The Abstinence

"The Abstinence" is the 143rd episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld. This was the ninth episode for the eighth season. It was originally broadcast on the NBC network on November 21, 1996.

"The Abstinence"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 9
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written bySteve Koren
Production code809
Original air dateNovember 21, 1996
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Chicken Roaster"
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"The Andrea Doria"
Seinfeld (season 8)
List of Seinfeld episodes


George's girlfriend has mononucleosis, so he can't have sex with her for six weeks. Elaine has met a doctor (Bob Odenkirk) who has almost gotten his license to practice. Jerry agrees to appear at career day at his former junior high school, but he is bumped back because the children love the zoo worker, then when he is about to go on, there is a fire drill. Kramer lights up a cigar in Monk's and Larry asks him to leave. He meets others on the street who face his dilemma so he opens up his apartment as a smoking lounge.

Jerry's agent gets him a whole assembly at the school. George's lack of sex makes his mind sharper; he finds he is learning new things quickly and is now "smart". Elaine learns how much her doctor boyfriend doesn't know about medicine when he is unable to help a diner customer experiencing a medical emergency. She uses George's technique of abstinence to help him study to get his license, but in the process she becomes stupid. Later in the episode, she begs Jerry to have sex with her again, because she wants to clear her mind. When Jerry turns her down because the situation is "too weird", she then asks him if Kramer is home.

Because Kramer has been smoking heavily, his face becomes leathery and "hideous". Jerry struggles to figure out how to fill two hours in front of a junior high crowd. George however creates a presentation for Jerry's assembly. He uses his new-found intellect to give batting advice to New York Yankees players Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, and to learn Portuguese. Kramer sees his lawyer Jackie Chiles about a case against the tobacco company for ruining his good looks, as his looks are his livelihood. He gets a settlement without Jackie's input; it turns out he gets a billboard with his face on it in Times Square, much to Chiles' displeasure.

George calculates the odds of having sex with a Portuguese waitress, and concludes that statistically, he has to do it. He arrives at the school to meet Jerry, but starts behaving stupidly. Jerry realizes that George has had sex, so he can no longer do his presentation; Jerry goes in, tells a joke and is greeted by boos. Elaine's boyfriend gets his license and dumps her, leaving her sexually frustrated. Later, talk show host David Letterman informs Jerry his appearance has been canceled because he bombed a middle school assembly.


This episode was filmed in front of a live audience on November 6, 1996. Wade Boggs was originally included in the script but didn't make it into the filming.[citation needed] David Letterman's cameo was filmed at his office at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.[citation needed]


External linksEdit