Breaking Bad is one of the most acclaimed TV shows of all time, and its cast of characters ranks amongst the ensembles of the greatest crime sagas ever. Many of its characters have become TV icons, including Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Hank, Gus, and Mike. But others are…not so iconic.
Some of the characters are absolutely detested by the show’s fanbase, whether that be through the villainy of the characters themselves or the independent personal opinions of the fans. Some characters don’t necessarily deserve to be hated – they just are. But which the most disliked Breaking Bad characters of them all?
Updated on July 3rd, 2021 by Mark Birrell: With Breaking Bad, the clue to the big hook of the series is in the name. The show is ultimately about a protagonist transforming into an antagonist, a normal and relatable everyday individual becoming a reprehensible villain. So, with this story and its characters, the badder the better. Breaking Bad’s most hated characters are more famous and beloved than most heroes from other popular series, so it’s always worth discussing them and their unpleasant traits.
12 Skyler White
It’s no secret that Skyler White was (or perhaps most accurately, is) hated by a section of the fan base. The reasons for this are many, and some are relatively complex. Some people saw Skyler as the primary antagonist of the show, the one who constantly got in the way of Walt’s plans and actions. And, like any antagonist, they hated her.
Others found her personality too abrasive and annoying. And some hated the ways she got back at Walt, like ignoring him and cheating on Ted. However, most fans realize that she wouldn’t be acting in this way if Walt didn’t lie to her and endanger the lives of her entire family.
11 Gretchen & Elliott Schwartz
The case of Gretchen and Elliott is much like the case with Skyler, the fan base hates them because we see them through Walt’s point of view. For much of the series, Gretchen and Elliott are painted as quasi-villains, as Walt clearly holds contempt for their accomplishments, their past history, and their seemingly selfish behavior.
They’re both easy characters to dislike from just knowing them on the surface level. They’re obscenely wealthy and seem to live in a very idyllic bubble that bears no real resemblance to what the vast majority of people would call everyday life. However, they’re not selfish and do even try to help Walt when he’s first diagnosed but Walt’s general aversion to charity causes him to paint them as the villains.
Lydia is a late-stage addition to the show, but she still managed to make an impact. Lydia wasn’t introduced until season five, as she and Madrigal were the suppliers of Gustavo Fring‘s methylamine. Once Gus’ empire collapsed because of Walt, she transitioned to his empire.
The hate for Lydia is twofold. Some hate her as a villain, as she goes straight to murder as an option just as often as the most violent gangsters in the show whilst never doing the dirty work herself. Others hate her because she was a late-stage addition to the show and needed to fill the shoes of the mighty Gus Fring and she was certainly no Gus.
9 Jack Welker
The problems with Jack are largely the same problems with Lydia. That said, Jack is more of a traditional villain than Lydia and holds more villainous qualities. He directly murders various people, he holds Jesse prisoner at his compound, and he is the leader of a white supremacist gang.
He doesn’t have many redeeming qualities. But therein lies the problem. For a show as complex and rich in characterization as Breaking Bad, Jack Welker was a little too one-dimensional for some fans’ tastes, and they didn’t enjoy him as a primary antagonist.
As one of Jack Welker’s most trusted men, Kenny has all of Jack’s worst qualities whilst also coming off as even less refined. He’s a cold-blooded killer and an eager participant in some of the show’s worst acts, including Jesse’s imprisonment and Hank’s death.
The character left such an impression on fans that he made an appearance in the follow-up movie, El Camino, where he’s confirmed to be as sadistic as the worst members of his murderous gang.
7 Ted Beneke
When Ted was written out of the show in season five, most people sighed with relief. Two seasons of him was more than enough. The fans hated Ted for two primary reasons, his stupidity and his subplot. Ted was a moron, and his reluctance to pay the IRS got on many fans’ nerves.
Unfortunately, his storyline was also intrinsically linked to Skyler, and many people found it boring. The IRS part of the plot was engaging enough (and gave fans the fantastic ending to “Crawl Space”), but that whole “will they won’t they” aspect with Skyler was a little too conventional for such an outstanding show.
6 Walt Jr.
By design, Walt’s home life was pretty boring. A lot of fans couldn’t get behind Walt Jr. for a variety of reasons. Some people thought he was annoying and whiny. Others hated the whole “Flynn” subplot.
Some thought he was too one-dimensional to be interesting (eating breakfast seemed to be his primary motivation) and some thought that actor RJ Mitte wasn’t given enough material to work with compared to the rest of the ensemble.
5 The Cousins
It’s a common opinion that Breaking Bad is better than the cousins. Breaking Bad is often nuanced and complex, whereas the cousins are straight out of some corny action movie.
For one thing, they have zero charisma or personality, and watching them skulk around and growl at people doesn’t make for very entertaining TV. They’re also very one-dimensional and cliché in a way that this show typically avoided.
Ken is perhaps better known as The Bluetooth Guy and is one of the sleaziest characters in Breaking Bad‘s fictional universe, which is certainly saying something.
Ken was seen in the first season episode “Cancer Man,” and his character was such a success with the fan base he was brought back for a cameo in Better Call Saul. He was just as brilliantly unlikable. He wasn’t the most important character, but he made an impression nonetheless.
A lot like Ken, Spooge is just a thoroughly unlikable human being and the character is brilliantly structured to make seem that way the entire time that they’re on screen.
He’s a small-time criminal who robs the beloved Skinny P at knifepoint, causing Jesse to track Spooge down at Walt’s behest to get back the money that was taken and send a message. But he and his companion managed to quit quickly turn the tables on a then-naive Jesse despite them both being quite unintelligent characters. His companion eventually murders him because even she can’t stand him and the bloody incident leaves a lasting impression on both Jesse and the audience.
Marie is certainly a sweetheart deep down, but she often comes off as an overbearing character who shares all of the most negative qualities of her sister, Skyler White.
Her lording it over most of the situations that she encounters certainly makes her difficult for other characters to deal with and her subplots weren’t as fleshed out or enjoyable as many of the other main supporting characters.
1 Todd Alquist
Breaking Bad had many antagonists throughout its run, but none were as repulsive as Todd. The fans found Todd a compelling character in no small part thanks to Jesse Plemons‘ brilliant performance.
But his actions were completely reprehensible and unforgivable, like imprisoning and torturing Jesse and murdering innocent people with no willing participation in the criminal underworld. Even the most immoral characters on the show had some kind of code and knew where to draw the line, but Todd comes off as a shell of a human who isn’t afraid to cross them at all.
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