Could Jerry Seinfeld’s hallway exist in the real world?


Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment layout on the show “Seinfeld” was physically impossible.


research in progress

In April 2021, more than 20 years after the last episode of “Seinfeld” aired in 1998, the dimensions of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment building became a hot topic on the internet. Much of this conversation was led by a diagram which supposedly showed how the hallway outside of Seinfeld’s apartment couldn’t exist:


In general, this is an accurate representation of the physical impossibilities of Seinfeld’s apartment. However, it can be argued that the hallway outside Seinfeld’s apartment wasn’t as straight as shown here. Additionally, the dimensions of this hallway have changed throughout the nine seasons of “Seinfeld,” suggesting this entire discussion may be moot.

Before delving into the dimensions of this fictional New York apartment building, it should be noted that Seinfeld was generally not shot on location. In fact, the exteriors of Seinfeld’s apartment building weren’t even filmed in New York (they were filmed in Los Angeles). While it’s certainly not possible for Jerry to be in his apartment in New York and outside of his apartment in Los Angeles, we’re not sure if that ruins the “reality” of this fictional show. TVs and movies are often shot in locations that don’t quite literally match their stories. Director Peter Jackson didn’t just come to Mordor to shoot The Lord of the Rings, for example. he went to New Zealand.

Seinfeld was mostly filmed on a variety of studio sets that were built CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California. To be pedantic, Seinfeld’s apartment didn’t even have a ceiling.

(Side note: this picture shows another oddity of Seinfeld’s apartment. The wall on the right is never or rarely shown in the show. In the fictional Seinfeld verse, that wall might as well not exist.)

The claim that “Jerry’s Hallway Can’t Exist” is supported by “Seinfeld” scenes, which appear to show a long, straight hallway ending with Jerry’s door on one side and Kramer’s door on the other. Here’s a look at the hallway from the Season 2 episode “The Apartment”:


While this view indicates that the hallway outside of Seinfeld’s apartment would be impossible since it would appear to go right through the kitchen, it’s not the only view of the hallway we get throughout the show.

While most of the hallway scenes took place right outside Jerry’s or Kramer’s doors, the ninth and final season’s episode “The Strongbox” gave a relatively clear glimpse into the dimensions of this hallway. But instead of one long hallway extending from Jerry’s door (as in the Jerry’s Hallway Can’t Exist image), there is a second hallway in the frame that is perpendicular to the original hallway.

Here’s a recording of Jerry talking to his neighbor Gabriel:


And a wider shot shows Jerry and Kramer standing at this crossroads:


In some “Seinfeld” scenes, the hallway outside Seinfeld’s door appears to be one straight, unbroken line, but in others, the interior of Seinfeld’s apartment building appears to be more complex. This is likely due to the fact that different hallway sets were used throughout the course of “Seinfeld.” In Season 2, Seinfeld apparently had neighbors on his side of the hall. In season 9, Jerry’s apartment appears to be the only living space on his side of this hallway.

While this may ruin the “reality” of this fictional show for some viewers, we would like to remind them that “Seinfeld” was filmed on a studio set and Jerry’s apartment had no ceiling, no fourth wall and was lined with cameras and a live studio audience. In other words, if you can accept Seinfeld being surrounded by invisible people constantly laughing at his jokes, the fact that the exterior of his apartment doesn’t exactly match the inside of his apartment shouldn’t be too far-fetched.

A number of people have attempted to recreate the layout of Seinfeld’s apartment. Here are some of our favorite renders. (Click on the image for a larger view):


So, could Jerry Seinfeld’s hallway exist? In reality, probably not.

The angle of the door leading to Seinfeld’s apartment and the location of his kitchen don’t seem to match most of the footage from the hallway. But in the fictional Seinfeld-verse, where one readily accepts that Jason Alexander is George Costanza and that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a bad dancer, absolutely. It’s simply a magical corridor that leans into the realities of the plot.

Here’s a video of set designer Thomas Azzari talking about his work on Seinfeld. Azzari reportedly addresses the oddities of the hallway in the DVD commentary, but we haven’t been able to review a copy yet.

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