"The Beard" is the sixteenth episode of Season Six of Seinfeld. It is the 102nd episode overall, originally airing on February 9, 1995. It was written by Carol Leifer and was directed by Andy Ackerman.
Elaine has tickets for Swan Lake. She is going as a fake date, a "beard," for her homosexual friend Robert (Robert Mailhouse), who believes his boss is homophobic. George is still wearing his toupee and only Kramer thinks he looks handsome. Kramer tries to set up a date for George, but as George wants to see what she looks like and Kramer doesn't have a picture of her they go to the police station where an acquaintance, who works as a sketch artist, can draw them her likeness.
On their way to the station, Kramer gives Chinese food leftovers to a homeless man (Jon Gries). At the police station, George likes the picture and Jerry has his eye on a female Sergeant, Sgt. Cathy Tierny (Katherine LaNasa). On their way back Kramer argues with the homeless man and cannot retrieve his Tupperware container. At the ballet Elaine is acting as Robert's girlfriend.
Back at Monk's Cafe Elaine talks with Jerry how nice Robert is, and the possibility to make him "change teams" (i.e., "convert" to heterosexuality). Jerry says conversion is not possible since they are only comfortable with their own "equipment."
At Jerry's Apartment Kramer needs a Tupperware to save his meal. George arrives very confident after talking on the phone with Denise, Kramer's friend. Jerry mocks George's "hair hat" telling him Denise will find out.
Kramer decides to eat lunch at the police station with his friend Lou, the sketch artist, and Jerry tags along to meet with Sgt. Tierny. At the station, Kramer stands in a police lineup for quick $50. George meets Denise at Monk's, although she is wearing a hat to hide her baldness. While looking at the lie detector, Jerry's new girlfriend, Sgt. Cathy, wants him to take the test to see whether or not he watches Melrose Place. Even though Jerry denies watching the show, he actually does watch it. Later, Elaine mocks Jerry for not telling her that he watched Melrose Place. Jerry then wants George to tell him how to beat the polygraph.
Elaine is going on another "date" with Robert and she is ready to perform the conversion. At Jerry's apartment, George arrives disgusted saying that Denise is bald and tells Kramer this which surprises him. After arguing that George is, too, bald (although he claims "I WAS bald!"), Elaine angrily throws his wig out the window, and the homeless guy picks it up. After the date, Elaine invites Robert to her apartment.
Wig-less George tells Jerry he is again himself, and will continue seeing the bald woman. He then tells Jerry, who is going to take the lie detector test, that a lie is not a lie if he believes it. Later, Elaine triumphantly announces to Jerry that Robert has defected his team and that the conversion went perfectly ("Sex and shopping"). Afterwards, Kramer is still doing police lineups. Jerry takes the lie detector test, but quickly cracks under the pressure of clever questions regarding controversial plot developments in Melrose Place, which provoke him to vent his strongly held opinions on those controversies, thereby exposing his familiarity with the series and presumably ending his relationship with Sgt. Cathy.
At Jerry's apartment, Elaine comments how Robert went back to his team because they always have access to their "equipment." George arrives upset because he "got rejected by a bald woman." She also told him that he wasn't her type and that she preferred "a slimmer guy." Kramer, also in the apartment, claims that the bald woman got upset because she saw George's baldness, therefore he blew it. Kramer then tells Elaine that she just had to ruin George's relationship, but Elaine defends herself claiming that George looked like an idiot and that the wig made him act like a jerk. Jerry then quiets them as Melrose Place comes on the TV.
In the last scene Kramer is still doing lineups but then he gets in trouble when he is recognized by a witness of a jewelry store robbery: the homeless man.
- Jerry: Hey, there he is. So what happened? Could she detect it?
- George: That's an interesting question.
- Jerry: How so?
- George: How so? I'll tell you how so. She's bald!
- Elaine: What do you mean, bald?
- George: What do you think I mean, bald? Bald. BALD bald!
- Jerry: She's bald?
- George: She's BALD, Jerry!
- Elaine: Well maybe she got a haircut or something.
- George: Let me tell you something. No one walks into a beauty parlor and says "Give me the Larry Fine."
- Elaine: Do you see the irony here? You're rejecting somebody because they're bald.
- George: So?
- Elaine: (puts her hands up to her mouth) You're bald!
- George: No, I'm not. I (waves his finger and lightly touches Elaine's nose) was bald.
(Elaine angrily grabs at the toupee; George dodges the grab.)
- George: (stern) Elaine.
(Elaine grabs again and misses. George turns around and opens the door trying to get out. Elaine finally grabs the toupee and runs to the window.)
- George: (pleading) No, no, no, Elaine!
- Elaine: (shouting) I don't like this thing! And here's what I'm doing with it!
(She tosses the toupee out the window.)
- George: NO!
(He runs to the window, and the blind comes down on his head as Elaine walks away satisfied.)
- George: I tell you, when she threw that toupee out the window, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel like my old self again. Totally inadequate, completely insecure, paranoid, neurotic, it's a pleasure.
- Jerry: Good to have you back.