Bagels, beyond being a New York staple, have become part of the average American’s way of life – enough so that they make regular appearances on sitcoms. Here are a few memorable moments when the almighty bagel stole the show:
The Strike – Seinfeld
The 166th episode of Seinfeld popularized the holiday of Festivus, with ridiculous antics as usual by Elaine, George, and Jerry. Kramer, however, ends a dozen year strike when it is announced that a new minimum wage had come into effect – bringing the amount per hour up to the standard that bagel workers had asked for 12 years before.
Kramer returns triumphantly to his job, but then becomes intrigued by the concept of Festivus and asks his boss for December 23rd off. When the manager refuses, Kramer goes back on strike. He then sabotages the bagel shop‘s steam pipes, drops chewing gum in the dough, and is finally fired.
Lust in Translation – Better Off Ted
The tenth episode of the second season of Better Off Ted opens with everyone in the office feeling stressed – including the intimidating Veronica (Portia De Rossi). Veronica comes across another stressed worker, Linda, bouncing bagels off of the wall and into an air vent.
Veronica announces she is good at everything she does and should therefore be able to handily beat Linda at her own game. Linda issues a challenge, and Veronica accepts – only to be trounced in the first round of “Linda Bagel”. Veronica keeps challenging Linda to rematches, and Linda keeps winning – until they hear Ted engaging in sexual relations through the vent, which throws Linda off her game.
Veronica climbs into the vent to recover her winning bagel, falls through and ends up deaf in one ear. Phil and Lem attempt to eat the bagels and discover they are made of high impact carbon. Not exactly your tasty New York bagel!
The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work – Friends
Late in the ninth season, Chandler Bing becomes the last of the Friends to go through a period of unemployment. He decides that he should go into advertising, and walks around making up rhyming slogans for various things. He finally gets an interview at an agency, which goes like this:
Steve: So, do you have any other questions about advertising?
Chandler: No, no, but – let me show you what I can do:
[picks up a bagel and a donut]
Chandler: “Bagels and donuts: Round food… for every mood.”
Steve: Monica warned me you might do that.
There are plenty of other great moments when bagels make appearances on television. Carrie Bradshaw brings a notable bag of bagels to a friend. Britta pronounces bagels “bahguls” on Community. The New York bagel is definitely part of American culture!