My Ultimate Comfort Food Episodes On The Sopranos

The Sopranos is a lot of things. It’s entertaining. It’s emotional. And it’s also downright hilarious. In fact, many of the greatest Sopranos episodes are all of those things combined. With that said, there are certain episodes I can turn to at any moment and feel right “at home.” Without further ado, here’s my favorite Sopranos comfort food.

1. "The Pilot" (S1, E1)

Tony Soprano in The Pool
The Sopranos Pilot

First, The Sopranos Pilot feels like a little mini-movie all by itself. Not only does “Pilot” serve as a beautiful introduction to the series, but it’s also a light at the end of the dark season 6B tunnel. Whatever happened to Gary Cooper, the strong, silent type? Sometimes, he just wants to watch The Sopranos Pilot and think good thoughts.

hesh rabkin is talking to tony and christopher about how junior soprano is totally driven by his insecurities.
The Sopranos, S1, E1, "Pilot"

In addition to Pilot’s overall mood, I particularly enjoy certain scenes, such as the “Mahaffey does not have the money” one at Bada Bing, along with the guys sitting outside Centanni discussing Kolar Sanitation. And don’t let me forget to mention the amazing quotes from Junior and Livia

Livia Soprano is in the car with Junior Soprano and she tells him to stop it because he's making her very upset.
On the way to the Soprano home for a bbq for A.J.'s birthday.

2. "College" (S1, E5)

meadow soprano is asking her dad if he's in the mafia.
"Are you in the mafia?"

Next, The Sopranos “College” episode is a prime example of the yin/yang, suburban dad/vicious mob boss back-and-forth that blankets the entire show. One minute you’re having a father-daughter heart to heart talking about the “Potsdam Conference.” Before you know it, you’re swept away to Carmela sitting on the floor receiving communion from Father Intintola. Soon enough, you’re back on the side of the road choking out a rat with your bare hands. Just another day in late 90s suburbia.

Father Phil Intintola is in the Soprano home and is telling Carmela he has a jones for her baked ziti.
The Sopranos, Season 1, Episode 5, "College"

3. "Boca" (S1, E9)

Meadow Soprano is on the soccer field telling Coach Hauser to get lost.
The Sopranos, S1, E9, "Boca

Similarly, I love the comic relief found in season one, episode nine, “Boca.” Whether it’s Silvio Dante hustling onto the field to fight with the soccer ref or Mikey Palmice “tryin’ to concentrate” during golf, Boca is one of my overall favorites.

Paulie is telling Coach Hauser "My name is Clarance."
"I don't know what it's about, but the T.V. stays here."

Speaking of soccer, my other favorite Boca scene is when Paulie brings the T.V. set to Coach Hauser’s house. Well, what a kind gesture “from your friends at the Bada Bing”! Wait, you mean there’s a catch? They want Coach Hauser to change his mind and stay here to continue coaching the soccer team? 

Livia Soprano talking to A.J. Soprano in I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano, Season 1, Episode 13

Another season 1 comfort episode is “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano” (season 1, episode 13). This season finale features all the elements that make The Sopranos so great: There’s the laughing, the whacking, and the sentimentality. When I say laughing, I’m talking mostly about Livia Soprano. Between yelling “Settiiiiiimia” outside the Soprano house at 1:00 A.M. and telling Artie Tony set Vesuvio on fire, it’s truly Livia Soprano at her finest.

Mikey Palmice is jogging outside in a yellow jacket as Paulie and Christopher drive behind him.

By the way, did you ever notice the similarities between Paulie and Christopher running after Mikey here and then Paulie and Christopher running after Valery in “Pine Barrens“? I’M JUST SAYIN’.

tony, carmela, aj, and meadow are at the table in vesuvio toasting to their family.
Shots from the final scene of the season one finale.
"Someday soon, you're gonna have families of your own. And if you're lucky, you'll remember the little moments, like this, that were good."
-Tony Soprano
"I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano"

5. "Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist's Office" (S2, E1)

janice soprano is sitting with meadow and aj soprano eating breakfast.

Following season one, The Sopranos season two had some big shoes to fill. It was certainly off to a good start with the season opener, “Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist’s Office,” including the fantastic opening scene featuring “It Was a Very Good Year” by Frank Sinatra. This may be my favorite episode opening of the series, besides “Members Only” with the Seven Souls montage.

big pussy is in tony soprano's backyard giving him a weird look.

Of course, there’s lots to unpack from “Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist’s Office,” and you can read more of my thoughts here. For now, suffice to say introducing Janice brings a whole new element of psychological family warfare that endures through the entire series. 

6. "Do Not Resuscitate" (S2, E2)

Meadow Soprano is talking about passing her driver's license

In contrast to most of my Sopranos comfort food episodes, “Do Not Resuscitate” was a bit of an acquired taste. (Carmela’s laughing in the background saying “That’s not what I heard.”) But I digress. “Do Not Resuscitate” gives us a great picture of the JaniceLivia dynamic. I also find Reverend James Jr.’s discussion with Tony about becoming the “elders of the family” to be a pretty moving one. 

"Don't you believe it, Tony. When the last one dies, it signals the start of the last stretch for us. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to go anytime soon, it's just... Just feels funny now, being an elder."
janice soprano is sitting down and talking to livia at her rehab facility.

7. "Toodle-F*ng-Oo"(S.2, E3)

dr, jennifer melfi is talking to her therapist, Elliot, about running into tony soprano while at dinner.
The Sopranos, S2, E3, "Toodle-f**king-Oo"

Following “Do Not Resuscitate,” much of the remainder of season two was full of Sopranos comfort food. Dr. Melfi happens to agree, and she thinks the veal was excellent! I was also amused in Toodle-f**king-Oo by Big Puss talking about his two talents – pulling dents and spotting pipe fitter lips. 

Also contributing to the episode’s hilarity was Meadow displaying her finest spoiled adolescent behavior. Though, to be honest, I can’t help but think about how I had probably echoed similar cries at least once when I was that age. Although, I definitely cannot say I’ve ever pulled the “I could’ve taken Ecstasy but I didn’t!” line.

meadow is walking back to her room with a smirk on her face after tricking her parents into giving her a light punishment for having a party at her grandmother's house.
Junior Soprano talking to Tony Soprano at the doctor's office.

On the other hand, we know it’s not just teenagers who are capable of making foolish decisions. Have you met Davey Scatino or Richie Aprile? It definitely goes without saying that Davey should NOT have gone to that executive card game after giving Richie a light envelope. Though I’m not a fan of Richie Aprile’s style of conflict resolution, if there were a time when Richie’s irritation was justified, that may have been it.

Richie Aprile at the executive card game

Additionally, something I really enjoy in “The Happy Wanderer” is the animated banter among the players in the executive card game. It’s interesting to observe the Family’s interactions with “outsiders” like Dr. Fried and Mr. Sinatra. Speaking of which, Dr. Fried—the prick doctor—actually comes in handy early in season three when he removes a bullet from Furio

9."Full Leather Jacket" (S2, E8)

In contrast to the wise guys we’re used to seeing make “office visits,” Carmela pulled out some tools of the trade in “Full Leather Jacket.” Between Carmela’s sass and the famous jaaaacket, I can always count on Full Leather Jacket for a good laugh. By the way, I’m still waiting on confirmation that Joan Cusamano wrote the letter to Georgetown, given Meadow’s wait-listed status.

Carmela is telling Joan Cusamano she wants her to write Meadow a recommendation letter to Georgetown.

10. "The Knight in White Satin Armor" (S2, E12)

Silvio Dante & Svetlana are talking to Irina in Knight in White Satin Armor

Finally, we arrive at the penultimate episode of season 2, “The Knight in White Satin Armor.” You can just tell this episode’s going to be served with an extra scoop of Soprano family dysfunction, and sure enough, we’re not disappointed! One of my favorite moments is actually when Sil goes to deliver Irina her $75,000 severance package. Svetlana’s great here, too.

Other Sopranos Comfort Food Episode Honorable Mentions

silvio dante is telling christopher that new york opened the books but also laid it down and that there is a probationary period.
S3, E7, "Second Opinion"
Big Pussy Bonpensiero is playing Santa Claus for the Christmas Party
S3, E10, "To Save Us All From Satan's Power"
carmine lupertazzi senior is throws his golf club at his son, carmine junior, and johnny sack while they're playing golf.
S4, E12, "Eloise"
dr. ira fried is up on a chair dancing the horah at his daughter's wedding reception.
S5, E4, "All Happy Families"

Finally, the Favorite Non-Comfort Food: Whoever Did This

the sopranos whoever did this blog post cover image

Conclusion

In short, we all have different comfort food episodes on The Sopranos, and our tastes may change over time. With that said, what are some of your “comfort food” episodes on The Sopranos? Let’s connect on social media, and sign up to subscribe to the Sopranos Blueprint newsletter below!

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