Why Seinfeld Was the TV King of Movie References

Seinfeld's numerous movie references are a fun part of the series' history.

Kramer, Elaine, Jerry, and George holding pigeons in a Seinfeld promotional photo
Photo: David Turnley | Getty

Even though Seinfeld ended almost 25 years ago, it has remained an iconic and beloved television institution. Thanks to syndication, streaming services, and social media, Seinfeld has maintained a level of pop-culture relevance that most series only dream of achieving. While Seinfeld’s comedic performances are often what people reference when explaining their love of the show, Twitter user laura (@ecto_fun) recently shared a video detailing the series’ many movie references as one of the reasons they love to revisit it.

In this thread, they link to the full version of the video, which was posted by YouTube user Yaron Baruch. In this eleven-minute version, we see even more movie scenes side-by-side with Seinfeld’s take on them. Some of the best include:

JFKSeinfeld season 3 episodes 17 and 18 “The Boyfriend”

In the 1991 film JFK, the “magic bullet theory” is used to explain the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. In a recreation of that scene, Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) uses the “magic loogie theory” to try and prove that Kramer (Michael Richards) and Newman (Wayne Knight) were not spit on by Mets player Keith Hernandez. Not only are these scenes similar, but actor Wayne Knight appears in both of them as part of the presentation.

Basic Instinct –  Seinfeld season 8 episode 5 “The Package”

This episode of Seinfeld also uses actor Wayne Knight to recreate a film scene he’s been in before. This time, it’s the interrogation scene from the 1992 movie Basic Instinct. In “The Package” Newman is desperately trying to prove that Jerry has committed mail fraud, but just like his movie counterpart Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), Jerry keeps his cool and reveals nothing.

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Apocalypse Now –  Seinfeld season 8 episode 8 “The Chicken Roaster”

In this episode, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has to justify the personal expenses made on her company’s account by traveling all the way to Burma to meet with her eccentric boss J. Peterman (John O’Hurley). When Elaine arrives, Peterman greets her just as Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) greets U.S. Army Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) in Apocalypse Now

Batman Seinfeld season 9 episode 15 “The Wizard”

Before he takes the Rosses to the Hamptons in “The Wizard”, George (Jason Alexander) says “You wanna get nuts? C’mon, let’s get nuts,” repeating Michael Keaton’s iconic line from 1989’s Batman. Even though Alexander delivers the line with a bit more calmness in his voice, his energy feels just as unhinged as Keaton’s. George may not be going toe-to-toe against the Joker without his batsuit, like Keaton is as Bruce Wayne, but his situation is still one that evokes tension. Instead of asking the Rosses outright if they know he’s lying about his house in the Hamptons, George is trying to force them into saying something by taking a two hour drive together.

From explicit scene recreations to the use of iconic lines, this video shows just how much love for movies the writers of Seinfeld have. While this video is not an exhaustive catalog of every single reference the series made in its nearly decade-long run, it’s a fun way for both film buffs and Seinfeld fans to connect and share their favorite moments.