In S05E11 of Breaking Bad, a scene made me think of something. In the restroom a guy complained:

Nanny state. When I see a kid with his bicycle helmet on, I want to smack the shit out of him, like for his own good.

While the other man wiping blood of their shoes. It’s a charming little scene.

I don't understand the meaning of this scene. Is it sarcasm that the guy is like a nanny? Or sarcasm that modern American culture is like a nanny?


1 Answer 1


A transcript I found online shows the full quote. It has

Ever been on a plane and find yourself looking down at the armrest next to you, looking at the little plug where the ashtray used to go? I look at that and I say, "What the hell happened to this country?" Nanny state.

I see a kid with a bicycle helmet on, I wanna smack the sh1t out of him. Like, for his own good.

Nanny state is a set phrase that is (per wikipedia)

a term of British origin that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term "nanny state" likens government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing.

The first line is decrying this behaviour, for example increasing prohibitions on smoking. The second line adds the example of a child with a bicycle helmet on; bicycle helmets are another thing intended to make life safer.

  • Thanks for your answer! What is meaning of 'other man wiping blood of their shoes' in this scene? Is it a sarcasm? Feb 21, 2020 at 14:30
  • @卢声远ShengyuanLu sorry, I haven't actually seen the show past season 1, so I can't help you with that
    – AakashM
    Feb 22, 2020 at 19:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .