Breaking Bad has experienced an untold meme resurgence in recent months. I don’t know if it was the popularity of Better Call Saul or some seismic event in the greater universe, but memes based on the beloved show are everywhere. Shitposts are plentiful, while fans are even paying actors on cameo to spout out random lines and memes to help construct their own parody storylines. I’ve never seen anything like it, and the whole thing is incredible.
Characters have been given absurd romantic pairings, false backstories, and even believe the One Piece is real. I dunno what that last part means, but it’s so damn funny. I think my favourite headcanon is trangender Jesse Pinkman though, with fans turning the troubled drug dealer into a lovable ball of gender envy in dire need of a hug. He wears baggy trousers and oversized jackets in the middle of the New Mexico desert because it’s both fashionable and comfortable, while also helping with gender dysphoria. We all must support him.
I can’t remember where I first saw this trend emerge, but I think it was a tweet concerning Jesse Pinkman’s fashion sense, and how he is arguably the most accurate depiction of a non-binary person dressing themselves we’ve ever seen. Part of me isn’t sure how on the money such an assessment is, but countless gender non-conforming people on my feed have either been nodding along with the joke or seeing a small part of who they are in the character of Jesse Pinkman. He is one of the few morally clean people in the Breaking Bad universe, constantly manipulated by those above him to kill, deceive, and become a worse person in spite of his own beliefs. As a consequence we now view him as a precious little cinnamon roll, albeit one with a chaotic streak none of us are able to predict.
There’s one particular artist – Huyandere – who has gained a massive following and plenty of support for stanning Jesse Pinkman like no other. They are the creators of ‘Moe Jesse’ – an animefied version of the character taking inspiration from classic slice of life shows like Lucky Star and K-on! It’s all about cute girls doing cute things, except Jesse is a cute meth dealer doing gender things. We’ve seen Walt, Jesse, Mike, and Gus Fring joining hands like the main characters in the aforementioned shows, or playing out viral memes continuing to circle around the internet. The yellow cooking jumpsuits as Among Us halloween costumes? Yep, they’ve done that too – and all of it is so damn brilliant.
Part of the appeal comes from how subversive it is in contrast to the source material. A dark and gritty show like Breaking Bad is reaching a new audience through online culture, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people are getting to know characters like Jesse Pinkman through this perspective before checking the show out for themselves. It’s brilliant, even if I fall behind this level of wild discourse as I get older.
Trans Jesse is perfect, especially when he is depicted as a harmless catboy. I can see it now, him walking into the RV only to shout, “Yo Mister White! I just got my top surgery, bitch!”
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