Seinfeld was, of course, a show about nothing, but the universal struggle to eek by really was at the center of the show, and one of mankind’s greatest struggles is the pursuit of happiness by way of love. On Seinfeld, however, that pursuit typically ended in failure. We’ve previously discussed how Jerry would be an incredibly terrible boyfriend, so clearly a lot of this romantic calamity falls on his shoulders (and the shoulders of his similarly picky and ridiculous friends), but while the reasons for cycling through half of Manhattan are suspect, you can’t sleep on the execution.
Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer knew how to break up with someone in spectacular fashion. So, next time you find yourself in desperate need of an exit strategy, why not borrow from the Seinfeld playbook and use these battle-tested breakup lines?
“I’m caught in my own web of lies…” – George
George’s little game doesn’t work for him (because nothing goes right for George) when he finds himself in the middle of two relationships, but manufacturing a reason to get someone to hate you is pretty sound as far as breakup plans go if you’re a burgeoning monster.
“I invented ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Nobody tells me it’s them not me! If it’s anybody, it’s me!” – George
If you break up so much that you have pride of ownership over a specific kiss-off line, you may need to evaluate your life choices. With that said, though, I suppose this is just George protecting his IP. I don’t think he’ll mind you trotting out the “It’s not you, it’s me” excuse next time you need to break someone’s heart, though.
“I would put an exclamation point at the end of all these sentences! On this one! And on that one!” – Elaine
“Well, you can put one on this one: I’m leaving!” – Jake
Sometimes your partner can smell the lack of excitement in you steadily growing before you can find the right time to tell them that things are really over. For those times when they wish that you could put a little more excitement into your voice saying the things you really mean, this is the perfect out for you to tell them that you’re through with them.
“In my country, they speak of a man so virile, so potent, that to spend a night with such a man is to enter a world of such sensual delights most women dare not dream of. This man is known as the “Comedian.” You may tell jokes, Mr. Jerry Seinfeld, but you are no Comedian.” – Katya
This one is a bit specific, but you can adjust to your circumstances. For the ladies out there who want to leave the ultimate burn on their soon-to-be-former man, Jerry’s girlfriend Katya (Elina Löwensohnhas) has you covered. There’s no bigger attention-grabber than a story that insults his precious manhood.
“You contribute nothing to society. You’re just taking up space! How can I be with someone like you?” – Kramer
Sometimes with a breakup you feel like you need to pour out every single negative feeling to put salt in the wounds and make it sting even harder so that it will be easier to cut things off. The trouble with this approach is that you need to make sure that you actually feel that badly about the person instead of making it up just to hurt them. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting your words and begging for their forgiveness like Kramer so hilariously does with his girlfriend.
“The jerk store called; they’re running out of you!” – George
George wasn’t using this to break up with somebody, but it’s too good a line to pass up if the situation allows for it. It’s just the right mixture of clever and childish to work. Just make sure you have a back-up ready and that you don’t get caught in a corner like George did after he used up his one good line.
“I’m getting to a point in my life where I need something more than just…a good time.” – Kramer
Bonus points if you have the theatricality to handle this situation like Allison (Shannon Kenny) did when she used Kramer to break up with George on her behalf. If your friend is convincing enough at mimicking your personality, they’ll have your partner playing right into the charade and you won’t have to deal with any of the messy emotions that come with the dreaded breakup meal.
“I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” – Rachel
“Oh that’s okay…It’s fine, no problem. I’ll meet somebody else!” – Jerry
There are times where you are planning to break up with someone and still can’t crack the right approach to the situation, until by sheer luck or coincidence your partner does the hard work and drops the words on you instead. It’s like found money.
Sidebar: after all these failed relationships, isn’t this the most realistic breakup in the show’s history thanks to Jerry’s easy acceptance of the situation?
“They’re real and they’re spectacular.” – Kendra
Kendra (Teri Hatcher) puts the kibosh on her relationship with Jerry after she discovers that he had asked Elaine to assess whether her breasts were real by sneaking a peek in the locker room, and she does it by letting Jerry know what he’s missing out on. A truly great breakup strategy.