A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

A Festivus for the Rest of Us!


Happy Festivus! This holiday, made famous by the show about nothing, Seinfeld, is a non-religious alternative to the other holidays this time of year. Forget Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. This parody holiday is jam-packed with an aluminum pole, the airing of grievances, and feats of strength. To celebrate, enjoy this list of five literary references in SeinfeldIt’s a Festivus miracle!

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

In the episode “The Marine Biologist,” Elaine needs to impress Russian writer Yuri Testikov so that he will sign with her company. When she learns that he is a huge fan of Leo Tolstoy, she shares a bit of information, passed to her by Jerry, that War and Peace was originally titled ‘War, What is it Good For?’ Of course, this isn’t true and the comment only serves to anger Testikov.

Herman Melville

In the episode “The Ex-Girlfriend” we learn that Jerry just doesn’t understand books. When George asks Jerry to go to an ex’s apartment to retrieve some books he left there, Jerry is bothered. He doesn’t get why people keep books they have already read (tsk-tsk Jerry). His reasoning is that Moby-Dick doesn’t change the second time you read it.

Tropic of Cancer
Henry Miller

In the episode “The Library,” Jerry learns that he is being charged fees for an overdue book from 1971. The library investigator Lt. Bookman claims he did not return his copy of Tropic of Cancer and Jerry swears he did. He tries to trace the events of what happened on that day and finally realizes he had given the book to George.

The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss

In that same episode, Lt. Bookman visits Jerry at his apartment. Bookman gives a very passionate speech about the importance of the library and what a book can mean to a child. Though it is true that Bookman is a little extreme, his speech is very endearing.

Bathroom book
No list of books mentioned in Seinfeld would be complete without George’s infamous bathroom book from the episode “The Bookstore.” Needing to pass the time while using the bathroom, George brings a book on French Impressionism into the bathroom. Unfortunately, an employee spots him and forces him to buy the very expensive book. George, desperate to rid himself of it, tries to return it at multiple places but it has been ‘flagged’ as a book that was taken into the bathroom. He can’t even give the book away! George eventually tries to steal another copy to return, but the book karma gods (and Jerry) get him caught.

This article originally appeared on Zola Books.