Breaking Bad is probably the only show on television in the last 20 years that can truthfully say that it made the image of Bryan Cranston in tighty whities intimidating. Walter White’s transformation into Heisenberg is probably the peak of recent television history. If someone had said in the Malcolm In The Middle days that Cranston was about to become one of the most intimating and complex characters in television history you’d have laughed right in their face (and then gone right back to changing your AIM away message to something clever).
News of the Breaking Bad movie broke recently, so what better time is there to break down some of our favorite characters from the original series to get a better picture of who they are using the Myers-Briggs type indicator?
10. Walter White: The Architect - INTJ
Starting things off with a mercury fulminate bang we have Walter White, the INTJ’s INTJ. Walt is the man with the plan. ”The one who knocks”. The Architect. INTJs tend to keep to themselves or in small groups and work well within defined structures. Career paths for the INTJ include project managers, marketing strategist, military strategist, and meth manufacturer. Walt’s journey to Heisenberg is a journey fuelled by his willingness to use these traits in direct opposition what we recognize as morally good. “He is smarter than you. He is luckier than you. I’m telling you, whatever you think is supposed happen - I’m telling you the exact reverse opposite of that is gonna happen.”
9. Jesse Pinkman: The Entertainer - ESFP
The world of Breaking Bad is cold and corrupt, so naturally, aspects of the characters' personality traits are taken to dark places. There’s a great example of this just after Gale is killed. Jesse spends his time absolutely demolished as a human and begins an endless party he’s paid for entirely... just to keep people around himself long enough to keep him from hitting bottom. ESFPs are the life of the party, even when they’re struggling to exist, in Jesse’s case. Entertainers are aware of and sensitive the emotions of others. Whenever Jesse is truly suffering throughout the series, you’re likely to find him trying to do some good for other people. So while “The Great Heisenberg” is filling the streets with blood, coldly etching his name into druglord history; Jesse, who is especially in touch with his emotions and values, is left picking up the pieces of himself and everyone else around.
8. Skylar White: The Consul - ESFJ
Skylar is probably one of the most hated characters in recent television history, but she gets a lot of flack for basically no reason. Skylar’s greatest sin seems to be caring about her family too much and wanting Walt to be okay - at first. ESFJs are wonderfully caring and compassionate partners, dedicated to friends and family. Skylar spends the entirety of the series trying to protect her family from any danger. She’s is strong enough to play the game whenever “Heisenberg” gets out of hand and she sees through the image he’s painted of himself. When their significant other isn’t assaulting them, kidnapping their baby, and murdering people with beans, they’re actually incredible people to have by your side.
7. Hank Schrader: The Entrepreneur - ESTP
While Walt is cold and collected, preferring to examine the world internally and hold his cards close to his chest, Hank is almost his exact opposite. Hank lives externally and loudly, preferring to take things as they come and apologize only after it’s necessary. He’s not exactly a big fan of “permission” is what I’m saying. ESTPs don’t beat around the bush and if they have a problem with you, I guarantee you’ll hear about it from them. Hank coulda played it cool when Walt confronted him about the tracker on his car, but that’s just not who Hank is. Punch that dude square in the face. Cards on the table. That’s more Hank's speed. That’s an ESTP.
6. Marie Schrader: The Performer - ESFP
Marie loves to be in the spotlight and genuinely believes the world is her stage. We see a great example of this when she decides to start inventing lives for herself to regale strangers with at opening houses. ESFPs can easily get bored which means they aren’t the best long-term planners, but they make up for it with advanced interpersonal skills. Performers are comfortable in any room and always seem to have something to say. Marie can be rash and impulsive, but she makes up for it with an intense love for her family for whom she is always available.
5. Tuco Salamanca: The Campaigner - ENFP
Continuing with the themes of corruption and decay, we have Tuco Salamanca. Just like a few of the other entries on this list, Tuco is an example someone with the most toxic characteristics of his personality type coming to the forefront. It is entirely possible that the meth is amplifying the ENFP’s propensity towards living in the moment and reading into the underlying patterns of their world. When we meet Tuco though, the dude’s lit like a Christmas tree just about every time we see him on screen. This leads to a corruption of his dominant ENFP functions making him paranoid and unhinged when they should be making him understanding and connecting him to the people around him.
4. Saul Goodman: The Debater - ENTP
Saul Goodman is the very best...with just the right amount of dirty. He is a natural debater... smooth-talking, slippery Jimmy could probably talk his way into the Pentagon. ENTPs are curious, avid learners, and get a thrill out of delivering bad news. You can all but hear the grin on Saul’s face when he’s telling a prosecutor that the hearing is not going to go the way they think it will. Saul’s the type of guy that will debate something all day even if it’s something he doesn’t particularly believe in. It’s all just practice. And it’s all good man.
3. Mike Ehrmantraut: The Virtuoso - ISTP
Mike is a man of very few words and even fewer sh*ts to give. He’s is logical and driven by real-world results rather than any theoretical talk. ISTPs are people of action, free of any sort of misguided illusions about how the world works. They are calculating problem-solvers capable of rapidly thinking on their feet. Much like Hank, his extroverted cousin on the MBTI, Mike is not afraid to speak his mind when he feels a line has been crossed, he does, however, prefer to keep to himself and mind his own business whenever possible. ISTPs can often appear minimalistic in their approach--like showing up to a security job interview without a gun before taking some loudmouth’s and punching him right in the Adam's apple. Minimalist or not, ISTPs will always get the job done.
2. Gale Boetticher: The Logician - INTP
Oh, Gale. You poor, sweet, mass-producer of a drug that has destroyed thousands of families across the globe. Gale is the kind of guy that designs a new way to brew coffee because he needs the quinic acid levels to be just right. INTPs are frequently lost in their own world. They are awkward in social situations and truly bloom in solitude where they can afford to be lost in thought or study. INTPs are lifelong students, autodidacts actively pursuing knowledge throughout their lifetime. Logicians will latch on to any source they can learn from, which might explain Gale’s immediate infatuation for the distant W.W.
1. Gustavo Fringe: The Logistician - ISTJ
This one was a bit of a challenge. In his legitimate professional life, Gustavo Fringe displays many characteristics of an ESTJ. However, the final ruling is ISTJ, because those characteristics appear to only come out as a mask to hide more insidious intentions. Gus isn’t someone ruled by emotion or feelings and all. In fact, the most emotional we ever see him get is in a flashback related to his brother’s death. Besides that and his compulsion to torment Hector, he is utterly detached from his actions. Gustavo shines when manipulating the many small pieces of a much larger whole. Now if only he could manage to keep his face whole.