Those of us who are addicted to Seinfeld reruns can’t help but incorporate Seinfeld-isms into our day. The best part is it happens without even trying. Here are a few Seinfeld quotes that are totally appropriate to add to your daily vernacular.
“Move along, Betty”
How many times has someone clogged up the aisle at Target or slowed down to a death crawl in traffic and in your head you’ve muttered, “Move along, Betty.” This line comes from Kramer’s revolt against the post office and an elderly woman questions Kramer’s use of a bucket over a postal worker’s head. Kramer gets annoyed and tells the old woman, “Move along, Betty.” If you aren’t using this several times a day, start. Now.
The famous “Yada, yada” line was introduced by one of George’s girlfriends who had a habit of skipping over pertinent details by saying, “Yada, yada.” Probably the best part of this quote is when Elaine explains that she went on a date, had lobster bisque, yada, yada’d sex and she never heard from the guy again. Jerry exclaims, “But you yada, yada’d over the best part,” and Elaine dryly replies, “I mentioned the bisque.”
This Kramer-ism needs no explanation. “Giddy up” was Kramer’s way of saying, “You know it,” “Let’s do this,” and “Yes.” He answered pretty much any query that required an affirmative response with, “Giddy up.” It’s also fun to answer the phone with this, or the lesser known “Go for (insert your name here).”
“Time to shut down and retool”
Season 9, Episode 6 brought us (arguably) the best Seinfeld episode ever. Kramer finds a Merv Griffin set in the trash, sets it up in his apartment and proceeds to host fake talk shows. When his format takes a turn for the worse, we see Kramer and Newman discussing alternate formats. Kramer yanks the lights and says, “We need to shut down and retool.” Amen. How many times a day do we need to “shut down and retool”?
“That’s a shame”
The best part about this highly usable quote is its sarcastic delivery. Each time it is used in a Seinfeld episode, it is delivered with complete indifference and lacks any trace of sympathy. That’s what makes it so valuable. The next time one of your kids says, “Mom, we’re out of cookies” (or whatever), try a quick, simple, insincere, “That’s a shame,” and walk away.
To use this quote effectively, you must draw out the “hello” and be snappy with the person’s name. We all have a Newman in our lives — an irksome presence that we have to tolerate for the sake of harmony in our social or work circle. Let’s say your work nemesis’ name is James. Nothing is more satisfying than saying, “Hellooooo, James,” with a disgruntled look on your face. (If “James” happens to be your boss, you may want to say this to yourself.)
“Look away, I’m hideous”
After an all-night smoking and poker party, Kramer’s face looks like (in the words of Jerry) “an old catcher’s mitt.” After Kramer realizes he looks all “crinkly and craggly,” he tells Jerry, “Look away, I’m hideous.” This is a perfect go-to if you’re hung over, sick or just have a case of the screw-its in the hygiene department.
When Jerry and George try to pitch the pilot of their show about nothing to “Nakahama Broadcasting” the executives tell them, “You…must…go…now.” If you aren’t using this several times a day, you’re doing it wrong.
“We are living in a society here”
“We are living in a society here,” is one of George’s favorite go-to places any time he feels he’s been slighted or wronged. If this isn’t applicable to our daily lives, what is? This is extremely satisfying to say when someone acts in an ill-mannered fashion.
“I mean, when you subtract out showers and meals, it’s like 20 minutes”
When Jerry takes Elaine to Florida to visit his parents, Elaine is miserable. She throws her back out from sleeping on the Seinfelds’ ancient pull-out mattress, and Mrs. Seinfeld refuses to turn on the air conditioner. When Jerry tells Elaine their stay has been extended, he tries to make her feel better by saying, “I mean, when you subtract out showers and meals, it’s like 20 minutes.” Feel free to use this the next time you get stuck doing something you don’t want to.
“I would drape myself in velvet if it was socially acceptable”
Two of George’s biggest goals were figuring out how to get through life unemployed and to wear sweats exclusively without being judged. Not only is, “I would drape myself in velvet if it was socially acceptable,” good to use when you are having a casual wardrobe day, it can be used any time you’re not in the mood to be judged.
George’s dad, Frank, implements a coping mechanism in the “Serenity Now” episode by shouting, “Serenity now!” every time something irritates him, which means he says it about every 10 seconds. This quote can be used in a multitude of ways, but as the episode warns, it doesn’t really work. It turns out that using “Serenity now!” as a Band-Aid for stress just leads to catatonic and irrational behavior. As Lloyd Braun puts it, “Serenity now, insanity later.”