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The Fatigues

"The Fatigues"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 6
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Written by Gregg Kavet & Andy Robin
Production code 806
Original air date October 31, 1996
Season 8 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Fatigues" is the 140th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. This was the sixth episode for the eighth season. It aired on October 31, 1996.


Jerry is dating a girl, Abby (A.J. Langer), and is intrigued by the concept of his girlfriend having a mentor. Jerry meets Cynthia, his girlfriend's mentor, but finds out she is dating Kenny Bania. After they see Bania's act, Jerry's girlfriend loses respect for her mentor and eventually fires her. George has to give a lecture on risk management (because his résumé gives the impression that he is an expert on the subject), but he finds that he can't study for it because books on tape have spoiled him. When George discovers the blind can get any book on tape, he intentionally fails an eye test so he can get his book on tape. George encounters a problem when the person's voice on the tape sounds like his voice, much to his displeasure.

Elaine prepares to fire Eddie Sherman (Ned Bellamy), an employee who constantly delays important stuff, but when she meets face to face with him, is scared of him due to his gruff voice and wearing military fatigues, so she promotes him instead. When he does a terrible job, Elaine promotes him again just to get rid of him. This plan backfires when the other employees quit because he was promoted over them, causing Elaine to work on the project alone with Sherman.

Kramer runs a Jewish singles night at Frank's Knights of Columbus hall. When he realizes he can't cook Jewish food, he asks for Frank's help. Frank refuses, because he hasn't cooked since the Korean War, where he sickened his fellow troops by using bad meat and has become traumatized because of it (Frank's memory is dramatized with a reenactment in which the onset of food poisoning is set to Barber's "Adagio for strings", as in the film Platoon).

When Cynthia dumps Bania because of his poor act, he turns to Jerry for advice, and Jerry agrees to be his mentor. At the same time, Jerry's girlfriend is looking for a mentor and Jerry is surprised to find that she picked George. However, George's plans are for her to read and summarize his book on risk management so he can present it to the board. Unfortunately, their files get mixed, and Bania ends up talking about risk management (which ends up working out well for him) and George ends up talking about Ovaltine. Frank, displeased at Estelle's cooking, decides to cook again and helps Kramer get the food ready for his Jewish singles night. Working exceptionally well as a team of two, Elaine and Sherman manage to finish the catalogue, and when Elaine finds out he adopted his frightening persona after a failure to meet a nice Jewish woman and settle down, takes him to the Jewish singles night. The food turns out to be a hit, and Frank feels reborn ("like a Phoenix, rising from Arizona"). Due to his impressive string of quick promotions, Sherman is given an offer from a woman who would pay him extra for his work. He ends up choking on his food when Elaine violently shakes while proclaiming "I need you!"; this, combined with the fact that Sherman is dressed in fatigues, brings back the bad memories of the night Frank caused his soldiers so much distress. Believing this is a recurrence of food poisoning, Frank wildly tries to stop people from eating, and the episode closes as he tips over the buffet (again to "Adagio for Strings").


The episode and Gregg Kavet & Andy Robin won at the Episodic Comedy at the Writers Guild of America Awards 1997.[1]


  1. ^ "wga awards". 2009-07-11. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 

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