AMC HBO’s greatest TV show of all time, Breaking Bad vs Sopranos which is better? The two crime series share ton of similarities. However, they are very different. One is about a despairing family man who is forced into crime and the other is about a man who was born into a life of crime. From relationships to murder scenes, we explore these similarities head to head to find out which series has the best characters and which is the most iconic. Don’t forget to vote in the polls below.
Breaking Bad vs Sopranos: Main Characters
Walter White Sr. vs Tony Soprano – Head of the family
If there is one thing that makes The Sopranos and Breaking Bad great, besides the well-crafted storylines, it’s these two devious antiheroes. Tony Soprano is a mob boss who controls the operations of the DiMeo crime family. Walter White is a chemistry teacher who, after discovering he has terminal lung cancer, decides to become a drug dealer. He starts manufacturing and selling methamphetamine to make enough money for his family before he dies. Both of these characters end up being impressive crime lords but who is better? That’s for you to decide!
Carmela Soprano vs Skyler White – The good wives
They are the bad guys’ “good wives” – the spouses who represent the domestic and moral worlds their husbands try to keep one foot in. They’re the ones who bring up the wrongness of, say, killing people. They are the ones who get upset by the secrets kept from them. “Good wives” always fight to maintain their household and protect the children. Carmela Soprano is Tony’s loving but only sometimes supportive spouse. She is concern about her husband’s gangster doings and how they could affect their children. She is in an internal conflict as Carmela also enjoys the comfortable lifestyle he provides. Skyler White is Walter’s wife and eventual unwilling partner in narcotics distribution. She gets pulled into his meth business despite her concerns.
Jesse Pinkman vs Christopher Moltisanti – Protégés
Some say they are the true tragic characters in their shows. Chris Moltisanti and Jesse Pinkman both started out as not many but small-time criminals. Jesse is a habitual meth user and Chris is simply the product of his environment and family. Eventually, though, they find that mentor who sees potential in them. An older father-like figure (Tony, Walter) who at first showed genuine care for their lives and wanted them to do better for themselves. However, as time passes their role model turns out to not be the man they thought they were and as a result, they become the doormat for all that goes wrong. By the time Jesse and Chris realize that maybe this is not the life they want they are so submerged in their criminal lives that turning their back on the only life they know, just does not seem like a viable option.
Uncle Junior vs Hector Salamanca – Mean old uncles
Uncle Jun is a ‘made guy,’ he used to be the boss before Tony. We never got to see Junior at his best (Maybe we’ll get a chance to see some glimpses in the new Sopranos film ‘The many saints of Newark.’ His Alzheimer’s saved him as an unreliable witness for the feds. Fun fact: Dominic Chianese who played Uncle Junior played Johnny Ola in the second Godfather. Hector is one mean man. He is a top member of the cartel! Everyone respects and fears him. At one point he becomes disabled having suffered a major stroke among other things. Although he is paralyzed, he does have some control over one arm and his facial expressions. Being a very passionate man we see his mood, his anger, and his frustration thru his facial movements.
Mike Ehrmantraut vs Silvio Dante – Righthand Henchmen and ‘Fixers’
Even the worst psychotic boss needs a faithful servant to do their dirty work. Don’t confuse ‘servant’ with ‘weak’ though as these bad guys are plenty dangerous in their own right. They attach themselves to a higher power and will stop at nothing to see their masters’ will be done. David Chase, creator of the Sopranos watched Steven on stage in 1997 and thought he would be great for Tony Soprano himself. But Steven chooses James Gandolfini as the big boss. Silvio is possibly the nicest person off duty. He is a professional problem fixer. He is also the guy that Tony usually has to kill people.
In his manner of dress and speech, he is no less foul-mouthed than his fellow criminals. He is in a nice tux for the duration of his screentime and is still badass enough to bark orders at hitmen. A stoic problem-solver and responsible adult of any room (or bloody car) bringing order to chaotic situations. Mike is a hitman and investigator, manhandling his business with military efficiency and top dog mentality. If you challenge Mike, you’ll get a swift lesson in criminal affairs: brutal, suffocating, immediate.
Todd Alquist vs Ralphie Cifaretto – Psychopath Murderous
They are sick, twisted, and criminally insane! Seriously, these guys are beyond all hope or reason. Todd Alquist and Ralphie Cifaretto should definitely be institutionalized. However, if they’re not cackling away in solitary confinement, you can probably find them out and about committing some kind of unimaginable atrocity.
Breaking Bad vs Sopranos: Brutal Scences
Walt strangles Krazy-8 vs Tony strangles Ralphie
One thing ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Sopranos’ have in commend is how utterly brutal and disturbing most of the violence in the show is. Although Ralph is a sociopathic, misogynistic, murderous degenerate, still Ralph’s death is utterly horrific, brutal, and disturbing. Tony Soprano strangled him in his own house. He avenged his beloved racehorse, whom he thought was killed by Ralphie for insurance money.
Walter White murdering Krazy-8 in Jesse’s basement, was a horrific memorable scene. At an early stage in the ‘Breaking Bad’ show, we know Walt is a ruthless killer. It is never more evident than when Walt sits on the toilet in Jesse’s bathroom, jotting down the pros and cons of killing Krazy-8. Walter has kidnapped the drug dealer and strangled him with the U-bolt bike lock. In just 48 hours, Walt has become a killer.
See also: 17 Best Shows Like Peaky Blinders
Adriana’s death vs Jane’s death
Sopranos vs Breaking Bad: Which character’s death was the hardest to take? Adriana came under the thumb of the FBI due to her and Christopher buying their cocaine from an FBI agent. She avoids jail by becoming an informer. Tony ordered Silvio to “take care” of Adriana. She died a meaningless death, and no one (except perhaps her mother) has any idea as to what happened or why.
One of the most tragic death on screen was Breaking Bad’s, Jane Margolis. She died of an overdose while Walter White stood there watching her die. It is tragic in that she died needlessly but also because it was from this point forward that Walter White was seen to be irredeemable. There was no going back for him after that.
Series Final Scene
Walter’s death (Breaking Bad) vs The diner (The Sopranos)
Breaking Bad vs Sopranos: Specialists
Saul Goodman vs Neil Mink – Lawyers
Lawyers don’t have the best rep, but where would we be without priceless gems like “I object!” and “I’m out of order? You’re out of order!” From the fast-talkers to the slightly sketchy, these lawyers won’t rest until they see justice done (or at least their version of it).
Saul Goodman is a criminal lawyer, a great lawyer! He knows how to work a crowd, and especially the jury. He will do anything to get you free and he will do anything for you – whether it demands fair or foul means. Neil has less than twenty minutes of total screentime, but he was presented as a stone-cold badass lawyer. He also has one of my favorite lines “Trials are there to be won.” That is exactly what you want to hear from a defense attorney!!
Huell Babineaux vs Perry Annunziata – Bodyguards
Need to make sure your club isn’t letting in any uggos? Or maybe there is a high-value target you need to be protected? Either way, we have what you need. From mall security and club bouncers to secret service and special agents, These guys are the toughest security personnel and bodyguards that money can (or can’t) buy.
Huell has been Jimmy’s bodyguard and special go-to guy for all his master con plans. He’s been quite an effective henchman. Tony made an example of Perry because his crew was thinking he was weak. The scene when tony fights perry is hard to watch. Tony just wale on the poor guy just to make himself look strong in front of his soldiers.
FBI Special Agent Dwight Harris vs DEA Special Agent Hank Schrader – The Lawmen
If a crime has been committed, these are the people you want on the case. They’re relentless, capable, have a strong moral compass, and won’t back down from a challenge. Hank is not good at dealing with his feelings, much less expressing them. He is also obsessive and used it for good as a DEA agent. But it puts him in danger and keeps him from seeing Heisenberg hiding in plain sight.
FBI Special Agent Dwight Harris does exactly what you expect a member of the FBI to do: He does his best to catch New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano committing crimes. Tony loves to send Harris food baskets whenever he sees the agent’s car parking outside his home. After Harris starts doing anti-terrorism work for the FBI, he and Tony begin to help each other.
Dave vs Jennifer Melfi – Psychologists
Psychologists, as well as psychiatrists, have been featured in pop culture works throughout the last decade. Whether they are trying to reform a mafioso or help a teenager through puberty, these depictions have had an undeniable impact on what people think of psychologists in real life. Some are good, empathetic listeners, while others do more harm than good. So “How does that make you feel?”
Dr. Melfi is an example of a therapist who gets herself into a relationship with a dangerous, troubled man – and in trying to help gets inducted and stuck. She really only interacted with two characters in the series…Tony of course, and also her own shrink, who was not really a ‘main’ character. Dave is the psychiatrist of Marie Schrader. He helps her through her troubles and kleptomania.
Jack Welker’s gang vs The Soprano crew – Crews
Breaking Bad vs Sopranos: Iconic Locations and Famous Scenes
Pine Barrens vs Walt in his underwear
One of the most iconic images in TV history is that of Breaking Bad‘s Walter White standing in the desert wearing nothing but shoes and underwear as he points his gun. The famous underwear went for almost $10,000 in a public auction! In an interview with IFC.com, actor Bryan Cranston (Walter White) explained his thoughts. “A grown man in tighty whiteys, wearing them is funny. Walter White wore them because he stopped growing.”
One of the most iconic scenes in ‘The Sopranos’ show is when Chris and Paulie chase a Russian into the wilderness and get lost. Like many Sopranos episodes, it has much the feel of a feature film rather than TV. The scene demonstrates just how ridiculously incompetent Paulie and Chris are when taken even slightly out of their element.
They complain the entire time about food when it’s been less than 24 hours since they’ve last eaten. Paulie loses his shoe and doesn’t even have the skill to backtrack 6ft in order to find it. They can’t even follow their footprints back to the car correctly.
Jesse Pinkman vs Christopher Moltisanti: Rehab
Jesse deals with his demons when he first enters rehab. As the series progresses he commits terrible acts and on the way loses his best friends and the love of his life. After Jane dies Jesse can’t bring himself to do drugs again. He feels responsible (to some degree incorrectly) for Jane’s death and he feels the need to come to peace with that sober.
Rehab changes Jesse’s life. But unfortunately, we can’t say the same about Christopher’s multiple attempts to stop using. Tony had high hopes for his nephew. But Chris’s drug problems eventually came to a head and the relationship was mostly downhill from there.
Tony tried as hard as he could and overlooked Chris’s behavior at times because he really wanted a blood relative to be his right-hand man, his successor. When Tony gives up on Christopher he just (SPOILER) kills him.
The A1A Car Wash vs Barone Sanitation- Business Front
The A1A Car Wash is where Walter White used to work part-time as a cashier. The car wash was later bought by him and his wife Skyle as a money-laundering facility for Walt’s illegally procured gains. Barone Sanitation & Cartage is a garbage haulage transfer station company front business for the Soprano crew that also handled their legitimate garbage hauling routes.
Cash hid in the birdseed (The Sopranos) vs Cash in the crawlspace beneath the house (Breaking Bad) – Cash Stash
Los Pollos Hermanos vs The Bada Bing! Hangout places
No self-respecting criminal organization would stash money in anything but a perfect business front. If you wish to launder large amounts of cash Bars, Restaurants, and Car Wash businesses are the perfect place for your blood money.
The restaurant chain Los Pollos Hermanos, which is also a front for a drug trafficking criminal organization. Tony Soprano’s office was in a back room of the fictional strip club, the Bada Bing. The story of the fictional Bada Bing is kind of interesting. The exterior was actually of a real strip club in Lodi, NJ, called Satin Dolls.
Albuquerque vs New Jersey – Cities
Some of the most interesting places only exist within the frames of films and TV shows or the panels of comics. You can’t buy a plane ticket to any of these cities or towns., or drive by car. You can only catch glimpses by watching your favorite show or rereading your favorite comics. And as cool as some of these places might be, there is a handful you wouldn’t want to be caught dead in. ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Sopranos’ share some of the most memorable cities from Tony’s hood, and Walter’s bordering town.
The Soprano New Jersey House vs The White Residence, Albuquerque – Home
Tony Soprano’s office in the Bada Bing! vs The RV – Offices
Breaking Bad vs Sopranos: Family and Friends
Jane Margolis vs Adriana La Cerva
Jesse’s ill-fated girlfriend. She was great for Jesse and she was terrible for Jesse. She may be the only fully realized female character in the whole Breaking Bad series. She’s beautiful, smart, artistic and a good person — when she’s not on drugs.
At first, Adriana starts out as this shallow girl who just loves all of the material gifts that Christopher was able to provide to her because of the mob lifestyle. As the Sopranos series progresses we see how much she cares about Christopher and how she attempts to steer him away from the mob lifestyle by becoming an actor which is unsuccessful because of Christopher’s impulsive moods and temper.