How to Write an Episode of Seinfeld: A Scene by Scene Deconstruction

How many scenes would you say are in an episode of Seinfeld?

Most people seem to guess that there are 8. And by “most people” I mean that I conducted some rough “research” where I polled five writer friends via an email. I was surprised to find that almost all of them thought an episode of Seinfeld contained roughly 6-8 scenes.

Seinfeld, "The Chicken Roaster"

Wrong.

It seems that most episodes of Seinfeld have somewhere between 18 and 22 scenes. I know because I watched six episodes and counted – I actually took detailed notes on each. Down below I’ll break down an episode scene by scene.

So… what’s  scene?

scene is the action in a single location and continuous time.  A scene is also about characters making decisions.

Take “The Chicken Roaster” episode of Seinfeld. In it, a chicken restaurant opens across the street from Jerry and Kramer, causing a gigantic red neon light to beam directly into Kramer’s apartment. Kramer decides to boycott the restaurant, while Jerry decides to move into Kramer’s apartment.  The plot takes us on a journey where we watch Kramer’s emotions for the chicken restaurant go from HATE to LOVE and finally to SADNESS. All that takes place over 28 scenes in this one  23 minute episode.

Here are three lessons I’ve learned deconstructing Seinfeld: Continue reading “How to Write an Episode of Seinfeld: A Scene by Scene Deconstruction”