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The 10 greatest 'Seinfeld' episodes to savor on Netflix

The 10 greatest 'Seinfeld' episodes to savor on Netflix

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The “Seinfeld” gang at its favorite diner

"Seinfeld" repeats migrated to Netflix on Oct. 1, meaning a new generation of fans have a chance to get introduced to an American classic. But where to begin? Here are my 10 favorite episodes, in order of preference, that I first shared back in 1998.

1. "The Bubble Boy" (episode 45) • George's most unlikely and hilarious nemesis was a cranky kid forced to live in a plastic bubble. During an outrageous Trivial Pursuit game, George ends up puncturing the kid's dome over a disputed answer ("Moors! Moops!") and has the whole town on his tail.

2. "The Junior Mint" (episode 58) • A splenectomy was never this much fun. Kramer and Jerry observe the surgery of Elaine's former, overweight boyfriend ("Let's go watch 'em slice this fat bastard up"), and a piece of Kramer's candy drops into the patient's innards. This is also the one where all Jerry can remember about his new girlfriend's name is that it rhymes with a female body part (Mulva? Bovary?).

3. "The Library" (episode 22) • A long-overdue copy of "Tropic of Cancer" has Jerry butting heads with a library cop (Philip Baker Hall), George confronting his mean high-school gym teacher ("Can't standya!") and Kramer romancing a mousy librarian in an episode that's anything but by the book.

4. "The Chinese Restaurant" (episode 16) • Several episodes experimented with actual time, but none matched the ingenuity of this saga of the gang waiting not so patiently for a restaurant table. Kramer is not in this outing, a reminder that he wasn't a major player in the early years. 

5. "The Limo" (episode 35) • Jerry and George assume fake names to snag a free limousine from the airport, only to be mistaken for Nazis. George is more than willing to play along, if it means scoring with a comely comrade. The outrageous, risky plot proves once and for all that this is a show about everything.

6. "The Fix Up" (episode 12) • George's problems with toilets start here. This time, he quits a job because he is denied the keys to the executive bathroom. When the boss won't hire him back, George recruits Elaine to "slip him a mickey" in a masterful bar-room scene. Kramer gets his first real chance to shine when he seeks his own revenge on a laundromat by dumping cement in a washer.

7. "The Bizarro Jerry" (episode 129) • Of the last two slapstick-driven seasons, this is the only masterpiece, as Elaine runs with a new crowd who are improved versions of the regular gang. Michael Richards' physical schtick skills are on great display during after-work drinks with his new pals, when he masquerades as a corporate executive.

8. "The Red Dot" (episode 29) • George gets a great new job, then promptly loses it after having sex with the office cleaning lady. To appease the woman, he gives her a cashmere sweater with a dot that's nearly undetectable, which also describes the value this foursome places on friendship.

9. "The Contest" (episode 49) • Who is Master of Their Domain? Clearly, it's writer Larry David, who centered this edgy episode about who can abstain the longest from, uh, gratifying themselves, on a real-life experience. Perhaps the sitcom's single funniest event is observing how quickly Kramer drops out.

10. "The Opposite" (episode 82) • Elaine and George ostensibly wind up switching places — she loses her job, he gets hired by the Yankees — in this landmark episode. From here on out, George isn't quite as much of a loser, and Elaine starts her progression from being the most sensible of the pack into the foursome's meanest member.

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