Here’s a secret: ‘Seinfeld’ has some hidden clues about a popular superhero. As the urban legend goes, every ‘Seinfeld’ episode has a reference to Superman. Is it true? Let’s find out!
It’s no news that our J-Man is a fan of Superman. Jerry Seinfeld’s obsession with the Superman made place for the Man of Steel in the NBC sitcom ‘Seinfeld’. Popular opinion would let you believe that there are references to Superman in every episode of ‘Seinfeld’. Is that a truth or a myth? Keep scrolling to find out.
- Superman Easter Eggs in ‘Seinfeld’
- Are there references to Superman in every ‘Seinfeld’ episode?
- What were the writers thinking?
Superman Easter Eggs in ‘Seinfeld’
If you have seen at least some of the episodes of ‘Seinfeld’, you would know that Jerry seems to have a tad bit of superhero complex. He or the gang might not have any of the qualities even close to Superman-like, but the world knows Jerry loves Superman. In fact, you would only say some other superhero’s name above Superman’s before Jerry if you’d want to be the subject of his next joke. Remember when George said that Jerry’s “whole life revolved around Superman and cereal”? Yeah, he wasn’t kidding.
Incidentally, or not, the writers made sure to have Superman be one of the major themes of the show. The references to Superman in ‘Seinfeld’ was so frequently infused in the script that people almost believe for them to have appeared in every single episode over the course of the nine seasons.
Obviously, not every ‘Seinfeld’ episode yelled Superman in big bold letters, except maybe one or two. Two episodes that did not go very subtle over the Superman was the “The Race” and “Bizarro Jerry”. In “The Race” we find Jerry engaged in a dramatic race with his nemesis from elementary school while the ‘Superman’ theme played in the background. The episode also had a woman named Lois as Jerry’s girlfriend. “Bizarro Jerry” has emerged as one of the most popular Seinfeld-Superman references. In the episode, Elaine finds a new boyfriend, Kevin, who is Jerry’s bizarre version. Kevin also has a long-haired Superman statue in his apartment.
While describing Kevin, Jerry says,
“Superman’s exact opposite, who lives in the backwards Bizarro world. Up is down. Down is up. He says hello when he leaves and goodbye when he arrives”.
Besides these two obvious episodes, ‘Seinfeld’ has more noteworthy references to Superman. “The Stock Tip” shows George and Jerry arguing over whether Superman has a sense of humour. In “The Cafe”, Jerry talks about Superman as an everyday New Yorker in his closing stand-up comedy routine. “The Cheever Letters” had a mention to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. While these are just a handful of the many, many superheroes mentioned verbally, there were also physical references like the Superman fridge magnet and statue in Jerry’s apartment.
Are there references to Superman in every ‘Seinfeld’ episode?
The answer is no. Contrary to what we would like to believe, not every episode has a ‘Superman’ references in ‘Seinfeld’. There are many, but not in every one of them. Barry Freiman, the writer of the “Superman Homepage“, performed extensive research trying to end the debate once and for all. According to his research, out of the 172 episodes of ‘Seinfeld’, only 46 of them have clear loud Superman references. Of course, Freiman considered the mention of superheroes even remotely connected to DC’s Superman world, but even then the total did not come up to the 172.
However, he did feel that the Superman fridge magnet and the statue in Jerry’s apartment do not count as a reference, although he considered Jerry’s red and blue sweat-outfit in the pilot episode as a tribute to Kal-El. He wrote,
“Some have suggested that there’s something hidden in every episode even if there isn’t an overt super-reference. Like the Superman magnet that didn’t show up on Jerry’s fridge until 1993’s fourth season episode “The Shoes“. Or the Bowen Superman statue that’s so associated with the TV show it routinely shows up on eBay as “Seinfeld Superman Statue“. But the statue doesn’t show up until over a year after the magnet in 1994’s fifth season episode “The Wife” (which featured Courteney Cox immediately pre “Friends”). Or even the satellite-era Justice League of America poster that isn’t ever seen full-on but hangs over George’s bed early on. Even if you count these types of Superman appearances, it’s still far from something super snuck into every episode”.
What were the writers thinking?
Whether you choose to stand with the truth or the myth is entirely up to you, but one thing’s for sure that the ‘Seinfeld’ writers had little in mind while including the Superman references in each episode. According to Peter Mehlman, who had been the writer and producer for the show for a long time, there was no planned effort targeted towards including the Superman references in the episodes. In 2013, Mehlman mentioned to the “Parade Magazine” that the Superman reference had “magically appeared” early on in the show and with time evolved into the writers’ “go-to guy for humour”.
Apparently, the bravery, selflessness, and honest integrity of Superman served as a contrast to the selfishness, cowardice, and insensitivity of the characters. This contrast became a consistent source of humour, which was channelled by the writers into the script. Naturally, they tried to work in the Superman references in every ‘Seinfeld’ episode that they could.
Have you noticed any other Superman references in ‘Seinfeld’? Let us know in the comments below!