!!The Television Show:

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: A huge theme of the show. Nearly all of the characters are unprecedentedly rich with psychological nuance, complex (and often conflicting) emotions, and words and actions which can be interpreted in a number of ways. The show treasures ambiguity, and thus refuses any easy categorizations for its characters or anything else.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
** "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWUW2Vcb_-k Woke Up This Morning]]" by Alabama 3, a song whose tone and lyrics are so perfectly suited to the show that you'll be astonished it wasn't composed for it.
** Also, Music/{{Journey}}'s "Don't Stop Believin'", as used in the [[NoEnding final]] [[SmashToBlack scene.]]
** The two sequences in the season three premiere where the ''Peter Gunn'' theme and "Every Breath You Take" are played over each other. The two songs have the exact same beat and mesh perfectly.
* BrokenBase:
** Season four, which either sucked out loud or was a good season that got crapped on because the show took an introspective turn.
** Too much yakking and not enough whacking, or plenty of character development and drama?
** The finale split people into camps of "lifers" and "deadheads" for months after with people on one side occasionally claiming that if you didn't agree with their take you weren't a real fan and simply didn't get the show.
** Go to IMDB's message board for the series and you'll see that half the threads are either "Lifers vs Deadheads" threads or turn into focusing on that question at some point or another.
* CompleteMonster: [[AxCrazy Richie Aprile]] sticks out as the most crazy and evil gangster in a world of crazy and evil gangsters. Impulsive, violent, greedy and callous, Richie at one point paralyzes a man with a car solely for perceiving disrespect. He's such a loose cannon that Tony has to stop him from killing gamblers at their casino for no reason. He also [[WouldHitAGirl beats his fiancée]] for nothing more than saying she'd accept his son for being gay, which culminates in her snapping and murdering him herself. Beside that, he has numerous observations by other characters that he cares about no one but himself.
* CreatorsPet:
** Vito in season 6. Partly because his big arc was largely filler designed to pad out the first half of season six, due to Chase and HBO wanting to drag out the series for one final batch of episodes which had not yet been written.
** Also Jackie Jr. in season 3.
* CrossesTheLineTwice:
** Much of the humor is built on BlackComedy and RefugeInAudacity, from both the writers and the characters. BloodyHilarious examples abound.
** Christopher's intervention has to be seen to be believed. The line-crossing happens when Adriana starts crying because Christopher, in a heroin haze, sat on her fluffy little dog and killed it. The gangsters then give up on the touchy-feely stuff and resort to beating the hell out of Christopher.
* EnsembleDarkHorse:
** Paulie Walnuts.
** Furio Giunta.
** Drea de Matteo as Adriana. She went from a being an extra in the pilot and a minor character in the first season to one of the most popular characters and a big hit with critics [[spoiler: especially in season 5 when her storyline came to a head and fans were devastated by the death of the character.]] Drea de Matteo won the Emmy for her performance in that episode.
** Rogert Loggia as Feech la Manna.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: An argument about an Army career for A.J., before TheWarOnTerror.
--> '''Carmela''' You wanna train him to be a professional killer?
--> '''Tony:''' Oh will you stop! They're soldiers. And the United States Army hardly ever goes to war anymore.
* GeniusBonus:
** Not so much "genius" as "location", for obvious reasons, Jersey people get a big kick out of this show. New Jersey-based sportswriter Peter King bragged in his column that he interviewed Michael Strahan in the same booth where the show ended.
** Carmella reading Flaubert's ''Literature/MadameBovary'' in Season 5 will seem a lot more meaningful if you know that it's a novel about an unsatisfied housewife who has an extramarital affair. Fittingly, the book is recommended to her by Robert Wegler, who she ultimately ends up sleeping with.
** The ''Madame Bovary'' parallel goes a step further if you also note that the ''other'' major literary work that Carmella and Wegner discuss is ''The Letters of Abelard and Heloise'', with Carmella clearly empathizing with Heloise's isolation and her doomed love affair. ''Madame Bovary'' also includes a major character named Heloise Dubuc, who was Charles Bovary's wife in his unhappy first marriage; their marriage never worked out, in large part, because Bovary was in love with the titular character long before he actually married her. Carmella likely relates to Dubuc as well, since she reads the book as she's just getting used to the idea that Tony never really loved her.
* GenreTurningPoint: For the ''entire medium of television''. Not only did ''Series/TheSopranos'' make {{HBO}} universally known, it also established that high quality television drama can compete with film and literature in terms of telling artfully constructed, sophisticated stories for adults. ''TheSopranos'' is also credited with demonstrating that shows with complicated, [[ContinuitySnarl continuity-heavy plots]] that didn't spoonfeed information to the audience could be successful--a revelation without which shows like ''Series/TheWire'' and ''Series/GameOfThrones'' would undoubtedly never have been greenlit. This eventually started spreading to basic cable as well, starting with ''Series/MadMen'' (created by a ''Sopranos'' veteran), and most notably executed with ''Series/BreakingBad''. It also made the [[KilledOffForReal deaths of major characters]] a regular device in its storytelling, [[AnyoneCanDie to the point that]] ''[[AnyoneCanDie nobody]]'' [[AnyoneCanDie was completely safe.]] This is now a staple of acclaimed television dramas. While other series had done many of these things before (such as ''Series/BabylonFive''), ''The Sopranos'' brought them all together or was not restricted by something like the SciFiGhetto, allowing to become the turning point for television. All of this has brought about what many consider to be a golden age of dramatic television.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** During Christopher's drug intervention, he counters Tony's criticism of his addiction by decrying Tony's weight and says that he's gonna die of a heart attack by the time he's 50. James Gandolfini died of a heart attack on June 19, 2013 at 51 years old.
** Any scene between Tony and Meadow, because James Gandolfini never got to spend that kind of time with his own daughter, who was born just a few months before his death.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** One of the subplots of the final season was Tony losing a grip on his gambling addiction, culminating in a scene where he loses thousands of dollars on a NY Jets game. New York has the game in hand, until Buffalo Quarterback J.P. Losman fumbles the ball, picks it back up again, and runs it in for a touchdown to win the game. Flash forward to when that game was actually played in New Jersey: Buffalo has the game in hand, until J.P. Losman fumbles the ball to the ''Jets'', who then run it in for a touchdown to win the game.
** Once upon a time, ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' had [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgBD94cs0T8 a parody of the show]] that depicted just how disjointed the show would be if ''Series/TheSopranos'' was shown on a non-premium cable channel and edited for all manner of violence, sex, and foul, abusive language. The actual syndicated version on A&E isn't as bad as the parody ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' came up with (which depicted ''The Sopranos'' on PAX, of all channels, and featured an entire episode lasting ''less than five minutes''), but it's still pretty funny that the show predicted that ''Series/TheSopranos'' would be EditedForSyndication.
** The major at the military school that Tony wants to send AJ to in season three. Who goes on about how society is making the current generation dependent on drugs, later becomes [[Film/{{Saw}} a man who puts through people through death traps to better themselves and make them appreciate their lives]].
** [[RetroactiveRecognition Then-unknown Michael K. Williams]] has a small cameo in "Army of One" where, among other things, he [[Series/TheWire watches Jackie Jr. get a chess lesson]].
** In the Season 6 episode "Mayhem", Silvio angrily yells "Am I speakin' ''Norwegian'' here?" when trying to settle an argument between Bobby and Vito. [[Series/{{Lilyhammer}} Then, in 2012...]]
* IAmNotShazam: The central crime family in the show is officially called "the [=DiMeo=] family", not "the Soprano family"; the title refers to Tony Soprano's biological family, not his business one.
* InternetBackdraft:
** The web was a scary place to be after the series finale.
** Ask a room full of TV connoisseurs which is the greatest TV series of all time, ''Series/TheSopranos'', ''Series/TheWire'' or ''Series/BreakingBad''. Go on. Ask.
* ItWasHisSled: It's hard to find someone who didn't know about the show without hearing about how the finale ended.
* JerkassWoobie: Almost all the main cast qualify at one point or another, but Tony and especially Paulie exemplify this. However, as the series progresses, their shadier actions start to outweigh their sympathetic qualities. Even Bobby Baccala proves from time to time that even if it isn't his normal personality, he can [[PunchClockVillain put on a very frightening persona. Ask a union rep who crossed Junior at one point.]]
** Uncle Jr, especially in the final season.
** Vito. He's a slimy, maneuvering worm, but some part of you just wants him to [[spoiler: stay in New Hampshire and marry NiceGuy Johnnycakes.]]
** Adriana. Almost a ButtMonkey but you'd have to be a cold bastard not to feel some sympathy for her...or a member of the mob.
** Christopher can sometimes fall here when he isn't a complete psycho. For example, when he was being bullied by the two Tonies.
** Carmela. [[spoiler:Most of the time (due to Tony’s philandering, among other reasons), but particularly in Season 5 where she’s separated from Tony and constantly blamed, berated and generally pushed to breaking point by an adolescent and abusive A.J.]]
** Bobby Baccala. Nobody else compares. [[spoiler: Father killed off one season, his wife the next. And then he ''married Janice.'' Poor bastard. And then Tony goads him in to punching Tony in the mouth. Then Tony forces Bobby (who is not AxCrazy like his comrades) to commit a murder as a punishment.]]
* MagnificentBastard: Although Tony tried, it was his mother Livia who could have defined it.
* MemeticMutation: It didn't last very long, but there were dozens of copies and parodies of the final scene all over Website/YouTube immediately after the show ended. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5yN_R5I7dE The Pittsburgh Pirates parody]] was the most famous. Also in one of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shKJk3Rph0E Hilary Clinton's earliest campaign ads]] in the 2008 Presidential Election, when she used it to introduce her new campaign song.
* MoralEventHorizon: Oh, so many. It is a show about the mob, afterall. In case the whole "lying, cheating, stealing and murdering" thing isn't enough, here are some specific ones:
** Livia putting a hit on Tony, her own son.
** Richie crossed it with Beansie's brutal paralyzation... just for perceive disrespect. However, his attempts to kill gamblers in a casino ForTheEvulz, just continues with the MoralEventHorizon.
** The aforementioned incident involving Ralph and a stripper.
** [[spoiler: Paulie]] murdering [[spoiler: an old woman... ''with his bare hands'']].
** [[spoiler: Christopher ratting out Adriana, leading to her murder.]]
** Phil Leotardo crossed it with Vito's extremely brutal murder.
** A very debatable one occurs when Ralph gains some sympathy after his son is injured, but it turns out that [[spoiler: he killed Tony's beloved race horse for the insurance money. Debatable because Ralph never actually admits to it and there's no proof that he was responsible. An argument can be made that Tony's love for animals was responsible for how he couldn't see the horse's death as anything but murder, and his dreams in the following episode seem to hint he knew deep down that Ralph may have been innocent in the matter.
* {{Narm}}: Tony's final scene with his mother, an extremely awkward mix of new footage of James Gandolfini and outtakes of the late Nancy Marchand which never comes close to being convincing.
* OneSceneWonder:
** Valery the Russian and his brief but memorable ''performance'' in "Pine Barrens", one of the most acclaimed episodes of the series.
** Lou [=DiMaggio=] and the Atwell Avenue Boys.
** Dr. Krakower, an aged jewish psycho-therapist that Carmella sees in "Second Opinion", he's in exactly one scene. He accurately tears apart her delusions of Tony being "a good man", and offers some of the most memorable lines in the series.
** And of course, the unnamed patron in Holsten's in the final scene credited as "Man in Members Only Jacket" (or MOG to the fans). He may not have any lines, but [[spoiler:the fans who do believe that Tony was killed in the final episode have this man to thank.]]
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: A video game entitled ''The Sopranos: Road to Respect'' was released for the PlayStation2 featuring an original plotline based on notes by David Chase and voiceovers by the TV cast, and while critics praised the story and voice acting, the gameplay was criticized as being shallow and repetitive.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Michael K. Williams has a brief cameo in the Season 3 finale, about a year before he became known as the fan favorite character Omar Little on ''Series/TheWire''.
** The doctor who diagnoses Phil Leotardo in "Kaisha" is played by Aasif Mandvi, who had yet to become well-known for his appearances on ''Series/TheDailyShow''.
** A fifteen-year-old Stefani Germanotta--who would later become known to the world as Music/LadyGaga--briefly appears in "The Telltale Moozadell" as one of the girls watching A.J. and his friends vandalize the Verbum Dei swimming pool.
** Major Carl Zwingli (the principal of Hudson Military Institute in "Army of One") is played by Tobin Bell, who would later become known for his iconic role as Jigsaw in the ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' movies.
** An eighteen-year-old Creator/PaulDano appears in two episodes as A.J.'s friend Patrick Whalen.
** Will Arnett appears in 2 episodes of Season 4 as (the relatively quiet and kind) FBI agent Mike Waldrup, roughly a year before ''ArrestedDevelopment'' began airing and he became known for playing bombastic, JerkAss characters.
* SeasonalRot: Varies depending on who you talk to. Seasons 1, 2 and 5 are generally agreed upon as being great. Season 6 (Part 1) and Season 4 generally receive the highest complaint value, though season 4 has its fans.
** Season 6 (Part 2) tends to be lumped together with 1, 2, and 5 in acclaim, though one's opinion on the series finale can also be a huge factor in influencing whether it's a slight step down or just as good/better.
* TheScrappy: Some people really hate Jackie Jr. for his gangsta wannabe and SpoiledBrat behaviour.
* SpecialEffectFailure:
** One episode has Tony and co. cheering at what is obviously stock footage of a horse race.
** Tony's last conversation with [[spoiler: Livia. [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Nancy Marchand's death]] necessitated that the character be written out, so the crew employed CGI to superimpose Marchand's image on another actress' body. It was not convincing]]
* {{Wangst}}: Most of Chris Moltisanti's screentime throughout Seasons 3 and 4 is spent getting drunk/high and going on long tangents of self-pity to his fiancee. After he gets sober, most of his screentime is spent complaining to her and his AA compatriots about how nobody takes his sobriety seriously.
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!!The Pinball Game:

* ValuesDissonance: This occurs if the game is set with "Adult Mode" turned off. Apparently, cursing and profanity is bad, but committing arson, burying bodies in the Meadowlands, and beating up civilians in shakedowns is okay.