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The following are characters in Breaking Bad comprising Walter White's immediate family. For the main page, see here.


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The White Family

    Skyler 

Skyler White (née Lambert)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lambert_skyler.jpg
"Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family."
Portrayed By: Anna Gunn

"I never wanted any of this."

Walter's wife. She has had several meager sources of income: writing short stories, selling items on eBay, working as a bookkeeper, and ultimately helping her husband launder money. Skyler and Walter have a son, Walter Jr., and an infant daughter, Holly. Skyler cares for Walter very much, but their marriage becomes increasingly strained due to his unexplained absences and bizarre behavior.


  • And Then What?: Says this to Walt when she tells him that he has made more money than they could ever spend, nor could she safely launder without getting unwanted attention. Walt does take her advice and leaves the trade, it's just too bad that Hank finds out that Walt is Heisenberg not too long afterwards.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Where's Hank?"
  • Awesome by Analysis: Besides being a shrewd accountant and bookkeeper, Skyler is repeatedly shown to possess serious ingenuity. This is first demonstrated when she tracked down Jesse on her own. Later on, she uses an off-hand remark to figure out that Walt has two cell phones, a relationship with Jesse but not with Gretchen, no clear revenue, and lied about all of this, and she outright tells Walt that she knows he's a drug dealer. Once she gets involved in Walt's business, her acumen is of great utility.
  • Awful Wedded Life: With Walt, whether troubled by more mundane issues like financial strain or her pregnancy, to his cancer and the fact that he's a murderous drug dealer.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Given to Marie in force during season 5, when she is under a lot of stress and fear.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She could be seen as this at times, as she plays innocent to get what she wants occasionally.
  • Broken Pedestal: Even with Walter's lie about abusing her into being an accomplice in his drug-dealing activities, Marie and Walter Jr. are still never going to look at Skyler the same way again.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In "Rabid Dog," there's a shot that reveals her brother-in-law owns a DVD set of Deadwood, which featured Anna Gunn.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Her love of creative writing.
    • Helps her to spin an intricate and compelling story of about Walt amassing his money through gambling.
    • Spins a yarn for the IRS about being a Dumb Blonde to take the heat off Ted.
    • Likely helped author Walt's "confession" video.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Smokes more and more as her dread of Walt grows. After admitting she's waiting for Walter's cancer to come back, she's seen smoking inside the house as he prepares to go to bed, implying she might be trying to exacerbate it with secondhand smoke.
  • Control Freak: She sees herself as a necessary one, given Walt's impulsiveness.
    • In Season 1, she insists that Walt get chemo and radiation treatment, and freaks out when Marie encourages Walt to make his own decisions during the "talking pillow" exercise.
    • This quote from season 4 sums it up perfectly:
      Walt: There's gotta be dozens of car washes in this area. Who says it has to be this one?
      Skyler: I do.
  • Consummate Liar: She proves to be just as adept at this as Walt, keeping the Heisenberg secret and fooling the Beneke investigators.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Thanks to a combination of witnessing Marie's kleptomania, and Ted's embezzling, by the time season four rolls around she becomes desensitized enough about crime that she gets a bit excited of the idea of assisting Walt's business. By the start of season five, though, whatever romanticized notion she had about the idea was lost, and she firmly steps back from it. Though it's revealed she's still okay with the idea of Walt putting a hit out on Jesse in order to keep him from talking to the cops.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • From "Box Cutter":
      Saul: People carpool to work, right? It's good for the environment.
      Skyler: He carpools? He carpools to his job at a meth lab?
    • From "Rabid Dog":
      Walt: Are you spying on me?!
      Skyler: Yes, and I feel just awful about it.
  • Dirty Coward: Sees herself as this in "51". Subverted in that whilst she is powerless to get Walt out of the house for fear of Hank finding out she's wrapped up in his criminal schemes, she still has no problem telling Walt exactly what she thinks now he's gone to the dark side.
  • The Dog Bites Back: When given a chance, she quickly turns Marie and Hank agains Walt. Skyler discovers her brother-in-law is dead and attacks Walt with a knife.
  • Driven to Suicide: Fakes an attempt in Season 5 so she can get Walt Jr. and Holly away from Walt.
  • Dumb Blonde: Completely averted (she's actually quite smart), but she knows how to play the part of the dumb blonde. She saves Ted's thieving butt from an IRS audit with a dazzling display of this in Season 4 making the IRS agent think the books are inaccurate due to incompetence rather than tax evasion.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Very much wants to make sure her children are not tarnished by her and Walt's criminal activities. It succeeds, until "Ozymandias".
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Her hair gets progressively lighter as the show goes on, and cuts it around the time when she starts the money laundering scheme.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: During Seasons 3-4.
  • Get Out!: Several times.
    • Tells Walt to get out in "ABQ" after finding out about the second cellphone
    • Tells Lydia to leave the carwash after wondering why a person would wash a rental car.
    • When she finds out Hank is dead, she wants Walter out permanently.
  • Good with Numbers: Studied accounting while growing up and controls the family's and, eventually, the drug empire's finances. She is also the first one to come across Ted's fraudulent practices.
  • Guile Hero: Although she might lose that 'hero' label pretty quickly, Skyler is quick and manipulative.
  • Hidden Depths: When Skyler gets involved in the business, she reveals pretty quickly how inventive, smart, and ruthless she can be when necessary.
  • Heel Realization: She has one much, much earlier than Walt in Season 4. It manages to stick.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": When given the chance to spin stories explaining how Walt got his money, she uses it to make Walt look terrible while she herself comes off as pure and blameless. Given a Call-Back toward the end of the series, when Walt arranges things to make her look like this to the police to keep her from going to jail.
    Walt: I'm "weak?" I'm "out of control?" This whole thing makes me look like crap.
    Skyler: This has to be a "warts and all" story, Walt. That's how we'll sell it, and we both look bad.
    Walt: How do you look bad, exactly? Where is the "I slept with my boss" bullet-point? I can't seem to find that anywhere.
    Skyler: For a fired school-teacher who cooks crystal meth, I'd say you're coming out pretty much ahead.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • When she realizes that Walt killed Gus Fring. She becomes borderline catatonic during most of the first half of season five.
    • Again in "Granite State" as a result of being taken through police investigations into Walt's actions.
  • Hidden Depths: She's scared witless of Walt and his involvement in the meth trade, but she can be equally devious and legally dubious when need be, such as getting Walt to buy out his old boss's car wash for laundering money by playing to his pride, concocting on the fly a story of Walt having a gambling problem to explain how he got the money to buy said car wash, or Obfuscating Stupidity to help Ted evade getting convicted of tax fraud.
  • Holier Than Thou: Her attitude towards Walt and his choices. After some of the things she does, (particularly asking Walt to murder Jesse) it begins to border on delusion.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Her mentality during Walt's cancer intervention, which can be easily summed up as "we are here to say whatever we're feeling... as long as it does not disagree with what I think Walt should do." And, in spite of what some fans might say in Walt's defense, it is completely understandable she would give him flak over becoming a meth manufacturer, no matter how noble his intentions may have been, and her protests over how badly this could end up backfiring on their family (which later, thanks to Walt's greed, over-inflated ego, underachiever's regret, rapidly degenerating morals, and his becoming very much power drunk, it does) are, overall, very sensible. This does not stop her from (at the very least) repeatedly covering for Walter's actions with much the same justification as he had for doing them in the first place, ('for the family').
    • As much as she claims that she is being driven to criminality by Walt's actions, her helping to cover up Ted's fraudulent practices was something she did on her own, completely unrelated to Walt's criminal endeavors. (She even uses the money from Walt's drug dealing to cover it all up, which fucks them all over when Walt crosses Gus Fring and he needs that money to make the family disappear).
    • She constantly scorns Walt over keeping secrets hidden from her, but then neglects to tell him about Ted's IRS problems that could easily lead him to prison — or the fact that she's using his money to pay them off.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • What she employs to escape the dinner with Walt and Jesse in "Buyout".
    • "Rabid Dog":
      Walter: How much have you had to drink?
      Skyler: Not nearly enough.
  • In-Series Nickname: Sky.
  • I've Come Too Far: Suggesting that Walt should kill Jesse when he becomes a threat, reasoning that it's only one more life against them.
    Skyler: We've come this far... for us, what's one more?
  • It's All About Me: Portrayed sympathetically (at first, anyways) when Walt spends more time supporting her over his cancer diagnosis than the other way around.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She's judgmental and ultimately hypocritical about it, but Walt's corrupt choices do end up destroying their family.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A bit cold and bitchy towards Walter and Jesse and not brilliant with the small talk. She still loves her family and only wants whats best for them and even if she's capable of doing heinous things like Walt, she at least has the decency to feel conflicted about it.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets off very light for all the things she was complicit in. Justified in that Walter manipulates the narrative to paint her in a better light for the police and the rest of the family (making it seem like he abused her and forced her into his drug-dealing activities), feeling responsible for driving her down that path in the first place and not wanting to leave their children with a dead father and an incarcerated mother. The emotional, financial, and legal damage to her and their children is by no means negligible, either.
  • Lady Macbeth: Walt wants to talk some sense into Jesse. Skyler wants Walt to have him killed instead. Considering that Jesse had just tried to burn the family house and that baby Holly cried out during that scene... it's fairly clear the the next trope below was playing a part in that outbreak of dagger-suggesting, though. Nobody threatens her babies without her reacting.
  • Mama Bear: Her children are not going to find out about her and Walt's crimes or be in any form of danger on her watch. Unfortunately for Walt, he unknowingly becomes an obstacle to that goal in "Ozymandias" as he is involved in Hank's death. After asking him to leave, he refuses to listen and moves towards her instead, causing her to lash out at him with a knife.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: It's implied that before the events of the show, she was interested in becoming a writer, as she lies to Marie about working on a short story early in season one, and Walt tries to get her to attend a writing workshop out of town in season two. It might also explain why she is better at coming up with lies on the spot. During a flashback in the season 3 finale, when she and Walt are about to buy their house, Walt suggests setting aside a room for her to use as a writing studio.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When she realises the depths of Walt's ruthlessness and sees Ted paralyzed and terrified of her, leading to the above Heroic BSoD.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When Jesse found out about Walt poisoning Brock and almost burns their house down, Skyler's words were along the lines of, "What's one more?"
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Along with her ability to fake distress when she needs sympathy, it's one of her best weapons, as she proves in season 4 when she tricks an IRS agent investigating Beneke Fabricators for fraudulent accounting into thinking the company's bookkeeping was flawed due to incompetence rather than criminal intent.
  • Never My Fault: Repeatedly rationalizes, blames others for, and makes excuses for own petty, selfish, and illegal behavior, such as screwing Ted in part out of petty revenge and later cooking the books for him when it becomes evident that he is committing fraud, tolerating Walt's criminal activities even as they become more and more heinous, directly helping Walt launder money, or even seriously suggesting they have Jesse killed, claiming that Walt and circumstances 'drove' her to all this. (While she sort of has a point at first, it becomes increasingly hard to justify as she becomes aware of mutiple murders and becomes personally involved in two separate instances of fraud.) Multiple characters (her divorce attorney, Marie, Walter Jr.) call her out on her inability to own up to her own behavior while calling out everyone else on theirs.
  • Not So Different: Walt Jr. tells her in "Ozymandias" that by lying about Walt's actions and helping him with his money, she's just as bad as he is. She is also entirely capable of being just as petty, self-righteous, and morally questionable as her husband, all while giving him hell for it
  • Outlaw Couple: Downplayed, but with Walt. They're not happy together, though.
  • Power Hair: Gets this hairstyle after establishing the car wash laundering scheme, but grows it back out somewhat after her first Heroic BSoD.
  • The Power of Acting: Turns out to be one of Skyler's best weapons. Whether she's faking contractions to bail her sister out of her shoplifting problems, making up a story about Walt's gambling addiction on the fly, or convincing a locksmith that Walt's condo is her home, Skyler can sell it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Involves herself in Walt's crimes to enact some damage control and keep their children from ever discovering them.
  • Precision F-Strike: "I fucked Ted."
  • Properly Paranoid: When she starts colluding with Walt in his criminal enterprise, she constantly worries that their family would be endangered, her fears becoming greater in Season 5. Near the end of the series, her fears turn out to be justified after Jesse finds out about Walt's poisoning Brock and preparing to burn their house down.
  • Sexless Marriage: Having previously had a healthy (if not always enthusiastic) sex life, Skyler seems to be repulsed by sex with Walt after he attempts to Wall Bang Her in "Seven Thirty Seven".
  • Sexy Secretary: Lampshaded and invoked. Pretends to be an incompetent bookkeeper who was only hired for her looks — complete with low-cut dress and inappropriate ditziness — to trick the IRS agent who's investigating Ted for fraud.
  • Shed the Family Name: Reverts back to her maiden name "Lambert" in "Granite State".
  • Sleeping with the Boss: With Ted, although not for the usual reasons: it's more as an act of rebellion against Walt than anything else.
  • The Smart Girl: Once she starts to get involved with Walt's business, it becomes clear that she has a lot of business smarts, and her elaborate lie to the family about where the money is coming from is pretty ingenious. Skyler immediately pointing out to Walter how incredibly stupid some of his schemes are shows that she's as smart as he is, or at least more prudent.
  • Stacy's Mom: Jesse tells Walt that Skyler is hot.
  • Taking the Heat: Forced to paint herself as the "bitch mom" to prevent Walt Jr. from learning about his father's activities.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Thoroughly deconstructed. To hide Walt's secret, she pretends to be one and lets Walt Jr. hate her, but it's made increasingly clear that she has good reason to be ungrateful to Walt.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Played with in that Skyler takes a Lady Macbeth-like active role in her husband's business. Subverted by season five, she's mostly stopped dead on this trope after realizing what kind of man her husband has become.
    • She then plays this straight from "Blood Money" until "Ozymandias", when she refuses to cooperate with Hank's investigation. After this, she wants nothing more to do with Walt.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Learning that Hank finally knows about Walt's criminality causes Skyler to have a minor one in front of Hank in a restaurant, though Hank mistakes this display as the effects of Stockholm Syndrome.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: To the point that both Word of God and her actor have both gone on record to say that she was right all along, despite how much she's hated in the fandom for being this very trope. Cracked notes it in this article, stating that her reputation is not helped by the fact that she did little but make Walt's life miserable, despite supposedly embodying a moral high ground.
  • Wham Line:
    • "You're a drug dealer"
    • "51" gives us "[I'm waiting] for the cancer to come back."
    • "Rabid Dog" gives us "We've come this far. For us. What's one more?" in regards to killing Jesse.
    • She receives one in the finale when Walt tells her where the bodies of Hank and Steve are buried, finally confirming that they were killed.
  • What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?: When she asks Walt to kill Jesse when he becomes a risk.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A particularly epic one in "ABQ" where she calls out Walt for having two cellphones, not telling his mother about the cancer, and refusing Gretchen and Elliott's money for treatment.
    Skyler: Lies on top of lies on top of lies.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Much like Walt, Sky is capable of doing some truly loathsome things when she's able to justify it to herself. She has a Heel Realization a little earlier than Walt does, but by then too much damage has been done to really fix anything.
  • Who Will Take the Kids?: One of her biggest fears, and unusually Played for Drama. As Walt is dying anyway, she knows she has to either keep her children, despite being a drug dealer, or hand them over to Hank and Marie.
  • Woman in White: Wears mostly off-white colors in Season 5.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A rare example of this being portrayed sympathetically. She fakes a suicide attempt in Season 4 to get Flynn and Holly away from Walt, and she convinces Hank in Season 5 that she is an unwilling participant in Walt's actions so they can figure out what to do next.
  • You Keep Telling Yourself That: To Walt. And in Season 5, she hears this herself from Marie.
  • Your Cheating Heart: In the second episode of Season 3, she has sex with Ted, in revenge for Walt's victory after her attempt to have the cops keep him out of the house backfires. She carries on the affair for some time — until Walt actually does sign the divorce papers. She finally tells him that she never filed the papers against Walt, as she's aware that spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other in court.
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    Walt Jr. 

Walter White Jr. (AKA "Flynn")

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/white_walter_jr_4437.jpg
"My Dad is my hero."
Portrayed By: RJ Mitte

"This here? All this that I've been through... and you're scared of a little chemotherapy?"

Walter and Skyler's teenage son and Holly's older brother. He has cerebral palsy, as manifested in speech difficulties and impaired motor control, for which he uses crutches. His father's absences and bizarre behavior lead them to grow apart, leading Walter Jr. to have his friends teach him to drive — rather than his dad — and to adopt the name "Flynn".


  • Big Eater: Walt Jr. does love his breakfast. It's become a Memetic Mutation within the fandom.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: They're quite prominent.
  • Break the Cutie: He doesn't take the news that his parents are drug dealers well.
  • Broken Pedestal: He idolizes his father. When he learns the truth, he turns against him hard.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Noticeably averted for most of the series. He adores Walt, and blames Skyler for their marital problems. After he learns the full truth, he epically calls out Walt for his actions during "Granite State" and refuses to take any of his remaining drug money.
  • Disabled Snarker:
    Walt: I didn't know you started drinking coffee.
    Junior: Yeah, and I also started tying my own shoes, all by myself.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Decides to be called Flynn for some reason until his parents' separation, at which point he sides with his dad and demands to be called Walt Jr. Then reverts back in Season 5B.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first scene in "Pilot" for both his love of breakfast and his snarky personality.
    Junior: [to Walt] How does it feel to be old?
    Walt: How does it feel to be a smartass?
    Junior: Good.
  • Handicapped Badass: Averted for most of the show, but in "Ozymandias" he yanks Walt off Skyler during their knife-fight and calls the cops on him.
  • Heroic BSoD: He doesn't react well when he learns about his father's crimes and Hank's death in "Ozymandias".
  • Hero-Worshipper: Adores his father until he learns everything in "Ozymandias".
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He's naive enough to think his father is the perfect man. When he discovers that his father is a drug dealer, he does not take it well at all.
  • I Have No Son!: Inverted. He ends up legally changing his name to Flynn in the interim months after the events of "Ozymandias", essentially disowning his father and his name out of shame.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: By the second half of season 5, he is the only main character that's oblivious to Walt's being Heisenberg. At least, until Ozymandias.
  • Jerkass Ball: Most of the time, he's a nice guy. But he can be very sullen and grumpy when he wants to, never more so than to Skyler when she leaves Walt, assuming that she is persecuting him when instead she is trying to keep the consequences of his meth business out of the house. Of course, he's a teenager at the end of the day, and doesn't have the right information, seeing as it's kept hidden from him. When he learns the truth in "Ozymandias", he doesn't hesitate to physically protect Skyler from Walt.
  • Meaningful Name: When he wants to be called Flynn instead of Walter, Junior. The first time this happens is simple teenage rebellion. The second time is after he finds out what his father's done, and is ashamed to share the name.
  • Meaningful Rename: After Ozymandias, Walt Jr. legally changed his name to "Flynn" to demonstrate that he has completely disowned his father.
  • Out of Focus: While never a major character, he appears less in Season 4 than in any other season. It is likely due to not even a year passing in-story while the actor has aged visibly.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Then why don't you just fucking die already?" Doubles as a Meaningful Echo when he says it not at all facetiously after learning of Walt's crimes.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers an epic, long overdue one to his father in "Granite State" when he refuses any money from his father despite his mother likely going to prison soon and barely making ends meet, reminding Walt that he's responsible for Hank's death and Skyler's plight, and has been a blight on the family.
  • Shed the Family Name: While he keeps the "White" last name, Walt Jr has his first name legally changed to "Flynn" to get rid of any association with his criminal father.
  • Token Good Teammate: The most innocent person in the family, and probably the entire show.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Finally finding out what his dad's been up to all this time has taken a toll on the poor kid, but a couple of scenes later, he manages to knock off Walt during the knife squabble with Skyler and pull out his phone to call the cops, especially with Walt still holding the knife. And this is a kid that still needs crutches to walk. He also doubles up in Granite State, giving a very effective "The Reason You Suck" Speech towards his dad.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Walt Jr loves his pancakes and bacon.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After learning the truth, he calls out his mother on being complicit in his father's crimes. In "Granite State", he gives one to his father for everything he did, and for acting like nothing has happened.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Subverted. It's implied that Walt Jr. feels the strain on his and his father's relationship, but due to his dad being a criminal and all, this is not played judgementally towards Walt Jr.

    Holly 

Holly White

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/holly_white_3647.jpg
Portrayed By: Haven Tomlin, Elanor Anne Wenrich & Moira Bryg Macdonald

"Mama, Mama, Mama."

Walt and Skyler's baby daughter and Walt Junior's younger sister. She was born in 2009.


  • Babies Ever After: Inverted. The fact that Walt knows he won't live long enough to see her grow up is one of the main forces driving his actions, as he feels the need to give her some kind of legacy.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Again, inverted; Skyler's pregnancy is a huge pressure point for Walt. Especially averted in that Walt missing her birth is one of the first major, permanent cracks in Walt and Skyler's marriage, and when Skyler realises the extent of Walt's criminal dealings.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Holly first appears in "Phoenix", the same episode where Jane Margolis dies.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Used as a Wham Line in "Ozymandias".
  • Infant Immortality: Played straight. Ultimately, however, she likely would have been killed on Gus's orders eventually had Walt not killed him first.
  • Morality Pet: For Walt.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Always shown in pink. Also doubles as a Meaningful Echo to the recurring motif of the pink teddy bear of Season 2, which ends with her birth and the deaths of everyone on two planes.
  • Wham Line: Her first words nonetheless. Holly keeps saying "Mama" after Walt kidnaps her in "Ozymandias", which is the final nail in the coffin for Walt in terms of trying to convince his family to stay with him.

The Schrader Family

These are Walter's in-laws through Skyler's side of the family.

    Hank 

Henry R. "Hank" Schrader

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/schrader_hank_8925.jpg
"I’m not the man I thought I was."
Portrayed By: Dean Norris

"It's easy money, till we catch ya.'"

Walt and Skyler's brother-in-law and Marie's husband, who works as a DEA agent. He is actively involved in investigating a meth kingpin named "Heisenberg", unaware for over a year that his prey is actually Walter. Hank has a cavalier exterior, but in reality the dark side of his job affects him more than he cares to admit.


  • And Another Thing...: One of Hank's absolute favorite tactics. See Wham Line.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Hank is amazingly perceptive and has extremely good instincts, making him an excellent cop. His only blind spot is Walt. He knows that Walt is up to something, but he guesses that it's just an affair.
  • Badass in Charge: Becomes Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC} of the DEA after Gus is killed and is badass enough to take on the Tuco and his cousins, after being shot to hell in the latter case.
  • Bald of Awesome: Very bald, very awesome.
  • Batman Gambit: Hank correctly figures just how greedy Walt is. With Gomez and Jesse's help, he takes a photo of a dug-up barrel of money in his backyard and has Jesse send both the pic and a taunting phone message to Walt, who immediately leads the trio to where the money is really buried and angrily confesses to his murders in the process.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Downplayed. While Hank never grows a beard, he does grow noticeable stubble when he falls into depression following his run-in with the Cousins and his subsequent paralysis. Once he starts investigating Heisenberg again and getting out of his funk, the stubble goes away. It comes back after he discovers Walt is Heisenberg.
  • Berserk Button: The risk of something happening to his family overrides his better judgment, leading him to abandon an investigation in progress when he receives a call telling him his wife's been hospitalized, deliver a savage beating to Jesse when he determines that said call about his wife was a fake Jesse had somehow orchestrated, and finally when Walt dares to pretend innocence after finding Hank's been investigating him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Hank initially appears to be a loud, crude, blustery foil to Walt. He is, actually, extremely intelligent, determined, and handy in a fight.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the second episode of season 2, he unknowingly saves Walt and Jesse from Tuco.
  • Big Fun: He fits the stereotype at first (a fat, fun-loving jokester), although it becomes evident that he's a Stepford Smiler. By the end of the show he Took a Level in Cynic and he's no longer this trope.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Acts like one, but it's mostly to cover up his inner doubts and fears.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How he dies, courtesy of Jack.
  • Broken Ace: Hasn't been the same ever since the taskforce bombing in season 2. For a time, he was literally broken after getting shot by one of the Twins.
  • The Captain: ASAC of the DEA.
  • Car Fu: He backs his car into one of the Cousins, effectively crushing Leonel's legs.
  • Cassandra Truth: With his suspicions about the blue meth, Jesse, and Gus Fring.
  • Climax Boss: Uncle Jack is Walt's final opponent but Hank still serves as this.
  • Cool Uncle: To Jr. Before the series, it could very well be argued that he sees Hank as more of a father to him than Walt is. Part of Jr.'s hatred towards Walt after he learns the truth is because he blames him for Hank's death, even telling him to "just die already".
  • Deadpan Snarker: The less obnoxious and rude he gets, the more deadpan his snarks become.
  • Determinator: After being shot multiple times in "One Minute" by Marco Salamanca, he still manages to load Leonel's pistol with a handy bullet and kill Leonel with a round to the head. As of Season 5B, his fixation on bringing down Walt before he dies of cancer is nearly all-consuming, overriding all other considerations, including the safety of other people and even whether his evidence would hold up in court.
  • Death Glare:
    • As soon as he uncovers that Walt is Heisenberg, their every interaction past that point involves gratuitous amounts of Hank just staring daggers into his soul, utterly seething with fury at the betrayal.
    • Early in Season 3, his behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, and when Gomez calls him out on this and sincerely tries to reach out to him, Hank dismisses his concerns and gives him one of these.
  • Defiant to the End: Gives a Precision F-Strike to Jack before he kills him.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Of Season 5 Part 2. Despite being billed as Walt's main antagonist for the aforementioned season and the Final Boss of the show, Hank is killed by Uncle Jack in "Ozymandias", two episodes before the finale.
  • Domestic Abuse: The emotional variant for a large part of Season 4 (see Took a Level in Jerkass below), though he remains somewhat sympathetic due to his own trauma, and once a new lead on the Heisenberg case gives him something useful to do, he returns to his old self.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Becomes increasingly abusive towards Marie after being bed-ridden by multiple gunshots because he can't stand looking weak to her.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: He takes on a gang of heavily armed Neo-Nazis with nothing more than a Glock pistol, and remains composed and dignified before Jack murders him.
  • Enemy Mine: With Jesse as of "Rabid Dog", teaming up to take down Walt even though they loathe each other.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He's utterly shocked after discovering that his brother-in-law is Heisenberg.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He tells Jack to "just do what [he's] going to do" in contrast to Walter's begging for his life, knowing Jack would have killed him regardless of what he said.
  • Foil: To Walt. Terrible experiences change both men, but while Walt becomes even more consumed by pride and turns into a ruthless criminal, Hank manages to subdue his Good Is Not Nice tendencies, becoming more humble and arguably an even better cop. Until season 5B, when Hank discovers Walt is Heisenberg and becomes fully obsessed with it, even being called out on the fact that the Heisenberg hunt is his personal obsession.
  • Frontline General: He still takes an active role in the Fring/Heisenberg case even after he's promoted to ASAC, even remaining a field agent to it, to the point that his superior Ramey criticizes him for it and tells him to stop.
  • Get It Over With: Hank knows Jack won't spare him, so he refuses to beg for his life and tells him to "do what [he's] going to do".
  • Genius Bruiser: While loud, overbearing, and seemingly dumb, Hank is a very skilled investigator, as seen in his work on the Fring case, beginning with his connection of Gale's murder to Gus Fring. This was hinted at early on, when he is able to find the hidden stash of meth hidden in Krazy-8's car, which Gomez couldn't locate earlier. His brawling prowess is well established throughout the series, especially in season 3's "I.F.T.", where, unarmed, he handily defeats two thuggish druggies in a bar.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Played subtly, but present. Upon finding out that Walt is Heisenberg, he risks everything to catch him, entirely losing his sense of humor from previous seasons and taking major risks, like trusting Pinkman, or abusing his authority by kidnapping Huell.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Definitely in Season 3 and early 4, but it's downplayed more in Season 5. Partly due to the fact that Walt's actions have gotten truly extreme and Hank has become far less obnoxious and jerkish than he was at the beginning. This trope come s back full swing in the second part of Season 5. Hank's obsession with bringing down Walt causes him to make several morally and legally questionable decisions, and he begins to treat his co-workers with a certain degree of frigidity.
  • Guile Hero: Hank is a tough fighter, but he's very perceptive and cunning as well.
  • Happily Married: With Marie, barring rough patches in Season 4.
  • Hero Antagonist: Becomes one once he makes catching the elusive "Heisenberg" his goal; unusually for this trope, he's unaware that the Villain Protagonist he's pursuing is right under his nose. At least until season 5.
  • Heroic BSoD: Finally finding out that Walt is Heisenberg absolutely floors Hank. His panic attacks come back with a vengeance and he is emotionally wrecked by the time Walt confronts him about the GPS tracker.
  • Heroic Willpower: When the Salamanca brothers ambush Hank in Season 3, he manages to reload his pistol and kill his assailant despite the fact that he'd just been shot multiple times.
  • He's Back: Hank's paralysis after his shooting causes a serious change in his personality and his relationship with Marie, but Walt drunkenly convincing him that Gale wasn't Heisenberg gives him the motivation to stop wallowing in self-pity and put his brain to work again. The next morning, he is out of bed, at the table with his notes, and politely apologises to Marie for making a mess.
  • Hidden Depths: For the first season, Hank seems mostly to be a textbook Boisterous Bruiser, but in Season 2, after he kills Tuco, we begin to see that Hank secretly feels a lot of anxiety and fear about his job.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: It takes him a while to realize who Walt/Heisenberg really is. For almost the entire show, he thinks his brother-in-law is just a meek, harmless man.
  • The Hyena: Has a singularly penetrating cackle. The cops at El Paso are not entertained.
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of "To'hajiilee". Hank has Walt dead to rights, on record confessing to multiple murders, and Walt finally relents and surrenders. About a minute later, some trucks show up...
  • If Only You Knew: He tips Walt off several times without realising it in his capacity as a DEA agent.
  • Insistent Terminology: In Season 4. He's not collecting rocks, he's collecting minerals.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Hank doggedly pursues Heisenberg and the origins of the blue meth, and manages to actually get close on a few occasions to discovering Gus's drug empire, but always ends up failing to bust them due to Gus staying one step ahead. It's only after Walt kills Gus and destroys his superlab that he is able to blow the Gustavo Fring case wide open, but even then, it takes a while longer until he discovers Heisenberg's true identity...
  • It Was with You All Along: To Walt when he confronts him about being Heisenberg.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hank is crass, loud, macho and obnoxious. He's also generous to and protective of his family, and genuinely believes in fighting the war on drugs.
  • Kick the Dog: Each time Hank meets Wendy the prostitute, he repeatedly makes rude, demeaning jokes to her face about her livelihood and substance abuse problems. Unlike with Gomez, the banter feels much more one-sided and mean-spirited, which isn't helped by the fact that Hank is taking advantage of his authority as well as her low social stature to pick on her for no other reason than he can.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "Do what you're gonna d-" [Jack Welker shoots him in the head]
  • Knight Templar: Borderline case, especially in the earlier seasons: beats Jesse senseless in Season 3 and conducted a bunch of searches without a warrant. Seems to be one of these again in Season 5 part 2, as evidenced by his treatment of Skyler and Jesse during the Heisenberg investigation.
  • Meaningful Echo: At the start of the fifth season, Hank's boss George Merkert is dismissed from the DEA because purported booster Gus Fring had been selling meth under his nose. Half a season later, Hank tells Marie that he will likely be dismissed from the DEA because his brother-in-law Walt has been selling meth under his nose.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Hank' is a shortening of 'Henry', which means 'Ruler of his Home', possibly indicating his standing on the side of the law, as well as his high rank, and nicely contrasting Walter's 'ruler of the people'. His last name is also tied to a German scientist too, just like Walt's alias 'Heisenberg': in this case, German scholar Gerhard Schrader (1903 – 1990), the guy who accidentally discovered the first nerve gas.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He doesn't outright state it, but his facial expression after he brutally assaults Jesse indicates that he feels a degree of remorse for letting his emotions cloud his judgement.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If he had just gone to the DEA with his suspicions of Walt being Heisenberg from the beginning, then it would've probably prevented his and Gomez's deaths.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Though he's not very politically correct and frequently makes racially insensitive jokes to his Mexican-American partner, he doesn't appear to be aggressively bigoted or racist. He also assumes that Gomez knows he is not serious about it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives one to Jesse in Season 3.
  • Not So Different: Hank's obsession with catching Walt leads to him becoming increasingly manipulative, a trait commonly attributed to Walt. It gets to the point where he's willing to allow the death of his lead if it incriminates Walt. His treatment of Jesse also mirrors Walt's.
  • N-Word Privileges: Tends to assume he has them with his Hispanic colleagues, not that they hesitate to respond in kind.
  • Oh, Crap!: Two in "Confessions": the first when Walt's "confession" tape turns out to be blackmail, and a second one when Marie admits she took $177k from Walt to pay for Hank's rehab.
  • Only Sane Man: Until he finds out about Walt being Heisenberg.
  • The Peter Principle: Downplayed, but implied that while Hank was an excellent agent, he's a pretty weak ASAC.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Before Saul is introduced, he was the main comic relief of the show. Completely gone in the final season when things went Darker and Edgier.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Hank frequently makes racist and sexist remarks.
  • Pragmatic Hero: In Season 5, he will stop at nothing to take down Walt, even if it means going outside the law and getting Jessie killed.
  • Precision F-Strike: Given to Jack in "Ozymandias": "My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself".
  • Rank Up: He gets assigned to a better unit and later promoted, but he's a full-blooded agent who resents being a Desk Jockey.
  • Reality Ensues: Most notably, he becomes a memetic hero after defeating the Twins. He then joins a much more prestigious task force, who are mean-spirited bullies. Everyone congratulates him on how badass it will be, but he's teased nonstop...and then they work on an extremely dangerous job that results in his disability and the deaths of the other crew members.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Although less of a "girly" than a "nerdy" hobby, he takes up mineral collecting after his encounter with the Cousins.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a devastating one to Walt at the end of "Blood Money".
  • Retirony:
    • Subverted. After getting in a whole mess of trouble for beating up Jesse, he tells Marie he thinks that "The universe is telling [him he] shouldn't be a cop anymore," and he believes that he is going to be fired. Around this time, Gus gives the Cousins the okay to kill Hank. However, Hank ends up getting to keep his job, and when the Cousins try to kill him, he (narrowly) escapes.
    • Subverted again after Hank finds out Walt was Heisenberg all along. He tells Marie that the moment he busts Walt, his career will be over because he was under Hank's nose the whole time.
    • Succumbs to this in "Ozymandias", when, having finally caught Walt, he calls Marie to tell her that he's got Walt dead to rights, and is killed almost immediately after.
  • Sad Clown: Hank tends to toss around crude jokes, but there's a complex and troubled man beneath the big smile he usually wears.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jokes about killing Tuco, but is incredibly rattled by the experience. This gradually worsens over the series, such as when Tortuga is also killed, but comes to a head when he realizes Walter is Heisenberg — he nearly collapses upon realizing it.
  • Stepford Smiler: Despite being deeply traumatized by his shootout with Tuco and the bombing in Juarez, he continues to maintain his blustery, backslapping persona in front of colleagues and friends.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Hank is this for Walt.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: For much of Season 4 he takes out the pain of his violent trauma and humiliating paralysis on Marie, showing no appreciation for anything she does to help him while he's bedridden, coldly rebuffing any attempt she makes to reach out to him and generally treating her in an emotionally abusive manner. After Walt drunkenly gives him a new lead on the Heisenberg case, Hank reading his notes at the table and politely apologising for making a mess is a clear sign that He's Back. This trope hits him hard when he finds out Walt is Heisenberg and he completely loses his sense of humor or any sign of bantering with his colleages including Gomez, the only exception is when he's arresting Heisenberg.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he clocks Walt in "Blood Money."
  • Turn in Your Badge: In Season 3 when he takes the Heisenberg investigation too far.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Hank is the one who originally offered to take Walter on a ride-along to a meth lab, claiming he should get a little excitement in his life. If he hadn't, Walter probably wouldn't have asked to go on one, he wouldn't have been reunited with Jesse and a lot of death and destruction wouldn't have happened. This includes both of his fatal shootings. Poor Hank's own Boisterous Bruiser tendencies helped pave the way for Heisenberg.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Gomez can't talk to each other for five minutes without insulting or trashing each other. They also love, trust, and depend on one another like you wouldn't believe.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Since when do vegans eat fried chicken?" Following up on that in the next episode, "Except... What are Gustavo Fring's fingerprints doing at Gale Boetticher's apartment?"
    • A funny example of a delayed one. "W.W., who could that be?... Walter White?"
  • Wham Shot: Him finding a dedication from Gale inside Walt's copy of Leaves of Grass.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: "It was you. All along, it was you! You son of a bitch. You drove into traffic to keep me from that laundry. That call I got telling me Marie was in the hospital... that wasn't Pinkman. You had my cell number. You killed ten witnesses to save your sorry ass. You bombed a nursing home. You're Heisenberg. Heisenberg! You lying, two-face sack of shit!"

    Marie 

Marie Schrader (née Lambert)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/schrader_marie.jpg
"Facing death changes a person. It has to, don't you think?"
Portrayed By: Betsy Brandt

"You better back off! My husband is a DEA agent."

Skyler's sister, Hank's wife, and Walt's sister-in-law. Marie works as a radiologic technologist. She doesn't hesitate to offer advice to others, but often fails to practice what she preaches. She shoplifts obsessively due to kleptomania, for which she sees a therapist. She appears self-centered and shallow but is very devoted to her husband and cares deeply for her sister's family.


  • The Artifact: The show was originally conceived as more comedic, similar to Weeds. The first season's subplot with Marie's shoplifting/kleptomania is written in a rather light tone. The subplot came back up later and wasn't well-received.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Given her kleptomania, obvious stress-handling issues and obsession over a single colour... well, she's somewhere in the range of the cluster C group of personality disorders according to the DSM-5. Narrowing down how close to disordered she is, and which particular one she best fits, however, is not easy. Unless she's that (as in OCD), and/or swimming the upper levels of the autism spectrum. In short, there's a reason she sees a therapist.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Subverted, she admits to looking up ways to poison Walt but doesn't act upon them.
    Marie: Don't worry, I won't hurt anybody. But it just feels good to think about it.
  • Buffy Speak: "My arches happen to be very arch-y."
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: "I can't tell you. I promised I would never, ever tell." "... All I'll say is that it has to do with infidelity."
  • Character Blog: During the events of Season 4, she kept a blog.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • She's obsessed with the color purple. Most of her clothes and furniture are purple. Loads of symbolism here: beyond the greed in hoarding items of just one color, you've got purple representing royalty, vanity, wealth, materialism, basically anything that makes her out to be, as she's seen in Season One, an Alpha Bitch. Note that even as her role changes to The Cassandra through the course of the show, this symbolism doesn't change. On her blog, she discusses the time she found a purple toaster oven as an example about thinking big and achieving your dreams.
    • From "Confessions", when things really turn dark, she starts wearing black.
    • And "Felina", where she wears black and white, symbolizing the loss of Hank from her life.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While normally a Satellite Character to Hank or Skyler, there's a subplot in a season 4 episode that revolves around her kleptomania.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • Marie is naive enough to think you can overdose on marijuana and die from it, but during the "Talking Pillow" debate in Season 1, she's the only one who thinks Walt should decide on his own whether his cancer should be treated and calls out Skyler on not giving Walt a chance to speak and forcing everyone to have one opinion.
    • In Season 5B about Walt's criminal activities, Marie is able to figure out that Skyler knew about it for much longer than Hank suspected, and that she was too wrapped up in things to work with the police.
  • Foil: to Walt, of all people. She can arguably be seen as his Lighter and Softer Distaff Counterpart: both have a dangerous ego, a bad need for recognition and a sense of entitlement to be more than they are; they also are Consummate liars (especially with themselves), impulsive and spiteful. But, while Walt's delusional entitlement results in him becoming a ruthless drug lord, Marie's shoplifting is largely victimless. Moreover, contrasting Walt and Skyler's Awful Wedded Life, Marie has a consistently loving, resilient marriage with Hank. It also seems significant to point out that both Marie and Walt fight with Skyler over Holly during the course of Season 5B.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Until "Felina".
  • Happily Married: With Hank, barring rough patches in Season 4. They genuinely love each other and are very devoted.
  • Heroic BSoD: She collapses after hearing about Hank's death and is near catatonic in "Granite State".
  • Hypocrite: She calls Skyler out when she realizes how long she's known about Walt's drug empire, despite the fact that she definitely should've been in prison for all of the items that she stole (or attempted to steal).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When under stress, her first response is almost universally to focus on arbitrary annoyances and childish whining, and during Hank's abusive phase during recovery she went around to open houses lying to real estate agents about herself as a hobby (or rather as a coping mechanism). Not to mention that time she deliberately ran over a kid's toy truck. However, despite her unquestioned status as an annoying know-it-all, she also clearly loves her family. It's especially visible when she does her best to stop Hank from falling into depression after he's confined to a bed.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Wears a white lab coat for her job. Justified, as her job involves the use of damaging radiation techniques and chemicals.
  • Loose Lips: Cannot keep a secret to save her life, letting slip Walt's pot use when Skyler confided in her (albeit mistakenly believing she meant Junior) and Skyler's infidelity in the last season. The only secret she actually keeps in the series is that Walt and Skyler were paying for Hank's rehab with "gambling money" which she eventually reveals to Hank after Walt tries to use that money to discredit Hank.
  • Mama Bear: Upon finding out about Walt's crimes, she tries to snatch her infant niece and take her home in hopes of protecting her. She only stops trying to do it because Hank talks her out of it. Later, she sternly tries to bargain with Skyler and Walt to care for Walter Jr. and Holly.
  • Motor Mouth: Once Marie starts talking, she gets out about four paragraphs in 10 seconds.
  • Out of Focus: Has had the least amount of screen time of any of the original cast members.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Marie is a X-ray technician. While we don't see her on the job, she demonstrates an understanding of radiology while talking to Skyler and Walt.
  • The Pollyanna: Even after Hank is severely disabled after the bomb blast, she retains her generally happy-go-lucky and positive outlook. When he dies, though, she loses all will to be like this.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Until Season 5B, when everything gets much darker, including Marie.
  • Stepford Smiler: She's really just that chipper most of the time, but still keeps up her regular behavior when she's actually deeply hurt by Hank's emotional abuse.
  • Sticky Fingers: Is prone to shoplifting and other forms of minor larceny, particularly when she's under stress.
  • Spoiled Sweet: While she has a tendency throughout to be entitled and selfish, Marie repeatedly shows how much she loves Hank and how worried she is about embarrassing him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Over the first four and a half seasons, she serves mostly as light comic relief or as a passive victim of Hank's angry outbursts, but when she finds out about Walt and Skyler's criminality, she proves to be an extremely fierce and determined woman, collaborating with Hank in his investigation and giving him several good ideas, viciously slapping her sister just like Hank punched Walter and Jesse punched Saul, and giving both her and Walt devastating What the Hell, Hero? speeches.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Skyler when she learns that Skyler has known for ages about Walt's involvement in the drug trade.
  • Widow Woman: As of "Ozymandias".
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