"The Fatigues"
The fatigues
Season 8
Episode 140
Air Date October 31, 1996
Writer(s) Gregg Kavet
Andy Robin
Director Andy Ackerman
The Package · The Checks

"The Fatigues" is the 6th episode of the eighth season of Seinfeld, and the 140th episode overall. This episode first aired on October 31, 1996.


Jerry is dating a girl, Abby (A.J. Langer), and is intrigued by the concept of his girlfriend having a mentor. Jerry meets Cynthia, his girlfriend's mentor, but finds out she is dating Kenny Bania. After they see Bania's act, Jerry's girlfriend loses respect for her mentor and eventually fires her. George has to give a lecture on risk management (because his résumé gives the impression that he is an expert on the subject), but he finds that he can't study for it because books on tape have spoiled him. When George discovers the blind can get any book on tape, he intentionally fails an eye test so he can get his book on tape. George encounters a problem when the person's voice on the tape sounds like his voice, much to his displeasure. Elaine prepares to fire Eddie Sherman (Ned Bellamy), an employee at the J. Peterman Catalog, but when face to face with him, is scared of him and promotes him instead (a technique reminiscent of The Dilbert Principle, reflecting Elaine's inept management style). When he does a terrible job Elaine promotes him again to get rid of him. This plan backfires when the other employees quit because he was promoted over them, causing Elaine to work on the project alone with Sherman.

Kramer runs a Jewish singles night at Frank's Knights of Columbus hall. When he realizes he can't cook Jewish food, he asks for Frank's help. Frank refuses, because he hasn't cooked since the Korean War where he sickened his fellow troops by using bad meat and has become traumatized because of it (Frank's memory is dramatized with a reenactment in which the onset of food poisoning is set to Barber's "Adagio for strings", as in the film Platoon).

When Cynthia dumps Bania because of his poor act, he turns to Jerry for advice, and Jerry agrees to be his mentor. At the same time, Jerry's girlfriend is looking for a mentor and Jerry is surprised to find that she picked George. However, George's plans are for her to read and summarize his book on risk management so he can present it to the board. Unfortunately, their files get mixed, and Bania ends up talking about risk management (which ends up working out well for him) and George ends up talking about Ovaltine. Frank, displeased at Estelle's cooking, decides to cook again and helps Kramer get the food ready for his Jewish singles night. Elaine and Sherman manage to finish the catalogue, and when Elaine finds out he adopted his frightening persona after a failure to meet a nice Jewish woman and settle down, takes him to the Jewish singles night. The food turns out to be a hit, and Frank feels reborn. Sherman ends up choking/coughing on the food because of Elaine; this, combined with the fact that Sherman is dressed in military fatigues, brings back the bad memories of the night Frank caused his soldiers so much distress. Thinking of Sherman and friends choking/coughing was for the same reason, Frank wildly tries to stop people from eating, and the episode closes as he tips over the buffet (again to "Adagio for Strings").

Season Eight Episodes
The Foundation | The Soul Mate | The Bizarro Jerry | The Little Kicks | The Package | The Fatigues | The Checks | The Chicken Roaster | The Abstinence | The Andrea Doria | The Little Jerry | The Money | The Comeback | The Van Buren Boys | The Susie | The Pothole | The English Patient | The Nap | The Yada Yada | The Millennium | The Muffin Tops | The Summer of George
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