Seinfeld

Season 2 Episode 11

The Chinese Restaurant

4
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 23, 1991 on NBC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
343 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Chinese Restaurant
AIRED:
Jerry, Elaine, and George endure a series of misadventures while waiting the entire episode to get a table at a Chinese restaurant.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Boring

    5.5
    I love Seinfeld but honestly this was a boring episode. Nothing worthwhile happens!
  • I hate Seinfeld, but I didn't hate this episode.

    10
    Yeah, you know it. I have never enjoyed watching television as much as I did watching this episode. I saw this show air because my friend complained about how much more funnier this sitcom was getting; I remember watching maybe 2 or 3 episodes from season 1 which my friend and I fondly disliked. He continued watching the show because my friend had no life and he still doesn't now, lol. To get to the point, I thought watching this episode was a hilarious expirience because it is so simple which helps making no room for flaws (like one of my favorite films 12 Angry Men), one location, one brilliant plot. The episode had funny dialogue which was a hot seat Seinfeld never managed to lead. -Mmoreless
  • Slow-burning episode of Seinfeld that never increases in speed.

    6.0
    An episode that takes place in a Chinese restaurant and is missing Cosmo Kramer. Probably a bad idea for an episode, all takes place on one set. Slow-burning episode of Seinfeld that never increases in speed. I'd rather have another episode like say "The Outing" or "The Voice" or even one like the season 1 episodes, than an episode that not only omits Kramer, but is slow and weak in comparison to a majority of the Seinfeld cannon. There are no diverging storylines in this episode, just one about the three of them trying to get a table at a Chinese Restaurant in time to make a showing of "plan 9"? as i recall... Needless to say I don't re-watch this episode very often at all.moreless
  • One of Seinfeld's most famous and defining episodes.

    9.5
    The Chinese Restaurant wasn't the funniest Seinfeld episode ever, but it was very funny, and was pretty much unprecedented for sitcoms. Jerry, Elaine and George wait for a table at a Chinese restaurant in real time. Thats it. Nothing else happens. I guess its not suprising that the network resisted it, but what made Seinfeld so funny was the hilarious disection of the minutiae of society, and that is what this episode did so well. No one else could have pulled this off. I loved the interactions of the gang with the Chinese host, and their increasingly berwilderment with the situation. Particularly George when he realised he missed his phone call because the host yelled "Cartwright". Classic.moreless
  • Possibly the best episode in the series!

    10
    Jerry, George, and Elaine all go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant before going to see \"Plan 9 From Outer Space\", but are forced to wait an incredibly long time for a table.



    This simple concept with which we all seem to have experience, waiting for a table, was turned into comic genius in this wonderfully crafted episode of \"Seinfeld\". Everything about this episode clicked. From Elaine\'s desperation, to George\'s frenetic anticipation, to Jerry\'s levelheadedness, this is a prime example of why \"Seinfeld\" is considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. Not to mention that this episode has the perfect ending.



    As they all come to the realization that they probably won\'t get a table, they decide not to go to the movie, and to not even bother to tell the waiter that they\'re going. As soon as the door shuts, the waiter comes back to the room and shouts out, \"Seinfeld, four!\"



    So, in summation, this is a definitive \"Seinfeld\" episode, truly showing that nothing can indeed be funny.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • After Jerry bets Elaine $50 to eat food off a strangers table she tries offering them $25 speaking through her teeth with a smile on her face the whole time. Afterwards the group starts to ask each other what she said. If you listen you can make out Larry David (co-creator of the show and co-writer of this episode)'s voice.

    • Jerry, George and Elaine are not the only ones have trouble getting a table. Norman Brenner (Michael Richards' stand-in) can be seen sitting by the door waiting for a table when the gang enters; he is still waiting there when the gang walks out.

    • In describing the list of phone calls that will occur based on his seeing the woman from his uncle's office, Jerry's description of his family is quite inconsistent with what is seen in other episodes. Jerry says that the uncle he was supposed to visit is his mother's sister's husband. However, it is later seen that Jerry's mother only has one sibling, Uncle Leo. As well, Jerry mentions having a sister, who is never mentioned again in the series.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • George: Yes, I'm expecting a call for Costanza.
      Bruce: Yes, someone call. I say "Cartwright! Cartright!" but no one come and I hang up.

    • Elaine: Remember when you first went out to eat with your parents? Remember, it was such a treat. You go and they serve you this different food that you never saw before. They put it in front of you and it was such a delicious and exciting adventure… and now I just feel like a big sweaty hog waiting for them to fill up the trough.

    • George: If anything happens here can I count on you?
      Jerry: What?
      George: If we decide to go at it.
      Jerry: Yeah, I want to get into a rumble.

    • Elaine: You ever notice how happy people are when they finally get a table? They feel so special because they've been chosen. It's enough to make you SICK!!
      Jerry: Boy. You are REALLY hungry.

    • (After the restaurant owner makes George miss Tatiana's phone call.)
      George: She called. He yelled 'Cartwright'. I missed her.
      Jerry: Who's Cartwright?
      George: (pause)...I'm Cartwright.
      Jerry: You're not Cartwright.
      George: OF COURSE I'M NOT CARTWRIGHT!

    • George: The only excuse she might possibly have accepted is if I told her I am in reality Batman, and I'm very sorry I just saw the Bat-signal!

    • George: So, we start to fool around and I begin to perceive this impending… intestinal requirement whose needs are going to surpass by great length anything in the sexual realm.

    • Elaine: I feel like just walking over to a table and taking food off of someone's plate.
      Jerry: I'll tell you what. There's $50 in it for you if you do it.
      George: $50? For $50, I'll put my face in their soup and blow!

    • Elaine: Health cookies. I hate those dustboard, fructose things.

    • Jerry: The Women's Movement just can't seem to make any progress in the world of bribery, can they?

    • George: You're never gonna stop crime, we should at least be clean.

    • Jerry: New York to Long Island. Long Island to Florida. It's like the Bermuda Triangle. Unfortunately no one ever disappears.

    • George: For fifty bucks? I'd stick my face in their soup and blow!

    • Elaine: Movie theater hot dogs, I'd rather lick the food off the floor.

    • Bruce: I tell her you not here, she say curse word, I hang up.

    • Bruce: Seinfeld, four.

    • Jerry: I can't go to a bad movie by myself. What, am I gonna make sarcastic remarks to strangers?

    • Jerry: This isn't plans one through eight. It's Plan Nine! The worst movie EVER made!

  • NOTES (3)

    • This is one of the few "real time" episodes of the show.

    • The original script had George Elaine and Jerry talking about their least favorite holiday when they entered the resturant, George picked Halloween, Elaine picked the forth of July and Jerry picked New Year's Eve.

    • Kramer doesn't appear in this episode. Larry David explains this by saying that at this point in the series; Kramer was known as a character that never left the apartment building. Had this been a Season 3 episode, Kramer would have been there. Michael Richards has expressed deep regret in Kramer's absence in this classic episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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