In The Sopranos, Tony’s son, Anthony Junior, aka A.J., is often portrayed as an underachiever. He neither has what it takes to make it in the cooperate world nor to be a mafioso like his father. Besides his lack of drive, he is extremely unruly, something that also triggers daily migraines in Tony and Carmela.
As the stereotypical spoilt rich kid, A.J. highly values his freedom of speech. Whether he’s speaking to his parents or his friends, he says whatever he wants, not caring whether the other party in the dialogue will be offended or not. While most of his remarks are rude, they tend to be funny or intriguing, given the manner in which he frames them.
When Carmela Orders Him To Go Do His Homework
“Algebra? That’s The Most Boring.”
A.J. once tries to get all philosophical by talking about the absurdity of life. Not interested in listening to any of the blabberings, Carmela orders him to go upstairs and do his homework. Well, A.J. doesn’t think so.
Schoolwork is never fun for A.J. and this results in him getting poor grades on the regular. It’s something that deeply concerns his parents but A.J. himself doesn’t care. Having wealthy parents gives him the impression that life will always go smoothly for him no matter how lower in the alphabet his grades descend to.
When Tony Refuses To Buy Him A New Car
“That’s Okay. We Have To Break Our Dependency On Foreign Oil.”
In a scene that qualifies for inclusion among the funniest moments of The Sopranos, A.J’s car accidentally catches fire as he is having a tryst with his girlfriend in the woods. Tony refuses to buy him a new one and surprisingly, A.J. doesn’t cause a fuss. He says it’s okay because the latest development will make him catch the bus. And by doing so, he’ll be reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.
‘Woke A.J.’ never fails to entertain, mostly because he ordinarily only has a vague idea of what he’s saying. When grilled further about it, his cluelessness becomes obvious. Through the quote, A.J’s delusional side is also highlighted. He wrongfully believes he can survive by taking the bus like other people but it doesn’t take long for him to realize he can’t live like an ordinary citizen.
When Carmela Offers To Make Him French Toast
“I Know This Is Hard For You To Believe, But Food May Not Be The Answer To Every Problem.”
A.J. becomes inconsolable when Bianca dumps him. Carmela tries to make him feel better by offering to make him French toast but A.J. declines in the most impolite way possible.
There’s no doubt that A.J. needs to address his mother more respectfully but he has a point on this particular occasion. He has just been dumped by the only girl he has ever loved and whenever people are heartbroken, food isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. A.J. needs parental reassurance and counseling more than food.
When He Tells Livia A Joke
“Hey, Grandma. How Come You’re Not Supposed To Breathe In A Cemetery?”
While visiting his grandmother Livia at the Green Grove Retirement Home, A.J. asks the question above. Livia wonders what he’s trying to imply but Corrado explains that it’s a joke. Apparently, it’s not good to breathe at the cemetery because dead people will be jealous.
It’s an applause-worthy joke from A.J., but unfortunately, he tells the joke to the wrong person. Livia is never really happy throughout her time in the series, with her frowns mostly stemming from her sadistic and vindictive. A.J’s sister Meadow would definitely have been more receptive to the joke.
When Tony Gives Him A Dressing Down For Vandalizing The Pool On His Mother’s Birthday
“It Wasn’t. It Was After Midnight.”
The night after Carmela’s birthday, Tony arrives home to find A.J. idling around on a school day. He’s gotten suspended for vandalizing the pool but what angers Tony the most is that A.J. did so on his mother’s birthday. The younger Soprano sibling explains that it was after midnight.
It’s hilarious how A.J. clarifies the time as if doing so will make the repercussions less severe. It’s one of the more absurd things he does and for his unpleasant comments, Tony smacks him in the head. Surprisingly, viewers later get to see one of Tony Soprano’s actions that go against his personality when he apologizes with soda and pizza.
When Tony Asks Him If He Passed Social Studies
“You Just Revealed Your Own Ignorance. It’s Only Been Five Days, We Didn’t Get Grades Yet.”
At a breakfast meeting, Carmela mentions that Social Studies is one of the easiest subjects out there. Tony then asks A.J. if he passed it.
Most people fear Tony and would never talk to him like that. In A.J.’s case, it’s the constant leniency of his father that has made him realize he can never get reprimanded no matter what he says or does. Once again, he’s right since after momentarily getting pissed off, Tony lets the comments slide.
When Carmela Asks Him To Play With Bobby Jr.
“What Am I, Daycare?”
During a Soprano Sunday dinner, A.J. retreats to his room to spend time with his girlfriend but Carmela shows up and orders him to play with Bobby Baccala’s son, Bobby Jr., A.J. does so, but reluctantly.
After a few seasons on the show, A.J.’s rude remarks towards his parents become normal. Even Carmela and Tony no longer get shocked by anything A.J. says. Such are the fruits of poor parenting and the two, despite being no-nonsense humans, accept that they’ll never be able to change their son.
When Tony Threatens Him With Punishment
“I Know What My Rights Are. I Can Call Social Services And They’ll Send A Caseworker.”
A.J. briefly stays with Tony during his separation from Carmela but the mob boss finds it difficult to take care of him. The point of no return is reached when A.J. threatens to call social workers after Tony tries to punish him.
This particular comment has Tony sending A.J. back to Carmela. The New Jersey Don already has a lot on his plate, including having to clean up the messes of his paroled cousin Tony Blundetto. It’s also weird that A.J. threatens to call social parents since he’d have nowhere to go if he ever fell out with both of his parents.
As The Family Discusses Colleges
“I Want To Go To Harvard.”
As the Soprano family discusses colleges, A.J. expresses his desire to join Harvard. Tony outrightly tells him that his dream will remain a dream because of his poor grades.
Though A.J. is being serious, claiming he wants to go to Harvard is the funniest thing he says the entire show. Both Tony and Carmela almost burst out laughing but hold themselves back. The declaration would sound better coming from Meadow, who has always had good grades. As for A.J., even getting to any college is a long shot.
When Tony Gives Him A Dressing Down For Trying To Kill Corrado
“You’re A Hypocrite, Aight, ‘Cause Every Time We Watch “Godfather,” You Say The Michael Corleone Scene Is Your Favorite!”
In one of the most shocking scenes in The Sopranos, Corrado accidentally shoots Tony after mistaking him for Little “Pussy” Malanga. An angry A.J. heads over to Corrado’s retirement home to try to kill him but he’s stopped. When Tony gives him a dressing down, A.J. claims he’s being hypocritical because he loves the scene in The Godfather where Michael shoots the men that tried to kill his father.
A.J. is right about Tony being a hypocrite. The New Jersey Don adores tough people hence he shouldn’t be calling out his son for making a macho move. He ought to be proud. Nevertheless, given A.J.’s personality, Tony doesn’t think he is cut out for the life that he and other mobsters live, something most fans will agree with.