“Thin ice, George, very thin ice.”
July 16, 2010

A clever observation—insinuating a warning—to use on those who could stand to be warned (e.g., “Don’t go there!”), but you’d rather illustrate for them the idiocy of the move they are about to make.

George wandered into hazardous territory with Elaine: discussing a woman Elaine had set him up with. His good friend Jerry was there to wave him off by making this wisecrack…giving naïve pal George a chance to get out on a high note—rather than plunge into a cold new conversation.

This warning works wonders even in a strange crowd. Those who may have no idea what it is you’re waving your friend away from will still get the image: arms flailing, legs akimbo as he or she wobbles out onto the conversational ice. And they’re in for a show, if you know your friend…likely ignoring your warning, falling headlong in….

…giving you the chance to laugh along with others at your friend’s “icebreaker.”

From “The Baby Shower”
Episode 4, Season 2
Seinfeld Volume 1, Disc 2
Timecode for the scene: 2:00

(Revised on April 18, 2020, for the forthcoming book!)

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