George Costanza - Personality


George is neurotic, self-loathing, and dominated by his parents. Throughout Seinfeld's first season, George was portrayed as a moderately intelligent character – at one point, he mentions an intellectual interest in the American Civil War and, in some early episodes, appears almost as a mentor to Jerry – but gets less sophisticated, to the point of being too lazy even to read a 90-page book (Breakfast at Tiffany's), preferring to watch the movie adaptation at a stranger's house instead. However, one Chicago Tribune reviewer noted that, despite all of his shortcomings, George is "pretty content with himself".

George exhibits a number of negative character traits, among them stinginess, selfishness, dishonesty, insecurity, and neurosis. Many of these traits stem from a dysfunctional childhood with his squabbling parents Frank and Estelle, and often form the basis of his involvement in various plots, schemes, and awkward social encounters. Episode plots frequently feature George manufacturing elaborate deceptions at work or in his relationships in order to gain or maintain some small or imagined advantage or (pretend) image of success. He had success in "The Opposite", in which he begins (with Jerry's encouragement) to do the complete opposite of what his instincts tell him to do, which results in him getting a girlfriend and a job with the New York Yankees.

George sometimes accidentally refers to himself in the third person (chiefly by saying "George is getting UPSET!"), after befriending a third-person character in The Jimmy.

George's occasional impulsive bouts often get him into trouble, such as when he flees a burning kitchen, knocking over several children and an elderly woman in the process, so he could escape first during his girlfriend's son's birthday party in "The Fire". However, there are moments where George exhibits remarkable courage, but usually accidentally, and usually because of inane lies which have brought trouble to George. For instance, in "The Marine Biologist", he goes into the ocean alone to save a beached whale because his girlfriend thinks he is a marine biologist, and even tells her the truth about his occupation after he saves the day. Sadly, this causes her to reject him immediately.

George aligns with both Elaine and Kramer in some episodes, but is also frequently pitted against them. With Elaine, while he does get into arguments with her, they also work together, most notably in the episode "The Cadillac". George and Kramer usually feel awkward around each other, but started working together (and against each other) in episodes "The Busboy", "The Stall", and "The Slicer". "The Susie" is the only episode in which their relationship is as prominent as the relationships between the other characters. Some episodes, such as "The Raincoats", "The Money", "The Doorman", and "The Fusilli Jerry", would suggest that Kramer has a more comfortable rapport with George's parents than with George.

He has an affinity for nice restrooms and lush work facilities. In "The Revenge", he quits his real estate job solely because he is forbidden to use his boss's private bathroom. In "The Busboy", he claims to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the locations of the best bathrooms in the city. When working for the Yankees, he suggested having the bathroom stall doors stretched all the way to the floor (allowing people's legs not to be seen while in the stalls), and, in many episodes, he shows a fascination with toilet paper and its history. He also displays a fear of diseases, such as lupus and cancer. In "The Wife", George gets into trouble for urinating in the shower at a gym but defends his action with, "It's all pipes! What's the difference?"

Although occasionally referred to as dumb by his friends, many signs point to the fact that George is actually quite an intelligent man despite his neurotic behavior. George's foolishness is displayed in the episode, "The Cafe", in which George had to take an IQ test and had Elaine take it for him. Apparently, George's neurotic stupidity would progress until it became one of his primary characteristics. By the season six episode "The Couch", he could not even concentrate enough to read a 90-page book (Breakfast at Tiffany's). In "The Abstinence", it is discovered that George actually has what would appear to be genius-level intelligence, but that he can never access it because his mind is always so completely focused on sex. When circumstances allow him to temporarily remove sex from his mind, he is able to reach his true potential but Elaine, who also swears off sex (in an attempt to increase her boyfriend's IQ) in the same episode, gets dumber.

George and Jerry have been best friends since meeting in high school gym class. The extreme closeness of their friendship is occasionally mistaken for homosexuality. "The Outing" deals with a reporter from a New York University college paper mistaking Jerry and George for a homosexual couple, and, in "The Cartoon", George dates someone whom Kramer insists is merely a "female Jerry". When George is forced to note to himself that the idea of a female Jerry with whom he can have a close personal relationship and also a sexual relationship would be everything he has ever wanted, George, in horror, breaks off his relationship with the woman.

In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "Seinfeld", we learn that in the aftermath of their release from prison, George had both gotten married and made millions in the ten years since being locked up in "The Finale". His fortune resulted from selling an iPhone application called the "iToilet", which utilizes GPS technology to direct the user to "acceptable" public restrooms closest to them, wherever they are. In this episode, his wife had left him, and he had lost his money in the recession, having invested it all in Bernie Madoff's now-notorious Ponzi scheme. His wife, however, bailed out her half of the investment after the divorce, before the scheme collapsed. At the end of the episode, George and his wife reunite, though his wife insists he sign a prenuptial agreement, meaning he will have to keep their renewed marriage going to keep him from losing the remainder of the money he made on the iToilet, much to his annoyance.

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