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If it’s must be food!
by Savia Rajagopal
Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:29 AM
Television and movies have created unforgettable characters. But we take our pick of some characters who just loved food! Bon apetit!
There’s more to food than just television channels and restaurants, food is part and parcel of everyday life – entertainment included. Here’s a fun look at all the places where food makes an important appearance in popular culture.
“No soup for you”

You’ve heard that line before if you’ve watched Seinfeld and his gang on the award-winning television show. The “Soup Nazi” is the source of the unforgettable dialogue that condemns patrons to a life without his supposedly incredible soup, if you tick him off, of course. So in this particular episode of Seinfeld, characters Jerry, George and Elaine try out a soup bar recommended by Kramer. As it turns out, having soup here entails strict following of the rules or you will be denied with “No soup for you.” The characters as usual, manage to mangle the simple task of eating soup – George doesn’t get bread with his soup unlike all the other patrons there, Elaine doesn’t believe in following the soup protocol and Jerry disowns his girlfriend standing in line with him, just for a bit of soup. As for Kramer, he gets hold of the Soup Nazi’s recipes unknowingly and they are now being held ransom by a very smug Elaine. The final outcome revolves around the Soup Nazi closing shop and moving to Argentina. That’s prime time television for you!

“Food, glorious food”
The opening line of this song are infamous from the musical Oliver about young boys who are collecting their gruel from workhouse employees. This classic musical which played on Broadway and the West End has been made into a film and the song has been revamped and featured in Ice Age: The Meltdown apart from being used in several television commercials. The presentation is based on the namesake by Charles Dickens but like most adaptations, it does not strictly follow the book’s narrative. Refresh your memory by checking out the video here. If not anything else, it reminds you to be grateful for what’s on your plate.

He’s strong to the finish, ‘cos he still eats his spinach...”

He is Popeye, the Sailor Man!
Who can forget this one-of-a-kind character who made his first appearance, way back in 1929 in a cartoon strip by E.C.Segar. Since then, the Popeye series has been made into an animated version and later into a movie, starring the impressive Robin Williams.

Apart from his true love, Olive Oyl, the only other love of his life could be his love of spinach. Taken straight down the throat or shovelled through his trusty, omnipresent corncob pipe, Popeye’s love for spinach is legendary and it’s no wonder that parents still remind kids about the merits of eating spinach, thanks to good ol’ Popeye.

“Tossed salad and scrambled eggs”

You’ve guessed this right if you’re thinking Frasier. A connoisseur of fine food and drink, character Frasier and his brother Niles are known for their taste in the finer things in life. The title song ends with the line quoted above.

The show started as a spin-off from Cheers and is probably one of the most successful ones in popular culture. Kelsey Grammar is infamous as the psychiatrist Dr. Crane who hosts his own radio chat show, dispensing advice to Seattle dwellers. With his ex-cop father, a terrier as a pet and a live-in physical therapist and caretaker for his father, Frasier made for a very interesting show on television. Who said shrinks were boring?!

Only an alien from another planet could be shielded from the mammoth television sitcom Friends. Food has played an important part of the series, with characters like the compulsive chef extraordinaire Monica Gellar to all food-loving Joey Tribbiani. While Monica’s love for cooking is infamous, Joey’s passion for food is legendary, especially his preference of meatball sub sandwiches and Italian meats. Audiences around the world still tune into the show, now in re-runs, to watch the daily lives of all the lead characters. Friends is probably among the fewer shows on TV that present its characters being so intimately involved with food.  
And if you think we’ve missed out some noteworthy ones, drop us a line at We’d love to hear from you!

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