|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||David Steinberg|
|Written by||Larry David and Bob Shaw & Don McEnery|
|Original air date||November 13, 1991|
"The Tape" is the 25th episode of Seinfeld. It is the eighth episode of the show's third season. It first aired on November 13, 1991.
Elaine anonymously leaves an erotic message on Jerry's tape recorder that he used to record his comedy act from the previous night. Upon hearing the message, he, George, and Kramer become obsessed with her. Elaine admits to George that she was the sexy voice in the tape. George is shocked to hear this and suddenly becomes attracted to her, but does not tell Elaine about it. Elaine makes George promise not to reveal her confession to Jerry or Kramer. Jerry, determined to get in touch with the woman who left the message, finds out who sat near the tape and gets her number. After his date with her, he tries to kiss her, but gets the "pull-back", and concludes that she is crazy.
George orders a cream from China after watching a commercial that claims that it can cure baldness. At Jerry's apartment, George makes a collect call to the product's company in Beijing while Jerry mocks George for being gullible enough to believe that the cream actually works. George tries desperately to communicate with the people on the other side of the line, but is unable to do so since they don't speak English; meanwhile, this is when Elaine decides to stop by and Kramer decides to start making his own home videos by recording whatever Jerry, George and Elaine are doing. This includes a fake interview with Elaine, portrayed as a porn star, and she says the sex is never simulated with George, arousing him. Finally, the Chinese delivery boy, Ping, delivers the take-out Kramer orders and George convinces Ping, who speaks Chinese, to talk on the phone and help him order the cream.
George finds it hard to control his obsession with Elaine and finally admits to Jerry that he is attracted to her. Jerry wants to know why, but George tries to keep Elaine's secret by not telling him. He finally cracks and tells Jerry that Elaine left the message. She comes in later and tells her secret to Jerry, but Jerry says George already told him. George then confesses that he is attracted to Elaine. She finds this news disturbing and then realizes that Jerry and Kramer have become attracted to her too. Freaked out, Elaine immediately leaves Jerry's apartment, despite Jerry, George and Kramer's pleas to stay. At the end, the three fight to hear the tape again.
Use in scientific research
The Simpsons "Bart the General" and Seinfeld's "The Tape" were used in a Dartmouth College experiment to study brain activity in relation to humorous moments in television shows. The results were published in a 2004 issue of the academic journal Neurolmage. The researchers noted, "During moments of humor detection, significant [brain] activation was noted in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus ... and left inferior frontal gyrus."
- Quoted in Keay Davidson. "So these scientists go into a lab to see what's funny ... - They find gender differences in how humor affects brain." San Francisco Chronicle. November 21, 2005. A1.