He may have been impatient and ill-tempered, but no one can say that Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) didn’t have some serious ambition. Starting off as little more than a glorified errand boy, over the course of The Sopranos’ six seasons (available to stream anytime on HBO Now), he slowly moved his way through the north Jersey mafia under the guidance of his uncle, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). While it’s true that Tony always had a soft spot for his nephew (at least until near the end of the show’s run) it was Christopher’s sheer desire to better himself that drove his aspirations. So, the next time you need to prove yourself, let these snippets of his wisdom serve as your guide.
“Louis Brazi sleeps with the fishes.”
Going all the way back to the pilot episode, Christopher tries to show some real initiative by killing a rival associate. While his intent was admirable, before you take a page from his book here, try to be less murder-y about it. Also, don’t go around misquoting The Godfather. It’s embarrassing, and an almost greater offense.
“Why be in a crew? Why be a gangster?”
Another example of Christopher’s foresight: he takes his uncle Tony’s advice and opts out of a truck hijacking so as to not further aggravate a situation with Tony’s Uncle Junior. While this is the kind of approach that’ll show everyone that you can make a tough decision, hopefully, it works out better for you, considering Christopher still gets berated for not doing more to stop his friend, Brendan (Anthony DeSando), who went ahead and hijacked the truck without him.
“The next time you see my face, show some respect.”
It wasn’t uncommon for Christopher to feel marginalized by the higher-ups, even as he started making his way through the ranks. Never was his frustration with all this more apparent then when he was made to wait in line for pastry. If you look past his irate reaction, which includes taking a box full of pastries and shooting the clerk in the foot, you can see that it all comes from his innate desire to make something of himself.
“I f*ckin’ deserve it. Got no spleen, Gene.”
Before long, Christopher is put in charge of two wannabe gangsters to test his ability as a leader. It seems to be going well, at least at first — though it ends with the two of them attempting to kill Christopher to score points themselves. After Tony tells him he’s going to be made, Christopher responds with a joyful confidence. When all your hard work starts to pay off, don’t be afraid to give yourself the credit that you deserve.
“Captain or no Captain, right now we’re just two assholes lost in the woods.”
While paired up with Paulie (Tony Sirico), a routine collection goes about as wrong as possible, and leads them out into the woods of the Pine Barrens way down in south Jersey where they’re lost out in the wilderness. Then, in the dead of night, Paulie tries to pull rank on Christopher, who proves to be the level-headed one out of the pair. Keeping your cool, even under the worst possible circumstances, will go a long way in showing everyone just what you’re really made of.
“Don’t disrespect the pizza parlor.”
It’s a real sign that you’ve made it when you can throw this kind of weight around at your neighborhood pizza place.
“We’re already in the 21st century, T.”
When you’re getting a big pep-talk from the boss about being what takes your organization into the 21st century, it’s probably best not to correct them. But you can’t deny that it shows some kind of misguided initiative when Christopher does it.
“Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no one there.”
Sure, during his on-again, off-again sobriety, Christopher was prone to spewing out random bits of wisdom that he’d pick up at NA meetings. Even though he continued to wrestle with addiction all the way to the end, he earnestly believed that visualizing a better future for himself would pay off. All things considered, he did pretty well, eventually being made Captain over his own crew, buying a house, and even starting a family. He also managed to achieve some mild success in show business, helping to put out his low-budget horror/gangster movie Cleaver.
He did this all because, even at his worst, he was always ready for a chance to prove himself. Don’t forget, if ‘Christofah’ can do it, then there’s nothing that can stop you.