Top 10 Hidden References to Breaking Bad in Better Call Saul



Top 10 Hidden References to Breaking Bad in Better Call Saul

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Richard Bush
We bet you didn't catch these hidden references to “Breaking Bad” in “Better Call Saul.” For this list, we're taking a look at the best callbacks or, er, call-forwards, to the “Breaking Bad” series, hidden within the dialogue and scenery of “Better Call Saul.” Our countdown includes a Cinnabon in Omaha, Belize, Loyola's Diner, and more!
Who’d have thought that this crooked, floppy-haired lawyer would do so well on his own? Welcome to WatchMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden References to Breaking Bad in Better Call Saul.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the best callbacks or, er, call-forwards, to the “Breaking Bad” series, hidden within the dialogue and scenery of “Better Call Saul”. Oh yeah, and a huge spoiler alert to anyone who isn’t up to date on either series.

#10: A Cinnabon in Omaha

When the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan towards the end of season five of “Breaking Bad”, Saul Goodman is considering his options - which mainly consist of keeping a low profile and, well, keeping his life, if he’s lucky. In a throwaway comment when talking to Walter White, Saul mentions that he’ll be lucky if he’s managing a Cinnabon in Omaha. And yep, you guessed it, in a selection of flash-forward scenes from “Better Call Saul”, we see Jimmy, aka Saul, aka Gene, working at a Cinnabon in Omaha, in tense and memorable black and white sequences.

#9: Casa Tranquila

In his elderly client days, Jimmy would head to a certain Casa Tranquila retirement home in order to generate new business - and he did pretty well for himself in the process. If Casa Tranquila looks familiar though, it’s because it just so happens to be the same retirement home that the wheelchair-bound Hector Salamanca spends his time in during “Breaking Bad”. It’s also the place where Hector and Gus have their final, explosive showdown. And let’s not forget, “Better Call Saul” also shows us how Hector ended up in a wheelchair in the first place - and how he learned to communicate using that dreaded bell.

#8: Name-Dropping Nacho

In a scene from an early “Breaking Bad” episode, Walt and Jessie have a run in with Saul - and in an attempt to scare him, they take him out to a hole in the desert. This scene alone has so much content based on Saul’s past, including his dollar in the pocket attorney-client technique, mention of his bad knees, and most significantly, his attempt to point the blame at someone called Ignacio. At the time, we just thought this was a made-up name. But the prequel series has introduced Ignacio, aka Nacho, as a key character. So, it turns out it wasn’t all just BS after all.

#7: Watch Out for Tarantulas

Mike quickly becomes a key focus in “Better Call Saul”, and we see him leaving Philadelphia and heading to Albuquerque. But there’s a moment, just before Mike leaves, where a bartender tells him to keep an eye out for tarantulas. A meaningless comment on the surface, but it’s actually a reference to the train heist in season five of “Breaking Bad”, which has Todd shooting a kid on a motorbike. That episode starts with said kid collecting a tarantula in a jar in the desert, and later on, it falls to the ground after he is shot. So, the mention of tarantulas earlier on acts as a grim foreboding.

#6: Ice Station Zebra Associates

This is a clever one. Throughout “Better Call Saul” we learn of the close relationship between Jimmy and Kim. And one of their favorite past times is watching movies together, specifically “Ice Station Zebra”, which Kim has fond memories of because of her father. Why is this significant? Well, the fake company, Ice Station Zebra Associates, is referenced during one of Jimmy and Kim’s scams. And more significantly, Saul uses Ice Station Zebra Associates as the name of a holding company to help Walt launder his money in “Breaking Bad”.

#5: Belize

Hardcore “Breaking Bad” fans will remember the time when Saul suggests to Walt that they should send Hank to the same place Mike went, you know, Belize. Walt did not take that suggestion lightly. Of course, Saul was using Belize as a euphemism for murder in that instance. In a callback to that moment, Saul, as Jimmy, drops Belize into his routine during his bingo-calling gig at a retirement home in “Better Call Saul”. To the uninitiated, it’s purely a random holiday destination. But to fans of the series, it’s a cool easter egg that carries a lot of weight.

#4: The Pink Pig

Mike’s certainly got a tough outer shell, both physically and emotionally. And throughout his tenure in the “Breaking Bad” universe, we never see his guard go down. Well, except for when he’s with his granddaughter Kaylee. In “Better Call Saul”, we see Mike spending lots of time with her, and giving her gifts, including a cute pink pig teddy bear. Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that Mike later uses the same teddy bear to distract a hitman, who's waiting on the other side of a door for him, in “Breaking Bad”. Clever.

#3: Zafiro Añejo Tequila

As fictional brands go, this one is pretty significant. A tainted bottle of the stuff helped Gus take out an entire cartel mob, remember? But that wasn’t its first appearance in the series. Zafiro Añejo tequila features a few times in “Better Call Saul” - notably in a scene where Jimmy and Kim scam a guy called Ken in a bar - convincing him to buy them $50 shots of the stuff. Jimmy also buys a congratulatory bottle for him and Kim to drink in season three of the show.

#2: Loyola’s Diner

A lot goes down in Albuquerque diners - especially at the famed Loyola’s Diner. The seemingly normal eatery is a favourite meet up spot for Mike and Lydia in “Breaking Bad”. And Mike can also be seen taking Jesse for a meal here in season four of the series. If its setting looks familiar, that’s because it also features numerous times in “Better Call Saul”, with Jimmy meeting the Kettlemans, Mike meeting Hector Salamanca and Mike also occasionally dining there alone. Not only that, but it’s actually a very real restaurant that you can go and visit in Albuquerque.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

Juan Tabo Boulevard

The 1997 Cadillac DeVille

Stock Broker Ken

Tampico Furniture

Mike and the Kettlemans

#1: Kevin Costner

You’re never quite sure whether what is coming out of Saul’s mouth is fact or fiction. And when he claims that he managed to convince a woman he was Kevin Costner in “Breaking Bad,” most of us likely assumed it was just an elaborate lie in order to prove a point to Walt. But, it turns out, he was telling the truth. In an episode of “Better Call Saul”, you see a hazy-eyed Jimmy waking up to the sight of a confused and angry woman, who is quickly realising that he’s not who he said he was - the night before. That’s Jimmy.