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The Marine Biologist

For the profession, see Marine biology.
"The Marine Biologist"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 14
Directed by Tom Cherones
Written by Ron Hauge & Charlie Rubin
Production code 514
Original air date February 10, 1994
Guest actors

Wayne Knight as Newman
Carol Kane as Corinne
Richard Fancy as Lippman
George Murdock as Testikov
Rosalind Allen as Diane

Season 5 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Marine Biologist" is the 78th episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld. It is the 14th episode of the fifth season. It was originally broadcast on NBC on February 10, 1994. Jerry Seinfeld considers the episode to be one of his favorites. [Season 5 extras. inside looks # 7] About thirteen minutes into the episode, when Elaine confronts Kramer about the electronic organizer, Kramer opens his door wide enough so that one can see inside his apartment, which most noticeably (in this scene) features a framed black-and-white photograph of Jerry Seinfeld on the wall, in a close-up sort of pose with his hand on forehead, looking somewhat exhausted, like most authorial back-flap photographs. It was the first episode with an alternate ending. Instead of the usual stand-up comedy, it showed some final developments of the plot.


While having a conversation with Elaine about his favorite yellow t-shirt, "Golden Boy" (which, due to its age, is "dying"), Jerry tells her the novel War and Peace was originally called War, What is it Good For? (a reference to Edwin Starr's hit song "War"). Kramer gives Elaine an electronic organizer. Also he has acquired a stash of 600 Titleist golf balls from a driving range and decides to practice his driving skills by hitting them into the ocean rather than a driving range.

Jerry meets a female friend from college (Rosalind Allen), and claims that George is a marine biologist. George, who now is expecting a call from her, is upset because he prefers to lie about being an architect.

Elaine shares what Jerry told her with an eccentric Russian author, Yuri Testikov (George Murdock), who is being courted by Pendant Publishing, her company. This causes a brief argument between Elaine, Mr. Lippman, & Testikov. Upon hearing Elaine's electronic organizer beep repeatedly, he angrily grabs it from her and tosses it out of the window of the limousine they were sharing.

Kramer returns home in humiliation, having missed every ball except one, and becomes obsessed with getting sand out of his clothing. At the beach, George keeps lying about his job when he is called upon to use his nonexistent marine biology skills to save a beached whale. Later, Jerry receives a phone call from a woman named Corinne (Carol Kane) who sees his phone number in the organizer after it hit her in the head while she was walking down the street. The two meet at Monk's Cafe and the woman won't return Elaine's organizer to Jerry until she is compensated for her hospital bill.

Elaine wants Testikov to pay for the woman's bills, so she and Jerry go to confront him in his hotel room. Elaine carries a tape recorder in her bag, Testikov hears a noise and thinks they are secretly recording him; he reacts by throwing the tape recorder out the window, hitting the very same woman in the head while she waits outside to return the electronic organizer. Meanwhile, while trying to get sand out of his shoe, Kramer accidentally drops it out of his apartment window, hitting Newman who happens to be strolling beneath.

In Monk's Café, the episode ends with George's dramatic retelling of his struggle with the whale in a famous climax:

George: So I started to walk into the water. I won't lie to you, boys, I was terrified! But I pressed on - and as I made my way past the breakers, a strange calm came over me. I don't know if it was divine intervention or the kinship of all living things, but I tell you, Jerry, at that moment - I was a Marine Biologist! ...The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli! I got about fifty feet out and suddenly, the great beast appeared before me. I tell ya, he was ten stories high if he was a foot. As if sensing my presence, he let out a great bellow. I said, "Easy big fella!" And then, as I watched him struggling, I realized that something was obstructing its breathing. From where I was standing I could see directly into the eye of the great fish!
Jerry: Mammal.
George: Whatever.[1]

George reveals that the whale's blowhole had been blocked with Kramer's golf ball. Kramer responds meekly that it was a "hole in one." George also told his girlfriend about not really being a marine biologist; she dumped him as a result. Elaine then asks Jerry what happened to "Golden Boy"; he tells her it "didn't make it", but it's now been replaced by its son, "Baby Blue."

Critical reception

Rick Kushman of The Sacramento Bee listed this as one of the Top Ten Seinfeld Episodes: a "brilliantly plotted story that weaves together all kinds of silliness," including this famous exchange:

Jerry: I may have mentioned you're a marine biologist.
George: But I'm not a marine biologist.
Jerry: I'm aware of that.
George: Why couldn't you make me an architect? You know I always wanted to pretend I was an architect.[2]

In 2009, a New Hampshire Union Leader columnist speculated that one could ask "people to name their favorite living marine biologist... and the most likely answer is George Costanza."[3]


  1. ^ Hauge, Ron and Charlie Rubin (February 10, 1994). "Script: Episode 78 - The Marine Biologist". Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kushman, Rick (May 10, 1998). "Nothing But the Best - BEE TV Columnist Rick Kushman Chooses The TOP 10 Seinfeld Episodes". The Sacramento Bee. p. EN16. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Clayton, John (October 26, 2009). "NH woman pulls plastic from the Pacific". New Hampshire Union Leader. p. 1. Retrieved April 30, 2013.