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How Much Money Did Jesse Really Make In Breaking Bad?

For many people, Breaking Bad remains the pinnacle of television as an art form. When the show aired from 2008 to 2013, people tuned in every week to watch Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) continue along their path to becoming meth kingpins, circumventing law enforcement at every step ... for a while, at least. 

It all began as a result of Walt's desire to make enough money to support his family after he died from cancer. To that end, Walt succeeds, though it isn't ultimately the cancer that gets him. By the time the series ends, Walt is able to leave both of his children small fortunes. When all was said and done, most estimates point to Walter White having roughly $80 million to leave behind, but how much did his partner, Jesse, have by the time the series came to a close?

The users on one Reddit thread have been speculating about Jesse's net earnings over the course of the show. Of course, if you remember season 5, then you know the scene where Jesse takes his fortune and throws it out a window. By the time El Camino comes around, Jesse struggles to get the necessary money together to go off the grid permanently in Alaska, which begs the question: At his richest, how much money did Jesse have (and subsequently lose)?

At his richest, Jesse was a multimillionaire

Before you go crazy rewatching the series, tracking how much money Jesse makes at every turn, you can rest easy knowing the YouTube channel "Logically Answered" has already broken down how much Jesse earns in each season of Breaking Bad. In season 1, things are relatively slow for Jesse and Walt's new venture. They strike up a partnership with Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), who buys those initial batches of meth. If you total up everything they earn during this time, including the $15,000 in hazard pay Jesse receives after Tuco has him beat up, Jesse ends the first season with roughly $117,000. 

Not bad for an annual take, but those six figures look like mere pennies compared to the amount Jesse brings in over time. In season 2, he manages to make $561,830. In season 3, he makes well over $3 million. In season 4, Jesse makes $5 million alone when Walt, Mike, and himself sell their stash of methylamine. When you add it all up, Jesse makes a gross total of $7.8 million over the course of these four seasons. 

Of course, he doesn't hang onto all of that throughout the series. Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) takes a cut out of every batch. Plus, Jesse ends up purchasing his parents' house to the tune of $400,000. The most money he would have had at any single point in time would have come from that $5 million methylamine windfall. Naturally, even that outrageous sum doesn't last very long. In season 5 episode 9, entitled "Blood Money," Jesse drives around town throwing bundles of cash out of his car window. He likely regrets that later on when he's desperate to get $250,000 so that he can pay the Disappearer to send him into hiding once again, as depicted in the film sequel El Camino

All of that money and power was ultimately too much for Jesse to handle. Over the course of the show, he made more money over the span of a few years than most people will make in an entire lifetime, but as the old adage goes: Money doesn't buy happiness. You could say that's one of Breaking Bad's most prominent themes.