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“No Soup For You” or “NO SOUP 4 U” is a catchphrase that was initially uttered in a 1995 episode of the American comedic sitcom Seinfeld. Online, the phrase is often used in the context of message boards and forums in reply to other users who have made requests or demands that are denied or cannot be fulfilled.
In the November 2nd, 1995 Seinfeld episode “The Soup Nazi”, the main characters check out a local soup shop with an incredibly strict chef (played by Larry Thomas) who is nicknamed “Soup Nazi” for his rules about ordering. After Elaine Benes (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) attempts to subvert his ordering procedure, the chef utters the statement, banning her from the shop for an entire year. Thomas’ character was inspired by a real-life soup vendor named Ali “Al” Yeganeh whose Manhattan restaurant, Soup Kitchen International, had been notorious for having strict ordering rules since 1984.
Throughout the 1990s, the quote and the character that spoke it was iconic in the Seinfeld fandom and wider pop culture, spawning specific merchandise with the quote. One of the earliest mentions of the quote online appeared on August 10th, 1996, when Ted Weiman announced to alt.tv.seinfeld that he launched a “No Soup For You” soundclip site. In September 1996, the phrase was used on rec.sport.football.fantasy in response to a question about whether or not a poster should veto a fantasy football trade. Between 1996 and 2003, the phrase was used in this declining manner on a number of newsgroups including alt.tv.star-trek.voyager, alt.music.tool, alt.holoworld.rpg.startrek and alt.christnet.christianlife.
On April 27th, 2004, the first YTMND site referencing the Seinfeld episode was created, gaining more than 600 views as of May 2013. Over the years, a handful of other sites with the title “No Soup For You” have been created, gaining anywhere from several hundred to six thousand views. In 2008, the phrase was mentioned on 4chan for the first time in a thread on /a/ (Anime and Manga) discussing Rukia Kuchiki of the series Bleach. On November 14th, 2009, the first Facebook fan page dedicated to the phrase launched, accruing more than 9,100 likes as of May 2013.
References to the quote have appeared in image macros on a number of humor websites including Meme Center, Funnyjunk, Cheezburger and Funny Pictures Blog, as well as in a Tumblr tag and Twitter hashtag. A Quickmeme page utilizing a photo of Larry Thomas as the Soup Nazi has 26 submissions as of May 2013, with captions primarily relating to Reddit activities.