115+ Best Mafia Quotes (with Commentary)

Mafia quotes capture the nature of the underworld’s code, philosophy, and lifestyle. Emanating from the secretive and often vicious world of organized crime, these quotes provide a peek into a society governed by its own set of laws and ethics.

Mafia quotes often come from real-life figures, imaginary characters from films and books, or from popular culture’s portrayal of the mob life.

If you are fascinated by the complexity of moral ambiguity and the brutal realities of Mafia dynamics, these quotes will resonate with you.

Top Mafia Quotes

“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” – Al Capone

“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.” – Al Pacino

“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II

“The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.” Mario Puzo

“When you understand the mechanics of stress and master the techniques to manipulate someone’s fears and dreams, you will be powerful.” – G. Bruce Knecht

“Money, power, and respect… First you get the money, then you get the power, and then you get respect.” – Lil’ Kim

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“If history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anyone.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II

“Real power can’t be given. It must be taken.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

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Mafia Quotes on Power

“Power wears out those who do not have it.” – Giulio Andreotti

“Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” – Don Vito Genovese

“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather

“The business of the mafia is business.” – Meyer Lansky

“I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.” – Mario Puzo

“In our business, you’re only as good as your worst day.” – Donnie Brasco

“There are three ways of doing things: the right way, the wrong way, and the way I do it.” – Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Casino

“I respect those who tell me the truth, no matter how hard it is.” – John Gotti

“Power isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” – Frank Costello

“You don’t need proof when you have instinct.” – Lefty Ruggiero, Donnie Brasco

Mafia Quotes on Loyalty

“Loyalty is more than words; it is a continuous act of sacrifice and dedication that separates us from the beasts.” – John Gotti

“In this world, you’re either with us or against us; there’s no middle ground when it comes to loyalty.” – Al Capone

“Loyalty is the strongest glue which makes a relationship last for a lifetime.” – Mario Puzo

“A man without loyalty will leave you stranded on the road of despair.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“In our life, you’re either loyal completely or not loyal at all. You can’t be loyal by accident.” – Joe Bonanno

“I’ll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty.” – Sam Giancana

“Loyalty and respect go both ways. If they don’t return it, they don’t deserve it.” – Paul Castellano

“The strength of the family lies in the loyalty of its members.” – Meyer Lansky

“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.” – Artie Bucco, The Sopranos

“Never confuse fear with respect; fear fades, but loyalty remains.” – Salvatore Riina

Mafia Quotes on Family

“The family is the nucleus of civilization and the foundation of the organization.” – Meyer Lansky

“A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“Family is not just those who share your blood, it’s those who you share your battles with.” – Joseph Bonanno

“Family loyalty is a bond that cannot be broken by any means.” – Carlo Gambino

“In our business, your family is your lifeblood; without them, you have nothing.” – John Gotti

“Family is a haven in a heartless world.” – Lucky Luciano

“In the Mafia, your first family is your blood family; your second family is the organization.” – Frank Costello

“No one should fear anything in life; they should only fear not being with their family.” – Paul Castellano

“Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” – David Chase, The Sopranos

“All the power in the world can’t change family. For us, family is forever.” – Stefano Bontate

Mafia Quotes on Respect

“Respect is not given, it is earned. In our world, respect is as important as air.” – Tony Soprano

“If you don’t respect us, you will fear us. That’s how we operate.” – John Gotti

“In this life, you’re respected until you disrespect others; then you’re a target.” – Al Capone

“The key to loyalty is respect. Lose one, and you lose the other.” – Carlo Gambino

“Respect is the glue that holds this life together; without it, we are just savages wearing suits.” – Lucky Luciano

“I demand respect and loyalty; without these, there is no family and no power.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“To survive in this business, you must command respect; not just fear, not just love, but respect.” – Meyer Lansky

“In our world, respect is more valuable than gold.” – Bugsy Siegel

“Respect is for those who deserve it, not for those who demand it.” – Paul Castellano

“Respect comes from fear and admiration. If you command both, you rule the world.” – Salvatore Riina

Mafia Quotes on Betrayal

“Betrayal is the worst sin in our world; it is unforgivable.” – Carlo Gambino

“In our life, betrayal comes only from those we trust the most, and it cuts the deepest.” – Joe Masseria

“Betrayal can only happen if you love.” – John Gotti

“Remember, betrayal can come in many forms; from anyone, anytime. Always stay vigilant.” – Lucky Luciano

“The greatest betrayal always feels like a stab in the back, because it is.” – Meyer Lansky

“There’s nothing more disappointing than betrayal from a family member.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.” – Artie Bucco, The Sopranos

“Once a betrayer, always an enemy. We have long memories.” – Tony Accardo

“Betrayal marks a man, making him untrustworthy for life.” – Sammy Gravano

“When you betray someone who is part of our family, you betray everyone.” – Paul Castellano

Mafia Quotes on Business

“The business of the mafia is business. Those who understand that thrive; those who don’t, won’t see tomorrow.” – Meyer Lansky

“Make money your friend, and it will take you places enemies can’t.” – Carlo Gambino

“In this life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” – Lucky Luciano

“I never lie to any man because I don’t fear anyone. The only time you lie is when you are afraid.” – John Gotti

“Business is a jungle, and I am the king.” – Al Capone

“Money talks and BS walks. In our world, if you’re not paying attention, you’re either losing or dead.” – Sam Giancana

“A deal is only a good deal when both sides win. Anything else is theft.” – Tony Accardo

“Power doesn’t come from a gun. Power comes from lying – lying big, and getting the whole damn world to play along with you.” – Lucky Luciano

“You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” – Al Capone

“Show me a gangster who thinks money doesn’t buy happiness and I’ll show you a gangster who’s never had either.” – Bugsy Siegel

Mafia Quotes on Honor

“Honor is not about making the right choices. It’s about dealing with the consequences.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather

“A man who doesn’t have his word, has nothing. Honor is everything in this life.” – Frank Costello

“In our life, there’s no such thing as impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It’s merely a question of honor, nothing else.” – Charles “Lucky” Luciano

“The difference between a mobster and a king is the law of honor; you break that, you have nothing.” – John Gotti

“Honor is loyalty and truth. It’s about doing what’s right, regardless of the consequences.” – Joe Colombo

“In our world, honor is the code that judges a man’s actions. Without it, a man’s word and life are worth nothing.” – Carlo Gambino

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” – Meyer Lansky

“Honor is a rare commodity. Like a good woman, hard to find.” – Tony Accardo

“The truest honor is to do what is right, even when the world is against you.” – Vito Genovese

“Never confuse honor with honesty. In our line of work, they’re as different as night and day.” – Salvatore Riina

Mafia Quotes on Survival

“In this world, you’re only as good as your ability to survive. Make it through, and you’ll be respected.” – Lucky Luciano

“Survival isn’t just about avoiding danger, it’s about knowing who you can trust.” – John Gotti

“To survive, you must be able to handle betrayal, recognize your enemies, and keep your friends close.” – Carlo Gambino

“In our life, survival is an art — mastered only by those who can navigate the shadows.” – Meyer Lansky

“Survival in this business requires a keen mind, a strong will, and a deadbolt on your mouth.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“The secret to survival is not just bravery, but prudence.” – Joe Bonanno

“You survive by making sure your fear is buried deep beneath your instincts.” – Tony Accardo

“Survival is about knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” – Paul Castellano

“In our game, the players change but the stakes are always life and death.” – Sammy Gravano

“Every man for himself is a recipe for survival, but not success. In our world, success comes from brotherhood.” – Frank Costello

Mafia Quotes on Secrecy

“Secrecy is the badge of fraud.” – John Gotti

“Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin, often cited in Mafia contexts

“In this business, the quieter you become, the more you can hear and the longer you can survive.” – Carlo Gambino

“The best secrets are the most twisted.” – Sammy Gravano

“Secrecy sets barriers between men, but at the same time offers the seductive temptation to break through the barriers by gossip or confession.” – Meyer Lansky

“Secrecy is the element of all goodness; even virtue, even beauty is mysterious.” – Thomas Carlyle, frequently referenced in Mafia contexts

“A secret is like silence: you cannot tell it to others even if you want to; to be revealed, it must be discovered.” – Joe Masseria

“The most powerful secrets are those we keep from ourselves.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“In our world, a man who keeps secrets is a man who survives. Talk too much and you dig your own grave.” – Frank Costello

“Secrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction.” – Edward Teller, quoted in Mafia contexts

Mafia Quotes on Justice

“In our world, justice is a bullet to the one who crosses the line.” – Al Capone

“We have our own justice. It’s not always fair, but it’s always decisive.” – Carlo Gambino

“Justice is expensive in America. That’s why we have our own.” – John Gotti

“Sometimes you have to take justice into your own hands if you want to get things done.” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather

“In this life, you don’t just wait for justice; you provide it.” – Lucky Luciano

“Our justice may not be legal, but it’s effective.” – Paul Castellano

“In our business, justice comes at the end of a gun.” – Sammy Gravano

“Justice? We get justice much faster than the law.” – Joe Bonanno

“We deliver justice, because often times, it won’t deliver itself.” – Frank Costello

“Justice in our terms is a simple payoff: you get what you deserve, one way or another.” – Meyer Lansky

Mafia Quotes on Strategy

“The secret to winning is to be aggressive, but the secret to maintaining power is to think ahead.” – Lucky Luciano

“Never reveal what you know too soon. Strategy is the art of keeping your moves silent.” – Carlo Gambino

“In our game, strategy isn’t just about planning, it’s about manipulating.” – John Gotti

“Always keep your friends close, but your enemies so close that you can destroy them when they least expect.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II

“The best strategy is not to choose between violence and cunning, but to know how to use both.” – Vito Genovese

“Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation.” – Max Fisher

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.” – Meyer Lansky, inspired by Sun Tzu

“A good strategy leaves no room for escape. A great strategy makes them not want to escape.” – Salvatore Riina

“In strategy, it’s important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.” – Lucky Luciano

“Plan all the way to the end, because in the end, you will be judged by the sum of your actions, not your intentions.” – Al Capone

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Final Thoughts

Mafia quotes provide a stark reflection on the brutal and rigid world of organized crime.

Through these quotes, you gain a deeper understanding of the values that steer Mafia culture—power, respect, and family—values that, while often expressed via illegal and violent means, are fundamentally human.

In essence,  Mafia quotes continue to captivate and entertain, throwing light on the darker corners of human society and conduct.

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