Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How Seinfeld Changed the World

Oh Seinfeld.  Sweet, sweet Seinfeld.  How I cherish you and the many beautiful moments you beamed into my home.  This post is an homage to you and the ways you have reached out and changed the world around you.
Soup Nazi

Ah, the beloved Soup Nazi from episode 116, "The Soup Nazi," (season 7). The gang is turned on to the best soup in NYC only to discover there are STRICT rules for ordering or "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"  

Not only do people recognize the Soup Nazi, but adding the word "Nazi" after another word is now a common way to describe someone who is unflinching with the rules.  For example, my students have called me not only a Grammar Nazi, but a Comma Nazi.  I take it as a huge compliment. 

"Yada Yada Yada"
In episode 153, "The Yada Yada," (season 8), we were brought the phrase "yada yada yada":

If you tried to tell me that you had never heard anyone say "yada yada yada," I would call you a straight up liar.  And if merchandise is any indication (which it almost always is), people love the yada yada yada.  A quick search turned up dozens of things, from mugs, coasters, t-shirts, and bags ...
... to a book series ..
The Yada Yada Prayer Group book series

... to electronics.

Yada Yada Yada Recorder in package
The Yada Yada Yada voice recorder

The yada yadas have it.

Muffin tops

In episode 155, "The Muffin Tops," (Season 8), Elaine tells her former boss, Mr. Lippman, about her million dollar idea for a store that only sells the tops of the muffins -- since they are obviously the best part of the muffin. Lippman starts a business called Top of the Muffin to You! shortly thereafter, but the business doesn't take off until Elaine explains he should make the WHOLE muffin and pop the top off.  Soon they are faced with the challenge of disposing of the "stumps."  

All in all, a wonderful episode because DOESN'T everyone love the top of the muffin?  It is so obviously the best.  I always save mine for last.  Plus, the copious use of the word "stumps" in reference to the rest of the muffin is killer.

Anyway, every time someone sees me pull the top off my muffin, they ask me about Elaine and Top of the Muffin to You!, and I am always excited to see how far Seinfeld is reaching into the muffin world.

Also, THIS exists:

Muffin Top Pan (6-c.) by Chicago Metallic

I mean, it goes against everything Elaine taught Lippman, but ...

Also -- while I have no evidence for this claim -- I bet all of the talk about muffin tops caused by Seinfeld led to people calling the pudge that pops out on the top of jeans a "muffin top."  

Again, I have no hard evidence for this, but when have I ever had evidence for something I posted on this blog?  Like never.


In episode 85, "The Hamptons," (season 6) Jerry's girlfriend walks in on George as he is changing after swimming.  She is amused by what she sees, even though George tries to explain it was due to "shrinkage" from the cold water.  Later, Jerry and George explain the phenomenon to Elaine, saying it hides "like a frightened turtle" in cold water.  

Not only did they bring attention to a serious problem that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time, but they gave it a name.  In a valiant effort to clear the name of good men everywhere, Seinfeld goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Feel free to continue to spread the word:


Perhaps the most widespread of the Seinfeld-isms, Festivus was introduced by Frank Costanza in episode 166, "The Strike," (season 9).  As Frank explains, "Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son.  I reach for the last one they had -- but so did another man.  As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."  And so Festivus was born, with a pole instead of a tree, and airing of grievances and feats of strengths instead of gift giving. 

Festivus took fans by storm.

There is a Ben & Jerry's flavor named for it ...
... you can buy your very own Festivus pole ....

... you can air your grievances "officially" ...
Download Grievance Form

... and make donations in your friends' names to the Human Fund.

And by god, you can even buy a Festivus thong for $12!
Festivus Classic Thong

What does it all mean?  Festivus is here to stay.  And Seinfeld is so influential that it could make up a holiday and the world would jump on board.

Seinfeld, we barely knew ye.  Nine short seasons were not enough.  And Jerry?  The Marriage Ref is not making up for the loss we have suffered. Try harder next time!

image sources not otherwise linked: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15


  1. That picture of the muffin top girl made me throw up in my mouth a little. Why must these women subject the world to this?! Buy a bigger size!

  2. Festivus is on my birthday. Like competing with Jesus wasn't enough. Kinda bitter about it.

    Yeah, the Marriage Ref? Just. so. bad.

  3. Sara -- it was quite an epidemic there for a while, wasn't it?

    Steam Me Up, Kid -- Ouch. That is a little rough. But competing with Jesus? Meh. I think you can handle it.

  4. I fucking LOVE Seinfeld!!! Do you remember the episode where they had the contest to see who could hold out on sex the longest? George got smart and Elaine got dumb? I'm Elaine for the last 4 months. The garbage bags are piling up. No good.

  5. SAS -- Oh, do I. That episode really gave you something to think about. I almost added "Master of My Domain" to the list. There were so many to choose from. Very hard to edit!!

  6. I sort of like "sponge-worthy" as a measurement for a potential lover. LOL

    I don't mind competing with Jesus for my birthday. I can take him. (Don't tell him I said that, though, OK? Promise?)

  7. JustLinda -- I wanted to put Sponge-worthy on there, too, but I thought it was getting too long. Man, I should have just risked it being super-long!

    And, your secret is safe with me.

  8. Seinfeld is awesome


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