The Label Maker
|"The Label Maker"|
|Episode no.||Season 6|
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Alec Berg & Jeff Schaffer|
|Original air date||January 19, 1995|
"The Label Maker" is the 98th episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 12th episode for the sixth season. It aired on January 19, 1995. The episode centers around a pair of Super Bowl tickets which are repeatedly gifted from one person to another, while Kramer and Newman take drastic steps to keep each other from cheating at Risk and George fears he is competing for his girlfriend's affections with her roommate.
Jerry has two tickets to the Super Bowl but he cannot attend due to "the Drake's" wedding. Jerry gives the tickets to Dr. Tim Whatley. Elaine and Jerry suspect that Whatley is a "re-gifter" after Whatley, as thanks, gives him the same label maker that Elaine gave Whatley for Christmas. Kramer and Newman play an extended game of Risk. They leave the board at Jerry's apartment so that neither one can tamper with the game.
Kramer informs Jerry that the Drake's wedding is off because he tried to postpone it in favor of the Super Bowl. George suggests Jerry "de-gift" Whatley the tickets, but Whatley has already made plans to go with Newman, which upsets Jerry. Elaine dates Whatley and asks to come up to his apartment in order to find out whether or not he really re-gifted her label maker. Whatley de-gifts Newman's ticket and gives it to Elaine. Jerry and George suspect that, due to Elaine's behavior, Whatley invited her purely with the intent of seducing her. When Elaine hints to Whatley that she does not intend to have sex with him on the Super Bowl trip, he gives her ticket back to Jerry.
As Newman and Kramer continue their game in Jerry's apartment, Jerry, while talking to Whatley outside, notices that Kramer's car is being towed. Kramer runs after the tow truck, taking the board with him so Newman won't cheat; Newman chases after Kramer to make sure he doesn't cheat. Continuing their game on the subway en route to the impound, Kramer taunts Newman over the fact that most of his remaining troops are in the "weak" nation of Ukraine. A Ukrainian man standing next to them hears Kramer, is offended, and upsets the board.
George is enthralled by the apartment of his new girlfriend, Bonnie, including a velvet couch. However, he fears her roommate Scott, who looks just like him, is positioned to become her new boyfriend. He wheedles Bonnie into getting Scott to move out. Using Jerry's label maker to help Bonnie box up Scott's things, George discovers that all the things he liked about the apartment, including the couch and the television, belonged to Scott. He asks Bonnie if she is interested in ménage à trois, hoping she will be disgusted and dump him. Instead, she and Scott are eager to have a ménage à trois with George.
Elaine confronts Whatley about his re-gifting the label maker; he angrily tells her it was defective because the label adhesive wasn't strong enough. Elaine, upset, reveals she developed feelings for him because of the dental work he had done on her, and they kiss passionately. The labels on Scott's boxes peel off in the mail truck, and become property of the post office, much to Newman's delight.
Now in love with Elaine, Whatley gives up his remaining ticket, resulting in Jerry and Newman sitting together at the Super Bowl.
Writers Alec Berg and Jeff Schaffer came up with multiple endings to the episode's different plot threads. One of the endings considered for the Risk story was a worker at the impound lot giving Newman a strategy that allows him to overcome Kramer's strong lead and win the game. George's subplot was originally to end with Bonnie taking pity on Scott after he loses all his things in the mail, leading her to let him move back in and form a sexual relationship with him, thus fulfilling George's original fear. However, after Berg and Schaffer saw the script for "The Switch" they wanted to do a callback to that episode.
Unlike most Seinfeld episodes, the first draft of the script was taken directly to the table-read without any rewriting from Seinfeld creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, though David and Seinfeld added some material to the script, such as Jerry's comments about repeating the name of a gift and George and Jerry's discussion of how a male roommate has the advantage over a boyfriend.
George's sneeze after Jerry tells him that he blamed him for his party crashing in "The Mom & Pop Store" was unscripted, prompting the director to call "Cut", but it was kept in during the editing phase. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a bad cold during the filming; since Bryan Cranston had to perform a mouth-to-mouth kiss with her, he came down with the same cold two days later.
- Berg, Alec; Schaffer, Jeff (2005). Seinfeld Season 6: Audio Commentary - "The Label Maker" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
- Seinfeld Season 6: Notes about Nothing - "The Label Maker" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005.
- Seinfeld Season 6: Inside Look - "The Label Maker" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005.