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The Meme You Never Noticed In This Famous Breaking Bad Scene

There are a lot of interesting (and sometimes curious) Easter eggs scattered throughout Breaking Bad. The series harkens back to its Mr. Chips-meets-Scarface origins with a key casting choice. The accidental positioning of a Walter White (Bryan Cranston) photo near a "Wanted" poster in Hank's (Dean Norris) office is a humorous reminder that Heisenberg was always right there in the DEA's orbit. And you can even find a copy of the Breaking Bad DVD hanging out in the background of one scene just for fun.

While fans might normally have to whip out a magnifying glass to catch the show's many hidden details, as the series does often lean on visual cues to supplement the story, there is one oddball Easter egg that you'll actually need your ears to find. Not only will you have to listen closely, but you'll also need to be familiar with a strange piece of political history to understand the reference.

Listen closely for the "Dean Scream"

In season 1's sixth episode "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" Walt confronts Tuco Salamaca (Raymond Cruz) about stealing his meth and attacking Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after his sidekick is hospitalized from the brutal beating. Though Walt is not yet used to dealing with drug dealers like Tuco, Walt arms himself with a bag of fulminated mercury and uses it to blow out the windows in Tuco's building in a moment of tension. Walt's bold intimidation move works to convince Tuco to pay up for the stolen meth, compensate Jesse for his pain and suffering, and to buy more of Walt's product in advance.

At the moment of this explosion, Tuco's goons outside the building have to take cover from the raining glass, and if you listen closely to this moment, you can hear the very distinct "Dean Scream" tucked into the sounds of chaos. Yep, Breaking Bad isn't just political for its series-long statements on the ills of the American healthcare system and the underpayment of teachers, it also includes a bona fide political meme in the sound mix.

For those who are unfamiliar with this terrible earworm, the "Dean Scream" refers to the weird scream-cheer then-presidential candidate Howard Dean made in 2004 while rallying supporters during the Democratic primaries. The yawp may not have been the only thing that crushed his campaign, but it certainly didn't help; the soundbite was played hundreds of times across the major news media networks, and Dean withdrew from the race a few weeks later. Perhaps the inclusion of Dean's infamous scream in the scene is a nod to the fact that the candidate was a proponent of increased healthcare access, but maybe the foley artists and sound editors on Breaking Bad were just having a little fun.