Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Pie” (S5, E15)

Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, JT Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan, Jordan Duncan and Jason Greenhouse will watch an episode of TV’s greatest sitcom and provide notes and grades across a number of categories. The goal is to rewatch the entire series chronologically to see what truly worked, what still holds up today, what feels just a bit dated and yada, yada, yada it will be a great time. So settle into your couch with the cushions flipped over, grab a Snapple and enjoy the ride!


Best Character

JT: Very tough choice this go around with all four delivering strong performances. Elaine had some good quick hit lines and lots of anger, which she excels at. George’s manic suit pursuit was great and it all tying together and crumbling at the end was well done. Jerry was really good too, lots of wit and his delivery was spot on. But, I think I have to go with Kramer this time. I liked his storyline the least of all of them but I thought he nailed all his lines and had some real laugh out loud moments. He wins by a razor thin margin.

Aaron: I watched this episode with my three-year old son Jack. I’ve written enough of these things so I figured it’s time he started pulling his weight. It came down to the silly guy (Kramer) and the crazy guy (George). Jack finally settled crazy guy because he wouldn’t eat the pie.

Andrew: I’m going with Jerry. He gets more than his share of great lines in this episode, and his response to seeing Elaine’s mannequin in flagrante delicto is fantastic (“The resemblance is uncanny!”). Also, I’m completely on board with his obsession over Audrey refusing the pie. Turning down food is fine, but give a reason, even if you have to make something up. For once, Jerry’s not the one who made it weird.

Jordan: We are at the point in the series where anytime he has a strong showing, I feel like I need to give it to Jerry. I really liked him this episode, and this may fully be a “MJ is always the best, let’s give the MVP to someone else this time” type reward, but I don’t care. Jerome came through strong.

Jason: The core four were all tremendous. Olive was a sweetheart. Audrey was out of her mind. Poppie was a little sloppy, but Jerry gets the duke here. He took just about all he could from Audrey and Poppie. Jerry has done plenty wrong in the past, but I have his back with everything here.

Best Storyline

JT: Lots to pick from here, but I will go with the mannequin. It led to some fun jokes and random, funny moments all throughout, right down to the payoff with Ricky’s return. The erotic pose and George seeing it naked were well done too.

Aaron: The whole pie story was lost on him, except for the “silly” faces when everyone was refusing to eat the pie. So let’s go with people versus pie.

Andrew: It’s a close call, but the pie storyline wins it for me. Mainly I love the recurring shot of characters shaking their heads at an offered dessert, which provides a nice through line for the episode. Poppy being sloppy was solid, too; if we count that as part of the pie storyline, it’s a clear winner.

Jordan: George’s suit is really good, but the final reveal of Elaine’s mannequin story clinches it for me. I love the idea that a freak she met on the subway is out there mass producing Elaine mannequins. Also, I would like to purchase one.

Jason: Very good stuff all around. I really liked everything with George and the suit. Kramer’s itch is full of laughs as is the mannequin that looks like Elaine. Once again though, everything with Jerry, Audrey and Poppie takes it here.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: Should Jerry have just sucked it up and eaten the pizza? I mean, the urine and germs likely cooked off in the super hot pizza oven, but I guess it comes down to whether or not he has a future with Audrey. I think they were doomed from the minute she refused that pie, so I can’t blame Jerry all the way. If it was someone he was really into, though, I would tell him to man up and eat Poppy’s PeePee Pizza.

Aaron: “Why is that lady stealing that thing?” I thought I’d have a few more years before I had to start dealing with the big questions… It was immediately followed up with “Is she a bad guy.” I had no choice but to say yes at which point Jack demanded that the cops and Superman be called.

Andrew: Should you give a reason when refusing food? Seems like a no-brainer to me. What are you, a psycho?

Jordan: Here’s the thing – there is a chance Poppy washed his hands in the kitchen. Maybe he knew that by washing them there, then touching a few doorknobs, he would just re-germ everything. However, there is no excuse for Angry Fat Guy to seek such revenge against George. George is well within his rights to hide a sought after item in a store. I would probably do the same thing, I just wouldn’t rub it in the guys face.

Jason: If I’m in the bathroom of a restaurant and the owner of the place walks out of that bathroom without washing up, you bet your ass I’m making a call to the Board of Health. Jerry obviously has his issues with Audrey, so ratting out her father for having pissy hands wouldn’t be that big a deal.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: Kramer and Mannequin Elaine could have really been a hot item that ran roughshod over the Big Apple, but we don’t get to follow it through. It would have been a real Weekend at Bernie’s situation, but if anyone can bang an inanimate object and make it work, it is the K-Man. Oh, and Audrey sucks. Relationship Grade: Doublemint Threesome/10

Aaron: “What’s she doing to his back?” If only I could tell him the truth and say pleasuring him. Can one build a relationship around an itch? If my son’s reactions are any indicator than yes, you can build a HILLARIOUS one. Relationship Grade: Are we not doing numbers any more?

Andrew: Audrey has some attractive qualities, but shaking off pie is not one of them. That’s a deal breaker, ladies. On the other end of the spectrum, I was fully invested in the relationship between Kramer and Olive. How could Kramer kick her to the curb so easily? Is he that sure he’s never going to develop another itch? Why won’t he give love a chance? Relationship Grade: Funky Adventure/10 

Jordan: Olive and Kramer really had something going, and then he lost the itch. It’s a tragic tale of once hot relationships cooling off. They should make sure the itch never goes away. For all you married folks out there, take time to MAKE scratching a part of your routine. Nobody wants to know their spouse or significant other no longer wants their back scratched. Relationship Grade: SON OF AN ITCH/10

Jason: Audrey is completely nuts. A pretty face, but her antics are uncalled for. I absolutely adore Olive. Kramer should have hung on to her after he lost his itch. Is their a sex tape on the web of Kramer and the mannequin? George got one over on Bob with the suit, but George refusing pie at the meeting might not have got him the job, but it saved his ass from getting food poisoning from Bob lacing the pie. Relationship Grade: 40-Short/10

What Worked:

JT: George’s excitement at the people mover idea was great, as was Elaine’s advice for Jerry to dump Audrey; Kramer using the spatula to scratch his back always makes me chuckle; The saleswoman being bitchy to Elaine was good, especially the eye roll; George’s French accent was great as was his getting a glimpse of the Elaine mannequin naked; The pie stuff is right in Jerry’s wheelhouse; Poppy!; The hand washing stuff was perfect to happen to a neat freak like Jerome, and the open kitchen with Poppy kneading the dough was well done; George’s suit scheme was brilliantly done, and again he is a tragic figure with the swooshing noise; Elaine’s suspect list scene was funny and relatable; The erotic mannequin setup and George trying to hide the swooshing; The Doublemint gum line breaks me every time; Nice tie-in at the end with George refusing the pie and not getting the job; Kramer making out with the mannequin was funny

Aaron: Jack laughed when George strutted around in the suit, as well as when anyone refused food. When I asked him what he liked about the show he said “I don’t know.” I guess I enjoyed George’s awe at Jerry’s idea for the moving walkways, as well as Mackenzie being you typical Seinfeldian businessman. Unreasonable to a fault and yet not so far from someone we’ve probably met. Elaine’s meanness is always welcome as she instructs Jerry to dump Audrey before later exposing him as a psycho. Kramer describing back scratching as a “Wild, savage free for all,” seems downright perfect for him to say.

Andrew: Poppie stretching the dough after his trip to the bathroom was pretty great. Elaine’s doppelgänger mannequin was really well designed: close enough to be unmistakable, but no so identical that the saleswoman couldn’t deny the resemblance (speaking of which, her eye roll was perfect). “Kramer has an itch” doesn’t sound like much of a storyline, but he really makes it work (“Elaine, scratch my back…it’ll be a funky adventure”).

Jordan: Jerry really was great throughout this one. I know the series becomes a running list of superficial reasons to end a relationship, but I am with him here. Audrey refusing to explain why she won’t eat pie, even though she clearly enjoys pie, is disturbing. I also thought George was great throughout this one, with the love of the moving walkway idea and the whole suit battle with the other dude. Elaine dealing with the lady in the store was fun, and I liked the woman treating Elaine like a second class citizen for no real reason. Poppy not washing his hands and Jerry’s reaction is really well done. And of course, Ricky at the end of the episode was a great capper.

Jason: Kramer posing like the mannequin in Jerry’s appartment. George’s, “May I help you?” to Bob at Rinitze’s. George hiding the suit so he can grab it when the sale starts. Kramer scratching his back with Jerry’s spatula. Jerry leaving the tip for the old ladies. Jerry’s Doublemint gum reference in the car with Elaine and the mannequin. Kramer’s reaction after Olive scratches is back for the first time. George’s expression when the saleswomen strips down the mannequin. Poppie zipping up and leaving the bathroom followed by Jerry’s blank look in the bathroom, then when he gets back to the table with Audrey, Poppie sticking his hands in the dough. Jerry nodding off Audrey when he refuses to eat the pizza. The flowers Kramer gets Olive fits her perfectly. The Elaine mannequin bent over getting spanked. The payoff with Ricky being the designer of the mannequin. Kramer making out with the mannequin to end the episode is terrific.

What Didn’t Work

JT: Audrey is super annoying immediately with her refusal to try the pie; The suit George is obsessed with is brutally awful; The Kramer itch storyline had some good one liners but overall was a fairly weak angle; The urine would have cooked off, don’t be a bitch Jerome

Aaron: When I asked Jack what he didn’t like he told me, “There was no poop,” before laughing and leaving the room. I’ll go with Audrey being a terrible actress. Look at her closely; every line she says she leans in and opens her eyes wide. It makes every line she says completely unbelievable. People don’t do that. Aliens pretending to be people might, but there isn’t enough subtext to prove that theory. Clearly a bad habit and something that should have kept her from being cast. Maybe she was banging Larry David or Alec Berg. And yes I can say bang, Jack has gone to bed.

Andrew: I try not to pick on the wardrobe too much, but I can’t get over how ugly George’s suit was. It was clearly not worth all the effort he put into it. I also found the saleswoman’s Inspector Clouseau accent distracting.

Jordan: George’s suit looked like it was made from a potato sack. I usually like Kramer’s physical comedy, but I thought this one was a bit much. He made up for it by making out with a mannequin in the end, but his reaction to being scratched just seemed goofy.

Jason: Bob’s shirt the first time he goes in Rinitze’s is awful. Audrey belongs on a shrink’s couch. Thumbs down on George’s suit.

Key Character Debuts


Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “Maybe she’s diabetic.” – George “No. She carries Entemanns doughnuts in her purse.” – Jerry

– “I got a pebble.” – Elaine “Boy, I never heard of that happening to a woman?” – Jerry “What the hell does that mean?” – Elaine

– “It’s uncanny! It’s like they chopped off your arms and legs, dipped you in plastic, and screwed you back all together, and stuck you on a pedestal. It’s really quite exquisite.” – Kramer

– “Wait a minute, Rinitze? Don’t they have somme really cool suits in there?” – George “Real Boss!” – Kramer

– “What are you saying, that I’m not good enough for this hideous dress? Listen Natasha… I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing your crummy little euro-trash rags.”

– “You were full. So you gave a reason. You didn’t just shake your head.” – Jerry “No, I’m not a psycho.” – Woman

– “Hey, Elaine scratch my back.” – Kramer “No way!” – Elaine “Come on, one lap around.” – Kramer “No.” – Elaine “It will be a funky adventure.” – Kramer

– “You know honey for an unadvertised sale, you’re doing a lot of yapping about it.” – George

– “Audrey, I got to be honest with you. I’m a very curious guy. It’s my nature. I need to know things. Not tasting the apple pie the other day, I can’t get past it. You obviously like pies. You carry doughnuts in your bag, you’re not averse to pastry. Surely you could see how such a thing would prey on my mind.” – Jerry

– “Even if you’re not gonna soap up, at least pretend for my benefit. Turn the water on, do something.” – Jerry “Yeah, just like I do.” – George “You know a chef who doesn’t wash is like a cop who steals. It’s a cry for help, he wants to get caught.” – Jerry “Well, I think Poppie’s got some problems. There’s a whole other thing going on with Poppie.” – George

– “Yeah. My lady friend down at Monks. You guys ought to see the way she works her nails across my back. Ohh! She’s a maestro. The crisscross. The figure eight, strummin’ the ol’ banjo, and this wild, savage free-for-all where anything can happen.” – Kramer

– “Is that Elaine mannequin still there?” – Kramer “Yeah. The last time I saw her, she was naked.” – George “Yeah, and Poppie’s got problems…” – Jerry

– “I hope you rot in that suit. I’m gonna get you for this. I don’t know how, but I’m gonna get you. You are going to pay!” – Bob “Oh, I’ll pay. Half-price. Arrivederci my fellow 40-short.” – George

– “Yep. Sat down, had herself a piece of pie.” – Kramer “Was it apple?” – Jerry “What else?” – Kramer

– “Well, I believe there’s some legal precedent – Winchell vs. Mahoney” – Jerry

– “What do they want from Poppy?” – Audrey “Well, Poppy’s a little sloppy.” – Jerry

– Ricky the Mannequin Maker is a callback to The Cigar Store Indian (S5, E10)

Oddities & Fun Facts

– Audrey is portrayed by Suzanne Snyder, who also portrayed Eva in The Limo (S3, E19)

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: I laughed a lot in this one. For any other sitcom, this is probably a perfect score because there was tons to love. But on the Seinfeld Scale? It ranks in just below the truly great episodes. There were some slow spots but the dialogue was really crisp throughout and the mannequin storyline was brilliant. Audrey was unlikeable but we get introduced to Poppy, which is a nice win as well. In a juggernaut season like this one, this episode is a middle of the order, reliable bat that adds super depth to a hall of fame squad. Final Grade: 8/10

Aaron: Well my son sure liked it. He laughed, mostly when I did, but in truth he may have just been happy to be up past 11:30. Perhaps he was delirious. This one was fine. Let’s move on. Final Grade: 6/10

Andrew: This episode falls into the rapidly growing category of “really entertaining, but not one of the best”. After it made me laugh so consistently, it feels a bit unfair to judge an episode that harshly. But this deep into one the greatest runs in television history, they can’t all be classics. Final Grade: 8/10

Jordan: This was fun. I did enjoy everything tying together, with George and Jerry both refusing to eat pie and not offering an explanation. For the third time, the Ricky bit was awesome. However, I didn’t like Kramer a whole lot this time out. Mostly good stuff with a dull subplot of the backscratcher. Final Grade: 7/10

Jason: Every plot served a purpose. From Bob being the chef at the restaurant to Ricky being the designer of the Elaine mannequin. Lots of laughs from Kramer’s itch, the mannequin, George’s swishy suit and the debut of Poppie. Thisn’t isn’t a perfect episode, but deserves plenty of praise. Winner, winner, piss infested pizza for dinner. Final Grade: 8/10