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... Short, devious, balding... His name was Costanza
~ J. Peterman regarding George
Yeah I'm a great quitter. It's one of the few things I do well. I come from a long line of quitters. My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter… I was raised to give up
~ George Costanza
TWIIIIIXXX!!!!
~ George's Twix rage

George Costanza was one of the main central characters of the hit comedy series, Seinfeld alongside Jerry Seinfeld his best friend since childhood, Cosmo Kramer and Elaine Benes. He is played by Jason Alexander.

George is neurotic, impulsive and insecure. His name literally means "can't stand ya" in contrast to his undesirable personality. He also has a tendency to undergo explosive mood swings (sometimes in the most inappropriate times). He is also very easily dominated by his parents, Frank and Estelle Costanza who were equally as neurotic as their son. George's family doesn't celebrate Christmas as George's father believed that it was too over-commercialised and created his own holiday on the 23rd of December called Festivus. Instead of having a tree they have an aluminium pole which they decorated with tinsel, and they would go around the family table explaining how they had disappointed each other over the year. At the end of Festivus George is forced to do a feat of strength where he was forced to overpower his father. As the Costanza family grew older they stopped celebrating Festivus however after Kramer returned to his old job he convinced Frank to restart the holiday.

George has been described as a "short, stocky, slow-witted bald man" and an idiot by most of his friends, more specifically however in earlier seasons George was one of moderately average intelligence however it's revealed that his over-obsession with sex was the cause of his idiocy. When he puts his mind to it he is actually quite an intelligent person, even able to speak Portugese however when he has sex again he simply reverts back to his normal intellect.

George shares the same fate as the rest of the main characters. After trying to sell Jerry's show to a company in California however on the way there Kramer hops up and down on their private jet to get water out of his ears and causes the plane to go down and they are forced to land in a nearby town. There they are all seen a fat guy being mugged for his car and instead of helping they make jokes and Kramer even records it on his phone. In doing this they accidentally break "The Good Samaritan Law" and after a trial which recollects all of thier "criminal moments" they are sent to prison for one year. It is presumed they are all let out after this.

Personality

Lying, embittered and totally neurotic, George can be the most dysfunctional of Seinfeld's characters and the least knowledgable. He is able to retain some intellectual insight, occasionally acting as a mentor for Jerry as well he can retain great information on a specific subject but ultimately is too lazy to put any actual foreknowledge, to the point where he lacked the focus to read Breakfast At Tiffany's and instead watched the movie rendition at a strangers home. On one occasion he gave up books all together when asked by his boss to do a speech on Risk Management after he became addicted to Books On Tape, and instead botched an eye test however it has been stated he is a reader of comic books.

Often stated to be an idiot by his friends, George has little cultural or significant knowledge to add insight for his friends squabbling subjects but actually proves to be very cultured at times. Though many people believe that his lack of IQ comes geneticall, mixed with a dysfunctional childhood with Frank and Estelle, as well a lack of mental and social stability, the real source of George's "idiocy" is an over-obsession with sex. When dating his menopausal girlfriend, Louise who couldn't have sex for six weeks, George was able to unlock his near-genius intellect, able to speak fluently in Portuguese, solve a Rubik's Cube in one go, answered a string of questions on Jeopardy! correctly and was able to correctly answer Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams pointers on hitting on based Newtonian physics. However the second he had sex again, George reverted to his average intelligence.

Also, George isn't a smoker, in fact the one time he did smoke a cigarette it caused him to hack violently and actually threw up. However in season one he was seen smoking the occasional cigar.

His neurotic nature can also be attached towards his general impulsiveness, cowardice and tendency to "overplay the field". Once during his girlfriend's son party when a fire starts George plows down the clown, her grandmother and countless children to escape the blaze. Another occasion is when George overlooked his girlfriend saying "you want to come in for coffee" as an idiom for sex, claiming "it's too late to be drinking coffee". All weekend he was left extremely worried that she had the impression of him either not wanting sex or just being extremely gullible. After two days of having no communication George totally blew up on his girlfriend, claiming he was "like Mussolini" until he discovered that she was having her messages forwarded instead to her home number and forced Jerry to help him delete the said message. George's neuroticism tends to make him question his own sexuality, once when he was given a massage by a man and when a newspaper writer mistook him and Jerry gay. In the same episode he focused on a male nurse giving a sponge bath to a patient (in a similar style in "The Contest" when he noticed a female nurse giving a similar bath to another patient). It's also been hinted George was aroused by this out of sheer conflict of his own sexuality.

On the other hand, George does have a few positive aspects of his personality. He is capable of being courageous and quite frankly very honest despite being the habitual liar he is. He went out into the open sea to rescue a beached whale to impress his girlfriend, who believed him to be a marine biologist, and was actually able to free the creature's blowhole from a golf ball. Ironically whenever George tells the truth it ends up having a way to bite back for him. During a date with Marissa Tomei, instead of concocting a highly complicated lie, he simply told her that he was engaged at the time which earned him a punch square in the face. Another occasion was when he told his girlfriend he wasn't a marine biologist and she left immediately, forcing him to take the bus home. He is also capable of over-confidence which irrevocably arrive at comically inappropriate times. He quit his real-estate job with stride when he was forced to use the public bathroom but later regretted it. George also became a new personality when he was given a wig and when he was encouraged by Jerry to try the "opposite" of everything it ends with him being given a job with the New York Yankees and a girlfriend.

Even with this, dishonesty is George's second language. He is more than capable of lying to make himself appear more successful than he is or create a feigned or imaginative iamge of success in his life This tends to get him in trouble, such as when he said in his resumé he was an expert in Risk Management which cuased his boss to ask him to write an enitre speech on the subject, when he was actually clueless. Because of this, George was incredibly prideful of the very few things he was actually successful at and went to insane lengths to preserve his high score on a Frogger game which he held since he was a boy. However his friends actually consider George's talent for lies a blessing and normally use it to get them out of troublesome situations however this isn't always continuative. Once he and Jerry agreed to go to dinner with Elaine's boss, J. Peterman but quickly urged George to concoct a lie so they could leave, he was left totally blank before Jerry leaves him with Peterman by himself.

Over the course of the series, George has picked up several quirks from his friends. He began calling himself in the first person, a trait which he picked up from Jimmy in "The Jimmy", such as "George is getting upset". Also he constantly began paraphrasing one of Susan's catchphrases in "The Betrayal", unbeknownst to him; "you can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister!". On one episode he copied Mr Pitt's, Elaine's boss, eccentricity of eating his candy bar with a knife and fork but quickly stopped doing it.

Similarily, George, due to his low self-esteem and battered ego requires reassurance through humour and enjoys being "the funny one" in a relationship, mostly because all his life Jerry has been the comedian of his and George's dynamic. Because of this George was attracted to a woman who constantly laughed at his joke, that is until Jerry tagged along on his date and he asked him to dial down his humour, turning his comedian friend very grim and melancholy. On one occasion he attempted to leave on a "high note", leaving a room after getting a laugh from the substantial audience with praise. An example is when he had the board of Kruger Industrial Soothing laughing but quickly lost them. He also did the same with his friends after he made a clever joke about Kramer and Mickey's acting where he left after they all laughed with him. This actually left him and Kruger working on a project alone. Also when he got a laugh during a cinema screening he went to the same movie twice out of hope for getting the same reaction but was left with silence after his bit was stolen by a man with a laser pen.

Ironically despite his dysfunction, lack of stradiness and emotional stability, George is consent with himself and has little desire to change his life which could be the cause of his inability to maintain a relationship. In fact the only reason he proposed to his ex-girlfriend, Susan was becuase he and Jerry made a pact to change their lives but the second Jerry backed out, he was completely distraught over getting married and desperately tried to postpone the wedding. In fact he actually had a celebration over his marriage being pushed to June and had a rather calm reaction when Susan died, which the doctor described as "stifled jubilation" and had a more emotional reaction while reciting The Wrath of Khan.

He also shows an interest in fine bathrooms and lavatories, to the point of obsession. He possess an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best toilets in all of New York, which is information he relayed to Kramer when he introduced him to the "best Bathroom in Midtown". He also quit his job at a real-estate agent as he allowed everyone access into his private bathroom while he was stuck with the public one, whcih he deemed "disgusting". He also shows an interest in toilet paper, which Jerry remarks every that every conversation Goerge has ever had normally begins or ends with toilet paper and also passionately kissed his girlfriend, Sienna when she was intrigued about toilet paper's lack of development over the years. He once told his fiance, Susan about an idea to bring the bathroom stalls to the floor, something which he later preached to the Board of New York Yankee's. George was revealed to have several toilet habits. He takes his shirt off all the way as it gives him "no encumbrances" (it's unknown if he still kept this trait when he walked into his girlfriend's party, shirtless) and once brought a French Impressionist Book with him into the bathroom as evidently he found "soothing pastoral images very conducive".

Trivia

  • Before Jason Alexander was casted, Robert Schimmel and Nathan Lane were both considered for the role of George
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