Season 8 Episode 21

The Muffin Tops

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 08, 1997 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
142 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Upon learning that his stories were used in the Peterman autobiography, Kramer declares himself the "Real Peterman" and begins his own reality bus tour. When George is asked to watch a suitcase for a tourist that never claims it, George begins wearing his clothes, and starts up a relationship with a tourism director. Mr Lippman steals Elaine's idea for a business selling muffin tops, and brings her into the business for her muffin expertise. A shaving mishap leads Jerry to shave his chest.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • I Was A Jewish Werewolf.

    I must say that after reading the opinions of others I really did not expect much from this episode, but I really enjoyed it. Granted, there are many episodes that had better stories and more memorable lines but this episode had all of the ingredients for a half-hour of fun. George's plans backfired, Kramer was surrounded by insanity, Newman saved the day and Jerry became a howling werewolf. Well, the last two aren't typical ingredients but they both did happen.moreless
  • I realize this is not a favorite, but...

    So I know that this is not a favorite of any "Seinfeld" fan, but I just can't help but put this up on my top favorite episodes. Besides being one that I remember really well, I watch it whenever I see it's on. [You know how they replay the SAME episodes over and over again.]

    Let me say 2 words that will explain my love for this episode: Kramar's Hair.

    I crack up everytime Kramar squeals, "Look at it! Look at it!" and Jerry is scared to death against the wall, lol.

    There are some episodes that are just so out there, but in every episode, there is SOMETHING that can make you crack up or chuckle and remember why you love "Seinfeld". :)moreless
  • One of the few duds in an otherwise classic show.

    Along with The Blood from Season 9, this episode ranks among the worst Seinfeld episodes. I always thought Season 8 was one of the weakest seasons, and this episode is a perfect example of the wackiness of the last two seasons of the show. While I'm not one of those hard-core fans who thinks Seinfeld should have ended after the seventh season (there were still some classics in the 46 episodes that followed, mainly in Season 9), but this particular episode just didn't cut it for me.

    Kramer is up to his crazy schemes again, this time hosting a Peterman Reality Tour around the city (spoofing the Kramer Reality Tour hosted by the inspiration for the Kramer character, Kenny Kramer at the time). Meanwhile, Elaine has a problem with disposing muffin tops from a new restaurant Mr. Lippman established from an idea Elaine had previously. But the wolfman spoof at the end (Jerry's storyline) and Steinbrenner's deal with the his chicken guy equivalent (George's storyline) were just stupid and seemed very out of place in the Seinfeld universe.moreless
  • Below average, even by the poor standard of series eight.

    As with most Seinfeld, the plot ideas for this episode are very original, but as with most of Series 8 stretches its observations on every day life beyond the point of seeming realistic or funny.

    Elaine has the titular and best plotline in The Muffin Tops. She ends up in a confrontation with an old colleague after he steals her idea to open a store that sells only the top half of muffins. While not very realistic, it is amusing to see how Elaine's disdain for the bottom half of muffins escalate into the opening of a top-only store.

    Kramer's storyline, an ironic reference to the exploits of the real life Kramer, fails to gain comedy momentum beyond recognizing where this joke came from. Jerry's story has its amusing moments but lacks the originality or wit of previous episodes. George's exploits in this episode, like Elaine's, succeeds in being amusing, thanks mainly to the inclusion of the always funny Larry David-voiced Steinbrenner, but isn't recognizable as something that could happen in real life.

    Below average, even by the poor standard of series eight.moreless
Rena Sofer

Rena Sofer

Mary Anne

Guest Star

Melinda Clarke

Melinda Clarke


Guest Star

Chaim Jeraffi

Chaim Jeraffi

Jiffy Dump Guy

Guest Star

Norman Brenner

Norman Brenner


Recurring Role

Deck McKenzie

Deck McKenzie


Recurring Role

Wayne Knight

Wayne Knight


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Elaine suggests to Mr. Lippman that he remove the exclamation point from the name of the store, "Top of the Muffin to You!" and he prefers it as it is. Curiously, in "The Sniffing Accountant," Elaine liberally added exclamation points to Jake Jarmel's book, and Lippman ordered her to remove them, claiming to hate exclamation points.

    • At the end of the episode where Newman is going to eat the muffin stumps, he removes the milk bottles out of his bag but never fills his glass. When he starts eating the muffins, his glass is somehow full.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • George: Where are you meeting these women? When they get off the bus at the port authority?
      Jerry: Right here, George. In here. (pointing to his chest) Try opening this up. You'll find the biggest dating scene in the world.
      George: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

    • George: Let me ask you this: Do you know where Walker Street is downtown? I've got a league meeting there.
      Jerry: Oh right, the new job, how is it?
      George: I love it. New office, new salary. I'm the new Wilhelm.
      Jerry:So who's the new you?
      George: They got a new intern from Francis Louis High. His name is Keith. He comes in Mondays after school.

    • George: All right, let me ask you something: When do you start to worry about ear hair?
      Jerry: When you hear like a soft russeling.
      George: It's like puberty that never stops. Ear puberty, nose puberty, knuckle puberty, you gotta be vigilent.

    • (during Kramer's reality bus tour)
      Kramer: We have a bonus ultra-reality stop today. We're going to be hauling muffin stumps to the local repository.
      Tourist We're going to a garbage dump?
      Kramer: And we're off!
      Jerry: You know, I never thought he'd be able to recreate the experience of actually knowing him, but this is pretty close.

    • Jerry: So you're pretending to be a tourist?
      George: It's beautiful. She makes all the plans. I'm not from around here, so it's okay if I'm stupid. And she knows I'm only in town visiting, so there's no messy breakups.

    • Jerry: I did something stupid.
      Kramer: What'd you do?
      Jerry: Well, I was shaving, and I noticed an assymmetry in my chest hair. And I was trying to even it out. And the next thing I know... Gone!

    • Jerry: Wait. Those are the clothes from the bag!
      George: The guy never came back.
      Jerry: He asked you to watch them, not wear them.
      George: I'm still watching them.

    • George: (referring to Mary Anne's statement that New York would 'eat him alive') We'll see who can make it in this town.
      Jerry: What is it she thinks you can't do?
      George: Find a job, get an apartment.
      Jerry: How did you do those things?

    • Kramer: Hey Jerry, I'm starting the Peterman reality bus tour.
      George: Reality tour?
      Jerry: The last thing this guy's qualified to give a tour of is reality.

    • George: You know if you take everything I have accomplished in my entire life and condense it down into one day… it looks decent!

    • Elaine: (describing Newman's ability digest heaps of food) They call him a cleaner. He makes problems go away.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Wayne Knight receives the "With" credit.

    • Jerry: How did you do any of those things?
      Jerry wonders how George managed to get an apartment or a job in the first place. He seems to have forgotten that George accomplished both feats in "The Opposite" by doing the opposite of his every instinct. Of course, George seems to have forgotten to do the opposite, so it's only reasonable for others to forget he ever did it.

    • The scenes where they are trying to find a dump which will accept the muffin stumps has several big parallels with the "Wig Master" episode. That episode had a parking lot company called Jiffy Park which was running a prostitution ring out of their unwitting customers' cars. In "The Muffin Tops," one of the dumps they try is called Jiffy Dump. Other big similarities: (1) Jiffy Dump has basically the same sign logo as Jiffy Park did. (2) The dump operator is the same actor as the Jiffy Park attendant. (3) He has the exact same line, a casual "Can't do it." (4) An indignant Kramer later yells off camera, "Maybe I WILL take it up with Consumer Affairs!", which is what the Jiffy Park attendant had suggested to George in the earlier episode.

    • The man taking the Reality Tour, with Jerry, who asks "What is this? Pizza pound cake?" is actually Schlemo, the 'good' truck driver in The Frogger.

    • Rebecca DeMorne also appears again in "The Bookstore" when George goes to the shelter to donate his 'toilet book'.

    • Viewer Ross Raniere notes that Tyler Chicken was supposed to be Tyson Chicken at one point, but was changed to avoid any legal entanglements.

    • Also viewer David Lipke notes, what is the big deal with Kramer's chest hair? We've seen Kramer's bare chest in the "The Pick" and more recently in "The Face Painter". For the sake of comedy I guess the production staff forsook continuity. A problem with many television shows. However, viewer Derrick Jones notes that Kramer was likely showing Jerry a growth of hair below the abdomen, after all Kramer said "I shaved there once when I was a lifeguard."

    • Right or wrong, NBC advertised this as being the 150th episode of Seinfeld. Well we all have decided that was wrong, they appear to be counting the two part episodes as one. Jerry himself, on The Tonight Show when he mentioned that "The Pothole", was the 150th episode. I've renumbered the guide to agree with that scheme.

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • The indignant employee from the homeless shelter (played by Sonya Eddy) is named Rebecca odd reference to the famous actress, who she in no way resembles.

    • At the end of "The Muffin Tops," Elaine has called upon the services of Newman to make their muffin-stump problem go away. His role is a direct reference to the Winston Wolfe character in "Pulp Fiction," including his mannerisms and choice of words. Newman even unpacks what would be a cleaner's supply of sulfuric acid...except in this case, it's large quantities of milk to help wash down all the muffins he eats.

    • Kramer's claim to be the "Real Peterman," and his Peterman Reality Tour is a reference to Kenny Kramer, the inspiration for the TV character. He claims to be the "Real Kramer" and offers a "Kramer Reality Bus Tour" for $37.50, the exact cost Kramer charges in this episode.

    • Jerry: I've gotta get off this bus. Maybe I´ll go play with that dog.
      When Jerry leaps off the bus because his chest is itching, we see him running through the forest, jumping over logs, all shown in slow-motion. This is clearly a parody of a scene in the 1994 Mike Nicols film, "Wolf," starring Jack Nicholson as a werewolf.

    • At the book signing, it is clear from posters and the book cover that the title of Peterman's book is "No Placket Required", presumably a pun on the phrase "Jacket Required". A "placket" is a slit in a garment (such as a skirt) often forming the closure, but it has several archaic meanings, including "woman".

    • Newman: "I'm going to need a clean eight-ounce glass."
      When Newman takes milk out of his cooler in order to eat the muffins, it's a clear reference to a series of ads for the milk industry that were popular at the time (and still are). The most famous was the "Aaron Burr" ad, and many revolved around people needing milk in order to eat something else, like cake.

    • Elaine: "They call him the cleaner -- he makes problems go away"
      While also a reference to "Pulp Fiction," Newman is seen in the back room with a briefcase packed with 3 cartons of milk. A reference to Jean Reno's character "Leon" in Luc Besson's 1994 film "The Professional" who was a hitman (referred to as a cleaner) and drank only milk -- carrying it in his briefcase.

    • Mr. Lippman: Why is it every half-wit and sitcom star has his own book out now?
      An obvious reference about Jerry's book "Seinlanguage," which came out around this time.

    • Newman: If I'm curt, then I apologize, but as I understand it, we have a situation here, and time is of the essence.
      I'm not sure if it is appropriate to mention this here, but this character from Pulp Fiction and this scene also seem to be very similar to "The Cleaner" scene in the 1993 film "Point of No Return" with Bridget Fonda. [ Editor's Note: Harvey Keitel played "The Cleaner" in both films. ]

    • Newman: If I'm curt, then I apologize, but as I understand it, we have a situation here, and time is of the essence.
      The whole exchange between Elaine, Littman and Newman at the end is a parody of a sequqnce in the 1994 film "Pulp Fiction," when John Travolta and Sam Jackson call "The Cleaner" to help them cover up a dead man in their car. The dialogue is almost exactly the same in this scene.