Skip to main content

The magic of Seinfeld may come through on TV, but creating it was a whole other story. Some episodes required a little retooling to get a scene just right. Such is the case with one of the show’s popular episodes where a bigger prop replaced the smaller version.

‘The Junior Mint’ episode is 1 of the most iconic

Jerry Seinfeld with cast and crew | Joe Delvalle/NBCU Photo Bank

In March 1993 — Seinfeld‘s fourth season — the 20th episode, “The Junior Mint” aired. Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) can’t remember his girlfriend’s name. He only knows that it rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.

Jerry and George (Jason Alexander) try to guess what her name is. They come with “Mulva,” which prompts her to storm out of his apartment. Only then, he remembers her actual name — “Dolores.”

In the same episode, Kramer (Michael Richards) and Jerry observe Elaine’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) ex-boyfriend Roy’s surgery from the viewing area above.

During the procedure, Jerry and Kramer argue over a box of Junior Mints and accidentally drop one down into Roy’s body. The surgeon sews the candy inside Roy’s body, which causes an infection. He eventually heals.

“I thought people were going to crucify me for killing this show that they love with these bizarre storylines that had no basis in reality,” writer of the episode Andrew Robin told Huffington Post in 2016.

This prop was used in place of the real thing for the sake of the camera

Throughout “The Junior Mint” episode, Jerry and friends are seen eating the chocolate-candy-coated mints. The crew decided, once filming, that Junior Mints were too small for the camera.

According to director/producer Thomas Harry Cherones Jr. via The Junior Mint: Inside Look, they subbed a York Peppermint Pattie because it’s bigger.

However, that wasn’t the first food they considered.

“I was thinking he would bring popcorn into the operating stands to enjoy the experience even more,” Robin said, adding his brother came up with the Junior Mint idea, “Because Junior Mints are just funnier.”

Robin elaborated: “Junior Mints are one of those things you just kind of only see in movie theaters” saying the “odd name” helped land the punchline of that episode’s joke.

2 other candies were in the running


Inside the ‘Seinfeld’ Episode That Got a Miller Brewing Executive Fired

Patti Ganguzza, president of AIM Productions, Inc. (who helped with product placement for the show) said Junior Mints had their time to shine. It’s only because other prominent candy companies didn’t say “yes” in time.

“It was always Junior Mints,” but “I had little time to get Andrew [Robin]’s scripting of Junior Mints cleared through corporate channels,” she said.

Gangguzza added that Life Savers passed because “it was improper use of product. “M&Ms was ready and willing so they signed the clearance and product was sent to production,” she said.

“For their cooperation, M&Ms was included in Jerry’s stand-up routine at the end of this episode,” added Ganguzza but she’d already met with Junior Mint executives and decided to go with the original plan.

In the end, it probably doesn’t matter whether the candy was used. The moral of the episode? Seinfeld doesn’t teach lessons (and don’t bring candy into an operating room).

[Correction: An earlier version said Elaine’s boyfriend was named Ron, not Roy.]