Fewer things are more bad ass than 1%er motorcycle clubs. While the true and gritty reality of belonging to one of these clubs can’t fully be represented on basic cable, Sons of Anarchy does a damn close job. In celebration of the start of the fourth season, we’ve decided to revisit the ten most bad ass moments of the first three seasons.

Note: The two errors that originally appeared in this piece have been corrected. Thanks to everyone in the comment section who pointed them out.

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Burning Off Kyle’s Tattoo

Popular legend holds that if you leave a 1%er motorcycle club they want your tattoos back. According to Sons of Anarchy, you can either get them burned off or cut off. Kyle, the exiled member of SAMCRO responsible for Opie’s incarceration opted for the former. In one of the most brutal scenes ever aired on basic cable, we got to see him hang from chains while the tattoo was burned off with a blowtorch.

AJ Weston’s Stoic Death

Henry Rollins could put on a pink prom dress and read scenes from Steel Magnolias and still look tough. On SOA he plays an open white nationalist opponent of SAMCRO. Before SAMCRO executes him, AJ Weston says a touching goodbye to his son. This isn’t just bad ass, it also lends an interesting complexity to a thoroughly detestable character, humanizing even the most inhuman man.

Killing June Stahl

Anyone who’s seen The Godfather knows that even the most hardened criminals hesitate before offing the pigs. Double down on that when it comes to federal agents. But Agent June Stahl went over the line one too many times and paid the price in the season three finale. Most of us spent the first three seasons wondering why no one thought to put her out of her misery.

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Don’t Sit on Jax’s Bike

Corrected: It’s hard to feel bad for a man who sits on another man’s bike like he owns the damn thing. Jax taught that dude a lesson in the form of a beating before making off with his girl. Chances are Señor Crotch Rocket will think twice the next time he sees some beautifully crafted American V-Twin action sitting outside of the local liquor store.

We’re Taking Your Balls

Corrected: The Sons of Anarchy are a 1%er club with a conscience. When it comes to getting even with carny rapists and protecting Charming, SAMCRO doesn’t f#ck around. When the father refuses to do the dirty work, Clay takes out a cattle castrating knife and shows him who’s got real balls… literally and figuratively.


Gemma is a perpetual bad-ass moment on Sons of Anarchy. Whether she’s giving away Bibles with syringes as bookmarks or taking a skateboard upside the head of a woman who bedded her man, this is one granny who doesn’t f#ck around. She’s based on Lady Macbeth and it shows in every episode. Also, Katey Sagal has been a top-shelf MILF since she was trotting around in impossible heels and hair on Married... With Children.

Tara Gets Real

Hospital director Margaret Murphy spent most of the first two seasons giving Tara the needle. When she calls matriarch Gemma a “biker whore,” Tara decides she’s had enough shit. She explains in no uncertain terms that if things don’t change around the hospital she’s going to see Margaret put in the ground.

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Juice Takes One for the Team

When the Sons need a little protection on the inside, they have to offer something big to the Black Guerilla Army. Fortunately, a BGA enemy in protective custody has taken a shine to Juice. All Juice has to do is shake his pretty Puerto Rican ass in his direction along with the promise of a little manly love... right before the BGA descend upon the mark, shivs shanking away.

Jax Just Says No

When a drug dealer sells to his pregnant girlfriend, Jax becomes a one-man war on drugs. After getting the business end of a pool cue, it’s safe to say this is one drug dealer who won’t be selling to any pregnant women any time soon.

F#ck Your Bike

Pushing around civilians is one thing. Pushing around other 1%ers is another. SAMCRO lure the Mayans into a trap by pulling a Pee-Wee Herman and pushing their bikes to the ground.

Check out our look back at Before They Were 'Sons of Anarchy'

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