Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Breaking Bad: Salamanca Family

Go To

Character subpage for the Salamancas, a Juarez Cartel crime family in Breaking Bad. For the main page, see here.

For tropes about these characters when they appear in Better Call Saul, click here.

    open/close all folders 

The Family



Hector Salamanca
"La familia es todo." note 

Portrayed By: Mark Margolis


An ex-capo who worked Don Eladio and Tuco's uncle. Hector is confined to a wheelchair thanks to a stroke, and can only communicate with a bell.

  • Abusive Parents: His actual children are unseen, but he was a parental figure to the Cousins and presumably Tuco as well. In "One Minute", he beats the "family is all" mantra into his nephews, Marco and Leonel by drowning the former and forcing the latter to save him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The absolute sadness and anger his face expresses right before he commits Murder-Suicide on Gus, as he was the only one left from his family and even the cartel at that point, kind of makes you feel sorry for him.
  • Angry Eyebrows: He spends two whole seasons refusing to look Gus in the eye. When he finally does, he really makes it count.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Gus after shooting his best friend (and possible lover), Max, in cold blood before forcing him to look into the eyes of the corpse.
  • Ax-Crazy: In flashbacks, he is revealed to have been a particularly sadistic member of the Juarez Cartel who possessed a pronounced lack of empathy towards those outside the organization and was horribly abusive towards his own family (even while professing to value them above all things). In this manner, he served as the role model for his Ax-Crazy nephews, Tuco and the Salamanca Twins.
  • Bait the Dog: Moments before his death, Gus again tries and fails to get Hector to look at him. He goes to inject Hector with poison, and Hector suddenly gives him a (weirdly) compassionate look, which stuns Gus. The glance turns into an expression of pure wrath, and Hector kills everyone in the room.
  • Bald of Evil: Is mostly bald and one of the evilest characters featured on the show.
  • Battle Trophy: The service bell is a gory reminder of the time that he and Lalo burned down a hotel and tortured the manager. Most likely the hotel manager refused to pay them protection money.
  • Beard of Evil: Has one while housing with Tuco, but is afterward cleanshaven for the rest of his screen time.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: When brought in to the station as a witness against Jesse following Tuco's death, he refuses to respond to any questions except those regarding the current location and date, and that was just to make sure he wasn't senile. He finishes his interrogation by shitting on the station floor. As Gomez points out, an "OG Latino gangbanger" would never help the feds.
  • Best Served Cold: Gus waits until Hector reawakens to cancel his physical therapy. Effectively trapping his conscious mind in a dumb, motionless body with only one working index finger. One finger is all Hector needs to kill Gus.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed. Hector's wheelchair self-destructs and takes out his would-be executioners.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: One of the most epic examples in TV history when he decides to spite Hank and Gomez instead of ratting Jesse out. It is loud to say the least and some of it makes it to the floor.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Hector seems to be a relatively unimportant character until he's brought back in season 3, then plays an even bigger role in season 4.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Who would have thought that Tuco's crippled uncle would ultimately be the one to take out Gus Fring?
  • The Consigliere: To Don Eladio before being usurped by Gus.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Hector never trusted Gus, and advised against letting him into the cartel. He also underestimated Gus, believing he was all hat and no cattle. Gus might have been a loyal soldier, but Eladio and Hector wanted to make sure he knew his place. So they executed his friend and recruited Gus by fiat. This would have dire consequences for the cartel.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Hector pretty much fits this trope, since he used to be a cruel killer for the Cartel and, thanks to Nacho's medicine tampering, is now confined to a wheelchair and needs a nasal cannula.
  • Death Glare: Gives Gus one of the greatest ever in "Face Off", as seen here.
  • The Determinator: In an impressive display of will and determination, he protects his nephew, Tuco, by shoving a ricin-laden burrito intended for him off the dinner table despite being physically handicapped by a stroke. Similarly, he lifts himself up out of his wheelchair to void his bowels just for the sake of crudely insulting his DEA captors.
  • Dirty Old Man: Implied, when Tuco assumes that Hector's anger at Walt and Jesse stems from their changing the channel from his "Mamacitas". He also has a habit of knocking his water to the ground so the nurse has to bend over to pick it up and give him a shot of her ass.
  • Disabled Snarker: In "Face Off" when he goes to the DEA and attempts to have his nurse spell out SUCK MY DICK and FUCK YOU to Hank.
  • The Dragon: Was once this for Don Eladio, that is, until Eladio cut him off in favor of Gus's distribution system and Nacho induced a stroke out of Hector.
  • The Dreaded: During his tenure as a veteran enforcer for the Juarez Cartel. This is evidenced when he brazenly urinates in Don Eladio's pool in full view of Juan Bolsa and swiftly silences the latter's protest by daring him to snitch. Similarly, the impact he left on fearsome gangsters such as Tuco and the Salamanca Twins is so strong and pervasive that he can command their complete attention even in his infirmity with a simple "ding" of his bell.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome. In "Face Off."
  • End of an Age: Hector derisively referred to Gus as "Chicken Man" because he didn't understand the logic in laundering drugs through a front business. Hector's other weakness is that he resorted to bullying when he didn't get his way. Gus and Lalo are politicians who understand the value of not showing your hand.
  • Enemy Mine: He hates Walt and Jesse. However, he hates the DEA and Gus even more, and refuses to rat Jesse out to the former in season 2, and grudgingly teams up with Walt to kill the latter in the finale of season 4.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: There is a framed picture of him, a child, and two baby twins seen in the nursing home he is kept in during the last episode of season 4. The kids are Tuco and the Salamanca twins. A flashback reveals that Salamanca believes that "family is all," which is why they're all so Ax-Crazy about avenging each other. He even keeps Eladio's necklace on the photo frame. In fact, the first sign that Walt and Jesse get that he has mental faculties intact is when he knocks Tuco's burrito to the floor to stop them from poisoning him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He'll never help the feds. Not if he was in jail for over a decade. Or if it was to help avenge the death of his beloved nephew. Even for the guy who killed everybody he ever knew, he would rather blow himself up than turn him in to the DEA.
  • Evil Cripple: His stroke hasn't made him any less of an evil Jerkass.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Old school gangster Hector refuses to ever talk to the authorities under any circumstances, even if it's for a chance to avenge his murdered nephew. So what does he do when Hank and Gomez call him in to talk about Jesse? His lets out the loudest, wettest shit in television history right in the middle of the interrogation.
    • Similarly, as part of the plan to lure Gus to him, Hector calls in Merkert and Hank to pretend he'll talk. Instead, he has the orderlies spell out "Suck my dick" and "fuck you", at which point the two of them take their leave.
  • Evil Mentor: To Tuco and the Salamanca Twins, Leonel and Marco, whom are trained by him to be a drug trafficker and professional assassins respectively.
  • Evil Old Folks: Even before his stroke, he was a bad-tempered old man who resorted to violence if you tested his patience.
  • Evil Uncle: He is the uncle of Tuco and The Cousins, and has a history of treating them very abusively (emphasis on the cousins) and is implied to be the reason for why they have become the maniacs they are today.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Instead of letting Gus kill him, he chooses to stare his Arch-Enemy in the eyes and blows himself up, dying on his own terms while taking Gus with him.
  • Fake Defector: An old-school gangster-like Hector would never become an informant, but Gus was too blinded by his vendetta to realize that.
  • False Flag Operation: On Walt's suggestion, he pretends that he's going to snitch to the DEA to cause Gus to finally kill him, drawing him into the range of Hector's wheelchair bomb to kill him for good.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Subjected to one of these by Gus, whose friend he killed. Gus shows up to see the crippled and decrepit Hector, describe in vivid detail the deaths of Cartel members he orchestrated or carried out, and taunts him about whether or not today will be the day that he finally kills him. Made even worse once Gus has killed every last one of his living family members.
  • Foreshadowing: The flashbacks of upright Hector. His deck chair in the park resembles a wheelchair.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Expresses relief that he can go out like a real gangster and avenge his family.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He is implied to be the man chiefly responsible for transforming the Salamanca family into one of the leading forces within the Juarez Cartel. He also bears the most responsibility for moulding Leonel, Marco, and Tuco into murderous, sadistic maniacs, as well as transforming Gus into the man he would become due to killing Max.
  • Honor Before Reason: Has the opportunity to have Jesse dead to rights when it came to implicating him to the DEA. Only problem is Hector refuses to be a rat, even for someone partially responsible for the death of his nephew. Justified since he has the Cousins for settling this type of problem.
    • This also extends to Gus and continues even in the fourth season, when his entire family is dead and the cartel is destroyed. Completely severed from the high level crime he was deeply entrenched in, he is in a unique position to turn the DEA on his hated enemy, but even then he keeps his mouth shut.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In a flashback to his younger days, Hector takes a call from Eladio and expresses his lack of regard for Gus, dismissing him and all "South Americans" as "filthy" and immoral. As soon as he hangs up, he waterboards one of his nephews with an ice chest.
  • Ironic Hell: Of sorts: the reason Gus keeps demanding that Hector look at him is in retaliation for Hector shooting Gus's best friend Max and forcing him to stare into his dead friend's eyes.
  • Jerkass: Even without his abusive parenting and stone-cold personality, he is still a grade-A asshole. Dude pisses in his boss' pool and threatens Mike's granddaughter.
  • Last of His Kind: After Gus' murder of Don Eladio and company, he is the last surviving member of the Salamanca family and the Juarez Cartel.
  • Meaningful Name: "Hector" means "to restrain" in Greek. He is restrained in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank. He also does a good job of restraining Walt and Jesse when they were held captive.
  • Mutual Kill: He ultimately takes out Gus in a suicide bombing.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Played with. When Walt and Jesse see that he's paralyzed, they assume he's not mentally cognizant and quietly discuss their scheme right in front of him. Hector does nothing to challenge their perception until he knocks Tuco's ricin-laced burrito off the table, whereupon they realize he's much craftier than he appears.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: He can only communicate with a bell. Once for yes, nothing for no.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The first sign that Walt and Jesse get that he isn't completely senile is when he forces himself to knock Tuco's burrito to the floor, showing that he realized they had poisoned him. This moment also makes Tuco realize that they had tried to do something to him.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In a flashback in "One Minute", he derides Gus as a "dirty South American". Then, in a flashback in "Hermanos", he manages to direct several disrespectful barbs at Gus and Max in the space of several minutes — namely targeting their races and sexualities.
  • Professional Killer: His Cartel days.
  • Retired Monster: By circumstance rather than choice.
  • The Speechless: He's unable to speak due to his stroke. We only hear him speak in two flashbacks here, as well as in Better Call Saul.
  • Suicide Attack: In the Season 4 finale, with the help of Walter, he lures Gus into a bombing in which both are killed.
  • Taking You with Me: He blows himself up so he can take Gus down with him.
  • Tough Love: Hector's way of educating his nephews may be brutal, but he genuinely loves them. Losing family members seems to be his biggest fear and is what Gus uses to torment him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He drowns Marco almost to death in a childhood flashback, and Better Call Saul shows him using the Cousins to threaten to kill Mike's granddaughter.
  • You Killed My Father: Killed Gus's "brother" Max.


Tuco Salamanca
"Nobody moves crystal in the South Valley but me, bitch!"

Portrayed By: Raymond Cruz

"I like doing business with a family man. There's always a lot of collateral."

Walt and Jesse's first boss. Freshly released from prison after doing a stint for assaulting Mike Ehrmantraut in a road rage incident, Tuco is an unstable, paranoid man who snorts meth all day. At first Walter (and reluctantly Jesse) want to be Tuco's main supplier, but they change their minds when they witness Tuco beating one of his subordinates to death over a minor misunderstanding. And by "minor misunderstanding," we mean being supportive.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: He's undeniably demented, but it's never specified where his signs of mental illness come from. Judging by his extreme temper tantrums, sadistic brutality, and extreme lack of empathy, Tuco seems to be a low-functioning sociopath, but he's certainly more complicated, particularly if you consider that he's a regular drug user. He's extremely emotional, erratic, wrathful, explosive, and absolutely frightening Mood-Swinger, sounds incredibly devastated and saddened by possible treason, rambles, and is deeply loyal and protective towards Hector and his family, traits generally associated with a borderline personality disorder.
  • Arc Villain: Tuco serves as the preeminent threat to Walt and Jesse from his introduction towards the end of the first season, until his death at the beginning of Season 2. Subsequently, his organization ceases to pose a direct threat to the series' protagonists until more than a season later (by which time Gus Fring has all but eclipsed them as the story's foremost antagonist).
  • Asshole Victim: It's outright cathartic when Jesse and Walt get payback on Tuco, and even moreso when Hank kills him, considering how much of a psychotic prick he was.
  • Ax-Crazy: It's impossible to overstate just how murderously insane Tuco is. He snorts meth off a Bowie knife right out of the bag, he's almost always screaming, and is perfectly capable of beating someone to death just for talking out of turn. After he dies, being "another Tuco" is shorthand between Walt and Jesse for someone possibly being Ax-Crazy.
  • Bad Boss: His underlings are terrified of him and for good reason. Tuco's mental instability and rampant drug use mean he can and will kill you for the most spurious of reasons, most of which exist only within the twisted logic of his own head. He kills No-Doze for saying something supportive.
    Jesse: Did you not see him beat a dude to death for, like, nothing?
  • Berserk Button: Betrayal, thinking Gonzo flipped on him, messing with his uncle, becoming distraught when he thought Walter and Jesse did something to harm the old man, trying to mozy on his turf, beating Jesse half to death with the money the latter asked for his cash upfront, or speaking for him like he has no sense to speak for himself, as No-Doze can attest. The list could go on and on...
  • Big Bad: Of season 1. Although Krazy-8 was the first antagonist in the series, in the end, he was just a small-time thug. Contrasting this, Tuco is the first big shot to introduce the Cartels and represents a far more dangerous threat to Walt.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Hank finally takes him out with a well-aimed shot to the forehead.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being a hollering, red-faced lunatic, he is nonetheless one of the Cartel's most reliable and trusted enforcers according to Juan Bolsa. It seems likely his terrifying reputation kept everyone in line and eager to please.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Tuco doesn't think at all. He still manages to engage in a gunfight with Hank after being hit in the head with a rock, shot at close range, and kicked into a ditch.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He has shades of this, notably when he brutally pummels one of his thugs for his own sadistic gratification and then is irrationally furious when the man dies as a result. The same goes for the time he beat up Mike over a (staged) fender bender.
  • The Determinator: After being critically wounded by a gunshot from Jesse, he engages in a pitched gunfight with Hank, and holds his own for a couple of volleys before being killed.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Tuco was planned to last longer, but at the actor's request, he ends up dead early in Season 2: a victim of his own impulsive decisions.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A logical explanation to why he beat No-Doze to death, as Tuco really hates the idea that he isn't capable or needs support from others (besides his family and certain close ones).
  • Drugs Are Bad: Though he's frighteningly erratic at the best of times, after some meth, he typically becomes sadistically violent. He once killed a man named Dog Paulsen by shooting him point-blank with a shotgun, while hopping up on a peanut butter crank.
  • Enfant Terrible: In his childhood, if the family photograph in "Face Off" is anything to go by. The picture depicts him standing casually, but glowering at the camera.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He's on the verge of tears upon realizing that his brother-in-law Gonzo might have betrayed him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Despite being an awful person, he still gladly takes care of his elderly uncle, who apparently beat the "family is all" mantra into all the young Salamancas. He also notably becomes extremely distressed when he thinks that Walt or Jesse interfered with Hector in some way. Better Call Saul shows him also taking care of his beloved grandmother.
    • In his own words, Tuco loves Gonzo like his blood brother. Most notably, Tuco never mistreats Gonzo like he does No-Doze. The possibility that Gonzo might have turned rat hurts him deeply.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He is so horrifyingly Ax-Crazy and proudly shows it off in every single scene he is in.
  • Evil Is Petty: He literally beats his subordinate to death for simply reminding Walter to remember to only work for Tuco, because he found this disrespectful... Or he just wanted an excuse to become violent.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Wrath. He has very, very short-fuse, and would quickly resort to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown towards anyone he feels has disrespected him or his family. On one hand, this makes him rather predictable, but at the same, all the more terrifying by the unpredictability of what will set him off. In fact, his unpredictable anger and violence issues are what drove Walt and Jesse to poison him after witnessing him beat No-Doze to death for over "nothing", and during the time where they were making the ricin, Gonzo's accidental death from trying to give a proper burial for No-Doze causes the cops to find the location of Tuco's operation and nearly arrested him again.
    • His drug addiction serves as another flaw. It not only makes his bad temper and mood swings worser, but Walt tries to take advantage of this by lacing the Blue Sky meth with ricin and saying to Tuco that gets the user higher than ever. If wasn't for outside interference, Tuco's addiction would have done him in rather than getting killed by Hank.
  • Freudian Excuse: Possibly. Bolsa mentions that Hector instructed him in the drug cartel business and treated him like a son. Judging by the glimpse of Hector's shockingly brutal parenting methods in "Sunset" coupled with Tuco's glaringly apparent signs of mental illness, it is heavily implied that the time Tuco spent with his uncle left him extremely traumatized.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: Part of what makes him so dangerous is that he is constantly snorting the very meth that he's supposed to sell or peddle, making his already pretty bad temper even worse.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Tuco is constantly one broken shoelace away from attacking whoever's at hand. He dishes out No Holds Barred Beatdowns like candy with his victims including Mike, Jesse, and No-Doze.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: He unloads an entire M4 magazine at Hank and doesn't hit him once, Hank manages to shoot him in the head while he was reloading. Justified because at the time Tuco had a severe gunshot wound to the abdomen, and was probably high on drugs as well. He was also blazing away on fully automatic from the hip while jerking around, while Hank actually crouched and used his gun's sights. No surprise that he hit nothing but air.
  • Insane Troll Logic: He somehow comes to the conclusion that Gonzo was a DEA informant, with no other evidence beyond the facts Gonzo has been acting "pouty" over the death of No-Doze and hasn't been able to get in contact with him for two days.
    • When No-Doze tells Walt and Jesse "Don't forget who you work for." — a statement that would sound like mere emphasis or supportiveness to any saner mind — Tuco gets unusually stern, asking No-Doze why he felt the need to say that, saying that he was implying the two were stupid. When No-Doze denies this as tactfully as he can, Tuco comes to the conclusion that No-Doze is implying that Tuco is stupid and reacts accordingly.
  • Jerkass: He's aggressive, violent and extremely confrontational. There are times when there's absolutely nothing you can say to save yourself.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The first couple of episodes had Black Comedy and the Jesse/Walt Odd Couple, but the Tuco arc was very dark and dramatic in comparison. Things became more humorous after his death but were still darker than in Season 1.
  • Large Ham: In direct contrast to the other, more understated villains in the show. Tuco screams, postures, boasts, and goes off the rails.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is Spanish slang for "rat" or "little terrorist".
  • Mood-Swinger: When we first meet him, he's actually fairly quiet which makes him seem like a character who's all business. Then he gets a whiff of Walter's meth, and we see how he really is. His moods always run to the extreme, and he can go from being happy at a successful business arrangement to beating someone to death in an instant.
  • The Napoleon: He goes eye to eye with Jesse (Raymond Cruz is 5'7", which is just a little shorter than Aaron Paul's height), yet is probably one of the most unstable and terrifying villains on the show.
  • No Indoor Voice: When he's not speaking quietly, he's shouting at the top of his lungs.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He shows various signs of this. In addition to being prone to violent tantrums, Tuco possesses a highly impulsive personality which often leads him to make rash judgments with little forethought of the consequences. This is evidenced by the shock and distress he displays when one of his thugs dies after he gives him a fatal beating. He also appears to have considerable difficulty comprehending (let alone genuinely empathizing with) others' needs and feelings aside from his uncle, Hector, whom he both fears and idolizes. This is made apparent by his response to Walt's protest over his plan to take him to Mexico, on the grounds that he has a family: "So what? You'll get another one."
  • Rasputinian Death: Gets hit on the head with a rock, shot at point-blank range on the abdomen, kicked and beat, shoved into a ditch (all of which is the work of Jesse), then finally shot in the head by Hank.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Tuco was apparently supposed to be on the show a bit longer, but actor Raymond Cruz didn't enjoy playing such a disturbed character for so long and asked to be written out. As he was originally planned to be one of the Big Bads later on, Tuco's early death caused the creation of Gus. Cruz did return to play the part again for Better Call Saul.
  • Real Men Cook: Seems to be a pretty decent one. He makes burritos for himself, Walt, Jesse, and his uncle, and Better Call Saul sees him cooking lunch in an apron.
  • Shout-Out: His first name may be a reference to Eli Wallach's character in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's only in four episodes, but his death has profound consequences for a lot of characters, namely Hank for doing it and Walt and Jesse for largely being responsible for it. His death is what sends the Cousins after all of them, causing long term effects for the rest of the series.
  • Starter Villain: He's the first Big Bad in the series following Krazy-8's Warm-Up Boss status, and introduces the Cartels.
  • Stock "Yuck!": Walter's ricin-infused meth gets turned down when Jessie oversells it as his recipe by claiming it contains his secret ingredient: chili powder.
    "I hate chili powder."
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He dies two episodes into Season 2.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: Shortly before beating an underling to death anyway.

    The Cousins 

"The Cousins" Leonel & Marco Salamanca

Portrayed By: Daniel and Luis Moncada

"Hemos esperado suficiente. No vamos a esperar más."

Two enforcers for the Juarez Cartel who go after Walter to avenge Tuco's murder. Best described as two human Mexican Terminators.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Their axe can apparently cut right into asphalt.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. They purchase a pair of bullet proof vests before heading off to kill Hank, ones that prove to be very effective with Marco taking half a clip of handgun bullets to the chest.
  • Asshole Victim: Both In-Universe and out, no one, except Hector, feel bad about their deaths, with Gomez firmly believing that they totally deserve it.
  • Avenging the Villain: Their objective is to avenge Tuco's death.
  • Ax-Crazy: They kill almost everyone they come across. They also have a literal ax.
  • An Axe to Grind: It's also chromed, for the record.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: And boots. Even the production crew wanted to have a look at the skull-tipped shoes.
  • Bald of Evil: Both are completely bald and very, very evil.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: They barely speak in the entire series (save for their flashback as children), and on the rare occasion they do speak, it's in a low, menacing whisper.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Gus in season 3. It is they who attempt to assassinate Walt or Hank during the first half of the season, as well as the catalysts behind the conflict between Gus and The Juarez Cartel.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When Marco has Hank cornered, he decides not to execute him with his pistol and leaves to go get his axe. This gives Hank time to reload his pistol and kill Marco with a headshot.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Marco's fate at the hands of Hank, ironically with the very hollow point bullet Marco himself got as a freebie from the arms dealer.
  • Car Fu: How Leonel gets disabled by Hank.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The hollow-point bullet given to Marco for free by an arms dealer early in "One Minute" is dropped, unnoticed, by Marco when he's reloading during his attack on Hank. Hank puts it to good use.
    • They were mentioned by Tuco in the Season 2 premiere.
  • Cop Killer: They kill a tribal police officer who stumbles upon them while investigating the death of a woman whose house they took over, and they later attempt to kill Hank.
  • Creepy Twins: They do everything together and hold the following creed to heart, "Family is all."
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The way they murder their victims is extremely savage and brutal.
  • Death Glare: Poster boys to say the least.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: After serving as the main threat for the first half of Season 3, they're both axed off at the season's midpoint.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: They full on slaughter the whole group of illegal immigrants in the van just because one chatty lad spotted their boots.
  • The Dividual: They look similar, dress similar and act together in almost perfect synchrony.
  • The Determinator: Leonel was just crushed by a car and had both legs amputated. When he sees Walt, he unhooks himself from his IVs, rolls out of his hospital bed, and drags himself toward Walt by his bloody stumps, death-staring him the whole time. While Walt is surrounded by half a dozen cops. Until Gomez and the others can stop him.
  • The Dragon: Serve as this for Hector Salamanca and (posthumously) for Tuco. Though Hector is helpless in a wheelchair, having the twins at his beck and call is part of the reason he's still so feared.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Killing everyone in the truck they used to get into the United States, and torching the truck for good measure. Also, the scene where they kill a woman and set up residence in her place on a tribal residence, then axe the cop who comes by to investigate. And then, their attack on Hank.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The whole reason they go after Walt (then later Hank) is because they hold him responsible for Tuco's death. During the parking lot shootout, after Leonel is incapacitated, Marco abandons his pursuit of Hank to check on him and only abandons him when Leonel tells him to.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Leonel shares Hector's contempt for the DEA. After seeing Walt in the midst of DEA agents rather than tell anyone about Walt's true identity he merely attempts to crawl towards him violently.
  • For the Evulz: Some of the murders they carry out are pretty unnecessary and have nothing to do with The Cartel's business, suggesting that there is some pure enjoyment to it.
  • The Heavy: Of season 3. With Juan Bolsa being the Greater-Scope Villain, it is they who have the greatest prominence in the USA and who trigger the greatest conflicts during the first half of the season. Plus, it's they who trigger the biggest conflict between Walter White, Hank, and Gus, after all.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Marco pauses from pursuing Hank when he sees Leonel severely wounded, but his twin insists that he finish off Hank.
  • Implacable Man: No obstacle seems to deter them from their objective. That is, until they go up against Hank.
  • Karmic Death: Leonel is given a lethal injection in the hospital by Mike, the grandfather of the little girl he threatened to assassinate.
  • Living MacGuffin: The first half of the Season 3 frames their revenge quest as a major plotline, but it turns out to be a red herring from what the season is really about.
  • Make an Example of Them: Their method of killing, which is what the real Cartels do. They die because of their insistence on abiding by this rule, which allows Hank to defend himself.
  • Nice Shoes: Their boots are pretty badass: cowboy boots with silver skulls on the tips.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: You know it's time to run when they come for you. Almost everything about them is disturbing in nature.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: Averted. They rarely say anything to each other, and yet they work like they can read each other's minds.
  • Not Quite Dead: After the confrontation with Hank, Leonel survives and loses his legs, but is determined to kill Walter. That is, until Mike gives him a lethal injection.
  • Not So Stoic: Downplayed. Leonel, while in an hospital bed, shows silent but visible sings of anger upon seeing Walter. While this isn't much emotion, it's more than him or his brother ever showed.
  • Off with His Head!: They killed Tortuga in this manner.
  • Ominous Walk: They're masters of it, especially when there's an explosion just behind them.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The closest thing they have to a slightly civilized moment is when they refuse to hurt a peasant family in Mexico after stealing their clothes.
    • After shooting their armor dealer to test its effectiveness, they also spare his life and leave the money behind.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Surprisingly subvert the Ballistic Discount and let the man who sold them their bullet proof vests live by only shooting him once.
  • Professional Killer: Their role within The Cartel, but their vendetta against Walt is personal. Notably in a series where gunfights often devolve into hiding and firing randomly, they more often than not hit their intended target.
  • Psycho for Hire: Behind the obvious personal reasons with Walt and Hank, they seem to take too much pleasure in slowly and painfully murdering their victims when they set their minds to it.
  • The Quiet Ones: The pair speaks almost exclusively in cold stares. Even when they talk, they tend to keep things short.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Their first on-screen appearance in the series shows them crawling to a shrine dedicated to Santa Muerte in order to gain her blessing for their quest of killing Heisenberg. They do it again later (though without the crawling) when they switch their target to Hank.
  • Revenge Before Reason: They kill literally everyone who so much as slightly inconveniences them. Even when crippled, outmatched, and unarmed, they do not hesitate to try to kill their enemies.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: They go on one seeking revenge on Walt for his involvement in Tuco's death. Then they are redirected to Hank by Gus.
  • Rule of Cool: They seem to live by it. They wear awesome clothes (shiny sharkskin suits and cowboy boots with silver skulls on the toes!), they're incredibly calm and collected, they walk unflinchingly even into cars, and they decide to kill Hank with an axe for the showmanship of it, rather than just shooting him down. The last two bits are their undoing.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: They're introduced wearing expensive suits which they ditch soon after to facilitate an inconspicious border crossing, but once that's done they're quickly dressed to kill again.
  • Sickbed Slaying: The fate of Leonel: poisoned by Mike Ehrmantraut in the hospital.
  • Signature Move: Decapitation via axe seems to be their preferred method of killing.
  • Silent Antagonist: For the most part.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Both are more or less obsessed with killing "Heisenberg."
  • The Sociopaths: Probably the best portraits of true psychopaths shown in the series. They are undeniably brutal and ruthless, they like to murder their victims in extremely brutal ways, and they have zero remorse for their actions.
  • The Stoics: Both are some of the coldest killers shown in the series.
  • Undying Loyalty: To their uncle, Hector Salamanca. Due to their uncanny ability to precisely discern his exact thoughts and feelings without the need for speech, they literally function as living extensions of his will.
  • Unflinching Walk: All the time, no matter what's happening. After an explosion a couple yards away, one of them continues to smoke his cigarette.
  • Unwitting Pawn: A rare example of villains who end up unknowing pawns of another villain. Marco and Leonel are only interested in avenging Tuco's death and don't see much beyond that, but Gus is happy to manipulate their myopic quest for revenge so that the two of them die trying to kill Hank. Thus, the Cousins end up attempting to kill a DEA agent (normally, cops are off-limits as assassination targets because of the intense heat that such hits generally bring) and the manner of their deaths helps shut down the border to the Cartel, leaving Gus with uncontested domination of the meth market in the southwest.
  • Villain Ball: Marco's decision to finish Hank off with an axe rather than just shooting him when he's down and helpless backfires spectacularly.
  • The Voiceless: More often than not.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Marco decides that shooting Hank to death isn't enough and decides to go grab his ax instead. Hank doesn't have that same compulsion and blows his head off when he comes back.
  • Would Hit a Girl: They kill a woman on a tribal reservation and take over her house. Later, when Marco is attacking Hank, he shoots and kills a passing man who happens to surprise him, and a female passerby narrowly escapes the same fate thanks to Marco running out of bullets at that moment.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Better Call Saul shows them being used to threaten Mike's granddaughter.


Joaquin Salamanca

Portrayed By: Gabriel Nunez

An enforcer for Don Eladio, and Hector's grandson.

  • Beard of Evil: Is a bearded enforcer.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Goes after Gus, Jesse and Mike even though Gus warned the Cartel they'd die. Subverted in that he wounds Mike, one of the most dangerous members of Gus' crew.
  • The Last of His Kind: He and Hector were the sole remaining members of the Salamanca family and considering Hector is a decrepit old man, his death effectively wipes out the family.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Even after witnessing Gus poisoning Joaquin's bosses, and when Gus was giving the opportunity for any surviving cartel members to leave, Joaquin still chooses to attempt to kill Gus, Jesse, and Mike. Subverted in that he actually manages to surprise Mike and wound him and would have killed both him and Gus were it not for Jesse.
  • One-Shot Character: Dies in one episode, "Salud". Jesse guns him down at the end when he tries to kill him and Mike.
  • Posthumous Character: Of a sort. We don't find out his name or his significance until after he's been killed and Gus is boasting about it to Hector. Heck, it wasn't even indicated that Hector had any other living relatives before then.
  • Red Shirt: He only appears in one episode and has no characterization.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Joaquin doesn't even have any dialogue, but if it weren't for his last ditch effort to kill Gus, Mike would have never been wounded and would have been present for Gus' showdown.
  • Undying Loyalty: The only Cartel's soldier that tries avenging Eladio even though there is no one left to reward him for it.



    Krazy- 8 

Domingo Gallardo Molina AKA "Krazy 8"
"Walter, I don't know what you think you're doing here, but trust me, this line of work doesn't suit you."

Portrayed By: Max Arciniega

A former associate of Tuco Salamanca's, and now a meth distributor associated with his cousin Emilio and Jesse Pinkman. Unbeknownst to Walt and Jesse, Krazy-8 is a DEA informant, who acquired the customers of the dealers he ratted out.

  • Asshole Victim: He might be a charming son-of-a-bitch, but he's still a stone-cold killer and opportunist.
  • Blatant Lies: Tell Walter that he's willing to "live and let live" if Walter will just let him go. He sells it so well that even the audience almost believes it, and of course Walter wants it to be true.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: A more justified example than most, since you can't really blame the guy for seizing a chance to arm himself when his captor was still in two minds about murdering him, but he's still undone by a lapse into this. His one act of deception, undermining his and Walt's entire conversation and understanding, is what spurs Walt to kill him; he'd have walked out alive had he not pocketed that piece of broken plate.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Is disgusted by Walt keeping him locked in a basement, saying he wouldn't do something so degrading to his worst enemy. More likely it's just a guilt trip ruse.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Has been a Smug Snake up until he faints and Walt and Jesse locks him up in Jesse’s basement. There he puts on a friendly facade only to persuade Walt to release him.
  • Hidden Badass: He deserves some credit: he survives Walt's initial attack that killed Emilio, frees himself even in a dazed state and remains calm when faced with death. Even while trapped and being choked to death, he manages to stab Walt with a shard of plate.
  • Hidden Depths: He attempts to invoke this to get Walt to release him, but it was merely a ruse so he could stab Walt as soon as he got out. The fact that he's able to manipulate Walter so successfully rather than rage and bluster or plead and beg like a common crook would do is in itself a straight example.
  • The Informant: For the DEA.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: On the receiving end. Walt's murder of him is a big step, but is arguably justified due to Krazy 8's ruthless cunning and plan to kill Walt.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Domingo is surprisingly clever for a Starter Villain. He nearly convinces Walt to spare him; he would have succeeded had Walt not noticed the broken plate in the garbage. Additionally, the audience learns after his death that he was a snitch for the DEA, and his business model revolved around selling out his competition (including his own cousin) and absorbing their customer base.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Sold Walt the crib they used for Walt, Jr. years before the show. Becomes a Brick Joke when Walt sets the crib up again for Holly.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Played with; Walter makes sandwiches for him while he's imprisoned in Jesse's basement.
  • Not Quite Dead: After the explosion in the pilot.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Was supposed to die in the pilot, but the actors and crew enjoyed working with him, so the character was kept for two more episodes.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Walt being forced to murder him is a major part of the second and third episodes.
  • Smug Snake: He sure likes to think he has the upper hand when he first meets Walt, but quickly gets outsmarted by him and ends up defenceless in Jesse’s basement. But then he is shown to be quite clever and manipulative, even though there was no need for him to try to stab Walt with a broken plate, which Walt comes to realize.
  • Starter Villain: He's the first real criminal threat of the series.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Completely inverted; he tries this on Walt, his own kidnapper, in order to get himself free. Walt almost falls for it, but he eventually catches on.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Is the first antagonist in the series to learn that underestimating Walt is a bad idea. He grossly underestimates his intelligence twice, and the second time leads to his death. To be fair the second time he nearly fooled Walt.
  • Villain Ball: It was really stupid for him to pocket the plate shard - if Walt was going to kill him, it's very unlikely he'd have come within melee range, and if he convinces Walt to let him go, he'll get plenty of opportunities to kill him afterwards. And even after he pockets it, upon winning Walt up it would've played a lot in his favor to reveal the shard, apologize for keeping it and give it back as a sign of good will.
  • Villain Has a Point: Subverted. He notes that Walt doesn't belong to the lifestyle he has chosen due to his weaknesses and refusal to kill, and gives Walt a very accurate point about the dangers of such lifestyle. Ironically, he was wrong, since throughout the series, Walt himself has proven to be worse than Krazy-8, especially in season 5.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Is the first criminal antagonist that Walt and Jesse encounters, right before the much more threatening and dangerous Tuco is introduced.
  • You Will Be Spared: Krazy-8 talks about this, and admits that there's no reason for Walt to believe him.
    "I guess I'd start off by promising that if you let me go, I won't come after you. That you'd be safe. I guess I'd say what happened between us never happened. And what's best for both parties is we forget all about it. But you know that anybody in my situation would make promises like that, and though in my case they happen to be true, you'd never know for sure. So what else can I tell you?"


Emilio Koyama
"I say we cap 'em both."

Portrayed By: John Koyama

Jesse's partner as well as Krazy-8's cousin. He's arrested by the DEA after being sold out by Krazy-8, and later becomes Walt's first victim when he and Krazy-8 confront Walt. Jesse later dissolves his body in his bathtub, and it falls through the ceiling in a hilariously bloody fashion.

  • Beard of Evil: A thin goatee.
  • Fall Guy: Sold out by his own cousin so that Krazy-8 could get Jesse and Emilio's customers.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Not only on the evil side of the scale but also on the stupid side, smoking a cigarette in a meth lab filled with volatile chemicals. Walt calls him out on this, causing Emilio to carelessly dispose of his cigarette outside the window causing a brush fire.
  • Evil Former Friend: According to Jesse, they met in elementary school.
  • Evil Is Petty: Blows smoke in Walt's face when Walt tells him to put his cigarette out.
  • Hand Cannon: Carries a large .357 revolver.
  • No Body Left Behind: After getting his deceased body dissolved in hydrofluoric acid.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: He's Jesse's first partner and the first person Walt kills.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Krazy-8, who gets him arrested by the DEA and then manipulates him into thinking Jesse was the snitch.

    No-Doze & Gonzo 

No-Doze & Gonzo

Portrayed By: Cesar Garcia (No-Doze) & Jesus Payan, Jr. (Gonzo)

Two of Tuco's henchmen.

  • An Arm and a Leg: Gonzo's arm gets torn off while moving No-Doze's body.
  • Asshole Victim: Mostly No-Doze, who's more aggressive and short-tempered than Gonzo.
  • Bald of Evil: Both of them have shaved heads.
  • Beard of Evil: They're both bearded.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Gonzo is the big guy to No-Doze's little guy.
  • Blood from the Mouth: No-Doze, after his beating at the hands of Tuco.
  • Co-Dragons: To Tuco.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: No-Doze's beatdown wasn't pretty, and getting your arm ripped off by a falling car and bleeding out definitely qualifies as this for Gonzo.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Tuco beats No-Doze to death when No-Doze merely tells Walt and Jesse to remember who they work for.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gonzo is clearly upset when Tuco accidentally kills No-Doze and tries to recover the body so he can give him a decent burial.
  • Fall Guy: Gonzo becomes this for Tuco when he thinks that since Gonzo hadn't been answering his calls for the last few days (on account of being dead and all), Tuco assumes that he's a police informant.
  • Fat Bastard: Gonzo.
  • Hand Cannon: No-Doze carries one.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Even if Tuco's beating of No-Doze is over the top, it's undeniable that No-Doze was still a petty thug.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: No-Doze at the hands of Tuco.
  • Raised Catholic: Implied for Gonzo, who wears a large crucifix necklace and complains about No-Doze not receiving a proper Christian burial.
  • Religious Bruiser: Gonzo didn't want to leave No-Doze's body without a properly burial on the basis that it wasn't, "very Christian".
  • Sacrificial Lamb: No-Doze's death underlines just how brutal and dangerous Tuco is.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: No-Doze succumbs to his brutal beatdown in the Season 2 premiere and Gonzo follows shortly afterwards.
  • Tattooed Crook: They're both pretty heavily tattooed.
  • Token Good Teammate: Gonzo is much more empathic than Tuco and No-Doze: he prevents Walt from getting in the way of Tuco's beating of No-Doze seemingly in part to stop Walt from becoming another victim, and of course he's disturbed by leaving No-Doze's body unburied, and tries to remedy that later, although that proves to be a mistake on his part.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Gonzo, who by his own fault, is killed when a car crushes his arm while he tries to move No-Doze's body. Hank immediately wants to call Leno when he finds out the real cause. No-Doze isn't too smart either, considering he was warned by Tuco about speaking for him — and we later find out in Better Call Saul that this was far from the first time Tuco had done so — but still kept running his mouth.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: