HENRY: Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn't have to move for anybody.
When you're the most well respected member of the crew, you don't have to worry about pleasing anyone else. Paulie has earned that respect through running a successful protection racket and taking care of business, but also because he's seen as predictable and not crazy.
HENRY: One day, some of the kids from the neighborhood carried my mother's groceries all the way home. You know why? It was outta respect.
The taste of respect that Henry gets when he starts working at the cabstand is what sucks him into the mob. It sets the course for his entire life.
TOMMY: You mean, let me understand this 'cause, you know, maybe it's me. I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how? I mean, funny, like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean, funny? Funny how? How am I funny?
Here, Tommy is just giving Henry a hard time, but it shows how short-tempered and explosive Tommy can be when he feels he's being disrespected. So does the vicious beat down he gives to Sonny over his $7,000 tab right after he finishes scaring the crap out of Henry.
TOMMY: In this day and age, what the fuck is this world coming to? I can't believe this, prejudiced against—a Jew broad—prejudiced against Italians.
Tommy thinks just being Italian is worthy of respect. Considering that you can't get made unless you're 100 percent Italian, it seems the rest of the mob may agree. Henry and Jimmy know that, as much as they might be respected, their mixed heritage makes it impossible for them to ever be made men.
KAREN: You got some nerve standing me up! Nobody does that to me! Who the hell do you think you are? Frankie Valli or some kinda big shot?
While the movie closely associates respect with masculinity, that doesn't mean Karen can't get her some.
MORRIE: Henry, you're a good kid. I've been good to you. You've been good to me. But there's something quite unreasonable going on here. Jimmy's being an unconscionable ball-breaker. I never had to pay the vigorous debt he demands. Am I something special? What am I? A schmuck on wheels?
He's not on wheels, but the movie does play Morrie for laughs. Just look at that wig. He's not nearly as macho as the rest of the crew, and that means he's the low man on the respect totem pole.
TOMMY: No more shines, Billy.
TOMMY: I said, no more shines. Maybe you didn't hear about it; you've been away a long time. They didn't go up there and tell you. I don't shine shoes anymore.
BILLY: Relax, will ya? For crying out—what's, what's got into you? I'm breaking your balls a little bit, that's all. I'm only kidding with ya.
TOMMY: Sometimes you don't sound like you're kidding. You know, there's a lot of people around.
Tommy doesn't want anyone around being reminded of his days as a lowly shoeshine boy. When Billy presses it even further, Tommy goes bananas, ultimately murdering the made man and sealing his own fate in the process.
SPIDER: Why don't you go fuck yourself, Tommy?
JIMMY: Whoa! I didn't fuckin' hear right. I couldn't believe what I just heard. Hey, Spider, here. Here, this is for you. Attaboy.
[tossing money on the table]
Here, Spider, this is for you. I got respect for this kid. He's got a lot of fucking balls. Good for you; don't take no shit off nobody. He shoots him in the foot; he tells him to go fuck himself. Tommy, you gonna let him get away with that? You gonna let this fucking punk get away with that? What's the matter? What's the world coming to?
[Tommy whips out a gun and kills Spider.]
Tommy is fine with making jokes. We regularly see him holding court, going for laughs. But when the joke is on him? Tommy loses it.
PAULIE: I don't want any more of that shit.
HENRY: What shit? What are you talking about?
PAULIE: Just stay away from the garbage. You know what I mean.
HENRY: Look, Paulie?
PAULIE: I'm not talking about what you did inside; you did what you had to do. I'm talking about now. From now. Here and now.
HENRY: Paulie, why would I want to get into that?
PAULIE: Don't make a jerk out of me. Just don't do it. Just don't do it.
Paulie is no dummy; he knows how this whole drug thing is going to go down, and he doesn't want to look like a clown. Even at the top of the heap, Paulie is sensitive about his image.
HENRY: Thirty-two hundred bucks. That's what he gave me. Thirty-two hundred bucks for a lifetime. It wasn't even enough to pay for the coffin.
Paulie's handout to Henry shows that he's lost respect for Henry by the movie's end. Henry feels he's owed a lot more. You know, even though he totally went behind Paulie's back and against his advice. He may have majorly screwed up and gone against the family, but Henry feels he's still owed respect.
HENRY: For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being president of the United States.
A mob boss like Paulie can't veto a bill or start a war with Greenland, but in Brooklyn, he might as well be the king of the world. He controlled almost everything and everyone.
HENRY: That was it. No more letters from truant officers. No more letters from school. In fact, no more letters from anybody. Finally, after a couple of weeks, my mother had to go to the post office and complain. How could I go back to school after that? Pledge allegiance to the flag and sit through good government bullshit?
Nobody is too small to be intimidated by the mob. When Henry sees Tuddy's guys shove his poor mailman's head into the pizza oven, he gets one of his first tastes of power. Even for something as trivial as getting your attendance records sent home, there are wiseguys around to make sure it won't happen again.
HENRY: Hundreds of guys depended on Paulie, and he got a piece of everything they made. It was tribute, just like in the old country, except they were doing it here in America. And all they got from Paulie was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. And that's what it's all about. That's what the FBI could never understand. That what Paulie and the organization does is offer protection for people who can't go to the cops. That's it. That's all it is. They're like the police department for wiseguys.
Comparing Paulie's powerful thuggery to the police department is a stretch, and it shows how, even at a young age, Henry starts to rationalize the shady ways the mob uses and maintains its power. To him, they're the heroes in this story. (We bet the mailman-turned-pizza would disagree.)
KAREN: One night, Bobby Vinton sent us champagne. There was nothing like it. I didn't think there was anything strange in any of this. You know, a 21-year-old kid with such connections. He was an exciting guy. He was really nice. He introduced me to everybody. Everybody wanted to be nice to him. And he knew how to handle it.
He was really nice? Jeez, Karen. Henry's power is intoxicating to Karen and blinds her to all of the bad stuff he's getting up to when they're not sipping bubbly.
KAREN: I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn't. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.
That's more like it. Here, Karen finally acknowledges that her powerful boyfriend isn't an ordinary—or law-abiding—guy. Does that worry her? Nope. Quite the opposite, in fact. No doubt Karen has been perusing the works of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who wrote that "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." (Source)
HENRY: You know, when you think of prison, you get pictures in your mind of all those old movies with rows and rows of guys behind bars. But it wasn't like that for wiseguys … I mean, everybody else in the joint was doing real time, mixed together, living like pigs, but we lived alone. We owned the joint.
Even behind bars, the wiseguys grease the wheels with bribes. While their power in the outside world is tied up, inside the joint, they can still get away with almost anything, except a file hidden in a salami.
PAULIE: Listen, I ain't gonna get fucked like Gribbs, you understand? Gribbs is 70 years old, and the fuckin guy's gonna die in prison. I don't need that. So I'm warning everybody, everybody. It could be my son; it could be anybody. Gribbs got 20 years just for saying hello to some fuck who was sneaking behind his back selling junk. I don't need that. Ain't gonna happen to me, you understand?
PAULIE: You know that you're only out early because I got you a job. I don't need this heat, understand that?
PAULIE: And you see anybody fucking around with this shit, you're going to tell me, right?
PAULIE: [slaps Henry] That means anybody!
HENRY: All right.
HENRY: Yeah, of course.
Paulie is getting paranoid about his power here. He has a good reason to be. Trusting Henry to drop the drugs? Big mistake. Dying powerless as a frail, irrelevant old man in the slammer scares the heck out of Paulie.
POLICE DETECTIVE: What, were you guys grocery shopping? What, are we gonna make a cake? Gonna make a fucking cake? You got anything good in there, or what?
[A detective tastes the residue in a pan.]
POLICE DETECTIVE: Is it good?
[The detective nods in the affirmative.]
POLICE DETECTIVE: [to Henry, laughing] Bye, bye, dickhead. [laughing] See you in Attica, dick.
When Henry gets busted, the power changes hands abruptly and embarrassingly—which makes sense given the way the mob has continually flaunted their supremacy in the police department's collective face.
HENRY: See, the hardest thing for me was leaving the life. I still love the life. And we were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed ... Anything I wanted was a phone call away … We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now, it's all over.
When Henry rats out his friends, he doesn't feel guilty about it. He just wants his mob hall pass back. The power was addictive.
HENRY: Today, everything is different; there's no action ... I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. Get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.
In addition to his life in exile being a total bore to him, Henry can't stand being just like everyone else.
HENRY: See, people like my father could never understand, but I was a part of something. I belonged. I was treated like a grown-up. Every day, I was learning to score. A dollar here. A dollar there. I was living a fantasy.
Before he's enticed by the glamour of the mob, Henry is seduced by the idea of simply fitting in and being supported. His own father beat him.
TOMMY: Anyway, she won't go out with me alone unless her girlfriend comes with her, so I figure you come along and go out with her girlfriend.
HENRY: See? I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.
TOMMY: You knew what? See? What? What the fuck is wrong with that?
HENRY: When is this?
TOMMY: Tomorrow night.
HENRY: I can't tomorrow night; I gotta meet Tuddy.
TOMMY: You could meet Tuddy. You could fucking come early and then still go.
HENRY: Tommy, Tommy. Why do you always do this to me?
As this exchange shows, Tommy is basically like Henry's brother. His hot-tempered brother that sometimes needs a favor. He expects that his good buddy will help him get the girl.
KAREN: It was like he had two families. The first time I was introduced to all of them at once, it was crazy.
Karen finally gets the full scope of Henry's double family life at their wedding, where she's introduced to a seemingly endless stream of people named Peter, Paul, and Marie.
KAREN: We were all so very close. I mean, there were never any outsiders around. Absolutely never. And being together all the time made everything seem all the more normal.
This idea of outsiders vs. insiders that Karen mentions is instrumental to the mob's success—and its failures. When you're knee-deep in as many illegal activities as Henry's crew is, outsiders aren't to be trusted. Just look at Stacks.
KAREN: We always did everything together, and we always were in the same crowd. Anniversaries, christenings. We only went to each other's houses. The women played cards, and when the kids were born, Mickey and Jimmy were always the first at the hospital. And when we went to the islands or Vegas for vacation, we always went together. No outsiders, ever. It got to be normal. It got to where I was even proud that I had the kind of husband who was willing to go out and risk his neck just to get us the little extras.
Making everything a family—and only the family—affair makes it easy for Karen to find having a mobster for a husband totes normal.
JIMMY: She'll never divorce him. She'll kill him, but she won't divorce him.
Henry's real family may not kill guys and bury them in the woods, but, in her own way, Karen is just as volatile as Henry's mafia cohorts. More importantly, she's even more loyal.
PAULIE: Vinnie, don't put too many onions in the sauce.
VINNIE: I didn't put too much onions, uh, Paul. Three small onions. That's all I did.
JOHNNY: Three onions? How many cans of tomatoes you put in there?
VINNIE: I put two cans, two big cans.
JOHNNY: You don't need three onions.
It's not a family dinner until somebody has a disagreement.
KAREN: Even Paulie—since he got out, I never see him. I never see anybody anymore.
HENRY: It's only you and me. That's what happens when you go away. I told you that. We're on our own. Forget everybody else! Forget Paulie! As long as he's on parole, he doesn't want anybody doing anything.
So, that's how it works. When you get locked up, you're the proverbial red-headed stepchild.
HENRY: You know, we always called each other "goodfellas." Like you said to, uh, somebody, "You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us." You understand? We were goodfellas. Wiseguys. But Jimmy and I could never be made because we had Irish blood. It didn't even matter that my mother was Sicilian. To become a member of a crew, you've got to be 100 percent Italian so they can trace all your relatives back to the old country. See, it's the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and a crew. It means that nobody can fuck around with you. It also means you could fuck around with anybody, just as long as they aren't also a member. It's like a license to steal. It's a license to do anything. As far as Jimmy was concerned, with Tommy being made, it was like we were all being made. We would now have one of our own as a member.
This is a long quote, but there's a lot of good stuff packed in here. Henry's summation of what a "goodfella" is reveals a lot about the family's insular mentality. There's us, and then there's everybody else. Then, there's his explanation of how and why wiseguys get made: it's how they "officially" belong, and it's considered the highest honor you can receive; that's how mega-important family is. Finally, there's the part about Jimmy's excitement over Tommy getting made—specifically the idea of having "one of our own" as a member. That shows that Henry and Jimmy will never really be part of the family no matter what they do, but they can be proud of Tommy.
HENRY: I was ashamed. I'm ashamed now. But I got nowhere else to go, Paulie. You're all I've got, and I really, really need your help. I really do.
PAULIE: Take this. [Paulie hands him money.] Now, I gotta turn my back.
Since Paulie functions as Henry's surrogate papa, this is pretty brutal—both for Henry and for Paulie.
JIMMY: Everybody gets pinched, but you did it right. You told 'em nothing, and they got nothing.
HENRY: I thought you'd be mad.
JIMMY: I'm not mad; I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man, and you learned the two greatest things in life.
JIMMY: Look at me. Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.
Mobsters have a code of silence, and this is the first thing Henry learns. Henry is going to end up breaking it. Big time. That's why he has to go into the Witness Protection Program—he knows what happens to rats.
KAREN: They had bad skin and wore too much makeup. I mean, they didn't look very good. They look beat up, and the stuff they wore was thrown together and cheap: a lot of pantsuits and double knits. And they talked about how rotten their kids were and about beating them with broom handles and leather belts, but that their kids still didn't pay any attention. When Henry picked me up, I was dizzy.
Sorry, Karen. The mob wives have their own traditions, too. Unfortunately, they mainly consist of crimes against good taste. The wives are supposed to look a certain way, act a certain way, and simply look the other way when it comes to their husbands' infidelities. Check out The Real Housewives of New Jersey for some more recent examples.
KAREN: There was always a little harassment. They always wanted to talk to Henry about this or that. They'd come in with their subpoenas and warrants and make me sign, but mostly they were just looking for a handout: a few bucks to keep things quiet, no matter what they found. I always asked them if they wanted coffee. Some of the wives, like Mickey Conway, used to curse at them and spit on the floor. She used to spit on her own floor! That never made any sense to me. It was better to be polite and call the lawyer.
Dealing with cops and their search warrants is yet another mafia tradition, just part of the drill. As Karen explains, all of the wives handle it differently. Personally, we prefer Karen's coffee-serving approach to Mickey's spitting strategy.
HENRY: For most of the guys, killings got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules.
Everybody knows the rules because murder is one of the family's oldest, and grisliest, traditions.
HENRY: Saturday night was for wives, but Friday night at the Copa was always for the girlfriends.
As far as the mob's traditions and customs go, this one is non-negotiable. Can all of the bling in Brooklyn make up for your husband having a bunch of girlfriends?
HENRY: In prison, dinner was always a big thing. We had a pasta course, and then we had a meat or a fish. Paulie did the prep work. He was doing a year for contempt, and he had this wonderful system for doing the garlic. He used a razor, and he used to slice it so thin that it used to liquefy in the pan with just a little oil. It was a very good system.
Henry and his crew's elaborate prison dinners prove that customs don't go out the window just because these men can't go outside.
HENRY: It was revenge for Billy Batts, and a lot of other things. And there was nothing that we could do about it. Batts was a made man, and Tommy wasn't. And we had to sit still and take it. It was among the Italians. It was real greaseball shit. They even shot Tommy in the face so his mother couldn't give him an open coffin at the funeral.
Henry's explanation that there was nothing they could do about Tommy getting whacked shows how set in stone the mob's rituals are. You can't kill a made man. You just can't. And you definitely can't complain about the consequences.
HENRY: For a second, I thought I was dead. But, when I heard all the noise, I knew they were cops. Only cops talk that way. If they'd been wiseguys, I wouldn't have heard a thing. I would've been dead.
The traditions and customs that govern how the mob works stand in stark contrast to how the police department works. For starters, the wiseguys are far more sinister. And usually better dressed.
HENRY: If you're part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they're going to kill you. Doesn't happen that way. There weren't any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murderers come with smiles. They come as your friends, the people who've cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time when you're at your weakest and most in need of their help.
Making a big scene? Tipping somebody off that they're about to get fitted for cement shoes? Well, that's just not the mob's style—they're your nearest and dearest up to the second they whack you. As Henry explains, they have an entire code of conduct under which they operate, and their refusal to break with tradition is part of their menacing recipe for success.
HENRY: Jimmy was the kind of guy who rooted for the bad guys in the movies.
Of all the morally depraved mobsters in the movie, Jimmy might be the morally depravedest. You know, if "depravedest" was a word. Paulie may be the boss, and Tommy may have an itchy trigger finger, but Jimmy is the last guy whose bad side we'd want to be on.
HENRY: And when the cops—they assigned a whole army to stop Jimmy—what'd he do? He made 'em partners.
When a fat bribe is involved, the cops forget their morals and ethics, too. These guys couldn't have run their business without the total cooperation of corrupt cops and other officials.
HENRY: By the time I grew up, there was $30 billion a year in cargo moving through Idlewild Airport, and believe me, we tried to steal every bit of it.
These guys may be crooks, but nobody can say they're not ambitious.
HENRY: Whenever we needed money, we'd rob the airport. To us, it was better than Citibank.
Henry and his crew have an incredible sense of entitlement. The way they see it, that airport is in their neighborhood, and that means it's theirs, baby. But really, it's beyond just entitlement. The idea of whether it's right or wrong to do it doesn't even enter into the picture.
HENRY: For us, to live any other way was nuts. To us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, worried about their bills, were dead. They were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something, we just took it. If anyone complained twice, they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again. It was just all routine. You didn't even think about it.
It's clear from this quote that Henry doesn't view the family's morals and ethics as skewed. The way he sees it, they're just smarter than those average Joes and Janes who ride the subway and worry about their bills. You know, like you and us.
KAREN: What do you do?
HENRY: I'm in construction.
[Karen feels Henry's hands.]
KAREN: They don't feel like you're in construction.
HENRY: Ah, I'm a union delegate.
Here's our first glimpse of Karen's willingness to ignore that little voice in her head saying, "Uh, you know your boyfriend is totally mobbed up, right?"
KAREN'S MOM: What kind of people are these?
KAREN: Ma, what do you want me to do?
KAREN'S MOM: Do? What can you do? He's not Jewish. Did you know how these people live? Did you know what they were like? Your father never stayed out all night without calling.
KAREN: Stay out? Daddy never went out at all, Ma! Keep out of it! You don't know how I feel!
KAREN'S MOM: Feel? How do you feel now? You don't know where he is. You don't know who he's with.
While Karen is up to her earlobes in denial about Henry's shady dealings, Karen's mom sure isn't. Her manner may be brusque, but she's just worried about her baby girl.
KAREN: After a while, it got to be all normal. None of it seemed like crime. It was more like Henry was enterprising, and that he and the guys were making a few bucks hustling, while the other guys were sitting on their asses, waiting for handouts. Our husbands weren't brain surgeons; they were blue-collar guys. The only way they could make extra money, real extra money, was to go out and cut a few corners.
Listen, Karen. It may not have seemed like crime, but you can bet your closet full of polyester jumpsuits that it sure as heck was. As the money pours in, Karen has less and less trouble with Henry's line of work and more and more willingness to rationalize the bad behavior away.
TOMMY'S MOM: Why don't you get yourself a nice girl?
TOMMY: I get a nice one almost every night, Ma.
TOMMY'S MOM: Yeah, but get yourself a girl so you can settle down.
TOMMY: I settle down almost every night, but then in the morning, I'm free. I love you! I wanna be with you!
The mob's morals aren't just loose when it comes to crime. As this exchange shows, they're also pretty wobbly when it comes to relationships and commitment.
KAREN: This is Karen Hill. I want to talk to you. Hello? Hello? Don't hang up on me! I want to talk to you! You keep away from my husband, you hear me? Hello? Open the door! Answer me! I'm going to tell everyone who walks in this building that in 2R, Rossi, you are nothing but a whore!
[She gets on the phone.]
KAREN: Is this the superintendent? Yes, I want you to know, sir, that you have a whore living in 2R! Rossi, Janice Rossi. Do you hear me? He's my husband! Get your own goddamn man!
Karen's personal moral code is pretty interesting. She has no problem overlooking Henry's criminal activities. But his infidelities? She's not so chill about those.
HENRY: When I was broke, I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now, it's all over. And that's the hardest part.
This is one of the last lines we hear from Henry as he's taken off into the Witness Protection Program. He has ratted out his former employers and friends after a long life of crime; he has put his family in jeopardy and is making his wife leave everything she's ever known. But, he's got zero remorse for that. All he's thinking about is the lush life he has to leave.
HENRY: Every once in a while, I'd have to take a beating. But, by then, I didn't care. The way I saw it, everybody takes a beating sometime.
Here, young Henry is talking about taking a beating from his dad, who, ironically, doesn't approve of the mobsters that Henry is associating with at work. For Henry, getting socked in the face every once in a while is just another thing that men have to put up with.
PAULIE: Tommy's a bad seed. What am I supposed to do? Shoot him?
SONNY: That wouldn't be a bad idea.
Sonny, because he's not a wiseguy, wisely retracts this suggestion almost immediately.
TOMMY: We hit the deer, and his paw ... What do you call it?
TOMMY'S MOM: The paw.
JIMMY: The hoof.
TOMMY: The hoof got caught in the grill, and I gotta hack it off.
Remember that time, over dinner, when you told your mom you had to borrow her kitchen knife to hack off a deer's paw, and she didn't blink an eye? Yeah, us neither. Tommy's mom is completely unaware of her darling son's capacity for brutality.
TOMMY: Hey, Henry! Henry, hurry up, will ya? My mother's gonna make some fried peppers and sausage for us.
JIMMY: Oh, hey, Henry, Henry! Here's an arm!
HENRY: Very funny, guys.
JIMMY: Here's a leg!
TOMMY: Here's a wing! Hey, what do you like, the leg or the wing, Henry? Or ya still go for the old hearts and lungs?
HENRY: [Henry barfs.] Oh, that's so bad!
Here, we have an example of violence and gore played for laughs as they dig up Billy Batts' decomposing corpse. How is that possible? Because for these guys, violence has become routine.
TOMMY: All right, so he got shot in the foot. What is it, a big fuckin' deal?
Of all of the characters in the movie, Tommy may have the most casual attitude about violence. He also has the highest propensity for it. That's a wicked scary combo—just ask Spider.
HENRY: I got enough to worry about getting fucking whacked on the street! I gotta fucking come home for this! I should fucking kill you! How does it feel, huh? Huh? How does it feel, Karen?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, domestic violence is also a part of the mobster lifestyle. Here, after Karen holds a gun to her husband's head, Henry grabs the gun and threatens her right back.
TOMMY: Hey, Frank, let's chop him up.
FRANK: All right. [Frank starts to get out of the car.]
TOMMY: Where you going? Where you going, you dizzy motherfucker, you?
FRANK: I thought you said to chop him up.
TOMMY: Up at Charlie's, not here! Where the fuck are we gonna chop him here?
TOMMY: Come on, what are you doing? Get the fuck outta here. I got a better shot letting him [Morrie's corpse] fucking drive. What are you waiting for?
FRANK: The car's cold.
TOMMY: Get the fuck outta here! What fucking warm enough? Get outta here!
Just to be clear, these guys have just viciously murdered Morrie and decided to chop him up. But what are they most concerned about? Whether or not the car needs to be warmed up before they drive off and break out the hatchets. Their casual attitude toward some seriously gruesome behavior is funny, but only because it's so disturbing.
HENRY: When they found Carbone in the meat truck, he was frozen so stiff it took them two days to thaw him out for the autopsy.
The montage of family members that Jimmy has murdered after the Lufthansa heist shows that the gang has zero qualms about taking out their own as brutishly as possible. Savagery isn't just reserved for outsiders.
JIMMY: Vinnie, what happened?
VINNIE: Well, we—
JIMMY: You get it straightened out?
VINNIE: No, we had a problem. And, uh, we tried to do everything we could.
JIMMY: What do you mean?
VINNIE: Well, you know what I mean. He's gone, and we couldn't do nothing about it. That's it.
JIMMY: What do you mean? What do you mean? Uh ...
VINNIE: He's gone. He's gone. And that's it.
Jimmy had to have known this was going to happen, right? Tommy killed a made guy, and as Henry himself tells us, made men are the only people who are considered untouchable.
HENRY: Jimmy had never asked me to whack somebody before, but now he's asking me to go down to Florida and do a hit with Anthony. That's when I knew I would never have come back from Florida alive.
Perhaps the only upshot of the mob's attitude toward violence is that it does involve some sense of order and established rules. That's why Henry knows he needs to skip the trip to Disney World and disappear forever.