In 2013, The Sopranos was named the best-written television series of all time by the Writers Guild of America. What David Chase and his team of writers did with The Sopranos is simply incredible and will forever remain ingrained in the annals of television history. It’s a thrilling mob drama, but it’s also a contemplative glimpse into early 21st century American life. In many ways, it’s the Great American Novel of our time, only writ large on the small screen.
It’s also wickedly hilarious and unbelievably entertaining. Many of its lines are endlessly quotable, and fans on Reddit are still endlessly quoting them.
Perhaps the single greatest line in Sopranos history is merely an exclamation of surprise. While the show is filled with deep, contemplative lines that delve into psychology, history, and culture, the show may forever be known for introducing “OHHH!” into the common vernacular.
On the show, “OHHH!” is utilized as an exclamation of surprise, typically after a character says something offensive or out-of-line. It’s not surprising that Reddit user unclemeat9 (and many others) use it in their everyday speech.
“Good. Back At Work.”
It’s always amazing how people pick up totally random and obscure lines. Whereas “OHH!” is a very popular Sopranos-ism, “Good. Back at work” hardly qualifies as one of the all-time greats. However, Reddit user TonyTO74 uses it in their everyday speech.
In their own words, “To this day (15 years later) that’s what I answer if somebody asks me how I’m doing. I don’t know why but the one delivery of that little line always stuck with me.” It’s always the little things that people cling to.
“Poor you” is another very popular Sopranos-ism, often uttered by Tony’s malicious mother Livia in regards to other people’s misfortunes. Livia is borderline evil, and she has little regard for others’ feelings or personal troubles – hence a very dry and sarcastic “poor you.”
Reddit user beautiful_mute claims to use this quote in their everyday speech, as do many others. These two simple words have transcended their source and have become common vernacular in regards to someone’s utter lack of care.
“There Was No Abundant Intentionality!”
Despite being a relatively minor character, Meadow’s boyfriend Finn has certainly left an impression. Many Sopranos fans love the argument they share after Finn grabs a suitcase, which culminates in the classic line “There was no abundant intentionality in me getting out the suitcase!”
Reddit user erhacne uses this whenever his wife gives him trouble, and another user reportedly used the line to get out of a speeding ticket.
“I Don’t Like That Kind Of Talk!”
Another Livia Soprano-ism that fans have adopted is “I don’t like that kind of talk!”, often uttered when someone says something even remotely hurtful or upsetting. Reddit user erhacne also uses this line whenever his wife swears, and nesta_es calls it the most common Livia Soprano saying (which is backed up by the 37 upvotes).
It’s a great line to adopt, owing both to its universality, ease of integration into everyday life, and Livia’s unique accent (the line just wouldn’t be the same if not pronounced “tawk”).
“I Wish The Lord Would Take Me Now.”
It’s really no surprise that Livia Soprano proves to be the most quotable character. Her lines are inherently hilarious, owing in large part to Livia’s generally prickly and pessimistic demeanor.
“I wish the Lord would take me now” is easily one of her most popular, and Reddit user RobertPlanet claims that it’s “Always a hit at birthday parties.” Hopefully, they are aware it’s actually a quote from The Sopranos and not something more malicious…
“The Highway Was Jammed With Broken Heroes On A Last Chance Power Drive.”
This line isn’t actually from The Sopranos (well, it is, technically), but Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”. Christopher utilizes the lyrics to give a smart-alecky excuse for his tardiness, which itself is likely an Easter egg for actor Steven Van Zandt’s role in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
Reddit user arkful773 claims to use this line often, writing, “To be fair, I always insert song lyrics into everyday conversation to see if people pick up on it. But this being in Sopranos too REALLY makes it a great line.”
“There He Is.”
Another very common Sopranos-ism is the simple “There he is.” It’s so deceptively easy and universal, yet so quintessentially Sopranos. Throughout the show, characters often say “There he is” when someone walks into a room. It’s basically a unique and Sopranos-esque way of saying hello.
It’s also a very easy line to adopt into everyday speech, as Reddit user KlirisChi proves. According to them, the quote “is used almost daily amongst [their] group of friends and [them].”
“What Are Ya Gonna Do?”
“What are ya gonna do?” certainly isn’t unique to The Sopranos. In fact, it’s a very common saying used by millions the world over.
But at the same time, some people may link its origins to the show. At least for them on a personal basis. Reddit user reggieLedoux26 offers the quote for the thread, and turbo_22 responds, “I was shocked to see how many Italian friends and relatives use this at funerals after watching The Sopranos. I’m sure it was always going on, but I only noticed it after watching the show and attending a couple of funerals.”
Most people say “hello” when answering the phone. But Johnny Sack isn’t “most people”, and he establishes dominance with a quick and curt, “Speak.”
It’s such a unique and authoritative way of answering the phone that some people have begun to adopt it into their common vernacular, including Reddit user WhiteGhosts. “Hello” is a greeting of the past.