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Why the Pizza Wasn't Sliced in That Iconic 'Breaking Bad' Scene

Published On 03/17/2017 Published On 03/17/2017

Among the magnets, the "Face-Off" death, the fly, and countless other visually arresting scenes from Breaking Bad, the pizza toss scene proved so popular that creator Vince Gilligan went on a podcast beg people to stop mimicking it. But one problem with the scene lingered among fans on the internet: the pizza was unsliced.

This point of controversy has lived since at least 2010, when the episode in question, "Caballo Sin Nombre," first aired in the show's third season. Cranston nailed the toss in one take when filming and producers decided that -- practically -- throwing a sliced pizza like that would result in a cheesy, tomato-y mess without nearly the same emotional payoff. Let's go back to the tape:

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Of course, Breaking Bad then had to contend with the fact that Venezia's, a real-life pizzeria, would sell an unsliced pizza. This remained a mystery for years, until one fan asked Gilligan in a Reddit AMA: "Was Badger and Skinny Pete's conversation at Jesse's party about the pizzas not being sliced written in after the fact to explain how Walters pizza landed on the roof intact? Everyone knows a sliced pizza would have come apart."

They were referring to this snippet of conversation from Breaking Bad's fourth season, almost entirely unremarkable except for the fact that it mentions unsliced pizza. That beautiful line, I remind you, came from Badger, played by Matt L. Jones: "They don't cut the pizza, and they pass the savings on to you."

Dom Smith/YouTube

Here was Gilligan's reply in the AMA, with emphasis added:

Yes! We had a long discussion before we shot the pizza on the roof scene about whether or not the pizza should be slicedā€”because, as all you physicists know, a thrown, sliced pizza would come apart due to centrifugal force or angular momentum (or something like that). And yet, you're right: no self-respecting pizza parlor sells an unsliced pizza. So we figured we needed to explain it (in the "They pass the savings on to you" scene), or else face our audience's righteous wrath!

In Breaking Bad -- as in life -- pizza is serious business.

H/T: Reddit

Eric Vilas-Boas is a writer and editor at Thrillist and a huge fan of both pizza and Breaking Bad. Follow him @e_vb_.

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