What's the deeper meaning behind Breaking Bad's title? The series was created by Vince Gilligan and ran for five seasons before coming to an end in 2013.
Gilligan spent much of his early career working on The X-Files. During that time, he came up with the idea for a series that focused on a hero that would later turn into a villain. Gilligan had trouble pitching his project in its early stages because many people thought it sounded too similar to Weeds. AMC eventually gave him an opportunity and he developed Breaking Bad. The series centered on Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a seemingly normal chemistry teacher who goes on to become a ruthless drug lord.
Breaking Bad was critically acclaimed throughout its run and praised by viewers for its character development. The attention to detail also made the crime drama stand out from the rest. Gilligan made sure that the series was full of hidden meanings and motifs. Even the title of the series has a special meaning. To Gilligan, the term "breaking bad" was a saying that is native to his home state of Virginia, meaning "raise hell."A broader definition suggested that the phrase "break bad" is a colloquialism that meant "turn to a life of crime."
Both of those definitions perfectly fit with Walt's journey on Breaking Bad. To say the man raised hell during his emergence as a meth kingpin was an understatement. His actions wreaked havoc on his competitors, as well as his family and business partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). After Walt's cancer diagnosis, he left his job and turned to crime as a way to make money and keep his family afloat. As time went one, he got deeper and deeper into the criminal lifestyle until there was a point of no return.
The title might have an additional meaning when taking into account the logo of the series. The design highlights two elements on the Periodic table, "Br" and "Ba." The first is the symbol for Bromine, a chemical element which is useful for fire retardants. The second stands for Barium, a chemical element used frequently in fireworks. It also gives off a flame a greenish hue when heated. It's interesting that both words start with elements that have essentially opposing effects as if the elements contradict themselves.
In a way, Walt was the same way in Breaking Bad. He often started a lot of figurative fires and spent a lot of his time trying to put them out. He often thought of himself as a hero for how he helped his family but that motivation eventually got away from him. It was clear that the man lost focus as the thrill from his life of crime had taken over.