Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The One Breaking Bad Scene That Makes Us Love Aaron Paul Even More

As if we needed one more reason to love Aaron Paul.

The actor will forever be remembered for his intense portrayal of Jesse Pinkman, the ill-fated partner in crime of high school chemistry teacher-turned meth kingpin Walter White (Bryan Cranston), on the iconic AMC drama Breaking Bad. While the series could and often did get incredibly dark, its fans know that some of its most memorable moments were the ones that dabbled in absurd humor — and one of those moments happens to be Paul's favorite of the entire series.

In 2018, Entertainment Weekly brought together the main cast of the series, which concluded its five-season run in 2013, to discuss their favorite scenes involving their characters. Nearly without fail, most of the cast chose either early moments in the series that helped to establish their character's morality and motivations, or stirringly dramatic moments that gave them a lot to work with as actors. For example, RJ Mitte — who portrayed Walter's son, Walt Jr. — picked a scene from the very first episode, in which dear old Dad vanquishes some bullies during a trip to buy school clothes, while Cranston chose the shocking conclusion of the season 5 episode "Dead Freight." In that scene, Walter, Jesse, and their creepy new associate Todd (Jesse Plemons) celebrate jubilantly after pulling off an elaborate train heist — only for the situation to suddenly turn tragic, as Todd reflexively shoots and kills a young boy who happened to see it go down.

Aaron Paul is a man with a surprisingly lighthearted sense of humor, and his favorite scene involving Jesse came in the following episode, entitled "Buyout." Reeling from the ramifications of Todd's action, Jesse shows up at Walter's house to discuss an offer which had earlier been made to them by a rival meth manufacturer — to buy hundreds of gallons of methylamine, the spoils of their train heist, for a cool $5 million apiece. Walter invites Jesse to stay for a bit — leading to one of the most awkward, hilarious dinner scenes in television history.

The Breaking Bad dinner scene might have been the series' funniest

At this point, the relationship between Walter and his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) has grown toxic beyond repair, and Walter — who is dead set on refusing the buyout offer — essentially uses the incredibly strained dinner conversation to demonstrate to Jesse that their meth operation is all he has left in his life. Skyler, whose only emotions left toward her husband seem to be scorn mixed with fear, knows exactly who Jesse is — and as she tosses back gulps of wine, her deadpan responses to Jesse's well-meaning questions render the poor guy virtually incapable of anything but a silent thousand-yard stare. 

Talking about the scene with EW, it's apparent that Paul had a lot more fun shooting the scene than poor Jesse was having at the Whites' dinner table. "I think that [scene] really stands out — just Jesse holding onto his glass of water as if it's his security blanket," the actor said. "He's kind of hiding behind his glass of water watching this marriage sort of just fall apart in front of his eyes. When Skyler says, 'Did he also tell you about my affair?'— I've seen that scene so many times and I laugh each time, just at the absurdity of it all."

The scene's bizarre family-ish dynamic — with Skyler's flippancy, Walter's stoniness, and Jesse in just way over his head — is certainly one that stands out to Breaking Bad's fans all these years later, and it's the closest, most awkward brush Jesse ever had with Walter's family. (Despite Jesse being something of a surrogate son to Walter, he and Walter's actual son never met.) It's also one of Breaking Bad's flat-out funniest moments, injecting a little needed levity into the series' increasingly grim final season. Nice choice, Mr. Paul.