The writers of Better Call Saul knew Breaking Bad fans would be looking for any little throwback to the mothership series in the Saul Goodman prequel, and from the very first episode (through, we can hint, the April 6 Season 1 finale), they have filled the Better Call Saul basket with Breaking Bad Easter eggs aplenty.
In celebration of the <Saul season ender, and, you know, actual Easter, here are our 12 favorite BB Easter eggs from Season 1. Caveat: These are certainly not the only Easter eggs from the premiere season, so feel free to share your favorites in the comments. Oh, and one more hint about an Easter egg from next week’s epic season finale: Saul Goodman’s favorite “vacation” spot. Think about it, and just remember that we predicted you’re going to laugh out loud when you hear it.
A Cinnabon in Omaha
Saul Goodman said it in “Granite State,” the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, as he bid client Walter White adieu: “The fun’s over. From here on out, I’m Mr. Low Profile, just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers. If I’m lucky, a month from now, best case scenario: I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”
Flash forward, in the Better Call Saul premiere, and Saul is, in fact, the visor-wearing manager of a Cinnabon outlet inside a mall in Omaha. Except now, he goes by the name Gene, as we learn from his name tag.
There Goes the Neighborhood
Gale Boetticher, Walter White’s ill-fated lab assistant, lived at 6353 Juan Tabo Avenue in Albuquerque. In fact, it was at his Juan Tabo abode that one Jesse Pinkman shot and killed him, in an act that began in earnest Jesse’s unraveling.
In “Uno,” when Saul Goodman is arguing with the court clerk about the paltry sum of his public defender payment, he holds the check up to the window, and it reveals his address: 160 Juan Tabo NE. At least we know, as per his Cinnabon gig, that Juan Tabo was a bit kinder to Jimmy/Saul/Gene.
Dude, Where’s My (Other) Car?
In Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman drove a white 1997 Cadillac DeVille, with the New Mexico license plate LWYRUP.
In the Better Call Saul premiere, we see Jimmy McGill walking out of the courthouse and into the parking lot, where he’s headed towards a shiny white Cadillac DeVille… before every so slightly shifting his step towards the car parked right next to it: a 1998 Suzuki Esteem, yellow, except for the orange-colored back passenger door, and looking like it has seen far better days. Jimmy later says of his ride, “The only way that entire car’s worth $500 is if there’s a $300 hooker sitting in it.”
Loyal to Loyola’s
Loyola’s Family Restaurant is a real eatery in the ABQ, a frequent stop for diners traveling Route 66. In Breaking Bad, it was also a favorite haunt of Mike Ehrmantraut, whether he was meeting with uptight Lydia, or trying to lay some mentorship on Jesse Pinkman.
In Saul, Loyola’s diner is once again a hotspot, from Saul’s first meeting with Betsy and Craig Kettleman to a shout out in “Pimento,” when newbie drug dealer Price tells his hired bodyguards it’s a good place for a pee break before they head out on their appointment with Nacho.
Kick the Can
Walter White takes out his frustrations by punching a metal paper towel dispenser in a public bathroom after getting bad news from his doctor in Breaking Bad.
In Better Call Saul, Jimmy takes out his frustrations with Howard Hamlin on a metal garbage can outside the elevator bank at the HHM offices. Oddly, despite the obvious dents in both, no one replaces the damaged towel dispenser or garbage can.
Psycho that he is, Tuco Salamanca is also a caring nephew, who cooks tasty burritos for his Tio Salamanca (and Jesse and Walt) in Breaking Bad.
In the “Mijo” episode of Saul, Tuco is seen in the kitchen of his abuelita’s home, chopping veggies and frying ‘em up to make his grandma a delicious-looking burrito dinner.
It’s All Good, Man
In “Hero,” episode four of Better Call Saul, a flashback to a Slippin’ Jimmy scam reveals the origins of Jimmy’s future moniker: He tells Stevie, the mark in a fake Rolex scam he and a pal pull, that his name is Saul. “As in, s’all good, man,” Jimmy says.
Fashion Crimes (or, the Fashions of Criminals)
In Breaking Bad, Gustavo Fring sports a yellow, long-sleeved shirt and tie combo while carrying out his duties at Los Pollos Hermanos, while Saul Goodman is a fan of bright (think orange) shirts and ties while representing his (almost always guilty) clientele.
In Better Call Saul’s “Hero,” Jimmy goes shopping for a suit that will out-Hamlin Howard and his Hamlindigo blue attire, but while he’s in the clothing store, a Gus-ish yellow button-down shirt hangs on the wall, and Jimmy picks up a neon orange long-sleeved shirt and looks at it longingly. No worries, Jimmy… soon, you’ll have a closet full of ‘em.
In “End Times,” the Season 4 Breaking Bad episode where Jesse’s favorite kiddo, Brock, ended up in the hospital after having been poisoned (by Walt, unbeknownst to Jesse), a nurse played by actress T.C. Warner tosses Jesse out, because he’s not related to Brock.
In the Better Call Saul ep “Alpine Shepherd Boy,” after Chuck is tasered by the police and taken to the hospital, Jimmy shows up and frantically tries to shut down anything that’s being powered by electricity, and a nurse — yep, played by T.C. Warner, this time wearing her hair in a braid — gets a security guard to come to the room.
Trains and Tarantulas
In Bad, 14-year-old Drew Sharp was murdered by “dead-eyed Opie” Todd, who was afraid Drew had witnessed Walt and company’s train heist while Drew was riding his bike out in the desert, looking for a tarantula.
In “Five-O,” the instant-classic Mike backstory episode of Saul, Mike arrives in Albuquerque via train, after a bartender pal in Philadelphia had warned him to be careful of the tarantulas in ABQ, which is a “big minus in my book,” he says, for the place Mike plans to call his new home. If he only knew…
Thank You, Nebraska!
As he predicted in Breaking Bad, that Cinnabon in Omaha saved Saul after he lammed it post-Walter White. But before all that, the Cornhusker state offers Jimmy McGill another important opportunity. In the “RICO” episode of Better Call Saul, Jimmy’s case against Sandpiper is made when he finds a document that proves the New Mexico-based company’s practice of overcharging its elderly clients includes syringes purchased from a business in Lincoln. That equals interstate fraud, which equals possible RICO charges, which means a potential multi-million dollar payday for old Jimmy.
The Caviar of the South
In Bad, while on a stakeout in Season 4’s “Cornered,” Mike offers Jesse a pimento cheese sandwich.
In “Pimento,” the penultimate episode of the first season of Better Call Saul, Mike shows up for a freelance security gig with a little brown paper bag. Is it carrying his gun, or some other weapon? Nope… it’s his lunch, a pimento sandwich — “the caviar of the south,” he says — which apparently makes a fine snack during criminal-related activities of all kind.
The Better Call Saul Season 1 finale airs April 6 at 10 p.m. on AMC.