There are a number of moments from Breaking Bad that have stuck with fans even after all these years. Some of them were shocking twists, others were crowd-pleasing developments, and others were heartbreaking. Then there were those special moments in which the show effectively made the audience’s skin crawl.
Though Breaking Bad was not as violent or gory as some other popular shows, it did know how to create scenes that were deeply uncomfortable to watch. While these episodes might not be easy to revisit, they remain among the most memorable in the AMC show’s entire run.
Crawl Space (S4, E11)
Even with all the violence and carnage that goes on in the show, one of the most disturbing things is watching Walter White’s journey from caring family man to unhinged criminal. “Crawl Space” delivers one of the most famous moments of his decline.
When Gus threatens to kill Walt’s family, Walt decides it’s time to go on the run, but when he looks in the crawl space for his stash of money, he finds that Skyler gave most of it to her boss Ted. Walt loses grip on his sanity for a moment as his wails of anguish turn to manic laughter.
Phoenix (S2, E12)
Walt had steadily been making more and more dangerous decisions that had led to other people getting hurt. But in “Phoenix,” he sinks to a new low and shows how truly dark he is willing to be.
After being blackmailed by Jesse and his girlfriend Jane, Walt sneaks into Jesse’s house to confront him. He finds the couple high and passed out in bed. Then Jane vomits and begins choking. While Walt’s first instinct is to help her, he decides no to intervene and lets her die, thus ridding himself of the problem.
Box Cutter (S4, E1)
Though his partnership with Gus Fring seemed to be a lucrative one for all parties, Walt soon finds himself at odds with his new boss who starts looking to replace him with Gale. After Walt convinces Jesse to kill Gale, Gus brings Walt and Jesse before him to teach them a lesson.
Without saying a word, Gus puts on a plastic suit and arms himself with a boxcutter. He then grabs his associate Victor and slashes his throat while staring at Walt and Jesse. It is one of the most gruesome and shocking moments in the series.
Negro Y Azul (S2, E7)
Though Hank seemed like a hard-headed macho cop at first, he proves himself to be quite the lawman throughout the series. But even someone of his skill set wasn’t prepared for what he would encounter while investigating the cartels in Mexico.
When going to meet with an informant named Tortuga, Hank and the other officers find the man’s severed head placed on top of a turtle with a message to the DEA. As they take a closer look, it sets off an explosion that kills several of the officers.
Dead Freight (S5, E5)
One of the most thrilling and entertaining episodes in the entire series is “Dead Freight.” Needing to get a new supply of cooking material, Walt, Jesse, and Mike decide to rob a train with the help of their new associate, Todd.
The episode is a great heist adventure for most of the time. But at the end, the gang comes across a little boy who witnessed everything and Todd coldly murders the young child without a second thought.
Gliding Over All (S5, E8)
In the aftermath of Mike’s death, Walt decides to clean up all the other loose ends, including Mike’s associates that had been arrested. Walt seeks the help of Todd’s neo-Nazi uncle, Jack, who is hired to help carry out the business.
The result is a brutal and chilling scene that shows a series of murders being carried out within the prison walls at Walt’s command. Not knowing it is Walt who is responsible, Hank even remarks that he can’t comprehend this level of evil.
Cat’s In The Bag (S1, E2)
With only the second episode in the series, Breaking Bad proved that it was willing to get messy in its storytelling. The episode finds Walt and Jesse trying to figure out how to deal with the two dead bodies in their RV only to discover that one of them is still alive.
It is disturbing enough seeing a half-alive Crazy-8 stumbling down the street or watching Walt and Jesse keep him prisoner. But the real disturbing moment comes when Jesse tries to dissolve the second body in acid in his bathtub. The acid eats away at the tub and floor, sending a half-melted carcass dropping through the ceiling.
Face Off (S4, E13)
The battle between Walt and Gus finally comes to a truly epic end in this episode. Walt successfully lures Gus into a trap as he goes to meet his old enemy, Hector Salamanca.
Just as Gus is about to kill Hector, the old man sets off a bomb. There is then the horrifying shot of Gus stumbling out of the room with half of his face missing. And if that wasn’t disturbing enough, the end of the episode reveals it was Walt who poisoned young Brock, thus cementing him as the series’ actual villain.
Ozymandias (S5, E14)
“Ozymandias” has gone down as one of the highest-rated episodes in television history. The episode begins with the aftermath of Uncle Jack’s confrontation with Hank. Despite Walt bribing Jack in order to save Hank’s life, he watches as Hank is executed and buried in the desert. And that’s only the first ten minutes of the episode.
There is then the confrontation between Walt and his family that follows. Walt’s whole world comes crashing down leading to Walt and Skyler fighting over the knife on the kitchen floor and Walt eventually kidnapping his own daughter. It is the moment Walt finally pays for all his sins.
Peekaboo (S2, E6)
In the episode “Peekaboo,” Jesse tries to confront a couple who ripped off one of his dealers. When he breaks into their house, he finds their neglected young son who he bonds with.
Seeing this poor kid living in such an environment with such horrible parents is heartbreaking. Things get even worse at the end of the episode as the husband tries to crack open a stolen ATM while insulting his wife. After she’s finally had enough, the wife knocks the ATM over on her husband, crushing his head.