“Waltuh… Put your dick away, Waltuh. I’m not having sex with you right now.”
This cursed phrase is burned into my memory, and it might be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in years. It comes from a ridiculous Breaking Bad meme – specifically a low quality video of Mike Ehrmantraut telling Walter White that he isn’t willing to engage in forbidden sexual intercourse at this specific moment in time. It doesn’t align with the show’s narrative, nor does it make any sense for these characters, but the fandom has somehow made it work. The Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul communities are well and truly broken.
I’m still unsure what spawned this resurgence in weird internet memes and head canons for one of the greatest television dramas ever created. It went off the air almost ten years ago, but the recent conclusion of Better Call Saul has ensured it remained in the zeitgeist. I can’t scroll through TikTok for five minutes without seeing a video of Walt and Jesse arguing about harvesting diamonds in Minecraft or Saul Goodman engaging in a raucous round of gangsta beatboxing. None of it makes sense, but it’s so ridiculous that it’s almost always hilarious.
Breaking Bad is a very serious show. It follows a man with terminal cancer building a drug empire to provide for his family, walking a path of death, betrayal, criminal politics, and so much more as he evolves from a timid high school teacher to a feared kingpin. Very little compares, with fans and critics alike praising it as a timeless masterpiece. Like so many shows with a peerless reputation, new generations of fans keep coming to interact with it.
The fandom was awash with memes when it was new, but that was a time before zoomers were running wild on social media. Before apps like TikTok had changed our collective sense of humour and hurled us even deeper into a well of incomprehensible nonsense. I don’t know how crudely edited videos of Gustavo Fring pulling Walter White into his apartment only to engage in a lewd confrontation that sees a lookalike pull off his shirt and pulsate his chest muscles has me cringing in delight, but it sure is doing just that.
On the flipside, I’ve seen clips of Walter and Jesse from the show plastered on Fortnite and Minecraft alongside quotes that provide just enough context for the joke to land. Walt tells Jesee to “grow some fucking balls” because he isn’t willing to drop in a Tilted Towers filled with enemy players, or punishes him for losing diamonds despite being told to expand their territory.
We take something serious and apply it to a scenario so outlandish and relatable that it's always funny. The fandom has also taken a relatively small selection of media – Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and El Camino – and edited together fake trailers for potential spin-offs that will obviously never happen. But to us, the Breaking Bad cinematic universe is well and truly alive. Minerals, Better Fuck Chuck, Huell’s Rules, and Gustavo are just a few of the non-existent shows we are all incredibly excited for.
If only Vince Gilligan could see the monster he is responsible for creating. Here we are, worshipping a Kid Named Finger and breathing life into a fictional universe that has now left us behind. It might be through rancid shitposting and nonsensical memes, but there’s something beautiful about it all.
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