In the first episode, Walter, upon seeing three men, stronger than him, teasing his son in a store, left the store, walked around it, reentered it, and kicked one of them in the back of the leg. He then proceeded to face the three down, and get them to back off.
Lesson one: don't threaten a guy - who has ready access to red phosphorus AND the knowledge to use it - with a gun. It'll not go well with you and your lungs won't forgive you for quite a while... if you don't wind up dead, that is.
Blows up an asshole lawyer's car with a squeegee across the battery. Even the other people who see it don't even bother to help him put it out as Walt just casually drives away.
Blows up Tuco's den with a few crystals of fulminate of mercury, aka mercury (II) fulminate, the stuff that makes some types of gunpowder in a cartridge go "boom!" As a notable piece, this came in the scene after Walt shaved his head bald.
In the pilot, Walt is coerced into making meth for Krazy 8 and Emilio. While doing so, he uses his knowledge of chemistry to cause the red phosphate to explode in their faces. Turning around this seemingly hopeless situation was an early indication that Walt is indeed capable of being a badass.
After Walt's borderline near-rape of her, Skyler, acknowledging she knows that Walt is going through a difficult time, firmly lets him know that his issues do not give him the right to take out his woes on her.
Walt and Jessie fighting off Tuco to escape. Punctuated by Walt's decision to just leave him there to bleed to death.
Walt's badass stroll out into the parking lot in Over as TV on the Radio's "DLZ" plays in the background, culminating in the coldly delivered line, "Stay out of my territory". The look in his eyes shows that this is the point where he realizes how much he loves being a badass.
Also Crowning Moment of Funny but when Tio is apprehended by the DEA following Tuco's death, he refuses to cooperate with them. How does he do this? By purposefully defecating himself, forcing the DEA to wheel him out. His smug grin afterwards sells it.
Skyler in the finale tearing down all of Walt's lies throughout the past two seasons. Walt goes from being totally convinced he can blow this off as usual to desperately offering to tell her everything if she'll stay in the house. The moment he starts to realize he's really in trouble?
The Cousins walking away from an exploding truck without flinching. One of them even starts smoking a cigarette.
Bryan Cranston, who directed the episode, mentioned in an interview how everyone at that shot were really excited about how badass those two guys performed that scene.
In the season 3 finale Mike storming that warehouse and killing those guys with the silenced pistol.
Mike using party balloons to disable the security at Chow's warehouse, and then using Chow's expression of sheer terror to figure out where the Cartel assassin is on the other side of a wall.
The pizza toss. Made more awesome by the fact that Bryan Cranston nailed it on the first take.
Gus pushing exactly the right buttons to get Walt back to cooking. He plays to his greed for money and power, his pride in the quality of his product, his love for his family to do anything to provide for them, and his love and respect of chemistry by showing him the state-of-the-art equipment he's procured for Walt to produce in bulk and in complete security and secrecy. Manipulative Bastardry at its finest.
Hank vs. The Cousins. Hank kills two characters shown to be axe-wielding mass-murderers with only one minute's warning. And he's unarmed to begin. And he manages to survive multiple gunshots to his torso. And he kills the 2nd cousin after being shot to hell. Holy Shit.
Gus' plan to take out his Mexican opposite number and take over the whole operation. Especially impressive in how fast he was able to put such a complex plan together, and have it work perfectly.
Skyler coming up with a complex cover story on the spot about how she and Walt are in a position to pay Hank's medical bills, even integrating Walt's "fugue state" ploy.
In the final scene of "Half Measure", Walt runs over two gang members before they could kill Jesse. He then takes the gun from the survivor and shoots him in the head. He tells Jesse to "Run!" OH MY GOD!
"Fly". Bottle Episode or not, don't you dare say that the titular fly falling dead at Walter's feet isn't awesome.
Especially since Jesse managed to luck out and get the fly while he climbed down from the ladder.
In the premiere, Skyler figuring out exactly what Walt's been up to the last two seasons. Walt's stunned.
The finale "Full Measure". As Victor and Mike prepare to kill Walt, he tricks them into letting him call Jesse under the pretense he'll sell him out. It's actually so he can tell Jesse what's going on and tell him to kill Gale, giving him the leverage to have Gus keep him alive. The best part is the Oh, Crap reaction Victor and Mike give Walt as he recites Gale's address and they realize what he's done.
Walter: You might want to hold off.
Mike: Yeah? (Cocks gun) Why?
Walter: Because your boss is gonna need me. 6353 Juan Tabo, Apartment 6.
It's so incredibly unlike him that even Mike jumps back in shock.
Jesse also has to be recognized here: As Walt is struggling not to vomit, Jesse, who's been catatonic for the whole episode after killing Gale, looks at Gus with an unflinching "bring it on" gaze. Badass.
Mike calmly listening to Walt's case that they should team up to kill Gus, and then walloping him right in the middle of the bar without a word.
Skyler swindling away the car wash Walt used to work at to use to launder their drug money, for less money than she originally offered and telling the owner straight out it's because she doesn't like him.
Mike killing two Cartel gunmen who attack a shipment, followed by simply acting slightly annoyed when he realizes part of his ear was shot off.
Hank figuring out Gus' role in things by following a seemingly ridiculous hunch and tricking Gus into pretty much giving him his fingerprints.
"I am not in danger, Skyler! I am the danger! A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks."
Gus' Unflinching Walk through a hail of bullets, calling out the the Cartels sniper bluff that they won't kill him.
Gus killing Don Eladio and all his capos with poisoned Tequila. To get them to drink it, he first has to drink a shot himself, then lets slip nothing for a while afterwards, until he finally asks to use the bathroom shortly before the poison will take effect so he can throw it up. And even when he's alone, he still goes through the process as calmly and methodically as possible. Afterwards he starts feeling some of the effects, but still manages to shout to the survivors that their boss is dead, so they should just grab some stuff from the corpses and leave. He's pretty much becoming a bigger Magnificent Bastard with every new scene by now.
The scene also includes Mike garroting the Cartel's sniper, and Jesse gunning down the one Cartel member left before driving away with the seriously wounded Mike and poisoned Gus.
After Gus recovers, he makes sure to visit Don Salamanca's nursing home to make sure he knows what happened, and who it was who did it. He tells him that Jesse killed the only blood he had left on earth, and the cartel he worked his whole life for is exterminated. An incredible example of Best Served Cold I've seen, especially since Don Salamanca is the one who killed Gus' best friend/surrogate brother/very possible lover.
Jesse talking down to a Cartel cook who could very well kill him at any moment, lambasting him for having a filthy lab and inadequate preparation to cook the immaculate blue meth. While Gus and Mike allow themselves the slightest of grins.
Walt's Kansas City Shuffle over the season's final two episodes in which he murders Gus. Awesome because it retroactively highlights his transition from Action Survivor fearing for his family's lives to Magnificent Bastard drug kingpin, especially the Lily Of The Valley he kept in his backyard, signifying he was a few more steps ahead of Gus than we all thought he was.
Jesse driving in a go-kart track, taking out his frustration, while yelling at the top of his lungs. It sends shivers down one's spine.
Gus and his henchmen are walking to his car, which, little do they know, has been rigged to explode by Walter. On his way, Gus begins to sense that something is amiss. He stops before entering the car, walks over to a view of the city from the hospital parking garage and starts gazing out at the city. He is not entirely sure if Walt is on one of the buildings in the distance with binoculars, freaking out due to the sheer fact that his target has already seen through his plan. It doesn't matter. Gus just walks away, leaving his car behind... Damn.
He dies later on, but still.
After the bomb explodes, Gus coolly walks out of the room and adjusts his tie as if nothing has happened. And then we see that he missing half his face, and he drops dead.
What's especially powerful about Gus' death is that it's perfectly in character. There is no sense of remorse or spite. No, Gus retains his dignity until the very end. What might have been a lesser character's Villainous Breakdown, Gus merely adjusts his tie, and and gives a stoic, nonchalant look into space, as if too say "well played, Walter." Probably the greatest death scene in the entire show.
Equally awesome is Salamanca's death in the same way, a character who had been helpless and immobile for the entire run of the series up until this point gives Gus the Death Glare to end all death glares before finally getting revenge for the deaths of his family members, as well as going out in a blaze of glory.
Even the promo for Season 5 contains one. Saul is trying to quit as Walt's lawyer, when Walt stands, gets in Saul's face and growls "We're done when I say we're done."
The season's opening scene: a flashforward where Walt makes an illicit deal which leaves him with a car key. Then it turns out he was actually buying what was in the trunk of the car: a freaking M60 MACHINE GUN.
Jesse actually gets to save his, Walt's and Mike's bacon with his Crazy Enough to Work idea of using a junkyard magnet to erase Gus' laptop while it's in the evidence room.
He tops this with his idea to rob a train, without anyone ever knowing.
Mike getting the drop on another hitman by leaving one of his granddaughter's toys knocking against the door.
The crew needs to come up with a way to cook while hiding in plain sight. So Walt comes up with the most brilliant, most audacious idea ever - they create a mobile lab and cook in other people's houses, posing as a pest control company.
Skyler telling Marie what the entire audience has wanted to tell her since the series began: "Shut up! Shut up! Just shut up!"
Mike dealing a nasty blow to Walt's ego and neatly summing up Gus's legacy, all with just one line. "Just because you shot Jesse James, don't make you Jesse James."
When Walt goes completely Heisenberg on Skyler, tearing down each of her plans to protect their kids from him, she finally shuts him up by simply stating that her only real plan is to hold out and hope his cancer comes back. And 90% of the viewers voted that they agreed with her.
Also, her awesome jab: "I thought YOU were the danger."
"Dead Freight". Two words: train heist!. Totally successful one too, up until the last minute of the episode where Todd shoots a child witness
Walt MacGyvering his way out of zipcuffs with an exposed wire from a coffee machine, which he holds on the cuffs until they break even as it also burns his wrist.
Todd getting punched by Jesse counts after Todd tries to rationalize shooting a child dead.
"Say My Name":
Walt's deal to keep his meth business while making his competitors into his employees, culminating in a killer Say My Name moment. "You're goddamn right."
Mike's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Walt, and after this drives Walt to shoot him, his last words are still telling Walt "Shut the fuck up, and let me die in peace."
Walt and Jesse arguing about Jesse leaving the meth trade, culminating in Jesse walking out while Walt yells at him.
"Gliding Over All" gives us two memorable montages:
All ten "loose ends" getting killed in prison in increasingly brutal fashion, including one being burnt alive. All of them are pulled off in the space of two minutes.
Walt and Todd pulling off multiple cooks while Lydia cooperates with sending their meth business off to the Czech Republic.
"You got me!" and Hank's look of sheer disbelief afterwards.
Skyler telling Lydia to get the hell out of the car wash.
Skyler: Get out of here. Now. Lydia: Excuse me? Skyler: Never come back here. Do you understand me? Lydia: I... Skyler:Go.
Jesse having a smoke in Saul's waiting room to piss off Huell and the mean receptionist. Smoking Is Cool taken to maximum proportions.
"It was you. All along it was YOU!" And the punch that preceded it.
"Maybe your best course of action would be to tread lightly."
Hell, the entire garage scene was this, for both the characters and the actors.
Marie slapping Skyler when she learns the whole truth, including that Skyler knew exactly what was going on when Hank was shot by the Cousins. And then she tells Hank to do whatever it takes to bring Walt down.
Next episode, she doubles down and tells Walt to his face that maybe he should kill himself if he really wants this drama to go away.
Jessie realizing that Walter was the one who poisoned Brock. He beats a confession out of Saul (something that he hasn't had previous direct exposure to), steals a gun from him and drives to Walt's house and starts soaking the inside with gasoline.
Aaron Paul's performance counts through the entire thing. It's a near perfect mixture of betrayal, sadness and rage all in one package. It was so good that many critics and viewers are already saying he's a lock for another Emmy nomination and probable win.
Walt's confession: claiming Hank was the real mastermind who used him as a patsy, and tying in several events across the show's history to give him a completely airtight case if Hank doesn't stop chasing him. And all while giving a flawless performance as the kind of person he was when the show started.
Also, it's the smuggest way to deliver the real kicker of the tape: that even if Hank decides to risk it and try to bring Walt down, he's already lost, since Marie used Walt's drug money to pay for his treatment.
Hank convincing Jesse to back off his rash decision to commit arson, and in spite of their past history, treating him fairly decently. (well, mostly)
Jesse having the courage to tell everything he knows about Walter White and to contradict Hank and Gomez regarding how they think Walter White will handle his meeting with Jesse. And on top of that, Jesse rattling Walter's cage right at the end.
Hank and Jesse work together to create a brilliant plan to trap Walt with hard evidence against him. It culminates in the arrest taking place completely in real time, letting us see every single step as Heisenberg is brought down. Normally this kind of thing would come off as Padding, but here the show has earned every single second of the moment it's been building towards for five seasons.
And the fact that they do it with little more than a camera phone, a barbecue pit, intimate knowledge of how Walt will react, and brains (no, literally)...
Jesse spitting on Heisenberg. Considering the way Walt used and abused Jesse over the course of his career as "Heisenberg", it's a very awesome comeback.
My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself.
Walt Jr/Flynn on the same day he finds out his father is Heisenberg, tackles him off of Skyler when they start to fight, then calls the police on Walt right in front of him. This from a kid who's needed crutches to walk for the whole series.
Walt's last phone call to Skyler. With the understanding that the speech is meant to absolve Skyler from any culpability.
"Ozymandias" itself, is one for the cast and crew. It not only broke the show's viewing record, getting 6.37 million viewers, it also received unprecedented acclaim from critics and fans alike. Many critics are hailing it as, not only the best episode in the series, but a contender for the best single episode in television history! Accompanying this, it has a perfect 10/10 on IMDB with nearly 56,000 people having rated it, the only item on the entire site that has such a score from so many people.
Saul gets one in "Granite State". Finally growing a spine, he says two words to Walt he should have said 2 seasons ago: "It's over".
Jesse's escape from his prison. Even though he doesn't get out of the compound, the sheer fact that he managed to get out of his outside dungeon is pretty damn awesome.
Walt Jr's long overdue "Reason You Suck" Speech to Walt in "Granite State". While it doubles as a Tear Jerker since Walt had become more sympathetic after realizing the consequences of his actions, it was still nice to see the character locked out of the loop the longest outright refuse his father's money and furiously remind Walt of his role in Hank's death.
At the end of Granite State, Walt storms out of the New Hampshire bar after seeing a news report of blue meth still circulating and Gray Matter refusing to acknowledge any of his contributions to the company. What really sells this scene, though, is the full Breaking Bad theme playing as policemen arrive at an empty bar.
Meta-example: The viewership for "Granite State." It was competing against Sunday Night Football, the series finale of Dexter, and, in the Eastern and Central time zones, the Emmy awards, and it still managed to break the show's viewing record, getting 6.58 million viewers.
Ed nonchalantly telling Saul that it'll be about 2 days to erase his identity and give him a new life in Nebraska.
The entire finale is one for Walt. He has become a full Magnificent Bastard and demonstrates it with full gusto, executing an obviously well-laid plan one step at a time to ultimately get everything he could hope for at this point — money for his children, freedom for Skyler and Jesse, a proper burial for Hank and Gomez, vengeance on Jack, Todd, Lydia, and their associates, and death on his own terms.
Walt gunning down the Neo-Nazis with an automatic machine gun. And then killing Jack, even though it means he'll never see his money.
Scumbag though he may be, Jack taking his One Last Smoke before dying is pretty ballsy.
Jesse killing Todd by strangling him with his handcuffs. Accompanied by a rather satisfying sound of Todd's neck snapping.
Walt again telling Lydia over the phone that he poisoned her with the ricin.
Jesse getting in a car and driving at high speeds, busting through the gates in the process. The joy in his face and the freedom he has regained makes it a awesome ending for him.
Jesse telling Walt again to just give him the honest truth for once, and this time it works. And then Jesse still doesn't kill him, refusing to let Walt dictate anything about his life anymore, a far more fitting revenge in the end.
This is even more impressive considering the series started with less than a million viewers and before 2013, its record was 2.9 million viewers. With the Final Eight, it saw an astronomical increase, it shattering its own viewing record four times.
The entire Final Eight for the cast and crew. It's hard to think of a more intense, emotionally-compelling and wonderfully written ending to a beloved series than this.
Anthony Hopkins binge-watched the entire series in two weeks and then sent a letter to Bryan Cranston praising the show and Cranston in particular, calling his performance as Walter White "the best acting [he's] seen - ever."
Anthony Hopkins: Thank you. That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence.
The show pretty much sweeping the 2014 Primetime Emmys, winning Series, Writing (for the series' best episode, "Ozymandias") and acting for Cranston, Paul, AND Gunn. Notably, the show was one of the very few to win the top prize in drama for a final season (alongside The Sopranos and Upstairs Downstairs), and Cranston was able to pull out the victory over a heavy favorite in Matthew McConaughey (for True Detective). Take into account the win for Editing it received at the Creative Arts Ceremony, and Breaking Bad earned 6 prizes for its final season, the most it ever received in a single year. Just. Awesome.
In addition, despite ending almost a year before, you would be hard-pressed to find too many people complaining about the wins it took. This was a series that truly deserved the praise that it got.