Larry David stand with his arms out and a quizzical expression on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'.

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Is Kaput, So Let’s Rank Our 10 Favorite Episodes

With twelve seasons spanning more than twenty years, the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm has covered just about every awkward, embarrassing, or infuriating situation or event imaginable.

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Show creator and star Larry David plays a fictionalized version of himself, the ultimate whiny misanthrope, as he navigates a world he finds endlessly complicated and annoying. He’s surrounded by a stellar cast of characters who play off him perfectly, creating a universe viewers want to visit again and again. Now that the series has wrapped up its final season, let’s look back at some of our favorite episodes of all time.

10. “AAMCO” (Season 1, episode 7)

Curb Your Enthusiasm AAMCO, Season 1, ep. 7
(HBO)

Air date: November 26, 2000

Admittedly, nothing major happens in this episode from the first season, “AAMCO,” but it’s a perfect example of David’s knack for inadvertently ticking people off, thereby ruining things for himself down the line. It begins with Jeff purchasing a vintage 1957 Chevy convertible, which he insists Larry take for a spin. While stopped at a traffic light, Larry mistakes the honking horn sound from an AAMCO ad on the radio with a real honk, so he yells at the person behind him. Naturally, the other driver hits the car and speeds off, leaving Jeff’s car with an audible rattle.

As luck had it (ha!), Larry just met Mike (Mike Hagerty), a vintage auto mechanic, at a dinner party. Mike agrees to fix the car … but then Larry puts his foot in it once again and botches everything. Classic Larry!

9. “The Acupuncturist” (Season 2, episode 6)

A Japanese waiter in Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air Date: October 28, 2001

In “The Acupuncturist,” Larry bets his acupuncturist $5,000 that the man can’t cure his neck pain, while also lending a struggling writer friend the same amount. His friend says his father, who has a heart condition, will leave him plenty of money when he dies and promises to pay Larry back when that happens. Later, Larry receives orchids from his acupuncturist, which confuses him. He asks a waiter at a Japanese restaurant if orchids are customary in Japan, and the waiter is offended. Everything comes full circle when Larry inadvertently causes his friend’s father to have a fatal heart attack and a family member attacks him, which messes up his neck again.

8. “Ted and Mary” (Season 1, episode 2)

Mary Steenburgen, her mother, and Larry David at lunch
(HBO)

Air date: October 22, 2000

The second episode of the first season introduces us to plenty of recurring characters, but Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen playing fictional versions of themselves has to be in the top ten of all guest stars! In “Ted and Mary,” Larry and Cheryl go on a double date with Ted and Mary, but Larry’s shoes get stolen while they’re bowling. Later, Larry tags along with Mary and her mother (Anne Haney) while they go shopping at Barney’s, and Larry is a surprisingly awesome shopping partner! But in typical Larry fashion, just when the ladies are saying he’s the perfect man, he screws it up royally.

7. “Fatwa!” (Season 9, Episode 10)

Larry David and Lin Manuel Miranda on set of Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: December 3, 2017

Season nine returned after a 5-year absence. In that time, Larry wrote a musical comedy called Fatwa!, based on Salman Rushdie’s life. The play is a major story arc throughout the season, punctuated by funny guest appearances by Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), Lin Manuel Miranda, F. Murray Abraham, and Rushdie himself. Sadly, the production gets sidelined after Larry and Lin have a falling out over Lin’s cousin Valentina (Tipper Newton), who trashed Larry’s house while staying there. The season ends with a bang, literally, when a paint gun pellet goes awry and takes out the play’s star.

6. “Black Swan” (Season 7, Episode 7)

Larry David golfing in Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: November 1, 2009

Larry notices a typo on his mother’s grave while visiting the cemetery, so he orders a new one in “Black Swan.” While playing golf later, he yells at his friend Norm (Paul Mazursky) for playing too slowly, then is blamed when Norm suffers a heart attack and dies. Larry is also in trouble with the golf club owner Mr. Takahashi (Dana Lee) for using his cell phone on the course. Things get worse when Larry is attacked by Mr. Takahashi’s prized black swan on the same hole where Norm died, and he kills the bird while defending himself. Everything comes back to haunt Larry later at Norm’s memorial service, but ultimately it’s Larry’s mom’s new headstone that suffers.

5. “The Car Pool Lane” (season 4, episode 6)

Kym Whitley and Larry David in a car in Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: February 8, 2004

“The Car Pool Lane” is one of those perfectly-paced and scripted episodes that made us instant fans. Larry lies to a judge about being racist to get out of jury duty so he can attend a Dodgers game instead. He also buys marijuana for his father’s medical condition, making him late for the game. He wants to use the carpool lane to get there faster, so he picks up a prostitute (Kym Whitley) and brings her to the game. Of course, he’s spotted with the sex worker by an acquaintance, and Larry’s friend Marty Funkhouser (Bob Einstein) gets arrested for pot possession after agreeing to hold Larry’s jacket for him. In the end, Larry is in front of the same judge he lied to, which is exactly as awkward as it sounds!

4. “Seinfeld” (Season 7, Episode 10)

Larry David talks with Jerry Seinfeld on Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: November 22, 2009

This is the episode all Seinfeld fans were waiting for! The whole episode is about a Seinfeld reunion Larry wrote to help him get back together with his ex-wife, Cheryl. All of the original cast returns to star in an episode centering on George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) life, including his invention of the iToilet app, his involvement in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and his divorce. There’s a party scene where Julia Louis Dreyfus accuses Larry of leaving a water ring on her antique furniture, and lots of other tidbits that feel like vintage Seinfeld.

3. “Angel Muffin” (Season 11, episode 2)

Larry David looks surprised while holding a small white dog in Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: October 31, 2021

Larry screws everything up so perfectly in “Angel Muffin” that we almost feel sorry for him. It starts with a busted toilet seat that maintenance refuses to fix and devolves from there. He insults the actor/musician Dylan O’Brien, who has been tapped to play Larry in the Netflix show he’s developing, then goes on to insult his dentist in a similar manner. Jeff reveals a big secret about the dental hygienist, and Larry tries to be sneaky but messes that up, too! Elsewhere, Leon (J.B. Smoove) gets upset when his date asks to bring his leftover steak home to feed her dog, Angel Muffin.

2. “The Grand Opening” (Season 3, Episode 10)

Larry David and Cheryl Hines in the car in Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: November 17, 2002

The third season finale, “The Grand Opening,” saw Larry about to open the restaurant he’d been working on with Cheryl throughout the season. He’d hired a chef because the man was bald and didn’t try to cover it, but fires him after seeing him wearing a toupee in public. He hires a new chef who turns out to have Tourette’s syndrome, so he swears loudly without warning. Meanwhile, Cheryl gets in a compromising position in a car wash after drinking a colon cleanser and has to cancel lunch with Susie (Susie Essman), who gets angry. On opening night of the restaurant, all of these situations merge in a cringeworthy yet hilarious conclusion.

1. “Palestinian Chicken” (Season 8, episode 3)

Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm
(HBO)

Air date: July 24, 2011

Larry and Jeff visit a Palestinian chicken restaurant, which they like even though the owners and staff are antisemitic. At a dinner party, he questions whether Jeff and Susie’s child should be in attendance, then makes a crude joke in front of the kid. Later, he sees two Jewish friends who are having an affair at the Palestinian restaurant, leading to a slew of awkward encounters in his social circle. In the end, he has a scuffle with Funkhouser and snatches his friend’s yarmulke off his head, earning him attention from a beautiful Palestinian woman who works there. Larry sleeps with the woman even though she is loudly antisemitic in bed. The plot may sound like a lot, and it is! But it’s still one of the edgiest episodes in an already edgy series, and it’s hilarious to boot.

There you have it! Watch all episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm on Max, and let us know which of your favorite episodes we missed!

(featured image: HBO)


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Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.