either another person with the same initials as George went into Mario’s Pizza and achieved the same high score, or Jerry was lying to George.

It seems unlikely that someone with the same initials would have walked into the pizzeria and beat George’s score. The initials GC only belong to .5 of the U.S. population, according to a Redditor who tracked the popularity of initials. Adding the middle initial would make the odds even lower.

So, we are left to assume Jerry lied to George when he said that turning the game off would erase his high score. Why would Jerry do such a thing? At the end of the day, Jerry wasn’t a great friend to George or anyone. Maybe he just wanted to see him squirm.

In the end, the game console was hit by a truck, and George lost his high score anyway. While all of this probably just boils down to a Seinfeld plot hole, it’s fun to think about the alternatives.

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