The Wife (Seinfeld)

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"The Wife"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 17
Directed by Tom Cherones
Written by Peter Mehlman
Production code 517
Original air date March 17, 1994
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Stand In"
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"The Raincoats"
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Wife" is the 81st episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. The 17th episode of the fifth season, it was originally broadcast on March 17, 1994. For the syndicated repeats, this episode is just one in a few this season to keep Jerry's opening stand-up routine intact.


Jerry and his girlfriend Meryl (Courteney Cox) pose as husband and wife so that she can receive a 25% off family discount on dry cleaning. George is seen urinating in the shower at the health club and fears he may be reported to management. Elaine is attracted to Greg, a man at the health club. But she is confused by his mixed signals, such as giving her an open lipped kiss but then wiping off her water bottle when she offers him a drink. Meanwhile, Kramer is losing sleep because Jerry took his favorite quilt to the cleaner (so that Kramer could get the family discount too).

Jerry and Meryl start to bicker as if they really were a long time married couple. Eventually he "cheats" on Meryl by giving his dry cleaning discount to another woman (Rebecca Glenn).

Elaine discovers that Greg, the man she likes, is the same one who caught George urinating in the shower.[1] When she finds out that he is actually interested in another woman, she helps George avoid being punished by threatening to report Greg for not wiping off his sweat from the machines.

When Jerry points out that Kramer is looking pale from lack of sleep, Kramer goes to a tanning salon. However, he falls asleep on the tanning bed and becomes very dark. The episode ends with Kramer arriving to meet his African-American girlfriend's family. When he arrives, they are horrified and think he is in blackface.

In popular culture[edit]

A blog dedicated to the legality of the issues that arise in Seinfeld episodes, Seinfeld Law[2], posed the question "are Jerry and Meryl now married by common law?[3]"


  1. ^ "Recap". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Seinfeld Law". Seinfeld Law. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  3. ^ ""The Wife" – Common Law Marriage". Seinfeld Law. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-22.

External links[edit]