The Fire (Seinfeld)

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"The Fire"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 18
Directed byTom Cherones
Written byLarry Charles
Production code520
Original air dateMay 5, 1994
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Raincoats"
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"The Hamptons"
Seinfeld (season 5)
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Fire" is the 84th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld and the 19th episode of the fifth season. It originally aired on May 5, 1994, on NBC. This was the final episode to be written by Larry Charles.


Kramer is at Pendant Publishing discussing his idea of a coffee table book about coffee tables with his girlfriend, Elaine's hyperenthusiastic co-worker Toby (Veanne Cox), whom Elaine can't stand and thinks is "deranged". George is dating Robin (Melanie Chartoff), a woman with a young son. Jerry is preparing for a major magazine critic who will review his next show.

Kramer invites Toby to see Jerry's act, where she initially cheers him, but then she starts heckling, booing, and hissing him after a joke he tells offends her. Jerry is so flustered by the heckling, he gets a bad review from the critic. George suggests that Jerry get the "ultimate comedian's revenge" by going to her place of work and heckling her in return.

George attends Robin's son's birthday party and bickers with the clown, Eric (Jon Favreau), for having a bad clown name and not knowing who Bozo the Clown is. Later, George panics when a small fire breaks out in the kitchen and violating the maxim "women and children first", pushes down everyone in his path including Robin's son, her mother, a disabled elderly woman, and the clown, in his rush to get out. Outside the building, they form an angry mob over his behavior. George tries to justify his actions, but then when a firefighter asks him "how do you live with yourself?" George admits "it's not easy".

Jerry goes to Pendant Publishing and heckles Toby. Upset, she runs out of the building where her foot is run over by a street sweeper, severing her pinky toe. Later, Kramer retells the story of how he found the toe, boarded a bus, and fought a gunman to get to the hospital, where her toe was successfully reattached.

Much to Elaine's indignation, Toby then receives a major promotion that Elaine had wanted because her boss felt so sorry for her because of the accident. Toby's first order of business is getting Kramer's coffee table book published.

At the comedy club, Jerry has convinced the critic to return to judge his performance again. Also in the club, George asks Robin for a second chance. However, when he spots a prop comic (Dom Irrera) holding a fake gun, he screams, panics and runs away, as he did with the fire, ruining both Jerry's act and his second chance with Robin.


  • Robin was played by Melanie Chartoff, whom Larry David and Michael Richards knew from the time they worked on the short-lived sketch series Fridays.
  • The name on the back of Ronnie Kaye's Boston Bruins sweater is "Irrera". Ronnie is played by comedian Dom Irrera.
  • The voice that announces Jerry's name before he goes on stage is that of show co-creator Larry David.
  • The Season 5 DVD contains an animated rendition of Kramer's telling of the pinky toe story as part of Seinimation, a series of short animated bonus features on DVDs of the last four seasons, directed by Eric Yahnker.
  • Swedish director Ruben Östlund has cited this episode as an influence in making the movie Force Majeure, which has a similar plot.[1]


External links[edit]