Right now, without looking at a picture, try to visualize Jerry’s apartment on Seinfeld. What do you see? The couch sits in the center of the room behind a small table, with a kitchen to the right. Maybe you also remember the desk placed center left. And the door to a bathroom in the far back, near a bike on a wall. And of course there’s the front door that Kramer made famous. Pretty easy, right? Why wouldn’t it be? That apartment is one of the most iconic locales in all of television history. We’ve all seen it roughly a gazillion times. And yet, it’s only just now that the internet has figured out that the apartment defies the laws of physics.
Reddit user PixelMagic has revealed (in a post we first came across at Indy100) the dark lie of Seinfeld. Jerry’s home can’t exist in the real world. Not if you believe in basic rules of time and space. You can see why in an overhead rendering of the apartment. If you actually built it to these specifications, the outside hall would need to run through Jerry’s kitchen.
Your instinct might be to say the hallway must have been curved. That was my first reaction. Lots of other Reddit users said the same thing too. If you look at screenshots of certain episodes, that does seem plausible. In certain moments the area between Jerry and Kramer’s apartments seems small enough that it could form a little cove. As you walk away from Jerry’s door, the hall could bend away from the kitchen.
But once again, “The Strongbox” is here to ruin Jerry’s life. That was the episode when Jerry kept inadvertently torturing his building mate Phil. Poor Phil owned a parrot that choked to death on the strongbox key Kramer hid in his food dish.
As PixelMagic showed, that episode provides indisputable evidence that Jerry’s hall did not curve away from his door.
There are two possible ways around this conflict. The first is remembering that this is a TV show. The apartment defies the law of physics because they created whatever space they needed to shoot the sitcom.
But the second is a more Seinfeld-ian way to think about this. It’s simple: It’s not a lie if you believe it.
And if neither of those explanations make you happy, and you’re angry about this incongruity, remember: “Serenity now.”