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25 Best Sopranos Episodes Ranked

David Chase's award-winning series, "The Sopranos," which helped launch television's golden age, is just as popular now as it ever was. Considering its critical success and lasting legacy, even those who've never seen an episode are likely familiar with the show's general (and ever-intriguing) premise. An anxiety-ridden, New Jersey-based, Italian-American mob boss turns to therapy to treat debilitating panic attacks and navigate the dual roles of mafia member and suburban family man. Though the show officially ended in 2007, younger generations currently have the privilege of binge-streaming (while older generations have the opportunity to revisit) the entire "Sopranos" saga via HBO Max. Add to that the recent 2021 prequel film, "The Many Saints of Newark," and the unexpected "Sopranos" reunion during the 2022 Super Bowl half-time show, and you have the perfect recipe for renewed enthusiasm and affection among fans. 

When it comes to shows as beloved as this unflinching crime drama, the best episodes are sometimes a matter of wide-ranging opinion. With that in mind, we studied the episode rankings on IMDb and scoured Reddit forums to compile this synthesized, fan-based list of top-tier "Sopranos" episodes. In doing so, we've also discovered what we'd already long suspected: The best episodes are complex, character-driven narratives that use Freudian ideas to present a sharp-toothed critique of the American psyche and examine the gradual collapse of a lucrative but volatile lifestyle. So, read on for the best "Sopranos" episodes ranked from worst to best (and beware, spoilers below).

25. Mayham (Season 6, Episode 3)

In the early Season 6 episode, "Mayham," Tony is hospitalized following his gunshot wound. Unconscious and teetering between life and death, he finds himself trapped in a fever dream where he doesn't quite know who he is or where he should be. As he lies in a coma with an uncertain fate, tensions brew within his families. Silvio's new role as interim acting boss exacerbates his asthma, A.J. plots murderous revenge against Junior (and attempts to buy a gun), and an emotionally exhausted Carmela confides in Dr. Melfi. Meanwhile, Christopher uses intimidation and mob strategy to break into the film industry. That is, he decides to enter into a business partnership with Little Carmine to produce a horror movie. 

Finally, Vito, intent on proving that he could be a potential new leader, tries to sow good relations between himself and the Lupertazzi family ... while also finding time to make threatening, sexually-charged passes at Meadow's boyfriend, Finn. The episode includes a well-constructed and meaningful dream sequence and various film references, like "The Godfather," "The Ring," and "Ghostbusters." With these elements plus Reddit fans praising Edie Falco's incredible performance in particular, "Mayham" certainly earns its place as one of the show's best episodes.

24. The Strong, Silent Type (Season 4, Episode 10)

"The Strong, Silent Type" focuses on Christopher's worsening drug addiction, Tony's grief in the aftermath of Pie-O-My's death, and Johnny Sack and Tony's fractured friendship. In the episode, Johnny tries to force Tony into letting the New York family in on the HUD scam. Meanwhile, Tony's gangster co-workers speculate on his role in Ralphie's alleged disappearance as they discuss the faux pas of "whacking a made man." So, Tony sees a shortsighted, "two birds one stone" opportunity.

He accuses Johnny of having Ralph killed in retaliation for being shut out of the scam, but requests his colleagues hold off on putting out any kind of hit until there's real, solid proof. As Tony struggles with losing his horse and the respect of his men, he seeks some brief companionship in Svetlana. Meanwhile, heroin-addicted Christopher accidentally kills Adriana's dog, Cosette, while high. Christopher's violent response following this tragedy prompts one ridiculously bizarre and aggressive intervention.

From the striking moments of juxtaposition between Tony and Furio to the unforgivable brutality Christopher rains down on Adriana, "The Strong, Silent Type" offers some rich and complex character studies. It reminds us that though Tony mourns over animals, he cares little for human lives, and no matter how much we feel for Christopher, he's still an abusive partner. That our hearts ache for them here anyway is a testament to the incredibly layered storytelling and acting of this episode.

23. Stage 5 (Season 6, Episode 14)

"Stage 5" sees Johnny Sack dying of lung cancer in a prison hospital with his wife and daughters by his side. The episode also traces the shattered bond between Tony and Christopher. When Chrissy's slasher film premieres, it only serves to further that growing divide. Though Tony is oblivious to the ways in which "art imitates life" in Christopher's mafia-themed movie, "Cleaver," an irritable Carmela is all too determined to point out the similarities. Most notably, the movie's featured love triangle alludes to the once-rumored triangle between Christopher, Tony, and Adriana, and the plot reads like a hateful "revenge fantasy." 

Horrified by this newfound revelation that Christopher might actually despise him, a pained and conflicted Tony laments over his and his nephew's broken relationship in his next therapy session with Dr. Melfi. Meanwhile, Faustino "Doc" Santoro puts Silvio in danger with an ill-timed hit as New York mob members squabble over the role of new boss. Little Carmine declines the open position, and an embittered Phil vows "no more compromises" with the New Jersey family. Rated solidly on IMDb, and with Reddit users like u/slov90 calling the ending of "Stage 5" both "brilliant and chilling," it's easy to see why this one's considered one of the best.

22. College (Season 1, Episode 5)

In this self-contained episode full of rich symbolism and deceptive simplicity, Tony must successfully navigate his dual roles as a New Jersey mob boss and a suburban father. When he encounters former-associate-turned-rat-turned-witness-protection-protectee, Febby Petrulio, while visiting colleges with Meadow in Maine, Tony finds it nearly impossible to keep family and work matters separate. Determined to murder Febby during this father-daughter road trip, Tony soon finds he can no longer hide the dangerous reality of his life from his daughter when she, very understandably, demands some answers.

With husband and daughter out of the house, an upset, flu-addled, and affection-starved Carmela reels after discovering Tony's therapist is a woman. The worst part is that he actually lied about it. Seeking commiseration and comfort, the lonely Carmela confides in Father Intintola in an attempt to further her bond with the priest and encourages him to spend the night.

While some, like Reddit user u/lbb55, just don't understand the hype behind this Season 1 episode, many others — fans and critics alike — credit the storyline for solidifying their investment in the show. The A.V. Club's Emily St. James calls "College" one of those episodes "that takes a show from just being one you watch to one you know you'll follow to the ends of the Earth," and argues that "this is 'The Sopranos,' distilled almost completely to its essence."

21. Army of One (Season 3, Episode 13)

"Army of One" closes out the show's 3rd Season. After one too many missteps, A.J. gets expelled from high school, which prompts an argument between Carmela and Tony over how to punish him for such an egregious infraction. A livid Tony wants to ship his kid off to military school, where he'll hopefully learn some discipline and respect, but Carmela fears her son will be shaped into a killer. A dread-filled A.J. begs his parents to let him stay while they force him to try on his new school uniform, and his panicked pleas are answered by both a blessing and a curse when he collapses. 

Meanwhile, FBI Agent Deborah Ciccerone poses as "Danielle" to infiltrate Adriana's life and extract information about the DiMeo crime family. Jackie Jr. holes up in a housing project as he finally starts to understand that the New Jersey mob is all out of good will. Tony puts Jackie Jr.'s ultimate fate in the hands of new captain, Ralphie.

It's worth noting that in this richly layered narrative, the song Junior sings near the end of this Season 3 finale is meant to comment on how the world uses music as a tool for manipulation. According to David Chase in "Dying to Belong: Gangster Movies in Hollywood and Hong Kong," "Junior, who is the most selfish character in the cast, is pouring his heart out ... to give the audience a laugh about how they are being manipulated everyday."

20. Join the Club (Season 6, Episode 2)

"The Sopranos" is a complex, well-balanced show that boasts impressive writing and acting, and, as The New York Times eloquently stated, it has a heck of a lot to say as a "parable about a country in terminal decline." Arguably, though, one of its best features is its ability to expertly weave significant dream sequences into its storylines. Often, these dives into Tony's psyche are both engaging and narratively relevant. 

With Tony in an induced coma after being shot, "Join the Club" offers yet another dream-focused installment. It traces the first half of Tony's adventure through a purgatorial dreamscape, which concludes in the next episode. Tony, consumed by his subconscious, tries to make sense of who Kevin Finnerty is (and whether he's him). At the same time, his loved ones — back in the physical world — gather around his bedside to pray for a full recovery. Throughout all of this, an increasingly confused and senile Uncle Junior denies any responsibility for Tony's state, refusing to believe or accept that he had any part in harming his nephew.

Some Redditors rank this as one of the top 10 "Sopranos" episodes, and The A.V. Club's Emily St. James gives "Join the Club" an admirable A rating. She argues that the "symbol-laden journey ...works as wonderfully as it does because it brings death into the center of the frame, but shows just how hard it is to pin down, all the same." With this in mind, we'd say it deserves its place on this list of best episodes.

19. Employee of the Month (Season 3, Episode 4)

In the wake of a violent tragedy, Dr. Jennifer Melfi struggles with her moral compass, anger, lingering pain, and desire for justice. She confronts the fact that she's "been charmed by a sociopath" as she contemplates revealing her truth to Tony Soprano — and letting him handle the rest. Ralph Cifaretto — against Tony's very explicit direction — decides to start bringing Jackie Jr., the eager son of his lover, Rosalie Aprile, into the mob fold. And finally, Janice faces the brutal consequences of stealing Svetlana's prosthetic leg.

The episode has a strong rating on IMDb and Reddit users like u/Bufudyne43 consider this one "emotional ... intense and shocking." Film School Rejects' Valerie Ettenhofer declares "Employee of the Month" the show's "toughest" episode, but also praises the "masterful" storytelling, claiming that this entry "gains much of its impact from exploring the unjust and retraumatizing bureaucratic aftermath of sexual assault." With its Melfi-focused dream sequence and its raw and unflinching examination of the therapist's sexual trauma, this hard-hitting Season 3 episode earns its status as one of the show's best.

18. Amour Fou (Season 3, Episode 12)

The late Season 3 episode, "Amour Fou" (which translates to "mad love" in French), follows the increasingly tumultuous affair between Tony Soprano and saleswoman Gloria Trillo. When Gloria finds a way into Carmela's life by eliciting a ride home, a furious Tony attempts to end their relationship once and for all. In response, Gloria threatens to reveal his infidelity to his family. As Tony attempts to navigate the minefield that marks the end of his fleeting romance with Gloria, Jackie Jr. condemns himself in an ill-thought attempt to earn some respect and gain some traction in the New Jersey mafia.

James Gandolfini won his second Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work in this episode. Annabella Sciorra also scored a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Gloria Trillo. We'd say that's already more than enough to put "Amour Fou" on this list, and its excellent rating on IMDb only solidifies its placement as the best of "The Sopranos."

17. I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano (Season 1, Episode 13)

In "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano," the 1st Season's finale, Uncle Junior plots his nephew's murder with the blessing and encouragement of Tony's oppressive and manipulative mother, Livia. Tony learns of this heinous betrayal when the FBI moves him to a safe house. Our anxiety-ridden mobster believes that Dr. Melfi's life could also be in danger. Meanwhile, the mafia family takes out presumed rat, Jimmy Altieri. During a conversation with Artie, the ever-antagonistic Livia reveals Tony's role in the destruction of the other man's restaurant, and the authorities attempt to convince an incarcerated Junior to admit Tony Soprano is the boss of the New Jersey crime family in exchange for a lesser sentence.

The episode has an impressive rating on IMDb, and Uproxx's Alan Sepinwall considers "I Dream of Jeannie" a "spectacular" Season 1 conclusion. Other fans like Reddit user u/JOMO_Kenyatta mark the season's ending as one of their favorites. This one also offers a fascinating (and complicated) exploration of how Livia's emotional abuse, lack of compassion, and venomous words helped shape Tony into the man he is. Of particular note here is the fact that, as Chase explained to 60 Minutes, Livia Soprano is modeled after his own (apparently) horrible mother.

16. All Due Respect (Season 5, Episode 13)

At the start of the Season 5 finale, "All Due Respect," we're still reeling over one of the show's most upsetting deaths. And while this episode presents a quieter storyline compared to the season's penultimate entry, it still offers more carnage and more betrayal. As the FBI closes in on certain mob members, A.J. discovers a passion for event planning, while Carmela is stunned and confused to learn from Christopher that Adriana allegedly skipped town (and left him). 

Meanwhile, a vengeful Phil Leotardo urges Johnny Sack to go after the New Jersey family since he wants Tony Blundetto's head on a spike for murdering his brother. Trouble is, Tony Soprano has no intention of handing over his cousin, Tony B., to be tortured and killed by the furious Phil. So, after pressing for a united front with his men, Tony Soprano puts his own plan in motion: He hopes to make peace with New York and to satisfy the Lupertazzi family's thirst for revenge without subjecting his own flesh and blood to suffering.

This one sits in the top 20 of IMDb's sorted list, and some Redditors consider it their personal favorite episode of "The Sopranos." While the season's penultimate episode offers heart-wrenching intensity and one character's particularly traumatic demise, "All Due Respect" provides a quiet, more introspective narrative in which Tony eventually finds himself (in the ways that really matter) truly alone.

15. Irregular Around the Margins (Season 5, Episode 5)

In the mid-Season 5 episode, "Irregular Around the Margins," a growing bond between Adriana La Cerva and Tony Soprano sparks suspicions while Christopher is out of town. The two play darts and decide to take a midnight drive to Dover to score cocaine, but their festivities come to an abrupt halt when the car crashes. After a series of misinterpreted telephone calls, everyone is convinced that the two were taking advantage of Chrissy's absence and engaging in an affair.

Redditor u/aviramj has an intriguing interpretation regarding the richly layered and character-focused storyline here. They claim "Irregular Around the Margins" is "a love story in disguise" in which "Chris and Ade represent pure love, unconditional and raw, manifesting itself through the prism of the mob world." While others may not agree with that particular take, they still agree with this episode's status as one of the series' best. Reddit user u/cmaya11day cites the incredible amount of "turmoil" and the "great one liners" for its success, while the episode currently holds an impressive IMDb rating.

Even more significant, though, is that this storyline reminds us that as charming as our lead protagonist can be, he's still a womanizing, self-serving gangster. And as much as we might sympathize with his nephew, Christopher — sometimes we even want Christopher and Adriana's relationship to succeed — the younger man is an abusive partner, who's still struggling with addiction.

14. Whitecaps (Season 4, Episode 13)

Tony attempts to salvage his marriage by bidding on a beach house on the Jersey Shore in the Season 4 finale, "Whitecaps," but Carmela's discovery of a past lover disrupts his grand gesture and opens new wounds for both parties. Meanwhile, after the Esplanade project gets shut down, a bitter and fretful Johnny convinces Tony to help him take out Carmine (because of the man's refusal to negotiate). Tony tasks his nephew, Christopher, with the hit and requests that it look like an "outside job." Not surprisingly, nothing goes according to plan. And through juror intimidation and sheer force of will, Corrado John "Junior" Soprano Jr. is freed from his imprisonment thanks to a mistrial.

There are different Reddit threads discussing favorite or best episodes, where various users view "Whitecaps" as top-tier "Sopranos" work. "Whitecaps" received a number of awards and honors (both James Gandolfini and Edie Falco won Emmys for their work in it), and it's easy to see why this universally praised episode is considered one of the best. It's also incredibly significant to the larger arc of the show: Junior's now a free man, Tony and Johnny's already tenuous friendship has finally started to truly fracture, and Carmela's furious response to her husband's past infidelity results in a less than amicable separation.

13. Members Only (Season 6, Episode 1)

In a thread discussing the first episode of Season 6, Redditor u/somerton describes it as a "dense, masterful gut-punch of an episode" that's "expertly crafted" and that starts in a "unique, mysterious, and darkly funny way."

"Members Only" picks "The Sopranos" saga up after a two-year time skip. Meadow's still dating Finn, Bobby and Janice are still together (and now have a baby girl), and Phil Leotardo is enjoying his role as acting boss for the New York crime family while Johnny Sack spends his days behind bars. Now, though, A.J. has enrolled in junior college, and Vito has become a top earner. Add in Uncle Junior's rapidly declining mental stability, and it's fair to say the show's final season starts off with quite a bang.

Here, Phil briefly strains New York-New Jersey relations when some of his men assault Hesh Rabkin and Eli Kaplan. Carmela annoys Tony by pushing him to get the suspension on her spec house lifted and by expressing deep concern over Adriana's continued disappearance. Finally, mobster Eugene Pontecorvo — FBI informant and recent recipient of a $2 million inheritance — attempts to get Tony's permission (as well as the FBI's) to retire and move his family to Florida. Featuring several deaths, as well as a grim reminder of the kind of commitment mob life demands, this episode marks one of the show's best because it paints a vivid portrait of how this violent, mafia-centered world is starting to collapse in on itself.

12. University (Season 3, Episode 6)

Tony Soprano puts his bigotry on full display in "University" when he discovers who his college-aged daughter is currently dating. But it's also clear that Meadow and new beau Noah are not meant to last when her depressed roommate, Caitlin, puts an unexpected strain on the relationship. Meanwhile, when "made man" Ralph Cifaretto impregnates his lover Tracee, who's a Bada Bing dancer, the young woman approaches Tony for advice. Considering Tony despises the other man, it's not surprising to hear him recommend an abortion. Unfortunately, the situation between Tracee and the short-tempered Ralph soon becomes tragic and volatile, reminding us — once again — that Ralph, like many other characters on this show, is a pretty (and unforgivably) despicable person.

While some Reddit users consider this season 3 episode to be perhaps too depressing, others, like u/incamelot, believe it's one of the show's best and praise "the layered social commentary and criticism about the modern mob and America." On top of that, Vulture's Matt Zoller Seitz ranks it as the greatest episode of "The Sopranos." "University" offers a heavy (and yes, depressing) storyline that reinforces the bitter reality that our New Jersey mobsters harbor a complete disregard for the sanctity of human life. Ultimately, though, it succeeds because of its effective exploration of the episode's main theme — society's layered treatment of women — that can span from casual manipulation to bleak, dangerous exploitation.

11. Made in America (Season 6, Episode 21)

"Made in America" marks the ambiguous series finale of "The Sopranos." At the start, things are quite bleak. Bobby is dead, Silvio is comatose, and though Tony is miraculously alive, his attempts to locate the New York leader who ordered his execution initially fall flat. A grief-stricken Janice is determined to raise Bobby's kids despite the fact that they really don't care for her, and Phil, using payphones to communicate with his crew, is furious that Tony Soprano is not dead yet. He reams out Butchie for failing to complete the task. Unfortunately for Phil, Butchie would rather campaign for peace, and the man meets with Tony to negotiate a truce, which includes letting the New Jersey leader put a hit out on his own boss.

"The Sopranos" closes out its groundbreaking six-year run with an abrupt cut-to-black that's been the subject of many discussions since. Fans have pondered Tony's fate for a long time, and after years of silence on the matter, showrunner David Chase responded to the speculation around the series finale, saying it was "annoying" that so many wanted to witness Tony's death. The real beauty of this finale — and what makes it worthy of this list — is that regardless of our anxiety-ridden mob boss's fate, the narrative still brings us to a satisfying series conclusion. It vividly highlights the now-striking parallels between Meadow and Carmela, A.J. and Tony, and Janice and Livia, making it clear that this family's mafia-themed cycle of life will perpetuate.

10. Soprano Home Movies (Season 6, Episode 13)

"Sopranos Home Movies" sees Tony, Carmela, Bobby, and Janice taking a weekend vacation in the Adirondacks to celebrate the mob boss's birthday. It's a nice retreat ... at first. Bobby gifts Tony a gun, and the two men spend time drinking beer and firing it off in the woods. There, Tony muses over what we, as viewers, have long suspected about the other man — he's a gangster who's never actually killed anyone. Later, Janice gives her brother some old Sopranos home movies, and the two couples lounge by a picturesque lake. But, like most things in Tony Soprano's life, things eventually take a turn towards the violent.

Several Reddit users list this one as one of the show's best episodes while others claim "Sopranos Home Movies is super underrated." Some, like u/moltisantiblues, are fascinated by the story's "petty psychological warfare" and consider it to be the best episode of any television show in the history of TV. It's a bold statement, and while we may not completely agree with such a profound declaration, we do believe that this one more than earns its spot in the top 10 "Sopranos" episodes.

9. The Knight in White Satin Armor (Season 2, Episode 12)

In the 2nd Season's penultimate episode, Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero has finally turned on Tony. Consumed with delusions of grandeur — and romanticizing the far-fetched idea of becoming a full-fledged FBI agent — Sal throws himself into his role as an FBI informant and takes some pretty ill-advised initiative. Meanwhile, Tony and Richie Aprile continue to butt heads, even though the other man is engaged to be married to Tony's sister, Janice. Riding the highs of soon becoming a mafia wife, Janice uses her new influence to manipulate Richie into climbing up the crime family ladder. In response, Richie attempts to partner up with Uncle Junior to plot Tony's murder. In the end, one small argument regarding Richie's homosexuality and disgust over his son's profession as a dancer evolves into a violent confrontation between bride-and-groom-to-be that changes everything.

The episode has a high IMDb rating and Reddit users like u/_Vaudeville_ have declared this one has the most powerful ending of any episode in the series. Additionally, with critics like Colin Hart (who rates the story a 9.5), claiming "The Knight in White Satin Armor" features "the only curveball that 'The Sopranos' will ever throw, and it's handled with deft and grace and stunned awe," we'd say that this storyline's more than worthy of being 9th on this list of best episodes.

8. Whoever Did This (Season 4, Episode 9)

In the late Season 4 episode, "Whoever Did This," the dementia symptoms Junior fakes during his hearings start to become far too real, Tony is still enamored with his racehorse Pie-O-My, and Ralph Cifaretto's son suffers a horrific accident involving an arrow. When a catastrophic stable fire erupts in the barn where Pie-O-My is boarded, which aligns too perfectly with the hospitalization of Ralphie's son, Tony immediately suspects that Ralph is responsible for burning the place down for insurance money — and murdering his beloved horse in the process. Enraged and grief-stricken, Tony faces off with selfish, short-tempered, and sociopathic Ralph Cifaretto one last time.

Time's critic James Poniewozik puts "Whoever Did This" in the top 10 of all "Sopranos" episodes, and it earns a similar ranking on IMDb. This narrative is particularly significant for Tony's character development, and it emphasizes the observation that we make as viewers throughout the series (and that Dr. Melfi mentions in their therapy sessions): this man, while charming, empathetic towards animals, and sometimes even sympathetic, cares very little for the lives of other human beings. With carefully woven nuance, humor, and drama that help drive the gradually rising tension, it's easy to see why Reddit users like u/thisishardcore_ describe "Whoever Did This" as one of the show's "best, and definitely one of the most memorable," and would agree with all the praise it enjoys.

7. The Test Dream (Season 5, Episode 11)

"The Test Dream" offers viewers an incredible 20-minute dream sequence full of that Freudian psychoanalysis and thematically relevant surrealism for which the show is so well-known. After one of his lovers is injured in a freak kitchen accident, Tony attempts to get "a good night's sleep" in a luxurious hotel suite, where he plans to drink and make merry with an escort. But his night does not go as planned. The mob boss soon learns that Phil and Billy Leotardo murdered Tony Blundetto's good friend (and old cellmate). Even worse, no one seems to be able to locate his currently unstable cousin. So, instead of a self-indulgent night of sex, drugs, alcohol, and decent sleep, Tony gets a stressful evening of worry, followed by a long, vivid nightmare.

Initially, this episode divided fans. Many felt bitter over the dissection of Tony's psyche through hallucinatory dreams, even though the tactic is a staple feature of "The Sopranos." In an interview with The Star-Ledger, David Chase discussed how this "story of a therapy patient" requires the use of dream sequences, and feels "like there's a natural affinity between the way film unspools on a screen and the way a dream unspools." Over the years, this storyline has garnered more praise, which is why it is 7th on this list. Critics like Independent's Christopher Hooton believe "The Test Dream" is "one of the finest episodes of television full stop," and Reddit user u/ab317 is just one of many who consider it the most important episode of the series.

6. The Second Coming (Season 6, Episode 19)

"The Second Coming" comes late in Season 6 and finds the rift between the Soprano and Lupertazzi family deepening, as Phil refuses to compromise regarding the asbestos removal. When Meadow is insulted by a drunk and suggestive Coco at a restaurant, a rage-fueled Tony manages to make the strenuous New Jersey-New York relations even worse by attacking the other man for such an egregious affront. Meanwhile, Dr. Melfi's own therapist (and fellow colleague) tells her about a research study on sociopaths and "talk" therapy, which suggests she's merely provided a space for Tony Soprano to "sharpen his skills" over the years. Finally, a morbid W.B. Yeats poem entitled "The Second Coming" drives a deeply depressed A.J., who's overwhelmed with the grim state of the world and the bleak future ahead, to a startling act.

This "Sopranos" episode was nominated for a Primetime Emmy in "Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series," and it won a Writers Guild Award. On a 10-point scale, Redditor u/SovietSanta rated this episode a 9.9, and user u/serpicokar puts it in the No. 1 spot in their personal list of the best episodes. But more than that, with its poignant and richly layered storytelling, this remarkable installment of "The Sopranos" solidifies A.J.'s path toward becoming his father.

5. Funhouse (Season 2, Episode 13)

In "Funhouse," the final episode of the show's 2nd Season, Meadow graduates high school, and Tony endures a bout of food poisoning, which invokes vividly surreal fever dreams that help him come to terms with the cold, hard truth about "Big Pussy's" betrayal. As our protagonist struggles with the stunning revelation that his trusted friend has become a rat, the FBI takes advantage of fraudulent airline tickets that Tony gave his mother to close in on the mob boss.

In Redditor u/Guitaniel's post asking what everyone thinks of "Funhouse," many users confirm it's one of their favorites. Rated magnificently on IMDb, the narrative here provides a fascinatingly raw character study of Tony Soprano with its artful and well-executed representation of dream logic. This fever dream examines the war within Tony's psyche between his subconscious intuition and his internalized guilt over what he believes he must do in response to the newfound (but viciously unwelcome) knowledge regarding Sal's status as an FBI informant. And in this way, this "Sopranos" installment is more than worthy of the 5th spot on this ranked list of the show's best episodes.

4. The Blue Comet (Season 6, Episode 20)

With a near-perfect rating on IMDb and with many Redditors considering it a top 10 favorite, "The Blue Comet" deserves its status as the 4th best episode of "The Sopranos." In this penultimate entry to the show's final installment, the tense and suspenseful war between the New York and New Jersey crime families has escalated into a chaotic bloodbath. While Phil Leotardo tries to convince some of Tony's most trusted men to jump ship and join him instead, Tony sends "the cousins" (aka the Italian hitmen) after the Lupertazzi head. 

The feud soon boils to a savage conclusion when the would-be assassins botch the job and Phil retaliates with fierce bloodlust. Meanwhile, Dr. Melfi finally reads the recent study about sociopaths and talk therapy that Elliot Kupferberg has been encouraging her to explore. Adding more fuel to the current raging bonfire that is now our lead protagonist's life, Dr. Melfi makes one last decision regarding her professional relationship and therapeutic work with Tony Soprano.

3. Long Term Parking (Season 5, Episode 12)

"Long Term Parking" follows Adriana La Cerva as she struggles to keep her status as a reluctant FBI informant secret. Stuck between a rock and a hard place after the FBI catches her helping to cover up a murder, Adriana must choose between wearing a wire or getting Christopher to turn on his uncle and boss. When she breaks down and confesses all to her fiancé, she and an anguished Christopher struggle with the reality of the situation. 

Adriana fantasizes about them running away together, but Christopher made a blood oath when he joined the New Jersey crime family. As a result, his ultimate loyalty may not lie with her. Meanwhile, Johnny Sack steps into his new role as head of the Lupertazzi family. In a sit down with Tony, Johnny and Phil make their murderous intentions for Tony B. — who's still on the lam after slaughtering Phil's brother Billy — quite clear.

"Long Term Parking," the penultimate episode of the show's 5th season, is an intense, chilling, and heartbreaking hour of television that features one of the most devastating deaths in the entire history of the series and promises grim, drug-drenched times ahead for Christopher. CinemaBlend's Doug Norrie considers it the best "Sopranos" episode of all time, and it currently enjoys a very high spot on IMDb's ranked list. On our list — with Reddit opinions taken into account — this one has a firm hold as the show's 3rd best episode.

2. Kennedy and Heidi (Season 6, Episode 18)

In "Kennedy and Heidi," Phil discovers that the waste being sent to Barone Sanitation is full of asbestos, so he demands a 25% cut from New Jersey before New York will accept any more of it. He is not happy when Tony refuses the deal. But more importantly, Christopher's drug relapse finally becomes apparent to our lead protagonist, and the mobster's fury over the unwelcome realization results in tragedy after his nephew crashes the car on their way back to Newark. Tony, unable to cope with the events that follow, flies off to Las Vegas for a much-needed escape. There, he drinks copious amounts of alcohol, has a brief affair with one of Christopher's old lovers, gambles at the casinos, does some peyote, and experiences a psychedelically-fueled epiphany while watching the sunrise from the desert canyons.

Director Alan Taylor won a Primetime Emmy in "Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series" for his work on this late Season 6 installment. It's notable that it presents a brutal, character-driven narrative, which reminds us that — in case we've forgotten — our charming lead is also a cold-blooded killer. And while Reddit user u/Ankit_Mustafi believes this entry is truly horrifying and unsettling, we'd argue that is part of what makes it such a rich, complex story and why it resonates so well with audiences. Other Redditors consider "Kennedy and Heidi" to be top-tier "Sopranos" in discussions about their three favorite episodes, all of which places it squarely in 2nd place on this list.

1. Pine Barrens (Season 3, Episode 11)

"Pine Barrens," directed by Steve Buscemi (who portrays Tony B.), traces the decline of Meadow's relationship with the dangerously naïve Jackie Jr. as well as the disintegrating bond between Tony and his progressively erratic "goomah," Gloria. But the real success here — and what makes this gem of an episode the fan-tested best of the entire series — is the plot that takes two of the funniest and most engaging mobsters in Tony's crew completely out of their element.

When things take a turn during a standard collection, Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie "Walnuts" decide to rid themselves of the Russian in the trunk of their car by driving to the snow-filled Pine Barrens in the South Jersey. There, they plan to kill the guy and dispose of the body. Instead, the bickering pair soon find themselves stranded in the woods with their crazed enemy at large, as they lament over having to survive on only Tic-Tacs in subfreezing temperatures.

Glancing at the subreddit dedicated to "The Sopranos," it's clear that there's still a lot of rich discussion regarding this self-contained storyline, and Redditors like u/Novasuper5 wholeheartedly believe that it's one of the best television episodes ever made. Quirky, offbeat, and darkly humorous, "Pine Barrens" enjoys the coveted No. 1 spot on our list and we clearly couldn't have it any other way.