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Saul Goodman memes explained, by those who know best

Breaking Bad memes are still prevailing despite the show ending a decade ago, but Saul Goodman memes have especially exploded in popularity.

saul goodman memes: saul goodman 3d

It’s been a decade since Breaking Bad, widely considered one of the best TV series of all time, came to an end. The drug, violence, and crime-fuelled thriller series was quickly followed by Better Call Saul, a spin-off based on the misadventures of side character Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy lawyer was always a fan favourite, and the Netflix series was a triumph: lauded by critics and audiences alike before ending on a high in 2022.

But the legacy of Saul Goodman has been uniquely immortalised thanks to its synthesisation into meme culture. A dedicated Saul Goodman memes subreddit has over 2,000 followers; 29,100 Instagram posts are tagged as #bettercallsaulmemes, while TikToks tagged #bettercallsaulmeme(s) have a cumulative viewership of 100 million.

Far from a fringe subculture, memes about Saul Goodman have gradually shifted from the relatable — like the Your honour image panel where Saul humorously ‘defends’’ clients who, for example, “did it for the Vine” — to the more absurd. On YouTube, for instance, a ten-hour loop of the Better Call Saul theme tune accompanied by a distorted 3D image of Saul Goodman’s face has hundreds of thousands of views. The original viral video, entitled ‘Saul Goodman 3D,’ has amassed 6.2 million views since it was uploaded a year ago.

The increasingly bizarre nature of these memes means that the 2022 TV series has become a vehicle for ‘shitposting’ — which is defined on Urban Dictionary as “any content on the internet whose humour derives from its surreal nature and/or its lack of clear context.” For 27-year-old Harry, a videographer and meme page admin, the post-ironic nature of these memes is precisely what draws him to them.

“I think the internet has broken our brains to a point where anything can be funny if we decide it is,” he explained. “These memes are usually screengrabs from either Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad with a caption that doesn’t really make sense, and I think they partly work because the show itself is very serious — so, you get a contrast.”

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“That said,” he added, “It’s a skill for someone to make a meme on the exact level of irony that will resonate with people.”

24-year-old journalist and fellow meme enjoyer Dylan agrees, it’s the irony of these Saul Goodman memes that appeal to the masses. “Time will tell, but this shit just won’t go away,” he joked. “Better Call Saul is a masterpiece, and is one of my favourite shows, but what’s really noticeable is how, over the years, memes about Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul have shifted from classic 2011 humour (like Rage comics) to something very LGBT friendly and post-ironic, and I think that’s to do with the show finding a new appeal in lockdown with younger people.”

Maddie, who works in media, agrees that a new, younger audience is driving the Saul Goodman meme train — and she only started watching the drama series herself in 2022. “I started watching Better Call Saul really late, like right after the finale, and just binged it over two weeks,” she explained. “Then, once I started watching the show, memes, slide shows, and videos just appeared all over my TikTok ‘For You’ Page.”

saul goodman memes: saul goodman in court

She continued, “It’s been 10 years since Breaking Bad ended, but I also think there’s a whole new interest in the show for Gen Z who didn’t watch it when it was on TV, and the best response is to meme it – We also want to see these characters in contemporary contexts too, so it’s fun to see the Walt and Jesse Minecraft memes or the Saul Goodman catboy edits.”

What are Saul Goodman catboy edits, you ask? It’s where people edit anime character-style cat ears on Odenkirk. In this age of post-ironic memery, the Saul Goodman rabbit hole feels endless — but internet culture reporter and deep-fried meme expert Kelsey Weekman tells me that this is all part of the fun. “I love being on TikTok in the peak TV era because you can go down this rabbit hole of niche memes until eventually you barely know what you’re looking at anymore,” she said.

saul goodman memes: saul goodman catboy

“Both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul are extremely good and very serious. Making memes about them that are weird and surreal is inherently a funny thing to do — the juxtaposition of something you expect to be serious becoming absurd is a guaranteed laugh. It’s kind of an inside joke to signal you have a good taste in TV but you’re still fun to be around.”

“I always wonder what Bob Odenkirk thinks about the memes,” Weekman added. “Like, I bet he doesn’t understand them, but I think he would respect them.”