The Outing (Seinfeld)
"The Outing" is the 57th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It is the 17th episode of the fourth season, and first aired on February 11, 1993. The line "… not that there's anything wrong with that"—as a reference to homosexuality—has become a popular catchphrase among fans.
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Larry Charles|
|Original air date||February 11, 1993|
While at Monk's Café, Elaine notices a woman in a nearby booth eavesdropping, and as a prank speaks to Jerry and George as if they were a closeted gay couple. The eavesdropping woman turns out to be Sharon (Paula Marshall), a New York University reporter who is planning on interviewing Jerry. Later, Sharon visits Jerry's apartment to conduct the interview. His and George's conversation during the interview inadvertently solidifies her misconception that they are gay. Eventually, they recognize her from the coffee shop, and strenuously deny that they are gay, conditioning their denials with "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Throughout the episode, Jerry and George fear being seen as homosexual, yet also feel afraid they will be perceived as homophobic. Jerry attempts to convince the reporter not to “play up that angle”, but inadvertently ends up in a conference call with her and George due to a new phone received from Kramer, during which he and George discuss not wanting to be “outed” without realizing she can hear them, convincing her that her suspicion is correct.
The interview with Jerry is published in the school newspaper, and subsequently gets picked up by the Associated Press. Jerry dates Sharon, largely in an attempt to convince her he is heterosexual. George decides to use his (fake) orientation as an excuse to break up with his girlfriend, Allison (Kari Coleman). George tries to act outraged at finding Jerry making out with Sharon to prove that he is homosexual to Allison, but when Jerry doesn't follow along, George's ruse doesn't convince her. However, Sharon now believes that Jerry and George are actually gay, and that they used her to hide the fact that they are lovers. In a last-ditch attempt to get Allison to break up with him, George tells her he is a porn actor, but this only makes her even more attracted to him.
Kramer enters his apartment with an attractive young man, causing George and Jerry to briefly wonder if he is gay. Kramer explains, "He's the phone man!...Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld were reportedly concerned about offending the gay community with this episode. Their concerns were unfounded as "The Outing" won a GLAAD Media Award (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
- Tropiano, Stephen (2002). The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 191.
- Irwin, William (2010). Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing. ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited. p. 245.
- Armstrong, Jennifer (7 July 2014). "About nothing?: 10 issue-tackling Seinfeld episodes". A.V. Club.