HBO’s The Sopranos follows the members of a mafia family, so it’s only natural that it contains some very rich people. Some characters – especially the ones close to the top – are incredibly wealthy and live extravagant lives in massive mansions with fancy cars. Some characters – those close to the bottom of the “corporate” ladder, the elderly, and the underachievers – live a more humble lifestyle.
It’s fascinating to see how each character lives, and it often speaks to their personality. Each character’s financial standing plays a large role in their characterization, and money is often used as both a thematic and storytelling device.
Despite being quite high in the ranks, Junior Soprano was never wealthy. Either that, or he squirreled it away and never flaunted his wealth. Junior lives very modestly throughout much of the series. His house is a typical inner-city dwelling – small, modest, and stuck in a different time period.
He also drives a simple car, and his television is a small tube-type – a vast difference from the modern ones seen in Tony’s, and even Matthew Bevilacqua’s, houses. There’s nothing in Junior’s life to suggest he has vast sums of cash.
Artie Bucco is the proprietor of a fancy restaurant, but he doesn’t seem very wealthy himself. In fact, Artie’s lack of wealth is made into a small character moment in the first season. Following the destruction of his restaurant (at the hands of Tony and Silvio), Artie and Charmaine are forced to move into a modest house that Carmela can’t help commenting on.
It’s obvious that she doesn’t think much of their meager place, and it serves as a thematic contrast to her extravagant lifestyle.
Paulie is successful within the mafia, and while he constantly remains one of Tony’s go-to men, he has little ambition. This is hilariously summed up in his conversation with Chris. Chris asks, “You ever feel like nothin’ good was ever gonna happen to you?” Paulie, without hesitation, answers, “Yeah. And nothin’ did. So what?”
Paulie doesn’t live extravagantly, and he’s shown to live in a nice – if unremarkable – condo. Like Junior, it’s highly likely that Paulie does have money. He’s just happy living a simple lifestyle.
Bobby was high-ranking within the mafia, underneath only Tony and Silvio. He rose up the ranks through his work with Junior Soprano, having run his old loan shark business. It’s obvious that Bobby has some money.
He has a nice house, and he’s able to look after his children after Karen’s death. He also owns a secluded cabin in Upstate New York, and those certainly don’t come cheap.
Aside from being one of Tony’s biggest antagonists, Ralph Cifaretto was a good earner and a respected member of the mob. While he was initially passed over for a promotion, Ralph was eventually made Captain by a reluctant Tony following the death of Gigi Cestone.
Ralphie lives a nice life, inhabiting a townhouse before moving in with Rosalie Aprile. While he doesn’t live as extravagantly as Tony Soprano, he is never shown to be wanting. He’s a great earner, and he likely makes good money.
Unfortunately, The Sopranos didn’t explore much of Silvio’s personal life. The show never delved into his life the way it delved into other side characters, and Silvio always remained a bit of an enigma. His house is barely shown, but the brief glimpses awarded to viewers are enough to speak on Silvio’s economic standing.
He lives in a very nice house, and it’s obvious that Silvio has a great sense of style. Silvio works as Consigliere throughout much of the series, serving as Tony’s #2. He has the wealth befitting his high-ranking position.
Despite spending ten years in prison, Richie Aprile is very quick to re-establish himself within the mafia. Unlike Paulie, Richie is incredibly ambitious, and it’s this ambition that often gets him into hot water with Tony.
Richie immediately sets himself up for power and influence, largely by selling cocaine with Junior Soprano on the pre-established garbage routes. His various criminal enterprises ensured him lots of money, and one of the last scenes involving Richie sees him and Janice buying a massive mansion.
Christopher begins the series as a poor foot soldier. He often complains of his low-ranking position to his girlfriend Adriana, feeling that his work deserves more recognition. They begin the series living in a small apartment, albeit with nice leather furniture.
Chris’s work within the mafia is eventually recognized, and he is promoted to Acting Captain (and eventually Captain before his death). It is then that Christopher moves into a much larger house, his work having paid off (quite literally).
And then there’s Tony Soprano. Tony is consistently shown to be incredibly wealthy, complete with his now-iconic mansion. The house is enormous and comes equipped with a huge backyard and swimming pool. Tony eventually builds himself a little home theater in the backyard, complete with a massive TV and state-of-the-art sound system.
He also eats at Vesuvio’s on a regular basis and constantly flaunts his wealth in a somewhat arrogant manner.
If there was one character richer than Tony Soprano, it was Johnny Sack. It makes a certain kind of sense, as Johnny was the acting boss of the New York-based Lupertazzi crime family. Being the leader of the New York mafia is guaranteed to generate some good money.
This is visualized through Johnny’s massive New Jersey house – a gorgeous modern mansion that makes Tony’s house look like Uncle June’s. Of course, the good times don’t last forever, and Johnny is eventually sent to prison. It’s then that Tony buys the house from Johnny, gifting it to his sister Janice.