For a show about nothing, a lot of things happened on Seinfeld — almost all of them totally disturbed. Each week of the show's 10-year run, Elaine, Jerry, George, and Kramer engaged in a veritable orgy of antisocial behavior — from desecrating the corpse of a pet parrot, to driving an innocent chicken restaurant out of business, to sneaking a loaf of bread into George's girlfriend's parents house using strategic distraction and a fishing rod. You know, the kind of stuff that would easily get you locked up in your house with one of those ankle monitors in the real world. Their careless pathology was half the fun (the other half of the fun was the word "shrinkage").
And yet, for such grizzled sociopaths, the gang also often lived out our most shameful fantasies, doing the kind of things we only daydream about doing (and then feel ashamed about daydreaming about). This goes double for the world of dating, which for Elaine involved none of the second-guessing, booze-addled weeping, or angry subtweeting that it does for the rest of us.
And if we're being honest, we totally envied her for it. What person who's spent a decent stretch of time on the dating market hasn't fantasized about telling off exes, blowing off unappealing suitors, or teaching a judgmental co-worker a very unique lesson using office supplies and your ass?
So today, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Seinfeld , let's revisit the top moments when Elaine did things that we know better than to do...but can't help wanting to do anyway.
1. SHE MOCKED HER EX’S NEW GIRLFRIEND.
If the mere act of maintaining a decent friendship with an ex is hard, then maintaining a decent friendship with an ex while holding your tongue about their irritating new partner is an Olympic-level sport. Many of us have tried and failed, finding that exiting the friendship is easier than holding back our criticisms about our ex's new girlfriend's papier mache hat business. But in "The Glasses," Elaine lives out our most impossible fantasy — she mocks Jerry and his annoying new girlfriend to his face, with no consequences.
2. SHE DIDN’T FEEL PRESSURED TO DATE ANYONE JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE NICE.
How many hours of your life have you spent worrying about how to "gently let down" someone that you had no interest in? Elaine wastes no time with such foolishness. She blows them off, and then runs out to do something more important, like feud with a clothing store owner.
3. SHE SHAMELESSLY PUT THE MOVES ON A KENNEDY.
4. SHE WAS SHAMELESS IN GENERAL.
Is flirting to get what you want sexist? Is exploiting someone's long-time crush on you for personal gain morally wrong? As Elaine showed in "The Reverse Peephole," she neither knows nor cares to know the answers to these questions. And in case you were wondering, no, it doesn't work.
5. SHE WAS BRUTALLY HONEST WITH AN EX.
Your relationship with an ex-turned-friend is a more of an emotional rollercoaster than your other friendships, even though you work hard to pretend that it isn't (touching someone's junk can do that to ya). The next time you're hanging out with your friendly ex (frex?) and feeling totally sick of them, think of Elaine, whose relationship with Jerry seems to only be improved by the way that she's always honest about her feelings towards him in any given moment.
6. SHE WAS BRUTALLY HONEST ABOUT HER REAL DATING PRIORITIES.
There's what we think our dating priorities should be. And then there's what our dating priorities actually are. A lot of embarrassment can crawl into the divide between the two...but luckily, Elaine doesn't know the meaning of the word "embarrassment" (or "mistake." Or "bad idea." Or "offense punishable by a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000." Or...)
7. SHE GOT SEX PARTNERS OUT OF HER HOUSE BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
Sometimes, you just need them gone.
8. SHE TOLD OFF ANYONE WHO JUDGED HER LOVE LIFE.
In "The Apology," Elaine reacted the same way we have all wanted to when a stranger has judged our sex life (by assaulting a computer keyboard with her butt, natch).
9. SHE WAS REAL WITH HER FRIENDS ABOUT WHY SHE DIDN'T WANT TO BE SET UP.
10. SHE REACTED HONESTLY TO UNWANTED ROMANTIC OVERTURES.
A powerful antidote to smiling awkwardly and just saying "Um" a bunch of times.
11. SHE TOLD IT LIKE IT IS.
12. SHE REALLY, REALLY TELLS IT LIKE IT IS.
In "The Mango," when Elaine casually reveals her faked orgasms to Jerry, she enters a realm of telling it like it is that is rarely open to us mortals — and in the process, becomes a hero of anyone who has ever faked their way out of an unsatisfying sexual encounter.
13. SHE DIDN'T HESITATE TO DUMP ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANY TIME.
Elaine's capacity for emotion-free dumping would be a cause for concern if she were your actual friend; but on TV it is oh-so-satisfying to watch her never waste a moment fretting, second-guessing, or putting off dumping someone until they've finished up watching The Wire together.
14. SHE ASSUMED THAT EVERYTHING WOULD TURN OUT OK.
Perhaps the most fantastical thing Elaine did was spend almost no time worrying about her relationships. True, Elaine spent a decent amount of time worrying about how to get out of her relationships; but she rarely obsessed over where things are going, or a boyfriend's real feelings for her. She lived almost purely in the moment, like a Zen master (or a Golden Retriever).
15. SHE TREATED DATING AS THE ABSURD, KAFKA-ESQUE ORDEAL THAT IT IS.
Sometimes all you can do is laugh, right? Especially when you end up accidentally dating the Wiz.