Special Report

The 15 Best Episodes of ‘The Sopranos’

For six seasons between 1999 and 2007, audiences were riveted by one of the most highly praised and groundbreaking TV dramas, “The Sopranos.” Each week they tuned in as Tony Soprano dealt with both his dysfunctional New Jersey crime family and his real family, which sometimes intersected. The drama garnered 21 Emmys, five Golden Globes, and two Peabody awards, and is almost universally considered among the 100 best TV dramas of all time.

Much of the credit goes to series creator, David Chase, the writers, and the actors. Most of all, the show’s appeal rested on the broad shoulders of the late James Gandolfini, who somehow managed to make a cold-blooded killer sympathetic and worthy of our time – making “The Sopranos” one of the 25 best anti-hero shows of all time.

The series explored Tony’s tortured relationship with his mother, Livia; the damage caused by his serial cheating on his marriage to Carmela; and the toll his life crime posed to his children, Meadow and A.J. Outside his family home, Tony battles with rival mobsters – both inside and outside his crime family.

Each episode was like a mini-masterpiece. But some episodes stand out. To determine the best episodes of “The Sopranos,” 24/7 Tempo reviewed user ratings for all 86 episodes of the show as of May 2022 on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. In cases of tied scores, the episodes with more votes in IMDb were ranked higher. Data on season and episode number and original airdate also came from IMDb.

Click here to see the 15 best episodes of “The Sopranos”

The highest rated episode was not the series finale, which controversially faded to black, but season 3’s,“Pine Barrens.” While chasing a Russian mobster, Paulie Walnuts and Christopher Moltisanti get lost in the snow-covered woodlands, proving that for all their tough posturing, both were really dim bulbs.

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