The Sopranos

The Sopranos: The 10 Shadiest Burns On The Show

The characters in The Sopranos aren't always kind when talking to each other or talking about each other. These are the shadiest burns on the show.

Years after The Sopranos ended, many of the show’s actors have gone on to take different kinds of roles, but not Michael Rispoli, who played the mob boss, Jackie Aprile in season 1. The actor is once again playing a Newark mafia Don in season 2 of Power Book III: Raising Kanan.

While the Power spinoff is a fun ride, it still lags behind the HBO series in awesomeness, especially when it comes to the dialogue. Among the many things that suck fans into the Cosa Nostra tale are the well-developed characters, who always have a tendency to throw the snarkiest of remarks at each other. So, which of their burns are the most memorable?

“Tomorrow I Can Be On Time, But You’ll Be Stupid Forever.”


Tony mediates the dispute between Ralph and Paulie in The Sopranos

During a meeting meant to end the rift between Paulie and Ralph over a $100,000 heist bounty, the latter arrives late, prompting the former to scold him for it. Well, Ralph doesn’t take it too kindly.

Ralph cleverly implies that bad habits can easily be corrected, whereas a low IQ is a permanent curse. Even though his words seem mean, he is right since Paulie normally isn’t the sharpest tool in the DiMeo crime family toolbox. However, he can be commended for being a great street combatant, and that’s the reason why he is one of the Sopranos characters that survive till the end.

“That Nose Is Like A Natural Canopy.”

Richie Aprile

Richie jokes about Christopher to Matt and Sean in The Sopranos

During a chat with the young gangsters, Sean and Matt, Richie starts making fun of Christopher. To the amusement of the two rookies, the Capo jokes that Christopher can comfortably smoke a cigarette in the rain, with his hands behind his back, because his large nose will block all the water.

An old timer, Richie isn’t too fond of new-age mobsters, including Tony, hence he never hesitates to deride or harass them. And Christopher just happens to be on the receiving end most of the time. What makes the burn even more golden is that Richie never looks at his audience (Matt and Richie) while saying it. He simply goes about his business.

“Take It Easy. We’re Not Making A Western Here.”

Junior Soprano

Junior rejects Mickey's idea of killing Christopher in The Sopranos

At the start of Junior’s war with his nephew Tony in the first season, Mickey Palmice immediately advises him to order a hit on Christopher in order to show he means business. Junior shoots the idea down, claiming Mickey is trying too hard to appear badass.

According to the show, the urge to act tough in order to earn respect is something that ails many mobsters. It’s something Tony refers to later as “Cowboy-it is.”Luckily, most of the smartest mob bosses in The Sopranos see this kind of behavior coming and don’t allow themselves to be influenced by it. They simply know better than to simply pull the trigger on everyone, as that is bound to create even more problems.

“Who Do You Think You Are? Minister Of Propaganda?”

Hugh D’Angelis

Hugh and Mary argue at Livia's funeral in The Sopranos

Carmela’s father, Hugh, becomes furious when his wife Mary starts singing praises at Livia’s wake. According to him, there was nothing good about Livia, so Mary should stop pretending.

Few would argue with Hugh referring to Mary’s eulogy as propaganda. After all, Livia never liked either of them. That said, the list of people she didn’t like actually extended far and wide, as she even ordered a hit on her own son once. Thanks to the burn, Mary stops her pious act.

“Would You Like A Martina? It’s Like A Martini, But It’s From Albania.”

Artie Bucco

Artie orders Martina around to embarrass her in The Sopranos

The restaurateur, Artie Bucco, got into a feud with one of the best Sopranos street soldiers, Benny Fazio. It happened because they are both in love with a hostess named Martina, who happens to like Benny more. So when Artie spots Benny dining with his wife, Jen, he comes over to make fun of him.

With just a few words, Artie gets to both ridicule and threaten Benny at the same time. He ridicules him for seducing hostesses while being married, while also implying that he can easily snitch on him to his wife. Even funnier is that Jen almost believes there is a drink called a Martina and gets tempted to order one right before Benny sends Artie away.

“The Sopranos Are Nothing More Than A Glorified Crew.”

Phil Leotardo

Phil sits at a table surrounded by two men in The Sopranos

When the drums of war start beating, Tony attempts to extend an olive branch to Lupertazzi crime family boss, Phil Leotardo, but he refuses. Later, Phil tells his subordinates what he really thinks of the DiMeo crime family.

Yet another hard-boiled old timer, Phil believes the New Jersey mobsters are weak hence they aren’t worthy of his respect. He refers to the DiMeo members as “glorified” because of how modern they are, arguing that they don’t even get the traditional Cosa Nostra initiation ceremonies right. And he isn’t too wrong since his men end up killing most of their members at the height of the war.

“Last Year You Believed A Flying Saucer Was Over East Rutherford.”


Ralph makes fun of Paulie after Tony rules in favor of him in The Sopranos

Paulie expresses his disbelief when Tony awards him only $12,000 out of the $100,000 he is feuding with Ralph over. And Ralph takes the opportunity to mock him once again, arguing that Paulie should believe what has just happened because he always believes in things like extraterrestrial beings.

To Ralph, Paulie doesn’t have the right to question anything because he simply isn’t shrewd enough. He figures anyone who believes aliens have invaded Earth shouldn’t even be part of important mob negotiations. And he has a point since Paulie shouldn’t have let him do all the heavy lifting and then only show up to demand his cut, just because he provided the intel.

“Well, I Didn’t Marry A Cartoon Character.”

Carmela Soprano

Carmela and Tony talking in front of Whitecaps in The Sopranos.

During one of his many arguments with Carmela, Tony compares himself to Popeye, as a way to let her know he is a competent person. Unimpressed by the cartoon reference, Carmela throws some shade at him.

A major thing that makes Carmela one of the most likable mob wives in The Sopranos is that she never gives him a pass on his misdemeanors simply because he is a dreaded gangster. Whenever he needs to be called out for bad behavior, she approaches him without hesitation. Here, she makes it clear that he is being rather clownish lately, so he needs to go back to being the tough Tony she used to know.

“What Are You, Marge Hilgenbrinder Now? What Do You Know About Mud?”

Bobby Baccala

Janice argues with Bobby about him leaving a cake at his dead wife's grave in The Sopranos

On what was to be his late wife Karen’s birthday, Bobby goes to her grave and buries a cake. Janice, who is eager to be his new wife, gets angry about it, even pointing out that he has mud on his shoes when he tries to deny he went to the cemetery. After some thought, Bobby comes up with quite the pop culture reference as a retort.

Since Janice has gone as far as to link mud to Bobby’s actions, he compares her to Marge Helgenberger (his mispronunciation), an actress known for playing the mud-obsessed investigator, Catherine Willows, in CSI. It’s a quote that also highlights the state of their relationship. With Janice, things are never the same for Bobby as they were with Karen.

“He Never Had The Makings Of A Varsity Athlete.”

Junior Soprano

Junior Soprano shades Tony in The Sopranos

During one Sunday dinner, Uncle Junior finds it fitting to tell everyone that Tony never had what it took to be a varsity athlete. It’s a comment that deeply hurts Tony because Junior once mentioned the same thing around Tony’s cousins when he was a young boy, and it not only made him feel embarrassed, but it also demoralized him.

The comment has grown to be a favorite among the show’s fans, and it stings even more this time because Junior says it in front of Tony’s family and subordinates. To Tony, it serves as a reminder that he could have had a decent career as a star athlete, but he simply wasn’t disciplined enough, and he clearly didn’t have the support of his father. Now that he already chose his path, he hates to be reminded of his mistakes. But trust Junior to dare to do so.

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