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Nobody moves crystal in the South Valley but me, bitch!
― Tuco Salamanca after savagely beating up Jesse Pinkman[src]

Tuco Salamanca is a Mexican-American drug kingpin and a high-level distributor for the Cartel's territory north of the border. A member of the Salamanca family, Tuco is the grandson of Abuelita and the nephew of Hector Salamanca. Tuco has four cousins who are involved in criminal activities: Lalo, Marco, Leonel, and Joaquin. He also has an unseen sister who is married to his brother-in-law, Gonzo. He is the founder of the Salamanca family's methamphetamine operations in New Mexico. Tuco is known for his psychotic and unpredictable personality, being prone to violent outbursts which are often amplified by his drug use.

History[]

Background information[]

Hector with his nephews

Tuco (left) with his uncle Hector and cousins Marco and Leonel (right).

Tuco Salamanca was born in Mexico at some point around 1970 and was raised by his uncle Hector, alongside his cousins Lalo, Marco and Leonel, and his first cousin once removed Joaquin, to become a member of the Cartel. Hector mentored Tuco through the "business" and by 2002, he was put in charge of the Salamanca family's drug distribution business in Albuquerque, New Mexico, while Hector handled the smuggling through his ice cream company.

From 1996 to 1998, Tuco and Nacho were selling methamphetamine that they bought from bikers in Riverside, California. He eventually descended into a life of severe drug abuse and, over time, gradually became mentally unstable whenever high on meth. In 1998, he personally killed one of his friends and biker connections, Dog Paulson, for no apparent reason other than suspected double-dealing in supplying drugs, by shooting him in the face with a sawed-off shotgun in front of Nacho. According to Nacho, Tuco later felt bad about killing Dog Paulson. He took over the meth trade from the bikers that same year.

Better Call Saul[]

Season 1[]

BCS 102 02

Tuco talking with Jimmy McGill after holding him hostage in his home.

Tuco is at his Abuelita's house cooking food for her when she arrives followed by the twin brothers, Lars and Cal Lindholm. They claim that Tuco's grandmother ran over one of them in her car and then tried to drive off, so they followed her home. One of the brothers calls her "biznatch," which deeply offends Tuco. He calmly convinces his grandmother to go upstairs and watch her soap opera and then proceeds to knock both brothers unconscious with her walking cane. As he is cleaning blood from a carpet, another man knocks on the door claiming to be an "officer of the court," Tuco grabs a gun from the top of a bookshelf and forces the man inside at gunpoint. ("Uno",  "Mijo")

1x02 - Mijo 03

Tuco closes a deal with Jimmy ("Mijo")

The man, Jimmy McGill, introduces himself to Tuco as Lars and Cal's lawyer. He tries to explain to Tuco that he received a call from his clients claiming that they had an accident. Jimmy convinces Tuco to let him and the twins go, but when he is about to cut them loose, Lars tells Tuco that the accident was all planned and it was all Jimmy's idea. Tuco and his associates, Gonzo, No-Doze and Nacho Varga, take Jimmy and the twins out to the desert. Tuco tries to interrogate Jimmy to find out if he's working for the government. Jimmy explains that he was planning a scheme to bring down one of his former clients, but the twins accidentally confused the target with Tuco's grandmother. Still not convinced, Tuco threatens to torture Jimmy, thinking that he is a FBI agent trying to arrest him due to their business being "too good", but Nacho convinces Tuco that he is speaking the truth, and they decide to let him go.

Even so, Tuco still plans to torture the twins to death because of the way they disrespected his grandmother. After an intense negotiation, Jimmy manages to convince Tuco not to kill them but only to break one leg of each one so he can send a message. Tuco and Jimmy shake on the deal, and Tuco breaks a leg on each of the brothers. ("Mijo")

Season 2[]

Nacho grows increasingly worried at Tuco's erratic behavior over the months, so he meets Mike Ehrmantraut to offer him a job. He wants Mike to kill Tuco for a large sum of money, explaining to Mike that Tuco might kill him if he finds out about Nacho's side business not involving the Salamancas. Nacho tells the story of when Tuco killed Dog only because he slightly suspected he was supplying rival dealers. Mike decides not to kill Tuco, fearing doing so will attract too much attention from the Salamancas, but comes up with a plan to have Tuco arrested instead; this way, Nacho will be free from the Salamancas to continue transacting his own business. They plan to do it at El Michoacáno, a restaurant where Tuco and Nacho meet their drug dealers to collect a weekly payment of their sales.

1970 Pontiac LeMans

Tuco confronts Mike Ehrmantraut ("Gloves Off")

The next day, while Tuco and Nacho are sitting inside the restaurant meeting their distributors like they usually do, Mike tips off the police that a fight is happening there. He then parks his car in front of the restaurant, intentionally nudging the front bumper of Tuco's car while doing so. Tuco notices the collision and approaches Mike when he enters the restaurant to buy something, calling him out for hitting his car. Mike denies having done any such thing and leaves after buying food. Tuco and Nacho follow him outside, demanding payment for the damage to Tuco's car.

Mike offers to swap insurance information, but Tuco declines; he wants cash. Mike says he doesn't have any, but Tuco calls out the lie, having seen the money in his wallet when paying for the food. Flashing his gun, he forces Mike to hand over his wallet. As he does, the sound of police sirens responding to Mike's 911 call wail in the distance. Nacho gets into his van and drives off, but Mike grabs Tuco by the collar of his shirt to prevent him from escaping. When Tuco pulls out his revolver, Mike disarms him and Tuco starts punching him in the face, telling him to let go. Mike clenches his fist on Tuco's shirt and refuses to do so. Tuco lands five punches before the police arrive and surround them, demanding they stop fighting. Mike taunts Tuco so he will continue the assault; Tuco laughs manically and promptly punches Mike a sixth time in full view of the police, knocking him out cold. ("Gloves Off")

The plan works, and Tuco is arrested, potentially facing ten years in jail for assault, armed robbery, and carrying an illegal weapon. However, much to Mike's disdain, he is visited by Hector a few days later. Hector offers Mike $5,000 if he tells the police that the gun found on the scene was Mike's and not Tuco's, as this would considerably reduce Tuco's potential jail time, an offer that Mike initially refuses. ("Rebecca") After being repeatedly harassed by the Salamancas, however, Mike eventually agrees to tell the police that the gun was his on the condition of raising his price to $50,000;("Bali Ha'i") while being once again legally assisted by Jimmy. ("Inflatable")

Season 3[]

While talking to Nacho inside the restaurant, Hector learns from Arturo that Tuco has been placed in solitary at Los Lunas after stabbing another prisoner and breaking a prison guard's jaw. Hector's anger at hearing this news triggers his heart condition. ("Off Brand")

Season 5[]

While talking to Hector, Lalo (who has to flee back to Mexico) states that Tuco will be out of prison in eleven months and can thus take over the all the operations north of the border at that point. Knowing what Tuco is like while high, Lalo reassures Hector that they will have someone keep an eye on Tuco to make sure he stays clean. ("Bad Choice Road")

When Lalo introduces Nacho to Don Eladio, he mentions Nacho as a friend of Tuco. Aware of Tuco's insanity, Eladio jokingly asks Nacho if he's alright in the head. ("Something Unforgivable")

Season 6[]

A photograph of Tuco when he was a child is seen in Hector's nursing room when Lalo calls him, where he falsely states that he couldn't find proof against Gus and sticks to striking at Gus that night. ("Plan and Execution")

Breaking Bad[]

Tuco-Mugshot-760

Tuco's mugshot.

While in prison, Tuco become cell mates with Skinny Pete. After being released, Tuco takes back control of his family's drug operation. He employed a large number of operatives and established his own cantina as his headquarters.

His operation is extremely successful, and he becomes a key man for the Cartel's business north of the border and a high-level meth kingpin. After the death of Krazy-8, Tuco took over his territory and was brought into the DEA for questioning surrounding Krazy-8's disappearance but was released due to a lack of evidence. ("Seven Thirty-Seven")

Season 1[]

When Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are in search of a distribution network for their meth following the death of Krazy-8, Jesse's friend Skinny Pete tells him about Tuco. Skinny Pete and Jesse find themselves in Tuco's headquarters with a pound of Walt's meth, believing they will be able to negotiate a deal with Tuco. Tuco's henchmen frisk them and lead them into Tuco's office.

Tuco Salamanca

Tuco threatening Jesse Pinkman ("Crazy Handful of Nothin'")

After being shown the meth, Tuco invites Jesse to snort some of the product to prove he isn't a cop, before snorting some himself off the tip of a knife. Tuco is extremely impressed by the quality of the meth and says he'll buy it on consignment. Jesse begins to realize Tuco does not wish to pay the $35,000 for the product, and Tuco threatens Jesse and Skinny Pete with a knife after Skinny Pete tries to intervene in the negotiation. Desperate, Jesse tries to leave with the meth but is stopped by Tuco's armed guards. Tuco appears to be okay with Jesse's escape attempt, even offering Jesse the $35,000 he wants "up front." He stuffs stacks of cash from his safe into a bag and holds it out to Jesse, but when Jesse reaches for the bag, Tuco uses the bag to beat him into the floor mercilessly.

After Walt learns of the events that occurred in the hideout, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Arriving at the hideout, he presents himself as "Heisenberg" to Tuco. Walt gives Tuco another bag of crystals and asks for $50,000; Tuco laughs at the offer, saying that Walt is not doing the math correctly. Walt explains to Tuco that $35,000 is for the meth that Tuco stole, and another $15,000 is for Jesse's pain and suffering. Tuco realizes that Walt and Jesse are partners and then ridicules Walt for bringing him yet another pound of meth after he stole Walt's first batch. "This is not meth," Walt corrects him, as he hurls a piece of the crystal at the floor, causing an explosion and leaving the hideout in ruin—Walter has substituted his meth with crystallized fulminated mercury. With the rest of the bag of explosives in his possession, Walt threatens to throw the entire bag and kill himself and everyone in the room. Tuco is impressed by Walt's "balls," and he tells Walt that he's won his respect and agrees to pay the $50,000, explaining that the meth he'd taken from Jesse sold better on the streets than any other product he's had. Walt then tells Tuco that he'll pay Walt and Jesse "up front" for future purposes and demands that Tuco now buy two pounds of his meth instead of one, which Tuco agrees to without hesitation. ("Crazy Handful of Nothin'")

A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal Promo

Walt, Jesse, and Tuco at the junkyard ("A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal")

Walt and Jesse set up a meeting with Tuco in an auto junkyard. Jesse criticizes Walt for his poor choice of location to set up a meeting with a psychopathic drug dealer. Tuco and his associates, No-Doze, and Gonzo, arrive. Tuco also makes fun of the location choice, asking "What, is the mall closed or something?" Walt explains to Tuco that due to a "production problem," they will have to delay the delivery of the rest of the first batch. Tuco is annoyed, and as an apology, Walt offers to extend his offer to four pounds. Tuco agrees but delivers a stern warning: "Talk is talk. But owing me money, that's bad."

Tuco after beating No-Doze to death

Tuco after beating up No-Doze.

Walt uses methylamine to deliver the amount of meth he promised in time. They meet again at the same auto junkyard, and Walt delivers the first-ever batch of blue meth. Tuco questions why the meth is blue, but Walt guarantees him it is just as pure as their previous product. Tuco snorts some of the blue meth and approves of it, telling Walt to keep doing what he's doing, and then pays Walt for the product. No-Doze then unthinkingly warns Walt and Jesse to remember who they are working for. High on the meth he just snorted, Tuco screams at his associate, claiming that he is disrespecting their new partners. Walt tries to calm down the situation by telling Tuco to relax, and Tuco feigns Walt's de-escalation working before savagely beating No-Doze's face to a pulp, even showing Walt and Jesse his bloodied knuckles as he celebrates. Tuco laughs and tells a bewildered Walt he'll see him next week as Gonzo drags No-Doze's unconscious body to the car and drives away. ("A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal")

Season 2[]

2x01 - Seven Thirty-Seven 2

Tuco, Walt, and Jesse before the body of No-Doze ("Seven Thirty-Seven")

Walt and Jesse are horrified after witnessing the scene. As they get in Jesse's car and are driving out of the junkyard, Tuco's car returns and blocks their path. Tuco gets out of the car and drags an unconscious No-Doze out to the floor, ordering Walt to perform CPR to bring him back. Walt tries to explain to Tuco that CPR won't help; they need an ambulance to save the man's life. No-Doze then dies in front of them, prompting Tuco to release his rage by furiously kicking the corpse several times. He then orders Gonzo to dispose of the body, to which Gonzo says they should give a proper burial, but Tuco coldly orders him to stash the body underneath a stack of old cars. Tuco turns his attention to Walt and Jesse, dismissing the duo, saying that they are "done" before violently pushing Jesse to the ground for no apparent reason. Walt and Jesse drive off from the junkyard and Jesse begins to fear that Tuco will mark them both for death because they were witnesses of Tuco murdering No-Doze. They decide to poison Tuco with ricin after Walter and Jesse witness Tuco's car around their houses. Later that day, Gonzo returns to the junkyard to retrieve No-Doze's body and give him a proper burial against Tuco's orders. As he is removing the body from under a pile of cars, the pile collapses on Gonzo's arm, and he bleeds to death. The body is later found, and the scene is investigated by the DEA. They find Tuco's bloody prints on No-Doze's body and decide to raid Tuco's headquarters. ("Grilled")

Tuco left his hideout before the raid during the night, where all of his crew were arrested. He picks up his uncle Hector and brings him to his cottage in the desert. He then goes to Jesse's place and manages to kidnap him. They drive to Walt's house and trick Walt into getting in the car with Jesse, only for Tuco to point a gun at them and force them to drive to an unknown location. ("Seven Thirty-Seven")

2x02 - Grilled 7

Hector, Tuco, Walt and Jesse at the cabin ("Grilled")

By the morning, they arrived at Hector's cottage. As he is cooking breakfast for them, Tuco orders both Walt and Jesse to give him their wallets so he can take a look at their documents, learning that "Heisenberg's" real name is Walter White. Tuco then asks Walt if he can trust him, to which Walt responds with a solid "yes" while looking Tuco in the eyes, gaining his trust. Unaware of Gonzo's death, Tuco believes that Gonzo was the one who turned him in to the DEA and brought the raid on his hideout; he is extremely upset about it and feels betrayed, stating that he treated Gonzo like a brother. Walt and Jesse are aware that Gonzo was found dead, so they play along so he won't think that they were the ones who ratted Tuco out. Tuco mentions his future plans, saying that he has a lot of connections south of the border and his cousins are coming to give them a lift to Mexico, where Walt and Jesse will be taken to a superlab so they could "cook 24/7" for the cartel. He also states that thanks to his connections, the DEA would not interfere with his business. Walt and Jesse then proceed with something they were planning before being kidnapped: poisoning Tuco with ricin disguised as a small bag of meth. Jesse easily convinces Tuco to snort it, but the plan ultimately fails when Jesse explains that the "meth" contains chili powder. Tuco complains he hates chili powder as he throws the bag away.

Tuco prepares burritos for Walt, Jesse, and his uncle. While Tuco brings Tio to the dining table, Walt attempts to sneak the ricin into Tuco's burrito in front of Tio, who Walt and Jesse believe to be in no condition to ruin their plan. However, it turns out that Hector is still very aware of his surroundings and gets Tuco's attention before he starts eating it. Believing Hector wanted the biggest burrito, he switches plates with his uncle, Hector then proceeds to push the poisoned burrito to the floor while staring angrily at Walt, but Tuco is unable to decipher the message. Later on, as Tuco is shooting animals with an assault rifle while he waits for his cousins to arrive, Hector keeps ringing his bell to call his nephew's attention. Tuco finally asks his uncle what he wants, and Hector is able to tell Tuco that he doesn't like Walt or Jesse. Walt tries to tell Tuco that Hector is not in his right mind, but Tuco is very aware that his uncle is still sharp. When Hector is able to tell Tuco that Walt and Jesse are "punking" him, Tuco furiously approaches Jesse, grabs him by the shirt, and drags him out of the cabin as Walt runs after them, trying to calm him down. Tuco proceeds to beat Jesse while using his assault rifle to keep Walt away.

2x2 Hank kills Tuco

Tuco lies dead after being shot in the head by Hank Schrader ("Grilled")

Tuco holds Jesse at gunpoint and demands to know what Walt and Jesse were up to; Walt reveals that they tried to poison him because he is "an insane, degenerate piece of filth." As Tuco is distracted by Walt's comment, Jesse is able to grab a rock and strike Tuco in the head, making him drop his rifle. Walt manages to grab the rifle but is unable to get a clear shot as Tuco and Jesse fight. Tuco gains the upper hand by choking Jesse, but Jesse is able to grab the pistol from Tuco's belt and shoots him in the stomach. With Tuco out of action, Walt and Jesse are able to make their escape. Several minutes later, Tuco manages to get out of the ditch he was kicked into and approaches Jesse's car, noticing that they left behind the rifle. Another car approaches the cabin. Hank Schrader, searching for Jesse by tracking his car, approaches Tuco mistaking him to be Jesse. When Hank tries talking to Tuco, he doesn't respond and turns to face him. Hank sees Tuco's blood-stained shirt and tries to defuse the situation. Tuco grabs the assault rifle and shoots at Hank (who takes cover behind his car). Both men run out of ammo and have to stop and reload. Tuco uses Jesse's car as cover, and Hank reloads his pistol. By the time Tuco had finished reloading, Hank had already reloaded and was waiting for a clear shot. As soon as he gets up, Hank shoots Tuco in the forehead, killing him. ("Grilled")

Following Tuco's death, Hank's DEA colleagues present him with a paperweight embedded with Tuco's grill as a trophy, which he initially prizes but later throws into a river in disgust and suffers from PTSD from the shootout.("Bit by a Dead Bee") Hank is later given a promotion to El Paso due to Tuco's death.

At the DEA office, while Hank talks about Combo's death, an exed out mugshot of Tuco can be seen behind him. ("ABQ")

Season 3[]

It is revealed that Tuco was a representative of the Cartel north of the U.S. border. It is also revealed that his uncle Hector was a highly influential member and one of the most feared capos before his health deteriorated. Tuco's cousins, hitmen for the cartel, are summoned to Albuquerque to kill Walt in retribution for Tuco's death, but upon learning from Gus that Hank was the DEA agent who killed Tuco, the cousins instead attempt to murder Hank in a shoot-out, but both die trying. ("One Minute")

Season 4[]

A photograph of Tuco when he was a child is seen briefly in Hector's nursing room. ("Face Off")

Season 5[]

As Hank is going through old evidence documents, he briefly comes across a picture of Tuco's corpse. ("Blood Money")

Personality[]

"We tried to poison you. We tried to poison you because you are an insane, degenerate piece of filth and you deserve to die."
―Walter's words to Tuco just before Jesse bashes Tuco in the face with a rock.[src]
07-IMG 1347

Tuco beating up Jesse with his bag of money.

Tuco is known for his psychotic personality and propensity for extreme violence, gaining him a reputation among other criminals. He is shown to be capable of hurting and killing people close to him without showing any remorse if they do something he finds disrespectful and even shows sadistic pleasure in harming others to a degree. He is overall almost completely insane and violent, making him one of the most dangerous members of his family, surpassing even his uncle and cousins to an extent.

Despite his cruelty, Tuco shows signs of being extremely loyal to the people he trusts and caring towards those he loves, namely his elderly grandmother and later his disabled uncle, and will brutally harm anyone who shows disrespect towards his loved ones or causes them harm in any form. He is also shown to give people who give him what he wants an amount of respect as he fatally beats No-Doze because he believed he was disrespecting Walter White and Jesse Pinkman after they give him their meth.

Tuco is shown to be brave to an extent, as seen by him continuing to brutally beat Mike Ehrmantraut despite cops being on the scene and engaging DEA Agent Hank Schrader in an intense gunfight rather than surrendering. In a conversation with Mike regarding Tuco's actions, Hector called Tuco a hothead and said that Tuco "thinks he's a boxer."

Despite this trait, Tuco knows to listen to certain people. For example, he followed Nacho's advice and let Saul go after being convinced that he was better alive than dead. He also has demonstrated to have some self-control about his behavior and is a little polite with others, as he is seen trying to "politely" talk to Mike after he intentionally hit Tuco's car with his and asking him to pay for the damage, until he ultimately loses his patience.

Deaths[]

Murders committed by Tuco[]

Quotes[]

Better Call Saul[]

"You called her "biznatch"?"
―Tuco, in anger at Cal and Lars's insulting of his grandmother.[src]

Tuco: "Talk."
Jimmy: "I'm gonna make an educated guess what happened here. My two clients, Frick and Frack, the mopheads, were in a simple traffic accident. A minor fender-bender, but maybe they were on the wrong side of the street or they didn't look both ways. It could happen to anyone. My clients, exhibiting extremely poor judgement, followed your grandmother to this delightful, well-tended home. Now, at this juncture, I am deducing that they said or did something that... crossed a line, and you–with some justification–you put them in their place. Based on the "salsa" stain there, could've gone a couple ways. The bottom line, not to be morbid, but if they're dead, uh, I'm guessing that I'm... I'm gonna–Yeah, I'm gonna go with glass half-full here and say they're not. My point is, if they're alive, why kill us? Why, because of a misunderstanding? Our own stupidity? Why mess up your lovely abuelita's place? Why jump to the nuclear option? See, I'm saying "keep it simple." I will collect my moronic clients, and poof, we are gone. Neither you nor your lovely abuelita will ever lay eyes on us ever again, guaranteed! Signed, sealed and delivered... assuming, you know, that they're still breathing."
Tuco: "Wow. You got a mouth on you."
Jimmy: "Thank you."
―Tuco's conversation with Jimmy McGill[src]

Nacho: "Who are you?"
Jimmy: "I’m James Morgan McGill, I’m a lawyer, I was trolling for business, ok, that’s the truth. Now you can find a Bible, I’ll swear on it. (...) I don’t know you. I don’t want to. This was a mistake. It’s my mistake. OK, I take full and complete responsibility, but I don’t know any of your names and I got a bad case of face blindness, you let us go we’re gonna forget this happened."
Tuco: "He said he was FBI. He admitted it."
Nacho: "You had his wire cutters on him, he would have said anything. You really see the FBI hiring those two flaquitos?"
Tuco: "Maybe."
Nacho: "Croaking a lawyer for no reason is bad business. He goes away someone’s gonna come look for him."
Tuco: "They walked into my house. They disrespected my Abuelita. They called her “biznatch”! And they just walk? Huh?!"
Nacho: "What about the lawyer? He’s giving respect."
Nacho: "James M. McGill. “A lawyer you can trust.” I know how to find you, James McGill. Understand what I’m saying?"
Jimmy: "Yeah."
―Tuco's conversation with Jimmy and Nacho Varga over whether or not to let Jimmy and the skateboarder twins go.[src]

Jimmy: "Think about their mother."
Tuco: "I SPIT ON THEIR MAMA!"
Jimmy: "When I was at your abuelita’s place, you were gonna let them go. Way I see it, that’s because you’re tough, but you’re fair. You’re all about justice."
Tuco: "That’s what I am saying. Justice."
Jimmy: "These–these two shit-for-brains? These two big-mouths? You–you already beat the living hell out of them. Do you think they’re ever gonna forget today? Never! Ten years from now, they’re still gonna be crapping their jockeys."
Tuco: "It’s not enough."
Jimmy: "Okay, okay. Then let’s talk proportionality. They’re guilty–Oh, agreed. Now you have to decide what’s the right sentence?"
Tuco: "Like a judge."
Jimmy: "Like a judge. Ever heard of the Code of Hammurabi? Let the punishment fit the crime, eye for an eye?"
Tuco: "Eye for an eye. You want me to blind them."
Jimmy: "No, no. All they did was trash-talk."
Tuco: "So, I cut their tongues out!"
Jimmy: "Wait. See, I’m advising that you make the punishment fit the crime."
Tuco: "Punishment fit the crime. Columbian neckties. I cut their throats, and then I PULL THEIR LYING TONGUES THROUGH THE SLITS! BIZNATCH!!"
―Tuco ranting about the twins to Jimmy[src]

Tuco: "Hey, you. Hey, gramps! You just hit my car."
Mike: "You're talking to me?"
Tuco: "[laughs; to Nacho] Check out Mr. Magoo here. [to Mike] Yes, sir. You see that car that you parked your piece of shit next to? That's mine. You just ran into it."
―Tuco confronting Mike.[src]

Breaking Bad[]

"This kicks like a mule with his balls wrapped in duct tape!"
―Tuco after experiencing Walt's methamphetamine.[src]

"Nobody moves crystal in the South Valley but me, bitch!"
―Tuco Salamanca after savagely beating up Jesse Pinkman.

"Let me get this straight. I steal your dope, hmm? I beat the piss out of your mule boy! And then you walk in here, and you bring me more meth? That's a brilliant plan, ese."
―Tuco after Walt asks for $50,000[src]

"You got balls. I'll give you that."
―Tuco respecting Walt[src]

"Tight, tight, tight! Tight! Yeah! Blue, yellow, pink. Whatever, man. Just keep bringing me that. Come on. And what did I say, man? This guy can cook! You're all right, man. You're all right. We're going to make a lot of money together."
―Tuco after using Blue Sky for the first time.[src]

No-Doze: "Just remember who you're working for."
Tuco: "What did you say?"
No-Doze: "I'm just saying, they got to know that they're working for you."
Tuco: "Like they don't already know that? Are you saying that they're stupid?"
No-Doze: "No, I'm just saying."
Tuco: "Okay, so you're not saying that they're stupid? So I don't understand. Are you saying that I'm stupid? Is that it? Is that what you're doing?"
No-Doze: "No Tuco, come on, I'm just... I'm just saying."
Tuco: "No, you're just speaking for me! Like I ain't got the Goddamn sense to speak for myself! Is that it? Is that what you're doing?"
―Tuco and No-Doze's argument[src]

"Heisenberg says "relax." Orale, homes. I'm relaxed. I'm relaxed. I'm relaxed."
―Tuco before beating No-Doze[src]

"Damn, man! Look at that! Look! Yeah. That's messed up. Okay, Heisenberg! Next week."
―Tuco after beating No-Doze[src]

Tuco: "Heisenberg! What the hell? What's wrong with him? What's the matter with you? You can't take an ass-beating, bitch?"
Gonzo: "Oh damn, Tuco."
Tuco: "Shut up!"
Walt: "There's no pulse."
Tuco: "Do something."
Walt: "Do something? He needs an ambulance. He needs a hospital."
Tuco: "Do something! You're smart, right? Do that-Do that thing!"
―Tuco and Walt figuring out how to revive No-Doze[src]

Tuco: "Get rid of him."
Gonzo: "Look, Tuco, we can't do him like that, man. Buzzards and rats and all that. I'm just saying, you know? It's not very Christian."
Tuco: "That sounds like arguing."
―Tuco and Gonzo discussing what to do with No-Doze's body[src]

Tuco: "Empty your pockets. Thought your name was Heisenberg, "Walter Hartwell White?""
Walt: "Heisenberg is kind of a pseudonym. A business name."
Tuco: "I like doing business with a family man. There's always a lot of collateral. Answer me one thing. Can I trust you?"
Walt: "Yes. Yes, absolutely."
Tuco: "Sit down. The DEA hit my place of business this morning. About a hundred cops looking for me. You two haven't been talking, right? Picked up my whole crew, top to bottom. Everybody except Gonzo. That's weird, right? I mean, don't you think that that's weird?"
Walt: "That's weird. Yes. Unusual."
Tuco: "Unusual. Last two days, I couldn't get Gonzo on the phone. He's been acting all pouty on account of No-Doze. Explain to me, how is it my fault that that little bitch did not know his place? I saw this coming. I can see the future, you know? It's this gift that I have deep inside my head. I knew last night they were going to come and try and bust me. Gonzo went and snitched to the cops! That lousy son of a bitch! I trusted him like a brother! I was good to him! I was good! I see Gonzo, I'm going to gut him, I'm going to skin him, and I'm going to stuff his hide for a heavy bag, and every time I hit him, it's going to be like a lesson to myself! You never, never trust the people that you love!"
Jesse: "So, you plan to ice Gonzo, like, future tense?"
Tuco: "What?"
Walt: "You're saying that Gonzo is currently operating as a police informant, as far as you know? I'm very sorry to hear that. That's disappointing."
Jesse: "I'd waste him, too, yo."
Tuco: "Shut up."
Jesse: "Okay,"
―Tuco, Walt, and Jesse discussing Gonzo[src]

Tuco: "So, I was thinking last night. I came up with this great idea. Mexico."
Walt: "Mexico?"
Tuco: "We'll disappear way out in the jungle. We'll set you up in a superlab. We'll do nothing but cook 24-7. And no federales are going to mess with us, because I got my people there. Connections. We're going to make beaucoup bucks, Heisenberg."
Walt: "I have a wife and family."
Tuco: "So what? You'll get another one."
Walt: "I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I can't just uproot my life like that."
―Tuco and Walt discussing the plan of cooking meth for the Cartel[src]

Jesse: "You need me, man, 'cause I cooked that scante in your hands. I'll tell you something, yo. You never tried nothing like it. Stink or no stink, one bump, you'll be flying high for days. It's a new product him and I have been working on. Careful when you hit it. It kicks like a 12-gauge when it comes on. It's got a secret ingredient."
Tuco: "What secret ingredient?"
Jesse: "Chilli powder,"
Tuco: "I hate chili powder. This blue magic, this is money. You keep cooking this, Heisenberg. We're going to rewrite history with this. All right! Time to clean the menudo out from between your ears!"
Walt: "No, I need him, Tuco. I need him very, very badly. He's my partner. And if he doesn't go, I don't go."
Tuco: "I'll tell you this, my cousins are driving up here right now to smuggle us back down, and they're going to be here by sunset, and you're going to be on that truck, or you're going to be dead! And you, you better hope they got room in the trunk."
―Tuco discussing his cousins with Walt and Jesse[src]

"Are they punking me?"
―Tuco asking his uncle if Walt and Jesse are "punking" him.[src]

Tuco: "Tell me what you did!"
Walter: "We tried to poison you. We tried to poison you because you are an insane, degenerate piece of filth and you deserve to die."
―Walter's words to Tuco just before Jesse bashes Tuco in the face with a rock.[src]

Appearances[]

Breaking Bad[]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5A
Season 5B

Better Call Saul[]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6

Trivia[]

  • Tuco was the first person to use Blue Sky.
  • Tuco was originally supposed to be the main antagonist for most of season two, but due to Raymond Cruz finding the portrayal of the character difficult, he was killed off earlier than intended.
  • Tuco, as a distributor of the Cartel was loyal to Don Eladio Vuente. Coincidentally, Raymond Cruz once played a character going by virtually the same name, 'Eladio Buente', as part of the X-Files episode 'El Mundo Gira' in 1997.
  • In "Grilled", when Tuco throws Jesse out of the cabin, Raymond Cruz accidentally gave Aaron Paul a concussion, which he was unaware of at the time.
  • Tuco drives a 1970 Pontiac LeMans.
  • In "Grilled", Hank says that Tuco is suspected of knifing a Mexican national back in 2003. This event ends up taking place in the Better Call Saul episode "Off Brand", which happens in 2003. In it, Arturo informs Hector that Tuco knifed a man while in prison.
  • Tuco's death is the first of many firearm-related deaths featured onscreen during the entire Breaking Bad universe's production run.
  • In "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal", which takes place in 2008, Skinny Pete says that Tuco was released a year earlier, meaning he was out of prison in c. 2007 or late c. 2006 at best. However, in "Bad Choice Road", in May 2004, Lalo tells Hector that Tuco will be out of prison in 11 months, meaning that Tuco would be released sometime around April 2005. While it's possible that Tuco received more time and was released later, it's more likely Skinny Pete is misremembering how long it's been.
  • Tuco is the first chronological antagonist in the entire Breaking Bad Universe, with the last chronological antagonist being Neil Kandy in "El Camino".
  • Tuco is the only Salamanca to die on screen without Gustavo Fring being involved.
  • Tuco is the one member of the Salamanca family who's mentioned (by name) the least by Gus, excluding Gonzo who isn't mentioned by him at all.
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