10 Incredibly Shameless Product Placements In Well-Loved TV Shows

3. The Sopranos €“ Big Mouth Billy Bass

Billy Big Mouth Bass In a contender for strangest plot device ever, I give you Big Mouth Billy Bass and its extended shelf-life on the Sopranos. Inextricably linked to the death of Salvatore 'Big Pussy' Bonpensiero, the fish was given to Tony as a Christmas present. Obviously, since he's still cut up about dumping his one-time friend turned-betrayer into the ocean, the fish brings back old memories and proceeds to haunt him throughout the show. It gets extremely on-the-nose at times €“ it sings 'Take Me To The River,' for god's sake €“ but it's a cool character beat. However, the symbolism is somewhat weighed down (though not like Big Pussy) by the obvious attempts to sell the product €“ that fish is everywhere in the third season, and the fact the entire Soprano clan seem to think it's utterly awesome at Christmas comes across as really rather awkward. Seriously, they dedicate a whole minute-odd to praising the fish and watching it do its irritating sing-song thing, and it's all sorts of distracting. Yet still, this doesn't even compare to the scene when Paulie confronts Christopher about his insubordination. It's a tense moment, and it culminates in both men seemingly reaching for weapons. However, Paulie's intentions were far more consumer-friendly €“ for no reason at all, he breaks out the fish, who indulges in a rendition of YMCA. It's mind-bendingly, crazily surreal, and I don't know whether the praise or condemn it. The Sopranos is an awesome show, and you've got to admire the balls of the writers when they can introduce a Village People-singing novelty into proceedings for seemingly no damn reason at all.
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Contributor

Durham University graduate and qualified sports journalist. Very good at sitting down and watching things. Can multi-task this with playing computer games. Football Manager addict who has taken Shrewsbury Town to the summit of the Premier League. You can follow me at @Ed_OwenUK, if you like ramblings about Newcastle United and A Place in the Sun. If you don't, I don't know what I can do for you.

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