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Jesse Pinkman's Shirt refers to jokes about Breaking Bad character Jesse Pinkman's propensity for wearing over-the-top, edgy shirts in the series that comedically juxtapose with the horrific and traumatic experiences he has during the course of the series. In the summer and fall of 2022, Twitter users poked fun at the concept by posting comedic WordArt Image Macros, joking that they looked like Pinkman's shirts as he faced incredible hardships.
In Breaking Bad, Jesse Pinkman, a local young drug dealer played by actor Aaron Paul, joins Walter White as he ascends to become a drug kingpin. Throughout the series, Pinkman will often be seen wearing shirts with skulls or other edgy designs on them (example shown below).
In the summer and autumn of 2022, Pinkman's shirts began being parodied as people began posting ironic memes with edgy designs similar to WordArt Image Macros and /r/the_pack memes, saying they resembled Pinkman's shirts. One of the earliest known examples of these was posted on July 29th, 2022, by Twitter user @PUNISHEDAIDAN, gaining over 15 retweets and 120 likes in two months (shown below).
Over the following months, many other Twitter users posted examples of humorously edgy memes and described them as resembling Jesse Pinkman's shirts. For example, on August 22nd, 2022, Twitter user @1upCartoons posted a version that gained over 1,400 retweets and 14,000 likes in one month (shown below, left). On August 25th, Twitter user @YYeezy posted an example that gained over 4,700 retweets and 56,000 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).
In September 2022, memes about Jesse's shirts shifted to humorously juxtapose the traumatic events the character experiences in the series with the juvenile nature of his shirts. On September 22nd, Twitter user @yassedpills posted a shirt with Shadow the Hedgehog, writing "jesse pinkman will go through the most traumatic events wearing a shirt like this." The post gained over 17,000 retweets and 162,000 likes in four days (shown below, left). On September 24th, Twitter user @sharkbarksss posted an example with a similar caption, gaining over 2,400 retweets and 31,000 likes in two days (shown below, right).
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