It’s been debated heavily what exactly Seinfeld is really all about. Most come to the conclusion that it’s really about nothing. I have have my own opinion. I think it’s all about food. Think about it, there is food in every single episode and in a lot of cases it plays an integral part.
You really don’t have to look any further than Jerry’s cereal stash to know that they are in love with food. They dine at Monk’s seemingly for most meals and they are constantly snacking in Jerry’s apartment. The cast does such a good job at this. Normally, due to continuity, eating on camera is avoided. That’s one of things I think made Seinfeld so great and believable.
There are literally hundreds of funny food related moments throughout the series. Here I will present to you the top 15 full episodes where food played a large role. Next week we will look at:
- Kramer’s Top 20 Seinfeld Food Related Moments
- Jerry’s Top 20 Seinfeld Food Related Moments
- George’s Top 20 Seinfeld Food Related Moments
If you don’t see you favorite yet just wait. I will list the top food related moments that didn’t necessarily have a play in the plot (like Kramer and Newman making sausage, George eating while having sex or Jerry refusing to eat from his girlfriend’s “man hands”).
To further stake my claim that it’s all based around food, I submit the initial meeting of Kramer and Jerry. Enjoy!
15. The Big Salad
|Season 6||Episode 2||September 29, 1994|
|George and his girlfriend, Julie, ask Jerry and Elaine to go to Monk’s with them. Jerry declines saying he’s already eaten a “big bowl of Kix”. Elaine asks George to bring her back a “big salad”. George goes on a short rant about what exactly a “big salad” is. George buys Elaine the salad but Julie inadvertently gets credit for it when she brings it back to Elaine. George goes berserk over the fact that Elaine thinks Julie paid for the salad and that he doesn’t get credit for it.|
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPAW3gVkoc4
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqkD_cL0MQY
Memorable quote: “Big lettuce, big carrots, tomatoes like volleyballs.” – Jerry when George asks what’s in the “big salad”
14. The Gum
|Season 7||Episode 10||December 14, 1995|
|Llyod Braun runs into George, Kramer and Jerry at Monk’s. Llyod has a pack of Chinese chewing gum which Kramer makes everyone have a piece of. George tells him that he doesn’t chew gum. They go to the movies. Elaine doesn’t want to sit next to Llyod so says she must sit next to Jerry because of her (and his) poor eyesight. |
George, in attempting to look inside the register at Monk’s (to determine if he was short-changed), buys a pack of gum. Llyod sees this and is surprised.
Lloyd asks Jerry if he would like him to pick up some gum since he knows where to get it. Jerry doesn’t really want it but lets him. Jerry must now wear glasses around Lloyd (because of Elaine’s lie) and he has trouble seeing. Jerry mistakenly gives him $100 bill and in return gets that much worth of gum.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbrE4v2f94E
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_7TeTL8iEo
Memorable quote: “Now see, this is what the holidays are all about. Three buddies sitting around, chewing gum.” – Kramer
13. The Cafe
|Season 3||Episode 7||November 6, 1991|
|A new restaurant, The Dream Cafe, opens across the street from Jerry’s apartment and he becomes interested in it’s success (or lack thereof) and why no one is dining there. He looks down from his apartment window with binoculars at it. He befriends the owner, Babu, and offers his suggestions on how to improve business. He tells him to make his authentic Pakistani dishes as the menu was a hodge podge of items before. This turns out to not work and Babu gets extremely angry with Jerry. The restaurant continues to fail. |
Meanwhile George gets Elaine to cheat on his IQ test for him, which she takes over to The Dream Cafe to do. She has a hard time concentrating there and fails the test. George talks her into doing it again, which she does but this time at Jerry’s apartment. She never gets the test back to George though.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o41E4MCwLbs
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgoix1Rf94I
Memorable quote: “Where are people? You see people? Show me people! There are no people!” – Babu yelling at Jerry.
12. The Butter Shave
|Season 9||Episode 1||September 25, 1997|
|George, Jerry and Kramer decide to grow mustaches over the summer because they’re bored. Jerry and George decide it was a bad idea and shave them off but don’t tell Kramer. Kramer sees them without their mustaches and gets that they’re no longer growing them. He quickly shaves his as well. Kramer is not getting a good shave with regular shaving cream and tries butter and finds it to be far superior. He notices that the butter makes his skin feel so good that he begins to spread butter over his whole body. |
While tanning Kramer falls asleep and due to the butter starts to cook.
Newman in the meantime is reading the cannibalism-themed story Alive and smelling Kramer cooking finds it appealing. He envisions Kramer’s head on a roasting turkey. Kramer accidentally get’s oregano and Parmesan cheese dumped on him and it drives Newman berserk. He chases after and bites Kramer.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK2mBSBb21U
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UIvohaMA3Q
Memorable quote: “I ran out of butter so I had to borrow yours. Anything else, Mr. Nosy?” – Kramer when asked about taking Jerry’s butter.
11. The Pie
|Season 5||Episode 15||February 17, 1994|
|Jerry gets upset because his girlfriend Audrey won’t try a bite of his pie. Jerry becomes obsessed with this. They go to eat at Poppie’s, her father’s restaurant. Jerry goes to the bathroom and runs into Poppie there. He notices that he doesn’t watch his hands. Jerry then refuses a slice of Audrey’s pizza because he saw her dad not wash after using the restroom. |
Jerry meets Audrey at Poppie’s later to talk. While there, the health inspector comes and arrests Poppie for unsanitary conditions.
Also George gets taken to dinner my a prospective employer. George will not eat his dessert because he fears the chef (whom George “stole” a suit from) is going to taint it. George acts like Audrey did refusing Jerry’s pie. George does not get the job because of this but does not become ill as the other diners did.
Jerry never found out why Audrey refused the pie in the first place.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV3cqCggbK4
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-erm-67pRFI
Memorable quote: “Poppie’s a little sloppy.” – Jerry
10. The Chicken Roaster
|Season 8||Episode 8||November 14, 1996|
|A Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken restaurant opens across the street from Jerry and Kramer’s apartment. They have a large red neon sign to advertise and it keeps Kramer up at night. Kramer gets upset and boycotts the restaurant. Kramer can’t take it any more and gets Jerry to switch apartments with him. Newman comes over to Kramer’s (Jerry’s) with chicken from Kenny Rogers. Kramer tries it and soon becomes addicted to it but he tries to hide the fact from Jerry. |
Jerry runs into Newman at Kenny Roasters and notices that he bought broccoli as well. He deduces that the food cannot be solely for him as he would never eat broccoli. Jerry finds out that Kramer is addicted to Kenny Rogers.
Earlier Jerry had asked an old buddy to have lunch with him, which he skipped a business meeting for, and got fired. He then got a job as the assistant manager at Kenny Rogers. Jerry effectively gets the restaurant closed down when he shakes George’s wet hat and get all the food covered in rat fur.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acKM4jsUXwk
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qMpJa4FaW0
Memorable quote: “Hold it, Newman, you wouldn’t eat broccoli if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce.” – Jerry
9. The Muffin Tops
|Season 8||Episode 21||May 8, 1997|
|Elaine while at a party eats only the top of a muffin. Her former boss Mr. Lippman, sees this and decides to open a business selling only the tops, Top Of The Muffin To You! When business isn’t going as planned he asks Elaine for help and advice. She tells him that he’s doing it wrong by just baking the tops. She informs him that he must bake the entire muffin and “pop the top” from the stump. |
Elaine and Mr. Lippman try to discard the stumps by giving them to the homeless but even they don’t want them. Nobody will take the stumps and they are left with piles and bags full of them. Elaine tries to get Kramer to take her stumps to the dump but even the dumps won’t take them. Elaine ends up getting Newman as a “cleaner” to get rid of the muffin stumps by eating them all. It ends with Newman bringing in a cooler with 4 bottles of milk and saying that he’s got a lot of work to do.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXypua_KEA0
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOwAJNL7hws
Memorable quote: “I know what you thought. They don’t have homes, they don’t have jobs, what do they need the top of a muffin for? They’re lucky to get the stumps.” – Homeless Shelter Employee
8. The Calzone
|Season 7||Episode 20||April 25, 1996|
|While in a meeting George is eating an eggplant calzone. Mr. Steinbrenner asks him what is is and asks for a bit, which he turns out to love the taste of. He orders George to go get him one. Soon they are eating calzones every day for lunch together. George leaves a tip for the guy at the calzone shop but he does not see George put the money in the jar so George goes to fish out the money in order to re-tip him (and get recognition for his tip) but the guy catches George and thinks he’s stealing from the jar. He bans George from the restaurant. |
Mr. Steinbrenner continues to want calzones but George can no longer get them. He has to recruit Newman to order them for him and bring them to him during his mail route. Newman decides not to go to work because it is raining and George has to get Kramer to pick up the calzones. While there Kramer has them heat his shirt in the oven because he has become accustomed to warm clothing from the dryer. Kramer tries to pay for the calzones with pennies and the owner kicks him out.
Kramer goes to George’s office and places his shirt by a vent. The smell from it wafts into Mr. Steinbrenner’s office and runs into George’s office thinking that he has calzones. George tries to pass off another restuarant’s calzone as the original but Mr. Steinbrenner doesn’t fall for it. George then gets the idea to put the Yankee’s player clothes in a pizza oven after Mr. Steinbrenner was found rummaging through his office and realized the smell was from the clothes.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOpixo1HoOk
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cLg9aVl_cE
Memorable quote: “From 1973 to 1982 I ate the exact same lunch everyday . Turkey chili in a bowl made out of bread . Bread bowl George. First you eat the chili then you eat the bowl . There’s nothing more satisfying than looking down after lunch and seeing nothing but a table.” – George Steinbrenner
7. The Strike
|Season 9||Episode 10||December 18, 1997|
|George, Elaine and Jerry go to a Hanukkah party at Tim Whatley’s where Elaine meets a man and gives him a fake phone number. Elaine realizes that she wrote the number down on the back of her “Submarine Captain” card that she was using to get a free sub sandwich and captain’s hat at a local sandwich shop. |
Kramer hears that the 12-year strike at H&H Bagels is over (where he used to work) because minimum wage is now higher than what they were demanding. Kramer returns to work at the bagel shop.
Elaine wants to get the sandwich card back and goes to where the fake phone number calls, a betting parlor. She gives them the number of H&H if the man calls for her. She waits at the bagel shop for him to call but because of the steam inside she starts to get ugly.
Meanwhile Jerry’s notices that his girlfriend’s appearance changes drastically day to day and in different locales. He wants to only sit in the back booth at Monk’s because she looks good in that setting. Kramer thinks that Jerry is cheating on her because of the variances in appearance.
In the end they all gather for a Festivus Dinner at the Costanza’s (Frank’s made-up Holiday) in order for George to prove that he didn’t get to have Christmas.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdOxBcxg1tM
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xqq2frt7zI
Memorable quote: “H&H wouldn’t let us use their bathroom while we were picketing. It put a cramp in our solidarity.” – Kramer
6. The Chinese Restaurant
|Season 2||Episode 11||May 23, 1991|
|Jerry, Elaine and George decide to stop in for a meal at a Chinese restaurant before going to see a showing of Plan 9 From Outer Space. Jerry had previously lied to his uncle about not being able to go to dinner with him in order to see the movie. |
The maître d’ continuously tells them that their table will be “5, 10 minutes”. While waiting for their table Jerry dares Elaine to eat an eggroll from a random diner’s plate offering her $50 to do so. Elaine tries to conspicuously offer them $25 if they let her do it but they don’t understand what she’s getting at.
A woman runs into Jerry in the lobby who turns out is his uncle’s receptionist. Jerry ends up going to dinner with his uncle because he realizes he’ll get caught. George and Elaine decide to leave too. The maître d’ calls their party for their table as they walk out the door.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9MD6EASTsI
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6pj2LBYGKk
Memorable quote: “For 50 bucks? I’d put my face in the soup and blow.” – George
5. The Soup
|Season 6||Episode 7||November 10, 1994|
|Bania, having bulked up, no longer fits into his Armani suit and offers it to Jerry. It fits Jerry and he somewhat reluctantly takes it. Bania says he can just take him out for dinner as payment for the suit. |
Kramer, after having kidney stones, decides to get rid of his refrigerator and only eat fresh foods. Kramer takes food from Jerry’s for his girlfriend Hildy who is a waitress at Reggie’s.
Bania and Jerry go out to dinner at Mendy’s but Bania only orders a soup because he had already eaten earlier. Bania says it doesn’t count as a meal because it’s only soup and insists that Jerry take him out again. Jerry gets extremely frustrated with him. Jerry and Bania go out again and he gets a soup and a sandwich but because it’s not “a fancy restaurant” he claims it’s still not a meal. Jerry ends up giving the suit to Elaine’s boyfriend.
George doesn’t want to eat at Monk’s (he doesn’t want to see one of the waitresses) so they go to Reggie’s but they don’t have an omelet or big salad that Jerry and Elaine want.
Jerry runs out of food because Kramer keeps taking it for Hildy (who is upset because Kramer got her fired for calling at work too much).
After Jerry and Bania continue to argue about the suit and the meal, Bania demands the suit back but Jerry tells him that he gave it away. Bania runs after Elaine’s boyfriend to get the suit. Jerry and Elaine celebrate at Monk’s with an omelet and a big salad while George eats alone at Reggie’s.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPHUC5epw1Q
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwtb3tm9qLY
Memorable quote: “No, I’m sorry Bania … I’m not going over this again. Well who told you to order soup? … No! There’s no dinner. There’s not going to be any dinner. You’ve had a sandwich and 2 bowls of soup and that’s it. Good-bye.” – Jerry on the phone with Bania.
4. The Mango
|Season 5||Episode 1||September 16, 1993|
|Kramer gets a bad peach from Joe’s Fruit Shop and attempts to return it. Joe bans Kramer from the shop and Kramer freaks out about not being able to get fruit. He talks Jerry into doing his shopping for him and requests specifics like plantains, mangoes and plums that are “red inside”. Joe notices that Jerry’s selection is unusual and realizes that it’s actually for Kramer. He then bans Jerry from the shop as well. |
Kramer then gets George to do the fruit shopping (which Jerry pays for because Kramer only had “hundreds”) and he is able to procure it. George, who had been having sexual performance issues, eats one of the mangoes and notices some “vibrant” effect from it.
In the midst of all of this Jerry is attempting to get Elaine to sleep with him once more because he found out she had been faking orgasms when they were dating (and to “save the friendship”). Eventually she breaks down and allows it but she is still unable to orgasm. Elaine is hungry and asks Jerry if he still has any mangoes. Jerry realizes the potential power of the fruit but the episode ends there.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkerZHeiQf4
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSzFfrEsv-s
Memorable quote: “They don’t have a decent piece of fruit at the supermarket. The apples are mealy, the oranges are dry… I don’t know what’s going on with the papayas!” – Kramer
3. The Non-Fat Yogurt
|Season 5||Episode 7||November 4, 1993|
|Kramer invests in a non-fat frozen yogurt shop that is becoming increasingly popular. It is frequented by Jerry, Elaine, George and Newman, amongst others. |
Kramer comments that Jerry and Elaine have gained weight and they become suspicious that its due to all the frozen yogurt they’ve been eating and believe the non-fat moniker to be a lie. They pay to have it tested in a lab to find out the truth.
Kramer seduces one of the lab techs and tries to get her to falsify the results and in the process contaminates, soon to be mayor, Giuliani’s blood sample causing it to be misdiagnosed with high cholesterol. The lab results turn out to reveal that the yogurt does in fact have fat in it. Giuliani vows to eliminate false advertising because he believes his high cholesterol is due to the yogurt. Business plummets and it soon closes. Newman gets extremely mad at this.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okZTxEDCiqI
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hL8JYwTL7g
Memorable quote: “You don’t eat Oreos? The way you break ‘em open and…. It’s like you’re having sex with ‘em.” – Kramer to Elaine
2. The Rye
|Season 7||Episode 11||January, 1996|
|George takes his parents to have dinner at Susan’s parent’s house. On the way Frank Costanza insists that they stop and get a Marble Rye from Schnitzer’s Bakery to bring to dinner. After dinner Frank realizes that Susan’s parents never brought the rye to the table and steals it back. Susan’s parents notice that the rye is missing. Frank is also upset that they did not serve dessert. |
George then puts together a scheme to have Kramer distract Susan’s parents with a ride around central park in a horse-drawn carriage for their anniversary and in the meantime he’ll sneak another rye back into their home. George recruits Jerry to purchase another rye from the bakery but they sell the last one to an old lady. Jerry offers her $50 which she refuses. Jerry continues to follow her and eventually steals the rye from her and runs.
Kramer had been feeding the horse cans of Beef-A-Reeno because he had large quantities of it after shopping at a wholesale food store. This caused the horse to release horrible gas and Susan’s parents demand Kramer take them back immediately. This foils Georges plan and he resorts to another plan of fishing it from Jerry from the third story window, which he is caught in the midst of by Susan and her parents.
Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yif4VKgBQkw
Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVjdHcGBnFw
Memorable quote: “Your father’s absolutely right. We’re sitting there like idiots drinking coffee without a piece of cake!” – Estelle Costanza
1. The Soup Nazi
|Season 7||Episode 6||November 2, 1995|
|Probably one of the most popular episodes of Seinfeld in general. Kramer tells Jerry, George and Elaine about a restaurant with the most incredible soup that is run by the “Soup Nazi”. So called because of his stringent ordering polices and his intolerance of fumbling customers. Part of what makes this so great is that it’s based on an actual person (as Larry David often does). |
During the episode George gets denied soup because he wanted bread as the customers in front of him received some, Elaine gets banned for a year because she says the Soup Nazi looks like Al Pacino from Scent of a Woman, Jerry tells Bania to go back to his spot in line because he doesn’t want to anger the Soup Nazi and Jerry picks soup over his girlfriend because she kissed him in line.
The Soup Nazi offers Kramer an old armoire that he has (to replace the one he had stolen from him while watching it for Elaine) which Kramer then gives to Elaine. Finding this out the Soup Nazi declares that he never would have given it to him if he knew it was for her. Later Elaine discovers the Soup Nazi’s recipes in the armoire and threatens to release them and ruin his business. Because of this the Soup Nazi has no choice and decides to close up shop and move to Argentina.