The Bubble Boy (Seinfeld)
|"The Bubble Boy"|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Larry Charles, Larry David|
|Original air date||October 7, 1992|
|Season 4 episodes|
|List of Seinfeld episodes|
"The Bubble Boy" is the 47th episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld, as well as the nickname of Donald Sanger, one of the characters in the episode. It is the seventh episode of the fourth season. The episode was directed by Tom Cherones and written by Larry David and Larry Charles. It aired on October 7, 1992. American journalists had in the past covered "bubble boys" who lived in quarantine due to an immune deficiency. The coverage often played for sympathy, ignoring anything about the subject other than his medical condition. In contrast, the bubble boy in this episode (played by Jon Hayman) is rude, selfish, and impossible to sympathize with. He is never seen fully on-screen, except for a pair of gloves that he uses to reach through the barrier; when he is shown exiting the house on a stretcher, he is partially covered by paramedics.
Jerry, George, Elaine, and George's girlfriend Susan plan to travel upstate to Susan's family's lakeside cabin. In the coffee shop, Elaine and Jerry meet a kindly father (played by Brian Doyle-Murray) who describes the sad life of his young son Donald who lives in a "plastic bubble" (a plastic divider which creates a germ-free sterile environment). Because Donald is a fan of Jerry's, Jerry is forced by Elaine to visit Donald on the way to the cabin to cheer him up. However, Jerry gets lost and George and Susan arrive before him. While waiting for Jerry to arrive, they play Trivial Pursuit with the "bubble boy".
The Trivial Pursuit game ends prematurely when George disputes the answer to the question: "Who invaded Spain in the 8th century?" Donald answers "the Moors", but—due to a misprint—the question card says that the answer is "the Moops". George refuses to give Donald credit, and Donald attacks him. As Susan tries to defend George, she punctures and depressurizes the bubble, inadvertently framing George for trying to kill him, since he was struggling with Donald.
While this is happening, Jerry and Elaine decide to exit and go to a diner. It turns out that a waitress (O-Lan Jones) is a fan of Jerry's as well. She asks for an autographed picture of Jerry, who was mispronounced as "Gary Seinfeld". Jerry does not like what he writes, so he asks for it back. The waitress refuses, and it escalates to the point of the waitress choking Jerry. However, this is interrupted by a man who announces that Donald was attacked by George, who claims that Donald tried to kill him, and that his house is right down the street from the cafe. Jerry and Elaine meet up with George and Susan at the house before being attacked by the residents of the town.
Meanwhile, Kramer and Naomi (Jerry's girlfriend, played by Jessica Lundy) attempt to rendezvous with Jerry, Elaine, George, and Susan at Susan's family's country home. Kramer carelessly leaves his lit cigar near some newspapers, which causes a fire that destroys Susan's family's cabin. The other four travelers arrive shortly after the firefighters.
Eponymous computer virus
On November 10, 1999, a computer virus named "BubbleBoy" was discovered, apparently named after this episode. This was the first malware of its kind, having been actually able to activate itself (via an embedded Visual Basic script) upon the recipient opening the e-mail contents, as opposed to running an attachment. As such, in spite of not actually being dangerous, the virus changed the concept of antivirus technology.