Seinfeld, the TV show as we know it, started out as a pilot on July 5, 1989 called The Seinfeld Chronicles. After a shaky first episode devoid of Elaine Benes and Kramer (Michael Richards played the part but he was named Kessler back then — it’s truly a bizarro-Jerry thing to watch), the show found its footing and became the pillar of nothingness that we all recognize.
When most TV shows end, they’re mourned and, if they’re lucky, they live on in syndication, but Seinfeld left such an impact on pop culture that there are references that still pop up in daily life that we’re guessing people (kids these days!) don’t even realize came from the show. From skinny mirrors to shrinkage to big salads, here are the things that are just as relevant over two decades later. This is not comprehensive by any means, so if you think we missed any essential references, feel free to air your grievances in the comments.
Hello, And Welcome To Moviefone
“Why don’t you just tell me the movie you’d like to see?” More than Kramer’s attempt at being the voice of Moviefone, the fictional film titles from this show have taken on a life of their own. If you DON’T know that Rochelle Rochelle is about a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk, what good are you? And if you don’t know the Bette Midler-sung Broadway adaptation of that film, (“So you made a long journey/From Milan to Minsk…”) you’re probably the kind of person who’d rather go see Chunnel anyway.
[Photo: NextMovie — it’s worth visiting their site to see ALL their reimagined Seinfeld movie posters)
I’m fully convinced that Chop’t and every other salad-centric restaurant exists solely because of this episode. We all love a big salad, but it was taboo to admit it before then. Nowadays it’s the only thing TO get for lunch.
“’Seven’ As A Name”
Parody became reality when David Beckham and Posh Spice named their daughter Harper Seven. In George’s world, it was a great name because it was Mickey Mantle’s number. To be fair, it’s also David Beckham’s number so that’s why they chose it for their daughter. But STILL. Please don’t name your child this.
According to Elaine, Barneys uses them to dupe people into thinking they look better than they really do. And now they’re a real thing. That people buy. On purpose. Ugh.
Yada Yada Yada
Before Seinfeld, the world was happy to blah blah blah its way through the boring parts. After Seinfeld, we yada yada our way through. After this episode, not only did we adopt a new way of speaking, but we also realized that there’s truly some damn fine bisque in the world.
Festivus (For The Rest Of Us)
Festivus has it’s own Wikipedia entry, an actual date on which it’s celebrated (December 23rd), and a website where you can exclusively buy a Festivus pole. How would Frank Costanza feel now that the holiday has gone mainstream?
“These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty”
If that was your only line in a Woody Allen movie, how would YOU deliver it?
[Gif via rebloggy]
Women got a very important education as to what happens to men in pools after the shrinkage episode. All women everywhere had the same reaction as Elaine when she learned about what cold water does to men. “It shrinks???”
Many a late-’90s wedding were infested with Elaine-impersonators, passing off impressions of her terrible dancing as the next Electric Slide or Macarena. I don’t say this with judgment; I say this as someone for whom this is still a go-to move, and who might have kicked a small child on the dance floor once or twice in an effort to mimic her.
The Soup Nazi
First off, raise your hand if you’ve eaten a bowl of mulligatawny because you first heard of it in this episode. Second, I’m willing to bet that at least once in your life, unironically, you have said “No soup for you!” Doesn’t matter if you were even talking about soup, but I bet you said it about something.
“They’re real and they’re spectacular.”
We’ve never paid as much attention to Teri Hatcher’s breasts as we did in this episode. After Elaine “fell” into Jerry’s girlfriend, Sidra, in the sauna, she uttered the famous line about her boobs to Jerry, and since then, whether the topic is boobs or anything else needing authentication, “they’re real and they’re spectacular” is the only proper response.
“Master Of Your Domain”
The phrase alone conjures up this:
“Look to the cookie!”
Jerry’s got some pretty deep thoughts on the black and white cookie and how the two flavors that peacefully coexist on a layer of delicate crumb should serve as an example for racial harmony. Unfortunately, there’s a race war in his digestive system after he eats one. If you ever sought out a black and white cookie or a babka after watching this episode, just like we went on a hunt for mulligatawny after seeing it in the Soup Nazi episode, they’ve gotten to you.
You Are The ASSMAN
“Cosmo Kramer, as far as the state of New York is concerned, you are the ASSMAN.” And with that, vanity license plate requests went through the roof.
Before the double-dip was given a name, it was just a phenomenon looked upon at parties as a gross but common habit that would be impolite to call out. After the double-dip episode, America became self-conscious of such behavior and to this day, we keep a close watch on anyone who dares to go in for a second scoop of guacamole without so much as turning their chip around to the clean, unbitten edge.