The Library (Seinfeld)

The Library (Seinfeld)

Infobox Television episode
Title = The Library
Series = Seinfeld

Caption = Jerry is interrogated by the library cop.
Season = 3
Episode = 22
Airdate = October 16, 1991
Production =
Writer = Larry Charles
Director = Joshua White
Guests =
Episode list = List of "Seinfeld" episodes
Season list = Infobox Seinfeld season 3 episode list
Prev =
Next =

"The Library" is the 22nd episode of the American NBC sitcom "Seinfeld". The episode was the fifth episode of the show's third season.


Jerry Seinfeld finds out that he is being fined for an unreturned library book from 1971: "Tropic of Cancer". Jerry is convinced that he indeed did return the book, as he remembers he was with a high school sweetheart, Sherry Becker, that day and her orange dress is 'burned into his memory'. Jerry must go down to the library to sort it out, and he invites Kramer, who had just been bashing the library, but enthusiastically accepts.

On arrival, Jerry finds out from the girl (Marie Barrientos) at the desk, who Kramer takes a liking to, that his 'case' has been turned over to the library investigations officer, who coincidentally has the surname of 'Bookman'.

When George Costanza finally arrives to meet up with Jerry and Kramer, he appears to be in a state of confusion, claiming that the homeless man on the steps outside the library is none other than Mr. Heyman, a physical education teacher at Jerry and George's high school (John F. Kennedy High School). Jerry explains to Kramer that George was responsible for firing Heyman. Jerry and George depart the library, but Kramer stays behind, in an attempt to get to know the library assistant. Meanwhile, Elaine Benes is concerned when a co-worker forgets to ask her what she wanted for lunch which prompted her to become paranoid that Mr. Lippman is planning to fire her.

The following day at Monk's Cafe, Jerry persuades George to reveal to Elaine the real reason why Heyman was sacked. It turns out that Heyman purposely mispronounced George's surname: instead of calling him Costanza, he called him "Can't-Stand-Ya." George recalls Heyman's "little baked bean teeth." In the first of a series of flashbacks in the locker room, Heyman and some other PE boys give George a wedgie, and the next day he was fired. Kramer arrives at the diner to alert Jerry that Bookman (played by Philip Baker Hall) is waiting for him outside his apartment.

Bookman and Jerry argue in his apartment, Jerry finds Bookman's speech rather humorous, as Bookman departs, the girl from the library is seen running into Kramer's apartment. The girl is upset that Bookman will return to the library and find she is not there, Kramer comments that she can leave, but the girl says she cannot.

Jerry then proceeds to look up old high school girlfriend Sherry Becker, who was present the day he remembers returning the book. Jerry meets up with her, the girl has gained weight and Jerry appears frustrated by the conversation. It turns out either Jerry or Sherry's memory is not very good when she says that she wore a purple dress, not an orange one and that the book they read to each other was actually "Tropic of Capricorn", not "Tropic of Cancer". Jerry then remembers that he actually loaned "Tropic of Cancer" to George and runs out of the diner. Meanwhile, Elaine's fears of being sacked come closer when she 'has to see him in his office', whilst Kramer and his new girl get busted for being in the library after-hours. Elaine borrows Kramer's girlfriend's poetry, which she saw Kramer crying over, in an attempt to impress Mr. Lippman with new texts.

George strolls into Jerry's apartment, he confirms that the man outside the library was indeed Mr. Heyman and proceeds to tell that Heyman gave George a wedgie on the steps. He later confesses that it was an atomic wedgie. Jerry then confronts George about the book which George has no recollection of until he has the flashback of Heyman's original wedgie in high school, where Jerry loaned him the book just before Heyman confronted George.

Jerry reluctantly pays Mr. Bookman and Elaine comments that Mr. Lippman did not like the poetry which made Kramer cry. The episode ends with Mr. Heyman, homeless in an alley way, muttering 'Can't-Stand-Ya', the book which Jerry never returned is lying next to him.


* This is the 1st appearance of Mr. Lippman. He is not played by Richard Fancy, but by Harris Shore.
* Philip Baker Hall would later appear in Curb Your Enthusiasm in the first episode of season 4 called "Mel's Offer." He played Larry David's doctor.
*The episode alludes to the film Citizen Kane, particularly in the flashback sequences from different characters pointing towards the changing, subjective nature of memory and the final revelation of the plot's main object ("Tropic of Capricorn" in the show,

External links

* [ "The Library"] on
* [ "The Library"] on
* [ "The Library"] on

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