The Calzone

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"The Calzone"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 20
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written byAlec Berg & Jeff Schaffer
Production code720
Original air dateApril 25, 1996
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Wig Master"
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"The Bottle Deposit"
Seinfeld (season 7)
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Calzone" is the 130th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 20th episode of the seventh season. It aired on April 25, 1996.


Steinbrenner becomes intrigued when he smells George's lunch during a meeting. George explains that it is an eggplant calzone and allows him to taste it. Steinbrenner then has George bring him a calzone for lunch every day. One day at the Paisano restaurant, George puts some money into the tip jar but realizes his gesture was unnoticed by the employee. George tries to fish out the money in order to replace it and get recognition for his tip.[1] However, the Counter Guy (Peter Allas) turns and, under the impression that George is stealing money from the jar, refuses to sell him any more calzones and threatens him. In anxiety, George recommends to Steinbrenner that they try something new for lunch the next day. Steinbrenner, however, insists that they continue to keep their routine by stating once he likes something he sticks with it. George makes a deal to obtain the calzones from Newman, whose mail route brings him past Paisano's every day. Newman accepts, but demands his own calzone, a slice of pepperoni pizza, a large soda and three cannolis a week.[2]

Meanwhile, Kramer is raving about wearing clothes "straight out of the dryer," because the warmth is comfortable; and Elaine's new friend, Todd Gack (John D'Aquino), is dating her without really ever asking her out. This puzzles her, and Jerry explains, "Because if he doesn't ask you out, he doesn't get rejected. He has found a dating loophole."[2]

Jerry takes advantage of his beautiful girlfriend Nicki's (Dylan Tays) ability to get anything she wants, including convincing a cop to not give Jerry a speeding ticket. Todd Gack offers to sell Jerry some Cuban cigars, which Jerry thinks "might be a nice idea for George's wedding," but they turn out to be from Peru. Kramer starts using Jerry's oven to warm his clothing.

To George's frustration, however, Newman calls in sick and does not go to work because it is raining (something he always does, despite the postman's creed, which Newman claims he never cared for). In desperation, George asks Kramer to get him a calzone so that he can stay in Steinbrenner's good graces. Kramer agrees, but also, because he got wet in the rain, puts his clothes in the pizza oven at Paisano's, and they get burned. He tries to pay the calzone seller with pennies and an argument ensues; the Counter Guy kicks Kramer out of the restaurant. Kramer goes to George's office and drops his burnt clothes by a vent.

Jerry and Elaine lose Nicki and Todd to one another, when Nicki sees Todd about the cigars but he winds up wheedling another "non-date date" dinner with her. Jerry and Elaine are smoking the Peruvian cigars, which "smell like a rubber fire" and feels like they are "smoking a chicken bone"; when Elaine asks Jerry if he wound up paying for them, Jerry says, "It's being taken care of right now." The scene cuts to Kramer knocking on Todd's apartment door. When Todd answers, Kramer tosses him a large sack full of pennies with such force that it violently knocks him to the floor.

The calzone smell from Kramer's clothes wafts into Steinbrenner's office, and he runs to George's office, thinking he has calzones. Steinbrenner realizes the smell is from the clothes, and (like Kramer) thinks, "That's not a bad idea."[2]

Critical response[edit]

Linda S. Ghent, Professor in the Department of Economics at Eastern Illinois University, discusses this episode in terms of incentive and explains:

George puts a dollar in the tip jar at the pizzeria, but the counterman's head was turned and he didn't see it. George laments that it cost him a dollar, but he got no credit for it. His altruism is not pure - he gets utility not from giving, but from getting credit for giving.[3]

Seinfeld Law,[4] a blog written by law students which discusses the legality of the issues that arise in each episode, discusses whether or not it was legal to reject Kramer's payment in coins.[5]


  1. ^ "Top 15 Seinfeld Food Related Episodes". Eating the Road. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Script, Episode 130 - The Calzone". Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "Seinfeld Economics: The Calzone". Critical Commons. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  4. ^ "Seinfeld Law". Seinfeld Law. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  5. ^ ""The Calzone" – Paying in Cash". Seinfeld Law. 2018-02-12. Retrieved 2018-02-22.

External links[edit]