Seinfeld Life Lesson: Food Ordering Etiquette

By Sam Blend


That line is one of the most famous lines from “Seinfeld.” If you’re not careful and end up breaking one of the Soup Nazi’s rules, he yells that at you and you are thereby banned from eating his delicious soup all of your friends have been raving about.

Some of his rules include:

-Keep the line moving

-Order your soup in a clear voice

-Don’t embellish on your order

-No questions

-No compliments

“Seinfeld” takes the idea of having rules for ordering food to an extreme level, but I think there’s something to be said for the general idea.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to rant a little bit about a pet peeve of mine.

Practically every day I get my morning cup of coffee from the same coffee place, and practically every day I am amazed at the things that people do when ordering and waiting for their food. And how not common common sense is.

Does it make sense to stand right in front of where people are supposed to get their coffee and where all the cream and sugar and stirrers are after you order, even though you aren’t getting anything yourself? No. But yet so many people continue to do it. And ignore or become annoyed by your “excuse me!” as you try to get around them. Meanwhile, there is plenty of room elsewhere for them to stand.

I’m really not an uptight person, but when I really need to get going and have to deal with so many people lacking common sense, I can’t help but imagine a world in which there was some kind of … Coffee Nazi who yells at people to go stand somewhere else.

Crowds would clear up, everything would move faster. There’d be no more awkward shuffling and reaching around people. The world would be a little brighter.

You could see how suddenly the Soup Nazi doesn’t seem that crazy to lay down some rules to make the ordering process efficient. He already has a long enough line wrapping around his restaurant, and he just wants to make sure his customers get their soup as fast as possible.

Of course, with such strict rules, there is the risk of things becoming a little ridiculous. When Jerry first takes George to the Soup Nazi’s restaurant, George breaks a rule and becomes annoyed as Jerry gulps down his soup with many exclamations of how great it tastes:

George: I don’t see how you can sit there eating that and not even offer me any.

Jerry: I gave you a taste, what do you want?

George: Why can’t we share?

Jerry: I told you not to say anything! You can’t go in there, brazenly flout the rules and then think I’m going to share.

George: Do you hear yourself?

Jerry: I’m sorry! This is what comes from living under a Nazi regime!

But if one could learn anything from the Soup Nazi, I think it would be to be a little more considerate when ordering food and to be a little more conscious of your surroundings (if you’re standing in the way, if somebody’s trying to get around you, etc.).

It may seem silly, but we all have those things that grind our gears, and sometimes one just needs to rant.

So tell me, do you experience similar frustrations when ordering food? If not, what are some of your pet peeves?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons under ulterior epicure.

Samantha Blend is a second year English major and a blogger for O&B, writing about life lessons she has learned from Seinfeld. Her posts appear on Fridays.

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