The Sopranos turns 20: Tony Soprano’s 20 most iconic lines
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The Sopranos turns 20: Tony Soprano’s 20 most iconic lines

There’s TV drama and then there’s The Sopranos.

Over eight years and six series, David Chase’s show about the conflicted head of a Mafia family was essential viewing.

Even now, 20 years on from the debut of The Sopranos, it’s still a series that holds up to repeat viewings, especially in Ireland, where the show garnered a large fan base.

So large, in fact, that one group of fans even got together to recreate the show's iconic opening, Irish-style.

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Much of its success hung on the central performance of the late James Gandolfini who as Tony Soprano could successfully flip from vulnerable introvert to violent psychopath in the blink of an eye.. While Gandolfini’s hulking frame and ability as an actor was key to that, it helped that the scrips and lines delivered by the fictional mob boss were second to none.

Here are just 20 of The Irish Post's favourites.

20. "We're soldiers. Soldiers don't go to hell. It's war. Soldiers kill other soldiers.We're in a situation where everyone involved knows the stakes and if you are going to accept those stakes, you've got to do certain things. It's business."

19. "This isn't painful. Getting shot is painful. Getting stabbed in the ribs is painful. This ... isn't painful. It's empty. Dead."

Tony Soprano’s 20 most iconic lines.

18. “‘Remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.”

17. "There's an old Italian saying: you f--k up once, you lose two teeth.”

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Tony Soprano’s 20 most iconic lines.

16. “They say every day’s a gift, but why does it have to be a pair of socks?”

15. "What kind of person can I be, where his own mother wants him dead?"

Tony Soprano’s 20 most iconic lines.

14. "The things I take pleasure in, I can't do."

13. "Log off. That 'cookies' sh-t makes me nervous."

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12. “My father was in it. My uncle was in it. Maybe I was too lazy to think for myself.”

11. "All due respect, you got no f-----g idea what it's like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other f-----g thing. It's too much to deal with almost. And in the end you're completely alone with it all."

10. “It's good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that and I know.bBut lately, I'm getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.”

9.“I find I have to be the sad clown: laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.”

8. “A wrong decision is better than indecision.”

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7. “If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.”

6. "I wipe my ass with your feelings."

5. “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

4. “I'm like King Midas in reverse. Everything I touch turns to s--t.”

3. “Oh, poor baby. What do you want, a Whitman's Sampler?”

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James Gandolfini in The Sopranos' finale scene

2. “What use is an unloaded gun?”

1. "Those who want respect, give respect."