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"The Contest"
Seinfeldthecontestquiz
Season 4
Episode 51
Air Date November 17, 1992
Writer(s) Larry David
Director Tom Cherones
The Virgin · The Airport
“The Contest” is the tenth episode of season four of Seinfeld, and the 50th episode overall. This episode first aired on November 18, 1992. It was written by Larry David and directed by Tom Cherones.

Plot

George meets the rest of the gang at Monk's and admits that his mother "caught him," resulting in her falling over in shock and being admitted to the hospital. The gang makes fun of George, and they decide to have a bet to see who can go the longest without masturbating. The men bet $100, while Elaine puts up $150.

The next day, Kramer notices a woman across the street walking around her apartment completely naked. Kramer leaves the room, and, moments later, returns, slamming his $100 down on the counter, exclaiming that he is out of the contest.

The rest of the gang struggles to stay in the contest. George visits his mother in the hospital, and watches in awe as a beautiful nurse gives an even more beautiful patient a sponge bath. Meanwhile, Jerry is still dating Marla, the virgin, and she is still unsure about sleeping with him. Elaine, in the meantime, encounters stud John F. Kennedy, Jr. at her fitness club, and the two end up sharing a taxi cab together. That night, George, Jerry, and Elaine are restless in their beds, while Kramer sleeps soundly.

The following day at the fitness club, the receptionist informs Elaine that John F. Kennedy, Jr. was interested in her, and that he'll stop by her apartment the next night to take her out. George visits his mother in the hospital again, ignoring her pleas for food as he watches another sponge bath. Jerry fends off his urges by watching children's cartoons, and Kramer continues to watch the naked woman across the street. That night, George and Jerry continue to get no sleep, while Kramer and Elaine sleep soundly.

The next day Elaine comes to Jerry's apartment and pays her $150, having dropped out of the contest. She tells them about her date with John, Jr. That night, Jerry and Marla are making out and Marla tells him she's ready to have sex. Elated, Jerry tells her about the contest he is currently in the process of having with his friends. This revelation disgusts Marla, and she storms out. Elaine, having waited for John outside Jerry's apartment, comes upstairs, as she thinks he isn't showing up. When George arrives, he tells Elaine that he saw John downstairs, but he was talking to Marla, and was comforting her as she was crying, and the two ultimately left together.

With nothing else to lose, Jerry goes over to look at the naked woman across the street. The three are shocked to see Kramer over at the woman's apartment. That night, Jerry, George, and Elaine all sleepy soundly; Kramer sleeps with the naked woman, and Marla has slept with John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Quotes

Kramer expresses interest in getting in on the contest, to which Jerry replies, "You? You'll be out before we get the check!"

Notes About Nothing

  • The word "masturbation" is never used in this episode, despite being the subject of the episode. Not actually using the word made this episode less controversial.
  • This episode was based on a real-life contest that Larry David had with his friends, a contest that Larry won.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Estelle Harris as George's mother, Estelle Costanza.
  • It is implied that Kramer, Jerry, and Elaine all "lose" the contest at some point during the episode, making George the winner, but we do not actually see him acknowledging his victory or collecting the prize money.
  • George's victory is later confirmed in "The Puffy Shirt", although in "The Finale" five years later, George admits that he had cheated and that Jerry was the true master of his domain.
Season Four Episodes
The Trip, Part 1 | The Trip, Part 2 | The Pitch | The Ticket | The Wallet | The Watch | The Bubble Boy | The Cheever Letters | The Opera | The Virgin | The Contest | The Airport | The Pick | The Movie | The Visa | The Shoes | The Outing | The Old Man | The Implant | The Junior Mint | The Smelly Car | The Handicap Spot | The Pilot, Part 1 | The Pilot, Part 2