“The Contest,” Season 3: After Christopher Moltisanti is caught in an embarrassing position, Tony, Paulie, Christopher, and Adriana stage a contest to see who can go the longest without masturbating. Hilarity quickly ensues as each character is surrounded by unexpected temptations, including a visit from John F. Kennedy Jr. to Tony’s fitness class.
“The Boss,” Season 5: Plans are made for the New York and New Jersey families to see a Billy Joel show at the Garden. Tony’s cousin Tony Blundetta (Steve Buscemi) scores tickets to a conflicting Bruce Springsteen show which they decide to attend, angering the New York crew. Tony B. is overheard disparaging Billy Joel in Brooklyn, further angering Phil Leotardo, who pulled the strings to get the tickets in the first place.
“Twist My Arm,” Season 4: After AJ Soprano calls Christopher Columbus a “dweeb,” Tony spends the remainder of the relatively short 22-minute episode thrashing him in the basement. Feeling that a weight has been lifted, Tony makes an amicable compromise with New York capo Johnny Sacks that would have averted the tragic trajectory of the final seasons.
“Have You Heard About This,” Season 2: Paulie’s foray into the world of standup comedy compromises his ability to earn for the business. After receiving payments in the form of an envelope half-stuffed with drink tickets, Tony gives him an ultimatum.
[Several Untitled Episodes Where Chris Relapses], Seasons 4-6: More than a half-dozen episodes dedicated to Christopher Moltisanti shooting up and subsequently staring off into space, driving around, attacking acquaintances, and mumbling curses at Tony.
“Eighty-Six,” Season 6: The first half of the sixth season was criticized at the time for its slow pacing. That would explain why this two-part episode was cut. Shot in a mockumentary format reminiscent of The Office, Chef Artie Bucco goes through layoffs at Vesuvio Nuevo. Aside from a quick cameo from Tony, no major cast members appear. Instead, the audience is treated to loose, improvisational interactions between the struggling kitchen staff.
The Docks, Alternative plot of Season 2: Originally, the second season of the Sopranos was actually going to leave the Soprano family behind. Focus shifts to the docks where a stevedore union head struggles with familial relationships, health issues, and the aftermath of a federal crime on his worksite.
“Meat Sweats,” Season 2: After a detour takes them to New York City, Tony obsesses over finding the right sandwich to eat lunch with his friend and FBI informant, Big Pussy Bonpenseiro. After several miles of walking in the hot sun, a sweaty, gasping Tony recognizes a storefront his father brought him as a child. Big Pussy and Tony discuss important business while eating exclusively the capicola from the sandwiches. Later, Big Pussy’s FBI handler listens to the recording and realizes Tony’s confessions are obfuscated by the sounds of heavy, labored breathing and loud chewing.
“The Tony Soprano Experience Podcast,” Season 6: After leaving town and taking peyote, Tony returns to take back control of his organization. The bulk of this episode focuses on Tony summarizing his hallucinations to his clearly bored friends. The audience is treated to lengthy observations on life and death, the benefits of sensory deprivation tanks, and arguments about mixed martial arts.
Follow Points in Case on Twitter.
Join The Second City writing classes on satire, sketch, and TV – 10% off with code PIC.
Check out events at The Satire and Humor Festival in NYC March 22-24.