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Anthony John "Tony" Soprano

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tonysopranothesopranos.jpg
"A wrong decision is better than indecision."
Played by: James Gandolfini

"All due respect, you got no fuckin' idea what it's like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other fuckin' thing. It's too much to deal with almost. And in the end you're completely alone with it all."
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The central character of the series. Capo and later Don of the DiMeo Crime Family, Tony Soprano has to juggle between the mounting pressure of running a crime organization and everyday problems with his family. After suffering a panic attack and collapsing on his son's birthday, Tony has no choice but to see a psychiatrist.

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    A-F 
  • 24-Hour Armor: In the final season. During the Mob War of 2007, he always carries a carbine rifle with him, to the point of sleeping with it.
  • Action Dad: He's a family man and a ruthless mob boss at the same time.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Played with. Tony Soprano cites Sigmund Freud (whom he learned about in his "semester and a half" of college) to explain to Melfi that he understands therapy "as a concept", but the show deals with psychology a lot, and it really isn't here. Often called the most accurate fictional depiction of what actually happens in therapy. Tony however is diagnosed with a compelling Freudian Excuse and Freud is also the Trope Codifier for Oedipus Complex, one of the Freudian Excuses mentioned often by Melfi despite Tony's repulsion.
  • Abusive Parents: In flashbacks, both of his parents are portrayed as highly manipulative and callous narcissists who regularly prioritized their own needs at their children's expense. Whereas Tony's father is portrayed as a corrupting influence who was alarmingly indifferent to his children's emotional well-being, his mother, Livia, is revealed to have regularly subjected Tony and his siblings to physical and emotional abuse that has left them psychologically scarred as adults.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Between his Lack of Empathy, Hair-Trigger Temper, uncontrolled outburst of frustration, and grandiose sense of entitlement, there's definitely something wrong with him. While the psychiatrists in the show clearly diagnose Tony as an incurable criminal psychopath, there are several moments throughout the series when he is seen expressing true remorse for his actions as well as acting on genuine feelings of altruism, so yeah, he has a vague mental disorder left to viewers interpretation.
  • Anti-Hero: An Unscrupulous or Nominal Hero for the first few seasons. He's a con artist, a thug, a murderer, an extortionist and an adulterer. But he also has a genuine love for his family and close friends, wants to make sure his children are well provided for, tries to keep innocents and those not involved in the business out of harm's way, has moments of guilt and vulnerability over how he hurts others, and makes an effort to help out others or do the right thing occasionally. However, over time he becomes increasingly callous and self-centered as the stress and power of being Boss goes to his head, and he loses almost all of his previous virtues and standards. By Season 4 he's become a full on Villain Protagonist.
  • Anti-Villain: It's clear from the get-go that Tony is a bad man, but he possesses a few altruistic qualities that set him apart from his underlings. Although it's probably motivated more by pragmatism than a desire to do right, he tries to keep his gang's activities discrete, quiet, and bloodless while minimizing the destructive excesses of his more unruly compatriots. More than anyone else in the family, he's horrified at Richie paralyzing Beansie and the brutal murder of Tracee. However, in Season 3, he begins to compromise what few principles he has by assenting to the rise of Ralph Cifaretto, a depraved mobster whose wanton cruelty completely disgusts him. By the end of the series, he's resigned himself to being evil and given up on maintaining any kind of moral guidelines.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of all his enemies, Richie, Ralph and Phil were Tony's biggest headaches.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: While Tony recovers from a severe gunshot wound, he notices that his old lieutenants don't follow his orders as readily as they used to, and he suspects that they now see him as weak. Tony responds by goading his hotheaded, musclebound bodyguard into fighting him. He kicks the everloving shit out of the much younger man in front of his entire crew, to their visible shock, then calmly walks into the bathroom and coughs up blood into the sink. No one questions his orders after that.
  • Ax-Crazy: Tony possesses a highly impulsive, homicidal personality which often leads him to make rash judgments with little forethought of the consequences. In fact, his anger caused Ralphie's brutal death, and having Coco seriously injured. On another occasion, he was even willing to murder Paulie.
  • Bad Boss: He's abusive towards his underlings and is not above killing them for personal reasons. Cites I'm Not Here to Make Friends and Machiavelli Was Right sometimes.
  • Badass Boast: "I'm the motherfucking fucking one who calls the shots! And you better pay me the respect, that I gave your brother. Or we're gonna have a problem... a bad one."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: In several occasions he wears nice suits and takes care to make himself presentable.
  • Badass in Charge: Acrofatic and very strong when he literally throws a guy onto a table with meat on it. He even beats Ralph despite being pepper-sprayed and other handicaps.
  • Bald of Evil: He's somewhat bald and a ruthless mob boss.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Most of the time, crime does not pay... or not enough.
  • Being Good Sucks: He often makes little effort to change his ways though as it is easier to stay as a jerk. When he does some sort of favor for Artie, a Morality Pet of sorts, Tony ends up rationalizing that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Charmingly summed up by his motto "I don't shit where I eat".
  • Berserk Button: Junior remarking that Tony "never had the makings of a varsity athlete" royally pisses him.
    • Animal abuse consistently outrages him.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Two instead of one. He tries to unscrew'em, often with backfiring results as in one way or another he is one of the main problems.
  • Black and Grey Morality: How he sees the world.
    Melfi: [on Christopher] Do you think he'll go to hell?
    Tony: No. He's not the type that deserves hell.
    Melfi: Who do you think does?
    Tony: The worst people. The twisted and demented psychos who kill people for pleasure, the cannibals, the degenerate bastards that molest and torture little kids. They kill babies. The Hitlers. The Pol Pots. Those are the evil fucks that deserve to die, not my nephew.
    Melfi: What about you?
    Tony: What? Hell? You been listening to me? No, for the same reasons. We're soldiers. Soldiers don't go to hell. It's war. Soldiers they kill other soldiers. We're in a situation where everyone involved knows the stakes and if your gonna accept those stakes you gotta do certain things. It's business. Soldiers. We follow codes, orders.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Tony is a Politically Incorrect Villain whose profession is long past its heyday in the mid-20th Century.
  • Broken Ace: Top of the line in his profession, wealthy, charismatic, powerful, ruthless, has keen business acumen, a beautiful family, and drop-dead goomahs. Underneath it all, he suffers from some serious Parental Issues and other mental problems, which cause him to have panic attacks.
  • Broken Pedestal: Many old-school mobsters and his father don't live up to his memories. He himself is one for Christopher.
  • The Bully: He's one towards his associates. Tony is a successful manager, but he verbally shreds his underlings on a regular basis.
  • Bully Hunter: Despite being a major bully himself, Tony reacts angrily to others abusing the defenseless and those who are not part of the mobster lifestyle (and are thus fair game). Abuse of animals, which are both, is a particular Berserk Button.
  • Cain and Abel: The close relative variety with Tony B and Christopher.
  • Carpet of Virility: A manly raw trait prominently seen in his private life.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "You've gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me!"
    • "End of story".
  • The Chains of Commanding: The hardships of being a boss is a central part of his character. In-universe, he fluctuates between Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster! and Blessed with Suck.
  • Character Tics:
    • Tends to facepalm, touch his face, or run his hand over his head a lot when he's agitated or unamused by something.
    • Breathes heavily through his nose when he's pissed off.
  • Childhood Friends: With Artie Bucco.
  • Cigar Chomper: Look at the picture. He tends to smoke a cigar very often.
  • Cool Car: His awesome Cadillac.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Zig-Zagged. Sure, Tony has a nice house, nice suits and makes a lot of money, but he has to face his boorish family all the time (and vice versa), suffers from depression and anxiety attacks, and he always has to worry about his "friends" turning on him, maybe leading to his arrest or assassination.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments. Tends to mix sarcasm and plain bluntness. An example:
    Tony: What did you wanna talk about?
    Richie: Fuckin' Dick Barone!
    Tony: Well, as long as the two of you are happy.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of what it means to be a mob boss. Instead of a sophisticated, respectful Don, he's a brutal, vindictive mob boss with a lot of stress, anxiety, depression, anger issues and Dysfunctional Family.
  • The Don: A relatively rustic one, as the Jersey mob plays in a minor league compared to the families of New York.
  • The Dutiful Son: The one who took care of his mother after his sisters had moved on with their lives.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Zigzagged; sometimes the therapy leads him to be somehow gentler, but most of the time, it is a tool to hone his managerial (read criminal) skills.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Although the Mafia is of course restricted to ethnic Italians — and it seems the Jersey crime family is fairly strict with that rule — Tony is more than happy to do business with anyone who won't snitch. And although he professes to be disgusted by homosexuality, it's clear when Vito is outed that he hates the idea of giving up a big earner much, much more than he's interested in enforcing traditional Mafia norms.
  • Erotic Dream: He has had more than a few erotic dreams throughout the series, including one with his psychiatrist Dr. Melfi in her office.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: A very complex issue. Straight example at first, he has many reasons for contempt and as befits a depressive individual, he goes through phases of love, hate, denial, anger, and acceptance. By the end of the series, he seems willing to apply a nostalgia filter over his sociopathic mother.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He really cares about his children, after all.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: A major part of his character. Despite his profession, he does all that he can to prevent innocent people getting hurt in the process and was horrified at Ralph's brutal murder of the stripper he impregnated and tried to abandon. Similarly, he grows increasingly disgusted with his late father after learning of the extent to which he disregarded his family's needs and silently vows to never become like him.
  • Evil Genius: Tony is observant, intelligent, and the brains behind the Jersey mob.
  • Evil Is Petty: He never forgets to take time to treat people under him terribly.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: He doesn't want AJ to join the mob life.
  • Expy: Of Michael Corleone from The Godfather. While lacking Michael's level-headedness and sophistication, Tony is nonetheless strikingly similar given that both characters feel irrevocably tied to a career in organized crime due to their heritage and struggle to balance their lifestyles as crime bosses and family men while failing miserably.
  • Fatal Flaw: Wrath.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Zigzags between this and Affably Evil. He can be genuinely friendly and does make an effort to look out for those he cares about, but he gradually loses any real redeeming qualities.
    • He will often act friendly to those he is just about to do something horrible to, like Jackie Jr and Phil Leotardo, just to taunt them. This is mostly relegated to people who piss him off, but Tony clearly gets a kick out of it.
  • Fat Bastard: Gets fatter and more evil as the series goes on, in fact.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: A very savvy one, he invokes Loophole Abuse by tainting every potential attorney with a conflict of interest.
  • Formerly Fit: In high school he was much more lean and athletic, having played on the football team.
  • Freudian Excuse: He hates the mere concept of the excuse, yet he's diagnosed with a very powerful one; Tony was literally born into the mob, and his abusive parents wrote the proverbial book about how not to raise a model citizen. His mommy issues are one of his major malfunctions, he's full of love and hate towards his unpleasable mother, and constantly struggles with his "Well Done, Son!" Guy nature.
    This is gonna sound stupid, but I saw at one point that our mothers are... bus drivers. No, they are the bus. See, they're the vehicle that gets us here. They drop us off and go on their way. They continue on their journey. And the problem is that we keep tryin' to get back on the bus, instead of just lettin' it go.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Despite his willingness to kill people, Tony is an avid animal lover, stemming from being traumatized by the loss of his childhood dog, and has shown it many times in the series.
    • After he heard Christopher accidentally suffocated Adrianna's dog, he was outright furious, saying to Christopher "I oughta suffocate you, you little prick!". Ironically, he sort of does.

    G-L 
  • The Gambling Addict: Gets progressively worse towards the end of the series. At one point, he tries to get Carmela to use the profits off a house sale to bet on the Jets.
  • Genius Bruiser: Undoubtedly a smart guy, although without much formal education (he never finished college). What book learning he has, he only really has a vague grasp of, although that's enough to set him apart from the others. He's particularly in tune with Sun Tzu's The Art of War. And of course, he's a tough guy.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Becomes short-fused by many of the things that anger him.
  • Has a Type: Brunettes with strong personality and independence. It's explicitly addressed there is a resemblance to his mother.
  • Hate Sink: Subverted. In many episodes, it became evidently clear that Tony was meant to be despised by the audience for his little regard for human life (sometimes bordering in Ax-Crazy), pettiness, and the rude, impolite way he treats his comrades, friends and family. Though he DOES have Pet the Dog moments, these tend to be rather rare. The Los Angeles Review of Books pointed this:
    "It is a tribute to the show’s complexity — and Gandolfini’s skill — that Tony’s charisma is gradually dissipated by the mounting disgust we begin to feel for him. One can’t help but notice how this mob boss, a killer to the core, gradually chokes out the lives of those he is closest to. It is a deeply ambivalent affection, if any, we end up feeling for Tony. And yet, it is difficult to entirely let go of our attachment to him, the way it would be difficult to detach oneself from a toxic family member."
    • Became one when he forces Bobby to murder someone over something trivial as he feels Bobby offended his pride by beating him in a fight. After Tony was antagonizing Janice and refused to stop when Bobby asked.
  • Heroic BSoD: His panic attacks.
  • The Hero Dies: One interpretation of his final fate in the finale.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He believes all men should be "The strong, silent type like Gary Cooper". He repeatedly proves himself to be neither, easily losing his temper.
    • He goes ballistic at even the thought of his wife cheating on him, and is furious at Jackie Jr. for being unfaithful to Meadow. Tony himself sleeps around all the time.
    • Throughout the series, he ridicules the stereotypical psychiatric patient whining about his mother. In the series finale, Tony delivers a self-pitying monologue about his hard childhood to AJ's therapist.
    • After Bobby beats him in a fight, Tony berates him for "sucker-punching" him, calling it a cheap move, this despite almost every fight Tony's won in the series being started by him sucker punching the other guy.
    • Christopher calls him one to his face in "Amour Fou", after Jackie Aprile Jr. and his friends rob Eugene Pontecorvo's card game. Chris calls for Jackie's head, as made men were shot at, with Furio being wounded and dealer Sunshine fatally hit, but Tony intimates he wants to give Jackie a pass, as Jackie Sr. was his close friend. Chris explicitly states that Tony expects everyone else to follow the rules, while Tony himself does whatever he pleases, ignoring the rules if they're inconvenient.
  • Iconic Outfit: The white bathrobe, A-shirt, and slippers, which are inherited by his Cleaver expy.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: He briefly went to college, was an athlete, and sometimes remarks his life could have been very different under other circumstances, as he remembers that his mother frustrated the more legit dreams of his father.
  • It's All About Me: At first, he's self-involved. By the end of the series, it's warped to the point that he sees everyone (aside from his immediate family) as a tool for his own gratification or self-advancement and increasingly devotes all his time jealously guarding the power he spent his whole criminal career accumulating.
  • Jerkass: Even without his stone-cold personality and ruthlessness, he is still a big asshole. He's rude and impolite in his interactions with everybody. He seemed to have improved after being shot by Junior; however, he eventually sinks back into jerkass mode by the end of the series.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Whilst he is abusive towards Georgie, he is still paying him a salary as he himself points out and the latter should be able to work a phone at his age.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gradually subverted. He genuinely loves his family and friends, and he really does make an effort to change his ways, but is too long immersed in violence to do it. But as time goes on, he discards his virtues and becomes just as despicable as the mob bosses he rams heads with. He also ends up hurting the family and friends he claims to care about with his own selfish behavior and narcissism, as well as murdering both his cousin and nephew. By the end of the show, he possesses almost no redeeming qualities at all.
  • Jerk Jock: In high school as a star athlete for the Varsity football team. Nevertheless, even as a middle-aged mobster, he frequently displays a lingering fondness for locker-room humor, much to the annoyance of his wife and children.
  • Justified Criminal: See Freudian Excuse for more details.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He does get away with a lot of bad things... until Junior shoot him. The last scene of the series implies Tony might have been killed in front of his family, or not.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite growing increasingly bald and fat with age, his notorious reputation as the powerful Don of a Mafia family, and his charismatic personality work almost unfailingly in his favor when seducing women. He often cheats on his wife, who became attracted to him for similar reasons while in high school (coupled with the fact that he was considerably more attractive then, as evidenced by a flashback from "In Camelot").
  • Kick the Dog: A central part of his characterization. Often his non-evil actions are followed by malignant and purely spiteful actions towards someone. Georgie, bartender at the Bada Bing, is one of the frequent dogs.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Tony's compulsive murder of Christopher, the same man who saw Tony as a Mentor in earlier seasons.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Some of his victims fall under this, such as Bevilaqua and Ralphie.
  • Large and in Charge: He is a big dude and The Don. While he rarely has to get physical, he's quite capable and acrofatic when he does.
  • Loan Shark: Usury makes up a big portion of Tony's income, and he is ruthless when someone misses a payment even to old friends.
  • Lonely at the Top: Lacks genuine friends; the closest ones he has are Jackie Aprile Sr., Pussy Bonpensiero, as well as Artie Bucco, with whom he has been friends since childhood. Jackie and Pussy die early on (the latter by Tony's own hand), and he increasingly alienates Artie as the title of "Boss" goes to his head.
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    M-R 
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Nice suits and a good dinner. That's his good taste.
  • Mentor: For Christopher in the earlier seasons.
  • The Movie Buff: Has a wide collection of works and a projection room in his house. He regularly watches movies or documentaries at home and usually draws conclusions from them that he then applies to family or business matters.
  • Narcissist: Despite displaying redeeming qualities such as a heartfelt concern for his family's well-being along with a childlike fondness for animals, he is portrayed throughout the series as an exceedingly vain and ruthless mobster who considers himself entitled to unquestioned respect or obedience from those around him. However, unlike most real-life narcissists, he demonstrates empathy for certain people in his life. He's aware of how his actions affect others and feels legitimately guilty when innocents end up in the firing line, as was the case when Ralphie murdered Tracee. Nevertheless, he is too consumed by his own selfish desires to meaningfully change his ways. Ultimately it's left ambiguous as to what the precise nature of Tony's mental dysfunction is, and whether he's truly heartless..
  • Necessarily Evil: He believes many of his evil actions are a lesser evil, and sometimes the show portrays him in this light — particularly considering that most alternatives for head of the Jersey crew are shown to be too violent, too cruel, too stupid, or unable to handle the pressure.
  • Nervous Wreck: Tony's anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are what lead him to start taking therapy sessions from Dr. Melfi at the beginning of the series.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Tony maintains a policy of not killing civilians, although it doesn't stop him from abusing and exploiting them.
  • Never My Fault: Everything is always someone else's fault, be it Chris, Paulie, or his mother. His refusal to take responsibility all but destroys most of his relationships by the end.
  • Noble Bigot: From his point of view, anyway. In reality he's overtly mean and bigoted towards Meadow's boyfriend Noah just because he's black and mildly self-absorbed.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Tony was based on real-life New Jersey mobster Vincent "Vinny Ocean" Palermo, who later became the DeCavalcante crime family's acting boss before becoming an FBI informant in 2003. Elements of Sam DeCavalcante were also added to Tony Soprano.
  • Nominal Hero: Tony is hardly a model human being but he's generally better than most of his enemies and tries to avoid harming civilians or people not involved in the business. However this is gradually subverted as the show goes on and by the end he has barely any standards whatsoever and is just as ruthless as his enemies.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: His final fate. Something very controversial and continues to be so today is what happened with Tony Soprano at the end of the series. It doesn't help the fact that David Chase gave a very vague answer about this.
  • Papa Wolf: Tony pistol whips and curbstomps New York mobster Coco after he finds out that he made some drunken vile sexual insults towards his daughter.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Shows more morals than his colleagues, but sometimes has to do the wrong thing because it's what is expected of a ruling mob boss.
  • Pet the Dog: A number of moments with his children as well as his love of animals and a genuine concern for his closed ones. Deconstructed in that this care and considerations usually are the cause of more evil deeds.
    • A straightforward, if twisted example: in "To Save Us All From Satan's Power", when Tony sees that Janice is still suffering pain from the Russian mobster's retaliatory attack, he takes steps to hunt the guy down and, along with Furio, beat seven shades of shit out of him. When Janice finds out what Tony did, she is genuinely moved to tears.
    • A particularly poignant one occurs in "Employee of the Month". When Dr. Melfi is raped and the perpetrator is allowed to go free on a technicality, she feels helpless and betrayed by the political justice system. She seriously considers telling Tony about the attack, enlisting him to exact brutal revenge against the rapist, but ultimately decides against it. At the end of the episode, Melfi breaks into tears during her therapy session with Tony, who gets up from his chair and puts his hand on her shoulder, and asks in the gentlest manner he could manage "what's wrong?". What's notable here is that Tony's strong sexual attraction for Dr. Melfi has been well documented, but there is no hint of lust or other prurient intent here: he's genuinely concerned for her as a human being and surprisingly tender.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He has rather derogatory, disrespectful viewpoints towards ethnic minorities and gays.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: A ruthless boss who knows when to avoid a given action for the sake of the business, not out of moral qualms.
  • Properly Paranoid: He is very prone to this, as expected from a mob boss with anxiety and depression. He knows RICO and the government are out there stalking him time and again.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: He shows various signs of this, if his anger issues is any indication.
  • Raised Catholic: Pays little regard to religion, but has a vague adherence towards Roman Catholicism.
  • Really Gets Around: Has plenty of mistresses and one-night stands in spite of the fact that he's not exactly catwalk material.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Tony to Feech La Manna: "That's another thing. I don't want to hear anymore how it was in your day. From now on, keep your antidotes to local color, like Dinoflow or Maguire sisters. Otherwise, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!"
  • Redemption Rejection: He Took a Level in Kindness after his Adventures In Coma Land, but Took a Level in Jerkass hit him once more.

    S-Z 
  • Sad Clown: While talking to his therapist, Tony Soprano describes himself as a "Sad Clown": putting on a happy, joking face to his family and friends while keeping his pain locked away. His claims come across more as self-pitying than anything else, given his behavior throughout the series.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: A given when one is a rich and powerful mobster. He also serves as the invoked connection for other characters.
  • Secret Identity: A paper thin one, he is a "waste management consultant" for Barone Sanitation and usually goes by the name of Mr. Spears in the civilian world.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Zig-zagged, he tends to favor casual and sportswear, but suits up when the occasion calls for it.
  • The Sociopath: Deconstructed, but ultimately subverted. While he displays some trademarks of sociopathy, including a grandiose sense of entitlement and poor impulse control, he is nevertheless revealed to be capable of experiencing genuine remorse for his crimes as well as making sincere (albeit largely ineffectual) attempts to perform acts of genuine kindness for those outside his immediate family. However, his self-absorbed and covetous nature is entirely consistent with narcissistic personality disorder.
  • The Stoic: What he would like to be, the strong, silent type, but to his chagrin the opposite of what he is. He points out there are too many therapists, disfunctions, and excuses for everything and people don't take things in stride anymore.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Tony is prone to this, a trait later recreated by the boss in Cleaver. Tony is also at the receiving end of a steak when he infuriates Gloria Trillo.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Seems to take a new level with each passing season.
  • Tragic Hero: Assuming his eventual downfall or assassination, Tony Soprano is probably the biggest example of a tragic hero in modern television. He actually wants to be a good person, a good father and a good husband, and he tries hard, even getting flashes where you hope he'll improved (such as when he realizes that the stripper Ralphie just murdered was the same age as his daughter), but is incapable of overcoming his own ego, shortsightedness and lack of empathy. And the fact that he's, you know, a mob boss.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Tony actively defies it with an artistic picture of Pie-O-My. He gets rid of it because it brings painful memories and gets very angry when he discovers that Paulie rescued it from the garbage and restored it. The picture is finally disposed of for good.
  • Tragic Villain: Despite being a hardened criminal, he has a very powerful reason why he's in The Mafia. Tony is emotionally manipulated and terrorized by his difficult mother throughout his childhood and well into his adult life. One notable incident featured his mother threatening to stick a fork in his eye when he was only ten years old. Tony's father was outwardly friendly, but also a manipulative sociopath who indoctrinated his son into violent crime and the mob. It's implied that the various degrees of emotional manipulation and terror Tony suffered under his parents is what turned him into the violent, savage man that heads the New Jersey crime families.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Zig-zagged. Sometimes his racism is used to show what a jerkass he is, but others it's shown that he mainly resents other races out of a genuine sense of loss for the world he once knew as the changing demographics of his city and America in general have resulted in the loss of much of the places and culture he grew up with.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Especially Paulie and Christopher.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When he's in a bad mood, Tony is brutal in every single way.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As shown during flashbacks.
  • Vader Breath: Breathes rapidly through his nose as he grows more agitated (making this a major danger signal), growing to wild boar-like breath when he's fully angered and/or violent.
  • Villain Protagonist: While having his fair share of Pet the Dog moments, he effectively discards nearly all of his virtues from Seasons 3-6 onward in favor of becoming an individual who is just as ruthless and destructive as his adversaries.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Jackie Aprile and Salvatore Bonpensiero, a.k.a. Big Pussy.
  • Wicked Cultured: Played with, a refined ruffian with some college background who likes to insert learned words, but often mangles them with malapropisms. In another life, from another background, he could have been an intellectual; as he is, not so much.
  • Would Hit a Girl: There are several scenes of him being violent with women, although he usually won't strike them unless they hit him first. The exception is Carmela. When he's furious with her he'll manhandle her but he won't bring himself to punch her.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: When someone calls him "Anthony", it's a sign of something serious. Most of his underlings simply call him T. or Ton.
  • Your Cheating Heart: A serial adulterer with quite a reputation. Having a goomah is an ancient tradition in the Mafia.

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