Breaking Bad is a show built entirely around its believable and relatable characters, with many of them perfectly exemplifying the personality types of the Myers-Briggs® type indicator and others being tougher to fit into that framework, though it’s by no means impossible.
Updated on July 10th, 2021 by Mark Birrell: The MBTI® of Breaking Bad’s well-detailed characters helps give further insight into their structure and–perhaps most importantly–their motivations throughout the story. A lot of the development of Breaking Bad’s story takes place almost entirely within the minds of its characters, with the audience having to understand them inside and out in order to truly see things from their point of view. Thanks to the fantastic writing and performances on the show, however, this isn’t so difficult and the Myers-Briggs® type indicator helps to flesh them each out even further.
Walter White: The Architect – INTJ
Walt is the man with the plan. ”The one who knocks”. The Architect. INTJs tend to keep to themselves or in small groups and work well within defined structures. Walt’s journey to Heisenberg is a journey fuelled by his willingness to use these traits in direct opposition to what most people would recognize as morally good.
As the man who perhaps knows him best, Jesse Pinkman, so astutely puts it in one of his best quotes: “He is smarter than you. He is luckier than you. I’m telling you, whatever you think is supposed happen – I’m telling you the exact reverse opposite of that is gonna happen.”
Jesse Pinkman: The Entertainer – ESFP
The world of Breaking Bad is cold and corrupt, so naturally, aspects of the characters’ personality traits are taken to dark places. There’s a great example of this just after Gale is killed. Jesse spends his time absolutely demolished as a human being and begins an endless party he’s paid for entirely just to keep people around himself long enough to keep him from hitting bottom.
ESFPs are the life of the party, even when they’re struggling to exist, like in Jesse’s case. Entertainers are aware of and sensitive to the emotions of others. Whenever Jesse is truly suffering throughout the series, he’ll likely be trying to do some good for other people. So while “The Great Heisenberg” is filling the streets with blood, coldly etching his name into druglord history, Jesse, who is especially in touch with his emotions and values, is left picking up the pieces.
Skyler White: The Consul – ESFJ
Skyler is often considered to be one of the most hated supporting characters from Breaking Bad, but a lot of the criticism is unwarranted or unfair. Skyler’s greatest sin seems to be caring about her family too much and wanting Walt to be okay, at first.
ESFJs are wonderfully caring and compassionate partners, dedicated to friends and family. Skyler spends the entirety of the series trying to protect her family from any danger. She’s is strong enough to play the game whenever “Heisenberg” gets out of hand and she sees through the image he’s painted of himself.
Hank Schrader: The Entrepreneur – ESTP
While Walt is cold and collected, preferring to examine the world internally and hold his cards close to his chest, Hank is almost his exact opposite. Hank lives externally and loudly, preferring to take things as they come and apologize only after it’s necessary. He’s not exactly a big fan of permission when it comes to his work.
ESTPs don’t beat around the bush if they have a problem with someone. Hank could have played it cool when Walt confronted him about the tracker on his car, but that’s just not who Hank is.
Marie Schrader: The Performer – ESFP
Marie loves to be in the spotlight and genuinely believes the world is her stage. Fans saw a great example of this when she decides to start inventing lives for herself to regale strangers with at opening houses.
ESFPs can easily get bored which means they aren’t the best long-term planners, but they make up for it with advanced interpersonal skills. Performers are comfortable in any room and always seem to have something to say. Marie can be rash and impulsive, but she makes up for it with an intense love for her family for whom she is always available.
Tuco Salamanca: The Campaigner – ENFP
Tuco is an example of someone with the most toxic characteristics of his personality type coming to the forefront. It is entirely possible that his substance abuse ends up amplifying the ENFP’s propensity towards living in the moment and reading into the underlying patterns of their world.
When the audience meets Tuco though, he’s lit up like a Christmas tree just about every time he’s on-screen. This leads to a corruption of his dominant ENFP functions making him paranoid and unhinged when they should be making him understanding and connecting him to the people around him.
Saul Goodman: The Debater – ENTP
Saul Goodman is a natural debater. Smooth-talking and slippery, Saul could probably talk his way into the Pentagon. ENTPs are curious, avid learners, and get a thrill out of delivering bad news. It’s hard for Saul to hide his elation when he’s telling an opponent that the situation is not going to go the way they think it will.
Saul’s the type of guy that will debate something all day even if it’s something he doesn’t particularly believe in. It’s all just practice.
Mike Ehrmantraut: The Virtuoso – ISTP
Mike is a man of very few words most of the time but he does have a few badass quotes. He’s is logical and driven by real-world results rather than any theoretical talk. ISTPs are people of action, free of any sort of misguided illusions about how the world works. They are calculating problem-solvers capable of rapidly thinking on their feet.
Much like Hank, his extroverted cousin on the MBTI®, Mike is not afraid to speak his mind when he feels a line has been crossed. He does, however, prefer to keep to himself and mind his own business whenever possible. ISTPs can often appear minimalistic in their approach but, minimalist or not, ISTPs will always get the job done.
Gale Boetticher: The Logician – INTP
Gale is the kind of guy that designs a new way to brew coffee because he needs the quinic acid levels to be just right. INTPs are frequently lost in their own world. They are awkward in social situations and truly bloom in solitude where they can afford to be lost in thought or study.
INTPs are lifelong students, autodidacts actively pursuing knowledge throughout their lifetime. Logicians will latch on to any source they can learn from, which might explain Gale’s immediate infatuation for the distant W.W.
Gustavo Fringe: The Logistician – ISTJ
In his legitimate professional life, Gustavo Fring displays many characteristics of an ESTJ. However, the final ruling is ISTJ, because those characteristics appear to only come out as a mask to hide more insidious intentions.
Gus isn’t someone ruled by emotion or feelings at all. In fact, the most emotional we ever see him get is in a flashback related to his partner’s death. Besides that and his compulsion to torment Hector, he is utterly detached from his actions. Gustavo shines when manipulating the many small pieces of a much larger whole.