Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki
Season 2 promo (4)
"Jesse is a leader who thinks he's a follower."
Vince Gilligan

Jesse Pinkman is introduced as an impulsive and hedonistic man, but also personable and possessing street-smarts. He talks in playful slang, frequently using words like "yo" and "bitch", and likes to wear garish clothing that follows the latest trends in youth culture, plays video games, listens to loud music, takes recreational drugs, and driving a car fitted with hydraulics. Jesse's MyShout page lists his general interests as "Fine herbage! Keepin' it real, etc." Jesse often enjoyed hanging out and smoking with his friends, Badger and Skinny Pete, and purchasing items like a giant-screen television for his home or a Roomba vacuum cleaner.

Despite "yo" and "bitch" being the most famous and popular insult of Jesse, it’s worth noting that Jesse almost never uses the word to describe women. It's no surprise that Jesse does quite well for himself with the ladies. The two notable exceptions are when he used the word to describe Skyler White (though not in her presence) and when he called his mother the word to her face.


Jesse's shocked reaction to Todd Alquist murdering Drew Sharp.

Jesse adores women and children, and harming one is a very good way to send him into a murderous rage. Using children in criminal activities is particularly heinous in his eyes. He has been shown to have personal connections with several children throughout the series, such as Spooge's son and Brock Cantillo. Jesse also takes Todd's murder of Drew Sharp, a young boy who witnessed them committing the train heist, very hard and is furious that Walt and Mike decide to continue working with Todd, with Mike later giving a threatening warning to Todd that Mike would kill him if he brought a gun to a job without telling him again. While Todd defended his killing of Drew, stating that he had witnessed the heist and thus was a threat, Jesse retorted that the kid was too young to understand what was going on. It was Drew's death and Walt and Mike continuing to work with Todd that finally pushes Jesse over the edge and causes him to exit the meth business once and for all. While Jesse was not a very good student, his mother said that his chemistry teacher, Walter White, saw potential in him. Walt later told Jesse that he "never thought much" of him, though he did frequently write "Apply Yourself" on Jesse's graded quiz papers and, when meeting Hank Schrader, his mother said "Mr. White must have seen some potential in Jesse, he really tried to motivate him, he was one of the few teachers who cared." Initially starting out as a street-level meth dealer producing his signature chili powder meth, Jesse would later deliver on the potential Walt saw in him, producing a product on his own which Walt begrudgingly concedes is as good as what Walt himself produced. The meth that Jesse cooks in front of the Cartel chemists has a purity of 96.2%, making it possibly superior to that which was produced by Gale Boetticher who held an advanced degree in chemistry. In addition, Jesse's cook at the cartel superlab was superior to that of Benicio Fuentes, the cartel chemist who was noted by Don Eladio Vuente to have multiple fancy college degrees. However, at the same time, Jesse's lack of chemistry education can be seen in the fact that he didn't know how to synthesize one of the compounds he would need, something that the cartel chemist stated that a sophomore chemistry student could do. By this point, Jesse had enough confidence in his abilities to take charge in the superlab and order the cartel staff around, channeling Walt's behavior in the lab. Though the staff begrudgingly followed his commands, both Gustavo Fring and Mike Ehrmantraut were visibly proud of his attitude. ("Salud") Eventually, Walter even refers to himself and Jesse as "the two greatest meth cooks in America." ("Say My Name") Despite being constantly underestimated, over the course of the series Jesse proves himself to be quick thinking and perceptive. Jesse also comes up with several clever plans, namely the magnet plan, the train heist and his plan to get money from Neil and Casey.


Jesse's reaction before reluctantly killing Gale Boetticher.

Unlike Walt, who was initially heavily reluctant to use violence but gradually came to see it as a necessity, Jesse was frequently horrified by the brutality at the higher levels of the drug trade, and did not like to kill innocent people, with all but one of Jesse's victims being criminals. Jesse has a serious reaction to killing Gale Boetticher, who, despite being a meth cook, is an otherwise decent and innocent person. Jesse does not take the experience lightly, the moment where he becomes a murderer changes him for the rest of the series from that point on. At first, Jesse has somewhat of a delayed reaction to what he has done; when Walt asks Jesse at the Denny's, "Seriously, are you all right?", he continues to eat his pancakes and bacon and seems completely fine, even in light of the terrible experience he had been through ("Box Cutter"). However, it later becomes quite clear that he is mentally damaged, and - in order to keep himself from reflecting on his guilt of the terrible thing he did - he surrounds himself with other people, keeping a 24/7 party going for whenever he is home from the lab. However, his subsequent killing of Joaquin Salamanca appears to only leave him stunned for a moment ("Salud") and he doesn't hesitate at all to kill Todd Alquist ("Felina") or Neil Kandy and Casey, though he only threatens the latter two when he believes they are not police officers, not wanting to harm cops. ("El Camino") Unlike Gale, the other four people killed by Jesse were criminals and not innocent people with all. With Todd, Jesse killed him in revenge for Jesse's captivity and torture for months and Todd's murder of Andrea Cantillo, and as such was the only person that Jesse killed willingly and while full of rage. With Neil and Casey, Jesse tried to avoid violence, but Neil left him no other way out. He also appeared to have tears in his eyes briefly after killing Neil and Casey, though he quickly recovered within moments.

Out of the series' entire cast, perhaps second only to Walt, Jesse's personality changes have been the most dramatic; most noticeably after Jane's death and Gale's murder. His time with Walt has transformed him from a laid-back jokester and much of the show's comic relief in the early seasons, to a troubled, woeful and sorrowful shadow of his former self as the series has progressed. As a result from looking after Brock and dating Andrea, Jesse became more caring towards children, even punching Todd in the face for killing Drew. Earlier in the series, after witnessing the severe neglect Spooge's son suffered, Jesse called 911 and left the line open to ensure the police would find both the murdered Spooge and his son, making sure the boy would get a better life. When carrying the boy outside, Jesse took care to make sure that he didn't see the carnage as well.

After escaping from Jack Welker's Compound, Jesse appears to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder from the brutal torture of the gang and from Walt's treatment towards him. While showering, Jesse experiences a flashback to being sprayed with water and has a violent reaction towards Skinny Pete and Badger after waking up and thinking he was back in his cell. When talking with Neil Kandy, Jesse states that if he's caught, he's dead anyway, suggesting that after his imprisonment by the gang he considers going to prison to be a death sentence for himself. Now dedicated towards starting a new life for himself, Jesse appears to have regained much of his old personality rather than the submissive one he was forced to take on during his captivity but with greater traces of violence.


Jesse begins his new life in Alaska.

During his second confrontation with Neil Kandy and Casey, Jesse showed a pragmatic approach to the situation, only requesting exactly the amount of money he needed and brushing off the mockery aimed at the Colt Woodsman he was armed with. When the situation escalated into a Wild West-style duel, Jesse won because he secretly kept a second gun hidden in his jacket pocket which he used to kill Neil before exchanging fire with Casey. Throughout the conversation, Jesse kept the Woodsman on display in his pants, but kept his left hand in his jacket pocket and presumably on the other gun in case he needed it, something none of the men in the shop noted to be out of the ordinary. This led to Neil, Casey and the other men underestimating Jesse. When threatening the other men, Jesse responded to one telling Jesse that he has children with "do you think I give a shit?" before threatening to use their names and addresses to come after them if they told anyone what he did. However, it's clear that Jesse didn't actually mean his threats as he departed for Alaska shortly thereafter and just meant it as a means of intimidation and a bluff.

After arriving in Alaska, Jesse is shown to be pleased that he is finally free of his past and of his chance to begin anew, leaving all the horrors he has experienced behind him completely. ("El Camino")