The Exact Moment Walter White Became Heisenberg meme and image depicting Bryan Cranston from breaking bad.

The Exact Moment Walter White Became Heisenberg

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Updated Aug 10, 2022 at 10:42AM EDT by Philipp.

Added Jul 20, 2022 at 03:47PM EDT by Philipp.

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The Exact Moment Walter White Became Heisenberg is a cliché statement made by Breaking Bad fans regarding the moments in the series during which the main protagonist Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, supposedly "broke bad" and finally became his criminal alter ego Heisenberg. Despite the general consensus that the transition happened over the course of many events and not any singular moment, the statement was consistently brought up in Breaking Bad-related discussions, leading to a parody trend starting in 2019. The phrase also spawned the "The Exact Moment X Became Y" phrasal template used for memes with characters from other series and in YouTube comments.


The discussions pertaining to the full transformation of Walter White, the protagonist of the Breaking Bad criminal drama series_, into his criminal alter ego Heisenberg, started at least as early as the premiere of season five of the series. On September 9th, 2012, a week following the release of episode eight of season five, Redditor[1] Gruzzly posted the question in the /r/breakingbad subreddit, where it gained over 20 upvotes in 10 years (shown below). Throughout the 2010s, the question was discussed by Breaking Bad fans multiple times on various platforms. For example, on December 28th, 2016, Neogaf[2] user HStallion created an identical discussion that gained over 270 replies in roughly six years (shown below, right).

Posted by u/Gruzzly The Danger 10 years ago What is the EXACT moment Walter White became Heisenberg? Is there a defining moment, or has it been an evolution over time? 13 Comments 2 Breaking Bad: So When Exactly Does Walter White Really Become Heisenberg? HStallion Dec 28, 2016 < OFF-TOPIC DISCUSSION

Several scenes are often brought up as possible answers, including the scene in which Walter White watches Jesse Pinkman's girlfriend Jane choke to death instead of helping her[3] and the scene in which he threatens two meth dealers into avoiding his "territory." On October 25th, 2018, YouTuber[4] SwoonedHeart uploaded the latter scene to YouTube with the title "The moment when Mr. White becomes Heisenberg." The video (shown below) gained over 172,000 views in four years.

In the late 2010s, the cliché became a running gag in the /r/breakingbad subreddit as users commented it under posts about light-hearted scenes from the series and altered the phrase. For example, on March 14th, 2019, Redditor[5] dennyblah commented, "This is the moment OP truly became Heisenberg." on a popular post, with the comment gaining over 580 upvotes in roughly three years (shown below, left). The joke achieved viral status in the subreddit on March 25th, 2019, when Redditor[6] Jwick2002 made the comment on another prominent post, with Redditor[7] mavi_the_man suggesting making a subreddit for the meme and Redditor[8] timothy_green launching the /r/WaltBecomesHeisenberg[9] subreddit (exchange shown below, right).

dennyblah 3 yr. ago This is the moment OP truly became Heisenberg. 594 globetheater 3 yr. ago B R A VINCE O Reply Give Award Share Report Save Follow 114 Reply Give Award Share Report Save Follow Jwick2002 3 yr. ago This is the exact moment Walter becomes Heisenberg 346 [deleted] 3 yr. ago There should be a subreddit for when people say this Reply Share Report Save Follow 287 Reply Give Award Share Report Save Follow [deleted] 3 yr. ago You're in it right now 189 79 Reply Share Report Save Follow timothy_green - 3 yr. ago I just did. Check out r/waltbecomesheisenberg. Thanks for the idea man Reply Give Award Share Report Save Follow


In late March 2019, the joke went viral in the /r/breakingbad subreddit as users posted memes based on it, with more posts getting submitted to /r/WaltBecomeHeisenberge. For example, on March 31st, 2019, Redditor avegned_llama posted a meme that gained over 2,100 upvotes in /r/breakingbad[10] in three years (shown below, left). On April 6th, Redditor sgumberts1 posted a meme that gained over 2,400 upvotes in the subreddit in the same period[11] (shown below, right).

The exact moment when Walter White becomes Heisenberg The moment Heisenberg tried to become Walter White.

Following the period of initial virality in the /r/breakingbad subreddit, the joke spread to other communities, primarily fandoms of other popular series, as users adopted the "The Exact Moment When X Became Y" snowclone. For example, on May 7th, 2019, Redditor[12] captainbignips posted a Game of Thrones version of the meme that gained over 40 upvotes in the /r/freefolk subreddit in three years (shown below, left). On July 21st, 2021, the Facebook[13] page Socialist Sopranos Memes posted a Sopranos version of the meme that gained over 620 reactions and 60 shares in one year (shown below, right).

This was the moment Daenerys became Heisenberg D Socialist Sopranos Memes @gabagoolmarx This is a picture of Tony at the exact moment he became The Sopranos

The snowclone has also been used as a title for various Breaking Bad clips,[14][15] while the snowclone has gained significant presence in YouTube comments.

Vince Gilligan's Opinion

In an August 2013 interview, series creator Vince Gilligan named the ending scene of episode five "Gray Matter" of season one of the series in which Walter White refuses to accept Gretchen and Elliot's money and instead offers Jesse to resume their partnership as the moment Walter White "broke bad."

Various Examples

The moment Walter White became Heisenberg амс TOKY 10 This is it. This is the moment Walter White became 'Heisenberg'. This was the moment he "broke bad". The Exact Moment Walt Jr. become Flynn 56 WALKING Bad
haer (dark brandonite) @haerhawk This is the exact moment Walter white became morbius Molybdenum 42 Mo RBIUS 95.95 7:13 AM - May 28, 2022. Twitter for Android r/breakingbad jokes starter pack "This is the moment Walt became Heisenberg" "I am the one who "(Literally any word), bitch!"

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