Larry David grimacing

"Seinfeld" was famously the show about nothing. The central characters would get into all kinds of awkward predicaments, which is par for the course for sitcoms. However, in most other programming, the characters learn some sort of lesson about morality and/or ethics. They grow into a better person by the end of the episode, even if they completely forget said lesson by the next one.

Other sitcoms would be about learning to be a better friend in the workplace or offering some level of social or political commentary. But not "Seinfeld." The characters would be precisely the same by the ending, and that’s why it continues to be beloved to this day. The focus was on mining the humor out of given situations rather than making a statement about humanity. As such, the only thing expected out of the audience is to laugh their butts off, so it perhaps should come as no surprise to hear what the two prominent rules of the series were.

No hugging, no learning

Jerry with Costanza

The show’s co-creator, Larry David, had two simple rules for making "Seinfeld" episodes, namely "No hugging" and "No learning." It’s an ethos you can see in every installment, as there aren’t any sentimental moments where the friends come together to hug one another after a misunderstanding. They also never learn their lessons, often going through a comedy of errors to wind up being the same exact people by the episode’s end.

In fact, David elaborated on this idea, once telling an interviewer, "A lot of people don’t understand that ‘Seinfeld’ is a dark show. If you examine the premises, terrible things happen to people. They lose jobs; somebody breaks up with a stroke victim; somebody’s told they need a nose job. That’s my sensibility" (via The Atlantic). At their core, the four friends are awful people, as exhibited in Season 5’s "The Hamptons" when Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) meet a friend’s new baby. They then proceed to call it "the ugliest baby" either one has ever seen.

They don’t learn lessons; they’re just bad people who get into hilarious situations, and it’s gone on to become one of the most popular TV shows of its era.