Like most people in my coveted demographic, I probably watch as many Seinfeld reruns on TBS and my local stations as I do brand new shows, despite the fact that I’ve seen every episode dozens of times and constantly quote them when I’m telling stories to my dog. What can I say? Even the 75th viewing of “The Serenity Now” is still funnier than anything that has ever happened on Two and a Half Men.
But possibly unlike most people, I overanalyze almost everything about the ridiculousness of Seinfeld, and I try to rationalize a lot of what happened to Jerry and the gang as if it happened in real life. How many ways would Joe Davola have chopped up Kramer’s body once he kicked him in the head? At what point would Jerry have decided that enough was enough and moved without telling Kramer? When would Elaine finally settle into a loveless marriage with a wealthy man? How old would George Costanza have been when his heart finally exploded?
The one question that came up in a conversation with a friend, though, was “Who was Jerry’s best girlfriend?” That friend – we’ll call him Bob Sacamano – eventually challenged me to make a ranking of Jerry’s best girlfriends. “But not just one of those ‘Who was the hottest’ lists with no detail,” he demanded. “I’m talking a thorough, scientific analysis based on everything that we look for in a woman.” Later, he’d say that he was joking, but it was already too late.
My mind began racing and my fingers began typing, as I watched old episodes yet again and went through detailed breakdowns of every episode. Thus, I decided that I’d rank the 50 best girlfriends that Jerry dated on Seinfeld, using 1-10 scales for the following categories: Personality, Intelligence, Looks, Cleanliness, Sense of Humor, Compassion, Fidelity, and an overall “Gaga” factor. I call this scoring system the Kavorka Score, and the results will forever be locked inside my safe because this system is too powerful to fall into the wrong man hands.
The only girlfriend not considered in this ranking is Elaine, because she was the first and a core part of the show. Plus, we never really talk about it, but Elaine was as lousy at commitment as Jerry was. In fact, I’m surprised she and Jerry didn’t have their own tractor stories by the time the show aired its finale. Otherwise, every girlfriend over the span of all nine seasons has been considered, and with that said, I give you this very scientific ranking of Seinfeld’s girlfriends.
The Women that Didn’t Make the Cut
Sandra (“The Cheever Letters”): I understand that she was turned off by Jerry’s terrible sex talk –“You mean the panties your mother laid out for you?” – but she didn’t have to rat him out to Elaine.
Bridgette (“The Diplomat’s Club”): She was very attractive but barely on the show. I still could have made a case for her to be No. 1 based on that.
Gail Cunningham (“The Shoes”): She wouldn’t kiss Jerry. That’s pretty messed up.
Margaret (“The Big Salad”): She dated Newman and wasn’t “his type.” That’s a damning statement.
Angela (“The Good Samaritan”): Jerry should have just turned her into the cops for the hit-and-run so he could date Becky Gelke.
Corinne (“The Marine Biologist”): Carol Kane might have been Jerry’s absolute worst love interest.
Naomi (“The Bubble Boy”): The awful laugh was one thing, but I hold grudges against everyone that was involved with Caddyshack II.
Sue Ellen Mischke (“The Caddy”): Sure, the braless wonder was a great candidate, but they didn’t actually date. It was just infatuation.
Shelly (“The Doodle”): After Fletch, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson should have been at least a B-list actress. I’d like to know what happened to her career that made her so unsuccessful.
Lisi (“The Sentence Finisher”): She was awful.
Keith Hernandez (“The Boyfriend”): I still think they could have had one season that featured Keith in the gang as Jerry’s best friend.
50) Amy “The Glasses”
I’m sure the Breaking Bad faithful would want Anna Gunn to get a little more credit on this list, but Amy barely scores well in any of the categories, mainly because she could be confused for an overweight cop kissing a horse that looked like Cousin Jeffrey. Kavorka Score: 3.5
49) Gwen “The Strike”
The “Two Face” was the only of Jerry’s girlfriends that actually scared me. She looked like a Faces of Meth poster child in the car, and I know that this is more superficial than it is scientific, but nobody’s going to win this contest by scoring a zero in looks. Kavorka Score: 4.7
48) Sheila “The Soup Nazi”
That’s a zero on the Personality factor for any adult woman who uses cutesy nicknames in my book, and it should be a negative score for convincing the man to do it as well. Realistically, Sheila was Jerry’s lowest point in terms of his dating life. Kavorka Score: 4.87
47) Gillian “The Bizarro Jerry”
Gillian had the looks of a supermodel, attractive enough to get George to the other side and in with women he had no business speaking to, but the hands of George “The Animal” Steele, as Jerry so kindly put it. It’s a shame, because she could have been a Top 5er if not for her ability to crack the top on a beer that isn’t a twist-off. Kavorka Score: 5.01
46) Jeannie “The Foundation”
Janeane Garafolo’s character was the female version of Jerry, and while we certainly loved watching him each week, it’s clear that Jerry was a horrible human being. In all, Jeannie was a pretty average entrant in this battle, but her lack of compassion keeps her on the lower end. Kavorka Score: 5.15
45) Sophie “The Burning”
Oh Sophie. Poor, sweet, gorgeous Sophie. Rock bottom scores in Intelligence and Cleanliness have ruined what should have been a title contender. It’s such a shame that she got gonorrhea from riding on a tractor. Kavorka Score: 5.82
44) Meryl “The Wife”
Young Courteney Cox could have been a contender for a repeat girlfriend, but the thing that always bothered me about Jerry’s relationship with Meryl was how eager they were to say, “I love you.” And she kept score? That’s a red flag and drops all of her scores by several points. Kavorka Score: 6.11
43) Marlene “The Ex-Girlfriend”
If this had been a ranking based on my own personal opinions and not on precise scientific measurements and theories, Marlene wouldn’t have made the cut because she never made sense. Why would Jerry ever chase George’s ex-girlfriends? Because of her sexy voice? Puh-leeze, this is just pure nonsense and my scientific ranking process agrees. Kavorka Score: 6.17
42) Jodi “The Masseuse”
Long before she was Stifler’s mom, Jennifer Coolidge was perhaps Jerry’s most unlikable girlfriend in terms of personality. Sure, George has always been obnoxious and was far less endearing for it in the show’s early seasons, but she was just flat out mean to him. Her refusal to give Jerry a massage – despite the fact that he was forcing her hands upon his shoulders and neck – was far too suspicious. But why would Jerry want to continue a relationship with her knowing that she’s had her hands on Kramer? This whole situation was gross. Kavorka Score: 6.49
41) Audrey “The Pie”
It’s like my scientific grandfather always said, “Never trust a girl who won’t try your apple pie.” Additionally, while Audrey may not have known that “Poppie’s been a little bit sloppy,” she should have been disgusted enough for the sake of cleanliness to forgive Jerry for seemingly mocking her in Poppie’s restaurant. That she didn’t shows some extremely poor character flaws. Kavorka Score: 6.56
40) Gennice “The Understudy”
Gennice was awful. I’m not sure how she even made it this high in the rankings, but I’m guessing that she earned points from the scientific computer process in every category except compassion. This girl didn’t give a crap when her grandmother died, nor did she care that George caused her to get the starring role by pulling a Pete Rose in their softball game. All she cared about was her stupid hot dog that she dropped. That’s a great personality to have for the entertainment industry but not for a relationship. Kavorka Score: 6.67
39) Nina “The Letter”
Played by Catherine Keener, Nina (the show’s first Nina, mind you) was perhaps Jerry’s most emotional girlfriend, which is why I think she’d probably score well for personality, compassion and fidelity, in addition to the other categories. However, this computer is too wise for Nina’s antics, and whatever perfect scores she may have achieved in those categories, there were probably points deducted for the fact that she was a plagiarist. What kind of artist steals from a playwright for the sake of love? Aside from Shia LaBeouf, obviously. Kavorka Score: 6.80
38) Pam “The Soul Mate”
Kramer was under the impression that Pam could “bring home the bacon and fry it, too” but I’d argue that a lot of people in the civilized world would know how to do that. Regardless, as I’ve already stated, no girl is worth breaking up a friendship between neighbors, even if one of those neighbors is a ridiculous leech with no concern for the fact that he overextended welcome years before Pam ever came along. Black scrunchie or not, though, Jerry’s girlfriends didn’t come much more vanilla than Pam. (Even if Kim Myers did go on to star in Hellraiser: Bloodline.) Kavorka Score: 6.91
37) Isabel “The Nose Job”
The more I think about it, the more I realize that Kim Kardashian is basically the Tawny Kitaen of today. She’s not talented at all, but people find her attractive enough to justify giving her work while other, more talented women starve. And if Tawny had hit her prime in this reality TV era, she’d have been the first in line at Bravo. That said, she played a character so accurate that she might as well have attacked Jerry with a high heel pump. Kavorka Score: 7.06
36) Fake Elaine “The Pilot”
I still think it’s deplorable that George allowed his baldness and thin skin to affect the hiring of the attractive brunette that Jerry wanted to play Elaine, who I chose to list above because she was wonderful. But it did open the door for the crazy method actress to take the role, and that certainly worked in Jerry’s favor. Kavorka Score: 7.12
35) Marla “The Virgin” and “The Contest”
Marla believed that she was a better person than Jerry and his friends because they participated in a contest to see who could hold out from masturbating the longest, and she thought that was awful. Would she have preferred that they had a contest to see who could masturbate the most each day? I don’t think she was as pure and wholesome as she pretended to be. Also, that masturbation contest idea will probably end up as a plot on an episode of Anger Management. Kavorka Score: 7.19
34) Cindy “The Maid”
Cindy probably would have ranked higher on this list if, you know, she wasn’t a hooker. I guess some people, including the scientists who helped develop this scoring system, frown on that. It also might have helped her cause a little more if she had actually done the cleaning that she was hired to do. I don’t judge a woman so much on her choice to join the world’s oldest profession, but damn it this laundry needs to get done. Kavorka Score: 7.27
33) Beth “The Yada Yada”
Debra Messing is the kind of female celebrity that I think we could have a serious, intense debate over, but for all the wrong reasons. Mainly, I’d just keep bringing up The Wedding Date and how my girlfriend at the time forced me to see it, and how she thought it was the greatest movie ever despite the fact that it was so incredibly stupid. Anyway, Beth was Jerry’s white whale but she was also really racist. That begs the important question: “How racist is too racist?” I know, I’m making us all think way too much about Debra Messing today. Kavorka Score: 7.42 (although being really racist should probably make it 0.0)
32) Ellen “The Van Buren Boys”
If this wasn’t such an accurate scientific project, I’d have Christine Taylor’s Ellen much higher on my own personal rankings because Ben Stiller did quite all right for himself. But Ellen was the loser of her friends, and nobody likes the loser. It’s a shameful association to make and could ruin a man’s social standing. Kavorka Score: 7.5
31) Abby “The Fatigues”
No woman that ends up as George Costanza’s protégé stands much of a chance in intelligence and personality. Then again, the entire mentor/mentee relationship outside of a work or school situation puts the lesser person’s intelligence in question. We should raise our children to be leaders, people. Not followers. Especially the attractive ones, because they’re always the most important people. Kavorka Score: 7.66
30) Karen “The Chaperone”
It’s every man’s dream to date Miss America, or at least it was back in the 90s when Seinfeld was still on TV. I’d argue that more guys would want to date Instagram models or whatever is popular now. Me? I’m a classic romantic and still have a thing for Playboy Playmates, but that’s more because I’ve always been a fan of great literature. A Miss America that can’t sing, though, cannot be trusted. Especially one that does magic. Karen might have actually been a witch. Kavorka Score: 7.75
29) Celia “The Toy Girl”
Admittedly, it would be pretty awesome to meet a girl today who had a huge 80s toy collection that included a My Pet Monster with working cuffs and the original A-Team rifle that could be turned into a handgun and shotgun. But the toys that Celia had in her home were both boring and bothersome. Why did a woman in her 30s have multiple shelves devoted to old school toys like that? Perhaps I’m employing a double standard by suggesting there’s something wrong with a woman keeping old toys as collectible and I’m sitting here with a bunch of bobbleheads on my shelves, but Celia kept the dough for the Easy Bake Oven. That’s just strange, you guys. Kavorka Score: 7.823
28) Alex “The Muffin Tops”
Attractive? Yes. Somewhat mysterious and therefore very sexy? Indeed. But a woman who likes her men naturally hairless is very strange. It’s the potential tendency of someone who is either overly clean or a serial killer. Possibly both. Kavorka Score: 7.99143
27) Winona “The Cigar Store Indian”
Jerry never stood a chance with Winona, because his generally jovial nature made sure that he kept sticking his foot in his mouth. In fact, I’m worried that ranking Winona this low on the list makes me look racist somehow, but fortunately this list was generated by science. Thanks for bailing me out of this one, nerds! Kavorka Score: 8.01998
26) Donna “The Phone Message”
The big problem with Donna was that because she thought that a Cotton Dockers commercial was good that she’d be the kind of woman who would today think that Geico commercials are hilarious. Like, we’d be sitting there watching Private Lives of Nashville Wives and that stupid pig on vacation commercial would come on and she say, “Boots and pants” along with it. Jerry was right to mock Donna. Kavorka Score: 8.17777
25) Lois “The Race”
Lois was a pretty great girlfriend for Jerry, from the whole Superman name thing to being very attractive, but you can’t date a girl whose boss hates you from way back when. That’s relationship suicide, because he’ll tell her terrible things about you that could be false or, even worse, true. She’ll constantly question you and eventually you’ll go insane from the nagging. Kavorka Score: 8.30000001
24) Jane “The Stall”
Part of the scientific process requires us to forget about the actual actress and focus on the specific character. Otherwise, Jami Gertz, you guys. Any man who grew up in the 80s would probably demand that Gertz get bumped to the Top 10, but it’s not happening. You can’t trust a woman leading a double life, especially when one side of it is as a sex phone operator. Haha, remember sex lines? They still exist, actually. I assume for the people who still don’t know what the Internet is. Side note: How f*cked up was it that Kramer not only disregarded Jerry’s demand that he not get massages from Jodi, but that he kept making phone sex calls from his phone and to the girl he was dating no less? Kramer was a pretty awful character. Kavorka Score: 8.42424242
23) Laura “The Lip Reader”
Having dated a deaf woman before, I can attest that the six/sex problem is something that is real. But this relationship was pretty strange because, unlike most of them, there was never a real reason that it didn’t work with Marlee Matlin’s character. Did Jerry dump her because she screwed up the sweeping/sleeping situation? Because that was Kramer’s fault more than anyone. But for science reasons, we have to assume that Laura did something really wrong, like wipe her mouth with a dirty sock or something. Kavorka Score: 8.sex4
22) Nina “The Betrayal”
I never understood how George and Jerry had no issues with dating girls that the other had already dated. Granted, it only happened with two women, but they should have learned their lessons after Marlene. Especially since Jerry and Nina had a great connection and it eventually led to them having sex while George was trying to date her. Ultimately, Nina lost points because she didn’t want to date either of them and she used George for a free trip to India. Also, she was in the backwards episode and I really didn’t like that one. Kavorka Score: 8.7225467777
21) Jenna “The Pothole”
This is an interesting case. First of all, going back to that actress rule and science, Kristin Davis pre-Sex and the City was a 10. But as for Jenna, she was certainly the unfair victim of Jerry’s awful anal hygiene tendencies, but in his defense, the girl was covered in toilet water. However, she also dated Kenny Bania. That’s not as terrible as, say, dating Newman, but the guy’s whole routine was about Ovaltine. Kavorka Score: 8.8008135
20) Valerie “The Millennium”
Valerie seemed to be a mature, successful, confident, professional woman and certainly a fine match for someone as picky and finicky as Jerry. But what kind of woman ranks the people in her life by speed dial? And who wants to date a woman whose own stepmother would try to sleep with her boyfriend. Granted, it sounds fun and all, but it’s just strange. Side note again: So Kramer basically murdered the stepmother, right? Assuming that she didn’t get treated by poison control in time. Kavorka Score: 8.99999999999
19) Gina “The Suicide”
An exotic woman, sure. Sexy and mysterious with an overwhelming sense of danger. But she’s also a woman who would cheat on her husband while he was in a coma. That’s a pretty terrible sense of fidelity. No thanks. Also, no guy needs a woman who would constantly remind him that he’s weak. That’s what moms are for. Kavorka Score: 9.00076665
18) Rachel “The Raincoats”
If memory serves correctly, Rachel was Jerry’s longest relationship on the show, spanning several episodes. I think she’s also one of a very few girlfriends that appeared in more than one episode (if she wasn’t the only one). But making out during Schindler’s List? What’s wrong with the two of them? Oh, and she saw George’s penis and caused his girlfriend to dump him. A guy’s gotta stick by his best bud on that one, even if he does have a small ding dong. Kavorka Score: 9.111456
17) Donna Chang “The Chinese Woman”
If there could have been a spinoff of Seinfeld, it should have involved his girlfriends seeking therapy, because Donna Changstein would have been near the front of the line. What kind of woman pretends that she’s Chinese? Is it racist to pretend that you’re another nationality if you’re not doing it as an insult? Honest question, because I don’t know and I’d like to have an idea just in case I ever have to pretend to be a Chinese woman. Either way, Donna was still at least very wise and attractive, even if she was a terrible liar. Kavorka Score: 9.20004
16) Katya “The Gymnast”
Perhaps the most intimidating of all of Jerry’s girlfriends, she was also one of the worst. Katya only used Jerry because of the legend of the comedian in her country. She should have known better, because funny dudes are rarely good in bed, but I wouldn’t know because I’m not funny. Thank you very much, I will be here all night. Kavorka Score: 9.254418837
15) Linette “The Summer of George”
She had a dude living with her. A dude with a dude’s hair and he walked around in a towel while Linette was getting ready for a date. Fidelity takes a huge shot to the gooners on this one. Kavorka Score: 9.311111
14) Christie “The Seven”
Christie could have made a real strong case for the Top 3 if she had ever bothered explaining why she always wore the same black and white dress. Years later, as this show has grown old and is only enjoyed by psychopaths like me in reruns, it still makes me angry that she wouldn’t reveal why she only wore that dress. It’s maddening, damn it. Kavorka Score: 9.3777879
13) Dolores “The Junior Mint”
She was a woman of many names – Mulva, Bovary, Aretha, Gipple, among others – but Dolores was a woman who couldn’t forgive Jerry for something as silly and trivial as forgetting her name and still trying to sleep with her. I mean, it’s not like he was a jerk about it. Kavorka Score: 9.400198776
12) Tawni “The Conversion”
We’re starting to get into some really tight competition here, as Tawni was one of the girls that never really got a fair shake from Jerry. It didn’t help that Jerry got off on the wrong foot by thinking that the anti-fungal cream belonged to her, but he could have done a lot worse than her even if she did have a stinky foot. (It ends at the foot, though, because science thinks fungus is gross.) Kavorka Score: 9.56671113
11) Sgt. Cathy “The Beard”
As someone who watched Melrose Place regularly during its run, I don’t understand why Jerry was so afraid to admit it. He and Cathy could have watched together. It could have been sweet and meaningful. Instead, he made an ass out of himself with the lie detector test. But then, she also made him take the test in the first place, which shows how trusting she was. Counterpoint to all of it: A woman with handcuffs. Kavorka Score: 9.66766
10) Hallie “The Friars Club”
Ultimately, Susan’s good friend would have been perfect for the group dynamic, as it would have given Jerry and George a reason to start distancing themselves from Kramer, who had proven to be a thief, backstabber and possible murderer. But there was no chemistry between Jerry and Hallie, and I blame that mostly on the fact that she didn’t seem too concerned with getting his jacket back right away. A man’s clothes, even if borrowed, mean something to him. Kavorka Score: 9.69999999
9) Claire “The Voice”
Claire’s biggest problem was her sense of humor, because she was a jerk for thinking that the stupid voice was comparable to Jerry calling her fat. Jerry made the mistake in letting her know about the voice, and that’s why she was crushed by a giant ball of oil. It’s a shame that she couldn’t have been ignorant to the voice AND been hit by the ball so he could have enjoyed the money that she got from Play Now in the lawsuit. Kavorka Score: 9.72225
8) Sharon “The Outing”
Relationships that are defined by glaring age differences rarely work out, at least from my experience (no prom for me this year), but you can’t blame Jerry for jumping into a relationship with a college girl. Even if she was a lousy journalist that thought a good story was outing two guys and their secret relationship that didn’t actually exist. Not that there was anything wrong with it. Kavorka Score: 9.7488876
7) Tia “The Pick”
To this day, no female character on Seinfeld makes me as irrationally angry as Tia does. How on Earth could a so-called civilized and educated women just kick a good man to the curb for possibly picking his nose? What would happen if they took a vacation to somewhere dry like Arizona? Would she just pretend that her nose wasn’t loaded with dirt devils? As for Jerry, losing a Calvin Klein model to some nose-digging might have been his lowest moment. Kavorka Score: 9.800000001
6) Lena “The Sponge”
She might have been the kindest and most compassionate girl that Jerry dated, but that closet full of sponges said something completely different. And she wouldn’t date Jerry anymore because he changed the 32 to a 31 on his jeans? What the hell is that nonsense? Lena was a mess and far more depraved than we knew. Kavorka Score: 9.83346535
5) Melissa “The Apology”
There’s good naked and bad naked, and Melissa was so much good naked that she deserved a spinoff sitcom of her own, as she’d walk around using random items to hide her private areas from view so the censors and family values people didn’t drop dead. And she was right to criticize Jerry’s naked attempt, too, because nobody needs to see that. But the pickles, man. It definitely ruins the experience. Kavorka Score: 9.8556555234542999
4) Patty “The Serenity Now”
I’ll tell you, they don’t make ‘em like Lori Loughlin that much anymore. Forget that Aunt Becky still looks fantastic all these years later, she was far and away the most underrated girlfriend that Jerry had over 9 seasons. The only problem was that she convinced him to open up, which was a clear indicator that she’s temperamental and confrontational. That was never Jerry’s style. Kavorka Score: 9.900000466666
3) Nicki “The Calzone”
If Nicki was so smart and manipulative, how did she end up falling for Todd Gack’s lazy pickup nonsense? Sure, like most guys, I tried Todd’s scheme and it definitely worked sometimes, but Nicki was supposed to be above that. Even Marla dated up to JFK Jr., but Todd Gack? That showed poor decision-making and a weakened intelligence. Kavorka Score: 9.9877472366363
2) Sidra “The Implant”
I bet everyone looked at this list and thought, “Gee, I bet Teri Hatcher is going to be No. 1 because ‘they’re real and they’re spectacular.’” Well, you’re all wrong. Sure, we all fondly look back at Teri’s cameo as Sidra and think, “DAMNNNNNN!” but that doesn’t necessarily make her the best. After all, that would be insulting to the process. Instead, the No. 1 girlfriend is far less superficial. Kavorka Score: 9.9945876587345
1) Sandy and Laura “The Switch”
They wanted to have a threeway with Jerry and turn him into an orgy guy. Jerry should have listened to George on this one. It could have taken the show in a bold, new direction with Jerry as an orgy guy and his ladies with their “big chorus ha” laughter. In conclusion, scientific rankings always prefer threeways to logic. Kavorka Score: 20.00
(Images via NBC, WikiSein and Daily Seinfeld)