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It was a f-ckin' animal! A hundred grand a piece. My kid's in the f-ckin' hospital! I don't hear you complainin' when I bring you a nice fat envelope. You don't give a shit where that comes from!... Don't give me that look. It was a f-ckin' horse! What are you, a vegetarian? You eat beef and sausage by the f-ckin' carload.
~ Ralph when Tony confronts him about his horse.

Ralph "Ralphie" Cifaretto is one of the main antagonists of the television series The Sopranos. It can be argued that he is the main antagonist of the show's third and fourth seasons.

He is a former soldier and member of the DiMeo crime family. Cifaretto is characterized as cunning and an excellent earner, but also unstable and prone to sudden outbursts of violence, often for no reason and at the worst possible moments.

He was portrayed by Joe Pantoliano, who also played Cypher in The Matrix, Gabe Ugliano in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Albert Arlington in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Stickyfins Whiting in Spongebob Squarepants.


Ralphie comes of as a calm, polite and friendly gentleman, however he gets triggered very easily and is incredibly violent and cruel, even beating up his pregnant girlfriend to death. Due to his nature, even the other mobsters are disgusted by his actions and is one of the most unfavored member of the DiMeo crime family. Tony even said to Junior that he didn't even like him, and he'd throw a cinder block at him if he were drowning.

Vile as Ralphie could be, he did have some standards. He was genuinely reluctant to order his girlfriend's son Jackie Aprile's death after his botched robbery of Eugene's card game, but he ended up doing so in order to keep his honor.

He's also a big fan of sword and sandal films, like Spartacus and Gladiator and often quotes them while out with friends, much to their chagrin.

Later on in the series, Ralph starts to show some level of remorse and empathy after his son ends up in a coma, however when his racehorse Pie O My is killed in a fire (which is implied to be caused by him) he shows no sympathy and is killed by Tony Soprano.


Ralphie was born in New Jersey along with other mobsters such as Tony Soprano and Silvio Dante. In the start of the series he is away in Miami where he develops a strong addiction for cocaine.

He makes his first appearance in Season 3. He becomes fond of his girlfriend's son Jackie Aprile Jr. He also has an affair with a stripper of Bada Bing named Tracee. He gets into fights with Georgie and even injures his eye. When he finds out that Tracee is pregnant and she starts insulting him, he beats her up and bashes her head on a metal guardrail, killing her, which causes Tony to become furious with him and barres him from the strip club.

He continues to get on Tony's bad side when he begins having an affair with his sister Janice. He invest in a racehorse maned Pie O My which Tony becomes very attached to.

When his son Justin gets shot by an arrow when playing, Ralphie rushes him to the hospital where he lashes out with his ex-wife and husband, accusing them of negligence. In the following days, Ralph is guilt and grief-stricken and claims he regrets his actions he has done throughout his life. He even goes and visits Father Phil Intintola to try to redeem himself. Later on in that episode after Tony finds out about the stable burning down and Pie O My dying, he goes to Ralphie's house to confront him about it as he is suspicious that he may have burned it down to collect insurance money. When Ralphie shows no feelings for the horse, an enrages Tony attacks him and strangle him to death. Tony then disposes of his body with the help of Christopher Moltisanti.


  • Ralphie is easily one of the most hated characters on The Sopranos due to his extreme cruelty and unlike the other mobsters shows little to no redeeming qualities, although he starts to show remorse before his death.
  • Despite his cruelty, Ralph is also a fan favorite for some because of the comedy he brought to the show. Ralph's line "A: she was a whowa!" has become a running gag in the fanbase.
  • Ralphie was ranked number fourteen on WhatCulture's list of the 15 Most Deranged TV Psychopaths.
  • While it may be implied that he killed Pie-O-My, it is left unclear whether or not Ralph started the fire, though he easily could have told someone else to start it. Regardless, Ralph showed no sympathy for the dead animal.
    • Ralphie's actor, Joe Pantoliano, asserts that he does not believe Ralph killed the horse. However, Sopranos creator David Chase has never confirmed or denied this, so either answer is possible.

External Links


The Sopranos logo.png Villains

DiMeo Crime Family
Ercole DiMeo | Feech La Manna | Raymond Curto
Altieri Crew
Jimmy Altieri | Carlo Gervasi | Jason Gervasi | Jason Parisi | Walden Belfiore
Aprile Crew
Richie Aprile | Jackie Aprile Sr. | Carlo Renzi | Dino Zerilli | Eugene Pontecorvo | Jackie Aprile Jr. | Ralph Cifaretto | Vito Spatafore
Barese Crew
Larry Barese | Albert Barese | Nicholas Spagnelli | Rusty Irish
Junior Crew
Junior Soprano | Beppy Scerbo | Bobby Baccalieri Jr. | Chucky Signore | Donnie Paduana | Mikey Palmice | Phillip Parisi
Soprano Crew
Tony Soprano | Johnny Boy Soprano | Buddha Bonpensiero | Benny Fazio | Brendan Filone | Cary DiBartolo | Christopher Moltisanti | Dickie Moltisanti | Furio Giunta | Hesh Rabkin | Hollywood Dick Moltisanti | Little Paulie Germani | Matthew Bevilaqua | Paulie Gualtieri | Peter LaRosa | Patsy Parisi | Salvatore Bonpensiero | Sean Gismonte | Silvio Dante

Lupertazzi Crime Family
Carmine Lupertazzi | Johnny Sacrimoni | Phil Leotardo | Albie Cianfalone | Billy Leotardo | Burt Gervasi | Butch DeConcini | Coco Cogliano | David Pasquale | Doc Santoro | Fat Dom | Gerry Torciano | Jason Masucci | Jimmy Petrille | Joseph Peparelli | Petey B. | Raymond D'Abaldo | Rusty Millio

Credenzo Curtis | Cyril | Don Hauser | Emil Kolar | Frank Lucas | Gloria Trillo | Harold McBrayer | Jesus Rossi | John Clayborn and Rasheen Ray | Livia Soprano | Mustang Sally | Matush Giamona | Salvatore Moltisanti | Stanley Johnson | Tony Blundetto | Valery