|Air Date||October 2, 1997|
|Writer(s)|| Alec Berg|
|← The Butter Shave · The Serenity Now →|
George's boss (Gordon Jump) wants to get rid of him, since he now knows he isn't really handicapped; as a result, everyone who works there doesn't like him. He has a one-year contract with Play Now, which he will exploit by meeting only the most basic requirement of showing up for work every day.
Jerry and George imagine a scenario in which the stomach of Claire (Jerry's girlfriend) makes sounds during the night, chiefly by saying "Helloooo! La, la, la!" in a loud, booming voice. Jerry envisions the belly button as the mouth and the sound the stomach makes as its "voice". Because of the "bump-into," Jerry tells Elaine that she is destined to backslide into her relationship with David Puddy. She bets him $50 that she won't. The next day Jerry discovers that Elaine didn't go home last night. He accuses her of seeing Puddy. She says the sex they had was an isolated incident. Jerry agrees, but since the dinner they also had was more of a commitment, he demands that she pay up.
Kramer is tired of seeing all his ideas implemented before he has a chance to implement them himself. He contends that all the little day to day incidental things keep getting in his way and prevent him from realizing his ideas. He gets an intern from New York University, Darin, to help him out with "Kramerica Industries", the corporation he had previously set up to develop some of his ideas. With this help, he'll be freed from those day-to-day activities and be able to develop his ideas (such as the oil tanker bladder).
Meanwhile, George is fighting the siege mentality that he is encountering at work and Elaine just can't get Puddy off her mind. No matter what the obstacle, George endeavors to occupy his office. Jerry tells Claire about the voice and she leaves him. The university takes Kramer's intern away from him, pointing out that Kramerica Industries consists of only "a solitary man with a messy apartment which may or may not contain a chicken". Kramer replies, "and with Darin's help, we'll get that chicken." Claire says to Jerry that they can get back together if only he won't do "the voice" ever again, but he later decides that he prefers "the voice". To Jerry's great disappointment, however, everyone is tired of "the voice". Elaine pays up and they decide on a double or nothing bet. The intern comes back on his own because he believes in Kramerica.
Play Now tries to negotiate with George, but he won't give in. Later, he offers his office and one of their rubber balls to allow Kramer to test his oil tanker bladder idea. The big test takes place at George's workplace where Jerry plans to meet Claire. They quickly notice and try to warn her about the falling rubber ball of oil, but all she hears is "the voice" from Jerry and won't listen; when she finally looks up, it's too late.
The lawsuit that is filed by Claire puts Play Now out of business and George out of his contract. Kramer somehow manages to shift the blame to Darin, whom he claims will be "going away for a long, long time..." The incident makes "the voice" popular among the gang again, and Elaine realizes she wants to be with Puddy, although he wants to break up.
A blog dedicated to the legality of the issues that arise in Seinfeld episodes, Seinfeld Law, analyzed whether NYU truly acted "capricious and arbitrary" (according to the rules of Administrative Law) when deciding to terminate Darren's interest with Kramer.
Notes About Nothing
- This episode was originally going to be titled "The Backslide."
- The basis of the talking stomach was Seinfeld writer Spike Feresten's real life experience of imagining his girlfriend's buttocks talking to him while she slept. He recounted the idea to his fellow writers on Seinfeld, where the buttocks' "voice" became something of an inside joke. He told his girlfriend this, and her reaction was much like Claire's in the episode. After the writing staff decided to incorporate it into an episode, Jerry decided to change it to her belly button talking to her, so that it wouldn't appear to be simple "body humor." Jerry later commented that he wished they had kept it as a talking buttocks.
- The scene where Jerry was making a decision between being with Claire, or having the inside belly button joke pays homage to what looked like the same scene in "The Invitations" and "The Engagement". Lionel Richie's #1 hit, “Hello”, plays in the scene.
- Kramerica Industries was previously mentioned in "Male Unbonding".