Breaking Bad: The 12 Worst Things to Ever Happen to Jesse Pinkman

By Kaitlin Thomas

Aug 10, 2013

Editor's Note: We've now updated this to include Season 5B, up to but not including the finale.

When Breaking Bad first premiered, it was very much the story of Walter White. But once series creator Vince Gilligan realized the asset he had in Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the show started to put just as much focus on Jesse's journey as it did on Walt's. Mr. Pinkman became the moral compass of a show that's very rarely had such a thing (in ABQ, all moral compasses seemingly point straight to hell). 

Of course, Jesse's growing importance to the narrative never stopped Gilligan and the rest of the creative team from treating Jesse like a piece of crap. Which is why I was able to create this list of the 10 worst things to ever happen to the poor guy. 

12. He fell backwards off a roof that one time

And he wasn't wearing pants.

11. He was forced to spend a day with ATM-stealing meth heads and care for their neglected child

This is also the moment when the world decided to collectively hug Jesse Pinkman and never let him go.

10. He fell through the roof of a Port-a-Potty

Gravity made Jesse its bitch.

9. His parents kicked him out of their house

Absolute worst freaking parents on the planet, am I right? They even took the phone!

8. He didn't listen to Walt about the acid and really f*cked up his bathtub

You should have listened to Walt's advice about the plastic tub, man.

7. His friend Combo was shot by a 10-year-old

R.I.P. Combo.

6. Hank beat the shit out of him

I suppose this item could have just been titled, "All the times anyone beat the crap out of him."

5A. Walt poisoned Jesse's girlfriend's son Brock to manipulate Jesse into helping him kill Gus

And that plant was in Walt's backyard the whole damn time.

5B. And then when he finally realized the truth about Brock's poisoning and tried to burn down Walt's house in revenge his plans were thwarted by Hank

Damn it, Hank!

4. He was held hostage and forced to cook meth for Todd because Todd has a crush on Lydia

Todd is the worst (but also the best because he spared Jesse's life?).

3. He was forced to watch Todd kill Andrea as punishment for trying to escape

She might not have been well-loved by fans, but she didn't deserve that. And neither did Jesse.

2. He was forced to kill Gale in order to save Walt

The aftermath was probably the worst we've ever seen the poor kid prior to Season 5B. (And if your heart isn't already aching for the kid, just re-watch Jesse's confession in "Problem Dog.")

1A. His girlfriend died in bed right next to him after choking on her own vomit, and Walt did nothing to save her

That was way harsh, Tai. 

1B. And then Walt told Jesse the truth about Jane out of anger and spite and Jesse completely lost the will to live

F you, Walt.

Holy shit, that was depressing. Here, this should cheer you right up.

  • Comments (77)
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  • alysesantry Mar 02, 2014

    Oh... yeah you got the jane one- sorry

  • alysesantry Mar 02, 2014

    What about his beating from Tuko Salamanca ?? and who could forget him waking up next to a dead girlfriend(jane)!!!

  • delisae Sep 29, 2013

    poor Jesse :''''''(((((( ... that last gif always made me smile!!!!!!!

  • fusedplug Sep 08, 2013

    Hank is the most self absorbed person in the show (great actor btw) Hank does not consider any consequences for his actions but I must say he did some first class self defence when about to be taken out by the silent brothers I loved Hectors character too and the special effects when half of Gus' face was blown off and he still found time to straighten his tie moments before death has to be one of the best scenes in film history let alone a TV show I am sure Tarentino would have loved to have used that idea in one of his films lol that's more his style

  • fusedplug Sep 08, 2013

    I know Walt has the Plant near his pool (Lily Of The Valley) but that does not mean Walt poisoned the child on purpose it was probably accidental contact with the plant at some point and transfer to a door handle or even Gus could have done it knowing Walt had such a plant near the pool remember Gus was dead set on driving a wedge between the 2 .. the Risen he just stashed behind wall sockets and light switches for something else to come I feel

  • virgo091085 Sep 29, 2013

    walt has full on admitted to poisoning Brock. Justifying this season verbally that he knew just the right amount to use so that Brock would be ok.

  • fusedplug Sep 08, 2013

    Walts measures to win jesse back usually do the reverse but their little universes seem to come together perfectly but collide perfectly as well I hope the unexpected keeps happening right until the last episode which I am sitting on the edge of my seat for, I am hoping the "hit" Walt is about to put out on Jesse prongs Walts "conscience" (he still has a conscience for Jesse and his family against all odds) I cannot see Walt allowing anybody to kill Jesse even though he's planned it he'll back out or save his life he has too much love for the boy and I mean love in a non gay way they have a father/son bond and Jesse even picked up his poorly marked school test (marked by Mr White) and focused on "Apply Yourself" as a second chance.

    I am a little bit forgetful as to why Walter poisoned Brock I think it was the less harmful one Lily Of The Valley this was all planned to not kill the child but to directly occupy Jesse with hospital time V Methlab time ? Many questions of morality in my head. It was a cruel twist after the Train Robbery I suppose you could blame Walt for the death of everybody but it's all contradictive all of the deaths were unavoidable they were not to know Tod is a complete sociopathic killer and being sociopathic is a mental illness Tod doesn't see any wrong in killing folk he could have been with anyone and still shot a young kid .. oh well let's see what happens

  • LeahLefler Aug 13, 2013

    so much of that is because of Walt... you should make a list like this with the worst things that Walt has done. maybe to Jesse, but hell, it could be to anyone.

  • tnetennba Aug 11, 2013

    Hey, what happened to all the blank lines I typed in my posts below? Are blank lines no longer allowed in replies?

  • katikool Aug 11, 2013

    "When he met Walter White" should really be the number one worst thing that happened to Jesse. But not to us because that odd couple pairing is my favorite thing on TV!!!

    I'm really worried for Jesse this season :(

  • No1Slayerette Aug 11, 2013

    Jesse is the definition of 'Butt Monkey' if I ever saw one. For those television fans unaware of the term, 'Butt Monkey' refers to a fictional character 'who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or the "put him through hell" plotline. For whatever reason, the Butt Monkey seems to walk through life with a permanent "Kick Me" sign attached to their backs, invisible to them, but all too visible to the rest of the world. Nothing ever goes right for this character, and if something bad is going to happen to someone, chances are it's going to happen to them. Long story short, it sucks to be the Butt Monkey.' (

    It's worth a read if you're a television fan, and could also possibly support my Jessie should die idea if in fact he's played this role the entire series.

    'Peekaboo', the episode where Walt sends Jesse to confront the two drug addicts, was the first ever episode of Breaking Bad I ever saw, and to be honest, it was such a dark episode I considered not watching the show again.

    As with the other thread, I'd argue Jesse had a choice not to kill Gale (he could have, after all, let Walt die instead, which probably would have been a much better outcome for him). And from his parents perspective, Jesse isn't the best son either, is he?

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