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The Burning (Seinfeld)

"The Burning"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 9
Episode 16
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Written by Jennifer Crittenden
Production code 916
Original air date March 19, 1998
Guest actors
Season 9 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Burning" is the 172nd episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 16th episode for the ninth and final season. It aired on March 19, 1998.

The title of this episode is the same as the 1981 slasher film The Burning, which was Jason Alexander's film debut.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Lloyd Bridges, who died on March 10, 1998. Bridges played Izzy Mandelbaum in "The English Patient" and "The Blood".


Elaine thinks that boyfriend David Puddy may be religious after finding Christian rock stations set on his car radio. At the coffee shop, George laments to Jerry about losing respect at a project meeting led by Mr. Kruger after following a good suggestion with a bad joke. Jerry suggests that George use the Vegas showmanship trick of leaving the room after a comedic high note. Elaine tells George and Jerry about her suspicions with Puddy. George suggests altering his radio presets as a test. Kramer and Mickey Abbott get an acting gig playing sick for some medical students. Jerry's girlfriend Sophie (Cindy Ambuehl) calls him with the "it's me" greeting, but he does not recognize her voice. At the next Kruger meeting, George takes Jerry's suggestion and actually leaves the room after a well-received joke and goes to a movie theater to see Titanic. For their acting job, Mickey and Kramer are assigned bacterial meningitis and gonorrhea, respectively. Elaine confirms that Puddy is religious. Kramer picks up on the showmanship idea and gives an impressive theatrical performance of gonorrhea for the med students. When Sophie uses the unwelcome "it's me" greeting on Jerry's answering machine, George suggests he does an "it's me" when he calls back to see if she recognizes Jerry's voice. Sophie does not, and assumes it's a friend named "Rafe". She reveals that she has not told Jerry about an incident she calls the "tractor story." Puddy confirms that he is religious and doesn't care that Elaine is not, because he is "not the one going to Hell."

George and Jerry speculate on what the tractor story may be, George thinks she may have lost her thumbs in an accident and that her big toe is grafted on in their place. This causes Jerry to yell that she does not have "toe-thumbs". Elaine is frustrated that Puddy does not seem concerned about her, when he thinks she is going to Hell. George's showmanship backfires when Kruger throws everyone else off the large project because they are boring in comparison. Kramer is concerned about being typecast when the hospital wants him to perform gonorrhea again the next week, due to his stellar performance. Jerry sees a scar on Sophie's leg and assumes it was from a tractor accident. George finds that he has to do all the actual work on the project as Kruger constantly makes excuses and goofs off. Puddy asks Elaine to steal a newspaper. He would do it himself, but he reasons that he is bound by the Ten Commandments and she is going to Hell anyway. Kramer is attacked by Mickey after trying to take over Mickey's assigned role of cirrhosis of the liver. Elaine and Puddy seek the advice of a priest about their relationship. The priest informs them that they're both going to Hell for premarital sex, much to Elaine's delight and Puddy's resentment. Sophie tries to tell Jerry the tractor story, but he tells her that he already knows about it (believing it to be about the scar). Kramer and Mickey enter, still arguing about being given (the role of) gonorrhea, and Sophie tells them her tractor story. She says she got gonorrhea from riding a tractor in her bathing suit. Kramer tells her that that's impossible and she says that's what her boyfriend told her (with the implication that her boyfriend gave her gonorrhea, and that she was rather gullible and believed him). After hearing that, Jerry leaves the relationship on a comedic high note. George tries to get Mr. Kruger to work and instead he makes silly comments and walks off on a high-note just like George previously did, leaving George with a mountain of paperwork.

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