Elaine Marie Benes
is a fictional character
on the American television sitcom Seinfeld
(1989–1998), played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus
. Elaine's best friend is her ex-boyfriend Jerry Seinfeld
, and she is also good friends with George Costanza
and Cosmo Kramer
, although she does not have much respect for either of them (calling them a "loser" and a "hipster doofus", respectively).
Unlike her three close friends, Elaine is absent from the pilot episode (episode one). Previously the female role was supposed to be Claire, the waitress played by Lee Garlington, but was moved to Monk's Restaurant and Lee was dropped from the role. Elaine first appears in the second episode, "The Stakeout". NBC executives felt the show was too male-centric, and demanded that creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David add a woman to the cast as a condition for commissioning the show, as revealed in the commentary on the Season 1 and 2 DVD. In addition to the first episode, Elaine did not appear in a two-part episode ("The Trip") and thus appears in fewer episodes than the other main characters.
After it was discovered that Jerry Seinfeld once dated Carol Leifer, speculation grew that Elaine was based upon Leifer, though that was later refuted. The character was partially based on Monica Yates, the daughter of novelist Richard Yates. Larry David once dated Monica Yates, and the two remained good friends after they broke up.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has received critical acclaim for her performance as Elaine, winning an Emmy, a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards.
Elaine is the only woman among the main characters. She has strong political opinions, such as being pro-choice
(refusing to date men who were pro-life
) and an advocate of animal welfare
(starting fights with those who wore fur and not letting Jerry order tuna because dolphins get caught in the nets). As the series progressed she became more of a misanthrope
, edgy and neurotic. Despite getting into arguments and irritations around the main cast, she is apparently known as a man friend as seen in "The Strike
" which reveals she is among one of the boys.
Even though she dates a lot of men, it slowly decreases by season 7 "The Sponge" when she is desperate to get the remaining sponges from an old pharmacist. She coins the word "spongeworthy" when she interviews her boyfriend Billy.
She is noticeably small and apparently somewhat light as well. In "The Betrayal" Jerry is able to carry her without losing normal walking speed and is even capable of not flinching or dropping her as he haphazardly swings her from his back to his front side while hanging from his neck.
Her hairstyle went through changes over the years, though for the majority of the series the style was long with curls or waves. In the season 4 episode, "The Movie", George Costanza describes it as "a wall of hair". Notable deviations from this were mentioned in the season 8 episode "The Soul Mate", in which Elaine refers to the straightened hairstyle she suddenly wears. Elaine wears an extremely short hairstyle only to regret the change when it is met with apprehension by Jerry. Her hairstyle returned to shoulder length by season 7 ("The Wait Out" and "The Invitations") and from season 8 in "The Summer of George" to season 9 "The Betrayal". In the season 9 episode "The Strike", Elaine's hair is damaged when affected by steam.
Her clothing is normally quite conservative; however, her breasts are a major part of three episodes. In "The Pick" she sends many people a Christmas card that has a picture of her baring a nipple (accidentally). George, irate that he didn't receive one, confronts her and she responds by angrily rubbing his head in between her breasts. In "The Shoes", she wears a low cut dress, in an attempt to get Jerry and George a deal with Russell Dalrymple (the head of NBC) after George blew the initial deal by staring at his daughter's chest (the daughter, Molly, played by a young Denise Richards). In "The Gum" her breasts are almost completely exposed to several people, while she is oblivious to the exposure. The only times she is out of her usual attire is in "The Betrayal" when she wears an Indian outfit and hairstyle. Same with "The Millenium" in which she wears a Mayan outfit. Also there are times during many episodes in which Elaine wears glasses, usually during work hours.
Although she is friends with George, Elaine tends to get into numerous arguments with him throughout the series. In "The Wife", he argues with Elaine over her boyfriend who is threatening to kick him out of the health club. In "The Dinner Party", George admits to Kramer that he is afraid of Elaine when she gets angry. The dichotomy of Elaine as the smarter, more successful friend of Jerry when compared to George was occasionally challenged. In "The Opposite", while George does the opposite of what his instincts tell him to do, he encounters great success while Elaine loses her job and Jake Jarmel, her boyfriend on separate occasions due to her habit of eating Jujyfruits and also gets kicked out of her apartment by Tina whom she has been friends with from "The Deal" and "The Truth". In "The Abstinence", George starts getting smarter while not having sex with Louise. Elaine, in an effort to help her boyfriend, Ben, pass his medical licensing exam, decides to withhold sex. However, while he gets smarter, Elaine gets dumber. There are also a few times which Elaine and George work together, most notably in "The Cadillac".
Elaine finds herself teaming up with Kramer in order to solve her problems. She recruits him to act as her boyfriend in an effort to break up with her psychiatrist Dr. Reston in "The Watch". In "The Engagement" she enlists Kramer and Newman's help to kidnap a barking dog. She also uses Kramer's help in "The Slicer" when a crying cat was causing her problems. Her only conflict is in "The Seven" in which Elaine and Kramer are competing with Newman as the judge over a girl's bike.
Elaine's openness often leads her or her friends into trouble. In "The Betrayal", she reveals to Jerry that she slept with Pinter but when Sue Ellen Mischke finds out from George's outburst she calls off her wedding. In "The Outing", her joke about Jerry and George being gay becomes a source of misunderstanding.
Elaine also ends up in awkward situations, often unwittingly ending in horrible conclusions. In "The Pen", she sleeps in an uncomfortable sofa bed, hurting her back, resulting in her taking muscle relaxants and doing a Marlon Brando act from A Streetcar Named Desire, screaming "Stella!" In "The Airport", she has a terrible time flying in coach while Jerry enjoys first class. In "The Van Buren Boys", George has a line that shows that Elaine does get easily irritated as she's part of the gang. "Every group has someone we make fun of. Like us with Elaine."
Elaine's signature move is expressing incredulity by frontally shoving people while yelling "Get out!" after hearing unbelievable news. It sometimes causes the person to fall down or trip. However, in "The Bizarro Jerry" she is flawed when she hangs out with the polar opposites. When she shoves Kevin who is Bizarro Jerry, his friends back him up and this ends her friendship with the Bizarro group.
Elaine is the only main character who does not own a car. In season 7 "The Wait Out" she borrows Jerry's car and is revealed to be a terrible driver. In season 9 "The Burning" she borrows Puddy's car and it reveals that he is religious. For the rest of the series, she usually uses Jerry or some other driver to take her to a location or takes a cab as an alternate transport.
She is also a poor dancer, as evidenced in the episode "The Little Kicks", in which she dances at a J. Peterman company party. George describes her dancing as "a full-bodied dry heave set to music." She repeats her performance in her bedroom in a scene of the episode "The Slicer." Both clips appear in "The Clip Show, Pt. 1.
Benes' father, a gruff novelist named Alton Benes (portrayed by Lawrence Tierney
), a character based on the novelist Richard Yates
, was featured in the episode "The Jacket
". He is an alcoholic and a war veteran, and is very well-respected in the literary community. In the same episode, Elaine's father asks how her mother is; later, in "The Wait Out
", Elaine reveals to David Lookner that her father left her and the rest of her family when she was nine years old
Elaine has a sister, Gail, who is first mentioned in "The Pick". In The Wait Out, it is revealed that Gail lives in St. Louis
Elaine also has a cousin, Holly, who appears in "The Wink". In this episode, reference is made to Elaine's Grandma Mimma, from whom Holly inherited a set of cloth napkins.
In the first season episode "The Stock Tip", Elaine mentions she has an Uncle Pete.
In "The Secret Code", she reveals that she has an uncle who worked in the Texas School Book Depository with Lee Harvey Oswald.
In "The Pick", Elaine mentions she has a nephew.
She also makes reference to a brother-in-law in "The Phone Message".
Background and education
Unlike Jerry, Kramer, and George, Elaine is not a native of New York
, having grown up in the upscale Baltimore suburb of Towson
. In "The Letter
," she reveals herself to be a Baltimore Orioles
fan, at a New York Yankees
game. In "The Dog
", she tells George she moved to New York in 1986.
In "The Pick" Elaine mentions having sent a Christmas card to "Sister Mary Katherine" and "Father Chelios", implying that Elaine was brought up Catholic. She repeatedly asserts herself to be either agnostic or atheist, however, such as when she agreed with Jerry's assessment of what she wanted out of life as "a barren, sterile existence that ends when you die" and when she expressed shock and revulsion when her longstanding boyfriend, David Puddy, was a devout Christian. However, she is seen making the sign of the cross before entering Jerry's apartment to retrieve a manuscript while it is being fumigated in "The Doodle". The possibility of Elaine being Jewish was ruled out in "The Postponement", when she talked to a rabbi about not being herself after finding out George got engaged before she did. She tells him she is not of his faith.
Elaine claims to have an IQ of 145 (although her scores range from 85 to 151) and completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University (her "safety school") as a French Literature major.
Elaine works several steady jobs throughout the show's entire run, mostly as a writer or editor.
- During season two to season five, she works at Pendant Publishing under her boss Mr. Lippman, where she served as a copy editor before losing her job at the end of the fifth season when the company went bankrupt, and a merger that would have saved the company was thwarted by a misunderstanding resulting from her penchant for chewy, speech-impairing Jujyfruit ("The Opposite").
- She later becomes a personal assistant to the eccentric and demanding Justin Pitt, starting in "The Chaperone", but later is fired when Pitt thinks she and Jerry are conspiring to kill him in "The Diplomat's Club". Her duties for Mr. Pitt include mundane tasks such as buying socks for him, or, as featured in "The Mom & Pop Store", removing the salt crystals from his pretzel sticks.
- After her dismissal from this position, she meets J. Peterman on the street ("The Understudy") and becomes an editor at his J. Peterman Catalog, where she remains employed for the rest of the show's run. Starting in "The Foundation", she takes charge of the catalog when Peterman suffers a nervous breakdown in Burma. After a spending spree on the company account (she buys George an $8000 sable hat in "The Chicken Roaster"), she is demoted back to her former position upon Peterman's return. She is also fired twice by Peterman: first when her penchant for poppy seed muffins cause her to fail a drug test in "The Shower Head" and then in "The English Patient" when she expresses her hatred for the movie The English Patient. She is able to recover her job by agreeing to live temporarily in a remote cave in the desert.
Elaine has a string of boyfriends, most of whom appeared for only an episode or two.
- Elaine and Jerry had dated for a while before the show began. They began dating in 1986 (as revealed in "The Truth"), then dated for three years up until 1990. However, in two later episodes they consider making their relationship intimate again. In season 2's "The Deal", they create a set of rules whereby they can sleep together but remain only friends. However, their theory is ruined when Elaine is furious when Jerry gives her $182 as a birthday gift. In season 5's "The Mango", Jerry is so shocked to discover that Elaine had faked her orgasms while they were together, that she agrees to give him another chance "to save the friendship". This attempt fails as Jerry is unable to perform.
- The idea that Elaine and Jerry still have feelings for each other occasionally comes up in the series. In season 3's "The Tape", Elaine leaves a dirty message on Jerry's check tape which reignites Jerry's (along with George and Kramer) passion for Elaine. In the episode "The Fix-Up", Kramer stops an argument between Jerry and Elaine and tells them, "Can't you two see that you're in love with each other?" The two, however, dismiss it. In season 6's "The Mom & Pop Store", when Elaine is temporarily deafened by a big band music party, Jerry jokingly asks her to marry him. In season 7's "The Cadillac", after Elaine realizes that Jerry is financially successful, she begins to flirt with him incessantly. In season 8's "The Abstinence", Elaine abstains from sex with her boyfriend until he passes his medical exam. This results in such mental congestion that she becomes markedly less intelligent. She then begs Jerry to have sex with her, but he turns her down, saying that the situation was "too weird". In season 9's "The Serenity Now", Jerry's uninhibited and exaggerated emotional state causes him to ask Elaine to marry him. Shocked, she makes an excuse and leaves. She returns later to accept his proposal, but Jerry has by that time settled to his usual stable emotional state and says "I don't see it happening." In "The Finale", when they think their plane is about to crash, Elaine says "Jerry, I've always loved...", but the pilot is immediately able to steady the plane. Elaine later explained that she had been confessing that "I've always loved United Airlines." Jerry questioned Elaine about Puddy when she first started dating him and was disappointed she'd be dating his mechanic, telling her "You always want to know who your ex-girlfriend is dating".
- Elaine's longest relationship, besides that with Jerry, is with David Puddy (Patrick Warburton), an auto mechanic turned car salesman whom she dates starting in the latter half of season six and later for the majority of season nine. Puddy's personality and physicality serve as compliments in contrast to those of Elaine: he is of minimal intelligence and maturity, and of much greater bulk than Benes. Elaine and Puddy break-up and make-up repeatedly during their relationship, often doing so several times in one episode as demonstrated to extreme effect in "The Butter Shave". It's also known that phrase "Yeah, that's right" carried on to Elaine in which she uses the phrase a few times whenever she hangs around with Puddy.
Men attracted to Elaine
- Newman has a long-running crush on Elaine over the course of the series. Even though Jerry shows Elaine's "Christmas Card" in "The Pick", he reveals his feelings in "The Soul Mate" until "The Reverse Peephole" in which when Elaine tries to get the fur coat but he is already in love with Svetlana.
- In "The Tape", George, Jerry, and Kramer become attracted to Elaine after hearing a joke erotic message that she recorded on a tape on which Jerry was recording one of his live shows.
- In "The Serenity Now", Elaine attracts the romantic attentions of both Mr. Lippman and his 13-year old son, Adam. George tells her she has 'shiksa-appeal, the attraction Gentile women have over Jewish men ("Jewish men love the idea of meeting a woman that's not like their mother"). Jerry also proposes to Elaine in this episode.
- In "The Cigar Store Indian", Elaine becomes the obsession of a nerdy television fanatic named Ricky whom she meets on the subway; he shows up at the Costanzas' home with a paper bouquet for her which he made out of Frank Costanza's copy of TV Guide (which Elaine had accidentally left with him). In "The Pie", it is revealed that Ricky designed a mannequin in Elaine's likeness.
- In "The Big Salad", an office supply store clerk, Barry, who has become obsessed with Elaine constantly calls Jerry about a pencil order she placed for Mr. Pitt.
- In "The Contest", John F. Kennedy Jr., who works out at the same gym as Elaine, lets her know through the countergirl that he would like to meet her. Elaine and John ride together briefly in a cab.
- In "The Jimmy", Elaine thinks she is being set up on date with a handsome man from the gym that she fancies, but instead she has unwittingly agreed to a date with a strange man named Jimmy who refers to himself in the third person.
- In "The Shoes", Elaine catches the eye of NBC president Russell Dalrymple by wearing a cleavage-revealing dress. Elaine breaks off the relationship after one date, sending Russell into an emotional spiral that causes him to quit his job and join Greenpeace to impress her. Russell's departure from NBC causes Jerry and George's pilot to be rejected, and it is implied at the end of "The Pilot" that Russell dies at sea during a Greenpeace mission.
Other notable boyfriends
- She dates baseball player (and Kramer and Newman's nemesis) Keith Hernandez in "The Boyfriend".
- She also dates Tim Whatley, a dentist who appears in several episodes. Most notably "The Label Maker".
- Over several episodes in season 4, she dates "Crazy" Joe Davola, who is simultaneously stalking Jerry, unbeknownst to her until "The Opera".
- In "The Masseuse", she dates a man named Joel Rifkin, who shares the same name as a notorious serial killer.
- In "The Opposite" she dates Jake Jarmel, an up and coming writer and star client of Pendent Publishing who breaks up with her for buying jujy fruits after hearing he was in a car accident. The actor who plays Jake Jarmel also appears as an LAPD police officer in the episode "The Trip". Also before this episode, they broke up over the exclamation point in "The Sniffing Accountant". After this episode, he's upset that the glasses which Elaine finds the identical version to give to Mr. Lippman ruins the book promotion in "The Scofflaw".
- In "The Bizarro Jerry", she dates Kevin, the nice, kind antithesis of Jerry whose friends Gene, Feldman and Vargas are polar opposites of George, Kramer and Newman, respectively, each described as coming from the backwards Bizarro World of Superman comics.
- In "The Stall", her boyfriend Tony, dubbed a male bimbo or "mimbo" by Jerry, becomes George's new idol.
- In "The Wallet" she dates her psychiatrist, Dr. Reston, who has such control over her she calls him her Svengali (but mispronounces it "Svenjolly").
- In "The Checks", her boyfriend Brett is so obsessed with the song "Desperado" that she feels ignored whenever the song comes on. She tries to find a song that they can share and comes up with "Witchy Woman", but it doesn't work.
- During a restaurant dinner with a married couple, Michael and Robin, in "The Good Samaritan", Elaine makes up an elaborate story that she once dated a romantic matador from Spain named "Eduardo Corrochio", which is actually the name of a famous Spanish tap dancer in the late 19th century.
- In "The Wizard", Elaine isn't sure if her new boyfriend Darryl is African-American or not and gets mixed signals when she tries to find out. Turns out he is white and thought Elaine was Hispanic.
- In "The Gum", Elaine talks about having once dated Lloyd Braun, a mentally unstable politician and protégé of Kramer, and she wonders if he had a psychological break-down because she broke up with him.
- In "The Little Jerry", Elaine is dating Kurt, who proposes to her right after he realizes he's going bald.
- In "The Maestro", Elaine begins dating Bob Cobb, a conductor who insists on being calling "The Maestro". They eventually go to Tuscany together.
- In "The Junk Mail", Elaine dates Jack, the television pitchman for The Wiz.
Elaine's quick temper makes her several enemies and gets her into several confrontations over the years:
- She has a long-running hatred and inferiority complex for former schoolmate and candy-bar heiress Sue Ellen Mischke. Elaine's nickname for Sue Ellen was "The Braless Wonder" because she never wore a bra in high school, which enticed Elaine's boyfriend to dump her for Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen appears in four episodes: in "The Caddy", she struts down the street wearing a bra as a top, causing Kramer to crash George's car; in "The Bottle Deposit", Elaine spends $17,000 on a set of golf clubs (owned by John F. Kennedy) for Mr. Peterman when she is caught in a vicious bidding war with Sue Ellen at an auction; in "The Abstinence", Elaine boasts to Sue Ellen about dating a doctor but then is made to look foolish when her boyfriend is completely useless during an emergency at the coffee shop; finally, in "The Betrayal", Elaine is so unhappy at receiving an "Unvitation" (a super-last-minute invitation) to Sue Ellen's wedding, that she travels all the way to India just to show up.
- Elaine conflicts with Frank Costanza on several occasions. Frank refers to her as "supercilious" in "The Chinese Woman" and when she says "Hello Frank" to him in the H&H Bagel Shop, he responds with a grumpy "Hello, woman". In The Cigar Store Indian, she angers him first by taking his TV Guide without asking and then by spilling her gyro on it. Then, in The Little Kicks, she and Frank come to blows after George is arrested along with Elaine's co-worker Anna. Elaine says to Frank "I could drop you like a bag of dirt!" to which he replies "You wanna piece of me? You got it!". Later when Jerry chides her for fighting with an old man, she says "Hey, he wrote the check, I cashed it", suggesting that she won the fight.
- Her abortion argument with restaurateur Poppie gets him so angry that he loses control of his bladder in "The Couch" and again in "The Doorman".
- In "The Summer of George", Elaine makes enemies out of her co-worker Sam (Molly Shannon). First, when Elaine criticizes Sam's way of walking ("It's like she's carrying invisible suitcases"), Sam gets furious and threatens revenge. Then, Raquel Welch (who was recently fired from a musical for dancing without swinging her arms), sees Elaine describing the walk to the police and thinks that Elaine is making fun of her and attacks her. Both events end up arousing Jerry, Kramer, George and even the police, because as Jerry tells Elaine, men love "catfights".
- In "The Understudy", after she thinks her Korean manicurists are making fun of her, she angers them by bringing in Frank Costanza, who is fluent in Korean, to eavesdrop on them.
- In "The Fire", Elaine reveals her hatred for her overly energetic and always-happy colleague Toby. Then, when Toby loses her pinky toe in an accident (caused by Jerry), an outpouring of office sympathy leads Toby to a major promotion instead of Elaine, who is more qualified.
- In "The Visa" she and Jerry anger Pakistani immigrant Babu after she fails to notice Babu's visa application among Jerry's mail that she is picking up for him.
- In "The Engagement", she is so incensed by a neighbour's barking dog that she hires Newman and Kramer to kidnap it.
- In "The Merv Griffin Show", Elaine is annoyed by her co-worker Lou who constantly "sidles" up behind her. But when she gives him a pack of Tic-Tacs so that she can always hear him coming, the sound drives Peterman crazy saying "It reminds me of the Haitian Voodoo Rattle Torture".
- In "The Friars Club", Elaine is positive that her co-worker Bob (Rob Schneider) is faking being deaf to get out of doing any work. But when she tries to test out his deafness by pretending to flirt with him, Peterman overhears, thinks it is real and sets them up on a date.
- Elaine has had run-ins with her co-worker Peggy on a few occasions. In "The Susie", Peggy tells Elaine, who she thinks is a woman named Susie, that Elaine Benes is a "dolt" and a "disaster." Later, in "The Apology", Peggy thinks Elaine has germs, and in retaliation Elaine deliberately coughs on Peggy's doorknob, rubs her stapler in her armpit and rubs her keyboard on her buttocks.
- Oddly, Elaine makes a particular enemy of Chinese restaurants on no fewer than three different occasions. In "The Chinese Restaurant", she makes a fool of herself when she tries to bribe the waiter to get her a table faster. Then in "The Race", she gets "blacklisted" from a Chinese delivery restaurant for refusing food delivery, and then gets her Communist boyfriend blacklisted as well. Finally in "The Pothole", she pretends to live in a janitor's closet in a different apartment so that she can live inside the delivery zone of a certain Chinese restaurant. She was also once sued by a Chinese deliveryman named Ping for causing him to get in a bicycle accident in "The Virgin" although "Notes about Nothing" says that Elaine doesn't have a storyline. This storyline falls out in "The Visa" and it's left unresolved.
- In "The Andrea Doria", Elaine dates Alan, a "bad-breaker-upper", who makes her feel insecure about having a big head.
- In "The Smelly Car", Elaine's boyfriend Carl, is repulsed by her when her hair stinks of B.O. from riding in Jerry's car. She goes to extreme lengths to get the smell out but nothing works, and he continues to be grossed out.
- In "The Postponement" Elaine confides in a rabbi that she is jealous of George's engagement to Susan Ross because George would be getting married before she did and she considers George to be a loser. The Rabbi proceeds to tell everyone in Elaine's apartment complex and later on his public access TV show about Elaine's insecurity.
Influence/effect on others
- In "The Chinese Woman", Jerry describes how Elaine has had a destructive effect on her relationship with her friend Noreen. It is revealed that over the course of their friendship, Elaine has convinced Noreen to join the army, go AWOL from the army, dump her "high talker" boyfriend, and dump her "long talker" boyfriend. Eventually, Kramer steps in and forbids Elaine to have any more contact with Noreen.
- In "The Muffin Tops", Elaine convinces her former boss Mr. Lippman to start his own business selling just "muffin tops". However, they soon run into problems when nobody will take the leftover stumps, and only by calling in "The Cleaner" (who turns out to be Newman) can they get rid of them.
- In "The Non-Fat Yogurt", Elaine suggests to Lloyd Braun, an advisor to Mayor Dinkins, that everyone in the city should wear name tags. Lloyd Braun suggests this idea to Dinkins and he likes it so much that he adds it to his campaign, subsequently leading to his loss in the mayoral elections. In "The Gum", it is revealed that Lloyd Braun also loses his job and later suffered a nervous breakdown.
- In "The Pilot" Russel Dalrymple's love for Elaine drives him to the point near the end of the show that he joins Greenpeace just to impress her.
- In "The Baby Shower", Elaine expresses disdain with the world's interest in the Kennedy family, but in Season Four's "The Contest", Elaine crosses paths with John F. Kennedy, Jr. at her gym and becomes so infatuated with him (and the fantasy of becoming "Elaine Benes Kennedy Jr.") that she loses her self-control as well as the contest. Elaine is crushed to learn that "John John" is dating Jerry's ex, Marla "the virgin" (Jane Leeves).
- Elaine does not hesitate voicing her strong positions on certain political issues. For example, in "The Couch", she broke up with her boyfriend, Carl, after finding out that he was anti-abortion.
- In "The Stranded", she engages George's girlfriend, Ava, in a heated argument regarding a fur coat. Although she presented a similar stand in other episodes, she also said "Who has the energy anymore?" in "The Reverse Peephole" when Puddy begins wearing fur and she is asked by Jerry why she isn't up-in-arms. She would also go on to throw David Puddy's aforementioned fur coat out the window in a similar fashion, saying to the coat, "Goodbye, Dr. Zaius."
- In "The Puerto Rican Day", several things make her angry: the sight of a dog with its ears flipped inside out; her slow-moving taxicab; the thought of missing her "Sunday weekend wind down"; and finally, being trapped under a set of bleachers while desperately trying to find her way out of streets blocked off for the parade.
- In "The Boyfriend", Elaine reveals her disgust for smokers, which helps lead to a break up with Keith Hernandez.
- In "The Beard", Elaine so hates George's toupee (and the effect it has on his personality) that she rips it off his head and throws it out the window, screaming, "I don't like this thing and here's what I'm going to do with it!"
- In "The Pledge Drive", Elaine gets increasingly annoyed when people start eating their chocolate bars with a knife and fork, a habit started by Mr. Pitt which spreads across the city. Finally, at the end, she stands up and screams to the people at Monk's, "What is wrong with all you people? Have you all gone mad?!"
- In "The Gymnast", Elaine becomes furious at Mr. Pitt's obsession with his 3D art poster, and smashes it in half.
- In "The Burning", Elaine is furious that Puddy didn't save her from going to hell. When he asks, "You stole my Jesus fish, didn't you?" she angrily replies, "Yeah, that's right," then does the devil by putting second fingers on her head and sticking her tongue out.
- Various characters (including Elaine herself) sometimes call her "Lanie."
- In "The Susie", she develops an alter-ego named Susie after being called that by Peggy.
- In "The Pick", Elaine is nicknamed "Nip" by her colleagues after her Christmas card picture, taken by Kramer, accidentally reveals one of her nipples.
- In "The Ex-Girlfriend", Jerry dubs Elaine "The Queen of Confrontation."
- In "The Contest", Elaine is also called "The Queen of the Castle."
- In "The Nose Job", Elaine is Wanda Pepper in order to pick up Kramer's jacket.
- In "The Wink", Kramer calls her Veronica, a reference to Archie Comics.
- After sustaining a head injury, Kramer referred to her as "Carol" (potentially a Growing Pains or Brady Bunch reference as he referred to George as "Mike" in the same episode as well; it could also be a inside joke, a reference to Carol Leifer, on whom the character was partly based)
- In "The Package", Elaine is "Paloma", Uncle Leo's caretaker, in an effort to check on her medical history charts in a doctor's office.
- In "The Strong Box" George refers indirectly to Elaine as "Lois Loan" because her boyfriend is poor.
- In "The Strike", because of Elaine's steamy appearance, she is called "Yama hama".
The Seinfeld cast was placed sixth on Bravo
's 100 Greatest TV Characters.
- Elaine is missing from "The Pilot", "The Trip, Part 1" and "The Trip, Part 2", and has minimal roles in "The Pitch", "The Ticket" and "The Butter Shave" because of maternity leave, making her the most absent of the four main characters.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus's pregnancy is notable in seasons 3 and 8. In production order, she hides her growing belly in some subtle ways such as putting a pillow over her stomach when she sat down. Her stomach is noticeable from "The Subway" to "The Keys" in season 3 and from "The Pothole" to "The Summer of George" in season 8. It would later be referenced by the character of C.C. Babcock on The Nanny, who mentions seeing an episode where Elaine is "eleven months pregnant" and trying to hide it with a large handbag, while C.C.'s portrayer, Lauren Lane, is doing the exact same thing.