‘Seinfeld’: 3 Times Jerry Seinfeld and His Friends Shared Etiquette Tips

The Seinfeld gang was not known for being particularly nice people. Out of all of them, Cosmo Kramer, while intrusive, was the least outwardly offensive. Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, and Elaine Benes each had moments when they were terrible human beings. Still, they did subscribe to rules that work if you are trying to live in a “civilized society.” We’ve collected three Seinfeld etiquette rules that are absolutely good ideas. 

Kramer took the rules of golf very seriously, and so should everyone else 

Kramer wasn’t one for strict rules. He never held a job, didn’t knock before entering an apartment, and considered Jerry’s refrigerator an extension of his own. Still, the mysterious Kramer was pretty serious about following the rules of a game. 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes and Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer sit in Monk's
Elaine Benes and Cosmo Kramer | Dan Zaitz/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In the season 6 episode, “The Big Salad,” Kramer lost it when his golf partner picked up the ball and cleaned it. While Elaine insisted it wasn’t a big deal, Kramer pointed out that “a rule is a rule.” Kramer might have overreacted, but he was right; without rules, there is chaos. It’s one of the broadest Seinfeld etiquette moments, but one worth remembering. 

George Costanza learned that gifts must be in perfect condition 

George Costanza wasn’t the most proper of the Seinfeld gang. In fact, he was often guilty of Seinfeld etiquette breaches. He always managed to learn his lesson, though. In the season 3 episode, “The Red Dot,” George learned exactly why you don’t buy someone a damaged item as a gift. 

In the episode, George purchased a damaged sweater at a steep discount and gave it to Elaine as a gift. She noticed, and so did the next person he tried to give it to, causing him nothing but trouble. Seinfeld etiquette states that an item must be in perfect and new condition to be given as a gift. Regifting is frowned upon, too.

Jerry’s ‘Seinfeld’ dating etiquette is a lot more considerate than you would think 

Jerry made a name for himself for being a bit picky with the women he dated. He ended relationships at the first sign of trouble, making him seem dismissive and cold. Jerry still had good dating manners, most of the time, anyway. In a season 3 episode, he schooled Elaine on the rules on breakups. 

Elaine, desperate to end a relationship, wondered if she had to meet up with her love interest to put an end to things. Jerry informed Elaine that dating etiquette dictated that you have to end a relationship face-to-face after seven dates. Jerry did make one exception. According to Seinfeld etiquette, you don’t have to break up in person if you didn’t have sex with the person. 

Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes and Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer in a promotional photo for 'Seinfeld'
The cast of ‘Seinfeld’ | George Lange/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
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Jerry had several other viable breakup and dating rules, too. He believed you had to date someone for three weeks after your first sexual encounter with them. Jerry also noted that it was never OK to share a toothbrush or to order the same thing for breakfast as your partner. While the latter two Seinfeld etiquette rules are more preferences than anything, they can still be considered words of wisdom.