"The Chinese Restaurant" - Season 2 Episode 11 of Seinfeld First Airs
"The Chinese Restaurant" was the 17th episode of Seinfeld.
The episode was the 11th episode for the show's second season. It aired on May 23, 1991. It is considered by fans and many of those who worked on the show to be the first "classic Seinfeld" episode. Its trivial subject matter, waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant, is emblematic of the series' "show about nothing" profile.
Jerry, George and Elaine decide to get dinner without reservations at a Chinese restaurant before seeing Plan 9 From Outer Space but are repeatedly stymied by the maître d' (played by James Hong). After they are repeatedly told they will receive a table in "5, 10 minutes", a starving Elaine suggests bribing the maître d'. They suggest to bribe him with a $20 bill, splitting it three ways, in which George displays his notorious cheap side by only pitching in $6, saying that he wasn't going to eat that much. Elaine mentions that she is so hungry that she would eat food off of another patron's plate, so Jerry wagers $50 if she does. Elaine approaches a table and tells them her friends would give her $50 to eat one of their egg-rolls and she was willing to give them $25 of it. As she never actually verbalizes the offer, they just look at her, and she walks away, losing the wager. George gets frustrated when other patrons monopolize the phone, as he needs to use it to get in touch with his girlfriend Tatiana, who eventually calls but the maitre d' calls "Cartwright" instead of "Costanza." Jerry, having lied to his uncle that he could not make it to dinner, sees his uncle's receptionist at the restaurant. Realising his cover is blown, he decides that he might as well call his uncle and have dinner with him after all. George and Elaine both agree to leave. As soon as they leave, the maitre d' says 'Seinfeld, four!'