I am working as a PCB design Engineer and I am a big fan of Breaking Bad.

So can I keep an image from Breaking Bad series as my desktop wallpaper?


As I am a design Engineer my manger and my team lead might be coming near my cubicle to verify my design or to discuss work.

Does it send a bad message about the type of series I watch?

  • Hi and welcome in The Workplace. I'm not sure this question is on-topic as-is. Maybe you should consider rephrasing it like "Is it unprofessional to have a wallpaper from a violent TV Show?"
    – LP154
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 13:10
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    We can not answer this question because we do not know if and what restrictions your company imposes on what desktop wallpaper you can have. The answers you received are not helpful to you because they don't know either.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 13:22
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    Having suffered many students giving presentations from their own pc’s, so often they have a picture of their partner at the beach or similar - destroys a professional image in milliseconds... We always remind them - best place to learn :)
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 19:14
  • @solar what's wrong with a picture of wife/husband the beach?
    – dustytrash
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 15:04
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    Actually I guess you are working on this computer and will have other programs on the screen that hide your background most of the time? Watch yourself for a day and perhaps your problem has solved ;-)
    – puck
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 9:22

5 Answers 5


There is nothing wrong with watching some TV series, just make sure that whatever you put on your desktop wallpaper, which presumably can be seen by others, is fit for the office. There is not a hard guideline on this, as this depends on the type and size of the company, who can see your screen and overall culture. Some companies will be very lenient with stronger senses of humor, but if it's a tight ship, I would keep it way more on the non-offensive part.

IE. Random screencaps from the show will be fine as wallpaper almost everywhere. Scenes of murder, cooking illegal drugs, may not be as much, depends on the team. Have to keep in mind that some people may not be aware of the context of the TV series in question, so the picture has to stand on its own feet.

So pick accordingly, make sure it won't offend anyone, and if someone complains then change it. Simple enough, no reason to make it a bigger deal than it has to be.

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    There is not a hard guideline on this unless there is a hard guideline. First step should be to check your company's IT policies. I've worked at places that specifically mentioned desktop backgrounds and gave specific guidelines about what was acceptable.
    – dwizum
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 13:34
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    As long as it's not the image of Gus Fring with half his face missing in other words!
    – ChrisFNZ
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 19:37

Does the company have procedures in place that detail how you are allowed to use the assets they provide you with? For example: I've had contracts specify that I cannot use my work laptop (even in my spare time) to view lewd, graphic or violent imagery. Are there customers or suppliers that may see the picture? Is office culture conductive to roughhousing and lewd jokes?

Breaking Bad is not a problem in and of itself, though the show deals with themes that some people may find offensive. If your concern is limited to the good taste of your coworkers and managers, I would recommend that you avoid anything that obviously displays drug paraphernalia, weapons, nudity, violence, gore or large wads of cash.

Walt and Jesse in their yellow suits should be fine. A beat-up and bloody Walt pointing a gun at the screen will be more divisive.

  • There is no internet connectivity to the system we use for designing. Due to the fear of data breach, nothing can be copied from the system but data can be copied on to system and yes knowledge of my colleagues is limited related things like this."Walt and Jesse in their yellow suits having beer on a couch" I was thinking of this image. Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 13:26

So can I keep an image from Breaking Bad series as my desktop wallpaper?

Question is: Why do you want to do that? More than "can", it's a question of whether you "should" or not?

Assuming the desktop you're referring to is your office desktop and used for official purpose, try to keep it plain and simple. You never know who will get offended by what content - why take chances? Possibilities are there that a content which is normal to you, might be considered unprofessional by someone else. While both of you might be right from your individual standpoint - it's just not worth to be caught into a conflict, over something as trivial as a wallpaper.

Just avoid that, use the stock wallpapers you get with you OS.

P.S.- Customize your personal devices the way you want.

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    "Just avoid that, use the stock wallpapers you get with you OS." That's a bit of overkill. I've never heard of objections to using a picture of one's family (assuming it's tasteful), or a nature scene, city scape, etc.
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 15:44
  • This can be generalized a bit which leads me to disagreeing. Is decoration of your office unprofessional? Is chating with a friendly colleague unprofessional? ou could always argue, "why take chances", but this is not how humans function and feel well. The reason for the OP to do this is because they want to. As far as I am concerned this is reason enough. Checking, however, is worthwhile due to the reasons you mentioned - some people may find this and that inappropriate, so what is the consensus. Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 21:12

I'm going for a different, and harsher take on this I'm afraid.

Don't do it.

The only advantage is that you get to see a screenshot of a TV program you like every so often. That's something you can easily do without - you don't need it.

The potential disadvantage, however small, is that it causes issues because a colleague or a client seems it unprofessional or potentially offensive. That potential disadvantage, IMHO, is just not worth the fact you want a personalised wallpaper. Stick with a solid colour, or if you must an abstract pattern. Keep the breaking bad theme for lunchtime chats and your free time.

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    That's not harsh, it's professional and well justified.
    – Player One
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 14:14

It is unlikely that anyone will make a remark especially if you never sit with external clients.

What you risk is a silent negative judgement on you as immature or frivolous.

Or worse, being completely misunderstood because the colleague doesn't catch the reference, doesn't watch TV, or doesn't understand why someone would cozy-up their desktop.

Much better to use a dark solid color, patterned background, or if it's bearable, the company logo. If you do ecad work you'll almost never see your background anyway.

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