Season 8 Episode 14

The Van Buren Boys

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 1997 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
141 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jerry's girlfriend, Ellen, seems perfect in every way, but everyone else seems to have a problem with her. George interviews candidates for the Foundation's first scholarship. The candidates seem over-qualified, until one comes in who is a lot like he was. Elaine is going to ghost write Peterman's biography. Kramer goes to Lorenzo's pizza, where he has an encounter with the Van Buren boys. He accidentally flashes their gang sign and saves himself. Peterman wants his day to day life covered in his bio; the exotic adventures are for the catalog. His day-to-day life is very boring. She tells him about Kramer's encounter with the gang and he suggests buying the story for his biography. George's scholar makes a change in his plans that causes George to disqualify him from the scholarship. Kramer sells Peterman all of his stories for $750 dollars. Elaine is put at his disposal. To Elaine, Kramer's stories aren't much more interesting. George and Kramer perform an intervention on Jerry's relationship with Ellen. George's scholar joins the Van Buren boys, who apply pressure on George to get the scholarship back. Elaine tells Kramer that he can no longer tell his stories, since they now belong to Peterman. Elaine tries to embellish Kramer's stories, but Peterman finds the rewrites "too clichéd and obvious." She tells him the real Kramer story that he finds much more interesting. He tells Kramer he can have his stories back. George tries to save himself from the Van Buren boys. Jerry flies his parents in to get their impression of Ellen. He begins to see the light.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • awesome episode

    Here George thinks the whole group is making friends of Ealine all the time, were he really is the clown. Kramer shows of some of his past with a street gang. Great episode.
  • Ellen.

    Well this episode, wasn't really doing it for me. The whole "Van B" storyline wasn't very good. I don't think it was Seinfeld material. The whole episode revolves around George giving away the "Susan Ross Scholarship" Jerry dates a girl that is too perect, and tries to find flaws in her persona. Which I think was dumb of him, cause Ellen was a nice girl. Elaine writes Peterman's book with Kramer's stories, was the only highlight of the episode in my opinion. And Jerry finds a flaw in Ellen. His parents like her. Sort of a filler. It was eh, not so great.moreless
  • George gives away The Susan Ross Scholarship.

    Season 8 was a huge disappointment when you factor in how great Seinfeld was. This episode is an exception as it is perfectly written. While the Jerry storyline is a bit bizarre and really doesn't make sense, there are so many strong scenes in this episode. Peterman complaining about the channels being changed, George shutting down the "annoying little overachievers" and Kramer nearly getting attacked by the Van Buren Boys.

    This is an excellent example of what Seinfeld can be and how the humor is just on another level compared to every sitcom prior and every show since it left the airwaves. George and Jerry's sarcastic and dry wit is unmatched.moreless
  • To be honest it was more below average to me.

    Sorry, but this episode just lacked something to me. Yeah, it was really funny, but lacked something other episodes have that makes me laugh out loud. And besides, I am supposed to rate these episodes compared to the other episodes in the series, so, well, now what? George's story wasn't that funny to me, but it was ok, the city builder idea for the boy seemed fake to me at first, but it turned out to be real. Elaine and Cramer's story was just, I don't know, usually I like Elaine's part the best or second best but I just didn't like it this episode. Jerry's part was probably the best for me this episode, with the seemingle perfect girl, until he sees the light. Well, good episode.moreless
  • Kramer is in Lorenzos pizza and is ambushed by the VanBuren Boys, but accidentally holds up 8 fingers so they think he was a member. George has to pick someone for the Scholarship. Elaine uses Kramer stories b/c Peterman is really boring for his bio.moreless

    I think this is a great episode just because of Kramers pants story, and his jackass friends. And it sets up the muffin top episode b/c it leads to his peterman reality bus tour. Then to add Stephen Koren in the episode, one of the names rolled in the credits, as the kid wanting to be an archetect. The kids exactly like George, a liar, terrible in school, and makes up achess player. And he knows how to read according to George, even with a low GPA. Its also funny that Jerry's girlfriend is a knockout but everyone thinks shes a loser. And when his parents like her he wants to call that Amber girl. We find out how incredibly boring peterman is when he has a small place to flop and how he forgot to gives his plants food, but finds a coupon for it.moreless
David Moscow

David Moscow

Lomez Jr.

Guest Star

Bruce Davison

Bruce Davison


Guest Star

Christine Taylor

Christine Taylor


Guest Star

Barney Martin

Barney Martin

Morty Seinfeld

Recurring Role

Liz Sheridan

Liz Sheridan

Helen Seinfeld

Recurring Role

John O'Hurley

John O'Hurley

J. Peterman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Kramer is running his "new" stories that he bought from Newman to Elaine and Jerry, he runs in and leaves the door open behind. When he goes to leave, the door is now closed and reopens it.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Jerry: So you're denying him the scholarship just because he wants to be a city planner?
      George: I was betrayed! That kid was like a son to me. And if there's one person you should be able to hold down, it's your own flesh and blood. Like my father… my father's father before him.

    • George: Maybe she decided to celebrate her birthday the Monday after the weekend.
      Jerry: She's not Lincoln!

    • Jerry: There's a street gang named after President Martin Van Buren?
      Kramer: Oh yeah, and they're as mean as he was.

    • Jerry: (about the scholarship candidate) Is he smart?
      George: He knows how to read. And he knows that finishing a whole book doesn't mean anything.

    • George: I think we're all aware of the flaws and biases of standardized tests.
      Wick: These aren't standardized tests, these are his grades.

    • George: Every group has someone that they all make fun of… like us with Elaine.

    • Steven: That's not the sign.
      George: It was when I was banging!

    • J. Peterman: (to Elaine) And by the way, when you get to that chapter about my romantic escapades… feel free to toss yourself into the mix.

    • Jerry: I had a dream last night that a hamburger was eating me!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Jerry might think that every Twilight Zone episode has the plotline that 'a guy wakes up to find he's the same and every one else is different', but only two of the original TZ episodes really fit that description. 1) "A World of Difference" starring Howard Duff as businessman Arthur Curtis who suddenly finds everyone convinced that he's an actor playing the part of Arthur Curtis in a movie. 2) "Person or Persons Unknown" starring Richard Long as a man who indeed wakes up to find no one knows who he is.

    • The character Steven Koren is named after the Seinfeld writer with the same name.


    • Kramer: (Holding up 8 fingers) That's their secret sign! See, Van Buren, he was the eighth president. They thought I was a former Van B. Boy.
      Not only that, but Martin Van Buren, a native of Kinderhook, New York, was nicknamed "Old Kinderhook," and a political organization of the time named themselves the OK Club after him. Some say this is the origin of the English expression "OK" meaning fine, good, all right. (Wallace et al., "Significa," E.P. Dutton, 1983.) And a common hand gesture for "OK" -- tips of index finger and thumb touching, the other three fingers extended -- becomes half of the Van B. Boys' gang sign.