A quick look at five “Seinfeld” episodes that live on in people’s minds, hearts and daily use of phrases like “No soup for you” or “look to the cookie.”
“THE DINNER PARTY” (1994)
Classic example of an episode that takes a common, mundane chore – buying something to bring to a dinner party – and expands it out to a ridiculous extreme. Jerry and the gang set out to buy a chocolate Babka and some wine, but they end up losing their place in the bakery line, losing out on the babka, needing to change a $100 bill, and incurring various injuries and illness. Jerry at some point finds solace in his discovery of a black and white cookie at the bakery. He tells Elaine: “Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet, still, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie. All our problems would be solved.”
“THE SOUP NAZI” (1995)
Maybe the most-quoted “Seinfeld” line ever is “No soup for you.” Even people who never saw that episode know the line and what it means. In the episode, the guy running the coolest soup place in town only serves you if you follow his rules. Most of us have had to follow some irrational rules to be considered cool at some point, so it’s easy to relate to. And “Seinfeld” was ahead of its time, since the Soup Nazi appeared way before the world was run by food bloggers, as it is now.
“THE CHINESE RESTAURANT” (1991)
Entire episode is about standing in line, waiting for a table in a Chinese restaurant. But plenty happens, including the kind of mental meandering that takes place when a person is hungry and impatient. Elaine tries to bribe a server, and then is so hungry she declares she’ll just grab food off another patron’s plate. When they finally give up and leave, of course, their party is called.
“THEÂ PARKINGÂ GARAGE” (1991)
What was it about the “Seinfeld” team that allowed them to see humor, a whole half-hour of it, in a situation all the other comedy writers passed on? This episode is about not remembering where you parked your car – happens to me everyday – and the silliness that can accompany this adventure. We see Kramer carrying his new air conditioner, Jerry desperately seeking a bathroom and Elaine worrying about the lifespan of the goldfish she just bought.
“THE MUFFIN TOPS” (1997)
In life, we’re all surrounded by examples of extremely popular products that at their core, might seem very silly. And so in this episode Elaine hits on the silly but brilliant idea to sell just muffin tops, since most folks throw away the “stump,” or it gets so crumbly we don’t want to eat it. The fun starts when she can’t find an easy way to dispose of “the stumps.”