In Breaking Bad season 5 episode 6, "Buyout", a reference is made to Ho Chi Minh. Can someone explain the meaning of the reference?

Well, gentlemen, we're here to discuss your illegal harassment of my client.

This should be good.

Mr. Ehrmantraut has become the subject of a vicious, relentless, and unwarranted DEA persecution.

Gomie, does that, uh, that sound right to you?

I have no idea what he's talking about.

Play it as cool as you like, Fonzie. But we all know you've been following my client day and night. The poor man can't even spend a few minutes with his granddaughter without you guys quivering in the bushes and peeping through your little binoculars. It's-- Well, it's disturbing. And it's taken a toll on his mental and physical well-being.

Your client looks fine to me.

Well, some hurts only show on the inside. Now, you guys don't even have warrants for these tails, do you?

Theoretically, these tails you refer to would be completely within the bounds of the law. We don't need a warrant to follow somebody through a public place. Theoretically.

Yeah, that is, uh, theoretically correct. However, I would counter that an open-ended, unrestricted surveillance like this amounts to stalking. Which is illegal. Now, I don't know what it is you find so interesting about my client, and I'm not here to judge. Different strokes and all. But sadly, he's just not that into you. So, I have filed for a temporary restraining order against the DEA on behalf of Mr. Ehrmantraut.

Where'd you get your law degree, Goodman? The same clown college you got that suit?

You know who likes this suit? Judge Papadoumian. She thinks I'm a snappy dresser. You know what Judge Papadoumian hates? Police harassment of a senior citizen. Sorry. Expect a visit from the sheriff, agents. You should have your ex parte within the hour. Let's go.

What the hell kind of judge would issue this thing?

Papadoumian, man. She's like Ho Chi Minh. So what we do?

Well, not a lot of choice, you know? We back off. For the moment. TRO won't stand up, and Goodman knows it. I don't see what they're playing at here, but if Ehrmantraut wants a fight, he's gonna get one.

  • 4
    This is a great a great dialogue and would be even better if it showed who is speaking each time, rather be it by different types of highlights or by showing the name of who is speaking at the beginning of each paragraph.
    – nilon
    Apr 13, 2017 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


It's a derisive reference to the judge being somewhat more liberal in her rulings than is pleasing to the DEA agents. Most law enforcement members are conservatives as their primary jobs are to enforce their society's stays quo. Judges however come from a wide range of political leanings and many were at one time defense lawyers. Their interpretation of the law is somewhat more circumspect than the average law enforcement members and they often err on the side of the defendant's rights as:

  1. They have a far greater knowledge of American jurisprudence than do the majority of law enforcement officers.
  2. They know their errors can be reversed upon appeal and that doesn't make them appear to be competent if/when it occurs too often.

Clearly Agent Gomez had one or more rulings come from this particular judge with which he disagreed and he compared her to the late leader of North Vietnam because communism and liberalism are often interchangeable in the minds of American conservatives.


Without knowing too much about Breaking Bad or Mr. Minh, I would guess from the context you provide that the DEA agent is making a reference to Minh being a communist.

When one American derisively suggests a second American is a communist, the meaning is usually that the second American's ideals contrast with typical American ideals. So the DEA agent is implying that the judge is the type who would protect a citizen from persecution from over-zealous law enforcement officials, even if the citizen is likely guilty of a crime.

  • 4
    Adding to Shane F's answer, "Ho Chi Minh" was a famous communist in Vietnam. It seems Gommez was using Ho Chi Minh as derogatory slander to call someone a communist/commie, whom are also known as being "liberal", inferring that the judge was one of those type of people. Source; Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary
    – Jared
    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:48
  • 3
    Ho Chi Minh should not be referred to as "Mr. Minh". That makes as much sense as calling the 43rd president of the United States "Mr. Walker".
    – user9668
    Aug 11, 2015 at 10:34
  • 2
    @Kenny: Seems like it got the point across, no? But I understand your point, and thank you.
    – Shiz Z.
    Aug 11, 2015 at 17:20

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