The Outing


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After Jerry is unsuccessful reaching a college reporter about an interview, Elaine notices two women eavesdropping on their conversation. To give them something interesting to hear, she casually mentions that Jerry and George have admitted they are gay, unaware that one of them is Sharon Lennard, the reporter waiting for the interview with Jerry. As Jerry prepares for the interview, George drops by to discuss his latest girlfriend and, while Sharon recognizes them immediately, they fail to realize who she is and proceed to argue like an old married couple. However, when it finally occurs to Jerry what has happened, he and George insist that what she overheard was just a joke.

While Jerry is scolding Elaine for the misunderstanding, Kramer arrives to deliver a two-line phone for his birthday. Elaine then rushes out to exchange a similar phone ~ bought Jerry as her gift, when Sharon calls to say she has decided not to pursue the gay angle. But, when Jerry takes another call from George and sarcastically tells him that they must have fooled the reporter into believing they are not gay. What he discovers is that Sharon was able to hear his conversation. Failing to convince her that it was just another joke, Jerry discovers that he and George have been "outed" after the story is picked up by newspapers all across the country.

As Kramer complains about being kept in the dark about their relationship, Jerry fields a call from his mom and dad while George panics and hurries to see his own mother, finding her hospitalized after an accident she had while reading the story in the paper. Meanwhile, after a gay sailor claims their courageous decision has inspired him to come out of the closet, too, Jerry decides that going to a Broadway musical together might not be the best idea given the circumstances, while George realizes that the newspaper story might be just the thing to get rid of his psychotic girlfriend. Despite George's claim that he is gay, Allison asks to speak with Jerry and arrives at the apartment as he and Sharon are on the couch kissing. Though George insists he tell Allison they are lovers, Jerry claims not to know what he is talking about. Finally, as Sharon bolts from the apartment and Jerry turns on his friend, George tries to convince Allison that he is a pornographic film star.

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This episode earned writer Larry Charles an Emmy nomination for the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

Estelle Harris was only in town for a brief while when the part of George's mother was first written. If not for this perfect timing, she would not have been considered, as the show was never known to fly in actors just for an audition.

This was the first new episode of Seinfeld to air in its new permanent timeslot on Thursday nights after Cheers. The move saw Seinfeld's audience increase by 57% and go from being the 40th most watched to show straight to the top 10.

In this episode, Estelle mentions that she had to be helped by the super in her building, though the Costanzas live in a house in Queens.

Larry Charles came up with the line "Not that there's anything wrong with that" after being told by Castle Rock executive Glenn Padnick that to blatantly reject the idea of being called gay might appear insensitive. Repeating the line as many times as possible was done at the suggestion of Jerry Seinfeld.

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"We're not gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that."