Since the devastating conclusion of Breaking Bad in 2013, it has widely been considered one of the best television shows of all time, as it remains the top-rated multi-season series on IMDb, ranking at 9.4. The show is a five-season long epic that spanned the final two years of Walter White’s life- a mild-mannered Chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin.
With a spin-off series and a sequel movie, it is no secret that Breaking Bad remains in the public consciousness even 8 years after its finale. Part of this staying power is that the show spawned numerous famous quotes, such as “I am the one who knocks!” However, there are many quotes throughout the show that did not receive the recognition that they deserve.
“What Good Is It To Just Survive If I Am Too Sick To Work, To Enjoy A Meal, To Make Love?” – Walter White
Gilligan and his fellow Breaking Bad writers were no strangers to crafting emotionally heavy-hitting scenes. In the show’s 1st season, following the reveal of Walt’s cancer diagnosis, the White family sit down for an open discussion about Walt’s options regarding treatment.
Walt’s decision at the time is to forgo chemotherapy treatment, going against Skyler’s vehement objections and pleas to do what he can to stay alive. As one of the greatest examples of foreshadowing in Breaking Bad, Walt does in fact die two years after his diagnosis, indicating that perhaps he was right all the way back in the 1st season.
“Walter, You Getting To Know Me Is Not Gonna Make It Any Easier To Kill Me.” – Krazy-8
With the benefit of hindsight, the slow pace of Breaking Bad‘s 1st season is absolutely necessary when considering the complexity of Walter White’s inevitable moral downfall. In an episode titled “…And the Bag’s in the River,” Walt considers what to do about meth dealer, Krazy-8.
Walt knows that the smartest option is to murder Krazy-8, but Walt’s conflicting morals throughout the entire episode show that he is not, at heart, a murderer. It’s an important moment in Walt’s journey, as it shows his desire to find a workaround or a piece of information that allows for a moral justification for his actions.
“The Agent’s Name Is Hank Schrader. May His Death Satisfy You.” – Gustavo Fring
In a season 3 episode titled “Sunset,” secret meth kingpin Gustavo Fring reaches an impasse with the cousins of Tuco, the person killed by Hank. The cousins want revenge by killing Heisenberg, however, as Walt remains of use to him, Gus offers the cousins to kill the man who pulled the trigger.
Gus never raises his temper and remains calm and collected in every situation, even when Walt causes him issues. Despite respecting Hank, Gus signs his death sentence by coldly offering his name to the cousins. His hope for Hank’s death to satisfy them indicates just how desperate Gus is to remain in power, which emphasizes how terrifying a villain he actually is.
“I’m Just Not The Man I Thought I Was. I Think I’m Done As A Cop.” – Hank Schrader
In Breaking Bad‘s third season, Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank Schrader, finds himself enrolled in a legal battle with Jesse Pinkman after beating him up for lying about his wife, Marie, being in a car accident. This incident leads to him questioning his ability to perform his job.
Not only is this an example of a time where the audience felt bad for Hank in Breaking Bad, but it is also one of the most emotionally effective scenes as Hank rarely expresses such raw emotions. In conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Dean Norris (who plays Hank) revealed that this scene is his favorite in the entire series.
“I Killed Her. It Was Me. I Loved Her. I Loved Her More Than Anything.” – Jesse Pinkman
One of the reasons why Breaking Bad has such a lasting legacy is its incredible performances from each member of the cast. Aaron Paul won 3 Emmy awards for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman, and few scenes encapsulate his acting ability better than his reaction to Jane’s death.
In one of the saddest moments in Jesse Pinkman’s life, Jane dies and Jesse spirals out of control. Following this, Walt finds him in a drug den where he breaks down and confesses to Walt his guilt. This moment is important to their journey as it highlights Walt’s villainous nature- he comforts Jesse after the death of Jane, knowing he is the one responsible for not saving her.
“Why Should We Do Anything More Than Once? Should We Watch Just One Sunset? Because It’s New Every Time. Each Time Is A New Experience.” – Jane Margolis
Jane Margolis, portrayed by Krysten Ritter, is an integral character in Breaking Bad, despite appearing in only 9 episodes out of 62. Jane’s relationship with Jesse and subsequent death is a loose end that hangs over the entire show until Walt reveals to Jesse his part in her demise.
In a flashback scene, Jane talks to Jesse about repetition, with each moment being different than the last. Jesse, evidently, thinks of Jane always and desires to live by her words. Jane’s appearance in El Camino as a figure in the car with Jesse as he drives towards his bittersweet ending indicates just how important this quote from season 3 is.
“Remembering You That Way Wouldn’t Be So Bad. The Bad Way Would Be To Remember You The Way You’ve Been This Whole Last Year.” – Walter White Jr.
Despite appearing in 53 episodes of the show, Walter White Jr. was the last character to be clued into his father’s criminal dealings, as Walt went through efforts to prevent him from getting involved. In the show’s fourth season, Walt Jr. visits his father in his apartment, and Walt breaks down.
The morning after, in one of Walt Jr.’s best quotes in Breaking Bad, he tells his father that he liked seeing him emotionally vulnerable, instead of the lying, fake person he has become. It indicates that while he is unaware of his father’s criminal activity, Walt Jr. knows that something has been going on.
“Everyone Sounds Like Meryl Streep With A Gun To Their Head.” – Mike Ehrmantraut
Introduced in the show’s second season (and appearing in the spin-off show, Better Call Saul), ex-cop Mike Ehrmantraut is a fully-realized character from his very first scene. In the show’s final season, when choosing to kill the traitor, Lydia, she showcases her usefulness, which Mike finds hard to believe.
In one of Mike’s most badass quotes in Breaking Bad, he accuses Lydia of saying anything to escape being murdered. His most famous quote, “no more half measures,” refers to a moment in which Mike chose to let someone live after he plead for his life with a gun to his head. Mike learned from his mistakes and is against making a wrong decision again.
“Get Out. Enough. Don’t Say One More Word. Get Out Of Here, Now. Get Out!” – Skyler White
The saga of Walter White’s rise and fall in the meth trade left hundreds of victims in its’ wake. It is arguable that no one suffered more than his wife, Skyler, who, while not innocent by the end, did lose several family members, and her life was negatively impacted forever.
In the single highest-rated episode of television ever on IMDb, “Ozymandias,” Skyler reaches the end of her tether and finally demands that Walt leave their home. These words are spoken by a broken woman, portrayed expertly by Anna Gunn in an Emmy-winning performance, and evidently display that the family is irreparable.
“Before I Go, May I See Her?” – Walter White
In the beginning, Walter White insists that his decision to cook and sell meth is to make money for his family when he has succumbed to his fatal cancer diagnosis. In the series finale, Walt asks a defeated Skyler if he can see his infant daughter before he leaves Skyler’s apartment.
While it is revealed that Walt did everything for himself because he enjoyed it, it is also clear that the well-being of his family was always in his interests. Walt asking to see Holly before he goes is a full-circle moment, as it harkens back to the beginning of the series where one of the consequences of his diagnosis was not getting to see his daughter grow up.