"The Roommate Switch" is a reference to episode 610 of Seinfeld, entitled "The Switch."

Consider the following scenario: you're dating a perfectly boring girl but find her roommate much more alluring in some way. How do you switch from one to the other without completely alienating both of them? Jerry has found himself in this exact situation, dating a woman (Sandy) whose roommate is hotter and finds him much funnier (Laura). Jerry explains it to George, who retorts:

GEORGE: Do you realize in the entire history of western civilization no one has successfully accomplished the Roommate Switch? In the Middle Ages you could get locked up for even suggesting it!
JERRY: They didn't have roommates in the Middle Ages.
GEORGE: Well, I'm sure at some point between the years 800 and 1200--somewhere--there were two women living together.

George nonetheless agrees to brainstorm, and after hours and hours of fruitless suggestions George exclaims, "I-I-I-I-I got it!!!"

The roommate switch as suggested by George Costanza:

GEORGE: All right. Let's go over it again, one more time.
JERRY: All right. So I tell Sandy that I want to have a ménage à trois with her and her roommate.
GEORGE: That's right.
JERRY: And you believe this course of action will have a two-pronged effect. Firstly, the very mention of the idea will cause Sandy to recoil in disgust, whereupon she will insist that I remove myself from the premises.
GEORGE: Keep going.
JERRY: At this point, it is inevitable that she will seek out the roommate to apprise her of this abhorrent turn of events.
GEORGE: Continue.
JERRY: The roommate will then offer her friend the requisite sympathy even as part of her cannot help but feel somewhat flattered by her inclusion in the unusual request.
{George takes over.}
GEORGE: A few days go by and a call is placed at a time when Sandy is known to be busy at work. Once the initial awkwardness is relieved with a little playful humor, which she (Laura) of course cannot resist, an invitation to a friendly dinner is proffered.
JERRY: Huh. Well, it all sounds pretty good. There's only one flaw in it: They're roommates. She'd have to go out with me behind Sandy's back. She's not gonna do that.
GEORGE: You disappoint me, my friend. Sandy wants nothing to do with you. She tells Laura, "If you want to waste your time with that pervert, that's your problem."
{Final pause.}
JERRY: It's a perfect plan. So inspired. So devious. Yet so simple.
GEORGE: This is what I do.

So the plan, in short: tell her you want to have a threesome with her and her roommate. She's disgusted, tells her roommate, and her roommate pretends to be disgusted but is strangely flattered and intrigued. A subsequent phone call intended to reach the roommate sets up a date, and the original woman wants nothing of it because she is convinced you are a pervert.


Of course, it doesn't work for Jerry. Sandy is not horrified and disgusted--rather she is "into the ménage," as Jerry puts it.

Jerry doesn't want to do it, because he's not an "orgy guy." Despite George's protestations ("Are you crazy? This is like discovering Plutonium ... by accident!") Jerry cannot go through with the threesome.

As an aside, this strategy is brilliant. Worst-case scenario is that you lose a girl you wanted to break up with anyway; failing that, you either end up with the girl you want or get a threesome out of it.

For the love of God, somebody explain the downside here.

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