Season 5 Episode 17

The Wife

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Mar 17, 1994 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
160 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jerry and his girlfriend pretend to be married to get a discount on dry cleaning. George worries when a man Elaine is interested in threatens to turn him in for urinating in the gym showers. Kramer's quilt is taken to the dry cleaners and he gets less sleep without it. Jerry's relationship with his "wife" begins to deteriorate and soon starts seeing another woman behind her back. Wanting to impress his girlfriend's parents, Kramer enters a tanning bed, but becomes a little too dark when he falls asleep.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • For richer or poorer - delicates or permanent press....

    ...."Seinfeld" Season 5 episode "The Wife" features one of my favorite Jerry-centered storylines of the entire series: Jerry and his girlfriend (played by Courtney Cox in a pre-"Friends" era) pretend that they are married so that they can both get a discount on dry-cleaning. Naturally, as their pretend marriage progresses, they show all the signs of a failing married couple. Really funny stuff here.

    George and Elaine's connected storyline is less-than-great: a man Elaine is interested in but who is showing conflicting signs of reciprocating affection catches George peeing in the shower. This storyline is pretty funny and is indicative of the envelope-pushing nature of the series but does not give much of a payoff in the end. But Kramer's storyline saves the rest of the episode as he cannot get a good night's sleep (which provides Michael Richards plenty of material for hilarious physical Kramer stunts) and overdoes things in the tanning bed before meeting his African American girlfriend's parents.moreless
  • Courtney Cox guest stars!

    The subplot was more interesting, but I'd like to talk about the honorary guest star, Courtney Cox! As Meryl, this plot is hilarious, Jerry pretends to have a wife for a discount! I love how the act like an actual married couple, it's hysterical! The whole thing with the can opener, syrup, how there on the bed & go as far way from each other, very well acting from Courtney! The subplot was amazing. The health fitness club, George urinates in the public shower! While Elaine wants to know if this guy likes her keeps getting mixed signals. I love how George & Elaine's plot merge, hilarious! The C plot, Kramer goes in a tanning bad & becomes dark & it looks like he just did it to impress the girlfriend's father which is very insulting. A very complex plot to a great episode!moreless
  • Jerry has a "wife"... For a discount...

    Someone makes a mistake and Jeryy gets a discount for him and his family and, since he´s very honest, he takes advantage of it! Oh, and Kramer too.

    George is insane. He is so ridiculous he has to "go" in the shower and gets into a fight with Elaine. And Elaine as always, she never succeeds in seducing a man she likes. She has a thing for losers though. Her argument with George is so funny, but I think Elaine had a point.

    The scene when Meryl and Jerry break up is very funny and a kind of a parody of real and painful break ups. But I guess it´s like that with every situation in Seinfeld.

  • good

    This episode is about Jerry and his girlfriend (Courtney Cox) getting a dry cleaning discount after finding a watch in his clothes that belongs to the dry cleaner's owner. Word quickly spreads that he is married, after his Uncle Leo sees them together at the dry cleaners. Meanwhile, Elaine gets mixed signals from a guy that she likes who spots George urinating in the showers. Also, Kramer tries to impress his new girlfriend's parents (It doesn't end well). Eventually Kramer wants Jerry to use his discount for him, and he does once. Jerry uses his discount for a new woman, and eventually breaks up with his girlfriend. Good episodemoreless
  • Wife.

    In this episode of Seinfeld episode titled The Wife Jerry’s girlfriend poses as his wife so she can get a free dry cleaning discount for life after jerry returns an old watch to the owner of the store this is a great storyline episode for Jerry and I thought it was very funny but the way it ended was nothing new as that has been done to many times and I also like the way his parents acted when they think he is getting married the is a great classic jerry’s parents sense the George storyline is not really that great of one the way he acts is funny and makes the story work the Kramer story is ok not great but ok the Elaine story is better but is pretty much basic that is all I have to say the endmoreless
Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox


Guest Star

Scott LaRose

Scott LaRose


Guest Star

Joseph Ragno

Joseph Ragno


Guest Star

Lawrence Mandley

Lawrence Mandley


Recurring Role

Barney Martin

Barney Martin

Morty Seinfeld

Recurring Role

Liz Sheridan

Liz Sheridan

Helen Seinfeld

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Goof: If Kramer wore goggles on the tanning bed there should be a clear tan line around his eyes but there isn't.

    • Goof: When Meryl and Jerry are fighting there is a partial six pack of Henry Weinhard beer on the counter. This is a West Coast beer (brewed in Oregon) which you can't purchase in New York.

    • Jerry is talking to his parents telling them he's not married, when he hangs up the phone he accidentily presses redial, you can hear it, then he looks down and presses the correct button to hang up the phone.

    • When George talks about his activities in the shower, Kramer comments that he takes baths. Whereas in "The Shower Head," where Kramer and Newman buy black market shower heads due to low water pressure, Kramer comments in disgust that he had to take a bath, bathing in his own bacteria.

    • Viewer Liz Pollack notes that when Jerry is bickering with Meryl about the can opener every time they switch the shot the bottle that is on the counter switches sides of the six pack case.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Jerry: I guess I just wasn't ready for the responsibilities of a pretend-marriage.

    • George: A guy leaves a puddle of sweat, that's a signal?
      Elaine: Yeah, it's a social thing.

    • Elaine: Why couldn't you just wait?
      George: I was there. I saw a drain.
      Elaine: Since when is a drain a toilet?

    • Kramer: Hey Elaine, what do you say, if neither of us is married in ten years, we get hitched?
      Elaine: Make it fifty.
      Kramer: We're engaged!

    • Jerry: I'm really enjoying this marriage thing. You think about each other, you care about each other. It's wonderful. Plus, I love saying 'my wife'. Once I started saying it, I couldn't stop. 'My wife' this, 'My wife' that. It's an amazing way to begin a sentence.

    • Jerry: He should just go, "Your honor, (puts on flap cap) the defense rests."

    • Marty: (to Meryl) Sure, you get the discount, too.
      Jerry: You might regret that, because the money my wife spends on clothes…
      Meryl: I'm taking him to the cleaners!
      Jerry: Ah - see the sense of humor? C'mere, I'm so nuts about you… (hugs Meryl) I tell ya, it was fun being single, but when you meet a woman like this, you don't walk to get married - you run!

    • Jerry: Hey, is that my maple syrup? Kramer hands it over.
      Meryl: You bring your own syrup?
      Kramer: Got to.
      Jerry: (to Meryl) You got a lot to learn about pancakes.

    • Meryl: By the way, you're falling way behind on the "I love you's."
      Jerry: No, no, 12-8!
      Meryl: No, it's 15-8.
      Jerry: I know I can't beat ya - I'm just trying to stay competitive.

    • Jerry: Of all the places that you go all the time, the dry-cleaning relationship is one of the most bizarre. Because, you keep giving each other the same thing, back and forth, over and over again. He gives it to you, you give it to him, he gives it back to you. It's like it's half his shirt, in a way. He has it as much as you ought to go shopping with him. "What do you think of this shirt?" "That would look good with a light starch." The only warning label people really respect is "dry-clean only." Y'know what I mean? Speed limits, lung cancer, cigarette warnings - your very life is at stake! People go, "Ah, the hell with it!" But dry-clean only? "Oh, don't put that in the wash! It's dry-clean only! Are you crazy?!"

    • Jerry: I don't know why you're interested in this guy. He's a jerk!
      Elaine: Because he doesn't pay any attention to me and he ignores me.
      Jerry: Yeah, so?
      Elaine: I respect that.

    • Greg: You're friends with the urinator, aren't you?

    • George: It's all pipes! What's the difference?!
      Elaine: Different pipes go to different places. You're gonna mix them up!
      George: I'll call a plumber right now!
      Jerry: Alright, can we cool it with the pee-pipe talk here?

    • George: What if he left you a used kleenex, what's that, a Valentine?

    • Paula's father: (on Kramer) I don't see a white boy, I see a damn fool!

    • George: (on why he peed in the shower) It's unhealthy to hold it in. I read that in a medical journal.
      Jerry: Did the medical journal say anything about standing in a pool of someone else's urine?

    • Meryl: (to Jerry) You son-of-a-bitch!!!

  • NOTES (2)


    • Jerry: (To Meryl at their final parting.) We'll always have pancakes.

      This alludes to the 1942 film Casablanca in which Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in parting says to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), "We'll always have Paris".