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While at a restaurant with Jerry and Elaine, George claims to be having a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital. Although convinced his life is over, George's doctor tells him that, while he didn't have a heart attack, he does need his tonsils removed. Meanwhile, Jerry panics when he cannot decipher a late-night note to himself, and Elaine becomes obsessed with a magazine article in the hospital waiting room.
While preparing to have his tonsils taken out, George is convinced by Kramer to skip the surgery and see Tor, a holistic healer. Told to stay away from hot water, George is given an herbal tea to treat his tonsils, all of which increases Jerry's suspicions that Tor is a really a fake. Meanwhile, while dating a doctor she met at the hospital, Elaine is treated to a detailed lecture about the tongue.
After the herbal tea treatment turns his face purple, George and his friends are rushed to the hospital by ambulance. However, the driver and the attendant get into a fight over some candy, resulting in an accident that injures both Jerry and Kramer. Finally, back in the hospital, George fears that his face will always be purple, while Jerry remembers his disappointing punch line and a nurse tells Elaine about the end of the magazine article.
Larry David makes an uncredited appearance in the B-movie Jerry is watching in the middle of the night.
This episode marks the first mention of Bob Saccamanno, Kramer's often mentioned but never-seen friend.
Pat Hazell (the man in the other bed) wrote on the show during the first season and regularly did "audience warm-up" for the show in its first few seasons.
It's later established that Jerry and George are the same age even though in "The Heart Attack" George refers to himself as 33 years old while two episodes earlier, Jerry told Elaine he was 36.
"You could do your taxes in the time it takes me to have an orgasm."