What is the Boss Thinking? Top Tony Soprano Quotes
18 of the Top Tony Soprano Quotes
In 1999, The New York Times stated, “The Sopranos just may be the greatest work of American popular culture of the last quarter century.”
They were right.
Every Sunday night for 6 seasons, almost everyone you knew was glued to their TV screens, waiting to see what the Soprano crime family would do next.
And when it all ended?
Everyone you knew was left feeling like they had just stepped off the world’s craziest roller coaster ride.
The Sopranos was a special kind of show that doesn’t come around too often. Each and every character brought something special to the series however it was Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, who made it impossible to turn away.
We watched as he struggled to separate his personal life and his professional life, we felt sadness, anger and even relief about some of the decisions he made. We loved him and we hated him. When an actor can create these intense and powerful feelings in people from all walks of life, that is extraordinary.
On September 18th we celebrate the life of James Gandolfini, the man who made the world love the mob. What better way to honor the life of this amazing man than a list of our favorite Tony Soprano quotes.
“It’s good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that and I know. But lately, I’m getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.”
Mimicking the mood of Goodfellas, Tony opens his therapy session with Dr. Melfi in the pilot by wondering if the glory days of being a gangster are gone in a line that epitomizes the series.
“Oh, poor baby. What do you want, a Whitman’s Sampler?”
Leave it to Tony to use candy to belittle the acting boss of a major New York crime family. Tony’s peerless ability for trash talking and mockery shows why Tony was impossible to push around, even for powerful frenemies like Johnny Sack.
“Well, when you’re married, you’ll understand the importance of fresh produce.”
In another subtle and funny nod to The Godfather, Tony tries to calm his loose cannon of a nephew, Christopher, by providing a little insight into what makes a successful marriage.
“What happened to Gary Cooper, the strong silent type.”
Tony regularly idealized the laconic western star Gary Cooper, even though Tony’s impulsive nature and explosive temper ironically made him Cooper’s polar-opposite.
“It’s almost time for turkey sandwiches!”
When his sister Janice brings a narcoleptic date to Thanksgiving dinner, Tony simply can’t resist poking a little fun the moment the poor guy nods off at the table.
“Nostradamus and Notre Dame. It’s two different things completely.”
Even though he only had that one semester at Seton Hall, Tony is truly confounded when Bobby starts going on about how it was Quasimodo who predicted 9/11, not Nostradamus. Even gangsters need teaching moments.
“A grown man made a wager. He lost. He made another one – he lost again. End of story.”
It may not have been the best play for Tony to give Meadow the car of her friend Eric, especially right after Eric’s father gave the car to Tony to get out of a gambling debt. Having said that, it turns out to be the perfect entry to Tony’s school of hard knocks.
“What constitutes a fidget?”
With A.J. on the fringe of being diagnosed with ADD, Tony has a bit of a hard time understanding the gray area when he sits down with the principal and school counselor.
“You bottomed out.”
Tony may have been understating the case after he smacked around his daughter’s boyfriend, Jackie Jr., for not thinking everything through. He also points out that if you’re dating a mob boss’ daughter, don’t ditch her for a strip club her father might show up at.
“He’s gonna leave the house. On a piece of plywood if necessary, but he’s gonna leave the house.”
After Bobby is murdered and a gang war is heating up, the last thing Tony is going to do is cave to an uncooperative son who doesn’t want to hit the road.
“If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.”
Old-school to the last, Tony turns the tables on Paulie by reminding him of the gangster code and the rightful pecking order around Bada Bing.
“We buried him…on a hill…overlooking a river…with pine cones all around.”
After having to get rid of his sister’s fiancé, Richie, Tony provides somewhat of an alternative version of what could have happened to the body. The meat-slicing room of the pork store doesn’t have hills or pine cones, however.
“Bad for the grass! Bad for the grass!”
When Carmela tells Tony to move the theater seats before it ruins the grass, Tony sees it as the perfect time show off his movie chops by mocking her with a line from Chinatown.
“There’s nothing more useless than a loaded gun.”
Tony allows his new fling, Gloria, hold his gun and explains that he’s not exactly a man for bluffing.
“You got any idea what my life would be worth if certain people found out I checked into a laughing academy?”
Despite the progress that Tony makes in therapy, he’s less than confident that his colleagues will agree that flapping his gums to a shrink is a sound business strategy.
“Those who want respect give respect.”
Not one to back down to someone challenging his authority, Tony explains the facts of life to Richie Aprile and Jackie Jr. by reminding them how “this thing of ours” actually works.
“You should try tomato sauce for your a$$ – it’s the Italian version.”
Tony’s not really interested in listening to what his mistress learned from reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, pointing out that the Italian version has a little more flavor to it.
“I went ahead and ordered some for the table.”
As the last words Tony Soprano ever speaks, the controversial final scene of the series showcases a literal reminder of Tony’s overarching goal: putting food on the table for his family. Beneath the temper tantrums, violent outbursts, and gangster maneuverings, it turns out Tony was a true family man after all.
The Sopranos fan base was passionate and dedicated, and thanks to syndication, still growing.
Thank you James Gandolfini; there will never be another.
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