Did you ever notice how much of a crucial role food seems to play on Seinfeld? There are even entire episodes of the groundbreaking hit NBC sitcom, from co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, that revolve around (and are even titled after) various culinary topics, including “The Junior Mint,” “The Muffin Tops,” and (most iconically) “The Soup Nazi.”
There were so, soooo many other classic moments to choose from, but I managed to keep the following greatest hits of food on Seinfeld down to just 14 examples of why, whenever you are revisiting the series on Netflix, you should make sure it is not on an empty stomach. However, on the other hand, our first example might cause some people to lose their lunch.
George Eats An Eclair Out Of The Trash (Season 6, “The Gymnast”)
One of the funniest George Costanza moments on Seinfeld, at first, sees the neurotic man (Jason Alexander) being surprisingly charming while meeting his girlfriend’s mother, only to completely to ruin it when she catches him taking a bite out of an eclair he found in her kitchen waste basket. He tries to soften the story by feeding Jerry details of the baked good being preserved on a doily, but the comedian has no sympathy for his friend, whom he calls a bum after learning the eclair already had a bite in it.
George Double Dips A Chip (Season 4, “The Implant”)
An earlier instance of George’s unflattering approach to “free food” causing offense with a girlfriend’s relative occurred in the Seinfeld Season 4 classic “The Implant.” When attending the funeral for the aunt of his new girlfriend, Betsy (Megan Mullally, one of many Seinfeld actors you might have forgotten about), George indulges in “double-dipping” a tortilla chip into a bowl of dip, which Betsy’s brother Timmy (Kiernan Mulroney) compares to “putting your whole mouth in the dip,” and gets physical with George when he tries to do it again out of spite.
Kramer Drops A Junior Mint Into Roy During His Operation (Season 4, “The Junior Mint”)
Perhaps the more famous Seinfeld Season 4 moment occurs in “The Junior Mint,” when Kramer (Michael Richards) is unable to accept Jerry’s refusal of a piece of the titular candy, while observing the surgery of Elaine’s ex-boyfriend, Roy (Sherman Howard). This causes a scuffle that ultimately sends it plummeting into the unconscious man’s cut-open chest. Initially fearing the worse, the chocolate/peppermint treat turns out to be what saves his life in the end.
Jujyfruits Ruin Elaine’s Life (Season 5, “The Opposite”)
However, nothing good would come out of Elaine Benis’ (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) sweet tooth in the Seinfeld Season 5 finale, “The Opposite,” which sees her indulging in Jujyfruits at two of the worst possible times. First, her hospitalized boyfriend, Jake Jarmel (Marty Rackham), is disgusted to learn she stopped for a box on her way to visit him after learning about his car accident. Later on, the gummy candy makes her unable to warn a sick Mr. Lippman (Richard Fancy) that he forgot his handkerchief, before a meeting that would have saved Pendant Publishing had he been able to shake their potential new investor’s hand.
Elaine Can’t Get Rid Of The Muffin Stumps (Season 8, “The Muffin Tops”)
Elaine would later go into business with Mr. Lippman with a restaurant that serves only the tops of muffins, leaving them with heaps of stumps that prove to be impossible to get rid of. For whatever reason, neither a soup kitchen to feed homeless people, nor even the city dump, will accept the bottom half of these baked treats. She has no other choice but to call on the assistance of Newman (and several glasses of milk) to make the problem go away in one of Wayne Knight’s greatest moments on Seinfeld.
Elaine Eats Peterman’s Prized Wedding Cake (Season 9, “The Frogger”)
In another one of Elaine’s greatest Seinfeld moments, a dessert item would put her in hot water (and threaten her professional life), once again. After revolting against a seemingly endless series of office celebrations deprives her of a much-needed cake fix, Elaine takes refuge in a slice from Peterman’s office fridge, that turns out to be a highly valuable serving from a royal wedding in 1937. After successfully replacing the bite she stole, she cannot help but finish the whole thing - an unhealthy decision which Peterman (John O’Hurley) decides will prove to be a sufficient punishment.
George Relies On Newman To Get Calzones For Steinbrenner (Season 7, “The Calzone”)
There was also a time when baked goods threatened George’s career - namely the titular Italian delicacy from Season 7’s “The Calzone,” which George Steinbrenner (voiced by Larry David) becomes entranced by as Costanza enjoys one during a Yankees' staff lunch meeting. A misunderstanding gets George banned from his favorite calzone vendor and, desperate to keep his promise to bring one for Steinbrenner, he enlists the help Newman, who, ironically, backs out on a rainy day. Kramer turns out to be no help either, because the restaurant would not accept change, but Steinbrenner at least got a fix from Kramer’s clothes, which smelled like calzones after spending time in the oven.
George Tries To Replace The Ross’ Marble Rye (Season 7, “The Marble Rye”)
There was also a time when baked goods threatened George’s love life - namely the namesake item from Season 7’s “The Marble Rye,” which Frank (the late Jerry Stiller) and Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris) bring over when meeting George’s fiancée’s parents (Warren Frost and Twin Peaks’ Grace Zabriskie), only to pettily take it back after a conversational dispute. Needing to replace his future in-law’s loaf, he enlists the help of Jerry (who goes as far as mugging an elderly lady to nab the last rye available), and Kramer (whose plan to distract the couple with a carriage ride goes south from his horse’s insufferable flatulence), only to be caught red handed after having to lure the bread up through the Ross’ apartment window with a fishing pole.
Jerry’s Monologue About The Black And White Cookie (Season 5, “The Dinner Party”)
There actually are some positive moments involving baked goods on Seinfeld, like from a Season 5 episode in which Jerry and Elaine anxiously wait in line for a chocolate (and later cinnamon) babka as a dinner party gift. In between their frustrations at the bakery, Jerry enjoys a black and white cookie, which he profoundly describes as a symbol of racial harmony and goes as far as explaining that getting a little chocolate and vanilla in every bite is crucial. I still find it to be one of the sitcom’s most admirable instances of social commentary, even though Jerry ends up vomiting the cookie back up.
Kramer Prepares A Salad In His Shower (Season 9, “The Apology”)
Speaking of vomit, that is how Elaine, her boyfriend David Puddy (Patrick Warburton), and co-worker Peggy (Megan Cole) react to a salad Kramer whipped up for them. Why? Because Kramer feels so at home in the shower that he decides to spend as much time in it as possible, even going as far as installing a garbage disposal in the drain, which comes in handy as he is preparing this very dish.
George Tries To Incorporate Food Into His Sex Life (Season 9, “The Blood”)
I am actually not sure what I find more disgusting: Kramer using his own shower water to make a salad or George attempting to combine his passion for food and his passion for sex into one, in another Seinfeld Season 9 episode. After he decides to keep an open mind for this unusual fetish, it soon becomes difficult for George to separate his experiences with either, as seen by his rousing reaction to his lunch at Monk’s.
Frank Costanza Falls Onto The Fusilli Jerry (Season 6, “The Fusilli Jerry”)
George’s father also got a little too close to a certain food item, but it was completely by accident and the end result was far from comforting. In Season 6, Kramer takes up a new hobby by constructing figurines resembling his friends made out of pasta, choosing fusilli for Jerry because the stand-up comic is “silly.” Frank Costanza does not find the figurine too funny, however, especially when a brief tussle with Kramer causes him to fall on top of it and forces him to visit a proctologist to have it removed from where the sun don’t shine.
Kramer Tries To Sue For Hot Coffee (Season 7, “The Maestro”)
Another memorable food-related injury on Seinfeld happened in a Season 7 episode that pokes fun at an infamous lawsuit involving McDonald’s coffee. Kramer attempts to sneak a cup of Joe into a movie theater, only for it spill all over him and leave a nasty burn on his abdomen. In the following episode, he hires attorney Jackie Chiles (Phil Morris) to give the coffee company a run for their money, but ruins whatever chances he had for a big payout by accepting their offer of free coffee for life.
The Soup Nazi Rejects George And Elaine (Season 7, “The Soup Nazi”)
Of course, out of all of these hilarious Seinfeld food moments, nothing will ever be able to top the glory of the “The Soup Nazi” episode, which gave birth one of the most repeated Seinfeld quotes of all time, as said to George and Elaine on two separate occasions. The former just barely succeeds in following the fascist soup vendor’s (Larry Thomas) ordering procedure (he really wanted that bread) and the latter annoys him enough with drumming on the counter and comparing him to Al Pacino that he bans her from the stand for a year. “No soup for you” would immediately enter the cultural zeitgeist after the episode first aired during Season 7.
I could think of more delicious moments from the Seinfeld cast, but I don’t wanna spoil anyone’s appetite before they can enjoy more while binging the series on Netflix.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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