|"The Soup Nazi"|
|Air Date||November 2, 1995|
|← The Hot Tub · The Secret Code →|
A new soup kitchen opens, but the owner is extremely strict: so strict that he is nicknamed "The Soup Nazi". Meanwhile, Kramer is supposed to guard an item of Elaine's that is left on the street, but he is threatened by two "street toughs" who steal it.
“The Soup Nazi” is also the nickname of the title character played by Larry Thomas. The term "Nazi" is used as an exaggeration of the excessively strict regimentation he constantly demands of his patrons. The Soup Nazi's real name is Yev Kassem.
Jerry, George and Elaine go out to a new soup stand Kramer has been raving about; its owner is referred to as the "Soup Nazi" due to his temperament and insistence on a strict manner of behavior while ordering. Jerry explains the procedure for ordering which George accepts, but Elaine rejects. En route, Elaine notices a sidewalk furniture dealer with an armoire for sale and decides to stop and buy it. However, when she returns to her building with it, the building superintendent tells her there is no moving allowed on Sundays.
When Jerry and George get to the soup stand, George follows the procedure but notices that he did not get any bread with his soup order. Jerry tells him, “Just forget it. Let it go.” George doesn’t listen, however, and his soup is confiscated by the cashier. The Soup Nazi yells at him, “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”
Over the past weeks, Jerry has been annoying George and Elaine with his open affection and baby talk (calling each other "Schmoopie") with his new girlfriend Sheila (Alexandra Wentworth). During another visit to the soup stand, when Sheila will not stop kissing Jerry in the line of customers, the Soup Nazi orders her out of the line, and Jerry is forced to pretend he does not know her. When George finds out, he admits his annoyance with their "baby talk" romantic behavior to Jerry. Jerry later tells Sheila he was just joking at the soup stand and makes up with her. When George finds out, he begins to act similarly with Susan to make a point. Susan misinterprets George's intentions and thinks that George is finally enjoying showing his feelings in public, continuing to act that way after Jerry again breaks up with Sheila.
Elaine, still awaiting the chance to move her new armoire upstairs, asks Kramer to guard the armoire on the street overnight. When he arrives, she goes to the soup stand to get him soup. While she is gone, two "street toughs" (Bob and Cedric in their first appearance) intimidate Kramer and steal the armoire. At the soup stand, Elaine ignores everyone’s prior advice and antagonizes the Soup Nazi, who bans her for a year. She returns to her building to find Kramer without the armoire.
Later, Kramer, who has become friends with the Soup Nazi, tells him the story of the stolen armoire in passing, while Newman orders his soup following the Soup Nazi's rules as strictly as possible (and whom the Soup Nazi serves respectfully). The Soup Nazi offers Kramer an antique armoire he has in storage in his basement. Kramer gives the armoire to Elaine as a replacement for her stolen one. Elaine goes to thank the Soup Nazi for the armoire, but the Soup Nazi angrily declares that he never would have given it to Kramer if he knew it was for her; instead, he would have smashed it to pieces with a hatchet. Offended, Elaine returns home, where she and Jerry subsequently discover the Soup Nazi's secret soup recipes, which have been left behind in a drawer of the old armoire. She returns to his shop, recipes in hand, and tells him, “You’re through, Soup Nazi. Pack it up. No more soup for you. NEXT!” Feeling ruined, the Soup Nazi decides to close his business, move to Argentina, and give away his remaining soup. The ending shows Jerry and Newman getting along, a rare occurrence. Newman alerts Jerry to Elaine’s troublemaking at the soup stand. While Newman runs home to get a big soup pot, Jerry takes Newman’s advice and hurries down to the soup stand himself. As Jerry starts running, his image is frozen.
Notes About Nothing
Future Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer was the woman expelled before Elaine came in and ruined the Soup Nazi.
Michael Michaud was an actor best known for the title character of Ricky in Ricky 1, a quirky spoof of Rocky that faded into obscurity but then gained new notoriety on YouTube. In this episode, Michaud plays a man who is expelled by the Soup Nazi for saying his mother is a Spanish immigrant.
One year before the episode's airing, Thom Barry and Wayne Knight co-starred in Space Jam, though they did not share any scenes together.
During production for Season Eight, Al Yeganeh, proprietor of Soup Kitchen International, encountered Jerry Seinfeld and several staffers at his West 55th Street shop. He chastised Jerry because he felt that the episode ruined his life. Al angrily (and profanely) demanded that Jerry apologize. Jerry insincerely and sarcastically told Al, “I’m sorry.” Needless to say, apology not accepted: Al expelled Jerry and the others from his shop.