Seinfeld (1989–1998)
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The Chinese Restaurant 

Jerry, George and Elaine wait for a table at a Chinese restaurant.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Kramer (credit only)
David Tress ...
Mr. Cohen
Kate Benton ...
Woman on Phone
Michael Mitz ...
Phone Guy
Kendall McCarthy ...


Waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant where they've been told it'll be 5 or 10 minutes, Elaine, George and Jerry find people arriving after them being seated ahead of them. Elaine is starving and Jerry dares her to walk to a table and eat someone's food. He also sees someone who he can't place. George meanwhile is desperate to call Tatiana and gets upset when others in the restaurant lobby hogs the pay phone. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

23 May 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kramer does not appear in this episode. At this point in the series, it was established that Kramer had not left the apartment building in many years. Michael Richards expressed his disappointment at not being included in the episode because he felt it was the series' best episode at the time. See more »


When Jerry says, "How much longer is this going to take?" Bruce's hands are raised. In the next shot, they are resting on the podium. See more »


Elaine: [waiting in restaurant] You know, it's not fair that people are selected first come, first served. It should be based on who's hungriest!
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Referenced in Mr. Robot: (2016) See more »


Seinfeld Theme Song
Written by Jonathan Wolff
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User Reviews

"Where I am?!"
7 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

I made an IMDb list some time ago about the Top 10 most influential Seinfeld episodes and I placed The Chinese Restaurant in the top spot. Revisiting it today, I'm glad to say that I was right on point with that decision. It's definitely not their best episode and possibly not even perfect but the amount of ground they broke within the lapse of 23 minutes is unprecedented. Real time premise, social commentary, clever dialogue and great performances. I mean, there's really nothing else. It is an episode that solely relies on dialogue, that's it. No stories, no twists, no development. But what's most impressive about this episode is that towards the end you start feeling the anxiety for this problem to be over. On initial viewing I thought that this was that the writers just couldn't keep this episode going any longer, but now I realized that they even managed to make you relate to them in a literary way. You want it to be over, you're sick of hearing them get frustrated, the tension keeps building. They make a similar thing on The Parking Garage where you start to feel the claustrophobia of being in that situation.

The only thing I believe holds this episode from being truly perfect is the lack of Kramer and it's not just because he is a great character, but because I believe that with another character the story could've gained another dynamic.

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