Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, JT Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan, Jordan Duncan and Jason Greenhouse will watch an episode of TV’s greatest sitcom and provide notes and grades across a number of categories. The goal is to rewatch the entire series chronologically to see what truly worked, what still holds up today, what feels just a bit dated and yada, yada, yada it will be a great time. So settle into your couch with the cushions flipped over, grab a Snapple and enjoy the ride!
JT: Easy tie here between Elaine and the Soup Nazi. Elaine was tremendous from the start and her getting the last revenge after the Nazi refused to accept her apology and thank you was perfect booking. The Soup Nazi himself was on point, never moving from behind that counter and ever wavering in his beliefs. The way he interacts with George both times were things of beauty and I love him opening up to Kramer. Good stuff.
Aaron: Come on it’s the Soup Nazi. He’s the quintessential Seinfeld one-off character. The man suffers for his soup and stops and relishes in the pure fear he strikes into the heart of men and women alike. His face as Elaine drums on his counter can only be described as a furious fury. The man is a perfectionist how can he tolerate any less from his customers?
Andrew: I really like Elaine in this one. I love the unassailable confidence when she dismisses everyone’s warnings about the Soup Nazi, and the shock and wounded pride when she realizes she should have heeded them. Best of all is the righteous fury when she delivers his comeuppance: that “Next!” scene gets replayed a lot, and for good reason.
Jordan: I have to recognize Elaine’s absolute brilliance here and say on any other episode, she would get this in a heartbeat. But when else will I have the chance to go with the Soup Nazi? The finale I guess? Soup Nazi is incredible, as he is described beforehand and you chuckle, then you see him in action EXACTLY as described and he is even more brilliant. What really takes it home though is his casual chat with Kramer while simultaneously being a nazi to his customers. Great, great character.
Jason: Going into this episode, I thought that the Soup Nazi himself would run away with things. However, my choice changed after the brilliant performance from Elaine. From ignoring Kramer’s instructions on how to order, to her banging on the counter with her hands while ordering and reading off the recipes found in the armoire. She was an OG and not intimidated at all by the Soup Nazi.
JT: The Soup Nazi is the obvious call here as everything else spun off it perfectly.
Aaron: SOUP NAZI.
Andrew: The Soup Nazi is an all-timer, but I’m more into the armoire storyline this week. It may not be as big a deal as “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, but I’m still impressed with the show’s approach to humor about homosexuality. Kramer and Jerry are intimated by what are clearly two stereotypically gay men, but their sexuality is never explicitly referenced. Rather than making the joke about gay guys acting tough, it’s a joke about two straight guys’ confusion at being punked out by men who don’t fit a traditional masculine role. Once again, that’s pretty impressive for a mid-90s sitcom.
Jordan: OBVIOUSLY KRAMER BEING SCARED OF THE GAY THUGS. Talk about memorable! OK, I’m a liar. It’s the Soup Nazi. Duh.
Jason: The Soup Nazi stuff all the way. One of the best main storylines in the history of sitcom television.
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
JT: Just because you make perfect, delicious, impeccable soup does that permit you to be a piece of shit to your customers? If they keep coming back, fuck yeah. This dude was basically a drug dealer and had all the power in the world until Elaine knocked him off his perch.
Aaron: If you enact archaic laws that state that you cannot move anything into an apartment on a Sunday are you a Nazi? Yes. What the hell is Tom’s problem? I get that society needs rules if we’re to avoid plunging into total chaos but let the woman move her armoire into the apartment. Also am I to understand that Elaine has recruited Kramer to sleep outside her apartment while she goes upstairs and lives her god damn life? Tom’s a Nazi, she’s a Nazi, the whole damn system is a Nazi.
Andrew: If you demand perfection from yourself, from your soup, is it OK it demand the same from your customers? Sure, why not. I think the Soup Nazi’s big mistake was not making the oppressive atmosphere a selling point. Having staff be rude to customers has succeeded elsewhere (Ed Debevic’s, The Weiners Circle). Make everyone think it’s an “act” and you’ve got it made.
Jordan: Should some people get free bread while others have to pay? You want an answer to this? THREE DOLLARS!
Jason: is it right to chose food over a woman? Jerry might have been on to something here. Should couples sit on the same side of a booth? Nope! Spread out and enjoy the meal.
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
JT: Fuck Schmoopie. Relationship Grade: 0/10
Aaron: Bob and that unnamed nerd look positively giddy together. They steal together, they shop together they probably even have their climaxes finely tuned to one another. Relationship Grade: 10/10
Andrew: I’ve never cared for Sheila. How can you trust anyone who would so blatantly disrespect a Soup Nazi? Relationship Grade: But the mental thing…/10
Jordan: Sheila sucks and she is kind of ugly. Perhaps that was a low blow, but I don’t care. The Schmoopie stuff is really annoying and doesn’t seem like Jerry at all. Relationship Grade: NO SCHMOOPIE FOR YOU/10
Jason: Jerry and Shella make a nice looking couple, but the Schmoopie stuff was a little too much. Why did we never get Elaine vs. the Soup Nazi on Celebrity Death Match? Relationship Grade: Medium Turkey Chili/ 10
JT: I love the look George and Elaine give each other during the PDA; Jerry and George taking the soup rules extremely seriously is great; Bania in line for the soup is an awesome touch; I never get tired of watching the first time George and Jerry get the soup and George doesn’t get the bread; Jerry devouring the soup in front of George; The way Kramer says mulligatawny; Elaine’s brazen attitude in the soup line; “You’re pushing your luck, little man!”; Ray and Bob straight up jacking the armoire; Jerry no selling Shiela and then acting like he doesn’t know her after she pisses off the Soup Nazi; Elaine sneaking out when George lit up Sheila to Jerry; The callback to the pact is tremendous; I love that Kramer is buddies with the Soup Nazi and him nodding at Newman following protocol was good, as was his “jambalaya!”; George ratcheting up the PDA with Susan while Jerry and Sheila make out; Elaine’s shove of Kramer is one of her best and that fucking squeak when he crashes through the door; George realizing what he did when Susan snuggles up to him; Soup Nazi freaking out when he finds out Elaine got the armoire and the guy behind her with his lip quivering afterwards; “Baby Bluey” is a perfect pet name for George; Jerry desperately trying to stop Elaine from destroying the soup stand; the closing scene with Elaine’s revenge is perfect
Aaron: All the soup Nazi stuff is gold. it’s a perfect addition to the Seinfeld world and is beautifully fleshed out, right down to the ordering procedure. You know who’s underrated? The woman who snatches the bag from George. She’s just perfect. The whole subplot with the street “thugs” is wonderfully done as well. I love how Kramer flippantly informs Elaine that the armoire has been stolen. He’s a broken, stupid sillyman. Jerry’s schmoopie stuff is annoying in the best possible way and pays off fantastically by transferring his love sickness to Susan and George. It’s also so fitting that Elaine bails on George just as he’s about to call Jerry and Sheila out on their deplorable behavior. Finally although he threatens to destroy an armoire with a hatchet there’s something terribly endearing about Kramer and The Soup Nazi’s friendship. Of course they’re friends. It’s lovely.
Andrew: I love all of these storylines: the Soup Nazi, the street toughs, over-affectionate couples, bad-mouthing a friend’s ex without waiting to see if they get back together. And they all intersect really well. I’m keeping this section short, but only because so much of it worked, and I have nothing original to say about that.
Jordan: Everything? Do I need to add more to this? It’s the freaking Soup Nazi. I enjoy George hating Jerry’s PDA with Sheila, and everyone else. Perhaps the best scene of the episode that doesn’t involve soup is George taking a stand and telling Jerry how annoying it is, and Elaine sneaking out, leaving George all on his own. The actual soup nazi scenes are awesome, as everyone who knows the deal marches in lock step with fear and trepidation. Jerry eating his crab bisque while George is upset he isn’t sharing is great. Speaking of George, when he has his soup taken away, the cashier almost steals all of soup nazi’s thunder with her quick snatch of the bag and return of the money. So incredible. Elaine beating away on the glass like it’s a drum is wonderful. ADIOS MUCHACHO is such a great line. I love the black guy being so excited that Soup Nazi is in a good mood, then Elaine ruining it, and his face turning to absolute dread. Jerry and Kramer running in fear. Newman running with glee. And what a perfect ending with Elaine winning the war. NEXT!
Jason: George’s frustration with Jerry and Shella’s public display of affection. Jerry telling Elaine about the soup place; “Stunned by soup?” Jerry pronouncing armoire with a French accent. Elaine’s nice face discount. Bania on the soup line; “I didn’t know you liked soup?” George not getting bread; “Just forget it, let it go.” The cashier ripping the bag out of George’s hand and giving him the money back. Shella saying George is a weird guy, followed by Kramer bursting in. George shifting into soup mode. George getting bread; “You’re pushing your luck, little man.” Elaine not being a fan of lima bean. Elaine’s Scent of a Woman reference; “Who-Ah! Who-Ah!.” Bob talking smack to Kramer. Elaine telling Kramer she got kicked out of the soup place; “WHO-AH!” Jerry and Shella kissing on the soup line; “NOBODY KISSES IN MY LINE!” Shella waiting for Jerry to follow her out after she gets the boot; “Do I know you?” Elaine’s rant to Jerry about how George has become more normal; “He’s engaged to be married. You’re top priority is soup.” Jerry’s logic that it’ll be easier to patch things up with Shella than the Soup Nazi. George’s joy that Jerry and Shella are on the outs. Kramer explaing the armoire incident to the Soup Nazi followed by Newman going through with the ordering procedure; “Jambalaya!” Kramer understanding the Soup Nazi; “You suffer for your soup.” The guy ordering soup in Spanish; “Adios Muchacho!” Jerry’s Bavarian cream pie bit. George mocking Jerry and Shella with the PDA. Both couples making out at the booth. Kramer telling Elaine that the Soup Nazi gave him the armoire; “GET OUT!” Elaine thanking the Soup Nazi for the armoire, putting him in a bad mood. Jerry and Kramer being bitches when confronting Bob and Cedric. Jerry finding the soup recipes in the armoire. Susan falling for George’s PDA mockery; “Baby bluey.” Elaine reading off the recipes to the Soup Nazi; “You’re threw, Soup Nazi. No more soup for you… NEXT!” Newman running home to get a big pot to fill up with soup.
What Didn’t Work
JT: I fucking hate Schmoopie; What kind of stupid building doesn’t allow you to move stuff on Sundays?
Aaron: I’ve got to say Elaine is in the wrong by the end of the episode. All she had to do was follow the rules. Rules, while unreasonable, that are really quite simple. When she’s called out on her disrespectful attitude she opts to destroy a man’s business and his livelihood. That’s kind of like running over someone with a lawnmower for calling after ten PM.
Andrew: When I first saw this episode, I thought Elaine was saying “Nyet!” at the end, and was very confused. This is more of a “What Didn’t Work” about me than about the episode, but there it is.
Jordan: Jerry’s bavarian cream pie joke is not only stupid, it’s awful that a professional comedian would tell it.
Jason: Susan still sucks. Kramer and Jerry were a couple of bitches while confronting Bob and Cedric. Jerry’s denim shirt and jeans was very mid 90’s and I’m ashamed that I wore that combination at that time.
Key Character Debuts
– The Soup Nazi
– Ray & Bob
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
– “Stunned by soup?” – Elaine “You can’t eat this soup standing up, your knees buckle.” – Jerry “Huh. All right. Come on.” – Elaine “There’s only one caveat — the guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure. He’s secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi.” – Jerry
– “I was asking 250, but you got a nice face. 2 even.” – Guy on Street “Huh? Ha. 200. You know, I’ve always wanted one of these things.” – Elaine “He gave you the nice face discount.” – Jerry
– The Soup Nazi and “No Soup For You” become a pop culture phenomenon overnight
– “I didn’t get any bread.” – George “Just forget it. Let it go.” – Jerry “Um, excuse me, I – I think you forgot my bread.” – George “Bread — $2 extra.” – Soup Nazi “$2? But everyone in front of me got free bread.” – George “You want bread?” – Soup Nazi “Yes, please.” – George “$3!” – Soup Nazi “What?” – George “No soup for you!” – Soup Nazi
– “I told you not to say anything. You can’t go in there, brazenly flaunt the rules and then think I’m gonna share with you!” – Jerry “Do you hear yourself?” – George “I’
– “I’m sorry. This is what comes from living under a Nazi regime.” – Jerry
– “Well, a bowl of muligatawny would hit the spot.” – Kramer “Mulligatawny?” – Elaine “Yeah. It’s an Indian soup. It’s simmered to perfection by one of the great soup artisans in the modern era.” – Kramer “Oh! Who? The Soup Nazi?” – Elaine “He’s not a Nazi. He just happens to be a little eccentric. Most geniuses are.” – Kramer
– “Good afternoon. One large crab bisque to go. Bread. Beautiful.” – George “You’re pushing your luck little man.” – Soup Nazi
– “So, essentially, you chose soup over a woman?” – Elaine “It was a bisque.” – Jerry “Yeah. You know what I just realized? Suddenly, George has become much more normal than you.” – Elaine “Really?” – Jerry “Yeah. Come on. I mean, think about it. He’s engaged to be married. Your top priority is soup.” – Elaine “Have you tasted the soup?” – Jerry “Yeah. All right. You made the right decision.” – Elaine
– “You demand perfection from yourself, from your soup.” – Kramer “How can I tolerate any less from my customer?” – Soup Nazi “Uh, gazpacho, por favor.” – Customer “Por favor?” – Soup Nazi “Um, I’m part Spanish.” – Customer “Adios muchacho!” – Soup Nazi
Oddities & Fun Facts
– George references a pact he had with Jerry, a callback to The Engagement (S7, E1)
– The Soup Nazi is based off the owner of Soup Kitchen International in New York, Al Yeganeh. Weeks after it aired, he would claim the episode ruined his business and kicked Jerry Seinfeld out of his shop after ripping into him and members of the production team that came for a meal.
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
JT: I can’t say this episode is perfect as I do feel it had some flaws and wasn’t as crisp as others. But, rarely do you get a sitcom episode that contains something as iconic and perfectly executed as the Soup Nazi character and everything that played off of it. Between that, Elaine’s performance and Kramer’s work, I am still going the full monty but the cultural significance and the way the Soup Nazi stuff blew up carries the way and fills the slight gaps for me. Final Grade: 10/10
Aaron: Great performances all around make this one awfully close to an all timer for me. If only, IF ONLY we had gotten a Frank Costanza/Soup Nazi interaction. We’d have to shut down comedy due to sheer hilariousness. As it stands it’s a great stand alone episode with enough little moments to tie it into the rest of the season. The Soup Nazi is iconic for a reason and this one certainly still lives up to the hype. Final Grade: 10/10
Andrew: This might be the episode I’ve seen the most. It was a legitimate pop cultural smash; they even quoted it in SportsCenter highlights. And I never get tired of watching it. Really, you can’t ask for much more than that. Final Grade: 10/10
Jordan: Again, it’s The Soup Nazi. If you have watched any Seinfeld, you know it. If you’ve never watched a second of Seinfeld, you probably know of it. You may even know of it without knowing that you do. NO SOUP FOR YOU is still a phrase people use. What makes it great, and Seinfeld great, is this was it. They didn’t go back to him. Other shows would suddenly make him a staple and we’d see him at Kramer’s apartment or something dumb to try and milk the laughs. Instead, we have this self contained bubble of perfection. It’s also worth noting that it’s not just memorable, it’s really, really funny. Final Grade: 10/10
Jason: When you talk about iconic Seinfeld episodes, this episode is one that will come up more often than none. Elaine and the Soup Nazi knocked it out of the park. Grab yourself a bowl of crab bisque (with bread) and enjoy twenty-three minutes of TV perfection. Final Grade: 10/10