University (The Sopranos)

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The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep306.jpg
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 6
Directed byAllen Coulter
Story by
Teleplay by
Cinematography byAlik Sakharov
Production code306
Original air dateApril 1, 2001
Running time49 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Another Toothpick"
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"Second Opinion"
The Sopranos (season 3)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"University" is the 32nd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the sixth of the show's third season. The teleplay was written by Terence Winter and Salvatore J. Stabile from a story idea by David Chase, Terence Winter, Todd A. Kessler, Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess. It was directed by Allen Coulter and originally aired on April 1, 2001.


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]


Meadow and Noah are embracing on her bed in her room at Columbia when her unhappy roommate Caitlin comes back in. She has nowhere to go. Meadow and Noah go to his room instead and she gives him her virginity. They try to help Caitlin; Meadow admires Noah's sensitivity. They take her out on her birthday: an encounter with a deranged homeless woman upsets her again. When Meadow is away, Caitlin persuades Noah to let her hang out in his room. She distracts him while he is working and he is furious and ashamed at the grade he gets: "C-fucking-minus and it's all her fault!" Meadow nervously meets Noah's father and in, reply to his question, says her father is in waste management. She is taken aback when Noah tells her his father has taken out a restraining order against Caitlin. Then, when they are together working in the library, Noah looks up and quietly tells Meadow he is breaking up with her because of her cynical, negative attitude. She is baffled and shocked but, in the library, controls her emotions.

At the bar at the Bada Bing, Tony is approached by one of the pole dancers, Tracee. She reminds him that he gave her some advice about her sick son, and to thank him gives him some date nut bread she has made. Tony explains that this is out of place; also, she is Ralphie's girl. When she has gone, he pushes the bread off the bar into a bin. Tracee still finds pretexts to speak to him. She tells him she is pregnant by Ralphie and asks for advice; Tony says that for the sake of future generations, she should not have Ralphie's child.

Ralphie's manic jokes offend the other mobsters. He is obsessed with the film Gladiator, and roughhouses with Georgie. Things become tense when he finds a length of chain and swings it at Georgie, injuring his eye.

Tracee misses work for three days, claiming to be sick, and stays at home with Ralphie. Silvio goes there, drags her out, and throws her into his car while Ralphie watches at a window, laughing. She next sees Ralphie three days later at the club; he hasn't been in touch and she insults him in front of the other men. Out in the carpark he soothes her and she tells him she loves him. Then he changes, and speaks of the daughter they will have, a whore like her mother. She slaps him; he laughs and she slaps harder. He knocks her down to the ground, then bashes her head against a metal guardrail until she is dead. Tony is furious and, in violation of Mafia code, assaults Ralphie, a made man.

He speaks obliquely about the event to Dr. Melfi. "Sad when they go so young," he says.


  • Tracee: Bada Bing stripper murdered by Ralphie in the parking lot.

Title reference[edit]

  • Much of the episode revolves around Meadow's university experiences.

Other cultural references[edit]

  • In the first scene, Silvio points to "Yo Yo Ma" as evidence that the Chinese, like his fellow Italians, also have "nicknames."
  • After being introduced to Meadow, Noah's father says he sat next to a talkative Tim Daly of Wings fame on his flight from Los Angeles. Noah also mentions that his father did Daly's deal for the short-lived TV series remake of The Fugitive. Daly would later play the role of television writer J.T. Dolan on The Sopranos, beginning with the episode "In Camelot."
  • Caitlin references the Lindbergh kidnapping while expressing to Meadow how she was worried about her missing.
  • During a scene in the family kitchen, A.J. wears a Nine Inch Nails Fragility tour T-shirt.
  • After dining out with Noah's father, Noah and Meadow see the Francis Ford Coppola film Dementia 13.
  • Ralph watches Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas, which Christopher recommended as a good gladiator film.



According to actress Ariel Kiley, who plays Tracee, the stripper murdered by Ralph Cifaretto, a lot of subscribers canceled their HBO service because of the episode.[1]


  1. ^ Reidel, Jon (October 18, 2004). "Hollywood Holdout". The View (University of Vermont). Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2009-11-21.

External links[edit]