During the 90’s, the sitcom genre was at the peak of its glory. Being a field with harsh competition, many productions were lost in the sea of content that came with the genre’s popularity. They all probably need to thank Seinfeld for that since it was, quite literally, the TV show that defined last millennium’s whole decade. Statistics can easily back up that statement, given how many records and superlatives were part of the Seinfeld brand. Record audiences and an advertising profit that was second only to the Super Bowl itself made the show a titan and gave Jerry Seinfeld a net worth that many can only dream of.
I’ve always had this theory that great stories can be easily summed up in one sentence – their premises, at least. But then again, going into greater detail would mean to give away some twists and turns. In Seinfeld, we get to follow stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld through his escapades with friend George, ex-girlfriend Elaine, and neighbor Kramer.
As expected, it’s likely difficult for someone who’s seen the show to associate the Seinfeld cast with any other characters than their show parts. Being the iconic show that it is, plenty of quotes and memorable scenes have managed to live on beyond the sitcom’s ending in 1998. Once we begin reminiscing about the best ones, it will be easy to easy to see why the mark of Seinfeld is always going to follow those who partook in it.
How to Respond to Telemarketers
Here’s something that I’m sure many of us can relate to. There was a time when every time the phone rang, I’d dread that at the other end of the line was a poor soul whose job was to sell something via phone. In ninety percent of the cases, nothing was actually sold since most conversations ended with the customer being annoyed – if they ever got that far to begin with.
In this particular scene, Jerry deals with a pesky telemarketer in a traditional Seinfeld way – with ingenious and quirky humor, to be exact. Jerry asks for the telemarketer’s phone number and, when being denied, asks why. The telemarketer promptly responds that he doesn’t want to be disturbed at home. ‘Now you know how I feel’ – is Seinfeld’s outstanding answer. It’s not unnecessarily rude and it invoked a little bit of guilt tripping too. Naturally, that’s not going to stop the telemarketer from ever making any phone calls again. It’s their job, after all.
Elaine’s Leg Dance
No other dance moves have been as questionable as these ones (until Drake came along, at least). Elaine holds a pretty great toast which is grandly ended with the Patsy Cline saying, “Here’s to those who wish us well and those who don’t can go to hell.” Of course, this is Elaine we’re talking about, so something bad needs to happen to ruin the moment. In this particular case, she shuffles to the dance floor and starts busting some moves that can only be defined as “spastic.” And speaking of the previously mentioned Drake, it was so bad that there have been remixes of this scene where Elaine is swaying to the beats of Hotline Bling. Never go full Hotline Bling, man.
“These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty”
Elaine, George, and Kramer are Jerry’s friends, sure, but their whole lives don’t revolve around him. The show’s creators have made sure to properly develop them into characters of their own with subplots and worries that, together, can perfectly fill up the thirty-minute runtime. But whenever our favorite characters are united by a common element, it’s always a delight.
In Season 3, Episode 11, Kramer manages to land a role in an upcoming Woody Allen flick, where all he has to do is deliver the now memorable “These pretzels are making me thirsty” line. All four of them consequently use the phrase throughout the episode, trying to figure out the best way that it’s supposed to be delivered. The downside of this episode, though, has to be the fact that Jerry Seinfeld admitted in 2012 that The Alternate Side was his least favorite episode. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with the pretzels, but rather with the fact that the “patient who suffered a stroke” storyline from Elaine’s subplot made him uncomfortable.
Kramer at the Dojo
Every Seinfeld character brings its own spice to the show, by providing different types of humor. In Kramer’s case, this humor strongly relied on excess, extravagance, and lots of zany physical movements. He was definitely a tiny bit loony, but that was his biggest charm. This hilarious scene comes after Kramer states that he is the undefeated champion at his dojo. And if you thought that there was something fishy going on, you were absolutely right, as it turns out that Kramer was the only adult at that course. It’s a typical Kramer thing to do, which is why this moment is almost definitive of his character.
The Soup Nazi
No one has been able to make soup look as threatening as the infamous Soup Nazi. His first encounter with George in Season 7, Episode 6 is one of the most memorable moments of the show, one that made critics and viewers alike consider this as one of the best episodes of the series. As the name suggests, there is nothing good that can come out of a person whose nickname ends in “Nazi” and this is perfectly played out in the scene of the first meeting between the Larry Thomas character, George, and Jerry.
Consequently, pretty much all characters go to order a soup at the stand and end up doing something that ticks the Soup Nazi off. And every time that happens, he takes the order back and delivers the infamous “No soup for you” line. Let’s be honest – he’s one of those characters that you are glad to see because you just know the upcoming scene is going to be excellent.
All of these scenes are, in my opinion, the most memorable scenes of each of the Seinfeld cast. Naturally, even though they are definite trademarks for the type of humor all of them manage to bring, Seinfeld excels precisely at being more than just a typical sitcom. It’s multi-faceted, it’s engaging, and it makes you care about these characters.