The Sopranos

The Sopranos: 10 Most Unnecessary Kills, Ranked

The Sopranos was a show about the New Jersey underworld where killings were common. However, some murders didn't need to happen.

Killings were customary in The Sopranos and they all happened due to a variety of reasons. Mob hits, also known as whackings, were the most common types of murders. The victims were mostly ordinary people or “made guys” who had committed one of the cardinal sins in the Cosa Nostra. Other whackings were done to people who were seen as liabilities.

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Most of the kills on the show were justified but a few came off as quite unnecessary. Fate wouldn’t have been altered for the worst if the killers had chosen an alternative course of action. Born out of disagreements, fear, or outright malevolence, the homicides brought a general feeling of disappointment among fans.

Big Pussy Clobbers Jimmy Bones With A Ball-Peen Hammer As A Precaution

Big Pussy whacks Jimmy Bones in The Sopranos

Big Pussy was one of the most intriguing FBI informants on the show but he shocked everyone when he clobbered Bones to death. He did this because the Elvis impersonator and DiMeo Crime Family associate had seen him talking to his FBI handler Skip Lipari.

The murder almost bordered on “necessary” territory because Big Pussy had a reason to be paranoid. After all, he was an FBI informant, a risky gig. However, taking Bones’ life was unjustified because the Elvis impersonator had already believed the lie that Skip was a mobster too. And if Big Pussy was too keen on keeping his affairs a secret, he could have met Skip at a secret location.

Vito Shoots A Driver After A Minor Accident

Vito argues with a fellow driver whose car he had hit in The Soptanos

While returning to New Jersey to reunite with his family, Vito crashed into a parked vehicle. The driver of the other car declined to take his money and insisted on calling the police so Vito shot him.

This kill ranks low because it’s also in the “almost necessary” category. If the police had shown up, Vito would have ended up in jail, a place where he’d be defenseless. The justification ends there because Vito had better options. He could have chosen to keep going after the accident. Rule-breaking wasn’t new to him. He also could have threatened the driver, the Patsy Parisi way, instead of killing him.

Paulie Suffocates His Mother’s Friend With A Pillow

Paulie suffocates his mother's friend

Paulie was among the characters with the highest kill count and Minn Matrone was part of his statistics. Her only crime was threatening to tell Paulie’s mother when she found him burglarizing her house. Instead of reasoning with her, he suffocated her to death.

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Paulie was no youngster hence the threat of being reported to his mother shouldn’t have bothered him. Killing a woman who was a dear friend to his mother was also unbelievably mean and inconsiderate. By doing this, he was creating a new source of grief for his mother, who already wasn’t in good health.

Christopher Shoots His Scriptwriter Buddy For Dismissing His Concerns

Cleaver scriptwriter J.T. Dolan. argues with Christopher in The Sopranos

Carmela lit a wildfire by suggesting that Christopher had painted Tony in a bad light in his movie Cleaver. Worried, Christopher went to his scriptwriter friend J.T. Dolan, urging him to tell everyone that the script was his idea. Dolan dismissed him as he was already disgruntled about Christopher taking all credit for his work. Angry, Christopher shot him.

This particular move was a giant indicator of Christopher’s lack of intelligence because he was killing the goose that lay the golden egg. He needed J.T. Dolan. Were it not for the scriptwriter, Christopher wouldn’t have been able to turn his Hollywood dreams into a reality. Christopher was also in an intoxicated state, another factor that made the murder even more unnecessary.

A Waiter Sees His Life Cut Shot After Demanding A Tip

Christopher and Paulie kill a waiter for demanding a tip

The list of worst things Paulie did on the show is long. One night in Atlantic City, he saw it fit to force Christopher to settle everyone’s bill. As he and Christopher argued about it outside, a waiter showed up to demand a tip. Angry, Chris hit him on the head with a brick before Paulie shot him.

The moment left viewers completely baffled. The waiter was only taking initiative in order to earn a little more since the mobsters had spent so much. He figured giving a tip wouldn’t be a big deal for them. What was even worse was that the two left without paying then concluded, forgetting they had ever killed someone.

Ralph Beats Tracee To Death For Making Fun Of Him

Ralphie and Tracee watch a movie in The Sopranos

As Ralph was hanging out with his fellow mobsters one night at the Bing, the dancer Tracee passed by and poked fun at him. An angry Ralph then followed her outside and beat her to death.

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Ralph’s double standards were evident. It was only an insult. Ralph himself had insulted Johnny Sack’s wife too and was forgiven. Moreso, Tracee was pregnant with his child, and given how deeply members of the Cosa Nostra value family, Ralph shouldn’t have meted out any punishment. The incident only added to the growing tension between Tony and Ralph because Tracee was close to the Don.

Donnie Paduana Gets Shot For Joking About Livi’s Planned Hit On Tony

Donnie Paduana makes a joke about Livia wanting Tony dead in The Sopranos

Donnie Paduana was tasked with looking for non-mafia hitmen to kill Tony in order to not leave a trace. He found it funny that Tony’s own mother would want him dead. Junior didn’t find Paduana’s remarks funny and he immediately gave an order for him to get whacked.

This ranks highly among unnecessary kills because Paduana didn’t commit any cardinal offense that warranted a whacking. In fact, he was right. It was indeed strange that Tony’s own mother would want him dead. The most Junior could have done was call him out for it and give him a stern warning. It didn’t also make sense to kill Paduana because he had an important job to complete.

Phil Leotardo Has Vito Beaten To Death Because Of His Sexual Orientation

Vito from The Sopranos with duct tape on his mouth.

Vito freaked out and went on the run after he was spotted at a gay bar. Missing his family, he chose to return to New Jersey only for Phil Leotardo and two of his men to ambush him, leading to one of the saddest deaths in The Sopranos.

The show emphasized the fact that homophobia was in the mob’s DNA but this didn’t make Phil’s actions okay. Vito wasn’t a Lupertazzi member hence it wasn’t Phil’s decision what to do with him. It was Tony’s call. And Tony had hinted that he was okay with Vito’s sexuality. By overstepping, he was undermining Tony’s authority and this contributed to the worsening of relations between the two crime families.

Yaryna’s Father Gets Gunned Down After Being Mistaken For Phil Leotardo

ItHitman Italo drives off after mistakenly killing a man he thought was Phil Leotardo in The Sopranos

Yaryna’s father was one of the casualties of the war between the DiMeo Crime Family and the Lupertazzi Crime Family. His only crime? Resembling Lupertazzi boss Phil Leotardo. The New Jersey mobsters had hired hitmen from abroad to whack Phil but the hitmen mistook Yaryba’s father for the New York Don.

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The accidental manner of the murder places it higher up the list of unnecessary deaths. Whacking Phil Leotardo was a top priority for the DiMeo Crime Family and for this reason, they should have gotten one of their own to do the job. This should have been the right approach because they adopted it in the series finale and it worked.

Tony Strangles His Highest Earning Capo Over A Horse

Tony strangles Ralph because of the Pie Oh My incident

Tonny strangling Ralph because of the racehorse Pie-O-My was definitely the most unwise thing he ever did. He didn’t have any evidence that Ralph did indeed set fire to the stables that resulted in the horse’s death.

Murdering Ralph meant Tony losing his highest earner. If he had refrained from this action, he wouldn’t have gone broke in the future, to the point that he needed to borrow money from the loan shark Hesh. Everyone also felt that Tony was too attached to the horse. Even if Ralph had caused its death, his contribution to the family was more valuable. Tony had the financial might to purchase another racehorse if he wished.

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