‘Better Call Saul’: Vince Gilligan Based Toilet in Jimmy’s New Office on True Story That’s Much Grosser

The fifth episode of Better Call Saul Season 6 saw Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) move into new digs. As Saul Goodman, he started seeing clients before he even put furniture in the office, or remove some of the old stuff. Even Francesca (Tina Parker) questioned the toilet on the floor of Jimmy’s office. That was Better Call Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan’s idea. 

'Better Call Saul': Francesca (Tina Parker) is all smiles despite a used toilet based on Vince Gilligan's true story
Tina Parker | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Gilligan was a guest on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast to discuss the episode, “Black and Blue.” He took full credit for the toilet, and told the story of its basis. Warning, it’s a much grosser story than the toilet in Jimmy’s office. 

Before ‘Better Call Saul,’ Vince Gilligan saw a toilet in an apartment 

Alison Tatlock wrote the Better Call Saul episode “Black and Blue.” Gilligan mostly stayed out of it, but suggested the toilet in Saul’s office .

“I’m going to take some credit for something and say it was completely my idea,” Gilligan said on Better Call Saul Insider. “So the toilet was my idea and I remember that distinctly. None of the other good stuff in this episode is me, just the toilet.”

Gilligan has been holding onto this story for some 30 years. Better Call Saul proved to be the perfect spot for it. 

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“My friend Ken and I, 30 year ago, were in Richmond, Virginia,” Gilligan said. “I was hanging out with my friend Ken. He was looking for a new apartment. We’re looking around the VCU area, Virginia Commonwealth University. The landlord who’s showing him around, we go into this one apartment, the guy opens the door. It’s this nice looking, Fan Richmond area neighborhood called The Fan. It’s a nice Fan apartment except it’s got a toilet right in the middle of the living room. And it’s unplumbed.”

The toilet in real life was used 

This was really something out of a Jackass movie. Gilligan said he and his friend could tell the toilet in the living room had been used. 

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“They had pulled it out and left it there and someone had used it as if it were plumbed,” Gilligan said. “I’m not talking No. 1. The brilliance of it was this landlord, or realtor, walks around and says, ‘Hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, you don’t get this anymore. You’ve got the pressed tin ceiling. Now, that is a classic.’ He literally walks around the toilet without mentioning it.”

‘Better Call Saul’ co-creator Vince Gilligan confronted the landlord

It wasn’t even going to be Gilligan’s apartment, but finally he couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room anymore. Or its poop.

“It was everything you could imagine,” Gilligan said. “And he’s walking around and says, ‘Now this hearth, this is classic.’; I finally say, ‘Dude, what’s with the f***ing toilet?’ And he looks at it like he had just seen it for the first time. ‘That, we’ll fix that.’”

Gilligan did confirm that Ken did not rent the apartment with the toilet in the living room. 

“No, he did not,” Gilligan said. “That was pretty hilarious.”

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