The Alternate Side

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"The Alternate Side"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 11
Directed byTom Cherones
Written byLarry David and Bill Masters
Production code310
Original air dateDecember 4, 1991
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Seinfeld (season 3)
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"The Alternate Side" is the 28th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. The episode was the 11th episode of the show's third season. It aired on December 4, 1991.

The episode was written by Larry David and Bill Masters; it was directed by Tom Cherones. The idea for the Woody Allen story came from David's experiences working with Allen; he briefly appeared in Radio Days (1987) and New York Stories (1989). He would later appear in a lead role in Whatever Works (2009). The episode repeatedly uses the line "these pretzels are making me thirsty," one of the first popular lines to emerge from the show, which inspired fans to throw pretzels during Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up comedy performances during the few months following its premiere.

In 2012, Jerry Seinfeld identified this as his least favorite episode, saying the stroke patient storyline made him feel uncomfortable.[1]


Jerry's car is stolen and he has a conversation with the thief (voiced by Larry David) on the car phone. Kramer asks for his gloves from the car thief. George takes a job moving cars from one side of the street to the other (covering Sid's shifts while he travels to visit his sick nephew) to comply with alternate side parking regulations. Elaine cares for her 66-year-old boyfriend, who has a stroke just before she is about to break up with him. Kramer gets a single line in a Woody Allen film, "These pretzels are making me thirsty."

Overwhelmed at his new job, George causes a car collision and traffic jam, making it take longer for the ambulance to reach Elaine's boyfriend, which causes additional neural damage that could have been prevented. Due to the delays caused by George, a disgruntled Woody Allen says that he may never shoot a movie in New York City ever again. Additionally, George's poor performance causes many of Sid's long time customers to cancel. This results in Sid being unable to finance his nephew's operation to save his foot, which must now be amputated. While filming his shot during the movie, Kramer slams down his beer mug on the bar and accidentally injures Allen with a flying shard of glass. He is fired from the set. Kramer gets the brown gloves from the car thief but has no information about the car, which irritates Jerry.

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Post listed the "pretzels" line as one of "Seinfeld's 25 greatest contributions to the English language."[2] An article about Elaine's boyfriends, meanwhile, suggests that in the context of Woody Allen films, "perhaps Elaine's strange relationship with Owen, a senior citizen at 66, can be explained as some kind of Manhattan reference.".[3] Another article, while criticizing Elaine's relationship with an older man as inappropriate, argued that it "went with her characterization to be superficial enough to choose men like this."[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gross, Max (July 1, 2014). "Seinfeld's 25 Greatest Contributions to the English Language". The New York Post. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Thomas, Maraithe (May 14, 2018). "29 of Elaine's Boyfriends on Seinfeld, Ranked". New York: The Cut. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Cheeda, Saim (December 7, 2019). "Seinfeld: 5 Couples That Are Perfect Together (& 5 That Make No Sense)". Screen Rant. Retrieved December 31, 2019.

External links[edit]