Big Mouth is the lovable Netflix animated show about puberty based on the childhoods of Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg. Both of those men happen to be Jewish, making this an extremely Jewish show. And the recently released third season is no exception.
Quick reminder: The plot follows Nick (Nick Kroll), Andrew (John Mulaney), Jessi (Jessi Klein), Jay (Jason Mantzoukas), and Missy (Jenny Slate) as they navigate puberty, with the help of their “Hormone Monsters” (Maury and Connie, voiced fabulously by Nick Kroll and Maya Rudolph).
Season 1 had a bat mitzvah (themed “Great Woman,” duh), and season 2 gave us “vintage Nazi dildos” which is now an actual search term that people have used to end up on Alma (the site you’re currently reading). Both of these seasons were very Jewish — complete with jokes about Holocaust museums, Williamsburg Jews, synagogue dues, synagogue parking, and Jewish guilt.
But season 3 may take the cake: an entire episode was set at Andrew’s grandfather’s retirement home in Florida during Passover. Yes, really. While most of our best Jewish jokes from the season are from that particular episode, there were also other great Jewish moments throughout. Read on for our ranking leading up to the funniest Jewish joke of the season:
“Your womb is dry like matzah meal.” — the Menopause witch to Barbara (episode 5)
“Are you going to moon those girls at Tapawingo again?” — kid on the bus to Nick (episode 11). And yes, Tapawingo is a real camp in Maine.
“Marty Glouberman doesn’t relax. The man eats on the toilet to save time.” — Andrew to Nick (episode 5)
“Ohh, my anxiety-based veritgo is kicking in.” – Andrew (episode 9). We consider any anxiety joke a Jewish joke.
“Boys, please, you’re both disappointments.” — Lewis to his sons (episode 5). Classic Jewish grandparent stuff.
And not a one-liner but…
This Star of David vape smoke from episode 5 deserves a mention:
Alright, onto the jokes!
11. When Harry Met Sally parody (Episode 1)
Technically, episode 1 of season 3 was released earlier this year, but it still counts. The story is framed with Andrew and Maury telling the story of how they met, in the style of iconic rom-com When Harry Met Sally. It’s pitch perfect in the dialogue, the pacing, and the hands on the knees. And yes, When Harry Met Sally is very, very Jewish. (It was written by Nora Ephron! Katz’s Deli! Jewish director Rob Reiner! Need we say more?!)
10. Camp (Episode 11)
In the last episode, Nick and Andrew are fighting, and this seems to truly break up their friendship. Andrew tells Nick he’s not going to camp with him anymore — and the implication here is that they have gone to camp for many summers together. Which: very Jewish.
Later, when Andrew tells this to Marty, his dad, the response is classic:
“Well, you’re goin’ to camp. I already paid for it,” said Jewish parents everywhere.
9. “They’re Nazis. We’re with Nazis!” (Episode 2)
When Andrew shows up at a “men’s rights meeting,” he quickly realizes it is not what it seems — they are white supremacists. He sinks down in his seat and says, “They’re Nazis. We’re with Nazis!”
His Hormone Monster, Maury, responds, “All right, lock the door, Andrew. We’re gonna Inglorious Basterds these A-holes.”
Andrew replies, “You want to light the room on fire and kill everybody?”
Maury: “Yeah, what were you thinking?”
Andrew: “I was thinking we just leave the Nazi meeting.”
A+ reference to Inglorious Basterds (love you, Mélanie Laurent), and overall, essentially what I think would go down if an awkward teenage Jewish boy stumbled into a Nazi meeting.
8. Get that vagina out of Nazi territory (Episode 6)
In another Nazi joke, Jessi is masturbating for the first time. This experience is visualized as her getting her vagina up a mountain — to reach orgasm at the top — and Corinne, her Hormone Monster, encourages her by saying, “Don’t give up, baby, you gotta get that singin’ vagina out of Nazi territory.” This is likely — definitely — a reference to The Sound of Music (does that make Julie Andrews a singing vagina? Maybe), and honestly, just a fun spin on learning how to masturbate.
7. Zayde’s hip (Episode 5)
Okay, we are going to get into episode 5 – set in Florida, at a Passover seder — later, but this small moment deserves to stand on its own. Andrew asks his grandpa Lewis about his hip, affectionally calling him “Zayde,” a Yiddish term for grandfather. (And yes, we disagree with Netflix’s spelling.) Lewis responds, “Do you really want to know?” Andrew, put on the spot, says, “I care, a little.” And, as is natural with Jewish grandparents, he gets into the details of his medical ailments. Plus the later reference to his physical therapy. Perfect, Big Mouth.
Also, would just like to take this space to note that Lewis is voiced by Judd Hirsch, an 84-year-old Jewish actor. Hirsch is so Jewish that his Wikipedia page also has his name in Yiddish in the parentheses.
Just needed to acknowledge that. Okay, moving on…
6. Schindler’s list (Episode 8)
In Episode 8, the school descends into chaos as boys rank girls based on their looks, and vice versa. Jessi asks Andrew if she has made any lists, and he tells her she hasn’t.
“Why do I still want to be on them?” she asks Connie. “It’s like Schindler’s List,” Connie replies. “You wish there didn’t have to be a list, but if there’s gonna be one, you wanna be on that motherfuckin’ list.”
Which: very dark. Yet, very great humor. Jewish humor is super dark, after all!
5a. Traditional Jewish sitcoms (Ep 3)
This is a two-parter. First, Matthew brings Jessi home and introduces her to his dad as Jessi Glaser. Matthew’s dad, a staff sergeant in the military and implied to be an Evangelical Christian, says to Jessi, “Glaser? Hmmm. I’ve known a few Glasers over the years. Is your mother also Jewish?”
Jessi, caught off guard, responds: “She’s a Jew — uh, she’s Jewish,” super uncomfortably.
And then Matthew’s dad’s response is what is comedy gold, truly:
“Well, we love The Nanny,” he tells her. “Oh, yeah, we love all those traditional Jewish sitcoms. Seinfeld, Mad About You, Friends.”
Jessi responds, “Uh, I don’t think Friends is Jewish.”
Matthew’s dad’s reply? “Well, yeah, but definitely Monica and Ross…”
One, “traditional Jewish sitcoms” is an excellent phrase. Two, the debate over Friends being Jewish is real. Yes, Monica and Ross are Jews. (But what about Rachel??) Also, it’s just a funny way of reminding the audience that it’s not just Jews who are obsessed with identifying Jews. Also, is Mad About You really that Jewish? What qualifies something as a “traditional Jewish sitcom”? These are the deep questions Big Mouth is asking! Thank you!
5b. Rapture (Episode 5)
And then in the following episode, Matthew is trying to figure out how to hang out with his crush (a guy) without his dad getting suspicious. Jessi suggests inviting her. Why?
“Your dad loves me. He said the Rapture can’t happen without me and my people.” Ah yes, the relationship between Evangelical Christians and Jews. Super freaking weird!
4. Grandma’s wig (Episode 5)
Episode 5, delivering again. In this plot line, Andrew and Cherry, who are cousins, are about to make out (don’t ask, we don’t want to get into it), and she encourages him to put on their dead grandma’s wig.
“Do the voice,” she tells him.
Andrew, channeling their grandma, wearing her wig, says: “These Palestinians, they deserve bubkis.”
Yikes, but honestly probably an accurate portrayal of (at least some) Jewish grandmas!
As they start to make out, Maury starts crying and says, “I believe there is a two-state solution, but this, this is beautiful.”
Wanna get into actually understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Read our nuanced explainers here! Okay, back to Big Mouth…
3. The story of Passover (Episode 5)
Passover is the “one time our people did the screwing,” according to Marty. He then goes on to tell the tale of Passover, and gets it pretty right (following the tradition of accurate animated Passover content, a la Rugrats Passover!).
“We were Pharaoh’s slaves, forced to do all sorts of labor, unlike Andrew, who could barely use a Swiffer WetJet! One day, God turned Himself into a burning bush. And he tells Moses, ‘Get outta Egypt already!’ But the Pharaoh, he won’t let him go. So, God hits ’em with ten plagues. Locusts, hail, and finally, the big one. Pharaoh said, ‘Scram,’ so we had to get out fast. Then this Pharaoh Schlemiel, he changes his mind, but God had one more trick up his sleeve. He parts the Red Sea.”
“And then what, they just went to Israel?” Nick asks
“No, they spent 40 years in the desert ’cause they didn’t know how to make good time.”
We’re not going to include all the screencaps of the story being told, but know the animation is magnificent.
Will this Big Mouth episode replace A Rugrats Passover?! (Honestly it is probably too inappropriate. But glad it is joining the canon on Passover episodes.)
2. Fox News Jew / NPR Jew (Episode 2)
This was just the best. At a parent assembly about the new dress code, parents are up in arms about how the girls are being told to dress.
Marty calls himself a “Fox News Jew,” and Missy’s mom, Monica Foreman-Greenwald (Chelsea Peretti), then speaks as “an NPR woman who was born Jewish but no longer practices Judaism.” These two categories are the only way we’re defining Jewish identity moving forward!! (Jk, we kid, but how good?!)
1. The seder (Episode 5)
This takes the number one slot for just a spot-on seder.
“I can’t believe we’re eating dinner at four o’clock,” Nick tells Andrew. Andrew, laughing, replies, “Oh, Nick, the seder meal won’t be served for another three to four hours. But don’t worry. In about an hour and a half, you’ll get a slab of cold gefilte fish. Which tastes like the baby changing station at SeaWorld.”
“Oh, that sounds horrible,” Nick answers. “It is. It’s all horrible!” Andrew says.
Then, there is the Ma Nishtana prayer that Cheryl does as she flirts with Andrew (yes, still her cousin) (again, no, we’re not gonna get into that plot here).
(Note the accurate seder plate in the foreground!) And the afikomen is a competition for which son gets Lewis’s condo.
All in all, completely dysfunctional, AKA a normal American Jewish family seder, which makes this scene (an extended Jewish joke) the best one of season three.
Never change, Big Mouth. Keep the Jewish jokes coming.