“The Foundation” is the 135th episode of the American television sitcom Seinfeld. This was the first episode of the eighth season. It was originally broadcast on the NBC network on September 19, 1996. It was written by Alec Berg and Jeff Schaffer and was directed by Andy Ackerman.


The season opens at a local cemetery, where we see the gravestone of George Costanza's late fiancée Susan Ross in full view. While George wishes to move on from Susan's tragic demise, her parents want to keep her memory alive by creating a foundation, inspired by a Star Trek reference Jerry Seinfeld told them about Susan, which ruins George's newfound happiness. George is seen gazing at a portrait of a smiling Susan. Jerry breaks his engagement with Jeannie Steinman and reunites with Dolores (aka Mulva) from “The Junior Mint”. After a nervous breakdown, J. Peterman runs off to Burma and leaves Elaine Benes in charge. Kramer becomes a martial arts expert at a karate academy for kids and convinces Elaine that she can run the company, which she does by putting her idea for an "urban sombrero" on the cover. She then finds out Kramer was fighting kids, and realizes her disastrous mistake. Kramer gets beaten up by the kids from his karate class in an alley. Elaine finds out her urban sombrero has destroyed some people's lives. George finds out he would have inherited much of Susan's riches had they been married, but now he is stuck at the foundation as they are auctioned off. The same portrait of Susan which hangs in the room where the foundation meet now seems to be sneering at George.

Notes About Nothing

  • Jerry Seinfeld took over the role as executive producer following the departure of Larry David, beginning with this episode.
  • The episode was dedicated to Marjorie Gross, a writer for the show who died of ovarian cancer in June 1996.
  • This episode makes several references to Star Trek. Jerry's line to Susan's parents, "She's not really dead if we find a way to remember her," is very similar to a line said at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: "He's really not dead. As long as we remember him." Kramer mentions his Katra, the Vulcan spirit introduced in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Finally, when George learns of the foundation, he yells "Khaaaaaaannnnnnn!!!" while the camera pans above him, much like Captain Kirk in Star Trek II.
  • This upward-panning camera technique is repeated by George in "The Dealership" and also by Elaine in "The Susie". One of the things being auctioned off at the foundation is Susan's doll collection, seen in "The Doll." The scene in which Kramer is beaten up by the children in an alley, pays homage to a similar scene in Season 7's "The Sponge."
  • Myanmar is 10 and a half hours ahead of New York so it's impossible for it to be daytime in both places at the same time during Elaine and Peterman's phone call.

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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