Jump to: Spoilers (15)
Jesse Pinkman was originally slated to be written out by the 9th episode. During the hiatus caused by the writer's strike, creator Vince Gilligan, impressed by Aaron Paul's portrayal of Jesse, decided to reinstate the character.
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It was Vince Gilligan's decision to finish the show in season 5. He didn't want to make the mistake many successful shows make by running too long until the quality decreases.
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After binge-watching the entire show in a span of two weeks, Anthony Hopkins wrote a glowing fan letter to Bryan Cranston, praising him and his fellow actors for their incredible acting, as well as lauding the rest of the crew, comparing the series to a "great Shakespearian or Greek tragedy".
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Many fans were surprised that such a successful show had stars who weren't very famous. Vince Gilligan said that this was by choice, and as the show went on he actually rejected big-name stars in favor of lesser-known actors.
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RJ Mitte has cerebral palsy in real life. His case is much milder than Walt Junior's. He had to learn to walk with crutches and slow down his speech to play the part.
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When characters on the show are smoking meth, they are actually smoking sugar or rock candy but do not inhale. The candy meth is produced by The Candy Lady, a local shop in Albuquerque.
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Sony and AMC were initially reluctant to cast Bryan Cranston because of his previous comedic roles. They approached John Cusack and Matthew Broderick for the role of Walter White. When they both declined, Vince Gilligan was able to cast Cranston. However, the rumor of John Cusack being offered the role of Walter has been debunked by Cusack himself in a 2020 Guardian interview, when he claimed no such offer ever came through his agents, and even asked Gilligan himself who denied making a formal offer for the role.
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Walter was originally written to be 40 years old. AMC felt that 40 was too young for Walter to have a mid-life crisis and requested his age change to 50.
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Bryan Cranston has a Breaking Bad tattoo on his ring finger.
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One of the main story elements is that Walt is a chemistry genius. Marius Stan, who plays Bogdan, has a PhD in Chemistry, and still works in the field. This show was his first foray into acting.
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As the show progressed, Vince Gilligan noticed he had to stop criticizing Walt about how evil he was becoming in front of Bryan Cranston, because he was hurting the actor's feelings.
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The White's address, 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, is a private residence. The residents have had to deal with fans recreating Walter's famous pizza throw onto the roof of their house, and have conducted media interviews asking to be left alone.
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Breaking Bad (2008) was originally set in Riverside, California. It was moved to Albuquerque to take advantage of a tax rebate on production.
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In an interview, Vince Gilligan admitted that the writer's strike that shortened season 1 ended up benefiting the show. He'd planned for Walt's evil side to emerge in a shocking season finale. The strike led him to write the evolution much more gradually.
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When one of Tuco's two cousins was cast, he was asked if he knew of anyone who looked similar, with a strong physique and the same intensity. He recommended his brother, who got the role immediately.
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While pitching the show to Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan told him he wanted to start off with a nerdy Mr. Chips type character and transform him into Scarface.
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Gus Fring was originally supposed to appear in only three or four episodes. Giancarlo Esposito was asked to return for seven episodes in season three. Esposito refused to return unless he could appear in more episodes. He ended up appearing in 11 episodes in the third season.
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The pseudonym for Saul Goodman is derived from "it's all good, man."
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Samuel L. Jackson showed up unannounced during filming on the Pollos Hermanos set one day, dressed in his Nick Fury outfit from The Avengers (2012). Both productions were happening on the same studio lot, and Jackson wanted to be an extra during the scene being filmed. The producers denied his request to appear as Nick Fury on the show.
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In the beginning of each episode, the chemical formula C10H15N along with the number 149.24 and the word "Meth" can be seen just before the title Breaking Bad (2008) appears. C10H15N is the formula for methamphetamine, which has the molecular weight of 149.24.
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The location shoot of the series in New Mexico pumped roughly $1M per episode into the local economy.
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Bryan Cranston stated in an interview that the term "breaking bad" is a southern colloquialism, referring to someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow. The lapse could last for a day or a lifetime.
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Before the series premiere, AMC was flooded with letters by concerned viewers who were afraid the show would glamorize the world of meth. When the show began to air, those letters ceased.
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In 2005, after Showtime, TNT, and HBO rejected the initial pitch for the series, FX stepped in and immediately began development on the pilot. They eventually passed on the project in favor of the Courteney Cox show Dirt (2007), in a bid to draw more female viewers. According to Vince Gilligan, HBO showed no interest even on the pitch. TNT loved the idea, but said that they couldn't air a show with a crystal meth dealer as the central character.
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The show depicts methylamine as a restricted, rare chemical. In real life, methylamine can be produced by combining methanol and ammonia with a catalyst present.
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Walter White's alias, Heisenberg, is a tribute to Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the uncertainty principle, which states that it is impossible to accurately determine both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant.
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Revealed by Bryan Cranston in DVD commentary, the show required a parking lot for vehicles holding actors and props. The idea to use a church parking lot was acted upon but once the church realized what Breaking Bad involved, meth, murder, adultery, the crew was immediately told to leave. The show used the parking lots of over 5 churches throughout the series.
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During the fight scene between Jesse and Tuco, Aaron Paul ended up getting knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.
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Series Trademark: virtually every episode contains a point-of-view shot from inside a confined space. Frequently used is a shot from inside a car trunk (as made famous by Quentin Tarantino); most others come from inside refrigerators, swimming pools, crates, boxes, lab equipment, kitchen utensils, microwaves, washing machines, duffel bags, hidden spaces below floors and behind walls, safes, vending machines, and from below glass tables.
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During an August 2013 interview with Terry Gross on "Fresh Air," Bob Odenkirk said that when he first heard a description of Saul Goodman, he told Vince Gilligan that he wasn't Jewish and might not be right for the part. Gilligan told him that Goodman was the fake name that Saul adopted precisely BECAUSE he wanted his clients to think he was Jewish because it would make them think he was smart and wealthy and therefore seek to hire him. Odenkirk also told Gross that Goodman's odd hairstyle, a thinning comb-over-mullet combination, was his idea.
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A plot line was written for the third season in which Walt visits a South American drug lord in prison to convince him to help him put Gus Fring out of business. It was discarded because the writers couldn't figure out how Walt would be able to connect with the drug lord.
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On the Breaking Bad (2008) podcast, Creator Vince Gilligan revealed that Hector was initially intended to become the main antagonist from Season 3 on. However, they decided to make Gus the main antagonist for the whole series.
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Betsy Brandt was pregnant during season two. Whenever she reached the point in the pregnancy that Skyler was supposed to be, the producers would do pick-up shots with her as the fake bare belly on Anna Gunn.
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Vince Gilligan had already cast Bryan Cranston against his usual type in The X-Files (1993) episode The X-Files: Drive (1998). Cranston played a white supremacist with an infection that makes his head explode if his car's speed dips below 50 miles per hour. Gilligan has said their collaboration convinced him that Cranston was the only actor who could portray Walter White.
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In the original pilot script, Jesse Pinkman was named Marion Alan Dupree, and was always referred to by his last name.
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Hank Schrader's family name is also related to chemistry. German scholar Gerhard Schrader accidentally discovered the first nerve gas.
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Gus Fring was originally written as a character named Kesyer Söze (a reference to The Usual Suspects (1995)). Söze was supposed to appear late in the first season but a writers strike shortened the season. Giancarlo Esposito who played Gus appeared in The Usual Suspects.
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Two series casting directors, Shari Rhodes and Gwyn Savage, died within 32 days of each other during production. Memorial tributes were screened during the respective post credit episode sequences.
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Raymond Cruz's Tuco Salamanca would have been retained for the entire run of season 2 if Cruz hadn't landed a major role on the TV series The Closer (2005).
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The remote desert sequences where the RV meth cooking sessions take place were covertly filmed on the production facility backlot in New Mexico.
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According to Giancarlo Esposito, he based his performance as Gus Fring on Edward James Olmos's performance as Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice (1984). He noticed that Olmos was very quiet and still but suggested an inner turmoil. Esposito guest starred on that series three times.
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The name of the Whites' baby girl, Holly, is another in Vince Gilligan's many career-long references to his longtime girlfriend, Holly Rice that have been included in his scripts. There were also references to Rice in nearly all of Gilligan's episodes of The X-Files (1993).
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Breaking Bad: ...And the Bag's in the River (2008) and Breaking Bad: Gray Matter (2008), are the only two episodes to feature a different intro, with the two period table boxes apart rather than touching. The HD Netflix versions of the episodes have been changed to include the normal intro.
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Mark Margolis, who played Hector Salamanca, claimed in an interview with one Bridget Machete that his character's mannerisms were influenced by his mother in law, who was in a similar condition living in a nursing home. She would make the facial expressions as a sign of excitement when she had visitors. Mark also claimed he did not watch season 5 of Breaking Bad when asked his opinion of it, stating the reason being because he was not in it so there was no reason to watch it.
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The first show since Law & Order (1990) in 1997 to win the Emmy for Best Drama Series, without being nominated for the award in its debut season.
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Although the main character commits many serious crimes, including money laundering, murder, and manufacturing and distributing an illegal and very dangerous drug, a great deal of fan hatred focused on Skyler. Fans have created many Facebook and other Web pages dedicated to Skyler's perceived flaws. Anna Gunn wrote an August 24, 2013, New York Times op-ed titled "I Have a Character Issue" about the phenomenon of TV viewers hating strong female characters such as Skyler, Carmela Soprano of The Sopranos (1999), and Betty Draper of Mad Men (2007), despite the fact that they are wives of male characters who engage in much less sympathetic and often outright criminal behavior.
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In season 1, the real name of the actor who played Krazy 8 was Max Arciniega. Gustavo Fring's close associate and co-founder of the Los Pollos Hermanos franchises, as shown in Breaking Bad: Hermanos (2011), had the same name.
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The popularity of the TV series spawned a cottage industry for a variety of Albuquerque (NM) citizens, including everything from cosmetics, spa, bathroom and 'blue rock' candy products to a tour of both the good and bad locations used in the series.
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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Vince Gilligan stated he was inspired by the Christmas classic "Frosty The Snowman" in creating the Heisenberg persona for Walter White. Just as Frosty "came alive" when his hat was worn, Heisenberg didn't "come alive" until the hat went on Walter White's head.
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Kris Kristofferson was considered to play Skyler and Marie's father in one scene. It was discarded because the writers felt it strayed too far from the main story.
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In season 1, Anna Gunn asked Vince Gilligan about Skyler's occupation while she wasn't with Walt. Gilligan said that she was taking it easy because she was heavily pregnant. Gunn arguing that pregnant women could still do things, asked him to write her something to do. The subplot was never included due to the writers' strike.
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The original screenplay for Breaking Bad (2008)'s pilot episode describes the RV driving through a cow pasture, not a Indian reservation as on the show. This is because the series was originally going to take place in California, not New Mexico.
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In his August 2013 Terry Gross interview, Bob Odenkirk said that he based his character Saul Goodman partly on the Hollywood agents Robert Evans and Ari Emmanuel. Emanuel, who was also the inspiration for the character played by Jeremy Piven in the TV series Entourage (2004) and a different Odenkirk character, Stevie Grant on The Larry Sanders Show (1992), is Odenkirk's actual agent.
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The mascot for Walter Jr.'s high school is the Skyhawk. Signs can be seen on the walls in some of the school shots. Vince Gilligan went to L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, VA, where the mascot is the Skyhawk.
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A Colombian remake of Breaking Bad (2008) was made called Metástasis (2014), consisting of only two seasons.
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Among many western film references, Gale Boetticher name is picked from Budd Boetticher, notorious western film director, better known for his movie "Seven Men From Now".
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The two chemical elements Bromine and Barium, the abbreviated forms of which appear as high-lighted boldface fonts in the title - (Br)eaking) (Ba)d - have nothing to do with the manufacture of "crystal meth" (Methamphetamine).
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The high school portrayed in the film was actually two different schools. One up near the mountains (Eldorado High) and one on the west side (West Mesa High).
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The Albuquerque DEA office is just down the road about 1/2 mile from Albuquerque Studios where much of the series was filmed.
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The series title is spelled using the chemical symbols for bromine (Br), and barium (Ba). Chemical symbols from the periodic table also appear in every name (except the one of creator Vince Gilligan) in the opening credits: a single capital letter, or pair of letters, with only the first letter capitalized (in line with scientific convention), shown in a differing color.
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Gustavo Fring is named after German football player Torsten Frings. He became quite popular in Northern America due to his time at FC Toronto 2011-2013.
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The first episode of season 2 is called Breaking Bad: Seven Thirty-Seven (2009), which foreshadows the plane crash at the end of the season. When combined with the other episodes that flash forward to the plane crash, the titles read "Seven Thirty Seven- Down- Over- ABQ"
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Vince Gilligan personally selected Baby Blue by Badfinger as the song to be played during the series' final scene, despite numerous objections from his music team. The song was purchased from iTunes over 5,000 times the night of the finale's initial broadcast and re-entered the Billboard charts more than 40 years after it was first released.
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There is an alternate ending of the series finale on the last season DVD. It involves Bryan Cranston playing the role of his Malcolm in the Middle (2000) character Hal waking up from a nightmare which happens to be the events of Breaking Bad. Jane Kaczmarek also makes a cameo appearance as Lois. This was an homage to the finale of Newhart (1982).
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Bryan Cranston reportedly cried after filming the scene in which Walter watches Jane die. The reason was because the image of Cranston's own daughter popped into his mind.
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The scene with the cousins blowing up the immigrant smuggling truck could only be filmed in one take, so the actors had to get everything right, including walking away without looking back. They said the heat coming from behind them made it harder.
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When Jane's father goes to her room to find a burial outfit, the pink bear that later falls into Walt's pool after the plane crash is seen in the mural painted on the wall.
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According to Dean Norris, while shooting the first half of season 5, he got a job offer to play a leading part in a sitcom. Norris, knowing the series was ending and thinking about providing for his family, suggested to Vince Gilligan the idea of killing Hank in those first eight episodes, arguing it would be shocking and unexpected. Gilligan refused, saying he needed Hank for the second half of the season. Hank ended up getting killed in one of the last episodes.
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By his own admission, when Vince Gilligan wrote that Walt had a machine gun on the trunk at the beginning of season five, in a flash-forward scene, he had no idea what Walter was going to do with it, so he had to really work hard to come up with how he was going to use it against Todd's family.
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The script originally called for Saul Goodman to show up to teach Jesse how to clean up a crime scene when Jane dies. Bob Odenkirk had prior commitments so producers brought in Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut.
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Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are the only two cast members to actually appear in all 62 episodes of the series, despite others having a credit on all episodes.
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The majority of the meth lab equipment at Jack's gang's campground is the same equipment from the RV that Walt and Jesse cooked in for the first few seasons.
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The GPS coordinates of the desert location where Walter White buries his money are actually the coordinates of Albuquerque Studios where much of the series was filmed.
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When Walter throws the Pizza and it lands on the roof, that was a complete fluke and they liked it so much that they kept it in, indeed it became an establishing shot gibbing down from the rooftop pizza.
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In season 1 episode 2 when Jesse enters the bathroom with the wrapped up dead body. When he drops the feet to the ground, the toilet seat collapses shut. That actually happened during the scene and wasn't setup as a prop.
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It was Giancarlo Esposito's idea for his character (Gus) to straighten his tie before he keels over in "Face Off".
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