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Throughout Seinfeld, Jerry and Newman have an adversarial relationship, marked by the infamous exchange of "Hello, Jerry" "Hello, Newman." While at times they get along (In "The Barber," (S5E8) Jerry allows Newman to use his bathroom and invites him to watch Edward Scissorhands with him), or work together (In "The Andrea Doria," (S8E10) Jerry helps Newman deliver mail on his route so that Newman can get a promotion to the Hawaii so he'll move away from Jerry), the general dynamic of the relationship never changes.

Why do Jerry and Newman dislike each other?

  • I don't want to post an answer without confirmation, but I read that Newman was based on 2 people, both lived in Jerry's building, one was the maintenance man who Jerry would have had to deal with as a tenant. Source: My memory of a Larry David Interview. If I can find. I'll post. Not sure a real life person the character was loosely based on counts anyway, but thought I'd put it out there. – userLTK Feb 25 '17 at 0:12
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The reason for the animosity is never revealed explicitly on the show, however, Jerry Seinfeld gave a reason in commentary to the DVDs as explained in the Newman (Seinfeld) Wikipedia entry under Personality:

When asked about why the character Jerry hates Newman, Jerry Seinfeld explained it in the Season 3 DVD inside look of the show:

He was the first person on the show, my own show, who was coming on to sabotage me in some way. And so why would I not hate him forever for that?

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    Any idea how Newman was sabotaging Jerry? – David Harkness Jul 1 '12 at 20:05
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Newman sabotaged Jerry (and other characters) by being a tattle-tale, trouble-maker and "agitator" (S9E12).

For example: He tattled to Jerry's parents when he saw Jerry making out during Schindlers List (S5E18) He tattled on Jerry for sleeping with a woman whose boyfriend was in a coma.

Newman's dislike for Jerry appears to stem from anger at Jerry's status as a relatively famous comedian. Newman considers Jerry to be undeserving of his fame, referring to Jerry's audience as "half soused nightclub rabble that lap up your inane "observations"". Newman's own talents as a poet and wordsmith are not inconsiderable, yet similar recognition to Jerry has so far eluded Newman.

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The first time he was shown (The Suicide) was when Jerry went out with his neighbor's ex girlfriend while he was in a coma. Newman saw the girl leave his apartment, and by the end of the episode, ratted on Jerry. So, the first time Newman was shown at all he screwed over Jerry. I'm sure that set him on a path of dislike, then Newman kept doing stuff like that.

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    already mentioned in another answer – Luciano Mar 15 '17 at 9:55

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