The Deal

Season 2, Ep 9, Aired 5/2/91
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  • Episode Description
  • Jerry and Elaine establish a new set of ground rules so they can remain friends but still sleep with each other often. With Jerry in a dilemma to find Elaine an "appropriate" birthday gift and with George's scepticism, their new deal is doomed from the start.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Michael Richards (I)

    Cosmo Kramer

  • Jerry Seinfeld


  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Elaine Marie Benes (not in pilot)

  • Jason Alexander

    George Louis Costanza

  • Larry David

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • the usual shticky approach

    By OmarCayenne, Sep 27, 2011

  • One of my first and favorite Seinfeld episodes.

    By PS1SpyroMaster, Jan 20, 2006

  • A early classic, albeit uncharacteristic episode

    By ilex91, Jun 11, 2010

  • a unusual episode, a bit out of character but still good entertainment

    By The_Poolmeister, Dec 24, 2007

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (15)

    • Kramer: (to Jerry and Elaine) Boy, I liked you so much better when you weren't a couple.

    • (Elaine is surfing through TV stations) Elaine: Ooo the naked channel! Jerry: (reaching for the remote) No, I don't want to watch the naked channel. Elaine: (Pulling the remote away) Been a while?

    • Jerry: Sometimes when people get involved with that, they feel pressure to sleep over. When that is not really sleep. Sleep is separate from that and I don't see why sleep got all tied up and connected with that.

    • Elaine: What was that look? Jerry: What look? Elaine: The look you just gave me. Jerry: I gave a look? Elaine: Yes. Jerry: What kind of look? Elaine: I know that look. Jerry: Then what was it? Elaine: Why should I tell you? Jerry: Well, you're the big look expert. I want to see how smart you are. Elaine: Trust me, I know the look.

    • George: What's up with you?
      Jerry: Nothing much. I slept with Elaine last night. George: Oxygen! I need some oxygen! This is major!

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (3)

    • Like many other episodes of Seinfeld this episode was based on a story from Executive Producer Larry David's life. In a DVD commentary he reveals that he actually tried setting up a "friends who do that" relationship with one of his female friends, complete with a list of rules to keep things from getting complicated. He doesn't reveal on the DVD whether or not his friend actually agreed to the proposition like Elaine did here.

    • This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

    • This storyline was developed, as NBC executives wanted Jerry and Elaine to get together. However, after poor reviews of this episode, the idea was dropped.

    Trivia (3)

    • Goof: When Kramer comes into Jerry's apartment to give her the bench, he leaves the door open, as can be seen when he's talking to Jerry. However, after cutting to Jerry and back to Kramer, the door behind him is closed. Then, the camera cuts back to Jerry, and when it goes back to Kramer, the door is open again.

    • Goof: In the store, when George is suggesting gifts for Jerry to give Elaine, he picks up a picture frame and suggests getting it for her. George continues to hold the frame while they joke about putting someone else's picture in it, and the camera cuts to Jerry. When it cuts back to George, the frame is back on the counter. Seems it's a case of poor editting.

    • When Jerry and Elaine are in Elaine's apartment and he starts to button his shirt, he buttons the second button from the top (not the two very top ones that would be buttoned with a tie, the one beneath). Anyway, the shot goes to Elaine and when it comes back to Jerry, the previously buttoned button is undone. When did he have time to do that and why would he?

    Allusions (3)

    • (Elaine is surfing channels) Jerry: What about that one? Elaine: Robert Vaughn, The Helsinki Formula? Jerry: He was good in Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Robert Vaughn is an actor who played a spy in the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. that ran from 1964 to 1968. He is also known for his role as one of the gunfighters in the movie The Magnificent Seven. Elaine is referring to a 1989 commercial for The Helsinki Formula, a hair loss product, that featured Vaughn.

    • Elaine: (reading Kramer's birthday card) Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such a friend. Kramer: (to Jerry) Yeats. This is a reference to poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). The line from the birthday card comes from Yeats' poem The Municipal Gallery Revisited.

    • George: (suggesting gifts for Elaine) You wanna get her something nice? How 'bout a music box? Jerry: No, too relationshippy. She opens it up, she hears that "Lara's Theme", I'm dead. "Lara's Theme" is a piece of music that was originally composed by Maurice Jarre for the 1965 movie Doctor Zhivago. Musician Ray Conniff later scored a top-ten hit with a version of the song that included lyrics.

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