Skyler Singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to Ted
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Skyler Singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to Ted or Breaking Bad Season 2 Episode 11 23:08 To 23:43 is a scene from Breaking Bad where the character Skyler White (played by Anna Gunn) sings “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to her boss Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins), who she later goes on to have an affair with. In the years following its premiere, the scene has been regarded by many as cringe, inspiring memes and posts where fans claim they skip it when they arrive at it. Memes about the scene became increasingly prevalent on TikTok in August 2022.
On May 19th, 1962, actress and singer Marilyn Monroe sang a version of “Happy Birthday” called “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to President John F. Kennedy in celebration of his 45th birthday (shown below, left). On May 17th, 2019, season two, episode 11 of Breaking Bad, titled “Mandala,” aired. In one scene, Skylar White sings a rendition of the song in the style of Monroe to Ted Beneke (her boss) on his birthday in front of the other employees (shown below, right). Later in the series, she cheats on her husband Walter with Ted. The scene was uploaded to YouTube on December 14th, 2011, garnering over 1.1 million views in 11 years.
On August 29th, 2012, Redditor wankd0rf made a post to /r/breakingbad titled, “Can we all agree Skylar’s ‘Happy Birthday’ song to Ted was the worst scene in the series so far,” writing, “Seriously that scene serves no purpose other than to make me feel incredibly awkward for everyone involved,” garnering over 670 upvotes in 10 years. This is one of the earliest posts complaining about the scene found online.
Posts about the scene being bad and cringy increased in frequency over the following months and years. On September 9th, 2020, Redditor moonlunafury posted a similar grievance to /r/breakingbad, claiming they skip the scene when it comes up, garnering over 100 upvotes in two years. On October 1st, Redditor QuirkyWafer4 also made a post to /r/breakingbad comparing the scene to an episode of The Office, titled “Scott’s Tots,” which is similarly considered “too cringy to watch” by some fans of the series, garnering over 5,100 upvotes in two years. On October 8th, Looper posted an article about how fans on the subreddit dislike the scene.
On March 10th, 2021, Redditor DS_celtavigo posted an ironic meme to /r/okbuddychicanery about the scene titled, “omg i always have to skip the scene where SKYLAR sings to TED Benakkee CRINGE,” garnering over 2,000 upvotes in a year (shown below). On June 19th, YouTuber unicorn posted a content aware scale edit of the scene, garnering over 30,000 views in a year.
On December 11th, 2021, TikToker @justok.21 posted a meme where a criminal is sentenced to watch the scene for six hours straight, garnering over 100,000 views in eight months (shown below, left). It was also reposted to iFunny the next day. On August 10th, 2022, TikToker @saul.gusman posted a video captioned, “Every mf alive listening to Skyler singing happy birthday,” using a clip of the character Chuck McGill from Better Call Saul falling over and hitting his head, garnering over 1.1 million views in three weeks (shown below, right).
On August 19th, 2022, TikToker @phish_edits posted a meme about skipping the exact timestamp in the episode that the scene appears, garnering over a million views in two weeks (shown below).
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7106605197278907694 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7127172418363247877 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7123348002848247045 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7125848015713127686
 YouTube – Skyler White – Happy Birthday, Mr. President
 Reddit – This scene is so awkward, uncomfortable and loooooong, every time I see it just skip it
 Reddit – Can we all agree this moment is Breaking Bad’s equivalent of The Office
 Looper – The Awkward Breaking Bad Scene That Some Fans Refuse To Rewatch
 Reddit – okbuddychicanery
 YouTube – Happy BiRthDay
 iFunny – blandmayonnaise
 TikTok – saul.gusman
 TikTok – phish_edits