Nov 10, 2016 I Micah Hanks

Breaking The Walking Dead: How a Drug Lord May Have Caused the Zombie Apocalypse

Some things apparently never really die... like zombies, for instance.

But if there's anything that may die harder than a zombie being blown to bits by post-apocalyptic survivors in an award-winning AMC television series, it might be fan theories about what got the dead walking in the first place.

Although admittedly, this latest fan theory is, well, pretty bad... in fact, it's Breaking Bad. 

Many fans of AMC's popular television show The Walking Dead have considered whether the backstory for what brought about the hellish events in the series can be found in chemist turned drug-lord Walter White's iconic blue product, which unbeknownst to characters in the Breaking Bad universe, would later become the "death meth" to usher in the zombie apocalypse.

We've covered bizarre fan theories in the past here at Mysterious Universe, especially those presenting alternative scenarios about the fates of characters that may incorporate otherworldly themes, such as the Grease fan theory where the entire story occurs in the mind of Sandy, who actually dies on the beach prior to the events seen in the film. Similarly, we mentioned in that article the idea expressed by comedian Norm MacDonald and others that Bryan Cranston's character, Walter, in Breaking Bad also dreamed or may have hallucinated the events seen in the final episode of the series.

But what if there were tangible clues that linked the two worlds of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead?


For those with an eye for detail, you may have noticed that there do appear to be some nods to Breaking Bad that have appeared in The Walking Dead. For instance, early in the series Glenn is seen driving a red Dodge Charger that will be particularly familiar to fans of Breaking Bad, as it is the same car Walt purchases for his son, and subsequently is forced to return by his wife, Skyler.

Some fans think this is more than merely a nod, as the car is being driven by the Walking Dead character Glenn... and the lot Walter White bought the car from was owned by a salesman named Glenn, as the sign there indicates. (Granted, this wouldn't explain how WD Glenn obtains the car, which Walter White is seen destroying subsequent to learning there will be a restocking fee with the return in a later BB sequence; but such is the stuff of fan theories, right?).

A more tantalizing clue is afforded us in the second episode of The Walking Dead, where we see Merle's hidden drug stash, containing what appears to be the same crystalline blue substance famously produced by Walter White and his assistant, Jesse Pinkman.

At one point, Daryl even describes Merle's supplier as a thin, "janky white guy" who brandished a weapon for critiquing his favorite television show, and told him, "I'm going to kill you, bitch!" This certainly does sound reminiscent of Pinkman's colloquialisms on the Breaking Bad series.

Admittedly, the threads connecting the two universes become more tenuous hereafter, but for those interested in seeing where fans think the connections are most prevalent, a full breakdown is given over at the Fan Theories YouTube page. So the question is, are there really any connections here?

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"Zombies" by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles)

In likelihood, there probably actually are, which is a lot more than can be said of the majority of fan theories floating around today.

The Breaking Bad Walking Dead theory is a unique one, since both of the programs were aired on the AMC network, which does lend credence to the apparent connections appearing between the two. And these are no recent discovery to the fans of the two programs; references to the "Easter Eggs" popping up across the two platforms have been referenced since early 2014, with Tristan Cooper of even noting last year that, "the references are so prevalent that they almost seem like they take place in the same universe, just at different time periods."

This is a fairly common motif used in films (hence the term "Easter Egg", in reference to an unexpected reference or feature used in various media, included as a humorous reference or nod to another work, or sometimes purely as a joke). Another famous example involves director Sam Raimi, who has made famous the use of a yellow 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 in his films. It was first used in his debut, The Evil Dead (1981), and has subsequently appeared at some point in virtually every film he has ever made.

So yes, in a way, the Easter Eggs in The Walking Dead actually probably are direct references to the Breaking Bad universe, which the fans of both shows invariably pick up on, and have gone wild with.

That said, we're still waiting on the fan theory that will explain how events occurring "a long time ago, in a galaxy far away" in the Star Wars universe will eventually be used to explain what occurs in the adventures of Indiana Jones.

Oh wait... that's actually happened--several times--and it was hilarious in every case.

For more, see the fan theories that suggest Han Solo dreamed the Indiana Jones adventures while frozen in carbonite (actually pretty convincing... maybe), or this similar roundup which incorporates Han's guilt over the death of one of the rebel fighter pilots. Finally, what is perhaps my favorite: the theory that Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones traveled back in time to assassinate Hitler.

Wow. I'm going to have to get a lot more creative with my calls for new fan theories...

Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

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