"...For I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots."
―George Costanza[src]

George Louis Costanza was one of the four main characters on Seinfeld, played by Jason Alexander.

George is Jerry's neurotic friend. He sometimes lives with his parents, Estelle and Frank Costanza, a bitter couple who are as neurotic as their son. Chances are George's personality traits of being bitter, miserly, selfish, greedy and dishonest come from his childhood background. As a teenager, he was tormented by his gym teacher, Mr. Heyman, who intentionally mispronounced George's last name as "Can't Stand Ya." George and Jerry attended public school together, setting the dynamic for their later relationship. George claims that he and Jerry met in gym class when George, climbing rope, fell on Jerry.

George has numerous psychological problems, including: sociopathy (officially referred to as Antisocial Personality Disorder), narcissism, habitual lying, low self-esteem, sudden fits of anger, hypochondriasis, impulsive acts of ill-considered cheapness, selfishness, obsessiveness, living in fantasy. Like Kramer, he would often concoct elaborate plots to weasel out of relational, financial, or legal obligations, always with unexpected and negative consequences. George's lying, however, is often seen as a gift in the eyes of himself and his friends. It is noted in some episodes that he can even beat a lie-detector test. When Jerry tells Elaine about his plan of beating a lie detector instead of somehow avoiding it, she replies, "Who do you think you are, Costanza?"

The character of George is based partly on the alter ego of the show's co-creator, Larry David (the alter ego developed later on as the protagonist of Curb Your Enthusiasm). In the first couple of seasons, George was restrained by the standards of his later actions, but as the series went on, his schemes and personality became more outlandish. Alexander related in an interview that, early in the creation of the show, he once expressed having problems acting out a scene in the script, because he felt no one would ever behave in such a way. David replied to him that the exact situation had actually happened to him, and he had reacted in exactly the same way. Jason said that this was a breakthrough for him in portraying the character, giving him valuable insight into both Larry and George.

Fictional Biography[]


George is the son of Frank Costanza and Estelle Costanza. George has mentioned having a brother a few times on the show though he has never been seen or even given a name. George often grew up with his parents having screaming matches with each other, and frequently criticizing George by complaining about how he wasn't like Lloyd Braun, a neighborhood kid his parents adored. George often claims that his difficult childhood was the cause of most of his neurotic tendencies. George has mentioned growing up in Brooklyn, New York and attended public school. He attended John F. Kennedy High School on Long Island and was in the class of 1971. He met Jerry Seinfeld in gym class, and they have been best friends ever since (although he was jealous of Jerry's summer camp friend 'Fragile' Frankie Merman whom he referred to as the 'Summer Me'). He was also picked on in gym class by the gym teacher Mr. Heyman, whom George tattled on for giving him a wedgie and subsequently got Mr. Heyman fired. George and Jerry also frequently hung out at a restaurant called Mario's Pizza, where George got the high score on a Frogger game. George refers to this as the greatest accomplishment of his life. It has been mentioned that Jerry and George both attended Queens College. George's success there was somewhat debatable, as he mentions being a college graduate but his difficulty finding work and Diane DeConn, a former classmate of Jerry and George, claimed he was always goofing off and is never mentioned in the alumni magazine of the college. Jerry also told Elaine that George had gotten accepted to podiatry school, but nothing ever came of it.

Seasons 1-3[]

In the beginning of the series, George works as a real estate broker as shown when he tries to find a new apartment for Jerry in "The Robbery". George also seemed to be a lot more fortunate in the beginning of the series, making an $8,000 profit on a stock tip in "The Stock Tip". George had difficulty handling relationships with women though: for example, he left an angry message on his girlfriend Carol's answering machine and had to swap out the tape to make sure she didn't hear it in "The Phone Message". Another example includes "The Chinese Restaurant" where George mentions having to leave in the middle of sex with his girlfriend because of flatulence. In "The Revenge", George quits his job out of frustration. He attempts to get it back, but after his boss degrades him in public he decides to "slip him a mickey" instead. George then goes through several jobs struggling to regain employment. He got a job parking cars in "The Alternate Side" but ends up causing accidents and traffic jams. He also got a job at Pendant Publishing in "The Red Dot", but gets fired for having sex with the cleaning woman on his desk. In "The Boyfriend", George dates the daughter of an unemployment officer to try and stay on assistance but loses it when the girl breaks up with him.

Seasons 4-6[]

George actually manages to find steady work with Jerry writing a pilot for a sitcom on NBC. However, George nearly botches it twice, once in "The Pitch" for refusing to compromise on his "artistic integrity", and again when he demands more money than the initial offer of $13,000 ($6,500 each) to write the pilot in "The Wallet". He manages to get the pilot back on track in "The Watch" by agreeing to take the smaller offer of $8,000 ($4,000 each). George also begins dating the NBC executive Susan Ross. This causes problems, mainly for Susan. In "The Bubble Boy", Kramer burns down Susan's family cabin with a Cuban cigar from a box of cigars that she gave George. The subsequent burning of the cabin led to the discovery of letters revealing Susan's father had a homosexual affair in "The Cheever Letters". Their relationship finally comes to an end in "The Virgin", when George kisses her in front of her boss, causing her to get fired. They get back together in "The Pick", but Susan breaks up with him again when George picks his nose in front of her (on purpose). In "The Pilot", they manage to produce the first episode of the show Jerry, but the new executive at NBC doesn't like it and passes on the show. In "The Puffy Shirt", George finally runs out of money and is forced to move back in with his parents. He manages to get a job as a hand model, but loses it when he burns his hands on a hot iron. Frank gets George an interview to be a brassiere salesman in "The Sniffing Accountant", and though it goes well, George is fired for flirting with his future female boss. In "The Conversion", George's new girlfriend Sasha breaks up with him because he isn't Latvian Orthodox, which causes him to convert to the religion. It is in vain, however, as Sasha moves to Latvia. In "The Opposite", George begins doing the opposite of all his instincts which helps him get a beautiful girlfriend and a job as Assistant to the Traveling Secretary of the Yankees. George's new job also gives him enough money to move out of his parents’ place. In "The Doorman", George’s parents temporarily separate, causing his father Frank to move in with him. They eventually make up and move back in together.

Season 7-9[]

In "The Engagement", George and Jerry begin contemplating how they have lived their lives as children rather than as men. George is inspired to ask his former girlfriend Susan to marry him. He mentioned having to beg at first, but she finally accepted. After learning Jerry reverted to his old ways, George tried to get out of it but was unable to deal with a crying Susan. So George himself cried in "The Postponement" to convince her to hold off the wedding until March. In "The Pool Guy", Elaine becomes friends with Susan which causes George to panic saying his worlds were colliding and that it would kill "independent George". In "The Rye", George and Susan's parents meet resulting in a fight causing Frank to take back the rye bread he brought to the dinner as a gift. In "The Cadillac", George begins having an affair with Marisa Tomei but she breaks up with him when discovering he is engaged. Susan was angry with George but the wedding remained on track. George frequently does things to get out of doing work, such as pretending to look annoyed to make them think he is hard at work, and leaving his car in the parking lot so they think he is the first one to arrive to work and the last one to leave in "The Caddy". In "The Bottle Deposit", George's boss Mr. Wilhelm does George's work for him accidentally while off his medication. Steinbrenner see "George's" report and has him committed to a mental hospital. George even has a compartment in his desk built where he can sleep in "The Nap". George ultimately loses his job in "The Muffin Tops" when Steinbrenner trades him for Tyler Chicken. In "The Invitations", George does everything possible to throw off the engagement such as taking up smoking and asking for a prenuptial agreement. It ultimately is called off when Susan dies from licking toxic glue from the cheap wedding invitations George picked out. In "The Foundation", Susan's parents start a charity in Susan's honor and put George on the board of trustees. In some ways this is revenge for Susan as George watches all the money Susan had that would have been his (had they been married) be given away to charitable causes. In "The Summer of George", George takes the summer off with his severance from the Yankees, but it is ultimately no good when George trips on the stairs and has to learn how to walk again. He also moves back in with his parents as a result. In "The Butter Shave", George pretends to be handicapped to get special treatment at his new job at Play Now. It is ultimately discovered in "The Voice" George isn't handicapped and he is fired, though he keeps returning anyway because of his employee contract which forces them to pay him if he shows up to work. George's father Frank starts up his own computer company in his garage that George gets a job as a salesman in "The Serenity Now". Kramer ends up smashing up the computers, causing the company to fail. In "The Junk Mail", George's parents want him out of their lives. Feeling abandoned George tries to get their attention by dating his cousin Rhisa, but this fails as George gets freaked out when Rhisa wants to have sex. In "The Slicer", George gets a job at Kruger Industrial Smoothing, a company that is so disorganized George actually has to work to pick up the slack of his boss, Mr. Kruger. George creates his own fake charity in "The Strike" called the Human Fund to swindle money from fellow employees so as to avoid buying them gifts with his own money. In "The Wizard", Susan's parents reveal they believed George intentionally caused Susan's death. In "The Finale", NBC reconsidered the pilot George and Jerry wrote back in season four and decided to pick it up as a sitcom. They were going to vacation with Kramer and Elaine in Paris before they leave for Los Angeles. Repair troubles force the plane to make an emergency stop and George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer are arrested for violating the Good Samaritan Law by not helping an overweight man who was getting carjacked. They become infamous in the news as "The New York Four", as numerous people who hated them showed up to testify against their moral character. George is sentenced to one year in prison along with Elaine, Jerry, and Kramer.

George's Romantic Partners[]

George's relationships with women were typically unsuccessful and frequently ended badly. His most disastrous relationship, an engagement to Susan Ross, is one of the few to end "well" for George; he fears marriage and Susan's unexpected death saves him from the commitment. However, even this comes back to haunt him—her wealthy parents create a foundation in her honor and endow it with the land, mansions, and money that would have been given to George and Susan upon their marriage. Despite his own flawed appearance, George periodically insists on minimum standards for the women he will date; on one occasion, he refused to accept a blind date until reassured the girl had both thick lustrous hair and skin with "a pinkish hue." On another occasion, he fell for a woman who, as he did, enjoyed pastrami, though he also once spiked an Orthodox Jewish girl's Kosher breakfast with lobster as payback for her mocking his abbreviated member (the product of recent swimming). Another time he picked up a woman and brought her to a hotel, ostensibly for kinky sex, only to be robbed (while handcuffed to the bedposts) of the eight dollars he carried in his wallet as well as his suit and coat.

Other women that George dated throughout the series:

  • His two dates, Loretta (who refuses to break up) and Maura (who won't make love) in "The Strongbox", make it hard for George to break up.
  • In "The Cadillac" George dates a celebrity, Marisa Tomei, in the park for a short time and got punched for revealing that he's engaged.
  • In "The Cafe" George dates Monica, who gives George an IQ test. Apparently, after letting Elaine help him cheat, the result is the test being spilled in food and he is left to explain the mess on the IQ test.
  • In "The Nose Job", George dates Audrey who has a big nose until he, Jerry and Elaine are shocked when Kramer suggests that she get a nose job.
  • In "The Red Dot" by accident, George dates Evie, a cleaning woman who works at Pendant Publishing by sharing Hennigan's Scotch.
  • In "The Conversion" George willingly converts to the Latvian Orthodox faith for his girlfriend, Sasha, after Elaine mentions that it would be romantic, only to learn that she is going to Latvia after he completes the conversion.
  • In "The Boyfriend", George dates Mrs. Sokol's daughter, Carrie, in order to get the extension on his unemployment.
  • In "The Good Samaritan", George sleeps with Robin (who's already married) after he says "God Bless you" to her.
  • In "The Outing", George dates Allison, who's having a breakdown. He tries to show that he's gay, but he fails.
  • In “The Big Salad”, he dates Julie, who takes credit for his buying Elaine a big salad. The relationship ends when Julie says, “George, all I did was hand someone a bag.”

On the ninth season DVD for the finale, it was stated that George had dated 62 girlfriends during the show's run.


Unlike Jerry, George is never specifically identified as Jewish (or any other religion), but according to some hints given in the show, it is most likely that he is Catholic. Larry David once claimed in an interview that George is half-Jewish/half-Italian, although that could merely be ethnicity. If this is the case, then the obvious conclusion to draw is that Estelle is the Jewish half of the equation; as the name "Costanza" comes from Frank, he hails from Tuscany and all references to the possible Catholicism of the Costanza family are due to aspects of Frank, not Estelle.

  • In "The Fatigues", it is learned that Frank, George's father, is a member of the Knights of Columbus, an all-Catholic fraternal organization.

It is revealed Frank has relatives in Italy, and lived in Italy for part of his early childhood. Additionally, in "The Calzone", George points out that Costanza is Italian, and that he and the Paisano's clerk are like family because of that. The primary religion in Italy is Roman Catholicism.

  • In "The Understudy", Jerry tells Elaine that Frank Costanza sold religious articles like statues of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, which are obviously symbols of the Christian faith.
  • George sometimes refers to "Mother of God!" using it as an expression of being stunned (e.g. in "The Rye"), although it is probably only an expression.
  • In the episode "The Strike", it is mentioned that Frank rejects all the commercial aspects of Christmas due to a violent brawl he had over a doll so he created his own holiday to avoid such issues. As this began after George was born it seems reasonable to suspect that before this time at least, he was raised Christian.
  • In one episode ("The Conversion", Season 5), George goes so far as to convert his faith to Latvian Orthodox, a Christian sect, to appease the strict parents of his current girlfriend.
  • In the episode "The Money", Estelle states that she "won't ride in a German car", hinting at post-Holocaust trauma, thus further suggesting the possibility of her being Jewish.


Art Vandelay: Commonly considered George's alter ego, Art Vandelay is usually an unseen character created by George to facilitate a lie.

  • Vandelay was invented during "The Stake Out" when George and Jerry needed to explain why there were waiting in the lobby of Vanessa's office building. Their excuse was that they were meeting Art Vandelay, an importer/exporter. George originally thought up the name "Art Core...valay", but switched it to Vandelay at the last minute.
  • During "The Boyfriend", George claims to work for Vandelay Industries, a latex manufacturer.
  • Vandelay is used as the name of Elaine's nonexistent boyfriend in "The Cadillac".
  • In "The Puerto Rican Day", George assumes the name Art Vandelay, so that he can use the TV in an expensive apartment that is holding an "open house".
  • The characters encounter a judge named Art Vandelay on the series finale.

Other Pseudonyms: At one point ("The Maid"), George wanted to be known as "T-Bone", but his co-workers at Kruger Industrial Smoothing nicknamed him "Koko" because he flailed his arms like an ape when he demanded the nickname "T-Bone" back from a coworker. When a Jamaican woman named Koko began work there, his nickname was changed to "Gammy". George revealed that if he were to be a porn star, his name would be "Buck Naked." During a period of unemployment for George, Jerry calls George "Biff", referring to the Biff Loman character in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. George once assumed the identity of a man named Donald O'Brien in order to take his limousine ("The Limo"), only to later discover this man was the leader of the Aryan Union and was on his way to make his first public appearance, at Madison Square Garden. In "The Wink," Kramer opened his door after George knocked on it and called him with "Mr. Weatherbee."

Demonstrations of George Costanza's insecurity[]

  • Cheating on an IQ test so his girlfriend would think he was smarter than he really is. ("The Cafe")
  • Wearing Kramer's father's wedding band to get women to flirt with him (the conjecture being that women are more attracted to married men). ("The Apartment")
  • Calling Marisa Tomei on the eve of Susan's funeral to arrange a date: "I got the funeral tomorrow, weekend is pretty wide open." ("The Invitations")
  • Converting to Latvian Orthodox in order to keep a girlfriend. ("The Conversion")
  • Trying to become friends with a black man to prove to his boss that he was not racist. ("The Diplomat's Club")
  • "Streaking" with a body suit rather than going genuinely naked ("The Millennium")
  • Claiming to have won "The Contest" ("The Puffy Shirt")
  • Yelling "My boys can swim!" in astonishment when he hears his girlfriend is late for her period. ("The Fix-Up")
  • Telling beautiful women that a picture of Jerry's ex-girlfriend is Susan, his dead fiancée, in order to hang out with them at a secret club. ("The Bizarro Jerry")
  • Pretending to be a tough guy to impress a woman. ("The Little Kicks")
  • Pulling Kramer's golf ball from the blow hole of a whale to avoid admitting to his girlfriend that he is not a marine biologist. ("The Marine Biologist")
  • Ridiculing his girlfriend's vocalizations during orgasm, assuming that she must have been faking. ("The Mango")

Demonstrations of George Costanza's thriftiness[]

  • Attempting to pass off a red-dotted cashmere sweater which he bought at a discount. ("The Red Dot")
  • Trying to get money back for a book he brought into a bookstore bathroom. ("The Bookstore")
  • Demanding that an area hospital pay for his damaged car after a man committed suicide by jumping off the hospital roof and landing on George's car. ("The Bris")
  • Overstuffing his wallet with an ad for a free guitar lesson, causing it to explode out in the street. ("The Reverse Peephole")
  • Leaving his car parked at Yankee Stadium after locking his keys inside so that he could get locksmith services free through a club membership. ("The Caddy")
  • Telling Corbin Bernsen about how he refused to pay to replace a cat which died due to his neglect. ("The Trip, Part 1")
  • After losing a Twix bar to an auto mechanic, heading to the complaint department demanding an apology, a refund, and for "that man to be fired." ("The Dealership")
  • Asking one of his girlfriend's relatives for a death certificate at a funeral so that he can get a "bereavement discount" on an airplane ticket. ("The Implant")

Demonstrations of George Costanza's laziness[]

  • Turning the space underneath his desk into an area suitable for napping. ("The Nap")
  • Engaging in a slow chase via handicap scooter rather than running. ("The Butter Shave")
  • Treating his severance package as a three month vacation, during which he stays inside his apartment. ("The Summer of George")
  • Pretends to have been applying for jobs in order to get an extension on his unemployment benefits rather than looking for work. ("The Boyfriend")

Jobs held by George Costanza[]

The dates of each job indicate the air date of the episodes in which George worked those particular jobs.

  • Dairy Queen employee for one summer, from which he was fired for putting his feet in the soft serve (dates unknown; mentioned May 1, 1997)
  • Waiter for children at a fat camp (dates unknown; mentioned June 26, 1991)
  • Real estate agent (at least July 5, 1989 to April 18, 1991)
  • Parking cars (December 4, 1991)
  • Reader at Pendant Publishing (December 11, 1991)
  • Writer for a sitcom pilot called Jerry for NBC (September 16, 1992 to May 20, 1993)
  • Hand model (September 23, 1993)
  • Sales rep at a rest stop supplies company with the Penske file (November 11, 1993)
  • Assistant to the Traveling Secretary for the New York Yankees under owner George Steinbrenner (May 19, 1994 to at least May 8, 1997)
  • Play Now, a playground equipment company (September 25, 1997 to October 2, 1997)
  • Computer salesman for for his father's computer selling scheme, "Costanza and Son" (October 9, 1997)
  • Kruger Industrial Smoothing (November 13, 1997 to at least April 30, 1998)

Jobs George Costanza falsely claimed to hold[]

  • Marine biologist
  • Architect, as "Art Vandelay"
  • Importer/exporter, as "Art Corvelay"
  • Playwright, author of La Cocina