Played by Aida Turturro
After graduating high school, Janice joined an ashram in Los Angeles, changing her name to "Parvati Wasatch," in 1978. "Parvati" also travelled across Europe, marrying a Québécois, bearing him a son (Harpo/"Hal", later revealed to be living on the streets), working at an espresso bar in Seattle (and claiming disability benefit from operating the steamed milk machine and supposedly developing Epstein-Barr virus) before finally moving back to New Jersey. Her relationship with Tony is often strained, as he still holds her responsible for abandoning the family and leaving him to deal with their abusive mother, Livia, alone.
While in New Jersey, she became engaged to her old boyfriend, Richie Aprile, then recently released from prison. Although Richie's disputes with Tony could perhaps have been solved amicably, Janice exacerbated the situation by telling Richie that he was being unfairly treated. Whether she consciously intended to have her brother killed is uncertain, but Richie and Tony's relationship deteriorated drastically. However, after an incident of domestic violence in which Richie punched her in the face for defending his son's potential homosexuality, Janice shot and killed Richie and called on her brother to dispose of the body. Tony had Christopher Moltisanti and Furio Giunta dismember Richie's body in a meatgrinder at Satriale's Pork Store. Richie was already marked for death by Tony, who had placed a contract out on his life. Tony ordered Silvio Dante to have Richie killed after Uncle Junior had informed him of Richie planning to "move against him". After a time back in Seattle, Janice again returned to New Jersey following the death of her mother.
After Livia's death, she became obsessed with acquiring her mother's valuable record collection, which Livia gave to her housekeeper, Svetlana shortly before her death. Janice, feeling that she should rightfully have the records, absconded with Svetlana's prosthetic leg. She told Svetlana that the leg would not be returned until she received the records. Svetlana, however, had connections with the Russian mafia, and had friends of hers physically assault Janice until she revealed the location of the leg. When Tony arrived at the hospital, he was visibly upset with his sister. He angrily explained to Janice that since his sister had been assaulted, he was now faced with the choice of retaliating, and risking a mob war with the Russians, or not retaliating, and losing respect. Bewildered by the sudden turn in her fortunes, she became (for a while) a born-again Christian. Janice's next phase was marked by a brief interest in a Christian music career, as well as an equally brief live-in relationship with a narcoleptic boyfriend Aaron Arkaway.
After the death of Jackie Aprile, Jr., Janice embarked on a clandestine relationship with Ralph Cifaretto, at the time engaged to Jackie Jr.'s mother, Rosalie Aprile. She soon reached the conclusion that her affair with Ralph was a mistake, and after Ralph happily told her that he was no longer seeing Rosalie Aprile, Janice responded by flying into a rage, pushing him down a flight of stairs and screaming at him to leave.
Some time later Tony asked her about Ralph's bizarre sexual fetishes, of which he had recently become aware. She refused to tell him anything at first, ostensibly to protect Ralph's privacy. When Tony offered her money, however, she immediately told him everything he wanted to know.
Following Ralph's disappearance, she set her sights on the newly widowed Bobby Baccalieri, yet another of Tony's capos. Initially, she cooked Bobby's dinners and informally dated him. However, frustrated with Bobby's refusal to commit, she sent Bobby's children instant messages via her Mac, choosing a user name that appeared satanic, and indicated to them that she was watching them by referring to things in their room (which she was able to see from her window) and succeeded in scaring them badly. She subsequently rushed over to help comfort the distressed Baccalieri children and curry favor with their bewildered father. She and Bobby eventually married.
She attacked a mother at Sophia's peewee soccer match and injured her badly enough to require hospitalization, garnering her an assault charge and, to Tony's displeasure, unwanted TV news coverage mentioning his name and line of work. Bobby also insisted that she attend anger management counseling, although it is unclear if it had the desired effect.
In the episode "Moe N' Joe", Tony, as part of another arrangement, convinces John Sacrimoni to sell his home to Janice and Bobby at half-price, to make up for Tony's unfair treatment of his sister and brother-in-law. Earlier in the episode, Janice had confronted Tony about his rotten treatment of Bobby, and Tony refused to say what they both knew: he blamed Bobby (and Janice to some extent) for his near-fatal shooting at the hands of Uncle Junior, because Bobby should have been watching Junior but Janice made him pass the task on to Tony. Tony also told Dr. Melfi that Janice "gets nothing" because she didn't have the scars he did from growing up full-time in the same house as Livia.
Janice and Bobby have a baby girl, Domenica. Janice and Bobby own a cottage in northern New York state, to which they invite Tony and Carmela for Tony's 47th birthday. At the party, Janice gives Tony some family home videos and tells Carmela an anecdote, concerning their father accidentally shooting a bullet through Livia's beehive hairdo, which embarrasses Tony when it is raised again during a heated game of Monopoly. Bobby later loses his temper and punches Tony in the face after Tony makes an offensive remark about Janice, leading to a fight which Bobby wins (much to Tony's chagrin). Tony then orders Bobby, who admits to Tony that he has never killed a man, to go to Canada and carry out a contract killing. Ironically, defending Janice increased Tony's regard for Bobby, as he is soon elevated into Tony's inner circle (largely displacing Christopher Moltisanti).
Janice suggests to Tony that he help pay to keep Uncle Junior—whose money has run out—in a private care facility but is rebuffed by Tony, who makes it clear Junior is dead to him. This leads Tony to tell her that Bobby is going to be exiled from his life.
Soon afterwards, she becomes a widow when Bobby is murdered by two of Phil Leotardo's hitmen while buying a model train in a hobby store. Although she claims that her stepchildren have bonded with her and that she wants to continue raising them (a dubious claim considering the contempt and disgust they have shown for her), her primary focus seems to be on whatever assets she might receive, prompting Tony to make a deal ensuring Bobby's estate will go into a trust that will benefit his children and not Janice. Tony does extract a promise from Phil Leotardo's men to pay a settlement to Janice, after Phil's vendetta against Tony led to the murder of Bobby.
Although she would never admit it, Janice's personality is very much like her mother's: she is both manipulative and suffers from Narcissistic personality disorder. She was manipulative towards Richie Aprile, telling him he deserved more than he received. When having sex, she made suggestions of him taking over as boss and goaded him into the power play he organized against Tony. She also manipulated Bobby Baccalieri by scaring his children after their mothers death. She knew Bacala would call after being unable to cope with their fear and confusion.
She also tends to want what she cannot have. She wanted a bigger house than Tony, with a pool, an expensive wedding, and an affluent lifestyle, even though Richie struggled to afford such expenses. She also lost interest in Ralph Ciferetto after he dumped Rosalie Aprile for her, although he did have some bizarre sexual fetishes she played along with them. After she went to some quite extraordinary lengths to acquire Bobby Bacala as a boyfriend she appeared to lose interest in him after they became married.
The Tragedies of Men in Her Life
Similar to the Aprile crew capos and the ostensible Aprile Curse, all the men who have been romantically involved with Janice on the show have met horrible demises, one of which she was directly responsible for. Richie was fatally shot by Janice after he punches her. Ralphie was beaten to death by her brother Tony. Bobby was gunned down by Phil Leotardo's hitmen during his "decapitation" of New Jersey. Although Richie's and Ralphie's demise could be connected to the Aprile Curse, both of their brief flings with Janice suggest the existence of a "Janice Soprano" curse as well.
Murders Committed by Janice Soprano
Richie Aprile: Gunshot to the chest and then in the head after punching Janice after an explosive quarrel in which Janice defended Richie's gay son's sexuality.
Johnny Boy Soprano (father)
Livia Soprano (mother)
Tony Soprano (brother)
Barbara Giglione (sister)
Corrado John Soprano, Jr. (uncle)
Carmela Soprano (sister-in-law)
Meadow Soprano (niece)
Anthony Soprano, Jr. (nephew)
Robert "Bobby" Baccalieri, Sr. (father-in-law)