HUFFINGTON POST

Curb Your Enthusiasm's Finest Etiquette Lessons

07/12/2011 08:13 pm ET | Updated Sep 11, 2011

Larry David famously approached "Seinfeld" with the mantra "No hugging, no learning." And it might seem as if "Curb Your Enthusiasm" followed suit, from the often-boorish antics of Larry's curmudgeonly character. But there have been plenty of instances where TV's funniest misanthrope taught us a thing or two about etiquette. In honor of the show's eighth-season premiere this week, here are eight valuable lessons courtesy of Larry.

Sampling privileges are not to be abused.
(Season 6, "The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial")
"It's not right for the woman working back there," Larry rightfully observes when a fellow ice-cream store patron asks to try flavor after flavor, selfishly holding up the line. "She's got better things to do than just scooping samples for them." Larry then confronts the offending party: "You're abusing your sampling privileges. Two samples the most. You can't just go on sample after sample."

Don't go over your caviar allotment at a party. (Season 7, "The Hot Towel")
"You're really going to town on that caviar...I think you're going over your allotment," Larry astutely notes when he catches Christian Slater loading up a cracker at Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen's anniversary bash. "We're each entitled to take a certain amount, so everyone else can have a little bit too," he tells Slater. "We have unwritten laws in society."

Having your kid sing (badly) does not count as a gift. (Season 7, "The Hot Towel")
At the Dansons' aforementioned anniversary bash, Susie and Jeff announce that instead of giving the couple a toaster or blender, their "incredibly talented" daughter, Sammy, will serenade the crowd. As Sammy begins her painful rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," Larry mutters, "That's a gift, are you kidding? How is that a gift? This is the worst thing I've heard in my life" and subsequently halts Sammy's performance.


If a store loses your pants, it's okay to steal a pair. (Season 7, "Officer Krupke")
Forced to evacuate Banana Republic while trying on trousers, Larry become impatient and walks off with the security tag still attached. When he later returns to find the pants he left in the fitting room are gone, the salesman smugly points to the store's policy claiming no responsibility for lost items. Larry counters, "I've got a sign in my house that says if somebody takes your pants, you take theirs." Well played, Larry!

A surrogate deserves a gift too. (Season 4, "The Surrogate")
When Cheryl ask Larry to pick up a present before the Dusenberrys' baby shower -- for the host only -- Larry thoughtfully asks, "Well what about the surrogate?... I think the surrogate is a person too -- she's having the baby." When Cheryl points out that it's Betty Dusenberry's shower, Larry responds, "She's going to be standing there opening up presents. The surrogate's going to be standing there like an idiot, and she has nothing to open?"

Nobody wants to take a house tour. (Season 3, "Krazee-Eyez Killa")
Upon being offered a tour of Jeff and Susie's spacious new abode, Larry declines, telling an irate Susie, "No, that's okay... Bedrooms, bathrooms, I get it. You don't need to walk me around." Isn't that how we all feel?

When you're given someone else's take-out order, it's wrong to eat the good parts before returning it. ("The Shrimp Incident," Season 2)
Larry arrives home and discovers he got the wrong order from a Chinese take-out restaurant. He returns to find out his order was switched with HBO president Alan Wasserman's, and they exchange bags, but Larry later realizes his kung pao shrimp dish is missing most of its shrimp. Larry is incensed and, naturally, confronts Wasserman.


Don't pay back a loan with sweaty money.
(Season 6, "The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial")
"You can't ask a mourner for $50," Larry explains, worrying that he won't be repaid the cash Marty Funkhouser owes him shortly after the death of Marty's mother, Ida. So Larry grudgingly accepts the sweaty $50 bill Marty pulls from his running shoe when the two run into each other. As Larry tries to pass off the sweaty bill throughout the episode, he finds that everyone else -- the painter, the florist -- is as disgusted as he is.

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