Anthony Soprano, Jr.
Robert Iler as A. J. Soprano
|First appearance||"Pilot" (episode 1.01)|
|Last appearance||"Made in America" (episode 6.21)|
|Created by||David Chase|
|Portrayed by||Robert Iler|
"Baby Bing" (FBI code name)
Tony Soprano, Jr.
|Occupation||Assistant movie producer
Formerly: Pizza shop manager
|Family||Tony Soprano (father)
Carmela Soprano (mother)
Meadow Soprano (sister)
Johnny Soprano (paternal grandfather)
Livia Soprano (paternal grandmother)
Hugh De Angelis (maternal grandfather)
Mary De Angelis (maternal grandmother)
Janice Soprano (paternal aunt)
Barbara Soprano Giglione (paternal aunt)
Junior Soprano (paternal granduncle)
Christopher Moltisanti (maternal cousin)
Domenica Baccalieri (paternal cousin)
|Spouse(s)||Rhiannon Flammer (girlfriend)
Blanca Selgado (ex-fiancée)
Devin Pillsbury (ex-girlfriend)
Anthony is the chaotic younger brother of his more accomplished sister, Meadow. As a chronic underachiever with many doubts about life, A.J. is diagnosed as borderline ADD. Additionally, he crashes his mother's car, smokes marijuana at his own confirmation, gets drunk on stolen communion wine, vandalizes his school swimming pool, and is finally expelled after cheating on a test. As a result, his parents arrange to send him to military school, until they discover that he suffers from the same panic attacks that plagued his father and grandfather. Instead, he is sent to another private school. His birthday is July 15.
In the episode "Two Tonys," it is revealed that Tony had bought A.J. an elaborate $5,000 drum set, and in the episode "All Happy Families...," despite discovering that A.J. is not doing well in school and does not have an optimistic future as far as college is concerned, Tony gets him an almost new Nissan Xterra, though Tony claims it is a "motivational tool." A.J. is excited about the SUV, though he comments about the environmental impact of SUV's and claims he may encounter social pressure from school friends to drive a different vehicle. During the fifth season he also shows an increasing amount of disrespect to his mother, presumably due to the separation. He tends to relate to his father and ends up moving in with him during the separation; however, in the episode "Sentimental Education," when A.J. and Tony get into a scuffle over A.J.'s disrespect, as his father has him pinned against the wall, A.J. says, "One of these days, you wait...I'm going to kick your fucking ass." Immediately afterwards, A.J. decides he wants to move back in with his mother, threatening to call social services due to the ongoing "violence against children" present in his father's home. Carmela takes the opportunity to demand certain things from A.J. in return for allowing him to move back in, like showing respect to his mother by not swearing at her and attending to schoolwork.
Frequently throughout the series, Tony and Carmela express concern about A.J.'s future. Tony has no desire to groom his son into a position within his organization. In the fifth season of the show, A.J. displays an unexpected interest in pursuing a career in event planning, but later derides his parents' mentions of it (e.g., in "Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request...").
In all seasons, A.J. is portrayed as a fan of heavy metal, via product placements (shirts, coats, posters and stickers) of bands like Pantera, Nevermore, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Coal Chamber, Trivium, Machine Head, and Limp Bizkit though as early as season 1 a poster of an Ulver black metal album can be spotted in his room.
In "Full Leather Jacket", A.J. says that he wants to go to Harvard University or West Point for college. Tony dismisses the idea as unrealistic given A.J.'s poor academic performance. During Season 3, when Tony asks him about it at a family dinner, A.J. claims that he never said that, as he knows his grades wouldn't be good enough. Throughout Season 5, references are made to the unlikelihood of A.J.'s being admitted to a four-year university.
In Season 6, A.J. admits to his parents that he has flunked out of the community college he was attending, a worrying parallel to Tony's own youth. A.J. acquires a large knife and goes to the institution where Uncle Junior is being held, in a futile effort to exact revenge for his father. He is arrested but later released without charge thanks to his father's political connections. At this time, he has been seen delving into the New York City club scene and experimenting with cocaine.
After several days of Anthony's claiming to be searching for jobs on the Internet with no result, Tony intervenes and arranges a construction job for his son. A.J. first claims he cannot do it because he will be trying again for community college, but Tony says that is not a problem as many of the men who work in construction are high school and college students. A.J. is reluctant to accept the job because of the early hours and outdoor work, which makes Tony angry. Tony grabs a football helmet and smashes the windshield of A.J.'s Nissan Xterra, and warns A.J. not to test him. A.J. reluctantly works at the construction site where he meets Blanca Selgado, whom he begins dating. Blanca, who is Dominican and has a three-year-old son named Hector, meets with Carmela's disapproval. Tony however is more approving of the relationship, commenting that Blanca was Catholic like the Sopranos, at least.
In 2007, A.J. proposes to Blanca at a fancy restaurant dinner by telling her that he will own a couple of restaurants in a couple of years. However, Blanca soon gives the ring back and breaks up with him, leaving A.J. severely depressed. He quits his job and mopes about until his father forces him to attend a fraternity party with the college-age relatives of his fellow mafiosi. A.J. grudgingly attends, but soon starts to enjoy himself. Several of the boys run a sports betting operation at the college and after a night of drinking, they beat and torture a college student who neglected to pay them by pouring acid on his foot. A.J. joins in to help forget his relationship problems. Later, he joins his new friends again when one of them carelessly opens the door of his car, hitting a passerby on a bicycle. They make racial slurs towards the man, blame the accident on him, and attack the man. A.J. stands by, neither helping his friends, nor aiding the victim. Following that, A.J. is seen telling his psychiatrist that he is once again depressed about the world due to that incident.
This depression would lead to a botched suicide attempt, wherein A.J. ties a cinder block to his leg with a too-long length of rope and attempts to drown himself in the pool at the Soprano home. His father hears his cries for help and dives into the pool and rescues him. He is then placed in a facility to get psychiatric care, where he meets Rhiannon, an ex-girlfriend of his former friend Hernan. After Tony tells him that his uncle Bobby has been shot dead, A.J. begins to cry and complain about how Bobby's death negatively affects him. Tony loses patience with him, violently drags him out of his bed, slaps him around, and tells him to pack as the family leaves home quickly to elude a possible attack by Phil Leotardo's gang.
In the final episode, A.J. is in his Nissan Xterra with Rhiannon, his new girlfriend, and starts making out with her, but they both rush out of the vehicle when it catches fire due to A.J.'s parking it over a pile of leaves. He later decides he wants to join the Army, but is talked out of it by his parents and girlfriend. Instead, Tony gets him a new BMW M3 and a job working for Little Carmine's film production company. The job, with the possibility of A.J. opening up his own nightclub, which Tony proposes to his son if he does well with the job, seems to alleviate A.J.'s depression, and he is last seen having dinner with his family.