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AnalysisFebruary 4, 2015

Bad Week: Serious Breaking Bad Data Journalism

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Alex Casey heads down to The Spinoff lab to mix up a beaker of piping hot Breaking Bad stats. Some of them are made up, most of them are realer than a meth head squashed by an ATM. //

There are loads of good infographics out there about Breaking Bad. Want to see a colourising chart of every outfit worn by every character throughout the course of the show? Here you go. Want to see how many babies in the UK were named Skyler and Walt during Breaking Bad‘s broadcast. Have this for free.

I wanted to do some research into the actual stats of the show itself, so I assembled this precisely engineered batch of intel – ready to be bagged up and tossed into some Los Pollos Hermanos batter and transported straight to your brain. Some of it is quantitative, well recorded data. The rest? Based on the statistical method of ‘vibes’. Hope you enjoy.

Deaths and Births Throughout Breaking Bad

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The Breaking Bad universe is not the most fertile in the television landscape. Throughout the five seasons, we welcomed only one new life into the methy mayhem – sweet baby Holly. Births aside, the death rate on the show spikes with the Wayfarer 515 plane crash in season two, and then slowly climbs again to the mass machine-gun-boot-massacre in season five. RIP everyone, basically.

Causes of Death in the Breaking Bad world

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Again, that damn plane crash has thrown our numbers a bit, but here are the ways you are most likely to die on Breaking Bad. If you are at ground level, guns are going to be the biggest threat to you, closely followed by poisoning by Stevia or otherwise. My advice if you live in Alburquerque would be to avoid flying, wear a bulletproof vest and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Death Toll Per Breaking Bad Character

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There are a lot of stone cold killers in Breaking Bad, and this graph breaks down their murderous moves throughout the show. Walt takes the cake, being responsible for almost the most first hand kills (those Neo Nazis sure did rake in a bountiful body count though), a fair share of second hand kills via his season five prison cull, and being pretty much responsible for the crash of Wayfarer 515. Poor Donald Margolis doesn’t deserve to be on here with these demons, but his bad day at air traffic control is a difficult one to ignore.

 The Meth Making Process According to Breaking Bad

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I dropped out of chemistry in fifth form, so it’s hard for me to comprehend the meth-making world in a scientific way. Turning to the montages of Breaking Bad for help, this seems like a reasonable snap shot of how meth is made.

What is the Name of Walt’s Son?

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Walt Jr’s decision to be called Flynn in season two is a way of him distancing himself from his father. The use of this new name fluctuates throughout the show. It’s important to note who calls him what during various periods – Skyler calls him Flynn initially in order to side against Walt, and then returns to Walt Jr towards the end as she desperately tries to keep their family together. Marie calls him Flynn the whole time, because Marie just does whatever the hell she wants.

Jesse Pinkman’s Most Used Phrases

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After perusing many hilarious supercuts of the show, the tally stands as thus. Despite what you might think, Jesse doesn’t say “bitch” every second word. It’s most certainly his catchphrase, but one overshadowed by the placeholder/voicemail greeting/exclamation “yo”. Kafkaesque is another stand out Jesse phrase, used sparingly because it’s evident that he has no idea what it means. Or does he? Hmm, kafkaesque writing for sure.

Hank Schrader’s Hobbies

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Just an accurate charting of Hank’s most valued activities on the show. His brewing really took a dive after El Paso, which is when getting shot and buying minerals took the reigns. He also loves to go for a nice panic attack in a lift or a car when he’s got the time. It’s good to have a range of hobbies.

Lightbox users: watch Breaking Bad by clicking here.

Everyone else: click here to start your free trial (12 months for Spark customers; 30 days for everyone else).

‘Bad Week’ is a weeklong celebration of Breaking Bad ahead of the launch of its prequel Better Call Saul on Lightbox next week.



Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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