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Fridge / The Sopranos

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Remember that spoilers are unmarked in Fridge and Headscratchers.

Fridge Brilliance

  • The No Ending finale basically says that the whole point is that we don't know if Tony had a nice meal with his family, or was gunned down, or anything. Staying in that life, Tony will always have to watch his back.
  • Animals on the show are symbolic, and the symobolism is frequently addressed in dialogue.
    • The ducks in the pilot are Tony's family.
    • That bear that wouldn't leave Carmela alone in season five is clearly Tony.
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    • Big Pussy is associated with fish after his murder.
    • The horse Pie Oh My in season four represents innocence. Ralph's murder of her has an obvious link to to Ralph's murder of Tracee, who was objectively associated with Meadow.
    • In "Fortunate Son", Chris sees a crow watching him when he's getting made, which spooks him, and he references it again later as a bad omen.
    • In "Made in America", Paulie fears that the stray cat is a harbinger of doom, and Tony is possibly killed at the end of the episode.
  • One of Gloria Trillo's favorite songs is "Affection" by Steve Van Zandt. Sure, this doubles as an Actor Allusion to Van Zandt playing Silvio Dante and a clear sign that Gloria wants more affection from Tony, but one of the lines in the song is "I'm the spirit that haunts your dreams." In "The Test Dream", she literally haunts Tony's dream.
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  • When Artie confronts Tony with the rifle and accuses him of burning down his restaurant in "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano":
    Tony: Why the fuck would I blow up your restaurant?
    Artie: To help me! You fuckin' bent psycho. You hear your uncle's gonna hurt my business by stagin' a hit in my place, and that's your solution? To burn it down for the insurance money! What kind of stupid, sick, twisted logic?
  • Carmela's scathing eulogy of Livia in "Proshai Livushka" saved a drunk Artie from telling everyone that Tony burned down the original Vesuvio.
    • After hearing Carmela's verbal rampage about Livia that was supported by her father, Artie realizes that while he saw Livia as a harmless old woman, she was seen by everyone else as a mentally dysfunctional woman who was full of negative energies. He knew saying it then would be pointless, and would probably justify Carmela's rant even more.
    • Also, Artie remembering it was Livia who told him about Tony's involvement, he also got the idea that she manipulated him into Artie confronting Tony with the rifle to try committing the second and possibly successful assassination attempt on her son.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: The baby journals Livia never filled out. It bothered Carmella, as she was the one who brought them in the first place and served as one of the main factors in her "remembrance" of her spiteful mother-in-law.
  • After Tony kills Christopher in the aftermath of their car accident in "Kennedy and Heidi", he brings up how a tree branch destroyed the babyseat in the back. Why? To justify the murder to himself.
    • Tony focusing on the booster seat is actually a Call-Back to a certain other character who had an infanticide fixation. Double points for Tony killing Christopher by effectively smothering him, which is exactly what that same character said she would rather do to her children than send them to Nevada. Triple points for this method being what Tony himself tries to do to Livia after he finds out she really did try to have him killed. And quadruple points when you realize that Tony isn't trying to justify his actions, but genuinely believes he did the right thing (as he states to Melfi in his dream, where he has no reason to lie, exasperated by having to pretend he grieves for Christopher) because he now subconsciously sees Christopher and Livia as of the same kind.
  • When Tracee is introduced in the Bing in "University", Silvio refers to her as a "thoroughbred" to describe her good looks. The term typically is used to describe purebred horses. After Tracee is murdered by Ralphie, a horse becomes her allegorical stand-in to represent the unsettled conflict between Tony and Ralphie.
  • Ralph Cifaretto's obsession with Gladiator is a Running Gag. He ultimately dies in a one-on-one fight with Tony, much like the gladiators in the film.
  • When Johnny Sack shames himself by opening weeping in a Moment of Weakness at his daughter's wedding (due in no small part to the FBI's relentless attempt to humiliate him), Christopher immediately sides with Phil, who derides John's conduct and claims that he'd just lost all respect for him as a man. Chris himself breaks down weeping on many occasions throughout the series, but Tony has also been hugely antagonistic towards Christopher throughout the series, so it's easy to see why Chris is being hypocritical.
  • "Little Carmine" Lupertazzi was generally seen as a joke of a mobster, ridiculed for his lack of ambition disregarded due to his apparent low intellect and infamous for his over-the-top (even for the Sopranos characters) malapropisms. However, his lack of ambition earns him the right to leave the organization, something Eugene was prohibited from doing, and allows him to enjoy the wealth he's accumulated in comfort and safety. Understanding his wife's refusal to be "the richest widow on Long Island" is one of the wisest things a mobster does in the series.
  • When Chris discovers that Ralph has been wearing a toupee this whole time, Tony says that he's known all along. Chris is the youngest captain, so he didn't grow up with Ralph. Tony and the others have been around long enough to see the progression of Ralph's hair loss. Chris is probably the only one of their number who didn't know.
  • One of Richie's first scenes has him threaten Chris for hitting Adriana, since only a husband can discipline his wife physically. Later, Richie punches Janice for mouthing off at him, but they're not married. She kills him, enforcing his own rule.
  • In "Another Toothpick", Bobby Bacala Sr. was the best choice to take out Mustang Sally for assaulting Vito's brother. He was the only option that could pull it off. After all, Bobby Sr. is Sally's godfather, so a visit from him would probably lower his guard down and did. A visit from anybody else would've to raise alarms for Sally. Even as Bobby Sr. pulled out to the house, Sally was shown looking out the window with his gun in his hand.
  • The opening credits. Literally the first thing we see, every episode, is Tony paying his Turnpike toll in cash. Of course he doesn't have an EZPass; those are RFID transponders and his biggest fear is being tracked.
  • The three main loose cannons, at least on the Jersey side, are Richie, Ralphie and Tony B. What do these three have in common? Christopher is involved in doing away with their bodies. This could be a subtle commentary on how Christopher *himself* is a loose cannon.
  • Paulie, particularly in later seasons, is rarely seen carrying out any major hit on behalf of Tony. A very possible reason for this is the incompetence he displayed in Pine Barrens, which Tony clearly did not take well.
Fridge Horror
  • When Hunter visits Meadow at Columbia during "Mr. Ruggerio's Neighbourhood", Hunter updates her on their high school friends are. She mentions Eric Scatino hating his state school and doing a bunch of acid. Meadow wonders, as he was always a straight-edged kid. Considering Eric lost his Ivy League opportunities when his father lost his college funds in his gambling debts and the bust out orchestrated by the Sopranos, his spiral into depression and abuse of psychedelics might have been avoided had Tony kept Davey away from the executive game. Davey leaving the family and moving to Nevada, never to be seen again, right after no doubt had a profound effect on Eric as well. The ripples of misery created by the mob’s actions continue well beyond the view of the story.
  • When Phil Leotardo and his men ambushed and murdered Vito Spatafore, they pummeled him with batons so badly, his wife said that he "no longer looked like a human being". And they topped off this horrific act by jamming a pool cue up the man's rectum. And this was all because Phil disagreed with Vito's choice of lifestyle. Now think back to how vengeance crazed Leotardo was when Tony Blundetto killed his brother Billy, and his threats to make Tony B.'s death slow and agonizing, to basically torture him to death. Now if Phil is capable of doing what he did to Vito just because of his sexual orientation, imagine what kind of inhumanly hellish ordeal he was going to put Blundetto through before finally killing him. Tony S. imagined it, and decided it was far more merciful to shoot his cousin in the face with a shotgun.
  • It is stated in "Chasing It" that there were child rehabilitation camps in the Pacific Northwest where corporal punishment was permitted. That was absolutely true at the time, as there were certain radical rehabilitation camps in Idaho and Montana that would physically beat children as late as 2007. These camps have been mostly eradicated, but it is still disturbing to think about.
  • Tony tells Davey he's not the first guy to get his business busted out. We later learn Mr. Satriale was busted out by Johnny Boy Soprano and committed suicide around the holidays. He was a gambler like Davey and Tony used this, like his father, to justify it. Not to mention the Jewish motel business, the club Rocco is forced to turn over to Adriana, etc. Just how many lives have these men ruined?
  • Jimmy Altieri is never confirmed to have been a rat. He’s never given a chance to deny the charges, mostly because Tony doesn't like him as much as Pussy. Considering Pussy winds up being the rat and he's never mentioned by the FBI, it's unlikely he actually was a rat. He was probably whacked over pure mob paranoia, Tony’s unwillingness to accept Pussy was a rat, and misunderstanding. And unlike Pussy, who actually was a rat, nobody mourns him.
  • Janice says that Bobby Baccala's kids prefer to stay with their aunt, but she still has her own biological daughter, whom she will now raise as a single mother, without any financial help from Tony. She's already driven one child away to live in the streets of Canada. She's not in any better position to raise a child this time around.
  • Johnny Sack can never reveal that it was Paulie who told him about the "95-pound mole" joke Ralph because it's a lose-lose situation. If he were to rat Paulie, not only Paulie would be whacked but Carmine's insistence on wanting Johnny whacked would carry more weight if a revelation were to come out like this.
    • Also, the possibility of Little Paulie (Paulie's nephew) getting whacked because since he was the one who told Paulie about the joke about the first place. They wouldn't even have to ask if he did. Tony and/or the others would probably think, "He was there when it was said. He's also visiting his uncle in prison. How doesn't he bring up the joke,"
  • Although he was correctly deducing that Paulie was the one who told Johnny Sack about Ralph's joke regarding Ginny Sack's weight, Tony never whacks Paulie and it can be for an abundance of reasons:
    • One, he already whacked one member of the Soprano crew (being Ralph for allegedly killing Pie-Oh-My, the horse) but he did so without a sitdown/authorization from the crew. Also, even a part of Tony started thinking maybe Ralph didn't do it. It makes sense why Tony is hesitant to whack another member who's under suspicion.
      • As crew captain, Tony doesn't need a sitdown or authorization to pop one of his own. He would need it if it was a guy in somebody else's crew (or a boss...)
    • Two, he's probably not over the death of Pussy, whom was whacked by Tony, Paulie and Silvio for being an informant. Yet, like Paulie, Pussy and Tony go way back. There's no way when Tony thinkng about killing Paulie, he isn't thinking about Pussy. "I've killed one good friend, now I might have to kill another,"
  • Vito confronting Finn at the hospital when Tony is potentially on the brink of death. Even as it is, Vito has strong intimidatory power over Finn. If Tony dies, however, Vito is the probable successor as boss, which might well mean that Finn is dead, or (perhaps even worse) someone who has to follow Vito's orders, which doesn't bear thinking about. Once you realise this, Vito's "let's hope he pulls through" line has a darker meaning.