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11 Fan Theories From 'The Sopranos' That Actually Make Sense

Updated April 28, 2021 1.2k votes 221 voters 5.1k views11 items

List RulesVote up the fan theories that make the most sense.

The Sopranos is considered by many as one of the best shows to have aired on HBO. Finishing its six-season run in 2007, it feels like it's more popular now than ever before. While most fan theories center around the widely controversial ending, many other insane theories have made their way to the internet. We managed to round up some of the best fan theories surrounding the Sopranos universe.

Which Sopranos fan theory do you think could be true? Vote up your favorites below!

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  • 1

    Paulie Is A Mole For New York

    Photo: HBO

    From Redditor u/gobartlett 

    TLDR: Paulie flipped crews after what he perceived as continued disrespect and mistreatment from the Soprano family.

    Throughout the show we see Paulie approaching or crossing the line in terms of loyalty to his family when it comes to communicating with members of the NY crew. It happens first when Carmine Sr. is still alive. Paulie asks Johnny Sac to send his regards to Carmine right after complaining about being disrespected by his own guys, the tone of Paulie’s well wishes come off as a rather overt attempt to test the waters of him flipping crews and it was well received by Johnny Sac.

    Now, Paulie was a loyal guy for decades, he only waivers occasionally when he feels that all he’s done for the Soprano family is going overlooked. You don’t see any further questionable behavior from Paulie in this department until season 5 when he has been stuck in jail and doesn’t receive any calls or visits from anyone in his crew, yet Johnny Sac corresponds with him over the phone frequently. Paulie hears about an off color remark Ralphie makes about about John Sac’s wife, which Paulie dubiously mentions to Johnny, knowing full well the conflict that would arise.

    This comment effectively puts The Soprano family’s demise into motion, igniting a bloody war between the NY and NJ families. As this war comes to a precipice, Phil Leotardo and his captains are discussing who else they need to kill besides Tony. Silvio, Bobby, and Paulie are mentioned but Phil says they don’t want to target Paulie, just “upper management” even though Paulie clearly outranks Bobby, who isn’t even a captain. I believe that off camera, Paulie had already made the decision to flip. I believe this came after nobody came to his mother’s wake in the third to last episode of the series. I feel like this was the last straw in Paulie’s eyes and the decision was made then and there to support Phil from inside Tony’s crew.

    If you rewatch the final 3 episodes when sh*t is going down, WHERE THE F*CK IS PAULIE, they’re on red alert and he’s nowhere to be found. He is tasked with informing the Italian hitmen on where they can find Phil to kill him. Right after they get set up, Paulie is shown jumping in his car and speeding away, I think he was on his way to tell Phil about the hit, after the hit is botched Silvio tells Tony that Paulie apologizes and takes the blame for the mistake. And after that Paulie turns down Tony’s offer to run Vito’s crew, I think Paulie turned him down because he knew that in a few days, that crew would no longer exist.

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  • 2

    Ralphie Was Trying To Kill Jackie Jr. The Whole Time

    Photo: HBO

    From Redditor u/pushingrocks

    Ralphie was trying to kill Jackie Jr. the whole time. The Card Game Robbery was a set up.

    In "Episode 12, season 3" around the 20 min mark, Ralphie sits down with his common law son and explains how Tony Soprano (the current boss) and Jackie Aprile (the dead former boss) made their mark by robbing a card game run by none other then Feech Lamana (a major figure season 5).

    Later in the season, Jackie Jr. robs a card game (just like Tony did), and he is reprimanded for it, ultimately with his life.

    The irony of the whole thing though is that the current family boss rose to fame by doing the exact same thing Jackie Jr. is being killed for. And one cant help but remember that it was that son of a b*tch Ralphie that put the idea of robing the card game Jackie Jr's head to begin with.

    Perhaps Ralphie was planing on some long term ish. Maybe if Jackie Jr was gone, his own future kids with Rosalie would be the heir apparent and thus favor himself over the Soprano family.

    Jackie Jr.'s death is not a tragedy but a deliberate move made by a few men.

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  • 3

    Where Janice Was For 20 Years

    Photo: HBO

    From Redditor u/megacatwitharrows

    Janice left and was gone for about 20 years before she returned in 1999/2000 after her mother was hospitalized. All the explanation we get is that she joined an Ashram in LA and changed her name to Parvati. Parvati is a Hindu goddess, a prevalent religion in India. We also know that shortly before moving back to NJ she worked in a coffee bar in Seattle.

    During the 1980s, there was an 'intentional community' later turned cult compound in Portland, Oregon known as Rajneeshpuram. The community was originally founded as a free love type of place, but as tensions grew with the nearby town and City officials over land rights, things went South.

    This episode of The Dollop podcast covers the whole story, but by the end of it, the cult had intentionally spread salmonella throughout the town, attempted the assassinations of two city officials, attempted arson, and had brought in bus loads of homeless people in an attempt to boost their numbers in a vote to get one of their members elected to city council.

    All of which Janice would be intimately familiar with given her familiarity with her father's work. And the timeline matches up perfectly. After the cult disbanded, all of the members who had not been arrested scattered and went back to living normal lives, never mentioning what they had been a part of in the previous years. They might have done something like go work in a coffee shop in the next state over, until they get word that their mother has fallen ill giving them the perfect excuse to move back to the east coast and have a free place to stay. The rest is history.

    I just listened to this episode of The Dollop and I'm currently working on The Sopranos, I'm almost done with season 2. So while they were talking about this place all I could think was "Holy sh*t I bet that's where Janice was!"

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  • 4

    Patsy Parisi Had Tony Soprano Whacked

    Photo: HBO

    From Redditor u/rodrigkn

    Patsy Parisi knew that it was Tony who had his twin brother Philly whacked.

    He makes it evident when he appears at the house with a gun and urinates in the pool. In that moment he decided to bide his time. We see this when Tony becomes increasingly frustrated and confronts Patsy on whether there is a problem between them. Patsy is literally calculating at the time of questioning and acts confused at the question.

    We see Patsy as mostly a side character but it’s clear he has balls on multiple occasions. He was smart and bidding his time. Seasons passed and Patsy never comes up when Tony suspects people of wrong doing over the years. He even only showed mild frustration when Christopher was made Capo over him. He waited patiently and gained everyone’s trust by acting natural.

    Then Patsys son and Meadow gets engaged. We begin to see him evil eye Tony again. Patsy had played the game long enough and needs to make his move before being forced to break bread with Tony at a wedding. The emotional burden involved with the wedding planning is overwhelming and he decides that it’s time. The plan had to play into the war with New York.

    If we are to assume the assassin was the nervous guy at the counter then we know that this guy wasn’t a professional. Patsy had his collection routes and could have used someone way over their head in debt. This guy could easily be taken care of after the fact if need be. Patsy may have also made the effort to ensure that Meadow wouldn’t be there when the hit occurred. That way he wouldn’t traumatize his future daughter-in-law any more than need be. It was a kindness to his son.

    Finally, the name Patsy is similar to the Italian family name Pazzi which were known conspirators of Florence. The answer to who betrayed the Soprano family was right in front of us the whole time and only came as a surprise because we ignored the mild mannered Patsy Parisi along with Tony.

    In the end, no one would suspect Patsy of being disloyal. Whoever took over the family would assume it was New York who whacked Tony but would not pursue anything since the war was settled with the death of Phil Leotardo. Everyone would have a newly found respect/fear of war with rival families which would allow business to prosper. Meanwhile, Patsy would have the ultimate revenge of Tony. He would take in Meadow with love as his daughter-in-law and see his grandchildren grow. Patsy would by all accounts take Tonys family for his own. 

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