'Breaking Bad': 10 ways that Walter White is like Scrooge McDuck
Walter White has lots of money. We know this, because unlike most very rich men — who keep their money safely tied up in investments and assets and Switzerland — Walt keeps his money stored in a gigantic pile of greenbacks. On the most recent episode of Breaking Bad, go-to Goodman enforcers Kuby and Huell had to move his cash, and Huell briefly indulged himself by lying flat on his back in the pile of cash. “We’re here to do a job, not channel Scrooge McDuck,” chastised Kuby…before taking the opportunity to do the same thing.
No doubt it was just a throwaway comment. No doubt if you asked Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to explain the metaphorical intention of the Scrooge McDuck reference, he would genially chortle and say, “Why heck, son, we don’t talk too much about metaphors ’round the ol’ Gilligan homestead!” right before he took off his seersucker jacket and elaborately fanned himself with a copy of the Altanta Journal-Constitution and pouring you a Sazerac. NOT BUYING IT, GILLIGAN. If you look closely at the history of Breaking Bad, Walter White actually has a lot in common with everyone’s favorite richest duck in the world, and the comparison could indicate the ultimate endgame of the TV series. Let’s run down the similarities, shall we?
1. They both prefer to keep their money stored in a gigantic pile. Walt has generally kept his money close at hand, sometimes hiding it underneath his house and eventually putting it into a storage facility. Scrooge McDuck, meanwhile, keeps his money stored inside of a large Money Bin.
2. The amount of money they possess is literally uncountable. As Skyler herself admitted, she has “no earthly idea” exactly how much money Walter has. This implies that Walt’s money-pile may in fact be mystical, possessing a dollar amount beyond any physical measuring capacity. Scrooge McDuck also has a pile of money — which he keeps in his Money Bin — that is essentially uncountable. At one point, his riches were measured at one multiplujillion, nine obsquatumatillion, six hundred twenty-three dollars and sixty-two cents. But the two great McDuck experts in history disagree on the point; creator Carl Barks stated that the total dollar amount was five billion quintiplitilion unptuplatillion multuplatillion impossibidillion fantasticatrillion, while contemporary writer-artist Don Rosa placed the number at five multiplujillion, nine impossibidillion, seven fantasticatrillion dollars and sixteen cents.
3. Both of them are much more focused on making money then on actually spending the money. There are exceptions, but those exceptions usually just wind up proving the rule. Out of general spite, Walt bought his son a totally sweet car, but this caused trouble in his marriage and served as a general reminder that he could never allow himself to spend any of his ill-gotten gains.
4. Because they don’t actually care about spending the money, neither of them is ever actually satisfied with their riches. Scrooge McDuck has only one goal: To be the Richest Duck in the World. This is a goal matched by Walter White, whose mission statement is to be in “the Empire Business.”
5. They both have wacky young accomplices that constantly get them into and out of trouble. Basically, Jesse is Huey, Dewey, and Louie all rolled into one.
6. Both Walter White and Scrooge McDuck have a nemesis who is their mirror image. Flintheart Glomgold, meet Gustavo Fring.
7. They both collect souvenirs from their past adventures. Scrooge has stated that he remembers where he made every single coin in his money bin. Walt has the possibly-even-more-terrifying ability to absorb the habits of his victims. He also kept the Walt Whitman book which Gale gave him, which is sort of like Uncle Scrooge showing off his Number One Dime to all of his guests. (In this metaphor, Hank is Magica De Spell.)
10. The decision to relentlessly pursue riches turns them both into empty shells of ambition. This may sound like a rather harsh reading of Uncle Scrooge, but it’s a central theme of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which reconfigures Scrooge’s life story as an All-American tale of the pursuit of happiness (and argues that the pursuit is much happier than the destination). In its penultimate chapter, Scrooge turns his back on his family. That certainly bears a striking resemblance to the overall arc of Walter’s story, which began with the former chemistry teacher making money for his family and now sees him making money just for the sake of making more money.
Either that, or — at some point in this season — Walter White will actually drown someone with his money. In conclusion, that Saul Goodman spinoff will be about Saul moving to Saint Canard and becoming Darkwing Duck’s sidekick.
Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.