“Male Unbonding” is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Seinfeld. It first aired June 14, 1990. It was written by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and was directed by Tom Cherones.


George tells Jerry that while seeing a play with his girlfriend, he put his hand in his pocket to get some money and accidentally got some dental floss stuck to his hand. George worries that his girlfriend is going to leave him because of it.

Jerry has problems with a childhood friend, Joel Horneck, who persists in keeping in touch with him. He does not like Joel, who does not pay attention to anything that Jerry says. Jerry claims that the reason he has not broken up the relationship is because Joel is a man; George suggests that he should pretend that Joel is a woman and break up normally. Jerry therefore attempts to break up with Joel at Monk's Cafe, but when he does so, Joel breaks into tears. As a result, Jerry changes his mind and agrees to take him to see the New York Knicks, although he was supposed to take George.

As George tells Jerry that his girlfriend no longer wants to see him, Jerry mentions to George that he gave away his ticket to Joel. George does not go to the game because he does not know Joel, so Jerry decides to give Joel both tickets, claiming that he cannot make the game because he is tutoring his nephew. Later, when talking to his platonic girlfriend Elaine, she tries to provide Jerry with a list of excuses to help him avoid Joel. He later discovers that Joel took Kramer to the game and that Joel is in the building. When Joel meets Jerry and Elaine, Joel invites them out to another Knicks game. They come up with more unusual excuses in an attempt to avoid going out. However, Joel then gets out a newspaper and tries to organize a time when they can all meet, weeks in advance. Jerry realizes that no matter what excuses he comes up with, he cannot avoid him.

Kramer, working under the name "Kramerica Industries", conceptualizes building "a pizza place where you make your own pizza pie." Jerry and George try to persuade Kramer to forget the idea, but Kramer is determined to go on with it. Kramer's pizza parlor idea reappears in the later episode "The Couch" in season 6.

Guest Stars

Kevin Dunn as Joel
Anita Wise as Waitress
Frank Piazza as Customer
Kimberley Lamarque as Teller

Stand-up Segments

  1. Male Unbonding 00002
    In the opening stand-up, Jerry talks about the phenomenon of men being attracted to watching other men work with tools.
  2. Jerry talks about breaking up with a guy friend in the second stand-up.
  3. In the third stand-up, Jerry compares the line at a bank to a rat maze.
  4. The closing stand-up segment focuses on how to handle lifelong friends that you don't want to be friends with. Jerry treats conversations with these friends like he's the host of a talk show.

Notes About Nothing

  • Kramerica Industries is first referenced in this episode. Kramer envisions a restaurant franchise where the customers get to build and bake their own pizza. The idea resurfaces in "The Couch", while Kramerica is revived in "The Voice".
  • This is the only episode whose title does not begin with "the".
  • The episode had an alternative ending, in which Joel borrows a k.d. lang tape from Jerry. Jerry then finally manages to "break up" with Joel. Joel leaves, but then comes back again to tell Jerry that he will bring back the tape. Jerry then refers to Joel as Jason from the Friday the 13th films.
  • This was the second episode produced, but was the fourth to air. On the DVD, this was listed after "The Seinfeld Chronicles".
  • This is the first episode, in both airing and production order, to feature Monk's.
  • As Jerry and George enter Jerry's apartment, the room number reads "411". This would change several times during the series.


Guest Stars


For this episode's quotes, see Male Unbonding/Quotes.


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The gallery page for Male Unbonding can be found here.

Season One Episodes
The Seinfeld Chronicles | The Stake Out | The Robbery | Male Unbonding | The Stock Tip
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