A leader is only as good as his or her team and unfortunately for Tony Soprano, he surrounded himself with some completely unwise wiseguys. Every season of The Sopranos (which you can stream on HBO Now) put Tony in the position where he had to navigate the escalating problems that came with running an organized crime syndicate, attempting to both fix his own mistakes and those of the people who worked for him. Should you find yourself dealing with your own equivalent of a Feech La Manan, Ralph Cifaretto, or even more maddening, a Christopher Moltisanti — aka, screw ups who drag you down and force you to clean up their mess — keep these Tony Soprano lines handy.
“It’s okay, we’re gonna take care of it.”
Christopher had his share of screw-ups over the show’s run, with Tony having to sit him down and lay out a plan for fixing the mess. He looks up to Tony as a father figure and can’t help but break down into tears when he has to tell him that Adriana’s under the Fed’s thumb and the entire family is in jeopardy. Christopher doesn’t even contemplate for a second begging Tony to spare Adriana, instead confessing that he’s too weak to take care of the mess himself. Like the always-ready boss that he is, Tony simply says that he’ll handle the situation. Things, of course, do not work out well for Adriana, and the scene with Chris and Tony later looking back on the ordeal over a bottle of wine showed just how powerful the bond between them was — at least for short while. Sometimes “I’ll take care of it ” is all you can say before getting your hands dirty.
“Shut the f*** up and listen to me.”
Tony probably could have saved himself a lot of grief if he had begun every single interaction he had with Christopher this way. It was only after Christopher’s intervention went downhill with a fist fight — I think we all saw that coming — and he ended up in the hospital that he really opened his ears. Sometimes you’ve just gotta tell a person the harsh truth and let them know that they’re out of second chances. While Christopher does agree to go to rehab, he only comes back to test Tony’s patience again by accusing him of sleeping with Adriana. Keep this line — or a PG version of it — on hand next time you’re dealing with that one person who’s always getting themselves into a new pit of problems.
“It stops today, you got it?”
Ah, Richie Aprile, ruiner of poker games, ex-boyfriend of Janice, and source of Tony’s panic attacks. Richie getting out of prison was one of the worst things for Tony’s health and the ex-con started causing problems from day one. A loose cannon is never a good employee, and while Richie technically worked for Junior more than Tony, his shady business ventures and coupling with Janice were bound to cause friction. Richie attacking Beansie didn’t sit well with Tony, and the guy continued to disrespect Tony by using his waste management business to deal coke.
Use this line when you’ve got to put a halt to some bad behavior and want to send a strong message. Of course, if you have a sister like Janice who will take matters into her own hands that works too — though, we don’t recommend that solution.
“You bottomed out.”
Let the fable of Jackie Aprile Jr. serve as a reminder, your background doesn’t give you liberty to do whatever you please. Tony might have liked Jackie Jr.’s father, but he quickly grew tired of the younger Jackie’s jackass criminal behavior. After numerous attempts to keep Jackie on the straight and narrow, he finally comes to realize that there was little hope for the kid when he caught him getting a lap dance from a stripper while he was in a relationship with his daughter, Meadow. Yeah, Tony’s the epitome of a hypocrite in this situation, but nevertheless, he takes his frustration out on Jackie in the club bathroom.
Jackie lasted long enough to make a few more bonehead moves before Tony gave orders to handle Jackie Jr. “in a timely fashion,” but things were pretty much over for him in that strip club bathroom. Use this line with great caution, as it’s pretty much the equivalent of telling somebody it’s over, finished, and finito.
“I am bending over backwards trying to stay neutral. Payin’ for f***ing car seats. And you’re out there acting like a f***ing free agent.”
Take note all you Tony Blundettos out there, if somebody’s paying for your car seats, don’t make their life a royal mess. While looking like an Italian Sonny Crockett is a crime in itself, it wasn’t the only thing Tony B was guilty of. His contract killing of Joey Peeps for Little Carmine only brings unwanted heat on Tony after Tony B is spotted limping away after Peeps’ car rolls over his foot. Tony had high hopes that his cousin would be a strong member of his crew, even complimenting him on his high IQ and ballsy behavior, but he’s simply too much of a liability in the end. Should you find yourself in yet another jam with your own numbskull relative, think back to this line and set them in the right direction.
“You’re gonna f***ing placate him.”
I think it’s probably safe to say that Ralph Cifaretto is the most unlikable character in the Sopranos universe. Thoughtless, cruel, and just plain evil, he’s that asshole that nobody invited to the party, yet shows up anyway. It would take the death of Pie-O-My to eventually push Tony over the edge with Ralph, but it was a longtime coming. If killing one of the Bada Bing’s dancers wasn’t a big enough of a fire for Tony to put out, Ralph causing problems with Johnny Sack after making a crude joke about his wife only added to Tony’s frustration. Tony simply wanted to end the tension and told Ralph to deny making the joke and smooth things over with Johnny Sack.
Should you have to be the mediator between two quarreling parties where one is clearly in the wrong, hopefully this line will work better for you than it did for Tony. Let’s just hope your problem isn’t as bullheaded as Ralph Cifaretto.
“You gotta exercise impulse control.”
When Christopher allows a valuable business opportunity running a brokerage firm to “attract negative attention” and two employees quit in season two’s “Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist’s Office…,” Tony does his best to firmly steer Christopher back on track. While Tony doesn’t exactly have the best impulse control, himself, he’s infinitely better at management than his inept nephew. Remember to use this if you need to offer some harsh constructive criticism.