“The Keys” is the fortieth episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. The episode was the 23rd and final episode for the third season and the first of a three-episode story arc. It aired on May 6, 1992. It was written by Larry Charles and was directed by Tom Cherones.


Kramer over uses the spare set of keys Jerry had left with him. One night, Jerry wakes up to discover Kramer was in his apartment. Later, he returns home only to find Kramer in his bathtub. Finally Jerry brings a girl home and sees Kramer already in his apartment dancing with a girl. Exasperated, Jerry demands Kramer give him his spare keys back, angering Kramer. Knowing that he has broken the "covenant of the keys," Kramer arrives at the realization that he is now free to come out of the shadows. Kramer takes off for California to follow his dream of becoming an actor after he is unable to convince George to join him.

Jerry gives his spare keys to Elaine. Soon after he desperately needs them and goes to Elaine's home with George (who has spare keys to her place), to search for his spare set. They end up finding Elaine's writing project for an episode of Murphy Brown. As they read and laugh over it, Elaine walks in and screams at them for invading her privacy.

Jerry is unable to locate Kramer and make amends. One night while watching Murphy Brown with Elaine, Jerry sees Kramer in a famous bit part on Murphy Brown as Murphy's new secretary, "Steven Snell." Surprisingly, Murphy says that she "has a good feeling" about Steven.

"I'm From Wichita"

Jerry jokes with a woman he dates about pretending to run into his apartment to escape from murderers. His date counters, “I’m from Wichita.” It has been alleged that this was a reference to the fact that Wichita was once terrorized by one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century, the BTK Killer. But although BTK was indeed conducting his murders before and after the airing of this episode in 1992, the Wichita murder spree did not enter into the national consciousness until BTK's identity was finally revealed upon his arrest and conviction in 2005. Therefore, virtually no one in 1992 would have connected her "I'm from Wichita" comment to BTK. No one would have gotten the joke. Instead, it was simply to inform Jerry that regularly having to escape from murderers was something that might commonly happen in New York City, but not in out-of-the-way places like Wichita.

Notes About Nothing

Season Three Episodes
The Note | The Truth | The Pen | The Dog | The Library | The Parking Garage | The Cafe | The Tape | The Nose Job | The Stranded | The Alternate Side | The Red Dot | The Subway | The Pez Dispenser | The Suicide | The Fix-Up | The Boyfriend, Part 1 | The Boyfriend, Part 2 | The Limo | The Good Samaritan | The Letter | The Parking Space | The Keys