Saul Goodman has been the face of bad lawyers for years. With his debut as the seedy lawyer for Breaking Bad’s notorious meth cook Walter White, Saul Goodman was introduced to the world as someone willing to go to extremes to keep you out of jail. As Walter White’s assistant Jesse Pinkman put it, “When the going gets tough, you don’t want a criminal lawyer. You want a criminal lawyer.” Since that moment, Saul Goodman and his creative yet highly questionable and generally illegal antics have brought humor and entertainment to viewers everywhere. His character in the hit show Breaking Bad was so popular that he got his own incredibly successful spinoff, Better Call Saul. Although Breaking Bad premiered in 2008 and Better Call Saul launched in 2015, the memes surrounding Saul Goodman only began around March of 2020. Since then, Saul Goodman and the memes that feature his character have come to represent a form of humor in the courtroom.
These memes are technically known as the “Your Honor” memes as they did not initially feature Saul Goodman as the prominent face of the meme. In early January of 2020, the first “Your Honor” meme was posted on Reddit. The general format of the meme is simple, and has remained the same before and after they evolved to feature Saul Goodman. It showcases some figure in a courtroom, usually speaking to a judge or with their client by their side. The meme has the “Top text/bottom text” format. This means that the opening line (in this case “Your Honor”) will be at the top, and the “punch line” will be written at the bottom. A Reddit user known as SunglassGaming posted this first meme to Reddit. In this meme, the defendant addresses the judge and argues that he cannot go to jail because people signed a petition on change.org for his freedom. This is the usual method of humor behind these memes. The lawyer or defendant will say “Your Honor,” followed by a comedic tagline explaining why they or their client cannot possibly be guilty of a crime.
This meme format only began to see notable spread around March of 2020. Several Reddit users received inspiration from SunglassGaming and his joke aimed at the public perception of change.org petitions, many of which gain traction only to end up accomplishing nothing. These first memes did not feature Saul Goodman, yet they still followed the same format of the initial “Your Honor” meme.
According to knowyourmeme.com, on March 21st 2020, a Reddit user with the username Snaccetti posted the first known “Your Honor” meme featuring Saul Goodman. This version of the meme features Saul Goodman defending someone who apparently sent a death threat, but typed “/s” after the death threat. In the language of the Internet, someone who posts something on social media but types “/s” after their post intends the content to be taken as sarcastic. Thus, according to Saul, his client cannot be guilty since his death threat was supposedly sarcastic. Following this post, the “Your Honor” meme format featuring Saul Goodman gained traction on many different social media platforms, evolving and changing to feature Saul defending his clients for any number of things.
A popular mutation of the Saul Goodman meme has been its combination with other current or well-known memes. For example, “Do it for the Vine” is a phrase referring to the previously popular social media platform Vine, where users could make and post six-second videos. In one meme featuring Saul Goodman, he is shown saying “Your Honor please, he did it for the Vine.” In this case, Saul is claiming that since his client did something for a social media post, he cannot be convicted of a crime.
In addition to its combination with other memes, the Saul Goodman meme has been combined with other trending or popular topics. A perfect example of this is with the video game “Among Us,” which has recently generated immense popularity among video game streamers and the general public. In this game, ten people play as “crewmates” of a ship, trying to complete their tasks on the ship before one of the players, the “impostor,” kills them. The goal of the game is to either complete all of your tasks or find out who the impostor is and kick them from the ship by a manner of popular vote. Someone decided to combine this game with the Saul Goodman meme, creating an image where Saul defends an Among Us player who apparently “cannot be the impostor because they were doing their tasks.”
Overall, the Saul Goodman meme is a comedic representation of a courtroom situation. Saul’s “defense” is generally nonsensical and humorous, reflecting both the nature of the meme and his character from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Unlike many meme formats that tend to have short lifespans in the social media communities, these memes featuring Saul Goodman may be here to stay. They are easy to create, feature a simple format that most can understand, and most importantly, they can evolve to represent and feature other current people, events, or forms of media.
All images, descriptions of images found on Google or Reddit
Some information about the “Your Honor” meme found on https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/your-honor–2