"Seinfeld" The Contest (TV Episode 1992) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • After George's mother catches him alone in a somewhat embarrassing situation, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer stage a contest to see who can last the longest without any sexual gratification. Temptation quickly sets in for everyone. Kramer is the first to fall after ogling the woman across the street who walks around her apartment naked. George is next after he visits his mother in hospital and her roommate gets a sponge bath across from the curtain separating them. Elaine signs up for a fitness class where none other than JFK Jr. is enrolled. Her fantasizing does the rest. Finally, Jerry's new girlfriend Marla decides it's time to lose her virginity but Jerry has to explain the contest.

  • Jerry challenges George, Kramer and Elaine to pool their money in a contest of self-denial. Meanwhile, an excited Elaine looks forward to her date with hunky John Kennedy Jr., and a guilt-ridden George gets an eyeful when he visits his whining mother in the hospital.

  • After George is caught masturbating by his mother, the four main characters devise a contest to see who can go the longest without pleasuring him/herself. Marla, Jerry's girlfriend, with whom he has yet to have sex, learns of the contest and is disgusted.

  • George's mother throws her back out when she falls down after catching George performing a personal act; the gang partakes in a contest of self-denial.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • While eating at Monk's coffee shop, Jerry, Kramer and Elaine are met by an upset George. George shares with them that he was at his parent's house and found a fashion magazine in their mail. George began to masturbate using the magazine when he mother came home and found him in the act. Surprised at his son's indiscretion, Estelle slips and falls, injuring her back. She winds up in the hospital in traction.

    George tells his friends that he's vowed never to gratify himself ever again. The gang scoffs at the declaration. When George scoffs at Jerry's logic that it's impossible, Jerry claims he could last longer than George. A wager ensues and Kramer and Elaine want in too. When Jerry, George and Kramer say that self-gratification is "different for a woman", Elaine says it isn't. George demands that Elaine give them odds, $150 against the $100 from each of her fellow bettors. The three shake on it, promising to obey the "confines of the Honor System".

    Each of the "contestants" are suddenly surrounded and tortured by erotic incidents and fantasies: Jerry has been dating a woman named Marla who is a virgin. Across the street from Jerry's apartment lives an attractive woman who frequently walks around nude with the curtains open, drawing the attention of both Kramer and Jerry. When George visits the hospital, he discovers that his mother is sharing a room with a beautiful female patient who gets sponge baths from an equally beautiful female nurse. Finally, Elaine finds out that her longtime heartthrob, John F. Kennedy Jr, is a member of her health club and she stands a chance of dating him.

    All four friends find it difficult to sleep and become very testy with each other. Kramer is the first to bow out of the contest when, seeing the naked woman across the street, he gives in to temptation and slaps his share of the wager down on Jerry's countertop. The next to fall is Elaine, who cannot resist fantasizing about JFK Jr. Both Jerry and George vow to stick it out. One night, while making out heavily with Marla, Marla tells Jerry that she's ready to lose her virginity to Jerry. Jerry is heavily relieved and tells Marla, who is suddenly offended and storms out. Meanwhile, Elaine has spoken to Kennedy and tells him to meet her in front of Jerry's apartment building. Elaine meets Marla on the street; Marla tells Elaine that she and Jerry are "horrible" people and she never wants to see them again. Elaine is puzzled and goes upstairs to Jerry's place. Jerry explains what happened with Marla.

    George arrives a few minutes later and is excited to tell Jerry and Elaine that he'd just met Kennedy on the street. Elaine asks if Kennedy is still downstairs and George tells her he'd found Marla there, still upset, and invited her to go with him. Elaine is devastated. Suddenly, Jerry reports that Kramer is across the street with the naked woman.

    The episode ends with the gang asleep; Kramer is in bed with the naked woman, Elaine is fast asleep, as are Jerry and George.

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