Over the course of its nine season run, the "show about nothing" forever changed the direction of sitcom television.
Whereas prior TV shows rarely left the comfort of their setups, Seinfeld chose to take audiences along with the group and show them in their day-to-day lives—and the awful choices they make.
Going along with Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George brought all of the characters closer to folks watching at home, and it all served to make their antics even more hilarious.
Elements of Seinfeld were eventually adapted by other shows that came after, and now TV sitcoms are sprawling epics of comedy that can take place across numerous locations.
In honor of Seinfeld's lasting legacy, here are my picks for the funniest Seinfeld scenes and moments over its entire run.
16. Kramer's Highway
When the City of New York allows people to sponsor stretches of road, Kramer takes it upon himself to maintain a piece of highway.
In the process, Kramer ends up repainting the lines—but only on his stretch, so it goes from three normal lanes to two extra-wide lanes and back to three again. All because Kramer wanted a better and more relaxed ride on his patch.
Of course, it all ends in a massive accident and Kramer runs away from the responsibility of the highway.
But watching him undergo the process of looking after his part of the highway is one of the show's most memorable moments.
15. Jerry's Race
When Jerry's old nemesis from school accidentally bumps into him through a woman Jerry's dating, the subject of the school race comes up—and the nemesis is adamant that Jerry couldn't have won fairly.
Of course, Jerry protests his innocence and claims he did win fairly, and agrees to a new race in New York out of pride.
He comes to regret it as he reveals to Elaine the truth: that he had gone too early during the school race and nobody had noticed. After that, he chose to never race again so the legend of his speed would stand in the minds of his peers.
The race itself is hilarious, with Jerry again benefitting from an early start—courtesy of Kramer's backfiring car—and winning the race at a canter. It's funny, brilliantly set-up, and epic to watch.
14. Kramer Meets Joe DiMaggio
When Kramer spots Joe DiMaggio in Monk's Café, he instantly puts the famed New York Yankee legend to the test—by banging on the table and yelling in a high-pitched scream, all to break DiMaggio's iconic focus.
Of course, when he relays the story to Jerry, George, and Elaine, none of them believe him. But they do at the end of the episode, when they find DiMaggio dunking his doughnut into his coffee.
It's then that Kramer decides to test DiMaggio once again—by banging on the table and yelling—much to the chagrin of Jerry, George, and Elaine. The moment is hilarious for how Kramer chooses to push Jumpin' Joe, who never breaks his focus.
13. George Tries to Get Fired
When George Costanza is offered another job with higher pay, he tries his best to get fired from his current job as quickly as possible.
His method of choice? Wearing Mickey Mantle's old uniform and spilling several sauces down the front of it during lunch in a meeting. When the outrage reaches the ears of George Steinbrenner, he's summoned to Steinbrenner's office—who shockingly agrees with George's sentiment.
Steinbrenner tells George that Mantle was nothing more than a big man with little girl legs, and that he had recently found out that Mantle wasn't even a Sultan.
Not only are Steinbrenner's reactions to George's antics are hilarious, it's also hilarious when later George's boss gets intentionally fired to take the same job that was offered to George.
12. Midnight Cowboy
When Kramer bumps into Jon Voight in New York, he attempts to stop the Academy Award-winning actor—to ask him if he ever owned George Costanza's car, which Costanza claims he did (after being told so by the car salesman).
With Kramer fast approaching, Voight quickly bites Kramer on the arm after Kramer makes a move for the actor.
The bit is one of the show's most surprising and funniest moments, as Voight himself appears on the show in a memorable 25-second cameo in which he says no more than two words.
Looking back, seeing Voight bite Kramer and for Kramer to take it so well is comedic gold. It also leads George to find out that his car was never really owned by the actor Jon Voight.
11. Alton Benes
When Elaine invites Jerry and George to have dinner with her father in the city, they both show up and find themselves alone with Elaine's father—because Kramer has held up Elaine.
What makes the scene so funny is the awkward conversation between Jerry, George, and Alton. Alton Benes is an author and a grizzled veteran who can't stand modern men, which only serves to make the situation worse as Jerry and George are clearly frightened by him.
The best moment comes when Jerry, who paid a fortune for a new suede jacket, has to turn it inside out to avoid the rain—only for Alton to demand he wear it properly.
10. Kramer's Horse
When Kramer's friend decides to go on vacation for the first time in years, he offers to take over his job as a Central Park carriage driver. This coincides with Kramer having to eat all the canned food he bought after the price and quantity swayed him.
So, when George wants to help himself appeal to Susan's parents by giving them back a rye bread that his parents took during a recent dinner, he enlists Kramer's help—by getting him to take Susan's parents on the ride while he replaces the bread.
The problem is, Kramer has been feeding the horse canned beef and the smell coming from the back is... overwhelming.
9. George Becomes a Hand Model
On the day that George finally has to move back in with his parents, he accidentally bumps into a woman while bemoaning his luck—and she catches sight of his hands. She becomes so enthralled by them that she offers George the chance to become a hand model.
George is happy for once in his life and earns a lot of money for his hour of work. However, it all comes to an end when he gets pushed by Kramer's girlfriend (for commenting on Jerry's puffy shirt) and grabs an iron to steady himself.
The resulting burns render George unable to work as a hand model again, and the moment is one of Seinfeld's best gags.
8. The Holistic Healer
When George gets told that he may need to have his tonsils removed, Kramer advises him to see a holistic healer for $38.
The process of watching George go through numerous "examinations" by the healer, coupled with the absurd suggestions of the man, is sitcom comedy at its best—especially when George ends up in an ambulance for his troubles.
Few Seinfeld moments are as out-and-out comedic as this one, with the whole cast playing it perfectly straight.
7. Kramer and the Pig-Man
When Jerry, George, and Elaine's friend couple have a baby, the gang visit them at the hospital. Kramer, however, is running late and ends up walking into the wrong room, where he discovers a hideous pig-man.
Believing that the government is performing experiments at the hospital, he tries numerous times to get people to believe him, all before finally searching for the pig-man again.
Of course, it turns out that the pig-man is a psychiatric patient at the hospital, and Kramer ends up running around the hallways with the "pig-man" on his back.
6. Jerry's Puffy Shirt
Ah, the pitfalls of a "quiet-talker." When Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer are out at dinner with Kramer's new girlfriend, she speaks so quietly that neither Jerry nor Elaine can hear her. It leads to Jerry agreeing to something that he doesn't understand.
As it turns out, he has agreed to wear a pirate-esque shirt on national television, which he must do and can't back out because the woman now has orders that hinge on him wearing the shirt.
Jerry gets ridiculed on TV and he finally snaps as he tells everybody that he hates the shirt, causing her to scream an expletive at him. George arrives on scene and comments on his shirt, leading her to push him (thus costing George his career as a hand model).
5. Kramer Downs Beer While Smoking
When Jerry is made by his sniffing accountant, Newman and Kramer suspect that he's on drugs—so they send Kramer to ascertain whether or not he is. Kramer ambushes the accountant at a bar and begins acting like he does drugs to get the information he needs.
This attitude results in Kramer weirding out the accountant, though not before he downs an entire beer with a cigarette in his mouth. Kramer then takes a photo of him in a toilet stall, thinking he's doing drugs.
The beer moment is the scene's apex, though, especially since it's clear that Michael Richards is really doing it.
4. The Mohel
Elaine is saddled with the responsibility of booking the Mohel for her friend's baby's bris ceremony. But she knows nothing about the ceremony beforehand, so she tries her best... and the Mohel arrives at the ceremony looking fine.
The problem? The Mohel is clearly not happy about being a Mohel, or with the crowd, or where Elaine places her cup on the table, or with Jerry in general. His whole attitude winds up with the gang in the hospital after he stabs Jerry during the passage.
The dialogue and delivery of all involved are incredible, and "shaky the Mohel" becomes one of Seinfeld's best one-off characters.
3. Elaine and the Sofa Bed
When Jerry and Elaine go down to Florida to see Jerry's parents and to go scuba diving, their trip is ruined when Elaine sleeps on the sofa bed and destroys her back on the bar that runs through it.
She's rendered unable to walk or move too much, leading to one of the show's best moments when she begs Mrs. Seinfeld to turn the air conditioner on.
Later, after Elaine takes muscle relaxers, she goes loopy at Morty Seinfeld's party and starts screaming "Stella" (a la A Streetcar Named Desire) at Jerry's Aunt Stella.
2. George the Nazi
When George and Jerry steal a limousine at JFK Airport, the driver seems to be taking them to Madison Square Garden where the Knicks are playing the Bulls. However, it soon becomes apparent that the limo was actually meant for a reclusive leader of a hate group.
The driver believes that George is that leader and Jerry is his friend. As the car journey goes on, neither Jerry nor George can get out of the limo and escape, meaning they end up at the hate rally—next to Madison Square Garden.
The whole episode is dominated by the limo journey, and hearing an in-character George tell a genuine member of the hate group to get out of the limo so he can talk to Jerry is pure Costanza.
1. Kramer, George, and the Whale
It's always been George's dream to be a fake architect, so when Jerry sets him up with an old school friend of theirs—telling her he's a marine biologist—it becomes George's finest moment on the show.
Kramer, meanwhile, has been hitting golf balls into the ocean. It isn't until the end of the episode that the two plot threads merge:
George recounts how he was walking along the beach with his date when a bunch of onlookers spot a whale in distress. Because of his lie, he has to go into the water and save it.
The story is gripping and phenomenally told by Jason Alexander's George, right up to when he reveals that he pulled a golf ball from the whale's blowhole—which is when everybody looks at Kramer.
No other moment in Seinfeld has ever been funnier!