Season 1 Episode 2

The Stakeout

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 31, 1990 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
349 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Jerry goes to a birthday party with Elaine, he meets a woman he'd like to ask out, but doesn't get the chance to. When she leaves before he gets a chance to find out her name, he and George stakeout her office building.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • It´s starting to go downhill...

    Well this is the second episode so we can forgive seinfeld and c´mon it´s the frst season, but some of these things cannot pass unsaid. lIKE THE WEDDING PART, WHAT A STUPID PLOT, like larry david says. And what about that girl who jerry liked what the F-WORD APPEND TO HER. not trying to be offensive, because i love seinfeld but , jerrys father being played by a different actor, the scrabble part?????? c´mon, they could have done so much better! I mean Elaine being bummed out because of that!??!!!!!!!!?????????

    I obny gave a six to this episode because its the second episode,the beggining of the series, and because,of course, Art Vandelay , the conversation that Jerry and George had, Fantastic. and the conversation at the party where jerry thinks to himself! Those are the only things that gives this mess a six. Even the begining at the blockbuster was stupid. Sure hope season 1 improves fast.moreless
  • One giant leap forward.

    I thought that this episode of Seinfeld was a definate leap forward from the pilot. It had a good story and it had a lot of comedy in it. This is the episode that I am sure people started looking at this show and saying to themselves that this show has potential. This episode had it all, it introduced a new character, being Elaine and it featured some good work by the writers and nice performances by Jerry and Jason, especially during the Stakeout. One thing that is referenced in later episodes of the series run all the way into the finale season is the fictional name of Art Vandelay made up by George in this episode.moreless
  • So Jerry - you're a stalker?

    In this episode Jerry meets a girl and doesn't know where she lives. So, he decides to "stake-out" (Hence the episode name) at her workplace with George. That is really all that happens in this episode. Pretty boring, nothing funny really happens, and the episode title line says what it is. Not nearly as entertaining or clever as later episodes, but hey, it's season one Seinfeld. What more could you really expect? Although most would disagree, I'd have to say The Pilot was better than this episode, even though both had very little going on in the episode. The Stake Out is one of Seinfeld's weakest episodes of all-time.moreless
  • Jerry, a stalker?

    I have to admit, this isn't my favorite episode, but it has its moments. It is the episode where Morty Seinfeld was played by Phillip Bruns instead of Barney Martin. Basicly, Elaine drags Jerry to her friend Pam's birthday party. He sees a woman that he is intrested in a woman named Vanessa. He sees that she is with a man, so he doesn't do anything. So he and George go to her place of business and trys to see her. It turns out that the man was her cousin, so Jerry is excited and apparently they start dating, because she appears in "The Stock Tip" as his girlfriend. This is the first mention of George's primary phony name Art Vandelay.moreless
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Lynn Clark

Lynn Clark


Guest Star

Maud Winchester

Maud Winchester


Guest Star

William Fair

William Fair


Guest Star

Larry David

Larry David


Recurring Role

Liz Sheridan

Liz Sheridan

Helen Seinfeld

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Monk's was nominated for the 2004 TV Land Award for Favorite Greasy Spoon, and, for the 2006 TV Land Award for Most Happening Greasy Spoon Or Hangout.

    • The show was nominated for the 2004 TV Land Award for Favorite Instrumental Theme Song.

    • First episode of Seinfeld to show a car scene.

    • When George suggests the name "Bert Harbinson," Jerry replies that it "sounds made up." In "The Reverse Peephole," Kramer says the same thing about "Joe Mayo," a real person.

    • When Jerry comes home, his parents are lying on a bed, presumably a pull-out couch, in the middle of the living room, and Jerry makes a remark about finding his parents in his bed. He also says that he will be sleeping at Kramer's place. However, in later episodes, Jerry has his own bedroom. I deleted the part that says he never uses his sofa as a bed again because he does in "The Raincoats".

    • In the opening scene, two women walk past Jerry and Elaine in the video store.
      If you look closely you could see the two women stepping off the set.

    • In this episode Jerry's parents are at his house and he tells them that this is the first time Elaine as seen him flirt with another girl before and was feeling a bit awkward to ask her for the girls number. This indicates that Elaine and Jerry are not dating but in "The Pen" Jerry's parents think that Elaine and Jerry are still dating when they arrive at their condo in Florida.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Jerry: Y'know I think that even if you've had a relationship with someone, or let's say, especially if you've had a relationship with someone and you try to become friends afterwards, it's very difficult. Isn't this? It's hard. Because, you know each other so well, you know all of each others tricks. It's like two magicians, trying to entertain each other. The one goes, "Look, a rabbit". The other goes, "So? ... I believe this is your card".
      "Look, why don't we just saw each other in half and call it a night? Okay?"

    • Jerry: This is what I like, see? You come home and your parents are in your bed!

    • Jerry: "Quone"?
      Helen: …30…31…
      Jerry: "Quone"? No, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to challenge that.
      (Jerry picks up the dictionary.)
      Helen: …32…
      Kramer: No, you don't have to challenge that. That's a word. That's a definite word.
      Jerry: I am challenging.
      Kramer: Quone. To quone something.
      Jerry: Uh-huh.
      (Jerry looks up the word.)
      Helen: I'm not playing with you anymore.
      Morty: Quone's not a word.
      Jerry: No good. Sorry. There it is. Get it off.
      Helen: (to Kramer) Why did you make me put that down?
      Kramer: Nah, we need a medical dictionary! If a patient gets difficult, you quone him.

    • Jerry: Imagine, spelling "Mom" with two O's.

    • Jerry: (to himself) What's going on here? Gotta be her boyfriend, she's too good to be alone. What's the difference, I can't maneuver anyway with Elaine next to me.

    • Vanessa: Why don't you relax and take your jacket off?
      Jerry: Oh, I can't. I have a tendency to get chilly.
      Vanessa: How masculine.
      Jerry: Plus I'm wearing short sleeves. I don't want to expose my tattoos.

    • Vanessa: How big a tip do you think it'd take to get him to stop?
      Jerry: I'm in for five.
      Vanessa: I'll supply the hat.
      Jerry: (to himself) Uh-oh. What do we have here?

    • Elaine: Hi Pamela, you remember Jerry.
      Pamela: Yes, we met.
      Jerry: Hi, happy birthday.
      Pamela: Ahh, everybody, this is Elaine and Jerry.
      Guests: Hi!
      Jerry: I didn't bring anything.

    • Elaine: C'mon lets go, c'mon…
      Jerry: Was I supposed to bring something?
      Elaine: You could have.
      Jerry: I met her one time…
      Elaine: It is not necessary.

    • Elaine: A wedding!? Have you lost it, man?

    • Elaine: What do you think their parents think?
      Jerry: "So, uh, what's your son doing now, Dr. Stevens?" "Oh, he's a public fornicator. Yes, he's a fine boy."

    • Jerry: What's that one?
      Elaine: "Cocoon II: The Return". I guess they didn't like it up there…
      Jerry: Maybe they came back for Chinese food. Y'know Maureen Stapleton, if she gets a craving, she's probably screaming at those aliens, "I gotta have a Lo Mein!"

    • Jerry: So, do you date immature men?
      Vanessa: Almost exclusively.

    • George: I'm, uh, I'm an architect.
      Vanessa: Really. What do you design?
      George: Uh, railroads, uh…
      Vanessa: I thought engineers do that.
      George: They can…

    • Jerry: (opening bit) I think to a man, a cheque is like a note from your mother that says "I don't have any money, but if you'll contact these people, I'm sure they'll stick up for me... If you just trust me this one time I don't have any money but I have these... I wrote on these... is this of any value at all?

    • George: Art…Core.
      Jerry: Art Core?
      George: …velay.
      Jerry: Corevelay?

    • Jerry: Wait a second… That's her… on the right.
      George: I forgot who I am! Who am I?!
      Jerry: You're you. We're having lunch with Art Corvelay.
      George: Vandelay!
      Jerry: Corvelay!
      George: Let me be the architect, I can do it!

    • Jerry: Sagman, Bennet, Robbins, Oppenheim and Taft.

  • NOTES (13)

    • This episode was nominated for the 1990 Emmy Award for Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or a Special - Multi-Camera Production.

    • After this episode, Barney Martin plays Morty Seinfeld for the rest of the series. Larry David wanted to reshoot Bruns' scenes with Martin for syndication (as he had done with the two actors that portraying Frank Costanza), but decided against the idea due to the episode with Bruns being too far back, which made the difference in the actor's ages noticeable.

    • This is the only episode where Philip Bruns played Morty Seinfeld.

    • Elaine's character was originally going to be called Eileen.

    • The idea of the episode came from a personal experience from Co- Creater/Ex. Producer/Writer Larry David. He once met a woman and didnt know anything about except where she works so he did had a stakeout there.

    • The evolution of George's favorite alias "Art Vandelay" is as follows:

      George and Jerry try to invent the name of their "friend" whom they are saying that they are meeting. First, George comes up with "Burt Harr...bin...son."
      "Burt Harbinson." Jerry says. "Sounds made up."
      George moves on to "Art Core."
      Jerry: "Art Core?"
      George: "...velay."
      Jerry: "Corevelay?"
      Later, when the plan is closer to being put into action, George says that he wants to be Art Vandalay. Jerry reminds him that it is Art Corevelay, but when the name is needed, George uses the last name Vandalay, and the alias is born.

    • For part of this episode, Jerry is wearing a red shirt with blue jeans. Red and blue are the colours Superman wears, continuing the reference in every episode.

    • Starting with this episode, the series is retitled "Seinfeld."

    • We learn Elaine's middle name is Marie.

    • Viewer Ross Raniere remembers that when this episode was rerun on NBC, Jerry and Julia come on in a bumper before the show started. Jerry mentions how many episodes they've done so far, with Julia sitting next to him on the set's couch. He then said, "And this is the very first one we did." Jerry then says something about "the chemistry" and just as the bumper was about to fade, he and Julia embraced each other as if they were going to kiss. This of course was the first episode that Jerry and Julia had done together. Jerry discounted the Seinfeld Chronicles episode.

    • Viewer Mike Greenhaus reminds me that this is the first episode that George uses the name Art Vandelay. The name of Vandelay would be used again in "The Boyfriend" and many other episodes. Another viewer, Jeremy DeMai, also notes that George first mentions his fetish for wanting to be an architect.

    • When this episode is shown in syndication, Phil Bruns still plays Jerry's dad (a role later assumed by Barney Martin). This is unlike George's dad, who was played by one actor, replaced by Jerry Stiller, and footage was re-shot with Jerry taking over the original dad's part in "The Handicap Spot".

    • This episode also referenced, for the first time, the
      business of Importer/Exporter. This was used several times
      during the series. The most notable one was when George
      wanted to go out with Marisa Tomei. George and Elaine
      thought of an elaborate scheme to hide this from Susan.
      Susan thought George and Elaine were having an affair.

      Rob David