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The Scene That Made Fans Fall In Love With Breaking Bad

The pilot of "Breaking Bad" first aired on January 20, 2008, introducing viewers to the horrifically violent yet intoxicating (pun intended) world of meth dealing in New Mexico (via IMDb). The show quickly gained popularity and ran for six seasons, ending in 2013. Along the way it scooped up 16 Emmy Awards, millions of viewers, and became one of the most iconic shows in television history (via Vox). The prequel series "Better Call Saul," about sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman (played in both shows by Bob Odenkirk), just premiered its sixth and final season on AMC. 

Throughout the many twists and turns of Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) transformation from high school chemistry teacher to drug kingpin, fans have been supplied with great quotes that bring chills to their spines like "I am the one who knocks!" Yet, one scene from the first season won "Breaking Bad" lifetime fans and remains a stone cold favorite.

Walter White deals with a dangerous prisoner

By Episode 3 of "Breaking Bad,"...And the Bag's in the River," Walter White has taken a prisoner from his first drug deal that went south very quickly. Locked with a bike u-lock to a pole in White's basement, Krazy-8 (Max Arciniega) attempts to sweet talk White into releasing him. It works as far as spurring White to make Krazy-8 a sandwich, which he smashes to the ground, shattering the ceramic plate it was served on. White cleans up the mess but gets the feeling something isn't right. He pulls the broken plate out of the trash and reassembles it, revealing a long, menacing shard to be missing — long enough to seriously injure or kill someone with.

Carefully, White reenters the basement, pretending as if he's about to release Krazy-8, who unleashes the shard upon him. In the heat of the moment White fatally strangles Krazy-8 with the bike lock, while fielding stabs in the leg. The scene is White's first murder, his most violent action yet. After Krazy-8's body slumps to the ground, White defeatedly begins crying and whispers "no, no, no." 

The scene marks a point of no return for White's character and the tone of the show, and it cemented many fans' love of "Breaking Bad." 

Fans can't get enough of the plate scene in Breaking Bad

On the "Breaking Bad" subreddit, user u/0nno1 posted a simple photo of the broken plate captioned "The moment I fell in love with 'Breaking Bad.'" The post has since been upvoted over 18 thousand times, with more than 500 comments. Other users exclaimed their own love of the show spawning in this significant moment.

"You know I had the exact same reaction as Walt. I was just 'no no no please no...'," wrote u/eMAdrian. 

Throughout the thread, users shared similar panicked reactions, while others dissected the narrative elements of the scene, which is now over 10 years old. Some commented on the plate being the same color as the shirt Walter White wears; some debated alternate scenarios where Krazy-8 makes it out alive; yet others simply marveled at Bryan Cranston's nuanced performance.

"The first two episodes were great," wrote u/BakinandBacon, "but this episode showed me this show is going to be absolute top tier storytelling."