The Mom & Pop Store

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This article is about the Seinfeld episode. For mom and pop stores, see Small business.
"The Mom & Pop Store"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 8
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Written by Tom Gammill & Max Pross
Production code 607
Original air date November 17, 1994
Guest actors

Jon Voight as himself

Season 6 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Mom & Pop Store" is the 94th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the eighth episode for the sixth season. It aired on November 17, 1994.

Plot[edit]

George is set to buy a 1989 Volvo 240 sedan, but instead the car salesman talks him into buying a 1989 LeBaron convertible he says was previously owned by Jon Voight. Elaine wants to date Jerry's dentist, Tim Whatley. Kramer says that a "Mom and Pop" shoe repair store is about to close, and convinces Jerry to send his sneakers to the store to be repaired, commenting that Jerry has a Peter Pan complex when Mom marvels at the amount of sneakers he owns. While there, Kramer's nose starts to bleed, and when he lies down to stop it he notices the wires hanging out of the ceiling and suggests that Mom and Pop call an electrician.

At Mr. Pitt's office, Elaine is taking the salt off his pretzels while listening to the radio. Mr. Pitt wants Elaine to guess an oldie song so he can win a ticket to hold the Woody Woodpecker balloon in the Thanksgiving Parade, something he was never allowed to do as a child because of his strict father.

Jerry discovers that Kramer took all but one pair of his sneakers; the only other footwear he has are a pair of cowboy boots he was given in lieu of money by a club in Dallas that couldn't afford to pay him. Elaine, George, and Kramer all get invitations to Whatley's Thanksgiving party but Jerry is uncertain whether he's been invited as well.

While riding in "Jon Voight's car", Jerry goes through the glove compartment and discovers a chewed pencil and the owner's booklet. The previous owner was actually John Voight, not Jon Voight. Jerry makes fun of George and gets kicked out of the car; he then tries to run from some muggers but slips because of the boots, causing him to hurt his teeth. Because no dentist is willing to see him right before Thanksgiving, Jerry decides to crash the party where many dentists may be present.

Mom and Pop can't afford to bring the electrical installation up to the building code, so they close the store and disappear with all of Jerry's sneakers. Elaine goes to pick up the ticket for Mr. Pitt, but must sit through a loud performance by a live dixieland band before receiving it. While walking down the street, Kramer gets another nosebleed and sees Jon Voight (appearing as himself); when Kramer tries to ask Jon Voight about George's car, he gets bitten by him instead.

At the party, Elaine still can't hear a thing because of the loud dixieland music, and inadvertently turns down a date from Whatley because she thought that he was just offering her nuts. Meanwhile, George and Kramer seek a dentist to match the bite marks on Kramer's arm with those on the chewed pencil. As it turns out, the previous owner of the car was not Jon Voight, the actor, but Dr. John Voight, a periodontist friend of Dr. Whatley. While trying to show his teeth to a dentist, Jerry accidentally pushes a small statue of the Empire State Building out the window and pierces the Woody Woodpecker balloon with Mr. Pitt under it.

Later, Jerry receives a call from a man who has bought one of his sneakers and is informed that Mom and Pop are selling them in a garage sale in Parsippany, New Jersey. Jerry and Kramer decide to head out there and confront Mom and Pop, but as Jerry's car is in the shop they take the bus instead. On their way to New Jersey, Kramer's nose starts bleeding again, in a scene parodying Midnight Cowboy.

Guest stars[edit]

Origin[edit]

Part of this episode was inspired by events that actually happened to writer Tom Gammill. He purchased a car purely based on the belief that it had previously been owned by Jon Voight, only to find out later that he had been lied to. He kept the car, however, and it was used as George's car in both this episode and Season 7's "The Gum." In an interview for the film National Treasure, Jon Voight admitted that the car Gammill purchased was purported to have been owned by his mother, and not himself.

Trivia[edit]

The movie Midnight Cowboy (which starred Jon Voight) is referenced several times in the episode:

  • Elaine, while commenting that she's never seen cars in a Jon Voight movie and listing things other than cars that were in them, says she saw 'boots' in Midnight Cowboy.
  • George sings an altered version of Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" at one point in the episode:
    • "Everybody's talkin' at me
      Can't hear a word they're sayin'
      [George improvises] Just drivin' around in Jon Voight's car..."
  • George also mimics the instrumental while riding with Jerry in the car.
  • The ending of the episode is a parody of the ending of the movie, with the instrumental version of "Everybody's Talkin'" playing in the background as Jerry tries to hold Kramer the same way Joe held Ratso (Kramer pushes him off).

The songs that Elaine listens to on the radio, "Honeysuckle Jump" by Artie Shaw and "Next Stop, Pottersville" are fictional and were created for the episode.