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Tony Soprano Quotes For When You Need To Get Your Way


As the boss of the North Jersey mafia, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) was the kind of guy who was used to getting his way. During his tenure as boss on HBO’s The Sopranos, (available to watch anytime on HBO Now), he proved to be a stern commander with little patience for screw-ups, and he ran his crew in the same way he made his decisions: mixing a calculated strategy with gut impulses. While the calls he made may not always have yielded the best results, they were carried out dutifully by those in his crew. The next time you need to make sure you get your way, remember these Tony Soprano quotes.

“Log off. That cookie sh*t makes me nervous.”

An incidental command that Tony throws out during a meeting in the back room of the Bada Bing, it’s a reminder that Tony has spent his life constantly looking over his shoulder. And even if he doesn’t 100% understand how the internet works, Tony makes sure the room is secure before they start talking about business, just as Gigi (John Fiore) closes his laptop without so much as a second thought.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a small request, but the real measure of respect is how quickly and easily people respond to you no matter the size of your request.

“You know where I was yesterday when you called?… I was outside a whorehouse, while a guy that works for me was inside beating the sh*t out of a guy that owes me money. Broke his arm. Put a bullet in his kneecap.”

This is one of those rare moments where Tony got to openly brag about who he really was. After months of being on the outs with his psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), she eventually succumbs to his steady stream of gift baskets and greeting cards, reluctantly agreeing to take him back as a patient. During their first session after mending their fences, they awkwardly try to get back into their old doctor-patient dialogue when Tony lays out this graphic account of what he was doing when she called him to set the appointment.

Boastful, arrogant, and even a little smug, Tony’s remarks come from his idea that he has the upper hand in this situation, as he’s quick to remind her that she’s the one who reached out to him. “You know who I am, you know what I do. You called me,” he coldly reminds her. A remark in the spirit of this one works best after a long standoff where you end up coming out the winner, especially if you’re adamantly unapologetic about who you are.

“Go get him.”

A direct command given by Tony to no one in particular, although that doesn’t stop his crew from leaping into action. After finding the body of Bada Bing dancer Tracee (Ariel Kelly) beaten to death in the alley behind the club, Tony knows Ralph (Joe Pantoliano) is responsible and demands that he be brought out so he can answer for what he did. There’s no second-guessing Tony here, there’s no one who dares question his motives or how he chooses to handle the situation.

This is Tony Soprano in his raw element, navigating a dangerous issue with unapologetic severity. Never forget the value of being crystal clear when you want something.

“What happens I decide, not you.”

When Christopher (Michael Imperioli) questions Tony’s orders over an incident involving Jackie Jr. (Matt Cerbone), Tony wastes absolutely no time crushing his nephew’s rebellious spirit. Grabbing him by the shirt and throwing him up against a wall, Tony makes it clear that he will absolutely not tolerate anything of the sort, and that his word will always be final.

Sometimes, maintaining control has to involve more than just a simple command. A sobering reminder of why you should get your way can help put to rest the doubts of anyone second-guessing your authority. Just make sure that your reminder isn’t, you know, physical or actually imposing. Use your words.

“You don’t sh*t where you eat. And you really don’t sh*t where I eat.”

There’s that old saying that there’s no honor among thieves, and every so often Tony’s crew proved that there was some truth to that. After low-level soldier Benny Fazio (Max Casella) runs a credit card scam out of Vesuvio, the restaurant owned by Tony’s lifelong friend Arie (John Ventimiglia), tensions starts to get a little thick, and Tony ends up caught in the middle.

Things get resolved fairly quickly (and a with a relatively mild amount of violence), but Tony takes the time to make sure that Benny realizes certain things are just off limits for his crew without exception. Turning a fiasco into a learning opportunity, and stating the rules clearly and understandably, can go a long way in making sure your decisions will be honored time and again.

“You’re going to lead this family into the 21st century.”

One of the last hope-filled conversations that Tony had with his nephew, Christopher, was when Tony told him that he was in line to take over ‘the big chair’ when the time was right. While Tony’s decision was motivated to keep him from one of two futures he saw for himself — rotting in jail or rotting in the grave — it also came out of his genuine love for Christopher, believing that giving the reins to a family member was the smartest possible decision going forward for him and for the family. (Well, we all know how that worked out).

Sometimes simple, decisive, straight-forward decision making, laid out with clear intent and parameters, is the best way to have those decisions of yours met with the utmost amount of respect.

“All due respect, you got no f*cking idea what it’s like to be number one. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other f*cking thing. It’s too much to deal with almost. And in the end, you’re completely alone with it all.”

A moment that summarizes Tony as a leader almost to a tee. With his back against a wall over an incident with his cousin, Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi), Tony starts to feel serious pressure from all sides — even from those who are closest to him. When Silvio (noted theater critic Steven Van Zandt), his longtime consigliere, attempts to reason with him, even working in a little bit of helpful critiquing framed around the seven deadly sins and the nature of his boss’s character, Tony once again ends up on the defensive (to no one’s surprise).

While it’s Tony once more reinforcing his stance on leadership, this one goes a little deeper. Here, Tony tries to come off as a martyr, painting this image of himself as a tragic, isolated figure whose every word carries an unprecedented amount of consequence.

You don’t necessarily have to be this melodramatic, but giving others just a little bit of insight into your thought process might help you seem a little more sympathetic. Not to mention help them be able to appreciate what you go through as the number one, and why exactly you have a precedent for getting your way.

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