On The 10th Day of Christmas: Seinfeld-“The Strike”

What could possibly top two holiday parties in one episode? How about creating a whole new holiday?? That’s what happened on this memorable episode of the show about nothing.

The Fake Number

WE open at Tim’s Hanukah party. It’s an interesting crowd, one guy with a denim vest who makes Elaine activate the fake phone number. Unfortunately, she writes her fake phone number on the back of rewards card for a sub shop just as she was due for her free sub. She spends the rest of the episode trying to hunt down this guy she originally wanted to blow off because she already ate 23 awful subs and earned tis free one! I totally feel her on this. Living in NYC you take advantage of any FREE perk you’re entitled to.

She’s A “Two-Face,” Jerry!

Jerry meets someone too at the soiree and upon meeting her the next night for a date doesn’t recognize her. She looks like a totally different person. George reassures him this is a thing and we have another Seinfeld name for something… she’s a “two-face.” Jerry spends the rest of the episode trying to figure out the exact right lighting to keep his new beau in.

…For The Rest Of Us!

Kramer gets a call back to work after a 12 YEAR strike at the bagel shop. Wait, so Kramer was just on strike this entire time? Who knew he was employed! When hearing of the premise of Festivus from the gang he is mesmerized by the idea and begs Frank Costanza to hold a Festivus celebration with aluminum pole in tow. George is mortified. His childhood trauma is following him to everyone’s merriment, including us the viewers. 

Why It Works

We get so much information in this episode. Any chance for Frank Costanza to get screen time is a treat, but that AND the origins story of George’s neurosis is magical. Then there’s Kramer’s origin story too… he used to have a job! And by the end of the episode, no more job. Who can’t relate to Elaine’s fake number strategy? But what happens when it goes wrong? And at the end of the day, we get the whole gang together for the holidays, a new holiday which I personally still reference some 20 years later. A time to air all your grievances with those in your life? Brilliant! Festivus reminds us sometimes family is not the one you were born into, but the one you choose–or happen to live across from. 

Memorable Quotes

Elaine: “This place is like Studio 54 with a menorah”

Elaine: “Oh.. (sees a guy looking at her) I got denim vest checking me out. (laughs) Fake phone number’s coming out tonight.”

Jerry: “Are you reading my VCR manual?”
Kramer: “Well we can’t all be reading classics, professor highbrow”

George: “So attractive one day and not attractive the next day. …yes I am familiar with this syndrome. She’s a two-face.”
Jerry: “Like the Batman villain??

Kramer: “Frank invented a holiday?? He’s so prolific!”

Frank Costanza: {Explaining Festivus} “And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.”

Kramer: “Is there a tree?”

Frank: “No. Instead, there’s a pole. It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting.”

Frank: “A festivus for the rest of us!”

Frank: “George, Festivus is your heritage – it’s part of who you are.”

Watch Seinfeld’s “The Strike” (Season 9, Episode 10} here.

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