Curb Your Enthusiasm Fans Have Probably Figured Out the Ending Already

When you really think about it, there's really only one way Larry David's story can end.

Larry David and Cheryl Hines in Curb Your Enthusiasm season 12 episode 9.
Photo: John Johnson | HBO

This article contains Curb Your Enthusiasm spoilers through season 12 episode 9.

You’ve likely heard of Chekhov’s Gun – the narrative principle from Russian playwright Anton Chekhov that posits if a gun is introduced in the first act, then it must go off in the third act. What you might be less familiar with, however, is “(Larry) David’s Trial.” And that’s because I just made it up.

David’s Trial states that “if a trial is introduced in the first act, then the character put on trial must be found guilty in the third act, thus referencing a controversial series finale of a beloved sitcom said character co-created in the ’90s.” As the final act of Curb Your Enthusiasm approaches, it sure seems like we’re about to experience the first-ever application of David’s Trial.

The 12th and final season of the long-running HBO comedy begins with Larry David running afoul of Georgia’s draconian election interference laws. By providing a bottle of water to Leon’s auntie while she waits in a lengthy line to vote, Larry is found to be in violation of the state’s very real Election Integrity Act. Initially offered a plea deal to move past the whole thing, Larry ultimately elects to take his case to trial when he realizes he could use the good P.R.

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As Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s final season has progressed, the trial has loomed in the background with Larry becoming a liberal media darling, cycling through lawyers, and even miserably failing his one attempt at a mock trial. With only one episode to go – the series finale on April 7 – it’s become quite clear that the Curb finale will conclude with The People v. Larry David. But longtime Seinfeld fans have realized that for weeks now.

Ever since Larry was first arrested in season 12 episode 1, savvy observers have been predicting that the show would end with his trial.

That’s because, when you think about it, there’s really no other way for Curb Your Enthusiasm to end. The whole reason the series exists in the first place is because Larry David was the co-creator and head writer for the aforementioned ’90s sitcom Seinfeld. Though David left the writing staff for the show’s latter seasons, he returned to pen the finale (something that has been referenced more than a few times in Curb‘s final season).

The Seinfeld finale, titled “The Finale,” is a supersized 75-minute episode that finds the series core four characters (Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer) put on trial. While the trial is ostensibly for violating a small Massachusetts town’s “Good Samaritan law” by not intervening to stop a crime, it’s really an excuse to bring back every major guest actor from the show to accurately testify to Seinfeld and friends being terrible people. In the end, everyone goes to jail and no lessons are learned.

That brings us back to the incoming Curb Your Enthusiasm finale, fittingly titled “No Lessons Learned.” Wouldn’t it make perfect sense for David to just run the whole Seinfeld finale back again, having learned no lessons from how much it was loathed? Why yes, yes it does. And practically speaking, there’s just no world in which Larry David is not found not guilty for violating the social contract, even if he was technically doing the right thing in doing so.

The only issue with this Curb Your Enthusiasm finale theory is that executive producer Jeff Schaffer has already poked a hole in it. When asked in a Hollywood Reporter interview whether he sees the comparisons to Seinfeld in Curb season 12’s Georgia storyline, Schaffer said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever thought about that. We were thinking about just making the stories work and what was funniest. That’s much more philosophical than we’ve ever gotten.”

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That’s a tough look for fans but I did some digging on the internet and found something that might help explain Schaffer’s quote.

A screenshot of the entry for "lying."

Sometimes the most obvious ending is the correct one.

The Curb Your Enthusiasm series finale airs Sunday, April 7 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.