Season 9 Episode 17

The Bookstore

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Apr 09, 1998 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
129 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jerry is disturbed when spots Uncle Leo shoplifting. George takes a book into a bookstore's bathroom, and is outraged when they force him to buy it. Kramer and Newman plan to bring rickshaws to New York. Meanwhile, Elaine embarrasses herself again at the annual Peterman party - this time by making out with a stranger.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • great one

    Lots of good humor, Uncle Leo is back, and Jerry realize his parents steals too. laughed and layghed.
  • Funny stuff.

    I liked this episode as I thought it was decent. I thought that it was funny in the point that it was just like many of the other episodes. I liked the storyline where George is caught taking a book into a bathroom. He is forced to buy the book and he doesn't like it at all. Elaine was funny with her plot of making a fool of herself at a party. Jerry was funny as was Kramer. Overall, this was a decent episode with good comedy, funny moments, decent storylines, and decent acting. I was entertained and I was also interested. Thank you.moreless
  • What a funny episode...

    This was a hilarious episode. The ending was the best, I loved it when Jerry was trying to save uncle Leo because he snitched on him and got him in jail, and then when George is shoplifting because he took a book to the bathroom, and can't get rid of it, Jerry blames George and then Uncle Leo is free (I think). I loved when Jerry was like "swarm!" Hah hah. I also liked Elain's plot, she doesn't want to be the office skank hah hah and goes through a lot of turmoil with her "fake boyfriend". The whole "fake relationship" thing was really funny to watch. Kramer's part was funny as well, and in the end his and Newmans rickshaw hits Elaine's previous fake boyfriend. Hah hah.moreless
  • More great side plots. This one really makes you laugh.

    The Seinfeld crew really take some chances and try to relate some far-reaching sub-plots in this one. Especially good is the Kramer-Newman rickshaw business. It should have been featured more. The George toilet/defiling of the art history book is the main thread, though it's possibly the weakest one going on here. Jerry makes it worthwhile, though, in the last scene, when he screams "That guy! Swarm! Swarm!". The Elaine story is pretty weak. But humor is humor, and it sometimes doesn't matter how dumb it is. At this point in the series, we have already come to know Kramer as being an outrageously funny guy, so we should get more of him in this episode. It seems to focus too much on Jerry, who, to be honest, doesn't have that much to do. He does deliver some classic one-liners, though, and altogether it's enough to rate the episode as a pretty good one.moreless
Jon Gries

Jon Gries


Guest Star

Jonathan Penner

Jonathan Penner


Guest Star

Ted Rooney

Ted Rooney


Guest Star

Lauren Bowles

Lauren Bowles


Recurring Role

Wayne Knight

Wayne Knight


Recurring Role

Barney Martin

Barney Martin

Morty Seinfeld

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Two commercials featuring Seinfeld alumni ran during the original showing of this episode. First, an ad for the movie "My Giant" features a scene with Estelle Harris as Billy Crystal's character's Aunt Rose; and second, an ad for the Seville STS with Patrick Warburton as a motorcycle riding policeman pulling over someone's car so he can admire it.

    • This episode marks the second appearance of Rebecca DeMornay, the worker at the homeless shelter. In this episode, she refuses to take George's book that was flagged for being in the bathroom.

      She also appeared in "The Muffin Tops" (season 8, episode 21) and was upset with Elaine for donating only the muffin stumps to the homeless.

    • Goof: In one of the opening scenes that features Kramer doing a series of random things in Jerry's apartment, Kramer has attached a hose to the kitchen sink and is apparently putting out a fire in one of the back rooms. As he pulls on the hose, the sink is clearly moving and is not attached to the counter.

    • Interestingly; Zach is addicted to drugs and Peterman just tells Elaine to help him get off it but when he thought Elaine was an addict back in "The Shower Head", he is furious and comes close to firing her.

    • Kramer said that he once met a horse named Rusty. He did meet one in "The Rye".

    • This is the only episode in which we see one of Jerry's bicycles get any use -- Kramer rides it around Jerry's apartment in the opening scenes. Normally these bicycles are just decorative, hanging beside Jerry's washroom entrance.

    • The music playing when Peterman wows the crowd with his dancing is the exact same song to which Elaine danced using the "little kicks" the previous year, in the episode of the same name.

    • Being forced to buy the book, and unable to return it or even donate it, George decides to steal another book and return that one, in order to even things up. This is very similar to Season 3's "The Stranded." In that episode, George claims that the cashier at a drugstore shortchanged him by $10, and attempts to shoplift Jerry's cold medicine in order to settle the score.

    • Jerry says that Elaine is going to the "annual" Peterman party - the one where she danced last year. However, in "The Little Kicks," when Elaine was running the company, she explained that she had simply decided to throw a party to reward her employees. Peterman might have liked the idea and kept it, but this was only the first time having this party under Peterman's management.

    • When Newman careens down the hill in the rickshaw, he's actually rolling down Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. You can see the One Wilshire building in the background for a few frames, after he collides with Zach.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Elaine: (after helping a co-worker through withdrawals) I even got an idea out of it… The Detox Poncho.

    • Jerry: (about the book George took into the bathroom) That book has been on a wild ride.

    • Elaine: We made out at the table like our plane was going down.

    • George: If it wasn't for the toilet, there would be no books.

    • George: They made me buy it! A hundred bucks this thing cost me!

    • Manager: I'm sorry, our policy is we prosecute all shoplifters.
      Jerry: Oh, come on. He's just a lonely old man. All old people steal.
      Manager: That's right. That's why we stopped carrying batteries.

    • Jerry: You could get arrested.
      Uncle Leo: Arrested? Come on! "I'm an old man. I'm confused! I thought I paid for it. What's my name? Will you take me home?"

    • George: I can't return the book. It's been flagged in every Brentano's in town. So instead I'm going to steal it, return it, get my money back, and then everything will be even.
      Jerry: You defile one book, steal another, get your money back, and that seems even to you?

    • Jerry: Leo, I saw you at Brentano's yesterday.
      Uncle Leo: Why didn't you say hello?
      Jerry: Because you were too busy stealing a book!
      Uncle Leo: You still say hello.

    • Kramer: (doing a Jerry impression) What's the deal with politics? I don't get it. Am I right, people?

    • (In Jerry's bedroom)
      Jerry: I want everyone out!
      Kramer: All right. (to Newman) We'll talk in Jerry's kitchen. I'll make some cocoa.

    • Charity Worker: This book has been in a bathroom!
      George: What are you talking about?
      Charity Worker: It's been flagged. I know, I used to work in a Brentano's. Mister, we're trying to help the homeless here; it's bad enough we've got some guy out there trying to strap a rickshaw to 'em!

    • Kramer: Look at this, Hong Kong's outlawed the rickshaw. You know, I always thought those would be perfect for the city.
      Jerry: Yeah, New York needs more slow-moving wicker vehicles.

    • George: Well you just lost a lot of business because I love to read!

    • Jerry: (to Kramer and Newman) To the Idiotmobile!

    • Peterman: Elaine, who among us hasn't snuck into the break room to nibble on a love Newton?
      Elaine: (confused) Love Newton?

    • Kramer: Well, the rickshaw's gone. We strapped it to a homeless guy and he phhhffew! He bolted.
      Jerry: Well, you know, 85% of all homeless rickshaw businesses fall within the first three months.
      Kramer (to Newman): See, we should've gotten some collateral from his bag of cans, or...his other bag of cans...

    • Helen: It's not stealing if it's something you need.
      Jerry : (confused) What does that mean?
      Helen: Nobody pays for everything.
      Jerry: (shocked) You're stealing too?!

    • Cashier: I'm sorry, we can't take this book back.
      George: Why not?
      Cashier: It's been flagged.
      George: Flagged?
      Cashier: It's been in the bathroom.
      George: It says that on the computer?!

    • Co-Worker: So Elaine, you gonna dance this year?
      Elaine: Maybe....all over your face!

    • (In Jerry's dark room)
      Newman: Goodnight … Jerry.
      Jerry: Goodnight Newman.

    • Jerry: (pointing the finger at George for shoplifting) That Guy! Swarm! Swarm!

  • NOTES (1)

    • When the security guard is told by Jerry that Uncle Leo is stealing a book, the guard says into his walkie-talkie, "We have a 51-50 in paperback." 51-50 is an actual police code used to describe a suspect who is "mentally unstable."


    • When Jerry had that dream of Leo in jail, the theme music of Side Show Bob from "The Simpsons" is heard.

    • Elaine: (referring to Zach) Now I stand up for myself by telling everybody I'm dumping his sorry ass, and I'm the office--
      Jerry: Tina Turner?

      Tina Turner is a singer who began her career with her husband, Ike Turner, forming the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Jerry is referring to the fact that Tina Turner famously left Ike in 1976.

    • George: They made me buy it (the book). A hundred bucks this thing cost me. How dare they? I got news for you, if it wasn't for the toilet, there would be no books.
      Jerry: Yeah, I understand Gutenberg used to spend a lot of time in there.

      Johannes Gutenberg, a German printer, was the first European to use movable printing type and is credited with the invention of the mechanical printing press.

    • Uncle Leo: Jerry Hello Jerry Hello
      When Uncle Leo is shown in jail doing chinups is same thing Robert Deniro's character does in the 1991 film "Cape Fear."