‘Better Call Saul’ Theme Song Has a Hidden ‘Breaking Bad’ Reference

Breaking Bad was arguably one of the best shows of the decade, and now, the spinoff, Better Call Saul is taking viewers by storm. Some say it’s even better than it’s predecessor. But the AMC crime drama hasn’t forgotten its roots. In fact, Better Call Saul honors it’s Breaking Bad roots with a hidden reference in the theme song. 

What is ‘Better Call Saul’?

Better Call Saul cast
Better Call Saul | James Minchin/AMC

Viewers were introduced to the slick, criminal lawyer Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad. Although he was a side character, fans loved him. And when the series ended, Goodman was someone who wouldn’t be forgotten. 

Better Call Saul was released in 2015, as a spinoff that focuses on the character. The show follows his development from a con-artist named Jimmy McGill into the high-profile criminal attorney known as Saul Goodman. His name is a play on the phrase “It’s all good, man,” meaning that he’ll solve any problem for his dangerous, cartel clients. 

The first season begins while Goodman is working as a public defender out of the backroom of a nail salon.  He quickly comes in contact with drug-dealer, Nacho Varga, who eventually leads him into business with Gus Fring, the cartel kingpin known from Breaking Bad

Viewers love Better Call Saul so much, that it was made one of TV Guide’s 100 Best Shows on TV Right Now for 2020. Some are even saying that the spin-off is better than it’s predecessor because it’s the story behind the story.

Showrunner, Peter Gould explained to TV Guide why it’s captured so many fans. “Our theory was that how things happen is even more interesting than what happens,” he said. “You can synopsize anybody’s life by saying, ‘She was born, and then she died.’ But it’s the experience of it.”

‘Breaking Bad’ creators wanted more Saul Goodman

RELATED: 8 ‘Breaking Bad’ Easter Eggs in ‘Better Call Saul’

Out of all the characters in Breaking Bad, Goodman was the perfect one to focus on for a spinoff. Viewers got a kick out of his quirky, slick personality. But maybe even more important, the show’s creators and writers had a blast making up his lines, and they wanted more of him.

Vince Gilligan, Better Call Saul’s creator, explained to Uproxx how the idea was born. “It started as a joke. It really did,” he said. “…I love working with Bob [Odenkirk, who plays Goodman]… But we also loved the character. We love writing for the character. We love putting words in his mouth.”

Gilligan continued, “…We’d come up with some great term or phrase and we’d laugh about it in the writer’s room. And then we’d say, ‘You know, when we’re doing the Saul Goodman show we’ll be able to blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And we made that comment so many times that it started to dawn on us that it wasn’t a [joke]; there was truth to it. It was not just a joke, but a potentially good idea.”

So, Better Call Saul was created because the writers just had so much more for him to say. Luckily, viewers agree. 

‘Better Call Saul’ has a hidden ‘Breaking Bad’ reference in the theme song

Breaking Bad fans are familiar with the intense, dobro guitar-centered theme song which plays at the beginning of every episode. It sets the mood for the show. So, when working on the spin-off, the show’s creators wanted to pay homage to Goodman’s roots. 

According to Mental Floss, musical composer, Dave Porter took the same notes from Breaking Bad‘s theme song and remixed it into something more surf rock, to better fit the mood of Better Call Saul.  The similarities aren’t immediately apparent, but if viewers listen closely, they’ll pick up the familiar cords.