George Costanza is a simple man. He’s a bad dresser, often unemployed, and lives with his parents. But that’s only the way he seems to those who truly know him. To the rest of the world, George is everything from a world-renowned architect to a marine biologist to a millionaire who owns a vacation home in the Hamptons (and, apparently, the inspiration for a bar). He also suffers from various physical handicaps, depending on his current employer’s bathroom amenities. The man is the Ludwig van Beethoven of lying.
A life made up of fictitious stories is no way to live, though, and George’s always seemed to blow up in his face. Throughout the course of Seinfeld’s nine seasons, he spun a delicate web of lies that few would be so daring to attempt. Which is exactly why you should never try to incorporate George’s lies into your own life, because when they eventually unravel — and they definitely will — there will almost certainly be an Elaine around to “laugh and laugh.”
Lying about his height.
In the backwards episode “The Betrayal,” George refuses to remove his Timberland boots because he was wearing them when he ran into Jerry’s ex-girlfriend Nina. Desperate to seal the deal with Nina because Jerry never could, George convinces himself that he’ll be able to keep up this charade of being taller than he actually is throughout an entire trip to India. It’s a pretty flimsy lie from the start and one that nobody should ever attempt. Because no amount of black spray paint on a pair of Timberlands is going to hide the lie of being a short, stocky, bald man.
Lying about being an architect.
George had many illustrious careers over the course of Seinfeld’s run – unfortunately for him, though, half of them were never real. Next to his lie about being an importer/exporter, architect seems to be Georges’s number one choice for an enviable career that he has zero experience in. And you gotta admit, it’s a pretty solid choice that most people would probably believe and struggle to call bullsh*t on. Just don’t call the guy an art school drop out.
Lying about being a marine biologist.
As seemingly solid as “Vandelay Industries latex salesman” might be for lying about one’s potential employment, it’s just not really a sexy title. Now, marine biologist, there’s a job title that’s sure to draw some “oohs” and “ahhs.” Be warned, though, if you choose to employ an esteemed fake job title like this to impress somebody, make sure you don’t have any upcoming trips to the beach planned. The last thing a lie like that needs is for somebody to put you on the spot and force you to pretend you’re Jacques Cousteau.
Lying about how smart you are.
Was George a fool to think that he could have Elaine take his IQ test and pull a switcheroo? Most definitely. That kind of foolish behavior has never stopped George from trying to pass himself off as something he’s not, though (ex. Timberlands). What’s most impressive, however, is the lie he spins out of thin air when his girlfriend Monica questions the food stains on the test. Of course, he had a sandwich in his pants, what normal person doesn’t carry a snack around like that?
Lying to a doctor about a medical condition.
What’s perhaps most impressive about this lie is the gall George shows in attempting to pull off a phony ailment in front of a medical doctor. It’s one thing to convince your boss that you’re sick so you can stay home, but a medical doctor is the major leagues. It’s really the sort of thing that only “a very sick person, a very immature person, a person who has no regard for wasting other people’s time” would attempt. In short, don’t do this, because it’s sure to backfire very quickly.
Lying about a relationship status.
You can’t blame George for being infatuated with the possibility of Marisa Tomei being into a short, witty, bald man like himself. The problem, of course, is that he wasn’t anywhere close to being single at the time. While nothing sexual ever happens between the two, George goes behind Susan’s back to meet with Marisa under the guise that he is indeed single. If you should ever have the chance to date a person of Marisa Tomei caliber, make sure that you are indeed single or suffer the consequences.
Lying about a charity.
Some of George’s lies are a thing of pure beauty and his perfectly simple fake charity, The Human Fund, is a prime example. The nonexistent charity that simply states “Money for people” fits in perfectly with the rest of the absurdity that is Festivus. The charity is so simple that George’s boss can only exclaim “Whatever” upon receiving an envelope that tells him that a donation has been made in his name as a gift. Heed the warning, though, if you should be so shortsighted as George and you try to start a false charity that then recieves a $20,000 check from your boss, prepare to hear from the IRS.
Lying about being handicapped.
After a full summer of being a lethargic, unemployed slug, George finds himself having to use a cane when applying for a job at Play Now. While he is temporarily mildly disabled, George takes full advantage of his boss’ sympathy and plays up his dishonesty to truly disgustingly dishonest proportions. It should go without saying that lying about a handicap to get special treatment — and a very expensive Rascal scooter — is downright deplorable and under no circumstances advised. George pretty much deserved the scorn of everyone that he worked with.
Lying about owning a vacation home.
While most of George’s lies are driven by a certain unabashed stupidity, the one about owning a Hampton’s vacation home showed a new level of foolish confidence in his abilities. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, don’t attempt to pull a George and draw the lie out into a four-hour car trip. You never know when the person you’re lying to might just be spiteful enough to call you out on your nonexistent property and your made up horses, Snoopy and Prickly Pete.
Lying about being in a street gang.
Telling members of a street gang that you’re also a member of the same street gang, when in fact you’re the farthest thing from a gangbanger, is bound to end badly. Kramer got out of a tight spot with the Van Buren Boys by accidentally flashing their gang sign. George, however, wasn’t so lucky and his attempt to pass himself off as a member falls well short. If only George had supported the Susan Ross Scholarship winner’s dreams of becoming a city planner, that whole Van Buren Boys run-in could have been avoided.
The lesson through all of George’s lies is that dishonesty never pays. Should you choose to ignore the past pitfalls of George Costanza, though, never forget that “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.”