Seinfeld (1989–1998)
3 user 2 critic

The Sponge 

After learning that her prophylactic of choice is being discontinued, Elaine buys a case of Today sponges and scrutinizes her dates for their sponge-worthiness.


Andy Ackerman


Larry David (created by), Jerry Seinfeld (created by) | 6 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Jerry Seinfeld ... Jerry Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Elaine Benes
Michael Richards ... Cosmo Kramer
Jason Alexander ... George Costanza
Heidi Swedberg ... Susan Ross
Jennifer Guthrie Jennifer Guthrie ... Lena
Scott Patterson ... Billy
John Paragon ... Cedric
Yul Vazquez ... Bob
David Byrd David Byrd ... Roger
Ileen Getz ... Organizer
Steven Hack ... Walker #1
Wren T. Brown ... Walker #2
Patricia Bethune ... Walker #3 (as P.B. Hutton)
Susan Moore Susan Moore ... Monica


Elaine's birth control method of choice is being discontinued and she goes all over New York to find the last remaining case. After she successfully finds it, she then begins the agonizing process of determining whether or not her dates are "sponge-worthy". Kramer participates in an AIDS walk but when he refuses to wear the ribbon, he suffers the consequences. Meanwhile, Jerry meets a woman and doesn't get her phone number. He then gets it from the list of participants in the AIDS walk. He tells George, who proceeds to tell Susan, who then starts a chain reaction of phone calls and ultimately winds up getting back to Jerry, who gets dumped as a result. Written by halo1k

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TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 December 1995 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


This episode is not the only time George (Jason Alexander) refers to himself in the third person. He also does this in episodes 6.18 Seinfeld: The Jimmy (1995), 8.1 Seinfeld: The Foundation (1996), 9.5 Seinfeld: The Junk Mail (1997), 9.13 Seinfeld: The Cartoon (1998), and 9.19 Seinfeld: The Maid (1998). See more »


Other companies make sponges so it wouldn't be hard to find a replacement. See more »


[Kramer is cornered in an alley for not wearing the red ribbon at the AIDS walk]
Bob: So, what's it going to be? Are you going to wear the ribbon?
Cosmo Kramer: No! Never!
Bob: But I'm wearing wearing the ribbon.
[points to Cedric]
Bob: He's wearing the ribbon. We are all wearing the ribbon! So why aren't *you* going to wear the ribbon?
Cosmo Kramer: [yelling] This is America! I don't have to wear anything I don't wanna wear!
Cedric: What are we going to do with him?
Cosmo Kramer: Huh?
Bob: I guess we will just have to teach him to wear the ribbon!
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Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Spongeknob Squarenuts (2018) See more »


Black Stompers
Music by Roger-Roger (as Eric Swann)
Plays during the montage of Elaine searching for sponges.
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User Reviews

When death was a four-letter word

A subtle and very clever satire of the 1990s AIDS hysteria and resulting sexual politics, this story has aged remarkably well. Using a discontinued birth control item as a metaphor, we descend into the doom and gloom of an era when we were constantly hectored about 'screening' our sex partners. Needless to say, it didn't take long for this culture of fear to set in: Raunchy hookups and everything leading up to them quickly turned into job interviews. Elaine demonstrates this for us with usual aplomb.

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