I am finally back to blogging about Seinfeld. When we left off, I was in the middle season 7, and now, we have come to one of the most iconic Seinfeld episodes of all: “The Soup Nazi” (TSN) I actually have memories of this episode from when I was a kid, but I can’t remember from when. In any event, I don’t think I saw the whole episode then or even most of it, but I’ve carried a picture of the soup stand in my head since then. For a long time, when I thought about Seinfeld, that mental picture was all that came into my mind. All that to say, I was happy to finally get to experience this episode in its entirety. Here is my breakdown of TSN.
There are a few issues unrelated to the plot of TSN that are, nonetheless, entertaining. Jerry is dating a woman named Sheila who he affectionately refers to as “Schmoopie.” However, she also calls him “Schmoopie,” resulting in an ongoing debate over which one of them is really “Schmoopie”-and irritating everyone within earshot.
A frustrated George retaliates by lobbing his own terms of endearment at Susan in front of the Schmoopies, causing Jerry spews forth more ridiculous pet names at Sheila. Not to be outdone, George grabs Susan and starts making out with her, and Jerry and Sheila follow suit. It is a war of affection.
George’s brief victory comes back to bite him later in the episode when Jerry and Sheila break up, and Susan tells him she is thrilled with the step forward his new public display of affection represents for their relationship.
Peripheral details aside, the plot of “The Soup Nazi” revolves around a chef who makes the best soup in New York, the kind of soup you would choose over your girlfriend.
This chef earned his nickname because he operates his soup stand like a Nazi regime. There is a very strict ordering process, as Newman correctly demonstrates. If a costumer fails to follow the procedures, he is forced to leave, traumatized and soupless, as illustrated by George and one Spanish patron.
While the rest of the gang is feasting on soup, Elaine is distracted by an armoire she finds at a street sale.
Because she isn’t able to load it into her apartment on Sunday (which sounds insane for New York), she gets Kramer to watch it for her until Monday. He requests a hot bowl of Mulligatawny for his services, and Elaine goes to see TSN without knowing the proper ordering procedures. The results are disastrous. In the meantime, two “street toughs” intimidate Kramer and steal the armoire.
Kramer, the one who introduced the rest of the gang to the soup stand, is the only person who seems understand TSN and build a friendship with him.
One day he tells TSN about the fate of his friend’s armoire, and-not knowing the identity of Kramer’s friend-he offers up an armoire he has laying around in his basement. Kramer delivers it to an excited Elaine.
She goes to thank TSN, but he is less than thrilled upon discovering she is the recipient of his armoire,
The episode-and with it, the soup stand-is brought to a close when Jerry discovers TSN’s recipes in a drawer of Elaine’s new armoire. She makes them public, allowing everyone to make delicious soup in their homes and breaking the regime’s stranglehold on the neighborhood.
Where does “The Soup Nazi” rank in your all-time Seinfeld episodes?
Is it one of the best or just one of the most iconic?