Everyone needs loyal friends and Jesse Pinkman has one in Skinny Pete. In El Camino, Pete bluntly tells law enforcement officers, “No way I’m helping you people put Jesse Pinkman back in a cage.” It is Skinny Pete who also ushers Jesse and Walt into the big leagues when he introduces the former to Juarez Cartel’s Albuquerque head Tuco Salamanca. Pete and Tuco had served time together in prison.
After Tuco gets killed by Hank during a shootout, Skinny Pete and Badger become Jesse and Walt’s lieutenants, helping them push meth in the streets. Pete continues serving as a key supporting character throughout the series. Every time he pops up, something hilarious or totally confusing comes out of his mouth.
“Hey, Man, I’m Slinging Mad Volume And Fat Benjis. I Can’t Be All About Spelling.”
From very early on in the series, it’s clear that Skinny Pete isn’t as bright as his best friend Badger. Jesse once calls out Skinny Pete for writing the number 5 on a piece of paper instead of the letter S. The number/letter confusion came while Pete was trying to spell “street” while writing down the address of a couple who stole an ounce of meth from him.
Pete argues that he doesn’t need to know how to spell. After all, he is selling lots of drugs and getting a lot of money. He has a point, but if he is to make any progress, he should at least learn the difference between numbers and letters.
“The Dude That Comes Out On The Other Side… He’s Not You. He’s A Color Xerox.”
After a night of partying at the house Jesse inherited from his dead aunt, Skinny Pete and Badger get into another weird argument. Pete argues that time-travel machines simply make a copy of someone and produce it on the other side. It’s not the same person. He even compares it to the Xerox process used in printing.
Badger feels that time-travel machines produce the exact person on the other side. Meanwhile, Jesse has no idea what the two are talking about. He simply stares because if it’s not meth, it doesn’t concern him.
“Straight up, Straight Up.”
Walt is ever-ambitious and he soon grows tired of earning little money from his high-quality meth. In order to become big-time players in the underworld, he and Jesse agree to use Jesse’s friends as Capos in the streets. Badger, Combo, and Skinny Pete will have their own crews that they will control and collect cash from.
While telling the trio about the plan, Jesse reminds them that it’ll be the biggest opportunity of their lives. He describes it as exponential growth and Pete nods his head in agreement. Anything Jesse says makes plenty of sense to him.
“I’m Pretty Sure I Seen The Exact Paint Job On A Lexus.”
Real-life news reports are a constant reminder that the drug trade is dangerous. Jesse, Walt, and their crew experience this first hand when Combo gets shot for pushing meth in another dealer’s territory. Jesse misses the funeral so Pete shows up at his house to update him on how it all went down.
Trust him to describe Combo’s coffin in the most materialistic way possible. He says the paint job was as crisp as the one on Lexus car models. He also describes it as “shiny white pearlescence” and “high end.”
“That Was… Awesome! Bro! Later!
What makes this statement quite memorable is the fact that Skinny Pete throws up between the words “was? and “awesome.” He, Jesse, and Combo have just come out of a strip club early in the morning where they spent over $5000.
It just so happens that all that was Walt’s life savings. Walt had given Jesse $7000 to get an RV that they could use to cook meth but Jesse spent it all partying. In the morning, he only has $1400 left. Luckily, he still manages to get a cheaper RV for that money. Walt should really have researched the prices of used RVs.
“You Mean, This Is Not, Like, Just Recreational?”
In an expected move, Jesse’s lack of professionalism causes him to be snubbed by Gus. Walt is thus forced to work with the chemist Gale in the Superlab. Not one to just sit idle, Jesse begins cooking on his own. He brings the product to Badger and Skinny Pete so that they can approve it.
Pete is surprised when Jesse sits them down to talk business. He thought they were done with business and the drugs were simply for use. He is even more paranoid ever since Combo got shot while selling in the streets. Jesse doesn’t care about his concerns. He insists that everything will be fine.
“Zombies Are Dead, Man! What Difference Does It Make What Their Job Was When They Was Living?”
Skinny Pete and Badger are both staunch gamers. A couple of times in the series, they are seen glued to the screen as they press gamepads. They once get into a very interesting argument while discussing the zombie mode in Call Of Duty: World Of War.
Badger argues that Nazi zombies would be more dangerous in case an apocalypse occurs. Skinny Pete disagrees, stating that zombies are dead humans hence they can’t think. It doesn’t matter if they were Nazis or normal people, they are all the same. It’s hard to tell since there has never been a zombie apocalypse.
“The Whole Thing Feels Kinda Shady, Morality-Wise.”
While Walt is on the run in the final season, both Skyler and Walter Jr. snub him. Since the reason he became a drug lord was to make enough money for his family, he devises a way to get the money to them nevertheless.
Walt hires Skinny Pete and Badger to shine red laser lights on his former Gray Matter colleagues Gretchen and Elliot, making them think snipers are watching them. He then leaves them millions of dollars, making them promise that they’ll give the money to Walter Jr. when he turns 18. Skinny Pete feels the whole plan stinks, morality-wise but after Walt hands him plenty of cash, he changes his mind.
“Usually I Gotta Chase Dudes Down For Money, But Today Everybody’s Paying Up. “
Part of being a great criminal includes showing how tough you are, so Jesse heads over to Spooge’s house to collect the drugs he and his wife stole from Skinny Pete. However, things take a turn when Spooge’s wife crushes his head with an ATM machine. This traumatizes Jesse who stays at home for days after that.
Walt is thus forced to meet Badger and Skinny Pete by himself, something he never wanted to do. Pete then asks him if it’s true that Jesse crushed a man’s head with an ATM machine, Apparently, that’s the rumor going around town. He claims that everyone is now paying up quickly. This thrills Walt. Instead of denying it, he lets Pete believe the lie because it’s good for business.
“Yo Man! I’m Skinny Pete!”
What makes this line hilarious is the fact that Skinny Pete says it with so much confidence as if everyone is supposed to know him. He says it when he and Jesse are prevented from entering Tuco’s building by the drug kingpin’s henchmen. He’s clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur.
It can be argued that Pete has a right to think of himself as an important person in the Albuquerque underworld now. After all, he has been pushing the purest meth ever seen in the area. It’s a line almost as great as Walt’s “Say my name!”