What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Seinfeld? Is it the Puffy Shirt, the Sponge, or the Rye bread? While these are all staples of one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, few things are as persistent throughout the series as the Last Kryptonian himself, Superman.
Jerry Seinfeld in real life is an enormous Superman fan— even appearing with an animated version of the character in a series of credit card commercials— so it’s natural for his show to feature his favorite superhero throughout its nine seasons. Out of all the Superman references in Seinfeld, there are certain homages that are particularly noteworthy.
10 The Pilot’s Kryptonian Color-Blocking
While it’s often claimed that there’s a reference or allusion to Superman in every single episode of Seinfeld— be it audible or visual— this isn’t actually true. It’s an easy mistake to make since there are so many allusions to the DC superhero, the first of which is one of Jerry’s outfits in the Seinfeld pilot.
As Jerry settles in to watch some TV in his apartment, he’s wearing a bright blue crewneck sweatshirt and bright red sweatpants, a clear nod to Superman’s iconic red-and-blue costume.
9 George Wishes He Could Turn Back Time Like Superman Did
Though not Seinfeld‘s first reference to Superman going back in time during the climax of 1978’s Superman, season six’s “The Face Painter” put George Costanza in a predicament that can only be solved by a type of time travel.
After George tells the woman he’s dating he loves her, she completely ignores it. He’s humiliated until he finds out that she can’t hear well out of one of her ears, and he compares it to Superman and how he got a do-over in the 1978 film.
8 “The Secret Code” Is Jor-El
In the season seven episode “The Secret Code,” George refuses to tell his fiancé Susan his secret ATM code— and it becomes a big thing, of course. When George and Jerry are talking about it later at the coffee shop, Jerry wants George to tell him the code and even gives up his own: Jor-El.
Jor-El is of course the biological Kryptonian father of Superman and it’s the Jerry Seinfeld equivalent of using “1234” or “guest” as a passcode, even easier to crack than than George’s “Bosco” code.
7 The Super Humor Debate In “The Stock Tip”
Way back in the season one episode “The Stock Tip,” the show made its very first official mention of Superman in a scene where Jerry and George are discussing whether or not Superman’s sense of humor is “super” as well.
Jerry says, “I think Superman probably has a very good sense of humor. He’s got super strength, super speed, I’m sure he’s got super humor.” It’s the first in a long line of Superman references on Seinfeld where Jerry tries to find a connection between himself and the Man of Steel.
6 The Fortress Of Solitude Shoutout In “The Cheever Letters”
In the episode where George and Susan finally tell Susan’s father about his beloved cabin burning down— which had happened in the previous episode, ‘The Bubble Boy”— Susan’s father first talks about how the cabin has “often been a sanctuary” for him.
There’s a lot of tension in the room as the couple tries to build up the courage to tell him what had happened, and even so, George can’t help but compare Susan’s father’s “sanctuary” to Superman’s own Fortress of Solitude.
5 The Superman Comics That Jerry & Jeannie Are Seen Reading
While it’s notoriously the episode that saw the end of George and Susan’s engagement, season seven’s “The Invitation” was also the beginning of Jerry’s own engagement. Jerry meets a woman named Jeannie Steinman, who is essentially a female version of himself.
The two fall in love and are seen enjoying some comic books: Superman: The Man of Steel #53 by Louise Simonson, Jon Bogdanove, Denis Rodier, and Dick Giordano for Jerry, and Supergirl on the cover of Action Comics #686 by Roger Stern, Jackson Guice, and Denis Rodier for Jeannie.
4 The Girlfriend Named Lois In “The Race”
One of two episodes that specifically center around Superman is “The Race,” where Jerry is over the moon when he finds himself dating a woman named Lois. He’s less excited for the beautiful woman and more excited to live out his Superman fantasy, ecstatic that his new girlfriend-of-the-week has the same name as Superman’s girlfriend.
Ironically, Lois doesn’t seem to understand why he loves her name so much. At the end of the episode, the John Williams Superman movie theme even plays when Jerry races his high school rival.
3 Elaine Meets Jerry’s Total Opposite In “The Bizarro Jerry”
The other episode built entirely around a Superman reference is “The Bizarro Jerry,” which has Elaine breaking up with a man named Kevin but remaining friends with him, just like she did with Jerry.
When she tells Jerry about it, she points out that Kevin is kind and considerate making him the complete opposite of Jerry or, better yet, the Bizarro to Jerry’s Superman. When Elaine goes to Kevin’s apartment, it’s the exact opposite of Jerry’s, including a unicycle hanging on the wall and a statue of Bizarro himself.
2 The Superman Statue Throughout The Last Half Of The Series
Season five, episode 17— better known as “The Wife”— was the episode where Jerry’s Superman statue made its first appearance. Always at eye level on the bookshelf in his apartment, the statue remains is there for the rest of the series.
The statue was sculpted by Randy Bowen and features a unique placard that is illegible on screen, but those who visited the “Hulu Presents Seinfeld: The Apartment Festivus Fan Experience” in 2015 know that it says “My planet was destroyed. Don’t let it happen to yours.”
1 The Superman Magnets— Yes, There’s More Than One
Jerry also has a magnet prominently displayed on his refrigerator of Superman. This particular magnet probably gets the most screen time on the show since it’s right there when Kramer makes his infamous entrances.
This Superman magnet features the art of José Luis García-López and can be found in the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. But less people notice that Jerry has a second Superman magnet. It takes an eagle eye, but in some scenes, you can see a magnet of the cover of Action Comics #1.
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