James Gandolfini would have turned 59 on September 18, 2020. To be honest, I really can’t thank James (or “Jim,” as many would call him) enough for bringing The Sopranos to life and giving me a place to channel my thoughts in these tumultuous times. I only wish he could be here to make the executive decision on whose name goes first on the Talking Sopranos T-shirt. With that said, in honor of James Gandolfini’s 59th birthday, here’s a list of my 59 most memorable lines from “The Sopranos” on HBO. These are not in order of rank, but instead a mixing of all my favorites compiled from various blog posts of mine.
2."It's okay. Good girl. It's okay. It's okay, I know." -Tony
3. “What did you guys do for 12 hours? Play 'Name that Pope'?” -Tony
4. "We buried him... on a hill... overlooking a little river... with pine cones all around." -Tony
5. "You know what they say—revenge is like serving cold cuts." -Tony
6. "We keep trying to get back on the bus, instead of lettin it go." -Tony
7. "What are you wearing? You smell like a French putan." -Livia
8. "Amazing thing about snakes is that they reproduce spontaneously." -Paulie
9. "They're all meteors!" -Paulie
10. "So what? There's no stigmata these days." -Carmine Sr.
11. "You wonder where she is in this...My little niece." -Junior
12. "Total disability from the State of Washington." -Janice
13. "That's what this is, you know. Satanic black magic. Sick shit!" -Paulie
14. “Whatever happened to Gary Cooper … the strong, silent type?” -Tony
15. “Somebody called here last night, after dark. You think I’d answer, it was dark out!”
16. “Only if I’m picked up and I’m brought back home. I don’t drive when they’re predicting rain.”
17. "I wish the lord would take me now.”
18. "Daughters are better at taking care of their mothers than sons."
19. "Anthony wants to play games. Okay. I taught him games. I taught him how to play baseball." -Junior
20. "All I know is you never had the makings of a varsity athlete." -Junior
21. "Madame de Stael said: 'In life one must choose between boredom and suffering.'"
22. Artie: Mom passed away six months ago.
Livia: Really? Give her my regards.
23. "Go ahead, keep movin, fella." -Junior
24. "You tell me to take a crap on the deck of the Queen Mary...an hour later, they're hosing her down with disinfectant."
25. “Thing with turkeys, they got no sense of direction. They’re on their way to Food Emporium and now look.”
26. "When I came to open up one morning, there you were with your head half in the toilet, your hair was in the toilet water... disgusting."
27. “The man is driven, in toto, by his insecurities.” -Hesh Rabkin
28. "Who's speaking here? Is somebody speaking?" -Junior
29. "I phoned your house. Some operator answered. I couldn't understand a word she was saying."
30. "I gave it all to your cousin Josephine."
31. "That's what being a boss life is. You steer the ship the best way you know. Sometimes it's smooth, sometimes you hit the rocks. In the meantime, you find your pleasures where you can." -Junior
33. "I will never speak another word to you again, Settimia." -Livia
34. "At night, they hit us." -Livia
35. "Take that in the drawer...it's so you won't forget me." -Livia
36. “Sun-Tuh-Zoo. He's Chinese Prince Matchabell.” -Paulie
37. “You didn't go to hell...you went to purgatory, my friend!”
38. “My name’s Clarence.” -Paulie
39. “You're not going to believe this, guy killed 16 Czechoslovakians...he was an interior decorator.”
40. “If the boss says you're Santa Claus, you're Santa Claus!" -Paulie
41. “When I was a kid, you two were old ladies. Now I’m old. And you two are still old.” -Paulie
42. “This guy gives him the works: MRIs, cat scans, dog scans, you name it.” -Paulie
43. “I was born, grew up, spent a few years in the army, couple more in the can, and here I am, half a wise guy.” -Paulie
44. “There was something on T.V. The original elves were ugly, traveled with Santa to throw bad kids a beatin’, and he gave the good ones toys. -Paulie
45. "By the way, Ton, did your ma have the silver bird package?" -Paulie
46. "Allegra...ain't that a cold medicine?"
47. "My pizza never hurt nobody."
48. "My nephew running things? Not that strunz. Not in this life." -Junior
49. “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens.” -Bobby
50. "Things could've gone the other way, my little nephew..." -Junior
51. "I don't know that we need to be that, uh...overstated." -Silvio
52. "One thing you gotta admit...he made a great Santa Claus." -Silvio
53. "You know, if I was that young lady and you came and took me to that dance and used that kind of talk, I'd slap your face!" -Livia
54. "Look, this thing of ours, the way it's going, it'd be better if we could admit to each other these painful, stressful times. But it'll never f---- happen."
55. "Between brain and mouth, there was no interlocutor" -Hesh
56. "You know, Quasimodo predicted all of this." -Bobby
57. "She believed that wild flowers blossomed best among the rocks."
58. "Hell is hot. That's never been disputed."
60. BONUS – this may be my favorite one of the entire series, and definitely my favorite by a show guest:
“It’s actually an illusion those two boxers are separate entities. Their separate entities is simply the way we choose to perceive them…
It’s physics; Schrodinger’s equation. The boxers, you, me we’re all part of the same quantum field. Think of the two boxers as ocean waves or currents of air, two tornadoes, say. They appear to be two things, right? Two separate things. But they’re not…
Tornadoes are just wind, the wind stirred up in different directions. The fact is, nothing is separate; everything’s connected. The universe is just one big soup of molecules bumping up against one another. The shapes we see exist only in our own consciousness.”
-John Schwinn, “The Fleshy Part of the Thigh” (Season 6, Episode 4)
So, now you know my picks for the 59 most memorable lines on The Sopranos.
Since my original post on the 18th, I’ve expanded my list from six favorite Tony Soprano lines to the 59 most memorable lines on The Sopranos. Naturally, just last night, I remembered some others that belong here. I guess I’ll have to do a top 100 soon. Until then, what are your picks?