Breaking Bad 

Breaking Bad: 10 Most Surprising Scenes

Breaking Bad knew how to shock the audience, often delivering unexpected plot twists like the totally surprising ones listed here.

The Breaking Bad storyline, although glacially slow in places, is packed with a series of utterly surprising events. Given the languid flow of the plot, these shocks are all the more effective, and, more importantly, they appear in the form of every emotion imaginable — from fear to anxiety to pleasure to joy to misery to rage.

Of all the variety of moments present in the series, there are only a few that truly deserve mentioning for being the most shocking. Interestingly, nearly all of them have to do with just three characters: Gus Fring, Walter White, and Hank Schrader. Considering just how stunning each of these was, it’s tough to pick one for the top spot.

Gus And His Box-Cutter

Breaking Bad season 4 box cutter scene

Walt’s plan to get rid of his replacement, Gale, works, but their employer is furious at his death. Obviously, nobody knows what’s going to happen when Gus walks around with a box-cutter in his hand, but Jesse and Walt are terrified that their time is up.

Heisenberg then proposes that the meth operation would be decimated without them, at which point Gus straight up slashes Victor’s neck and holds the wound open until he bleeds out. Walter, Jesse, and the audience all watch in total shock.

Walter Takes Holly With Him

Bryan Cranston as Walter White with Holly on Breaking Bad

After Hank’s untimely death, Walter knows that his first priority is his family, so he tries to get them all to disappear for the time being. Skyler and Flynn vehemently object, so much so that the boy even notifies the cops that his father is trying to kill his mother.

Before escaping, though, Walt “abducts” Holly and vanishes. Later, he is seen changing his daughter’s nappy, as the baby murmurs the word “mama.” What’s even more unexpected is the fact that Walt rings his home, and smartly creates an alibi for his wife so that she wouldn’t be implicated in his crimes.

The Child Assassin

Breaking Bad Combo's Death

Andrea Cantillo’s younger brother, Tomás, appears long before she does — first as an innocent kid cycling around the neighborhood as Jesse’s friend, Combo is trying to sell Walt’s product in an unfamiliar locality.

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It is later revealed that the kid is the assassin, having been “initiated” into a gang after he shoots and kills Combo point-blank. The horrors of children being involved in drug cartels aside; viewers simply could not imagine such an event taking place. Until it does.

Hank Is Attacked By The Salamanca Brothers

Hank driving his car in Breaking Bad

Given that he had recently killed Tuco Salamanca, Hank should have been more aware of the repercussions, but as it stands, he is blissfully ignorant. In one intense scene, as he enters his vehicle, a mysterious caller lets him know that his fate is about to be sealed. This little clue does not, in any way, reduce the shock value of the moment.

Leonel takes the first several shots, but Hank reverses into him, when his brother, Marco, emerges. The DEA agent would have surely died had he not been able to locate and load a stray bullet in time for a bullseye headshot.

Walter’s Plan For the Schwartzes

Walter threatens Elliot and Gretchen in their home in Breaking Bad

Walter intends for Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz to take care of his family, but he has to threaten them into acceptance. He claims to have hired expensive hitmen, as evidenced by the sniper laser red dots suddenly appearing on their bodies, which scares the two of them sufficiently.

This intimidation tactic ensures that Walt’s money will be delivered to Flynn. Of course, the so-called snipers are Skinny Pete and Badger using laser pens, but it works out in the end, so nobody’s complaining. Except for the Schwartzes, probably.

Hank Is Murdered Without Mercy

Walt crying on the ground in Breaking Bad

Hank and Gomez travel to where Walt’s money is buried, but Jack Welker’s gang makes it quite difficult for them. In fact, the latter is killed in the skirmish that follows, leaving his partner hopeless.

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Walt attempts to prevent the inevitable from happening, but Hank already knows that it’s finished for him. He chastises his brother-in-law, “You’re too stupid to see… he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” Hank coldly says “Do what you’re gonna do,” and Jack does it.

The Tortuga In The Desert

Tortuga's head is found on a turtle in Breaking Bad

Hank is excited about his new mission in El Paso, but his colleagues don’t seem too interested. After acquiring crucial info from a CI called Tortuga, they travel out into the desert.

Hank notices something moving in the distance, which turns out to be a tortoise (on whose back Tortuga’s decapitated head is placed and the text “Hola DEA” has been inscribed). Macabre though this scene might be, the metaphorical bombshell is dropped when someone thoughtlessly moves the head, which activates a literal bomb.

Walt’s Fulminated Mercury Idea

Walter White holding a bag of methanpethamine

Jesse Pinkman’s stint at selling meth to Tuco Salamanca is a disaster — the young man is violently assaulted by the druglord’s men for demanding reimbursement. Walter takes the matter into his own hands, traveling to Tuco and repeating the same demand made by his partner.

The other man simply mocks his audacity and wonders if he truly understands how deals like these go down. In response, the chemistry teacher blasts the place half open with a small piece of “fulminated mercury,” a reaction that couldn’t be seen coming from a mile away.

When Gus Becomes Two-Face

Breaking Bad Gus' Death

Gus is constantly ahead of Walt’s assassination attempts, so the latter hinges his entire plan on Hector Salamanca. Somehow, he gets the old man to agree to his complicated idea, in which he would be able to take down his hated enemy (while also losing his life). Hector despises Gus so much that he instantly agrees, so he pretends that he has become a DEA snitch.

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This means that Gus needs to take care of this loose end, allowing Walt to install an explosive device “powered” by the old man’s wheelchair bell. The resulting explosion shatters the room, but Gus staggers out, apparently alive. Then the shot moves on to his face, half of which has been ripped off his skull.

Gus’ Bottle Of Zafiro Añejo Tequila

Gus Fring and Jesse Pinkman at don elladios house

Along with Jesse, Gus goes to Mexico, seemingly to “gift” Don Eladio with Jesse and, therefore, a means of producing the blue meth. At the poolside, he pops a secret pill and then gives the Don a bottle of Zafiro Añejo Tequila.

Knowing that the cartel would never trust something he offered, he consumes some of it first, which puts the others’ minds at ease. Little do they know that Gus has come completely prepared for this; his actions decimate Don Eladio’s cartel, successfully obtaining vengeance for the murder of his partner decades ago.

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