The Essential Guide to Curb Your Enthusiasm

With so many people, things, and waiting room policies primed to ruin Larry David’s day, he’s seemingly incapable of “going with the flow.” But what’s a social assassin to do? Stand down? Backing off really isn’t Larry’s style.

For both the longtime-fan and the newcomer, here’s a guide to the essential episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm – in all its antagonistic glory.

 

1. Larry vs. Joanna the Parking Attendant
“Interior Decorator”: Season 1, Episode 5

A nice gesture goes awry.

Larry relies on the generosity of a parking attendant to loan him the $3 garage fee, with the promise he’ll pay her $5 later in the week. When Larry returns with the money, he places his trust in the wrong messenger, and the money never gets back to the attendant. Their dispute culminates in a parking garage showdown, proving even when Larry tries to do right, things have a way of going so very wrong

2. Larry vs. His Therapist
“The Thong”: Season 2, Episode 5

Some things you just can’t un-see.

A lovely day at the beach is marred for Larry when he sees his therapist sporting a thong bathing suit. At the same time, Larry has to fend off a request from Rob Reiner to help out with a benefit for “Groat’s Syndrome.” As hard as it is for Larry to get the image of his scantily-clad therapist out of his head, he finds it’s even harder to break up with his stubborn therapist.

3. Larry vs. the Judy Doll
“The Doll”: Season 2, Episode 7

Larry David: doll decapitator.

Strictly speaking, Larry is not a hairdresser by trade. But when the daughter of a TV exec asks him to give her “Judy Doll” a haircut, he can’t resist. When the little girl realizes Judy’s hair won’t grow back, she throws a tantrum that sends Larry and Jeff running around town for a replacement Judy Doll head.

4. Larry vs. the LA Lakers
“Shaq”: Season 2, Episode 8

Think twice before you stretch your legs.

It’s no secret that despite living in LA, Larry is a true New Yorker at heart. He certainly doesn’t win any West Coast love after accidentally tripping Shaquille O’Neal while sitting courtside at a Lakers game. Assuming he’s working to take down his rival team, it doesn’t take long for the Staples Center? to turn on Larry.

5. Larry vs. the Stop and Chat
“The Massage”: Season 2, Episode 10

Life’s too short for a “stop and chat.”

Larry and Jeff run into the manager of Moho, a trendy restaurant, but Larry breezes past him, opting not to partake in a “stop and chat.” Despite Jeff’s protests, Larry refuses to believe he was in the wrong. This doesn’t play out too well when he and Cheryl make reservations at the restaurant later that week, and Larry’s distaste for talking to people ends up costing him an evening out with Cheryl.

6. Larry vs. Private Garbage Cans
“Chet’s Shirt”: Season 3, Episode 1

One man’s apple core is another man’s problem.

With no place to toss his apple core, Larry opts to open his neighbor’s garbage can to dispose of his trash. This prompts some verbal sparring between the neighbor and Larry, who promises to warn “the next guy” about his neighbor’s trashcan sensitivity. Be it a neighbor’s garbage can, or a recently deceased man’s shirt, Larry has no problem asking for what he wants.

7. Larry vs. Men in Toupees
“The Grand Opening”: Season 3, Episode 10

Larry’s bald bias shines through.

While buying colon cleanse at the drugstore, Larry and Jeff run into the bald chef at their restaurant. Only he’s wearing a toupee. The bald-face lie proves to be too much for Larry, who sees the hairpiece as a personal betrayal and fires the chef, four days before the restaurant’s opening.

8. Larry vs. LA Traffic
“The Car Pool Lane”: Season 4, Episode 6

Larry has a loose interpretation of “car pool.”

Desperate to attend a sold-out Dodgers game, Jeff and Larry cook up a scheme to get Marty Funkhouser’s season tickets. The only problem? Marty’s father just passed away and he doesn’t want to give up the tickets for sentimental reasons. When Larry finally nabs a seat, he resorts to giving a prostitute a lift in order to use the carpool lane and beat the LA traffic.

9. Larry vs. Richard Lewis’ Kidney
“The Ski Lift”: Season 5, Episode 8

Larry’s friendship is put to the test.

When it becomes clear that Richard Lewis needs a kidney replacement, Larry feels the pressure to donate. To avoid coughing up a kidney, Larry works on moving Richard Lewis up on the transplant list. Lucky for Larry, he runs into George Lopez at the hospital, who encourages him to grease the wheels of medical justice and suck up to the head of the Kidney Consortium.

10. Larry vs. Anonymous
“The Anonymous Donor”: Season 6, Episode 2

Larry’s big gift backfires.

At the Natural Resources Defense Council opening, both Larry and Ted Danson make generous donations. However, Larry is dismayed to learn that Ted opted to make his donation anonymously, which Larry thinks makes his attributed contribution look bad. Adding insult to injury, the donation doesn’t stay anonymous for too long, when Ted mentions to “one or two people” that he’s the man behind the donation.

11. Larry vs. the Private School Headmistress
“The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial”: Season 6, Episode 3

Don’t abuse the ice cream sampling.

Even the ice cream shop isn’t a conflict-free zone for Larry. When he finds himself behind a woman who wants to try every flavor, Larry deems it necessary to speak out against the “sample abuser.” The tables turn when Larry has to ask the same woman for a favor and is forced to make amends.

12. Larry vs. the Old Toaster
“The Rat Dog”: Season 6, Episode 6

Larry’s efforts are lost in translation.

Sick in bed, all Cheryl wants is some toast. Despite his best efforts, Larry’s broken toaster stands in the way of properly taking care of Cheryl. This sends Larry on a mission to Sur La Table in search of a new appliance. At every step of the way, Larry manages to offend the deaf woman through a misguided use of sign language.

13. Larry vs. Dr. Schaffer
“Funkhouser’s Crazy Sister”: Season 7, Episode 1

Larry falls short in the boyfriend department.

When Larry’s live-in girlfriend Loretta falls seriously ill, Dr. Schaffer tells Larry to prepare for a potential cancer diagnosis. This doesn’t bode well for Larry, who wants to break up with Loretta, but feels that he can’t break up with someone who's been diagnosed with cancer. After Larry takes issue with Dr. Schaffer helping himself to a lemonade from Larry’s fridge, battle lines are drawn: Larry races against the clock to break up with Loretta before Dr. Schaeffer breaks the bad news.

14. Larry vs. Christian Slater
“The Hot Towel”: Season 7, Episode 4

Larry’s rules for party etiquette ruffle some feathers.

If you’re indulging in the buffet at a party, know your allotment. At a party hosted by Ted and Mary, Larry witnesses Christian Slater hogging the caviar. According to Larry, there are unwritten rule for hors d'oeuvres, and Slater is well-over his caviar quota. Larry does his best to educate Slater but ends up doing more harm than good.

15. Larry vs. Rosie O’Donnell
“Denise Handicap”: Season 7, Episode 5

Things get physical with Rosie O’Donnell.

Nobody, not even Larry David, messes with Rosie O’Donnell. When they go out for lunch, an argument about who picks up the check leads to a mid-day brawl. Confident she’s bested him, Rosie spreads word around town that she beat up Larry David.

16. Larry (and Jerry Seinfeld) vs. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
“The Bare Midriff”: Season 7, Episode 6

Larry takes things too far when it comes to crop tops.

Office-appropriate attire can be subjective. Working together on a Seinfeld reboot, Larry and Jerry Seinfeld take issue with his assistant’s exposed midriff. Enter Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who reads them the riot act. Ready to admit he was in the wrong, Larry goes to apologize for his behavior, but not without getting himself in a rather compromising position.

17. Larry vs. International Politics
“Palestinian Chicken”: Season 8, Episode 3

Larry’s tastebuds take on his faith.

Don’t get Larry between a geopolitical conflict and a great piece of chicken. The opening of a Palestinian restaurant next to a Jewish deli sparks some fury from the community, and Marty Funkhouser pressures Larry to align with his Jewish faith and boycott the restaurant. When Larry refuses in the name of good food, he inadvertently becomes a Palestinian hero.

18. Larry vs. “Big Dog”
“The Smiley Face”: Season 8, Episode 4

A kitchen conflict like you’ve never seen before.

Larry’s new office neighbor, “Big Dog,” seems friendly enough. He even asks for permission to take a cabinet in their shared kitchen area. What could go wrong? It turns out, just about everything. When Big Dog takes up more than his fair share of cabinet space, an all-out kitchen war ensues.

19. Larry vs. the Pig Parker
“Vow of Silence”: Season 8, Episode 5

Larry leads the charge in an all-out parking war.

If no one else will defend society from the ills of bad parking, Larry will. At a party for Jeff and Susie, Larry is forced to take up two parking spaces because of a badly-parked Volvo, creating a domino effect of crooked cars. This sets Larry on a mission to correct bad parking all over town, deeming one unlucky transgressor who crosses his path a “pig parker.”

20. Larry vs. the People of New York City
“Larry vs. Michael J. Fox”: Season 8, Episode 10

Don’t mess with Michael J. Fox.

Who could possibly have a problem with Michael J. Fox? As so often happens with Larry, a string of unfortunate circumstances lead the tenants of his building (and then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) to believe he’s got some beef with the beloved actor. It’s the one fight Larry can’t win. New York sends Larry a powerful message: Don’t mess with one of ours. The court of public opinion is decidedly not in favor of Larry David on this one.

 

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Watch Curb Your Enthusiasm

  1. TelevisionWed, Oct 18, 9:00PM ETEpisode 83: A Disturbance in the KitchenHBO2 EAST
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