“The Subway” is the thirtieth episode of Seinfeld. It is the thirteenth episode of the show's third season. It aired on January 8, 1992. The episode was written by Larry Charles and directed by Tom Cherones.
Each of the four principal characters has a unique experience during a subway ride. Jerry befriends an overweight nudist on his ride to Coney Island. George meets an enchanting woman passenger who seduces him, takes him to her bedroom, handcuffs him to a bed while he is in his underwear, and robs him! He misses his job interview in the process. Kramer overhears a horse racing tip from another passenger, places a bet at a betting parlor, and wins big, helping to pay for his car fines (including "no doors"), but on his way back, Kramer is about to be mugged by another bettor, only to be saved by a cop posing as a blind violinist. Elaine misses a lesbian wedding she was to attend due to train delays, which makes her feel claustrophobic.
Upon being mistaken for a lesbian on the subway (after all she is going to a lesbian wedding), Elaine screams, "I'm not a lesbian! I hate men, but I'm not a lesbian!"
Notes About Nothing
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus was visibly pregnant towards the end of the third season's production, and the show went out of its way to conceal her gradually increasing midsection. Throughout this episode, for instance, Elaine is seen carrying a large wedding present in front of her stomach, thus concealing her pregnancy. When Julia went on maternity leave at the beginning of Season 4, Elaine's two-episode absence was explained through the other characters mentioning that she was vacationing in Europe.
- The same subway car set was recycled for all the subway scenes in this episode. The crew merely decorated it with different posters to differentiate the scenes that featured the set. To create the illusion of a rocking subway ride, several stagehands stood on either side of the car's outside walls and rocked it back and forth with 2x4s. The set was on loan to NBC from another studio, and on the set's return to its original soundstage, the truck carrying the set accidentally destroyed it while traveling under an overpass that was too low. The set was rebuilt and is still used.
- George is compared to Biff Loman for the first time in this episode. Biff Loman was a character in the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman, and, as George describes him, is the "biggest loser in the history of American literature." George will often be compared to Biff throughout the series.
- The horse that Kramer bets on, Papanick, was named after the show's key grip, Pete Papanickolas.
- If the subway gambler's estimate of Papanick's odds of winning (30 to 1) held true, Kramer's bet of $600 would have netted him a return of $18,600.
- Michael Wrona acts as the track announcer. He currently serves as the track announcer at Golden Gate Fields.
- Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman makes a cameo as a subway rider during the scenes in which we hear Elaine's thoughts.
- During the scenes in which Elaine's thoughts are expressed out loud, some words are censored. This would later be used in "The Non-Fat Yogurt" and "The Cartoon".
- Several times the subway rollsigns indicate a 5 train bound for Utica Avenue, where it doesn't usually go. However, several rush hour 5 trains do go to Utica Avenue because its normal terminal at Flatbush Avenue does not have storage space for out of service trains. These would be appropriately signed to Utica Avenue.
- The place where Kramer bets on Papanick is the same off-track betting parlor where Elaine gives out as her fake telephone number in "The Strike".
- When Kramer can't find a seat on the subway and squeezes into a subway seat with the large man an open seat can be seen behind almost directly behind him!
- Larry David voices a train conductor; he can be heard before the four get off the train and part ways.
- The "His father was a mudder" exchange Kramer overhears references an Abbott and Costello routine, which you can see here.
|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|