The Muffin Tops

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"The Muffin Tops"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 21
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written bySpike Feresten
Production code821
Original air dateMay 8, 1997 (1997-05-08)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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Seinfeld (season 8)
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"The Muffin Tops" is the 155th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 21st episode of the eighth season. It aired on May 8, 1997. In this episode, George dates a woman while pretending to be a tourist from Arkansas, Kramer starts running a "Peterman Reality Tour" after finding out he is the basis for most of the stories in J. Peterman's autobiography, and Elaine and Mr. Lippman run a business selling only the tops of muffins.


A tourist pedestrian asks George to watch his luggage. When he doesn't return, George starts wearing the clothing from the bag while examining a map, and is mistaken for a tourist by Mary Anne, an attractive woman who works for the Visitor's Center. George pretends he's visiting from Little Rock, Arkansas, where he works for the Tyler Chicken company, so that she will be responsible for making date plans. At a cafe, Mary Anne tells George she doesn't want a relationship, since he'll be leaving soon. He tells her he's thinking of moving to New York; she replies that the city would "eat him alive." Days later, George sets out to prove her wrong by showing her his "new" apartment complete with packing boxes, and job at the New York Yankees office. Steinbrenner enters George's office and Mary Anne mentions George's job with Tyler Chicken. Steinbrenner phones the CEO of Tyler Chicken to say he doesn't want to share George. Tyler doesn't know who George is, but reasons that he must be important for Steinbrenner to call him, so he offers to convert all Yankees concessions to chicken, free of charge, in exchange for George working exclusively at Tyler Chicken.[1]

The tourist runs into George at a bar. He makes George return his clothing, leaving him in his boxers. Mary Ann finds George using the bathroom phone to call Jerry, asking him to get him some clothes, and comments that she told him New York would eat him alive.

While eating the top off a muffin at J. Peterman's book signing, Elaine tells Mr. Lippman, who is publishing the book, that someone should open a store selling just the tops. Lippman, stealing her idea, starts a business called "Top of the Muffin to You!". When the business starts to fail, Lippman asks Elaine for advice in exchange for 30% of the profits. She tells him that he must make the whole muffin, then pop the top from the stump, and give the stumps to the homeless shelter. But after complaints about the muffin stumps, the shelter refuses to take them.

While trying to even out his chest hair, Jerry ends up shaving it all off. He worries what his girlfriend Alex will think, until he discovers she's fond of hairless dogs. He continues to shave his chest, telling Alex he is naturally hairless. Kramer warns Jerry that shaving will accelerate the hair's growth.

Elaine confesses to Kramer that the stories he sold to J. Peterman were put into Peterman's biography. Kramer goes to the book signing, claiming he's "the real Peterman", and is kicked out. He then starts conducting "The Peterman Reality Tour" on a school bus for $37.50. Kramer asks Jerry and Alex to take the tour to drum up business with Jerry's celebrity. Elaine asks Kramer to get rid of the muffin stumps on his tour bus. Kramer prolongs the tour into the night, searching in vain for a dump that will take the muffin stumps. As the full moon comes out, Jerry's chest begins itching from hair growth. He runs off the bus and into the forest to scratch his chest, howling like a werewolf at the relief.

Elaine hires Newman to eat the muffin stumps.


"The Peterman Reality Tour" was based on Kenny Kramer's real-life "Kramer's Reality Tour".[2] The original script had a completely different Elaine story, involving Kramer acquiring a police scanner and using it to eavesdrop on his neighbors. Elaine then used info obtained from the police scanner against her boyfriend.[3] Two days before filming, an episode of Frasier used a similar story, so writer Spike Feresten quickly came up with the muffin tops story as a replacement, inspired by a girlfriend named Laurie who only ate the tops of muffins.[2]

The luggage mishap was based on the time a man at a bar asked Feresten to watch his luggage. Rather than waiting as George does in the episode, Feresten abandoned the luggage when he left the bar an hour later.[3] On the day of filming, the actor cast to play Don Tyler completely refused to bob his head. With no time to re-cast the part, a member of the production crew, Pete G. Papanickolas, was asked to fill the role.[3]

The werewolf scene is a parody of Jack Nicholson from the 1994 movie Wolf. The closing scene with Newman is a Pulp Fiction parody.[2]


  1. ^ Riffel, Brent E. The Feathered Kingdom: Tyson Foods and the Transformation of American Land, Labor, and Law, 1930-2005. ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing, 2011, p. 236.
  2. ^ a b c Seinfeld Season 8: Inside Look - "The Muffin Tops" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Feresten, Spike; Louis-Dreyfus, Julia; Alexander, Jason (2007). Seinfeld Season 8: Audio Commentary - "The Muffin Tops" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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