"The Puerto Rican Day" is the 176th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. It aired on May 7, 1998, and was the 20th episode of the 9th and final season. The episode was their second highest rated episode of all time with 38.8 million viewers, only behind their series finale. The episode aired one week before the two-part clip show and the two-part series finale aired. Because of controversy surrounding a scene in which Cosmo Kramer accidentally burns the flag of Puerto Rico, NBC refused to show it again and it was not initially part of the syndicated package. In the summer of 2002, the episode started to appear with the flag-burning sequence intact. It has aired rarely since.
This episode of Seinfeld has more writer credits—ten—than any other episode. As co-creator Larry David was returning to write the finale, this was the final episode for the active "after Larry David" writing staff and thus was a group effort.
As they approach 5th Avenue traffic comes to a stop, they realize they have forgotten about the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Elaine worries about getting home and seeing 60 Minutes as part of her weekend wind down. Kramer spots a way out if Jerry can worm his way over to the right side of the road. They almost make it over until they reencounter the maroon Golf, who refuses to let them into the lane. Elaine decides to leave and find alternate transportation. George sees that Blimp is playing in a nearby theater and decides he wants to repeat his funny comment, and leaves the car. Elaine decides the cab she hired is not working, so she bails out, only to have it start moving again.
George's attempt to be funny at the movie is undermined by a guy with a laser pointer. George shouts his comment, but no one laughs, he is humiliated and yells at the man with the laser pointer. Kramer suggests that he and Jerry abandon his car, but Kramer finally cuts a deal with the maroon Golf, and Jerry is forced to make an apology wave. George returns to the car with the red dot of a laser pointer appearing all over parts of his body. As the maroon Golf lets Jerry in, Jerry calls the driver a "jackass" and begins to go down the shortcut, only to find it blocked by the cab that Elaine is in, leaving Jerry stuck in front of the maroon Golf. Kramer urges Jerry to "scratch off the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), take the plates, and walk away while leaving the car in the traffic jam- claiming the vehicle with the insurance company.
Jerry's apartment is seen, but no one is home. Elaine seeks an alternate way home, she works her way over to the parade route and attempts to find a way across. She leads a group of people on an escape route underneath a reviewing stand, mocking The Poseidon Adventure, but in the end only finds a dead end. Kramer seeks a bathroom, spotting an apartment for sale he poses as H.E. Pennypacker, a wealthy industrialist, to get access to the bathroom. When he gets back he tells Jerry about the Mets game. Soon after, Kal Varnsen (Jerry's alias), has worked his way into the apartment to watch the television. George spots the laser guy and plans a sneak attack. George grabs what he thinks is the laser pointer and gets ink all over his hands, it being a real pen. Kramer accidentally sets the Puerto Rican flag on fire with a sparkler ("Dios mio!") and a mob of people, led by Bob and Cedric (in their third and final appearance) attacks him. Art Vandelay (George's alias) seeks the use of a bathroom to clean the ink off his hands and runs into Varnsen. Pennypacker joins them on the run from the mob. Varnsen wants to know who's watching the "Saab factory" in his words. He rushes to the window to find the mob trashing his car.