Undeniably, Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows of all time – and also one of the most tragic. However, that’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable or “fun.” Like many prestige shows, Breaking Bad is often just as funny as it is heart-wrenching or pulse-pounding.
At the heart of the show’s humor is Jesse Pinkman, the bumbling sidekick of Walter White. Jesse gets more mature as the story progresses – he takes his job more seriously, he gets better at cooking, and he slowly grows more dejected and depressed as his life crumbles around him. But early Breaking Bad Jesse is full of absolute hilarity.
Things don’t get funnier than Jesse throughout the entire Pilot. He’s introduced by falling off a roof, and things only get better from there.
He wears ridiculously over-sized clothing in a futile attempt to appear cool and tough, he smacks his head on a rock while fleeing Emilio and Krazy-8, he bumbles his way through Walt’s chemistry set, and perhaps best of all, he utters his now-famous “cow house” line to a bewildered (and clothes-less) Walter. This is early Jesse at his absolute best.
Cat’s In The Bag…
The Pilot is immediately followed by Cat’s In the Bag, another brilliant and hilarious episode showcasing Walt and Jesse’s total ineptness as criminals. Jesse’s storyline is centered around disposing of Emilio’s corpse, which they decide to do using a polyethylene bin. Cue Jesse’s bumbling at trying to find one in the store.
When he can’t find one large enough, he decides to use his bathtub instead. It’s a horrible idea, as the acid eats away at the ceramic and spills Emilio’s liquified remains into the hallway below.
A No Rough Stuff Type Deal
Despite serving as the thrilling season finale, A No Rough Stuff Type Deal is also the funniest episode of season one. Most of that has to do with Walt and Jesse’s hilarious attempt at stealing a giant drum of methylamine.
The entire sequence is comedy gold, including the pompom’d ski masks that Walt bought them for the caper. While they prove successful in stealing the methylamine, they have incredible trouble lifting the barrel itself and awkwardly shuffle their way off the compound.
Down is easily one of the saddest episodes regarding Jesse. As the title suggests, the entire story revolves around Jesse having a horrible spell of luck. He’s evicted from the house, he’s turned away by friends, and his motorcycle is stolen, leading him to sleep on the bare floor of the impounded RV.
However, the episode is also filled with some good humor, particularly the “Fallacies” song that Jesse and his old friend jam to before his wife returns home.
Negro Y Azul
Peekaboo served as one of the most downhearted and tragic episodes of Breaking Bad, but things lightened up again with Negro y Azul. Jesse has been horribly impacted by the events of Peekaboo, and Walt finds him hiding out in his apartment in a drugged-out state.
It’s tragic, but the episode uses it as a moment of comedy – especially when Jesse uses Walt’s inspirational speech to take another bong hit. The episode also concerns Jesse’s feeble attempts at flirting with Jane, and it contains a painfully sweet ending as Jesse and Jane hold hands while waiting for his TV signal.
4 Days Out
4 Days Out is widely heralded as one of the greatest episodes of the entire show – a perfect bottle episode concerned with Walt and Jesse’s antics in the desert. While the episode is bookended with Walt in the hospital, the desert sequences are pure hilarity from top to bottom.
Jesse dumping the entire cooler of water on the generator fire, telling Walt to come up with “something scientific,” asking with sincerity if he’s built a robot, and showing genuine pride in himself by guessing the element of “wire” – it’s all here, and it’s all gut-busting.
Sunset proves the beginning of the end for Jesse, as it leads to him being brutally beaten by Hank. But the episode still contains some levity, particularly the scene in which Hank tries accessing the impounded RV. The scene is incredibly tense, as Hank is just one door away from catching his brother in law in the act.
But the day is saved by Old Joe, who schools Hank on the necessary legal requirements. Walt uses the moment and has Jesse yell through the door. Of course, Jesse can’t help but make some colorful additions to Walt’s speech.
I See You
I See You sees Jesse being released from the hospital after being viciously beaten by Hank. He goes to the secret underground lab and can’t contain his excitement. His wild unprofessionalism throughout the scene is hilarious, but things only get better from there.
While Walt spends his days at the hospital visiting Hank, Jesse is let loose in the superlab, and he uses the opportunity to goof around with the lab equipment. It’s pure, unfiltered Jesse Pinkman, and it is glorious.
Live Free Or Die
Serving as the season five premiere, Live Free or Die concerns Walt and Jesse trying to seize and/or destroy a laptop containing evidence of the superlab. Jesse comes up with the idea of using magnets, using a particularly hilarious “example” with his hands.
While testing out the viability of the plan, Jesse utters one of his most famous lines in the entire show – “Yeah, b****! Magnets!” The episode itself isn’t particularly funny, but Jesse is certainly good for a laugh.
Buyout contains another wonderful Jesse moment. Invited over for dinner at the White house, Jesse is subjected to a horribly awkward dinner in which Walt and Skyler stare at each other in silence and Skyler gets drunk on a massive glass of wine.
Jesse tries his absolute best to lessen the tension, like complimenting Skyler on her green beans (despite them being store-bought) and making conversation about frozen food and scabby lasagna.