The best Sopranos episodes of all time, ranked
Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in
IMDb rates The Sopranos as the tenth greatest TV show of all time, earning a 9.2 out of 10 score after 410,000 user votes. But it will always be number one in out hearts.
10 years and six glorious seasons of some of the best TV writing of all time cemented that fact.
UPDATE: The Sopranos gets another pop culture nod in a new episode of The Simpsons, first aired on February 19 2023. It's The Many Saints of Springfield, season 34 episode 13. Fans of The Sopranos will instantly recognise this is a play on The Many Saints of Newark, the 2021 film that acts as a prequel to the TV show.
Not only are the drama, action, humour, character depth and writing unrivalled to this day, it set a precedent for series with Hollywood-style budgets and performers, setting the Golden Age Of Television in motion.
We are always game for a rewatch of the 86 episodes of The Sopranos. You can currently stream all six seasons from HBO Max in the US, or Sky's NOW TV in the UK. Already have the show fresh in your mind? Why not give it an upvote in out best HBO shows list.
Here are our favourites episodes (with spoilers) from David Chase’s masterpiece. Vote for yours below.
Best Sopranos Episodes ever, ranked
1. Pine Barrens (Season 3, Episode 11)
Best line: “Right now we’re just two assholes lost in the woods.” – Christopher Moltisanti
Paulie and Christopher’s unscheduled trip to the New Jersey countryside is as close as the show ever gets to a farce, when a routine money collection that goes hilariously awry. Efforts to dispose of the problem in the snow-covered Pine Barrens take an unexpected turn when “the package hit Chrissy with an implement and ran off.” Hopelessly lost, with Paulie minus a shoe, the stricken mobsters combat terrible mobile service as they await rescue.
2. Long Term Parking (Season 5, Episode 12)
Best line: “That's the guy, Adriana. My uncle Tony. The guy I'm going to Hell for.” – Christopher Moltisanti
While season 5 isn’t the most fondly-remembered, it did finally earn the show’s first, long overdue, Emmy for Outstanding Drama series. When Christopher’s fiancé Adrianna comes clean over her lengthy co-operation with the Feds, he’s left with a gut-wrenching choice to make: enter the witness protection program with his girl, or come clean to Tony and deal with the consequences. Unfortunately for Adriana, she’s lured into one last ride with Silvio.
3. Whitecaps (Season 4, Episode 13)
Best line: “More is lost by indecision than wrong decision,” Carmella Soprano
Edie Falco was always the best actress in this show and never is that more evident than during the season 4 finale. After Tony and Carmella’s fragile marriage comes crashing down amid crushing new revelations of infidelity, she delivers an incredibly raw and powerful series-defining performance. The episode is also punctuated with humour, as is so often the case, thanks to Tony’s unorthodox efforts to wriggle out of a real estate deal.
4. College (Season 1, Episode 5)
Best line: “One thing about us wiseguys, the hustle never ends,” Tony Soprano.
Much of the series centres on Tony’s efforts to balance his two lives: ruthless mob boss and loving family man. In “College” we see the two directly intersect for the first time. As he tours prospective universities with his daughter, Soprano stumbles upon a former mobster turned FBI informant. Revenge is, literally, within his grasp. But Meadow smells a rat in more ways than one, leading to some candid conversations.
5. Funhouse (Season 2, Episode 13)
Best line: “Rage, Anthony, is a big, loud, flaming self-distraction from feelings that are even more frightening.” – Dr. Melfi
Tony’s elaborate dream sequences were lasting hallmarks of Sopranos storytelling. In this food poisoning-induced journey into the subconscious, ‘T’ discovers what the audience has known for a while: His best friend, Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bompensiero is an FBI informant. In the season 2 finale, coinciding with Meadow’s high school graduation, Tony, Sil, Paulie and Puss take one last, chilling boat ride from the Jersey Shore.
6. Made in America (Season 6, Episode 21)
Best line: “In the midst of death, we are in life, huh? Or is it the other way around?” – Paulie Walnuts
Debates will rage about the finale forever. Does the abrupt cut to black signify the Tony’s death? Or the death of the show? Most people initially thought their TV cut out when Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ comes to a sudden halt. Away from the controversial final scene, David Chase saved one of the most intense, edge-of-the-seat episodes until the last, as the blood feud with New York’s Lupertazzi family reaches a grisly conclusion.
7. The Strong Silent Type (Season 4, Episode 10)
Best line: “You killed little Cosette? I ought to suffocate you, you little p***k!” – Tony Soprano
The more often you re-watch The Sopranos the funnier it gets. The comic highlight may be the Christopher’s intervention, when the family (both of them) confront him over his spiralling drug issues. After a brutal dressing down, Chrissy fires back with a few home truths of his own, with hilariously violently results.
8. Kennedy & Heidi (Season 6, Episode 18)
Best line: "Anyway, he’s gone now, our Chrissy. Crazy f****n’ maniac." – Silvio Dante
Tony’s relationship with his nephew Christopher is one of the show’s most complex (and important). His paternal instincts granted Chris more leeway than others, while the nephew’s constant desire to win approval bred feelings of inadequacy that manifested in self-destructive behaviour. Chris eventually runs out of rope in this episode when Tony – in a character revealing moment –calmly finishes off his nephew, following an horrendous car accident. Once again, it’s self-preservation at all costs for Tony Soprano.
9. Employee of the Month (Season 3, Episode 4)
Best line: “She's so fat, when she goes camping, the bears have to hide their food.”
After Tony’s therapist Dr Melfi is brutally attacked, the justice system fails her. But there is one man who could help? Will she break her moral code and set the rottweiler on her attacker?
10. Fortunate Son (Season 3, Episode 3)
Best line: “He sat on one ass cheek the whole way over!” Silvio Dante
Christopher finally gets his heart’s desire and becomes a ‘Made Guy’ in this episode, and we get to see the sacred making ceremony for the first and only time in the series. However, Chrissy soon realises life as a member isn’t as glamourous or relaxing as he’d hoped.
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