The Yada Yada

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"The Yada Yada"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 19
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written byPeter Mehlman & Jill Franklyn
Production code819
Original air dateApril 24, 1997
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Seinfeld (season 8)
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"The Yada Yada" is the 153rd episode of the American NBC sitcom Seinfeld. The 19th episode of the eighth season, it aired on April 24, 1997. Peter Mehlman and Jill Franklyn were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 1997.


Jerry's dentist, Tim Whatley (Bryan Cranston), has just finished the process of converting to Judaism but is already making Jewish-themed jokes that make Jerry, who is Jewish, uncomfortable. Jerry goes so far as to say that he believes that Whatley only converted "for the jokes".

Kramer and Mickey Abbott double date, but can't decide which woman, Karen or Julie, is right for which one of them.

Elaine is a character reference for Beth and Arnie (Stephen Caffrey), a couple who are trying to adopt, but the story she tells during an interview destroys all hope of adoption: she mentions a time when she and the couple went to a movie, and the husband lost his temper because Elaine was talking during the movie.

George's new girlfriend Marcy likes to say "yada yada yada" to shorten her stories. He tries using this practice to avoid mentioning Susan's death but then becomes suspicious when Marcy tells him that her ex-boyfriend had visited her the night before "and yada yada yada, I'm really tired today". George later consults Jerry and Elaine, suspecting that Marcy used "yada yada" to cover up sex with her ex-boyfriend, and Elaine believes that this is possible.

George: You don't think she'd yada yada sex?
Elaine: I've yada yada'd sex!

Later, George asks Marcy to tell him some of the things she was covering up with "yada yada", and discovers that she's a habitual shoplifter. George, however, is still reluctant to tell her how his engagement ended (since George mentioned: "Well, we were engaged to be married, uh, we bought the wedding invitations, and, uh, yada yada yada, I'm still single.")

Jerry confesses to a priest about what he thinks of Tim's conversion, saying that he's offended (not as a Jew, but as a comedian), only to get sidetracked when the priest laughs at a Catholic joke of Tim's that he repeats. However, the priest is less amused by a dentist/sadist joke that Jerry makes at the end of their conversation. George drops by Jerry's confession and tells him that they need to talk. Kramer decides on the right woman, and Mickey also decides to make his commitment; however, it becomes apparent they made a mistake when Kramer meets Karen's parents, who are revealed to be little people like Mickey. Tim hears about the dentist joke that Jerry told the priest. He takes extreme exception to it and, as a result, deliberately prolongs an uncomfortable procedure. After hearing Jerry's complaints about Tim, Kramer calls Jerry an "anti-dentite".

Elaine lobbies on behalf of Beth and Arnie, and propositions the adoption official as an inducement. Beth's marriage nonetheless fails and she accompanies Jerry to Mickey's wedding to Karen. Elaine, now dating the adoption agent, is dismayed. George shows up without Marcy, explaining that "She was getting shoes for the wedding, yada yada yada, I'll see her in 6 to 8 months." Julie runs out before the wedding begins, apparently in love with Mickey and unable to bear seeing him marry Karen. Mickey's dad, a dentist, stands up for Whatley and chastises Jerry for antagonizing him: "Tim Whatley was one of my students, and if this wasn't my son's wedding day, I'd knock your teeth out, you anti-dentite bastard." Jerry is initially comforted by Beth who is at first shown to harbor the same feelings towards dentists as Jerry, until she also reveals herself to be both racist and antisemitic, at which point Jerry dumps her and tells Elaine that she left "to get her head shaved". As Karen and Mickey walk out at the end of the ceremony, Karen says to Kramer, "I really wanted you", much to his surprise.


The episode was allowed by NBC to run longer than the usual thirty minutes, and its slightly above-average length was even boasted about in promos. An edited version airs in syndication, cutting out several small scenes and dialogues, but the full-length version is available on the Seinfeld Season 8 DVD collection and on Hulu.

"Yada yada"[edit]

The episode is one of the most famous of the series, specifically for its focus on the phrase "yada yada". "Yadda yadda" was already a relatively common phrase before the episode aired, used notably by comedian Lenny Bruce,[1] among others. The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s vaudeville, or earlier.[2] The Phrase can be heard in the background of After the Fire's[3][circular reference] 1982 version of the song, "Der Kommissar" at the 3:00 mark. The phrase was used by a secretary summing up the boring parts of a letter in the February 16, 1984 Magnum PI episode "The Return of Luther Gillis" 14 years before the Seinfeld episode, in the December 7, 1989 (Season 8 Episode 11) "Cheers" episode "Feeble Attraction" and in the May 13, 1993 Cheers episode "The Guy Can't Help It". On the May 7, 1992 The Simpsons episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" Bart says, "Well, Milhouse, tis better to have loved and lost, yada yada yada."

The phrase was used in the "She's Back" episode of Wings, on 1/3/95, when character Sandy Cooper "yada, yadas" through the wedding ceremony to Joe Hackett. The phrase was used in the February 18, 1997 Caroline and the City episode "Caroline and the Dearly Departed".

The phrase was used in the fifth episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date", which aired on March 31, 1997, appearing when Buffy Summers explains to Angel that she knows about a prophecy. The Seinfeld episode first aired a little less than a month later.

Before the episode aired, writer Peter Mehlman suspected that it would spawn a new Seinfeld catchphrase, but he thought it would be the phrase "anti-dentite" that would become popular. The Paley Center named "Yada Yada Yada" the No. 1 funniest phrase on "TV's 50 Funniest Phrases".[4]

Cultural references[edit]

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert was influenced by the episode as broadcast on April 24, 1997, as the Dilbert comic strip 6 days later on April 30, 1997, had a direct reference to "yada yada".[5]

Seinfeld's use of "yada yada" was referenced in the King of the Hill episode "Yankee Hanky" by Dale Gribble, who ridicules Hank Hill's discovery that he was born in New York City by using the phrase.

On October 7, 1997, a few months after this Seinfeld episode, Tim Allen used the phrase “yada yada” as character Tim Taylor in talking to his neighbor Wilson on the tv show Home Improvement’s ‘Room at the Top’ episode.

That Handsome Devil produced a song titled "Yada-Yada". Similarly, the episode was overtly referenced in the name of a popular Connecticut-based rock and roll outfit, The Anti-Dentites.

The episode was seemingly referenced by politician Sarah Palin in an email to The Daily Caller November 1, 2010:

I suppose I could play their immature, unprofessional, waste-of-time game, too, by claiming these reporters and politicos are homophobe, child molesting, tax evading, anti-dentite, puppy-kicking, chain smoking porn producers…really, they are... I've seen it myself...but I'll only give you the information off-the-record, on deep, deep background; attribute these "facts" to an "anonymous source" and I'll give you more.[6]


  1. ^ "Word for Word: Neology; In the Dictionary Game, Yada Yada Yada Is Satisficing to Some, Not Others", The New York Times, August 22, 1999. Accessed April 8, 2008.
  2. ^ SamClem (2003-01-23). "Straight Dope Staff Report: What's the origin of "yadda yadda"?". Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  3. ^ After the Fire
  4. ^ Gina Carbone (2009-05-26). "'TV's 50 Funniest Phrases': 'Yada, yada, yada' is No. 1". Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  5. ^ "Dilbert comic strip for 04/30/1997 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive". 1997-04-30. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  6. ^ "Sarah Palin Pounds Liberal Media". 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-06-20.

External links[edit]