5 Great Soup Moments on Seinfeld
When you think of the beloved ’90s sitcom Seinfeld, you might remember Jerry, his puffy shirt, and his desire not to be a pirate; Elaine and her infamous dance moves; George’s innate ability to get fired; and of course, Kramer’s sliding entrances into Jerry’s apartment. You probably also came to know and love (or in Newman’s case, love to hate) other characters that made cameos on the show, including Helen and Morty Seinfeld (proud residents of Del Boca Vista), Estelle and Frank Costanza (trying to find inner peace by yelling “SERENITY NOW!”), and David Puddy (the God-fearing, face-painting Devils fan mechanic), just to name a few.
And there was another regular, frequently stealing scenes during the show’s nine-season run: soup, the humble, wholesome, sometimes-controversial food in a bowl.
Here are five instances when soup was the star on Seinfeld.
1. No soup for you!
No list of soup appearances on Seinfeld would be complete without everyone’s favorite soup-genius curmudgeon, the Soup Nazi. Based on a real soup shop owner on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Soup Nazi requires patrons to order in a very succinct, very prompt manner: Request your desired flavor and size of soup, then move down the counter and pay. Want bread? Definitely don’t make George’s mistake and ask for it.
In fact, the soup in this episode is so delicious that Jerry pretends not to know his girlfriend (who he likes enough to call “Schmoopie”) in order to save his reputation with the Soup Nazi and ensure that he is not dismissed.
2. He’s making bouillabaisse.
When Jerry’s parents, Helen and Morty, come to New York for a visit, they stay at Jerry’s — so Jerry ends up shacking up across the hall with Kramer. When Helen Seinfeld asks Jerry if Kramer minds him staying over, he responds, “No, he’s making a bouillabaisse.” And that’s it. No additional information is disclosed to the audience, nor do we ever see the bouillabaisse. Talk about a non-sequitur.
3. That’s a pretty big matzoh ball.
When George decides to tell Sienna (the beautiful zookeeper he’s somehow convinced to date him) that he loves her, Jerry asks if he’s confident in the “I love you” return. “Cause if you don’t get that return, that’s a pretty big matzoh ball hanging out there,” he says.
Indeed, rather than telling George that she loves him too, Sienna says, “I’m hungry, let’s get something to eat,” which Georges tell Jerry is a “huge matzoh ball.” End scene with George ordering matzoh ball soup at Monk’s Diner.
4. I mentioned the bisque.
George boasts that his girlfriend glosses over unnecessary details in stories by saying, “yada yada yada,” but then expresses concern when she uses that technique to describe why she’s exhausted after her ex-boyfriend came over the previous night.
“You don’t think she’d yada yada sex?” George enquires. Elaine raises her hand and responds that she once met a lawyer, they went out to dinner, she had the lobster bisque, they went back to her place, yada yada yada, she never heard from him again. When Jerry asks why she yada yada yada-ed over the best part, Elaine responds that she didn’t — she mentioned the bisque.
5. Soup’s not a meal.
Perhaps the most in-depth discussion of soup came in the appropriately titled episode “The Soup.” Annoying Ovaltine-based comic Kenny Bania insists upon giving Jerry an Armani suit that no longer fits him because he’s been working out (he’s HUGE!), and suggests that he pay him back by buying him a meal. Jerry reluctantly agrees, and takes Bania to Mendy’s. Bania orders the consommé, then informs Jerry that this doesn’t count as payback for the suit because “soup’s not a meal.”
Jerry complains to Elaine that he has to take Bania out again because he just ordered soup. Elaine sides with Bania, arguing that heartier soups like mushroom barley, chicken gumbo, or matzoh ball might count as a meal, but consommé does not. Later, Bania joins them at Monk’s and orders soup and a sandwich, which ultimately completes the transaction.
Do you have a favorite soup moment from Seinfeld?