On the surface, Seinfeld may not seem like gay-centric sitcom like Will & Grace, or even Friends, but now that all 180 episodes of the beloved series are streaming on Hulu, we’ve realized the show was pretty queer indeed (even if it wasn’t always politically correct).
Seinfeld had a gay sensibility—ever notice how Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer never seemed to make a relationship work with a member of the opposite sex?— and garnered laughs without making the LGBT community the butt of a joke.
Check out 11 of Seinfeld’s gayest episodes below.
1. “The Note”
In this Season 3 episode, George experiences gay panic when he gets a massage from a male masseur. “I think it moved,” he later tells the gang. George also reveals his fear of being too close to other men, leading him to be a “stall man.”
2. “The Truth”
Also in Season 3, George breaks up with a kooky accountant, Patrice, but realizes Jerry’s being audited and she still has his tax forms. Hearing Patrice has gone off the deep end, George says, “I’ve driven women to lesbianism before but never to a mental institution.” (This becomes a running joke on the show.)
3. “The Subway”
This classic episode sees all four characters off on their own adventures on the subway. On her way to a same-sex wedding, Elaine talks to a fellow subway rider, who mistakes her for a lesbian. After the uncomfortable stranger walks away, Elaine yells “I hate men but I’m not a lesbian!”
In another scene, George comments, “I always get the feeling when lesbians are looking at me they’re thinking ’That’s why I’m not a heterosexual.'”
4. “The Cheever Letters”
Kramer’s cigar had burnt down a cabin in a previous Season 4 episode and one of the surviving artifacts is a tin box with love letters between Susan’s father and celebrated writer John Cheever.
“Dear Henry, last night with you was bliss,” one missive reads. “I fear my orgasm has left me a cripple. I don’t know how I shall ever get back to work. I love you madly, John. PS Loved the cabin.”
Susan’s father barks at the family, “Yes! Yes, he was the most wonderful person I’ve ever known and I loved him deeply,” before turning to his wife and saying, “in a way you could never understand.”
5. “The Outing”
One of the show’s biggest catch phrases, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” came from this Season 4 episode, where Jerry and George are mistaken for a gay couple.
Stereotypes like Bette Midler, Broadway musicals and men who are “single, thin and neat” come up throughout the episode. And George finds himself in an uncomfortable situation watching a male nurse giving a male patient a sponge bath behind a curtain in a hospital room.
6. “The Smelly Car”
Also in the fourth season, George comes across his now-ex Susan holding hands with another woman at a video store and decides he wants her back. That won’t be as hard as it sounds, as Kramer gets Susan’s new girlfriend to fall for him.
George exclaims, “Amazing! I drive them to lesbianism, he brings them back.”
7. “The Stall”
Who didn’t have a crush on Dan Cortese in the early 90s? The hottie guest-starred in the fifth season of Seinfeld as Elaine’s adventure-seeking boyfriend Tony, and it’s not long before she and Jerry realize George is doting on him a bit too much.
Jerry: “I think George has a non-sexual crush on him”
Elaine: “I think he does, too”
Jerry: “I mean, every time I see him it’s Tony-this and Tony that. George is like a school girl around him.”
8. “The Beard”
In Season 6, Elaine attempts the impossible– turning a gay man straight. But her success is short-lived when Robert returns to his “team.” Jerry explains that men who have sex with men have a distinct advantage over women: They have access to “the equipment” 24 hours a day and know how to use it better. #Truth.
9. “The Kiss Hello”
Jerry feels uncomfortable with people who kiss hello, but his attempts to avoid them backfire in this Season 6 episode. To stop his bitching about it, Kramer grabs Jerry and plants a firm one on his lips just as George walks in.
Not the first male kiss in a sitcom but a funny, unexpected moment just the same.
10. “The Understudy”
In another Season 6 episode, gay icon Bette Midler guest starred as herself. Kramer is in heaven, cradling her after she’s knocked down during a softball game and singing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings” to console her.
He also makes a mini pasta statue of the Divine Miss M, called ‘Macaroni Midler!’
11. “The Wig Master”
In Season 7, Jerry is at an outdoor cafe with Ethan, the wig master for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. When another man asks Ethan out in front of him, Jerry is aghast: “Excuse me, are you asking him out? Right in front of me?” he exclaims. “How do you know we’re not together? Two guys sitting, laughing drinking champagne coolies?!’
Every episode of Seinfeld is available for streaming now on Hulu.