“Curb Your Enthusiasm” fans were feeling pretty, pretty good Tuesday afternoon when the network announced that the hit HBO series, created by and starring Larry David, would return for a ninth season after a five-year hiatus.
The show, created by and starring “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David, features David playing an a over-the-top version of himself, a self-involved curmudgeon with an uncanny knack for pointing out—and sometimes demonstrating—society’s most annoying foibles. Many of them, naturally, deal with the ways Larry and his friends act when it comes to money, from tipping to splitting the check at restaurants to paying back personal debts.
MONEY definitely wouldn’t advise you start fights with your friends over the same petty financial issues that Larry finds objectionable. Still, the personal finance mishaps in “Curb” are undeniably the stuff of high comedy. As we begin to get excited about the show’s ninth season, here’s a look back at some funniest money moments from “Curb Your Enthusiasm”:
1. “The Terrorist Attack,” Season 3, Episode 5
Larry begins to dread dinner dates with friends Stu and Susan Braudy when it becomes clear that Stu makes a beeline for the restroom each time the check is about to arrive—leaving Larry stuck with the bill. Larry wouldn’t be Larry if he didn’t call out Stu’s blatant check-dodging, which his friend of course vehemently denies. Larry, however, doesn’t buy it, insisting, “I invented that bathroom trick!” In a rare victory for Larry, in a later episode, the plot begins with Stu acknowledging his prior wrongdoing and picking up the check during a dinner outing.
2. “The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial,” Season 6, Episode 3
This episode starts out with news of the passing of Ida Funkhouser, the mother of Larry’s friend Marty. Naturally, Larry’s foremost concern when he hears the tragic news is that it will cause Marty to forget that he owes Larry $50. However, he’s surprised when, the next time he encounters Marty, his friend remembers his debt—by handing him a sweaty $50 bill pulled from his shoe. The rest of the show documents Larry’s fruitless efforts to rid himself of the $50, when every vendor from the florist to the perfume store is disgusted by the soggy bill and refuses to accept it.
3. “The Reunion,” Season 7, Episode 3
While splitting the check after lunch with actor Jason Alexander (who played George on “Seinfeld”), Larry suggests that the two coordinate their tips, or leave the same amount so “one of us doesn’t look like an idiot.” To Larry’s chagrin, Jason refuses to divulge how much he intends to leave the server. The next time Larry visits the restaurant, he presses the waiter who served them to share how much Jason left—and is horrified when he finds out that his friend’s tip was much “healthier” than the $12 Larry left.
4. “Opening Night,” Season 4, Episode 10
Tipping is a predominant theme throughout “Curb,” as Larry, a millionaire from his “Seinfeld” success, ironically agonizes over whether to leave minimum-wage employees $5 or $10 gratuities. In “Opening Night,” Larry arrives at the Plaza Hotel in New York to begin a Broadway stint in Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” His trip is rife with tipping missteps, which Larry works hard to rectify. For instance, Larry angers the hotel’s electrician when he doesn’t tip him after he worked on an air conditioning unit in his room. The electrician ultimately takes home a better prize, when a guilty Larry repays him with a ticket to the opening night of “The Producers.” Meanwhile, an overly solicitous bellhop is skeptical when Larry is out of small bills and promises to tip him later. (To his credit, Larry later does so.)
5. “Car Salesman,” Season 2, Episode 1
To the surprise of his friends and family, Larry decides he wants to try his hand at an everyman career: car salesman. Less surprisingly, his endeavor proves a flop. On his first day, Larry makes an awkward mess of peddling Priuses and returns home defeated, having sold no cars. Later, he’s fired from his job when his friend Richard Lewis visits him at the dealership and the two start a physical altercation. After his failed stint at the dealership, Larry returns to the world to which he’s far better suited: writing hilarious TV scripts.
6. “The Grand Opening,” Season 3, Episode 10
A recurring plot line in season 3 is Larry’s role as an investor in a swanky restaurant with Ted Danson and Michael York. His business venture comes to a head in the season finale, when Larry’s obnoxious behavior jeopardizes the eatery’s future. First, he picks a fight with the restaurant’s chef and fires him. Then, in a heated dodgeball game, he breaks the thumbs of the restaurant critic slated to review the restaurant. Matters get worse when Larry hires a replacement chef to work the open-kitchen restaurant: The man has Tourette’s syndrome and a tendency to randomly shout obscenities.