An Illustrated Theory of Violence vs. Hair on ‘Breaking Bad’


What do Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Mike Ehrmantraut have in common — you know, besides the fact that they’re partners in a methamphetamine synthesis and distribution business? For various reasons (genes, cancer, the desire to look like a badass), they’re all bald. In fact, when you think about it, just about every tough guy on the show, from Hank Schrader to Tuco Salamanca, has been pretty short on hair. It’s a pattern John Semley noticed in a recent Salon piece that observes, “Breaking Bad is certainly the baldest show on television” and argues that in its universe, contrary to the way it’s often represented in pop culture, baldness is actually a sign of power.

Now, The Oatmeal has created a chart that compares how violent a character is to how much hair he or she has, with exactly the result you might expect: the closer the cut, the more likely to cut you. Of course, there is a bit of cheating here — Mike has much less hair than Gus, for instance, and Tuco’s dome is far fuzzier than Season 5 Walt’s. Click here to see the entire infographic, and register your nitpicks in the comments.