"The Doll" is the 17th episode of the 7th season of Seinfeld and the 127th overall. It premiered on February 22, 1996. It was written by Tom Gammill & Max Pross and was directed by Andy Ackerman.


While performing in Memphis, Jerry meets Susan's old roommate, Sally Weaver (Kathy Griffin), who gives him a package that she wants him to deliver to the soon-to-be-married George and Susan, telling him to be careful with it. While on the plane, Jerry, because he has to be careful with the package, is forced to put his own bag in the overhead compartment and, in the process, a bottle of barbecue sauce in his bag is broken. Upon his arrival in New York, Jerry reveals to his friends that the bottle was decorated with a picture of a man who looked like Charles Grodin, on whose television show he would be appearing, and that he had planned to present Grodin with the bottle on the show. He also gives George the "delicate" package, which turns out to be a welcome mat. Meanwhile, Frank Costanza turns George's old bedroom into a billiard room - "The Place to Be" - and Kramer challenges him to a game of billiards, only to discover that the space is a bit tight. Frank later invites the Maestro to get a picture of a man who might be his cousin in Tuscany. Once there he plays with them and shows them an old conductor's trick: he takes off his pants when he sits down so he doesn't lose the crease in the pants before his performance. After he leaves for the bathroom, he leaves his conductor's baton which Kramer then uses as a pool stick to win the game. At the Costanza/Ross residence, Susan unpacks her doll collection, including one that looks exactly like George's mother. While Susan denies the resemblance, George struggles with the image of his mother and eventually begins to imagine it talking to him. Sally is coming to New York, so Jerry asks her to bring him a bottle of the barbecue sauce to replace the one that was broken. When she arrives, however, she brings him a case of a different barbecue sauce, claiming that this sauce is much better, leaving Jerry with nothing still to present on his appearance on Grodin's show.

Also, Elaine returns from Tuscany with "the Maestro", trying to replace an autographed picture of "the other guy," his favorite of the Three Tenors, that was damaged while they were in Tuscany. She discovers that he will be appearing on "The Charles Grodin Show" and decides to accompany Jerry to the show. She gets his autograph but must lug that and an Oro-Dent electric toothbrush put in a large box given to her by Jerry across town. She gets battered and coffee spilled on her but she makes it and gives the Maestro the poster. He loves it and wants to meet her after his performance, but after he leaves Elaine picks up the Oro-Dent box, knocking over a wine bottle and ruining the autograph yet again. Then at the Maestro's concert, his performance is ruined because his conductor's baton is broken in two after Kramer used it to play pool. Meanwhile, in the dressing room, with nothing to say on the show, Jerry has an idea: have George bring a picture of Estelle, along with the doll. Unfortunately, the only person at home when he calls is Sally, who is visiting Susan in New York. She agrees to bring the doll, but arrives shortly thereafter with the wrong doll, saying it is much funnier. The Third Tenor meanwhile wipes off his mouth of spaghetti sauce with Jerry's pants after he took them off doing the trick he learned from Kramer. Jerry receives his cue to go on stage, with no material and no pants. Later, Frank stops by George's place to show him a picture of a man in Tuscany he believes to be his cousin. When Frank sees the doll, he begins to hear his wife's voice and goes crazy, beheading the doll and leaving George saying, "I told you it looked like her."

During the credits, Frank goes to Tuscany to meet his supposed cousin. Despite looking exactly the same (he is also played by Jerry Stiller), the man reveals that his name is different and that he's not Frank's cousin. Frank leaves upset.

Notes About Nothing

  • The working title for this episode was "The Doormat." Originally, the doormat that George receives from Sally was to play a larger part in this episode's plot, but as the script was rewritten, the focus changed to Susan's doll collection, and the episode was renamed accordingly.
  • Guest star Kathy Griffin later performed a stand-up comedy routine alleging that Jerry Seinfeld was rude to her during filming. Jerry was so amused by this he had it written into a later episode, "The Cartoon", where Griffin would return as Sally Weaver.
  • Larry David used the title of this episode again for a season two episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
  • Frank meets Giuseppe outside Costanza Import-Export, a callback to "The Stake Out" when George poses as Art Vandelay, an importer/exporter and "The Cadillac, Part 2" when George, in need of an alibi, crafts a fictitious boyfriend of the same name for Elaine, who is once again an importer/exporter.
  • The Third Tenor's name is José Carreras.
  • The Charles Grodin Show aired from 1995 — 1998.
Season Seven Episodes
The Engagement | The Postponement | The Maestro | The Wink | The Hot Tub | The Soup Nazi | The Secret Code | The Pool Guy | The Sponge | The Gum | The Rye | The Caddy | The Seven | The Cadillac, Part 1 | The Cadillac, Part 2 | The Shower Head | The Doll | The Friar's Club | The Wig Master | The Calzone | The Bottle Deposit | The Wait Out | The Invitations