Season 7, Episode 10 (December 14, 1995)
Kramer isn’t always my favorite character, if only because the sense of the surreal he brings to the show can spill over into pure silliness, especially in the later seasons, where he is even broader and more cartoonish—not the best mode for this particular show. Except when it is.
Here, we get a return visit from Kramer’s sidekick Lloyd Braun (no foreknowledge required—Lloyd’s a minor recurring character and not even played by the same actor here as in previous appearances), who is recovering from a nervous breakdown. Even though the rest of the gang either dislike him or doesn’t care, Kramer convinces Jerry, George, and Elaine to carry on with the ruse that Lloyd is one of the gang, indulging him in increasingly ridiculous ways. By the end, we’ve gotten several memorable bits involving unintentional exposed cleavage, ridiculously oversized glasses, a Henry VIII costume, and, of course, a lot of gum. It (almost) all works, and impressively, it all works together. Seinfeld pretty much never wraps up with a tidy moral, but this episode serves as a great elucidation of the series’ kinda-sorta mission statement, which is along the lines of: “No good deed goes unpunished, so why bother?”