The Most Hated Episode of ‘Seinfeld’ Isn’t the Disastrous Series Finale — It’s This One
Millions of people love Seinfeld and still watch it over and over now, decades after it ended. But not everyone is a fan. There are plenty of critics who think the so-called “show about nothing” is just not funny. Even diehard fans don’t think every episode is perfect.
There’s a general agreement from Seinfeld aficionados that seasons 3 through 5 are considered the “Golden Era” of the comedy when it hit peak humor. That’s what makes it so surprising that the lowest-rated episode comes from season 3.
It’s even more shocking to find that the universally reviled series finale isn’t the worst-rated Seinfeld episode ever.
‘Seinfeld’ got off to a rough start
In the early days, Seinfeld was nowhere near as funny as it eventually became. Audiences didn’t know how to respond to the slow-paced humor that was based on everyday situations. In many ways, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld’s extension of situational comedy stand-up broke the mold for future sitcoms. But first, it needed to find an audience.
Ratings were pretty low for the NBC series when it debuted. However, by season 3 viewers were tuning in and enjoying seeing relatable issues portrayed in hilarious ways. Fans connected with Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, even if they despised them a little bit too.
‘The New Friend’ is the worst-rated ‘Seinfeld’ episode on IMDb
Plenty of Seinfeld episodes score high marks with IMDb reviewers, including fan favorites like, “The Contest,” “The Soup Nazi,” and “The Marine Biologist.” But the lowest-rated episode has a paltry 6.5 rating, putting it at the bottom of the list.
Season 3, Episode 18 is called “The New Friend” (or sometimes referred to as, “The Boyfriend”) and features Jerry, Kramer, and Neuman acting out a parody of the JFK assassination while recalling the Mets losing. It was originally split into two parts, “The Boyfriend Part 1” and “The Boyfriend Part 2.” Each were 30 minutes long.
These are the episodes that gave fans the concept of a “magic loogie,” but even that strange and memorable image wasn’t enough to save this low-ranked Seinfeld installment. Arguably, the low rating could be due to confusion from the episode being split in two after syndication. But the results still stand.
Fans were more vocal about hating the ‘Seinfeld’ finale
While “The New Friend” got low marks overall, the Seinfeld finale received more overt criticism. That’s because it proved the characters experienced no growth in nine seasons and were still terrible people at heart. At one point, the finale was described as giving the “middle finger” to faithful fans who’d been watching all along.
In the Seinfeld finale, the four friends wind up in jail after failing to assist a carjacking victim, therefore breaking the Good Samaritan law. Their behavior is especially cruel and callous. While on trial, various people from past episodes discuss their issues with each of the characters. But perhaps the worst part of all is how utterly unrepentant they are for being awful.
A reviewer from Entertainment Weekly wrote that “The Finale” was, “off-key and bloated…Ultimately, Seinfeld and David’s kiss-off to their fans was a loud, hearty, ‘So long, suckers!’”
Despite the hate, “The Finale” retains a 7.5 rating on IMDb, putting it close to the bottom but not the worst. It’s just further proof that sometimes it’s better to be hated than forgettable, which is what made fans dislike “The New Friend.”