HBO’s The Sopranos followed the struggle of Tony Soprano to lead both his biological family and his organized crime family while dealing with personal issues that led him to seek counseling, which gave viewers a unique inside look at TV’s unforgettable mob boss, played perfectly by James Gandolfini.
While the show revealed him to be a powerful and intimidating mob boss who loved his family and showcased a unique love for nature and animals, it also revealed quite a few problematic and negative personality traits that also made him one of TV’s most despicable characters. We’ll take a look at a few of Tony Soprano’s worst traits today that were revealed on The Sopranos.
8 He’s Emotionally And Sometimes Physically Abusive To His Family
The Sopranos not only explored the growth of Tony’s crime family over six seasons, but also followed Tony’s real family as they tried to deal with his fluctuating moods and outbursts. Tony was emotionally abusive to his wife & children and even sometimes physically abusive to his son AJ.
The stress of his work and his traumatic upbringing by his damaging mother created a vicious cycle of abuse that even his therapy sessions weren’t able to interrupt. This led to Tony becoming a bad husband and a bad father which was showcased by a number of his other poor personality traits.
7 Tony Is Unfaithful And Never Stopped Cheating On His Wife
Aside from the yelling and frequent displays of emotional abuse at home, Tony Soprano was incredibly unfaithful to his wife Carmela. This seemed to be contradictory to the usual loyalty that he showed with his crime family. What made it even worse was that Carmela knew about his infidelity and was basically forced to tolerate it by looking the other way.
Tony had a number of “goomahs” over the course of the series that he spent almost as much time with as his own family, which obviously caused problems at home. When Carmela was faced with proof that she could no longer ignore, he promised to stop his cheating ways, but nothing ever changed. It was an accepted part of the lifestyle among the other mob wives as well.
6 Tony Displayed A Racist Attitude To Summer’s Boyfriend (Among Others)
One of Tony’s worst traits is not something that he exclusively holds, as pretty much every one of his mob associates is also racist in one form or another. Their prejudices are particularly strong against African-Americans and Latinx, which is revealed by the multitude of ignorant names they have for each race.
Tony in particular displayed his racist and ignorant viewpoints a number of times when his daughter Meadow brought home her college boyfriend Noah. Tony quickly determined what Noah’s background was before insulting him with a number of racial slurs and threatening him to stay away from his daughter.
5 He Has A Bad Temper That Has Led To Murder Many Different Times
It might seem strange to discuss Tony Soprano’s willingness to commit murder since he is a mob boss who has killed and ordered many kills to get where to the top of his crime family. However, Tony has such a bad temper that it has led to murderous rages on more than one occasion, which makes things even worse.
One such moment of rage came after he lost his prized racehorse which he co-owned with Ralph Cifaretto, whose financial struggles led to him burning the horse staple to recover the insurance. Tony Soprano flew into a rage when he discovered Raph’s involvement and he viciously beat his associate to death.
4 Tony’s Afraid To Show Any Weakness In Front Of Either Of His Families
One thing that became very clear during Tony Soprano’s sessions with his therapist Dr. Melfi was that he suffered from intense insecurity that led to a fear of showing weakness – which was also something that would have been frowned upon in his criminal life. As the head of the family, he was expected to be the toughest and strongest, which even his therapy sessions threatened.
One of the best examples came after Tony Soprano suffered an episode and passed out in front of his crew, which led to talk and speculation among even the lower-ranked members of the family. When he returned, he knew he needed to make a show of force, so he viciously beat up his young and well-toned driver who had been making casual remarks to reinforce his strength.
3 His Greed Kept Even His Closest Work Allies Suffering Financially
Tony Soprano is very obviously a greedy man, which comes with his position at the top of the crime family. Everything kicks up to Tony, and he expects nothing less all of the time. However, his greed is so out of control that even his top guys find themselves living in less than luxurious conditions due to his take of their profits.
Throughout The Sopranos, his nephew and made man Christopher was struggling with finances as he was forced to kick up money to his capo Paulie. Yet Paulie struggled himself and even went so far as to try to steal money from an old woman to make ends meet while Tony practically lived in a castle. Granted it was built by his father-in-law, but Tony’s greed still had an effect on his associates.
2 He’s Possessive And Jealous
It’s no surprise that someone as insecure as Tony Soprano would also be jealous and possessive, which he displayed quite a few times with both his own wife and various mistresses over the course of the series. However, when one of his exes began dating another associate of his, he displayed his jealous possessiveness with violence.
Ronald Zellman was a political ally who ended up dating Irina Peltsin, Tony’s first mistress on the show who he was with for a couple of seasons. When he found out that Zellman was with Irina, Tony was initially okay with it. After stewing about it, however, Tony showed up at Zellman’s and beat him with his belt to humiliate and punish him for daring to sleep with his ex.
1 Tony’s Spite Leads Him To Make Others Feel As Miserable As He Does
Tony Soprano is not a happy man, and he never really achieves happiness throughout the course of the series even with his numerous therapy sessions or mistresses. While that isn’t a poor trait of Tony’s or anyone who isn’t able to find happiness, it can be very dangerous when coupled with spitefulness as was seen numerous times on The Sopranos.
Tony’s spitefulness led him to try and make everyone else around him to make everyone around him as miserable as he himself was by bringing them down in any way he can. This was best seen with his sister Janice, who had finally seemed to calm down due to anger management. Tony then berates her and brings up traumatic details of her past to bring her back down to his level.
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