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Top 10 Best Breaking Bad Characters

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Spencer sher
Narrowing this down to ten was a lot harder than you think. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Breaking Bad Characters. For this list, we’re looking at the most compelling characters from “Breaking Bad”, while excluding those that only appeared in “Better Call Saul”.
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Narrowing this down to ten was a lot harder than you think. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Breaking Bad Characters.

For this list, we’re looking at the most compelling characters from “Breaking Bad”, while excluding those that only appeared in “Better Call Saul”.

#10: Badger

Brandon “Badger” Mayhew may have been an inept drug dealer, but he was a good friend to Jesse and a source of comic relief in a show constantly in need of levity. He could always make us laugh, whether he was working as a mascot for the bank, discussing his “Star Trek” script ideas, or getting busted by an undercover cop despite literally exposing the cop’s entire plan minutes earlier. Was he easy for Walt and others to manipulate? Sure. But that’s just a reflection of his trusting, good-guy nature. The mere fact that he made it out of the show alive is a testament to his character.

#9: Walter White Jr.

In a show filled with dastardly characters, Walt Jr. was a rare beacon of positivity. Despite being saddled with cerebral palsy, Walter’s son was able to find a silver lining in most situations. When he found out that his father has cancer, he tried to help him by setting up a website to collect donations. At times his naivety towards his father’s criminal double life could be hard to watch, particularly when it caused him to lash out at his mother, who he perceived as the real enemy. But he was just trying to stick up for his cancer-stricken father, and that shows courage and loyalty. It makes it even harder to watch as he learns the terrible truth about dear old dad.

#8: Tuco Salamanca

Of all the psychotic villains to appear on “Breaking Bad” Tuco Salamanca was by far the craziest. Unstable, unpredictable, and wildly entertaining, he effectively serves as a foil to Gus Fring, the consummate businessman. Tuco’s passion for meth is superseded only by his love of violence, something he displays with regularity and without remorse. He proved incredibly hard to kill but in the end was ultimately taken down by Hank in the season two episode “Grilled”. Gone but definitely not forgotten, Tuco remains one of the series’ most memorable characters and helped pave the way for Walter White’s ascension to the top of the drug trade.

#7: Hector Salamanca

Who’d have thought that a mute, wheelchair bound, ex-cartel boss would wind up being one of “Breaking Bad”’s most iconic characters? Introduced in season two, Tuco’s uncle, Hector Salamanca, remained a fixture on the show until the end of season four, when he famously blew up his long-time rival Gus Fring. Despite his seemingly harmless exterior Hector proved to be a formidable force throughout the series, besting everyone from Heisenberg to the DEA. Loyal to a tee and not afraid to get his hands dirty, Hector showed us just how scary a hotel’s front desk bell could be!

#6: Gustavo Fring

Unlike hot-blooded Tuco, Gustavo Fring was a shrewd businessman, who was equal parts ruthless and conniving. Gus was the one-person Walt couldn’t outmaneuver– until season four that is. What makes Gus Fring such a great villain is his confidence. He’s always in control of the situation; always three steps ahead of everyone else; and just as happy playing the long con as he is grabbing a box cutter and slicing open an associate’s throat. Unlike Walt he never sought glory or recognition, choosing instead to hide in plain sight while slowly building his drug empire. Even after taking a bomb to the face he still managed to go out like a boss!

#5: Hank Schrader

Hank started as a macho, wise-cracking, DEA agent meant to serve as an antithesis to Walter’s mild-mannered chemistry teacher. However, by season five he had developed into one of the show’s most emotionally complex characters. Having survived numerous horrors, from a close call with Tuco to a bloody shootout with his vengeful cousins, Hank had to overcome everything from PTSD to a major physical disability. These hardships ultimately made him stronger and helped him solve the greatest mystery of his career: who is Heisenberg? In the end Hank went out the only way he knew how, with a defiant, badass one liner!

#4: Saul Goodman

You know you’ve written a truly fantastic character when they get their own spin-off show. Making his first appearance in season two, Saul Goodman quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his sleazy-yet-effective business tactics, surprising knowledge of the criminal justice system and a collection of hilarious one-liners. Like Badger he provided “Breaking Bad” with some much-needed comic relief and was able to make viewers laugh even when his clients were in seemingly hopeless legal situations. He may be a second-rate attorney, but he’s exactly the kind of person you want in your legal corner when the going gets rough.

#3: Mike Ehrmantraut

Jack-of-all-trades Mike Ehrmantraut subscribes to one simple rule: no half measures. Throughout “Breaking Bad” he always manages to see things through to the end, no matter the cost. At the same time, he’s also a complex character whose hard exterior hides the heart of a dedicated family man. His work as a fixer for Saul Goodman and Gustavo Fring eventually brings him into contact with Walt and Jesse, but unlike those two, with their tendencies to let emotions dictate their actions, Mike somehow always manages to remain calm under pressure. Can he be a little surly? Sure. Is he effective? Damn right.

#2: Jesse Pinkman

Where would “Breaking Bad” be without Jesse Pinkman? The small-time crook and drug addict is the salt to Walter White’s pepper. In the early seasons he existed to show Walt the ropes to the meth game while serving as the perfect narrative contrast to the cancer-stricken teacher. However, as the show advanced, we learnt that Jesse was much more than just Walt’s bumbling sidekick, and it’s the bond that develops between them that serves as the show’s emotional core. Jesse is arguably “Breaking Bad”’s most tragic character, a man whose touch may as well be a death sentence. And yet, we can’t help but love him. And to think, creator Vince Gilligan considered killing him off in season one!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Skyler White

Huell Babineaux

Marie Schrader

Leonel & Marco Salamanca

Gale Boetticher

#1: Walter White

Characters like Walter White don’t come along often. The chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin captivated audiences with his ever-increasing megalomania, as he used his superior method of producing meth to dominate the drug world. Along the way he burned more bridges than we can count and betrayed, duped, or straight up killed anyone who got in his way. Walter is not an inherently evil character, but one who commits evil deeds to do what he thinks is right. Often this put him at odds with his family and partners, but to be frank, he eventually stopped caring, until it was too late. At the center of so many iconic moments, Walter White was the obvious choice for the number one spot on our list!
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