Proclaimed as one of the best television series of all time, The Sopranos was one of those rare shows that managed to stay consistently engaging and unpredictable during its six-season run. Not only that, but it also produced some of the most memorable characters in television history.
The show follows the life of Tony Soprano as he navigates the challenges of being both the leader of a criminal organization and a family man. With both worlds inherently intertwined, viewers are given an insight into the lives of those involved, offering some of the most complex character developments seen on any show over the last 20 years. As imagined, being associated with the mafia causes many of the show’s main characters to carry out some heinous activities. Here is the worst thing each main character from The Sopranos has done.
While Carmela could be praised for her patience with Tony’s indiscretions, her own discrepancies become apparent throughout the series. These include many flirtatious relationships – one of which with her contractor and another with Tony’s loyal associate, Furio.
Carmela’s biggest downfall, however, is that she seems to be fully aware of Tony’s criminal activities, and yet she chooses to turn a blind eye to it all. Not only that, but she reaps the profits from Tony’s businesses, despite knowing that success comes at the cost of others.
Corrado “Junior” Soprano
Despite Junior’s attempt to have Tony killed in the first season, the two appear to stay on good terms through much of the series. However, with Junior’s dementia reaching new heights in Season 6, he mistakes Tony in his home for his deceased enemy “Little Pussy” Malanga and shoots him in the abdomen.
He then runs to his closet and hides, leaving Tony for dead. Astonishingly, Tony manages to dial 911 before losing consciousness. This incident is something that Tony can never forgive Junior for and tarnishes their relationship for the remainder of the season.
Adriana La Cerva
Admittedly, Adriana isn’t a bad person, but in the life of a mobster, there’s no worse betrayal than being a “rat”.
While she may be somewhat naive, Adriana must have been aware of the potential dangers of being in a relationship with Christopher. Rather than going straight to him after being approached by the FBI, Adriana reluctantly cooperates with the feds before reaching her inevitable demise once she eventually confesses to him.
There’s no denying that Janice is a master manipulator. Despite her toxic relationships with many men in the industry, including Ralph Cifaretto and Bobby Baccalieiri, shooting her fiancé Richie Aprile may have been the worst thing she did. After a domestic violence incident where he punches her in the face for defending his son’s homosexuality, Janice unexpectedly shoots Richie and then calls upon Tony to dispose of the body.
It’s evident throughout the show that Janice is a weak point for Tony. Where he has no problem asserting irrevocable consequences on his nephew and cousin, Janice’s constant discrepancies never seemed to quite push him over the edge.
Christopher does many despicable things, but his overall abuse and mistreatment of Adriana were particularly unforgivable. Unsurprisingly then, the worst thing he does on the show is to allow Adriana to be killed after she reveals she had become an FBI informant.
Following a threat from the feds, Adriana pleads with Christopher to give up his life of organized crime and let them lead a normal life together. Chris turns to Tony with the predicament instead, knowing what the outcome of that decision would be.
While the progress of Tony’s consistent therapy sessions with Jennifer is questionable throughout the series, it’s somewhat entertaining to witness the excitement that Tony brings to her life. Most of which comes to light during sessions with her therapist.
One of the worst things that Jennifer does throughout the series is to reveal to Dr. Elliot Kupferberg that Tony Soprano was her patient. This was not only unprofessional, but it could have had severe consequences had word spread.
It’s safe to say that Ralph isn’t well-liked among his peers. He is, however, the highest-earning member of the group, which allows him to rise up through the ranks.
Ralph is known for being unpredictable and for having a short fuse. He carries out some horrible crimes, the worst of which being when he brutally murders a young dancer from the Bada Bing strip club, Tracee, who also happened to be pregnant with his child. This incident is the beginning of the end for Ralph, as it causes extreme tension between him and Tony, building up until the point where Tony loses his temper and murders Ralph in the Season 4 episode “Whoever Did This.”
Loyal to Tony for as long as it serves him, it’s evident that Paulie has his own interests at heart through the entirety of the show. Possibly his worst action is when he kills defenseless old lady Minn after overhearing her talk to her friends about keeping her life savings under her mattress.
Following that, he kills another innocent civilian with Christopher in the episode “Two Tonys,” where a waiter confronts the pair about leaving a small tip. As with many murders on The Sopranos, neither incident has any consequences for Paulie.
Silvio isn’t an easy addition to this list, as although he carries out unspeakable actions, he’s often perceived as the most level-headed of them all. Silvio acts as Tony’s most trusted advisor throughout the series, and it seems that Sil is the only person that can tell Tony the truth, particularly when it comes to what other members of the crew are saying behind his back.
However, Silvio is also instrumental in the executions of many of the group’s biggest traitors, including Jimmy Altieri in season one, Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero in season two and Adriana in season five.
As with Christopher’s misconduct, trying to pinpoint one particular horrendous act is near impossible when it comes to the show’s protagonist, Tony Soprano.
Between his multiple infidelities, calculated and spontaneous murders, and the overall misery that he projects on to everyone around him, Tony truly carries the burden of responsibility when it comes to the question of who has done the worst thing throughout the six seasons. And yet, in spite of this – and to exemplify the incredible talents of the show’s writers – the audience continue to root for Tony Soprano throughout the entire series.