One of the greatest things about Seinfeld is the minor characters are often the most important ones. The Steven Korens and the Little Jerrys are the reason we describe certain episodes by saying, “the one where Bubble Boy strangles George” or “the one where Frank Costanza’s lawyer wears a cape,” or “the one where Elaine’s boyfriend can’t keep it in his pants.”
For the purposes of this list I have not included Jerry’s girlfriends. It should also be noted that some of the characters you may think should be included aren’t because they actually appeared in more than one episode (Mabel Choate, The Soup Nazi, Izzy Mandelbaum). Without further adieu, here’s a look at Seinfeld’s best one-episode characters. Debate in the comments!
20. Henry Atkins — Episode: “The Junk Mail”
Wilford Brimley starred as Post Master General Henry Atkins, who traveled from D.C. to New York and missed a round of golf to convince Kramer to keep his mail service.
19. Ned Isakoff — Episode: “The Race”
When George finds a copy of The Daily Worker in Elaine’s apartment the truth is revealed that she has been dating a communist.
18. Dan, The High Talker — Episode: “The Pledge Drive”
No one believes they’re talking to Dan on the phone, because Dan is the man with a high-pitched voice.
17. Caped Lawyer — Episode: “The Chinese Woman”
Larry David played Frank Costanza’s cape-wearing divorce lawyer, who shall remain nameless.
16. Adam Lippman — “Serenity Now”
This lucky little 13-year-old kisses Elaine at his Bar Mitzvah, but later renounces his religion when she won’t go on a date with him because he isn’t a man yet.
15. Little Jerry — “The Little Jerry”
Little Jerry gets involved in some cockfighting.
14. Aaron, The Close Talker — Episode: “The Raincoats”
Aaron has this problem where when you’re talking to him he’s unusually close to your face.
13. Steven Koren — Episode: “The Van Buren Boys”
Although Steven Koren is at best an underachiever, George sees a little of himself in him, and decides to grant him The Susan Ross Scholarship, only for George to discover Steven he’s more like him than he could have imagined.
12. Eric the Clown — Episode: “The Fire”
George, and Eric the Clown don’t really get along. George thinks Eric is a stupid name for a clown, and he can’t believe he doesn’t know who Bozo is, which may be why he has absolutely no problem pushing Eric — and a group of children — out of his way to escape a fire later in the episode. Also: Jon Favreau.
11. Tony — Episode: “The Bottle Deposit”
Tony was an eccentric auto mechanic to say the least. He grows a little too attached to Jerry’s Saab, and eventually steals it.
10. Brody — Episode: “The Little Kicks”
Brody is Kramer’s friend who happens to bootleg movies to sell on the street. Cry, Cry Again, anyone?
9. Gary Fogel — “The Scofflaw”
George gets upset when he finds out that Gary Fogel told Jerry, but not him, he had cancer. Except he never really had cancer.
8. Joel Horneck — Episode “Male Unbonding”
Joel Horneck is that annoying kid from middle school.
7. Phil Totola — Episode “The Stand In”
Phil Totola is a normal man, kind of. Except for that one part at the end of the date where he takes “it” out, unasked.
6. Jean-Paul — Episode: “The Hot Tub”
Poor Jean-Paul the Trinidad & Tobago runner. He just wanted to be on time for his race after oversleeping and missing the last Olympic Games. Too bad Kramer had to install a hot tub, which cause the power to go out and shut off Jean-Paul’s alarm. Oh, and not to mention he gets burned by scolding hot tea when he mistakes it for a cup of water during the race.
5. Alton Benes — Episode: “The Jacket”
The funny thing about Alton Benes is that he was supposed to become a recurring character, but the actor who portrayed him was banned from the set after he stole a knife, which kind of makes it seem like he was never acting in the first place. The man was intimidating, to say the least.
4. Timmy — Episode: “The Implant”
Timmy gets upset when he sees George double-dip a chip, too bad George doesn’t care.
3. Neil — Episode: “The English Patient”
Although we never actually get to see Neil, he is still one of the all-time greatest minor characters on Seinfeld in my opinion. Watch as George is mistaken for an extremely attractive woman’s boyfriend (Neil) and begins an obsessive hunt to discover what he looks like.
2. Bubble Boy — Episode: “The Bubble Boy”
The Bubble Boy is a bratty teenager living in a hermetically sealed bubble. And he’s pretty bad at losing at Trivial Pursuit. MOOPS!
1. Mr. Heyman– Episode: “The Library”
Mr. Heyman, Jerry and George’s high school gym teacher, is a bit of a lunatic. Nothing is off limits for this man, not having other students give a young George Costanza a wedgie in the locker room, not calling him “Cant-Stand-Ya,” and definitely not coveting George’s copy of Tropic of Cancer.