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Tony Soprano Lines For When Your Mom Is Trying To Ruin Your Life


If there’s one person that never stopped weighing heavily on the mind of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), it was his mother. Even though she was only around for the first couple of seasons on The Sopranos (available to stream anytime on HBO Now), her influence on the North Jersey crime boss was felt all the way through the show’s final moments. While she was shrill, manipulative, and perpetually unhappy, Livia Soprano (Nancy Marchand) it was still a shock when she crossed an unthinkable line in by helping plot an attempt on her son’s life with the help of Tony’s Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese).

Even if your own mother never helped plan your murder (and we’re honestly hoping that’s the case here), having an overbearing matriarch can feel like an unending battle in and of itself. To offer some solidarity, here are some Tony Soprano quotes to help you deal with the fact that your mother might be trying to kill you… one way or the other.

“My mother would have loved it if you and I got together.”

Having this kind of overbearing presence for a mother means that she’s never far from your mind. When Tony initially goes into therapy, the first conversation he has with his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), is about their shared Italian heritage, and how his mother would’ve likely approved of their relationship. It’s Tony’s natural inclination to flirt, but the fact that he brings up his mother almost on instinct is quite telling.

Chances are if you can’t even start a simple conversation without bringing up your mother immediately, she’s successfully gotten inside your head, which could very well be the first step in trying to take you down.

“You gotta stop with this black poison cloud all the time because I can’t take it!”

Trying to kill you doesn’t necessarily have to mean actively working with another family member to plot your murder. But before Livia’s scheming got serious, she was prone to wear her son down through an unending barrage of self-centered martyring and musing about death, a technique he’d later explain she used on his father. Still, even if he recognized the tactic, it’s enough to drive Tony into near-hysterics more than once, despite the overwhelming amount of good will he tries to show toward her.

Sometimes, no matter how patient you are, you’ve just got to lash out and get some things off your chest, so long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences later, which will be handled with even more patience and goodwill. Because that’s what good sons do, right?

“Did everybody just hear me tell my mother about the game?”

A classic Livia technique is to constantly make herself out to be the victim in every scenario she can. When the Soprano family is gathered around the dinner table one night, Tony and Carmela (Edie Falco) both ask Livia if she’s planning on attending Meadow’s (Jamie Lynn-Sigler) soccer game. Livia scoffs at the idea, grumbling about how no one ever tells her anything.

In moments like this, when it seems like every effort made is simply ignored, joking about it might be the only way that you’ll be able to save your sanity. You’ll want to keep watching your back in the meantime, though.

“What do you think, my mother tried to have me whacked ‘cuz I put her in a nursing home?”

It took months of Dr. Melfi leaving breadcrumbs before Tony could eventually see what was right in front of him: his mother is so irate over him putting her in a nursing home retirement community that she actively plotted to have him killed. He takes the news about as well as you’d expect, by smashing a glass tabletop and threatening his therapist with violence before storming out of her office.

Sometimes the hardest truths to deal with are the most obvious, regardless of how unthinkable they may be. And no matter how hard you try to please your mother, she can always prove to be disappointed in you.

“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.”

Even years after her death, Tony’s mother was still with him almost constantly. After explaining to Dr. Melfi a realization he had while taking peyote out in Las Vegas, he gives some real insight on the role that mothers play in the lives of their children, and vice versa. It’s a profound moment for Tony, particularly about wanting to get back on the bus, which for Tony would mean returning to a time when he was much more vulnerable to his mother’s tactics.

Regardless of any actions that might have been taken to sever your relationship, your mother can still be a source of insight and inspiration, no matter what she’d done or how long she’d been gone.

“At least she didn’t suffer.”

This hollowed out, automated response perfectly captures Tony’s feelings (or lack thereof) towards his mother. The phrase comes about in the wake of Livia’s death while Tony and his family start making arrangements for her funeral. It’s courteous, dignified, and gives the idea of emotion without any commitment to it. In short: the perfect phrase to toss around when you have to feign needing sympathy in a scenario where you find yourself completely and utterly drained emotionally.

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