Seinfeld: Season 2, Episode 11

The Heart Attack (25 Apr. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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George thinks he suffered a heart attack, only to discover inflamed tonsils instead, and seeks alternative medicine to help him.



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Title: The Heart Attack (25 Apr 1991)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Jimmy Woodard ...
Pat Hazell ...
Man in Other Bed
Sharon McNight ...
The Nurse
Thomas Wagner ...
The Cook
Heather James ...
The Waitress


At lunch in their favorite restaurant, George thinks he's having a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital to learn that the only thing wrong with him is tonsillitis. Kramer suggests that he should seek alternative therapies to surgery and suggest he visit his own herbalist, Tor. Jerry thinks it's all ridiculous, especially after he sees just what Tor is up to. Elaine meanwhile takes a liking to George's doctor and they go out on a date - that doesn't go too well. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

25 April 1991 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode marks Kramer's first mention of his unseen friend Bob Sacamano. See more »


Towards the end of the episode when 'purple' George is laying in the ambulance, he briefly lifts his head and there is a purple mark under his head on the pillow where the makeup rubbed off. See more »


[after Jerry and Elaine are doubting that George is in trouble]
George Costanza: Why can't I have a heart attack? I'm allowed to!
See more »


References The Rebel (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

"I think I'm having a heart attack!"
27 January 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Throughout its run, Seinfeld centered some of its most memorable jokes around doctors and hospitals (most notably in the Season Four episodes The Contest, The Outing and The Junior Mint), a trend that began hilariously in The Heart Attack.

As is often the case, the premise is related to one of George's misadventures: this time, he thinks he had a heart attack while talking to Jerry and Elaine. As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about, at least as far as the heart is concerned: his tonsils, which were removed when he was a kid, have grown back and are heavily inflamed. Surgery would be required, weren't it for Kramer, who is fascinated and repulsed by the subject at the same time and advises George to see Tor Eckman (Stephen Tobolowsky), a "talented" herbalist.

The show's notorious "no hugs, no learning" rule is depicted at its edgiest in this episode: while other examples of shallowness are perfectly believable, the sight of Jerry and Elaine exploiting George's paranoia to scare him borders on downright outrageous. Then again, this is Seinfeld, so such notions as rationality should be tossed outside the window, never more so than when Kramer is on screen - his description of a guy who became autistic during a hernia operation is insanely inspired and instantly amusing. Equally funny, which is generally impossible (I mean, how do you compete with Kramer?), is Tobolowsky's one-scene appearance, a mixture of all the things that make phony doctors look and sound fake, from the odd stare (the actor's trademark in later TV appearances) to the pseudo-philosophical reflections on his patients (upon learning George was born in April, he comments:"You should have been born in August").

Oh, almost forgot: this show also introduces the recurring gag of Elaine dumping her boyfriends for the silliest reasons. The crime in this case? He prefers talking about the tongue rather than jamming it down her throat (okay, maybe it's not that silly). Outstanding.

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