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Popular Breaking Bad Characters We Wound Up Hating By The Show's End

Few shows have managed to reach the levels of critical acclaim enjoyed by "Breaking Bad" while it aired from 2008 to 2013. Perhaps even more remarkable is how well the series has stood the test of time since it ended as it remains a gold standard for drama television worldwide. 

What made "Breaking Bad" so compelling was its deep and nuanced characters. From the main lead Walter White (Bryan Cranston) to his many allies and enemies, every character on the show was driven by complex motivations alongside genuine emotional pathos that had you rooting for dedicated cops and hardcore criminals in equal measure.

Throughout its five season run, "Breaking Bad" introduced audiences to a host of characters that start out likable (or as close to likable as you can be in a world of drug runners) before eventually morphing into truly hateful human beings. Some of that hate was warranted based on the character's actions. Other times, the hate from fans could seem excessive, as seen with Walter's wife. Here are the most well-known characters from the show who ended up getting a lot of hate by the end of the series.

Ted Beneke

Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins) provides an early example of how "Breaking Bad" loves to play with and subvert viewer expectations. As a tall, handsome, rich guy with a reasonable amount of charisma, it can be easy to see Ted as a potential lead in a traditional series. However, in "Breaking Bad," Ted is best known for his weak-willed nature that kept prompting him to make a mess of his own life. 

Despite starting out with all the advantages that life could offer a man in his privileged position, Ted never knows when to let a good thing well enough alone. He has a crush on Walter's wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), and has an affair with her — despite knowing she is married to a man with cancer. Ted also resorts to cooking the books at his company after struggling financially for years. 

While this kind of petty criminality is small potatoes in "Breaking Bad," it is Ted's reaction to his sins being found out that sets audiences against him. After Skyler provides him with the money to pay off his debts, Ted tries to hold on to the cash and even blackmails Skyler to give him more. Ted's clumsiness eventually results in a paralyzing injury, which is a pretty weak way to go out on a show where half of a dude's face gets blown off and he still has time to adjust his tie before dying. 

Hector Salamanca

Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) was something of a sympathetic figure when he first appeared on "Breaking Bad." He was depicted as a broken man, suffering from extreme paralysis and needing to be transported in a wheelchair. Despite his handicap, Hector often shows courage and spirit when meeting his enemies head-on and refuses to kowtow to anyone. 

Unfortunately, it is eventually revealed that Hector's fighting spirit is not a result of courage but pure malice. Hector was once a high-ranking member of the Mexican cartel and is described to be a ruthless criminal who abused his own family and anyone who crossed him. He remained in that role until he was taken out of commission by the strategic planning of Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) and his rival Gustavo "Gus" Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).

Hector clings grimly to life with the sole aim of taking revenge on his enemies. Despite his circumstances, Hector manages to inflict a lot of pain during his time on "Breaking Bad," mostly by sending his ruthless associates against his enemies and their families. When Hector eventually has his final showdown against Gus, it is difficult to decide who is the bigger monster.

Gretchen & Elliott Schwartz

At its core, "Breaking Bad" is the story of a frustrated genius and the lengths that one man goes to in order to be remembered as someone important after his death. Walter White started out cooking meth to help his family, but he eventually admits that he became a drug kingpin because he wanted the world to know he was capable of great things.

Walter's attitude has its roots in his past, as was a brilliant chemist and the brains behind a promising pharmaceutical company. Walter headed the company alongside his partners Gretchen (Jessica Hecht) and Elliott Schwartz (Adam Godley). Various circumstances (and his ego) compel Walter to give up his part of the company, Gray Matter Technologies, to Gretchen and Elliot. In the beginning, his former partners are portrayed as sympathetic friends trying to help Walt through tough times after he is diagnosed with cancer.

However, Gretchen and Elliott's final appearances on the show reveal their true nature and why Walter always disliked them. They are weak and cowardly folk, happily telling the world that Walter had little to do with the success of their company after he is revealed to be the notorious criminal Heisenberg. In a world of ruthless criminals, Gretchen and Elliot are not the most hateful characters, but they do earn a lot of contempt from fans for their fake bluster and "holier-than-thou" attitude. 

Lydia Rodarte-Quayle

Lydia (Laura Fraser) is the kind of character you could not imagine surviving long in the world of "Breaking Bad." A tiny woman with a slim physique and a veneer of sophistication befitting her status as a high-ranking employee for a giant corporation, it seemed like Lydia would quickly fall victim to the brutality of the world of drug cartels that "Breaking Bad" trafficked in.

However, beneath her non-threatening appearance, Lydia hides a cold and calculating nature that would put the show's worst villains to shame. Lydia got rich dealing methylamine with the cartels, completely indifferent to the innocent people hurt by her actions. She is also not above using her feminine wiles to get what she wants, like convincing a smitten Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) to help her get rid of anyone who could connect her to the drug gangs.

For Lydia, self-preservation is of the utmost importance, and she never cares how many people need to be killed to keep herself out of jail. In many ways, Lydia proves herself to be an even more ruthless version of Walter White, with even fewer moral hang-ups about the life she has chosen to lead and the collateral damage that comes with it.


On most other shows, being a White supremacist would automatically make you the worst person in the story. It says much about the moral gray area that "Breaking Bad" always operated in that Kenny (Kevin Rankin), the second-in-command of a gang introduced as neo-Nazis, still seemed like a better person than Walter White at the time.  

Despite his hateful ideology, Kenny seems like a reasonable person who knows his way around technology and simply follows the orders of his gang's leader. However, as more of Kenny's personality is revealed, his worst instincts surface. Kenny plays a key part in getting 10 inmates at a prison killed whom Walter fears could expose him. Later, Kenny also helps his allies eliminate a rival gang to take over their territory.

In the last episode of the series and the spinoff movie "El Camino," the full extent of Kenny's depravity appears. Walter finds out that the neo-Nazis have been keeping Jesse (Aaron Paul) captive to keep cooking meth for them. Kenny takes a particularly sadistic pleasure in making Jesse suffer by treating him in a subhuman manner. 

Jack Welker

Season 5 of "Breaking Bad" sees Walter White at the end of his tether. With both the police and rival drug gangs after him, Walter is forced to make a deal with the devil to survive. That devil turns out to be Jack Welker (Michael Bowen), Todd's uncle and the leader of a White supremacist prison gang. 

Jack proves how dangerous he is right from the start, organizing a brutal campaign to kill off 10 prison inmates who could be able to identify Walter. Beyond being hired to take out his enemies, Jack is chiefly interested in Walter because of his ability to cook the best quality meth on the market. This is this same interest that keeps Jack interested in associating with Walter after their initial business is concluded. 

By the end of the series, Jack has not only killed Hank (Dean Norris) and stolen all of Walter's money, but he enslaves Jesse to cook meth for them after Walter's disappearance. It is hard to think of any redeeming qualities for a man like Jack, despite his attempts to portray himself as a family man with a strong code of business ethics.  

Todd Alquist

In a sea of brutal killers and ruthless crime lords, Todd Alquist stands apart as something much more disturbing on a primal level. He is first introduced in Season 5 as a crew member that helps Walter set up his secret meth lab. Todd's youthful looks and eagerness to help Walt, whom he obviously admires, come off as quite charming — at first.

Todd's good impression on audiences continues as he proves himself an intelligent and obedient student to Walter, in all the ways Jesse is not. During a train heist, Todd shows his willingness to take risks for the sake of the operation. But then, just as it seems like Todd is all set to replace Jesse as Walter's favored second-in-command, he shoots a child who sees the heist in the face. 

At that moment, Todd's true nature is revealed. He is a cold-blooded killer who feels no remorse for killing a child and later threatens to do the same to another young kid, Brock, if Jesse refuses to work for his gang as a cook. Despite his soft-spoken nature and desire to please those higher up in the chain of command, Todd has no problem killing innocent civilians and torturing Jesse into working for him.

Gus Fring

Bryan Cranston earned rave reviews and four Emmys for his portrayal of Walter White on "Breaking Bad." In Cranston's skilled hands, fans could watch Walter do all kinds of questionable things and still somehow sympathize with and root for him. It says much about Giancarlo Esposito's take on Gus Fring in later seasons that the character often managed to outshine Walter in both likability and brutality. 

Gus was initially introduced as the owner of a fast-food restaurant who secretly trafficked meth in Walter's town. Gus was the kind of criminal Walter dreamed of becoming. Extremely careful and intelligent, Gus showed Walter how he used his vast resources to run a smooth criminal operation with minimal personal risk. However, Walter's greed eventually gets the better of him and threatens to derail the entire operation.

This is when the soft-spoken Gus demonstrates why he is so feared in the drug cartel business. Gus' actions against Walter are swift and brutal, and he does not hesitate to slash the throat of one of his own men to send Walter a message. Gus also threatens to kill Walter's entire family if he does not fall in line. Despite his cover of being an upstanding citizen and kind-hearted guy, Gus is the most dangerous villain Walter ever faced.   

The Salamanca Cousins

"Breaking Bad" villains can generally be divided into two groups. There are the gang leaders who operate in the shadows and give the orders which get Walter started on his road to becoming Heisenberg and the enforcers who mete out brutal punishments once Walter starts developing his ambitions to become a drug lord. 

While they fit in the latter category, the Salamanca cousins (played by Daniel and Luis Moncada) manage to stand in a class of their own. They are brought across the border to avenge their cousin Tuco's death by killing Walter White. The cousins show they meant business right from the start when they blew up the truck they arrived in to cover their tracks, killing all the immigrants inside. 

The cousins have drawn comparisons to the Terminator from fans on Reddit due to the implacable way they silently track down Walter and his allies, taking out every obstacle in their path without remorse. There is something almost supernatural about the unique brand of voiceless evil that the cousins bring to "Breaking Bad" which made them resonate with fans despite their limited screen time and lack of dialog.


When we talk about the most hated characters on "Breaking Bad," Skyler White's place on the list almost feels unfair. As the wife of Walter White, she stands by him through thick and thin, first helping him through his initial cancer diagnosis. She then defends Walt against accusations from the police as well as members of their own family and friends.

When Skyler discovers Walter's drug empire, she is understandably horrified. She is torn between her love for Walt and the impulse to protect her children by turning him in to the police. Fans claim they hate Skyler's hypocritical stance of judging Walt for his meth business but still using his money. However, that hypocrisy wouldn't even make it to the top 20 worst things we've seen characters do on the show. 

For some reason, Skyler became a lightning rod for hate from fans of the show despite being one of the biggest victims of Walt's actions. Things got so bad that Anna Gunn, who played Skyler, that she spoke publicly with Entertainment Weekly about the rough time she had being hated by fans simply for playing the character.

Walter White

The creator of "Breaking Bad," Vince Gilligan, famously told The Guardian that his intention with the main character of Walter White was to tell the story of "a man who transforms himself from Mr. Chips into Scarface." Suffice to say that the experiment was wildly successful, as audiences see the meek and humble high school chemistry teacher Mr. White turn into the vengeful drug lord Heisenberg.

Nothing about the show would have worked if Walter's character had not managed to hold on to audiences' sympathy through every twist and turn in the narrative. At first, Walter has the relatively noble goal of cooking and selling meth to leave his family financially secure before succumbing to cancer. However, as the series progresses, Walter's actions become increasingly difficult to justify.

From letting Jesse's girlfriend die despite being in a position to save her (and then taunting him about it) to poisoning a young child to turn Jesse against Gus, Walter's mania for control and lust for power eventually turn him from an anti-hero into a full-fledged villain. The final straw is Walter finally admitting his true nature when he tells Skyler about his various criminal actions in the series finale, "I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it." Even Scarface would feel a little uncomfortable being compared to the kind of guy Walt eventually becomes.