These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
The Governor is an insane despotic leader of a small town of survivors, who feeds any survivors from outside the town to the zombies in order to keep them docile so he can run "fights" between people in his town with the zombies surrounding them. And this is only the start of all the sick shit he does during his run in the series, which includes raping one of the main characters repeatedly, leaving his own daughter (actually niece)"alive" as a zombie so he can keep her as a pet, and being responsible for the deaths of the vast majority of the cast in issue # 48.
When the protagonists first encounter Thomas Richards, he merely comes across as a nerdy, polite and ultimately harmless inmate imprisoned for tax evasion. This makes it all the more shocking when he's revealed to be a homicidal lunatic who was really imprisoned for dismembering his wife. For no reason at all besides his own enjoyment, Thomasdecapitatedtwo little girls, Hershel Greene's twin daughters, Rachel and Susie. Then, taking advantage of the confusion surrounding his murders, he attempted to decapitate Andrea as well. While he failed in his attempt he ended up scarring her in the process. Eventually captured, when the community looks like they're going to execute him, Thomas is rescued by a woman he had befriended earlier named Patricia. Believing that Thomas is insane, not evil, and in need of psychological help, Patricia plans on the two of them escaping together. In thanks, Thomasimmediately tries to strangle her to death. Though a minor antagonist in the grand scheme of things, Thomas acted as a dark harbinger of what was to come by showing how much worse humans could be than zombies.
Can have stints of this, particularly after Rick reunites with what's left of his gang for the first time since issue 48, and the story is basically set back to where it was 40 issues ago, just with fewer survivors.
After issue 100... Not only is the new paradigm the characters find themselves in even more hellishly grim than before, the cast seems seems to be comprised almost entirely of Mauve Shirts. After watching entire supporting casts get wiped out again and again, it's really getting harder for Kirkman to avoid this trope.
Shane — the most effective leader in the group, who can make tough decisions quickly, or a monster who is slowly becoming more and more insane? There are also his actions at the end of "Better Angels". Does Shane simply mock Rick by telling him to shoot him and thinks he can't go through with it or does he want Rick to shoot him out of guilt?
Rick — an effective leader, or a fine example of Good Is Dumb?
Michonne — Given that Michonne is only right about the Governor mostly by coincidence (looking from her frame of reference and disregarding the vastly greater audience knowledge of the Governor's activities and obvious intended role in the plot, there is painfully little for her to go on in her suspicions about him), perhaps she is actually just against Woodbury because it is too safe and secure (at least at the start of Season 3), and she doesn't want something like pesky safe civilisation to diminish her role as a sword-wielding badass in the Walker-infested wilderness.
Dale — Voice of reason and compassion or just someone too dim to adapt to the new reality?
The Governor — Was his final attack on the prison only to find a home for his new family, or was he still out for revenge against Rick? Was he really interested in letting the prison group leave, or was he planning to kill them all anyway?
Anvilicious: In Season 4, after the fall of the prison and the scattering of the main cast, there are several shots showing the humans as Not So Different from the zombies. Daryl sitting and eating a snake while ignoring Beth, Michonne noticing a walker in a herd who looks exactly like her, Maggie lying among a pile of bodies, etc. Some fans complained that it was getting heavy-handed. Taken Up to Eleven in "A", when Rick kills Joe by biting his throat out.
Arc Fatigue: The search for Sophia, while not as ridiculously long as other examples, certainly tested the fanbase's patience during Season 2's first half. Lack of plot progression was mostly blamed on the search, and with all of the subplots, looking for Sophia could potentially take forever. This led some fans to cry out "Kill Sophia already!" Funny how that worked out for everyone.
Award Snub: Despite getting positive reviews from critics and gaining great ratings from audiences, the only Emmys it received were two nominations for Visual Effects and Sound Editing and a win for Makeup.
Lori acknowledges, in the Season 3 episode "Sick", that her parenting skills have left something to be desired, and that she hasn't been a good wife.
Robert Kirkman saw the show itself as one, as he regretted killing Shane so early in the comic, having no idea how long it would run, and was excited to do more with the character.
Kirkman also stated, when he was a guest on Talking Dead following "Too Far Gone", that he made the Governor's death in the comic version intentionally unsatisfying, which he considered a mistake that he attempted to avoid for the show.
Rick's decision of exiling Carol, after she confesses being the killer of David and Karen. Some fans are not happy with how he handled the whole thing, particularly as his hands are not clean either and how he was later willing to "forgive" the Governor and make peace with him, some believe that his actions were more or less correct but he shouldn't have taken that decision by himself and other fans think that he was more than right.
And of course people are divided on their take of the actions that lead to the exile of said person. While some think that it was a hard but understandable decision others mark it as atrocious and unforgivable.
The Season 4 finale is broken into three groups. Some fans found it to be a very boring, useless episode with a dull Cliffhanger ending. Some fans consider it to be one of the best episodes in the season because of the flashbacks and great character development, along with the amazing cliffhanger ending. And then there are some fans who don't hate the episode, but found it to be an underwhelming finale that was nothing more than an Anti-Climax, since said fans weren't surprised about what Terminus really was.
Growing the Beard: It's amazing how many levels in badass are taken between the end of Season 2 and the beginning of Season 3. Even Carl, Carol, and Lori are pulling their own weight, and many of the complaints for Seasons 1 and 2 vacated the premises.
There are several people in Season 2 who come very close to dying and whom are nursed back to health in Hershel's farmhouse. Then comes the revelation that everyone who dies without suffering brain trauma comes back as a walker, and Rick may have known this all along and kept it secret from the others...
Also, the reveal that Jenner knew every human was already infected by the virus to some extent puts his Despair Event Horizon in a whole new light.
The last survivor of the CDC plays a major in the finale of Season 1. In May 2011, the real life CDC issued its own Zombie Preparedness guidelines. (Don't follow them, you'd die.)
In Love Actually, the dilemma of Andrew Lincoln's character is being in love with his best friend's wife. Additionally, when his character finally made his Anguished Declaration of Love through cue cards and photos, it ends with him expressing that he will love her until the day she dies by showing cue cards that reads "My wasted heart will love you until you look like this..." quickly showing a picture of zombie-looking corpse. He actually keeps his promise.◊
The Governor, an antagonistic man who became the way he is because he lost his daughter to a Zombie Apocalypse, until he meets and befriends a little girl who softens his heart and whom he eventually sees as a surrogate daughter. Why does that sound familiar?
The prisoners stink up the prison by going when the bathrooms don't work anymore. One of the Rules Of Zombieland is "Beware of Bathrooms".
It Gets Better: The first half of Season 2 isn't liked by many fans for multiple reasons, as stated below. However, halfway into the season, the writers seemed to notice the problems the season had and tried to fix them as best as they could (such as by killing off Sophia, thus ending a subplot going on for way too long, having Hershel Take a Level in Kindness and allowing Rick's group to stay on the farm, killing off Shane, thus ending the Love Triangle subplot, and killing off Jimmy and Patricia...who were basically walking Red Shirts). By the time Season 3 came around, all these problems were fixed, and the show vastly improved.
Merle is a racist jerkass, but once he's handcuffed to a pipe and left to die, crying as zombies try to break through the door, you can't help but feel a little sorry for the guy.
Another family trait, as Daryl seems to veer into this territory. He gets more likeable as the series progresses.
Many fans feel that it was inevitable that Shane snapped, considering how much crap he had to put up with Lori and his Survivor Guilt over leaving Rick in the hospital. They feel that, while he did become too ruthless for his own good, you can't put the brunt of the blame on him.
The Governor is not exactly the nicest guy, but when Michonne kills his zombified daughter and he weeps over her dead body it's hard not to feel at least a little bad for him. Then there's the episode "Live Bait", where he has become a broken man after the events of Season 3. Sure it's ultimately his own fault, but he's still rather pitiable.
Les Yay: Michonne and Andrea. It sometimes seems like what really bothers Michonne about the whole Woodbury situation is that Andrea started a romantic relationship with the Governor and pushed her to the side.
Shane's could either be kneecapping Otis, rather than just shooting him in the head, to distract the zombies in "Save the Last One", attempting to kill Rick without hesitation in "18 Miles Out", or brutally murdering Randall and trying to disguise it as a self-defense kill. He's definitely hit it once he tries to murder Rick for the third time.
The Governor's is harder to nail down, but if he hadn't already crossed it already he definitely crosses it in Season 4. Rick and Hershel insist that his new group could move into the prison with them and the two groups could live together peacefully. He takes a moment to consider the idea, then responds with a flash of steel as he cuts Hershel's neck with Michonne's katana, then follows the crawl Hershel and brutally hacks his head off the rest of the way.
Word of God states that they considered the Governor's execution of Hershel such a huge example of this that they knew there was no way the Governor was getting out of that episode alive.
MST3K Mantra: A necessity for some people who watch the show, if only because of how much time characters seem to spend holding the Idiot Ball.
Rick's reaction to Lori's death, while mostly acted well, has a rather jarringly odd moment. When he bends down to face Carl and says "Ohh no..." the tone of his voice and the way he does it makes it seem like he is mocking Carl.
Several fans brought up the Narm factor of Rick's crying, though a few noted that it's Truth in Television. It's not uncommon for people to react strangely when hearing about how their family members or close friends just died.
When Shane is trapped in a bus surrounded by walkers in a Season 2 episode, he uses his own blood as bait to make them stick their heads in enough for him to kill them. One of the walkers falling for this is rather hilarious to watch as it desperately sticks its tongue out as far as it can to reach the blood.
When Dale is telling Lori that he thinks Shane sacrificed Otis back at the school. His sudden shouting of the next line seems to come out of nowhere, with a bizarre infliction at the end as if he is asking a question. "HE KNEW HOW TO HANDLE WALKERSSS?!?"
Daryl's double Big "NO!" when finding his brother's severed hand on the roof of a building, which got played over again in the "Last time" segment next episode.
Some of Dale's facial expressions can be...well,◊ look◊.
In a Season 4 episode, the Governor emerging from a really tiny and yellow tent.
Never Live It Down: Rick has claimed he's "doing stuff" about two times throughout the entire series so far, but it's still become a rather popular meme among the fandom and is brought up frequently.
Andrea. Though she didn't do much of anything other than cry and attempt suicide in Season 1, Season 2 shows her slowly developing into a much more level-headed character. Slowly becoming closer to her comic incarnation as well. By Season 3, she's back in scrappy territory for many fans due to her blind loyalty to the Governor.
In the Season 3 premiere, EVERY potential Scrappy (Lori and Carol especially) emerged from the heap in the truly Badass prison takeover.
Carl is well out of Scrappy territory now that he was the one to put Lori down after her Death by Childbirth. By season 3 he's a fully qualified badass.
Michonne was hated by many early in Season 3 due to her brooding, angry personality and a permanent scowl, not to mention her inability to tell Andrea why she is suspicious of the Governor. Later episodes in the season such as "Clear" and "This Sorrowful Life" showed a much more human side to her, winning her over for many viewers.
Lori is easily the least popular recurring character, mainly due to her being useless, whiny, and hypocritical. Her Stay in the Kitchen tendencies didn't exactly bring her more love either. The way her character is introduced doesn't help, from Rick talking to Shane about how she chewed him out in front of their son to her first few appearances involving her cheating on him (even if she thought Rick was dead by that point). To some viewers, she gets better in Season 3 when she realises the errors in her ways and tries to make up for her poor attitude just in time to be killed off.
The Honest Trailers entry for the show described Lori as "the most hated character on a show full of flesh-eating monsters."
Andrea has become this after the events of "Chupacabra" where she shot fan-favorite Daryl after whining for the whole season. However, she seems to have redeemed herself somewhat in the second half of Season 2, taking leaps and bounds towards her comics characterization... until she fell all the way back again in Season 3 thanks to forming a close, personal relationship with the Idiot Ball that, even for this show, is quite spectacular. Even after learning ALL that the Governor did to her old friends, she still goes back to him. And begins making out with him when she returns.
Carl in Season 2, due to him setting the walker from the marsh free, resulting in Dale's death. There's also the fact that he just won't stay the hell put and continues to sneak out and get involved in situations without telling anybody, especially after he's taught how to shoot. Rick and Lori's utter inability to keep an eye on their kid has pretty much become a running joke amongst fans of the show, to Memetic Mutation levels.
Carol in the first two seasons, due to being useless and while her passiveness is justified due to her abusive relationship, it still doesn't earn her many fans.
Mitch was an arrogant, loudmouthed jerkass to just about everyone; he called Tara a "little bitch" in front of his whole group. Fortunately, he was a short-lived example, as Daryl took care of him in his second appearance.
Seasonal Rot: Most fans seem to agree that Season 2 is the weakest season in the series, for several reasons. Some hate it because it spent way too much time on the group finding Sophia (and we all know how that turned out). Some hate it because the entire season was spent on the farm, while every other season had more diverse settings. Others dislike it because many characters (Lori and Carl especially) played with the Idiot Ball too much, or simply did nothing but stand around talking. Some hated the Love Triangle between Lori, Rick, and Shane, which lasted almost the whole season. Overall, most fans found the season to be very boring, especially compared to Season 1 and 3.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: As of Season 4, a fairly intense tumblr war seems to have broken out between Caryl (Carol/Daryl) and Bethyl (Beth/Daryl) shippers, with the former having long been a Fan Preferred Pairing due to the slow-burn nature of the relationship and numerous occurrences of Ship Tease, while the latter — initially something of a Crack Ship due to the limited amount of interaction between the characters — exploded in popularity after they shared a very intimate hug in the season premiere and then ran away together following the destruction of the prison in the mid-season finale. The offscreen chemistry between actors Norman Reedus and Emily Kinney only adds fuel to the fire.
In this article Norman Reedus says, "[Beth and Daryl are] getting to know each other on a different level, but not romantically..." whether or not this may change in the future is the subject of occasionally heated debate.
The "They're screwing with the wrong people" scene.
Spoiled by the Format: The commercials for Talking Dead often say they're going to talk about a development on the episode before the it is over. This usually spoils that the situation isn't going to be resolved or changed significantly by the end of the episode. They also often used to mention having an actor on the show, often for the same episode in which their character is killed off, something that was brought up on the show. Although they've recently taken steps to avoid this by not mentioning that an actor whose character is killed off is going to be on the show until after it happens.
Squick: It's a show about zombies. Of course, this is going to pop up from time to time.
In the second episode, when Rick and Glenn hack up a zombie body with an axe and paint themselves with the guts. Glenn and the other survivors react appropriately,and Glenn vomits after T-Dog pushes him over the edge by talking about dead puppies and kittens.
In the first episode of the second season, Rick and Daryl cut open a dead zombie's stomach.
All zombies are pretty squicky, but special notice must go to the zombie the group finds in a well on Hershel's farm: after sitting in the well for who knows how long, it has become extremely bloated. When they manage to pull it out of the well it rips in half, with a huge torrent of liquid organs pouring out as well as what very well might possibly be a whole lot of maggots.
And then the zombie trying to get at Lori when she's trapped in an overturned car. It starts pushing its head through a hole in the windshield, peeling all of the skin and flesh off its face in the process so all Lori sees on the other side is a set of bloody, exposed jaws clamping at her.
In the Season 3 premiere, as the gang starts taking over the prison, some walkers are wearing riot helmets. Rick takes one off, and its face rips off!!
Another prisoner-walker that's in handcuffs struggles to free its arms, and does so by pulling so hard it flays the flesh off its hand.
In "Hounded", Michonne accidentally slices a walker's stomach open, causing its intestines to ooze out all over her body.
When the Crack Head walker starts to crawl towards Bob in the Season 4 premiere, he fends it off by grabbing a chunk of its head and slowly opening the wound, exposing the inside of its skull.
The Talking Dead's description of Eugene and Rosita's relationship. Apparently it's like a brother-sister relationship... except that Rosita is like "a sister that [Eugene] wants to have sex with.
T-Dog got no backstory outside of Word of God, no episodes focused on him, no attempt to ever build on his character. A perfect character to build something around...and he's unceremoniously killed, and replaced with another black guy within one episode. The following episode rubs its nose in this issue as Glenn tells Hershel about great things the character did that were never seen.
In a lesser extent, Oscar received the same treatment once Tyreese was introduced midway into Season 3, in nearly the exact same pattern as the above example.
And then there was Axel. The moment he starts opening up about his backstory, he is abruptly shot in the head.
Andrea. Many fans wanted her to become more like the Badass zombie killer she was in the comics, but she goes through some Badass Decay in Season 3. And then she dies in the season finale, leaving no possibility for redemption.
Some feel the show seems to go out of its way to portray its female characters (save Michonne) as foolish, stupid, and impulsive whenever they dare to act on their own initiative. See Andrea's shooting of Daryl, and Lori's crash in "Nebraska". The problems are discussed here.
Many observers (including the Racialicious blog) also brought up that Oscar's inclusion in the group felt like trading one Token Minority for another after T-Dog's death. On a similar note, in the same episode as Oscar's death, Tyreese, another African-American man, is introduced to live in the prison. Events in the series seemingly unfold in a way that ensures that only one black male is in the main group. T-Dog dies while clearing the prison, and Oscar, one of the prisoners, takes his place in the same episode. Then, Oscar is killed in the same episode Tyreese is introduced. The trend is almost a Running Gag for people who watch the series. However, this seems to be negated in the Season 3 finale where three African-American characters (Michonne, Tyreese, and Sasha) are now in the group. And four by the next season, which ends with all of them alive as well.
The Untwist: Very few people were surprised to find out that Terminus was just a hoax all along. Even before the Season 4 finale aired, 89% of the people who voted on what they thought about Terminus said that it would be worse than Woodbury.
Everyone, really, but Helen from the webisodes deserves some special recognition.
Sophia now too when you realize just how much she's suffered over the course of the series. She was raised with an abusive and potentially pedophilic father, witnessed the world ending and the dead coming back to devour the living, been on the run as everything fell apart, living in mortal terror every step of the way, and then Things went From Bad to Worse.
Iron Woobie: Lori. Her husband was shot and in a coma when the walkers hit, she thought he was dead, she and Carl had to leave their house, and then found out that Atlanta had napalm dropped on it. And then, once they find the camp, even that's not perfectly safe, Shane's started going off the deep end, and then, she finds out Rick isn't dead, and when she breaks if off with Shane, he tries to rape her. And then their safe haven, the CDC, which they were supposed to be able to stay in, explodes. And that's just Season 1. And she still just kept going, to take care of her family.
Carol is also a big Iron Woobie. She's spent years being abused by her husband physically and emotionally, and then she loses him in a walker attack in Season 1. In Season 2, she spends a few agonizing days waiting for her daughter Sophia to be found and she knows she can do nothing for the search... and then, in the mid-season finale, Sophie walks out of the barn as a walker and is shot in front of her. In Season 3, she watches T-Dog get eaten by zombies and her best friend Lori dies in the same day. Carol cries a lot but she never has suicidal tendencies and all the tragedies she experiences never affect the way she functions in the group. She's also one of the most positive members in the group, happily taking care of Lori's daughter and being the de-facto mother of the group. And then when she's banished from the group by Rick after she admits to murdering Karen in an attempt to keep a flu epidemic from spreading through the prison.
Backpack Guy from "Clear". He's an unnamed survivor trekking through the zombie-infested wilderness, when he sees a car driving by and tries to get their attention, pleading with them to stop and help him. Unfortunately for him, the people driving the car are Michonne (a ruthless pragmatist), Rick (a jadedly pragmatic man who is increasingly losing his mind), and Carl (a Creepy Child who is, again, growing increasingly ruthless). So, they drive straight past him and don't even look back. When he runs after them, still begging to be taken, they deliberately drive away once they free their car. And then he gets killed off-screen by walkers after they lose him, and after driving past where he died, they just casually pick up his backpack of supplies and drive off, not even caring that this is all their fault.
Clara from the Season 4 premiere. Even Rick feels sorry for her despite her attempt to kill him.
Larry. According to statistics that Telltale Games has gathered, a clear albeit very slight majority of players chose to save Larry instead of kill him when faced with the Sadistic Choice in Episode 2.
Duck, who slowly dies from a bite wound in Episode 3 and is forced to be euthanized by either his own father Kenny, or Lee, the man he always looked up to.
Ben, who either falls to his death in the Crawford bell tower in Episode 4, or is impaled and Mercy Killed by Kenny in Episode 5. In the latter case, this happens shortly after expressing his Death Seeker tendencies to the group and exploding to Kenny about his own dead family, to whom he never even got to say goodbye. The scene in Episode 4 where he begs Lee/the player to kill him caused a fair number of players who hated him the entire time to forgive him and save him.
Subverted with Kenny, who pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to Mercy Kill Ben, or save a trapped Christa from walkers. It turns out that he survived and reappears in Season 2: Episode 2. Fans' reaction to his survival have been polarizing, to say the least.
Sarah, who's trapped beneath rubble in Season 2: Episode 4 and is Eaten Alive by a horde of walkers after Jane fails to save her, or if no one even attempts to rescue her.
This seems to have been invoked with the Stranger. It seems to be the player's choice to decide whether or not they're at fault for his troubles, or if he's just trying to pin it on you.
Christa's behavior torwards Clementine after Omid's death. Does she resent Clementine for letting Michelle get a hold of her gun, which led to her shooting Omid? Or is she simply broken by it all? These two interpretations aren't necessarily exclusive.
The fact that she tries to protect Clementine by lying to the bandits about being alone at gunpoint lends credence to the latter.
Jane, especially after Sarah dies and she leaves the group. Is she an Ice Queenwho only cares about herself since she knows that people only cause problems and make it harder for her to survive, or is she a Broken Bird who can't stand being around others because she's tired of seeing the people she cares about constantly dying?
Ass Pull: Some players feel that Kenny's survival in Season 2 is this, especially with the rather flimsy explanation for said survival: "I got lucky".
Armed With Death from the first season, which plays as Lee makes his last stand against the walker horde.
The "Clementine Re-Mix" of "In The Water" by Anadel used in the Season 2 trailer is anxiety in musical form and it sets the tone just so. Experience it with the trailer here or experience it as a whole here. Note that the vocal part is used for the credits in-game.
Awesomeness Withdrawal: By far the most agreed upon complaint towards this game is the long wait for the next episode to be released.
Telltale Games explained that this is the reason they're releasing Season 2 of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us at the same time; the latter will help quell impatience for the former.
Molly. Big time. To some, she's a badly-written Creator's Pet who dramatically shifts the tone of the game and doesn't really fit in. To others, she's a supremely BadassAction Girl who should return for the planned sequel. The fanbase either loves her to bits, or hates her to death, and it's split pretty evenly down the middle.
Nate is this as well and has a special mention of splitting the Base in thirds. Either people hate him because of his creepy, perverted, Jerkass behaviour and the fact that he killed the elderly couple at the end of Russell's story and possibly killed Eddie. Others are drawn to him, finding him funny and like him because of his flaws or despite them. The last group are torn between the first two, liking Nate up until the aforementioned killings. However, these people can't seem to decide whether or not they want to continue liking him or start hating him, usually opting for a middleground.
Ben is hated because his main function is to flail, scream, and make mistakes. But he still has a lot of fans who see him as sympathetic.
Kenny himself is a character you either like or hate, as his behaviour towards Lee is influenced by the choices the player makes. His reappearance in Season 2 is also stirring some controversy as he appears to have reverted to his old abrasive ways when it seemed that he has turned over a new leaf, including being hostile towards Luke and Nick, and even to his new partner Sarita. His lack of a credible explanation of how he survived after Episode 5 is getting some flack as well, though it's a bit early to assume that this won't be expanded upon in later episodes.
Sarah is either sympathetic or annoying due to her sheltered and naïve nature.
Carver's characterisation in Episode 3, some players either find his ruthless and tyrannical nature in tone with the bleak and desperate setting of the chapter, while others find his might-make-right attitude over the top, cliché, obnoxious, and inconsistent with his Affably Evil demeanour in Episode 2.
Amid the Ruins is becoming this ESPECIALLY with the handling of Luke and Jane's characters, along with the sudden, unavoidable deaths of Nick (in you didn't save him in episode 2), Sarah, and Rebecca...
Breather Level: Activating the train in Episode 3 is a bit more relaxed than the previous segment, which had a bandit shootout and then the choice of whether or not to leave Lilly behind after she kills Carley/Doug, and even gives you two optional sidequests (giving the bitten Duck some water and something to eat).
Contested Sequel: While most fans still enjoy the second season, some feel that the characters are two-dimensional, and the decision points to be predictable.
Crosses the Line Twice: Nate from 400 Days is a pretty bad guy, but some of the ways he torments Russell are darkly hilarious.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Good luck getting attached to any of the characters, or feeling like your choices matter, once everyone starts dying. The reactions can range to getting more attached to Clementine, to rolling your eyes every time someone new dies.
The episode Amid The Ruins becomes an egregious example of the entire series, as the shocking and abrupt deaths of Sarita (who is immediately Stuffed into the Fridge regardless of the player's choice with cutting her arm off or not after she is bitten) Nick (who dies and reanimates off-screen anti-climatically) Sarah (who cannot be saved from the walkers no matter what choice the player makes), and Rebecca (who dies and reanimates while holding her newborn baby in the finale). Then all of this is topped off by a crossfire between the Russian bandits and what's left of the group, leaving little hope for any more survivors, thus marking the end of the episode. At this point, players noted that there's little reason to care for what happens in the final episode.
To the game as a whole: The Walking Feel because of the quality of the writing and the many Tear Jerker moments.
Calling Clementine anything along the lines of "The Greatest Child In Video Game History" because of her being universally loved by everyone who has played the game as well as averting many hated video game tropes that apply to children.
Fan-Preferred Couple: The first episode seems to steer Lee towards Lilly although this fractures badly in the second episode depending on what choices are made. In any case, the fans ship Lee with Carley instead. Both ships sink halfway through Episode 3, with Carly getting killed and Lilly either being expelled from the group or stealing the RV and driving off while everyone else is trying to get the train moving.
Fridge Horror: After Omid and Christa show up in Season 1, it's subtly insinuated several different ways that she has just recently learned she's pregnant, before being outright stated in Episode 5. When Season 2 picks up months later, she's obviously in the late stages of the pregnancy. Then comes the sixteen month time skip, with no baby in evidence. So there are three options, each worse than the last:
Christa had the baby and she either left it behind for someone else to raise or was kidnapped.
She had the baby and it later died, forcing them to then prevent it reanimating.
She had a late-term miscarriage, which is perhaps the worst of the three. Because that late in the pregnancy, she would have had to go through labor and full delivery if the fetus died. And since we have no idea if reanimation can occur that young, Christa would have to undergone delivery, unsure if her child could have potentially come back to life and start to kill her from the inside?
Genius Bonus: In the beginning of the game, the police radio uses several police code words. Those familiar with terms will learn more about the outbreak and how it starts.
Harsher in Hindsight: Larry's claims that Duck was bitten and had to be thrown out or killed eventually do come true.
Carley getting shot or Doug Taking the Bullet for Ben when Lilly snaps, accusing Ben of selling the group out to the bandits, and tries to shoot him. It eventually turns out that Lilly was right...it really was Ben.
It goes deeper than that. Lilly said a lot of things that might have seemed exaggerated or outlandish at first glance. But they all turned out to be true. The food distribution WAS a difficult task, Ben WAS stealing supplies, and leaving the motor inn results in the death of nearly the entire party, from a certain point of view.
Clementine threatening to reveal that Rebecca's baby may not be Alvin's. At the time it's a satisfying Take That after Rebecca consistently treated Clem badly and suggested she be left to die. However, it's harder to do on subsequent playthrouhs, when you realise the baby may be a result of Carver raping Rebecca.
Ho Yay / No Yay: Quite of few things that Russell can say ends up with Nate responding in some sort of flirty manner, intentional or not. If all of these possible responses are chosen in one gameplay and you choose to befriend him, Russell's storyline can feel like a quasi-slash fic, much to the pleasure or horror of the player.
From the beginning to end, Nate can possibly come across as being very "friendly". If Russell doesn't hide from Nate and tells him that he needs a ride, Nate will respond by asking if he'll work for it because he has "needs", though he'll soon say that he was joking. When in the car if Russell asks Nate if they can just drive instead of talk, Nate responds with confusion over the plural usage and asks if Russell wants to sit on his lap. He apologizes soon after for freaking him out. At the gas station when they're both getting shot at, if Russell responds with fear, Nate will ask Russell to look at him. If Russell refuses, Nate will cup his chin, not so roughly make Russell look at him, and motivate him to continue on. With all of these moments from Nate and the more friendly actions on Russell's part; accepting the drink, apologizing for being scared, thanking/acknowledging that Nate saves his life when he falls, and staying with him at the end can make this part of the game really enjoyable or disturbing.
In Season 2, Luke and Nick have a few moments like this. Kenny actually comments on this when trying to get a rise out of them.
Luke is extremely attached to Clementine, and goes out of his way to spend time with her. She's twelve, he's about thirty.
Holy Shit Quotient: High. There's usually one moment per chapter; and about one per episode that you will yell. The worst ones have to be Larry trying to kill you, Kenny killing Larry, Lilly killing Carley/Doug, Lee getting bitten (And later dying) and Clementine being forced to sew her wound. Omid is also killed off in the very first scene of Season 2. Continues further with Sam attacking Clem in episode 1, the arrival of Carver in episode 2 (and him finding Sarah's photo), meeting with Kenny, Carver killing Reggie and beating the hell out of Kenny, Carlos dying, Sarah running away, and Sarita getting herself bitten. Clem also has the choice to chop of her arm, which obviously doesn't go over well.
Idiot Plot: A touch of this for Season 2 Episode 1. The premise of the cabin group mistaking Clem's wound for a walker bite relies upon a trained doctor who can't tell the difference between bite marks left by a dog and bite marks left by a (deceased) human. The doctor in question then decides the best way to be certain whether she was bitten by a walker is to leave her possibly infected wound completely untreated and lock her in a cold shed until the morning, very likely killing her regardless. He is apparently oblivious as to the Catch 22 nature of his solution. After Clem's desperate attempts to patch up her own wound, the doctor proclaims later that night that he can tell by her lack of fever that she wasn't bitten by a walker, implying the entire wait until morning was completely pointless.
Clementine's line "but I'm little" is heartwrenching in context, but plenty of players have since used it tongue in cheek as excuse why they can't do some everyday tasks.
"Scumbag Lee", commonly said when Lee makes a dick move, contradicts himself, or both.
Having been locked in the shed due to being mistaken for a Zombie Infectee due to her dog bite, Clementine's reaction when the cabin survivors open the door to find her standing over the body of a Walker.
Lilly crosses this by shooting Carley/Doug dead in Episode 3 out of paranoia, assuming he/she betrayed the team by stealing their supplies and co-operating with the bandits.
Larry crosses this in Episode One when Lee is trying to escape the drugstore and Larry punches Lee in the face, knocking Lee to the floor and leaving him there to be killed by Walkers, even if you sided with him when he was arguing for Duck to be thrown out!
Nate in 400 days. At first he seems somewhat crazy but mostly amicable towards Russell. Even his actions in Wyatt's story are justified. However, Russell, and the player see Nate kill an elderly couple and take their stuff with a smile on his face.
Bill Carver, the Big Bad of Season 2, Episodes 2 and 3, establishes himself as the scum of the earth in his very first episode, between torturing Carlos in front of his daughter, killing Walter to prove a point, and threatening to shoot Clementine in order to force Kenny's surrender.
Or threatening to shoot Alvin instead, and going through with it if the situation is handled badly.
The final nail in the coffin was when he killed Reggie all for not getting the plants trimmed properly, even if Clementine tries to take the blame for it. This action also alienates Bonnie from Carver and drives her into helping Clementine's group escape.
Oh, but it gets worse. Not only is it revealed that, if Alvin survived the last episode, Carver has been torturing him relentlessly for the entire episode, but his Famous Last Words (which can be heard if you watch his execution) all but confirm that he raped Rebecca and used his power as leader to declare her and the unborn child his property.
Carver: What the fuck are you looking at, bitch? Don't act like you didn't enjoy every second of- *Kenny proceeds to beat Carver with a crowbar so bad his entire left half of his face is torn open*
Troy in general is a relentless Jerkass in Season 2 Episode 3, but after he smashes an 11 year old girl in the face with the butt of his AK-47 few people were sympathetic when he was shot in the groin and devoured alive and screaming shortly thereafter.
Most Wonderful Sound: Hearing Becca's baby take its first breath after several tense seconds of uncertainty.
Sometimes odd camera angles happen (or bugged camera angles), creating a comical effect rather than the intended horrifying one, such as Lee reacting in fear to fear of a wall of Walkers in Episode 4... But the Walkers are mostly covered up by a tree.
If you take the option in Chapter 2 to punch Andy St. John as much as the game will allow, it can be hard to take the rest of the climax seriously, since his face (which was drawn in a lumpy, cartoonish style to begin with) will look like a slab of raw meat. And if you choose to walk away rather than kill him, he'll keep on bellowing "LEEEEE!" like a sick cow.
In Season 2, Episode 2, Walter's Patrick Stewart Speech about how there's still hope for humanity feels a tad too scripted. Possibly justified by him being a teacher, and used to talking this way.
In Episode 3, if Alvin was shot in 2, Carver will take Clem aside for a personal interview in his office, where he'll threaten her to cooperate if she doesn't want to "end up in that chair"... which the camera shows to be a perfectly ordinary, empty chair (albeit one with handcuffs). This threat carries more weight if Alvin survived the ski lodge encounter, in which case his bloodied, passed-out body will be occupying the chair.
Some players can't seem to take Reggie's voice acting seriously, leading to most feeling apathetic or unintentionally cheering for Carver when he murders him.
No Export for You: For about a month, gamers in Ireland and New Zealand were waiting for Season 2's first episode. This was odd, since not only are both countries moderately important in gaming (Both were among the first 13 countries to be confirmed to have the Xbox One on launch), it's also a downloadable game, meaning it'd be easier to release than on disc.
The undead child in the Savannah house's attic. Not only is it the saddest and most pathetic zombie you've encountered, but after you kill it then you bury him in the backyard with the corpse of his pet dog. And the game makes you do it. Every. Shovelful. Of. Dirt.
The unnamed girl at the very start of Episode 3, if you let the zombies get her. At the urging of Kenny, you can leave her to be torn limb from limb by the zombies to buy yourself more time to loot the store, but you hear her screaming in agony and desperation all the while. And then it suddenly stops.
In Episode 4 Clementine getting kidnapped. You will hate yourself because you couldn't keep her safe.
When you're talking to the stranger in episode five. He'll make you feel horrible no matter what your decisions throughout the game were. He'll ask you how old Clementine is.
Lee: She's eight.
The Stranger: Wrong. She's nine. Her birthday was six days ago.
He's basically saying "You think you're a good dad? You don't even know her birthday. You Bastard."
If you liked Carley or Doug in the first season, you will not like the start of Russell's story in 400 Days. Enjoy seeing their rotting corpses.
Season 2 hits you right off the bat. If Omid's Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome didn't get you, how about meeting a cute little dog, searching for food together, playing fetch...and then getting viciously attacked by it and subsequently having the option to let it suffer a particularly slow and agonizing death?
Duck, in Episode 3, after his amusing and surprisingly useful participation in the investigation of the missing supplies.
For some fans, Rebecca in Season 2: Episode 2. Not only is she much nicer to Clementine, and less abrasive to everyone, but she even admits and apologizes for being a bitch to both Clementine and Alvin.
Despite coming off as the new Ben, Nick has grown on many players during the second episode.
According to a statistic, the 85% of players chose to convince Walter to forgive him, thus saving his life.
That One Level: Episode 3's bandit shootout suffers from throwing a slightly new control scheme at you (having to fire a sniper rifle at bandits), and the way you target means you'll probably miss a bandit and get killed.
There's also Larry. You won't find many fans of him. He's dead by Episode 2, however.
Ben, as of Episode 3, who can be blamed for nearly every character death from then onward: note stealing supplies to give to the bandits caused Lilly to kill Carley/Doug in a paranoid rage and led to her no longer being a part of the group: which likely resulted in her death. When a supply drop is inadvertently taken by Lee, the subsequent raid causes Duck to get bitten and turn, which causes Katjaa to commit suicide. Later on, his cowering in fear and refusing to help Clem in Savannah got Chuck killed. Then he takes the hatchet barring the door from zombies out which gets Brie killed. If he lives to that point, he's also the one to be on the balcony as the group is trying to escape, causing him to fall and Kenny to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to put him out of his misery. Ben is an odd example, however, as he was designed to be a Scrappy, as well as knowing that he's a talentless liability in-universe!
Lilly doesn't get that much love either. At first her Jerkass qualities are somewhat forgivable in the beginning, but when she murders Carley/Doug she's well worn out any player goodwill. Furthermore, should the player give her a second chance and bring her with them, she'll repay Lee by stealing the RV and abandoning the group, even after offering Lee and Clementine a chance to join her.
Among the new survivors in Episode 3, not many are fond of Christa due to having a similar personality as Lilly, and for questioning Lee's parental and survival skills. Some do think she got better in Episode 4, though.
Kenny can turn into this depending on what choices the player makes. Kenny has a frequent habit of throwing hissy fits and accusing Lee of being selfish any time the player disagrees with him. He will not allow Lee to live it down, and is unlikely to help you out of trouble if you do not side with him 100%.
Becca from the 400 Days DLC isn't getting much love for being the Shadow Archetype of Clementine.
You won't find many fans of Rebecca of Season 2 who is so much of a Jerkass she makes even Larry seem nicer in comparison.
Arguably rescued in Season 2: Episode 2, where she is much more apologetic and generally nicer towards the player.
Nick seems to be the Season 2 equivalent of Ben. In Episode 2 especially. In fact, if you saved Nick instead of Pete back in episode 1, then in the Nick-scenario "beginning segment", one of the dialogue choices even has Clementine compare Nick to someone she once knew, and "he was always screwing up, too". Presumably she is referring to Ben.
Sarah, who seems to occupy the space between Season 1's Clementine and Ben's narrative roles, not a comfortable place to be. Due to her anxiety, the slightest pressure sends her breaking down, and her freezing fear of failure and inability to grasp most social subtleties leads to Carlos being forced to slap her, and indirectly to Reggie's murder at Carver's hands.
Larry's head getting smashed is even worse, because a bit of his jaw is actually left, and it twitches.
In Season 2 Episode 1, Clementine is forced to stitch up her own wound. The game forces you to go through every agonizing step of this process.
Cutting Lee's arm off at the morgue is gruesome enough if a companion you've brought along is doing the task, but it's much worse if Lee's come alone, since the game forces you to make every cut yourself, with Lee screaming in agony the whole time. The entire process also takes a lot longer, since unlike the other scenarios Lee doesn't pass out until after he's cut off his arm and bandaged up the wound.
In Season 2 Episode 3, Kenny smashes in Carver's face with a crowbar. Repeatedly. With long close-ups of the bloody, ruined mess that used to be said face.
The game has also been compared to Heavy Rain, what with it being more of an interactive movie focused around quicktime events and some puzzles with the emphasis on player choices impacting the story, but was received much better.
Take That, Scrappy!: If players finds themselves yet again hearing Kenny complaining about Lee's "selfish" attitude after Clementine is kidnapped in Episode 4, and Lee is bitten, Lee can finally tell him off and call him out on his hypocrisy. This may enable him to temporarily stay behind and not search for Clementine in Episode 5.
Since Ben was intentionally designed to be a Scrappy (albeit a well-intentioned one), the player of course has a chance to get Ben killed in Episode 4; when a Walker almost drags Ben off the tower and Lee grabs Ben's hand, the player has the option of letting go so Ben will fall to his death, and Ben actually agrees with this course of action.
Leaving Lilly on the side of the road after she kills a group member out of paranoia could also count as this.
Larry was intentionally designed to be a complete asshole; the player has the opportunity to physically restrain Lilly so Kenny can kill Larry without incident.
There's a part in Episode 3 where Duck will offer up a high-five. You can choose to completely ignore him. You can leave Duck hanging.
Threatening/Blackmailing Rebecca in the first episode of Season 2 felt like this to many players.
At one point in Season 2: Episode 4, you have the option to leave Sarah to die inside of a trailer. Even if you don't, Clementine will be forced to slap her just so you'll be able to rescue her.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Aside from Bonnie, there's no interaction you can partake in with the other characters of the 400 DLC in Episode 3 of Season 2. There's no commentary about their own personal stories, how life under Carver has changed them, nor if they still wanted to find their friends/family; it just makes the DLC feel like a total waste. They also fail to make much of an appearance at all in Episode 4.
Tough Act to Follow: Telltale has admitted that they expect this in the case of Season 2, as the end of Season 1 really leaves high expectations.
Clementine. You can have Lee do everything in his power to take as good care of her as possible, and you're still likely to feel really bad for her. By the time Episode 5 is finished, she may qualify as an Iron Woobie.
Lee, through the whole of the drug store in Episode 1. Between having to deliver a Mercy Kill to his zombified brother, to discovering that his parents are dead, and having to take it all while acting like nothing's wrong, lest the group figure out who he really is. As of Episode 4, unless a miracle happens, he's a dead man walking...and in the end, this world is out of miracles. He at least finds Clementine before he goes.
Lilly after Larry is killed. Especially if you choose to help Larry, as he dies right in front of her, she gets coated in her father's blood and brains, and Lee loots his body. Granted, it's for a Chekhov's Gun that's necessary for the group to escape a dangerous predicament, but still, ouch.
Kenny now takes the helm as of Episode 3. His wife and son are both dead, and to top it all off, a part of him thinks he deserves it. His actions at the Greene farm and in the meat locker have made him feel enormously guilty.
Though not everyone may agree, Ben may count. He means well, but as far as everyone's concerned he's a walking disaster who gets people killed, and he resents himself. It does not help his self-esteem to see everyone turn against him except for Clementine, his only friend. He's also completely lost contact with his family and fears that he'll never see them again, which to him is much worse than knowing whether they're dead. What makes him a bit more sympathetic is that everyone gives him crap no matter what he does — if he tries to help, he screws up; if he tries to stay out of the way, he's yelled at for being cowardly or useless.
Nick. It's been established that even before the apocalypse he had issues with parental abandonment and self-worth, but then his uncle Pete is bitten by a walker, and after realizing he's lost his last family member, he confides in you that before you joined the group, he had to kill his own mother.
Sarah. At first she just seems like a Creepy Child who's a little bit too oblivious to whats happening with the world but eventually the game starts to seriously screw her up. In the space of only a few days, she is forced to leave her home, get tracked down by the man she and the group tried to escape from, witnesses the death of Walter and (potentially) Alvin and also sees her fathers fingers brutally broken. Then they're brought back to Carver's settlement where her father is instructed to hit her and she also witnesses Carver shove Reggie off the roof (which she is an indirect cause of). Finally to top it off, she sees her father get shot when they try to escape and then attacked by walkers.
The fact that she appears to have some sort of as yet unidentified developmental disorder also makes it much harsher and crueler when bad things happen to her and her father, and this aspect of her character can potentially make players feel inclined to be sympathetic towards her and motivate them to try and be protective of her in these incredibly shitty situations she quite clearly doesn't fully understand.
When stuck with a truck hanging precariously over the side of a freeway onto the train tracks, Chuck suggests that they just shunt it out of the way with the train. Kenny has to remind him that it's a fuel truck.
Kenny has his own idiot moment in episode 3 if the player chooses to take Lilly with them after she kills Carley/Doug. Once they stop to check the train, Kenny insists that everybody get out of the RV and leave Lilly alone inside, with only her hands tied behind her back, and he up and leaves the keys in the ignition.
Gee, Ben, maybe that Hatchet prying the bloodstained door closed with zombies outside was important for some reason.
Carley not noticing a radio doesn't have batteries, then putting them in the wrong way around. It even becomes a case of Never Live It Down in-universe.
The Stranger. Maybe leaving all your supplies unguarded, and in the middle of the woods during a zombie apocalypse wasn't such a good idea.
Dee in 400 Days, big time. She, Leland and Bonnie are fleeing from a group of armed assailants trying to kill them, who are seeking them out with flashlights, and as they flee, they get separated. Dee then seems to think it's a brilliant idea to use the flashlight from the bag she took from said people and walk around, a flashlight that neither Bonnie nor Leland knew she had, which ends up with Bonnie killing her by mistake. And it can be argued that even if Bonnie hadn't killed her, the people after them would have, being able to spot the light from Dee's stolen flashlight. Of course, if you don't swing, it turns out she kills Bonnie.
Clementine/The Player is forced to succumb to this in the prologue of the first episode of Season 2 when she sets her gun down and goes to retrieve her water bottle. Despite many people knowing Clementine should take her gun with her, it is not an option, and so they are forced into this. The mistake costs Omid his life. However, this example is more forgivable than most, as nobody could've predicted in advance that instead of a Walker who wouldn't use Clementine's gun, a random human bandit would wander into the bathroom in the few seconds it takes to pick up the water bottle.
Happens again in Episode 2, when Clementine climbs the tower and spots people with flashlights following her group (eventually revealed to be Carver's group). The option to push her group to leave before the intruders catch up is abandoned seconds later due to Clementine's shock in meeting Kenny who was though to have died since the last time they met. Apparently her shock in meeting an old friend made her less inclined to tell her group to leave before the intruders arrive, and this mistake leads to the death of one of Kenny's new friend, potentially one or two of Clementine's group, and Luke going missing. To be fair, Clementine does tell at least Rebecca and Alvin about seeing the flashlights, which prompts Carlos to say they're leaving at dawn. It's just that "dawn" turned out to be too late, since Carver's group shows up in the middle of the night.