Breaking Bad is indisputably one of the best television series of this generation. And Jesse Pinkman is one of the most memorable characters. Originally not meant to be such a major character, the chemistry between Aaron Paul, who plays the young high school kid turned right-hand man to the drug kingpin, and Walter White, high school science teacher turned Heisenberg himself, was off the charts.
And so we got episode after episode of Jesse trying to figure out how he ended up serving in the dark underbelly of the top-level drug world alongside his former chemistry teacher. Not used to dealing with anyone who wasn’t loitering around a back alley or playing video games in his basement, Jesse’s personality as a street dealer shone through. He called anyone and everyone “bitch” any chance he got - one of the most quotable words from the series.
But Jesse spewed far more than just this one word insult. He was chocked full of hilarious commentary that brought some much-needed comic relief to the otherwise dark and intense series. Here are 10 of his best words of wisdom.
10 “What good is being an outlaw when you have responsibilities?”
Jesse was a drifter for much of his adult life, choosing to flunk out of high school and focus his attention on selling and doing drugs, playing video games, and generally getting into trouble. While his ventures with Walter White were completely illegal and morally wrong, they were still run like a business that required responsibilities and accountability. And Jesse simply didn’t speak that language.
9 “Are we in the meth business, or the money business?”
Walter was meticulous about his blue meth, desperate to ensure that it was pure and perfect, every time. This is, after all, why he caught the attention of top drug lords, and why his product was in such demand. But, at first, Jesse only saw dollar bills. Screw quality! Mucho dinero is what this was all about.
8 “We make poison for people who don’t care. We probably have the most un-picky customers in the world.”
Again, Jesse, at least at first, couldn’t have cared less about the quality of the meth they were producing. The customers were likely already high as kites when they bought and wouldn’t know the difference anyway.
He didn’t understand that for Walter, it was about having something to prove, and being better than anyone else. It had nothing to do with the customers.
7 “Like I came to you, begging you to cook meth. ‘Oh hey, nerdiest old dude I know, you wanna come cook crystal?’”
"Please, I’d ask my diaper-wearing granny, but her wheelchair wouldn’t fit in the RV."
Jesse needed to remind Walter (er, Mr. White) that it was he who approached him, not the other way around. Of course, leave it to Jesse to do so in the funniest way possible, knocking not only Walter’s nerdiness (he was a brooding and bitter high school science teacher, after all) but also his age.
It’ll be interesting to see how Jesse fares without Walter in the upcoming Breaking Bad movie.
6 “Yeah, Mr. White! You really do have a plan! Yeah, science!”
Jesse had a great business sense, even though he used it to sell drugs. But he wasn’t exactly the most academic young man. He did eventually learn some scientific principles by watching Walter and learning how to make the signature blue meth.
But at the beginning, he had no clue what was going on and why as Walter poured one magic potion into a machine, something else into another, and voila! Drugs. “Yay, science!”
5 “Mr. White…he’s the devil. You know, he is…smarter than you, he is luckier than you.”
"Whatever…whatever you think is supposed to happen…I’m telling you, the exact reverse opposite of that is going to happen, OK?"
Once Walter White showed his true, frightening colors, even his partner in crime felt his wrath, and began to understand just what this man, drunk with power, was capable of.
In this statement, we realize Jesse knows that Heisenberg, a.k.a. Walter White, will always be one step ahead of you.
4 “I uh…I eat a lot of frozen stuff…It’s usually pretty bad.”
"I mean the pictures are always so awesome. You know? It’s like ‘Hell yeah, I’m starved for this lasagna!"
Eating healthy, or sometimes at all, was the last thing on Jesse’s mind. He made one of the biggest mistakes any drug dealer could make (aside from, of course, drug dealing in the first place) which was to get hooked on his own merchandise.
As a young bachelor, he likely wasn’t going to be cooking up a storm each night anyway (other than meth, of course). So frozen dinners became his go-to…when he wasn’t grabbing some delicious fried chicken at Los Pollos Hermanos, that is.
3 “You add a plus douchebag to a minus douchebag and you get, like, zero douchebags.”
You have to give Jesse credit: at least he demonstrates that he can pick up on some of the basic principles of mathematics.
Even if he is learning by counting douchebags instead of trains leaving the station and going different routes, the former teacher in Walter must have been proud.
2 “You got me riding shotgun to every dark recess of this state. It’d be nice if you clued me in a little.”
While Jesse was integral to Walter’s plans and activities, he often felt like he was simply being used, as evidenced from this statement.
Of course it’s much more Jesse’s style to make such comments about their travels rather than to simply say “where the heck are we going?”
1 “You don’t need a criminal lawyer. You need a 'criminal' lawyer.”
What did he mean by this statement? Well, what was needed was not a lawyer who specialized in criminal cases, but rather a lawyer who was a criminal himself, who knew the sketchy ways to handle sketchy situations, and wasn’t afraid, ironically, to bend the law. Thank goodness for Saul Goodman!