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The Shoes (Seinfeld)

This article is about the Seinfeld episode. For the pop band, see Shoes (band).
"The Shoes"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 16
Directed by Tom Cherones
Written by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Production code 417
Original air date February 4, 1993
Guest actors
Season 4 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Shoes" is the 56th episode of the NBC television sitcom Seinfeld. It is the 16th episode for the fourth season, and first aired on February 4, 1993.


Jerry and George struggle to keep NBC interested in their show. In writing the pilot, they drop their plan to include a character based on Elaine, because they don't know how to write for a woman. (This references the fact that Elaine does not appear in the pilot episode of Seinfeld.) Kramer tells Jerry that he encountered Gail Cunningham (Anita Barone), whom Jerry previously dated; Kramer snubbed her because she refused to kiss Jerry after three dates. Gail then confronts Jerry at Monk's Café over Kramer's behavior, for which he disavows responsibility. Elaine is wearing a pair of shoes from Botticelli, and feels embarrassed when Gail makes a big deal over it.

Later, George asks his therapist for feedback on the script. She reveals that she didn't like it, and George throws an immature tantrum. Kramer tells Jerry that he encountered Gail again, and ended up kissing her; Jerry is perturbed that she would willingly kiss Kramer without even going on a real date. After Kramer tells Elaine that Gail talked told him about Elaine's shoes, she ends up confronting Gail at the latter's workplace, a restaurant where she is a chef. Elaine, who is coming down with the flu, sneezes on a plate of pasta primavera that is then served to Russell Dalrymple (Bob Balaban), the NBC executive.

Jerry and George finish writing their script and give it to Russell at his home, but he suddenly takes leave of them when he becomes violently ill with the stomach flu. Russell's 15-year-old daughter (Denise Richards, who was 22 at the time) has just arrived, and Russell then catches George staring at the girl's cleavage; he sends them away without providing any input on the script. Jerry and George decide that the best way to assuage Russell's anger would be to demonstrate the irresistibility of staring at a woman's cleavage by arranging for him to stare at Elaine's. Gail agrees to inform Jerry when Russell dines at her restaurant again, on the condition that Elaine give her the Boticelli shoes, to which Elaine agrees. The plan works; Elaine wears a low-cut dress to the restaurant and Russell stares at her cleavage; he acknowledges to Jerry and George that a man will stare at cleavage that enters his field of vision.

Jerry, George, and Elaine eat at the restaurant. Elaine has agreed to go on a date with Russell. She tries to convince Jerry and George to write her into the 'Jerry' scripts. When she suggests a scenario where the butler is distracted by her cleavage, the others decry this type of humor as "too broad" for their show.


This was the first episode of season 4 in which Seinfeld was moved from its Wednesday time slot to Thursday at 9:30, right after Cheers, which was in its last season. Seinfeld would take over Cheers‍ '​ spot the following fall and remain there for the rest of the series. The four main characters apprised their viewers of this change in a short segment that ran during the Super Bowl. It's revealed in the DVD "Inside Look" that many on the show were worried that people would be viewing Seinfeld for the first time in this new spot and therefore would know nothing about the story arc of Jerry and George's NBC pilot. The show's popularity skyrocketed through the rest of the season, however, starting its successful run.