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"The Pothole" is the 150th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 16th episode for the 8th season. It aired on February 20, 1997.

Plot

Jerry accidentally knocks his girlfriend Jenna's toothbrush into the toilet, and she uses it before he can tell her. George shows off the new key ring that George Steinbrenner has given everyone in the Yankee organization, celebrating Phil Rizzuto's induction into the Baseball Hall of Famemarker. Kramer complains about the failing highway infrastructure after running over an abandoned sewing machine, so he adopts a one-mile piece of the fictional Arthur Burkhardt Expressway through the Adopt a Highway program. Elaine tries to order a new Chinese dish, Supreme Flounder, but she lives across the street from the boundary of the Chinese restaurant's delivery area. George loses his new key chain. Jerry plans to secretly sterilize his girlfriend's mouth, but despite his attempts, he just can't get past the vision of the toothbrush in the toilet. George theorizes that he may have lost his keys when he did a broad jump over a pothole that has now been paved over. Kramer works diligently to keep his part of the road clean, not trusting the work to the city's maintenance crew. Elaine schemes to get her Chinese food by moving into a janitor's closet, located in the building across the street. The building's superintendent believes her to actually be the janitor and pesters her about the maintenance that needs to be done. Jenna finds out about the toothbrush and sticks something of Jerry's in his toilet, refusing to tell him what it is.

Kramer repaints the four-lane highway, intending to make it a more luxurious two-laner, but his efforts only result in mass confusion and congestion on behalf of the drivers. George, unwilling to pay the city maintenance crew, dons construction gear and takes a jackhammer to the pothole in order to reclaim his key chain. Elaine has the gang over for dinner in the janitor closet. Jerry throws out nearly everything he owns, suspecting that anything could have gone in the toilet; he finally learns that the mystery item was nothing more than his toilet brush. George accidentally strikes a water main while digging up the road, causing an eruption that sends water bursting out of Jenna's toilet, soaking her. Elaine, still acting as the janitor in order to allay any suspicion, brings the building's garbage to the dump in Jerry's car, swerving all over Kramer's luxurious two-lane highway and unknowingly dropping an old Singer sewing machine on the road. Kramer attempts to return the highway to its original state, but spills paint thinner all over the pavement. Newman drives by in his mail truck, delivering crates of fish. His truck catches Elaine's sewing machine and drags it along the highway, sending up sparks that ignite Kramer's paint thinner and cause his truck to go up in flames.

Trivia

  • Jerry Seinfeld, in an appearance on The Tonight Show the night before the episode aired, declared "The Pothole" to be one of the best episodes of the series.
  • This episode earned Andy Ackerman an Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction.
  • The "Arthur Burkhardt Expressway" is not a real road.
  • Jerry's girlfriend (Jenna) is played by Kristin Davis of HBO's Sex and the City. She briefly reappears in the episode The Butter Shave dating Kenny Bania, another comedian whom Jerry has little respect for.
  • Newman sings Three Times a Lady by The Commodores before his truck goes up in flames.
  • Newman says "Oh, the humanity!" when his truck goes up in flames, referring to Herbert Morrison's recorded description of the Hindenburg disastermarker.
  • In The Hot Tub, Kramer claims not to use an alarm clock (or even trust them), claiming that one's body knows the correct time. However, in this episode, an alarm clock is seen (& heard) in use in his bedroom.
  • The NFPA 704 code on Kramer's drum of paint thinner reads 2(health)-8(flammability)-4(reactivity). However, the highest any of these numbers can read is 4.


Quotes



Phil Rizzuto Keychain
: Holy Cow!


Elaine
: Hi. Jerry, can I borrow your car?

Jerry
: For what?

Elaine
: I have to haul some dirty garbage to the dump.

Jerry
: Dirt? That's alright, because there's nothing wrong with dirt.

Elaine
: Well, actually it's pretty grimy.

Jerry
: Grime, grease, filth, funk, ooze. Whatever it is, you take that stuff and put it right on my leather upholstery.

Elaine
: Well, I don't know who you are, but thanks for the car.


Elaine
: Jerry, do you see where this is going?

Jerry
: ...Being really clean and happy?

Elaine
: Jerry, you have tendencies. They're always annoying, but they were just tendencies. But now, if you can't kiss this girl, I'm afraid we're talking disorder.

Jerry
: Disorder?

Elaine
: And from disorder, you're a quirk or two away from full-on dementia.

Jerry
: Hmm, that could hurt me.


Elaine
: (to Jerry) So now you're finding fault on a sub-atomic level.


Elaine
:(to the delivery boy) This isn't fair. This is address discrimination!


Jenna
: How are you feeling?

Jerry
: Good! My cold is gone, and I've been looking forward to kissing you, which I'm ready to do now, if you're ready.

(Jenna moves in for a kiss, but Jerry still can't bring himself to do it and backs away.)

Jenna
: What?

Jerry
: Nothing, I just, I, uh, I bruised my lip. I was drinking a Cel-Ray, and Ibrought it up too fast and I banged it into my lip and then I knocked your toothbrush into the toilet and I wasn't able to tell you before you could use it.

Jenna
(appalled): What?!

Jerry
: I'm sorry...

Jenna
: When were you going to tell me this?

Jerry
: Well, obviously never.


While driving, singing Three Times a Lady, Newman's truck suddenly is surrounded by flames. He then screams out the radio reporter Herbert Morrison's famous Hindenburg disastermarker quote:

Newman
: Oh, the humanity!


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