'What are they planting to grow the seedless watermelon?': Jerry Seinfeld's 30 funniest one-liners

Jerry Seinfeld performing onstage in 2018
Jerry Seinfeld performing onstage in 2018 Credit: Getty Images

Thirty years ago this week, the debut episode of seminal sitcom Seinfeld aired on NBC. The “show about nothing” went on to run for nine years and break ratings records, with its finale watched by an estimated 76.3 million viewers. 

Now its star and creator Jerry Seinfeld is landing on UK soil to perform his first stand-up gigs here for eight years at London’s Hammersmith Apollo this weekend. These will be followed next week by a new series of his Netflix talk show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.

We salute the king of observational comedy by selecting his 30 snappiest lines…

1. On the ideal underpants:

“Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support and a little bit of freedom.”

2. On the worst four words to hear:

“'We have to talk.’ The four worst words in the English language. Rivalled only by ‘Whose bra is this?’”

3. On ogling women:

"Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don't stare straight at it. It's too risky. You get a sense of it, then you look away.”

4. On staying warm:

“I heard a weatherman say that 75 per cent of your body heat is actually lost through the top of the head. Which sounds like you could go skiing naked if you got a good hat.”

5. On news coverage:

“It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”

Seinfeld dressed as a bee, in a promotional stunt for his 2007 film Bee Movie Credit: Stephen Lock

6. On boxing:

“It's strange: two guys in shorts competing for a belt. They should at least award them slacks or a shirt.”

7. On people and their pets:

“Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?”

8. On magazines for men:

“There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, ‘I know what I'm doing, just show me somebody naked.’”

9. On spices:

“People love cinnamon. It should be on tables at restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime anyone says, ‘Oh, this is so good. What's in it?’ The answer invariably comes back: cinnamon.”

10. On clowns’ names:

“I mean, Bozo the Clown... does he really need ‘the clown’ in his title? Are we going to confuse him with Bozo the district attorney? Bozo the pope? There's no other Bozo.”

11. On public toilets:

“Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?”

12. On a happy marriage:

“Marriage is like a game of chess. Except the board is flowing water, the pieces are made of smoke and no move you make will have any effect on the outcome.”

Seinfeld with his sitcom co-stars Jason Alexander (left), Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards (right) at the 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards Credit: Reuters

13. On ordering in restaurants:

“No, I don't want to hear the specials. If they're so special, put 'em on the menu.”

14. On drunk people:

“I hate being around alcoholics because they're either telling you how much they love you or how much they hate you. And those are the two statements that scare me the most.”

15. On gay couples:

“I’ll tell you what the big advantage of homosexuality is: if you’re going out with someone your size, right there you double your wardrobe.”

16. On television:

“Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV.”

17. On women’s make-up:

“Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not colour. It’s to accept God’s final word on where your lips end.”

18. On unwelcome gifts:

“Somebody just gave me a shower radio. Thanks a lot. Do you really want music in the shower? I guess there’s no better place to dance than a slick surface next to a glass door.”

19. On parenting toddlers:

“A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it.”

20. On women fancying doctors:

“Women go after doctors like men go after models. They want someone with knowledge of the body. We just want the body.”

Seinfeld with Eddie Murphy in a scene from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Credit: Netflix

21. On fruit:

“What are they planting to grow the seedless watermelon?”

22. On time vs distance:

“You can measure distance by time. ‘How far away is it?’ ‘Oh, about 20 minutes.’ But it doesn't work the other way. ‘When do you get off work?’ ‘Around 3 miles.’"

23. On touring:

“I like staying in hotels. I like their tiny soap. I like to pretend it's regular-sized and my muscles are huge.”

24. On ending relationships:

“Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push. You got to rock it back and forth a few times, then it goes over.”

25. On demographics:

“There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.”

26. On fear:

“Surveys show the number one fear of Americans is public speaking. Number two is death. That means at a funeral, the average American would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

27. On the Paralympics:

“Just what is the handicapped parking situation at the Special Olympics? Is it still just the two spaces?”

28. On finance:

"I'm not an investor. People always tell me, ‘You should have your money working for you.’ I've decided I'll do the work. I'm gonna let the money relax.”

29. On sexual climax:

“If women fake it, they had an orgasm under false pretences. That's sexual perjury.”

30. On giving flowers:

“Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate important occasions, they're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? 'Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel.’”

Jerry Seinfeld plays the Hammersmith Apollo on July 12 and 13; Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee returns to Netflix on July 19