YMMV / The Walking Dead

YMMV page for the TV show goes here.

YMMV page for the video game goes here.

YMMV for the comic

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Dwight really pull a Heel–Face Turn or is he still secretly working for Negan? Issue 126 confirms the former interpretation.
    • After the Time Skip, it seems as though Negan genuinely wants to gain Rick's trust, and he even gives him some solid advice when shit starts hitting the fan. However, he does end up breaking out and seemingly aligning himself with the Whisperers, casting doubt on his true intentions.
  • Badass Decay: Maggie was previously an all around Action Girl who bravely fought by Rick's people against walkers and human villains alike, but ever since becoming the leader of the Hilltop Colony, she's grown into a less interesting character by simply ordering people around from within her safe zone instead of being out on the field. This isn't helped by her Easily Forgiven philosophy towards most of her own treacherous followers.
  • Broken Base: "All-Out War", the conclusion of the initial Negan arc, proved to be divisive with fans. Some felt that it was somewhat underwhelming after the huge amount of buildup due to the lack of major character deaths and devastation that the iconic "Made to Suffer" arc brought in spades. However, others loved it for defying expectations, breaking the Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy that had been plaguing the series, and still having major repercussions by opening the door for radically different storylines.
  • Catharsis Factor: Pretty much anytime a Hate Sink character is killed off, fans will likely cheer for this action.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The Governor, real name Philip/Brian Blake, is the insane despotic leader of Woodbury, a small town of survivors, and takes extreme measures to maintain his status as the leader. These measures include feeding survivors from outside the town to the zombies surrounding them in order to keep them docile; and running violent fights between people in his town and the zombies as an entertainment for the residents. When Rick Grimes and his group visit Woodbury, Blake initially acts friendly until he turns tables on them by chopping off Rick's hand and raping Michonne repeatedly for several days, severely traumatizing Glenn in the process. He also has his zombified daughter actually niece chained up as a pet and has almost pedophilic interactions with her. Later, Blake manipulates the residents of Woodbury to attack the prison and is responsible for the deaths of vast majority of the cast, executing most of them personally in cold blood. He also pressures one of the residents to kill Rick's wife Lori and her infant daughter, Judy in an action so horrible that the said resident personally betrays and executes the Governor shortly afterwards, leaving his corpse to be devoured by the zombies. Utterly sociopathic and sadistic, the Governor is the absolute worst example of a human being that the world of zombie apocalypse has to offer.
    • 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, Thomas decapitated two 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, Thomas immediately 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.
  • Crazy Awesome: Negan.
  • Creepy Awesome: Again, Negan. He's an unpredictable sociopath who'll kill anyone on a whim, but he's also a legitimate badass survivor who startles Rick himself.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • 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 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.
    • Post "All-Out War" seems to reverse this, with Rick sparing Negan's life, thereby reversing his downward spiral into violent insanity, and kicking off a new dawn for the apocalyptic world founded on peaceful union and stable trade. It's a world plagued by the Whisperers, but still.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Villains in the series all stand under the shadow of The Governor.
    • The next major Big Bad, Negan, has become just as popular if not even moreso than the Governor due to his darkly hilarious dialogue, Crazy Awesome personality, and brutal, out-of-nowhere murder of Glenn.
    • Paul "Jesus" Monroe also gets a lot of love for managing to be both extremely Badass and a genuine Nice Guy at the same time.
  • Evil Is Cool: Negan is clearly a monster, but he's a Crazy Awesome monster.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Alpha was not only the first female antagonist in the comic, but also a mysterious beauty who didn't tolerate anything from nobody.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Negan and Alpha were widely debated about being a possible villain couple.
  • Fountain of Memes: Negan. He has many hilarious bits of dialogue that fans love to quote, such as "It's going to be pee-pee pants city here real soon," "Did you eat her pussy like a lady?" and "You got no guts".
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Negan's Signature Scene in the comic was acclaimed as an amazing turning-point in the comic series that established him as an intriguing character and caused a dent on the main characters. However, the television version of this very scene would cause a massive rift between fans of the series and be remembered very negatively for its changes.
  • Hype Backlash: Issue 150. A milestone issue and the possible halfway point of the story, twice as long as a regular issue, and the title "Betrayed" had fans expecting it to be the most shocking issue yet. The plot ended up being mostly build-up for the current arc, without any major moments comparable to what happened in issue #100 and was felt to largely be not much different from a standard issue.
    • Some fans feel that the "All-Out War" arc suffered from this as well—see Broken Base.
  • Love to Hate: Negan is hated for killing Glenn but he redeems himself for being The Joker of the comic.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Governor crossed it when he ordered his own troops to shoot helpless civilians fleeing from the prison while they attacked it. This results in baby Judith's Cruel and Unusual Death, which he happily brushes off after Lily calls him out on it.
  • Narm:
    • In the first issue, a corpse falls out of an elevator and Rick falls down next to it and yells "HELP!" The ways it's drawn makes it look like he's asking the corpse for help.
    • The Governor cutting off Rick's hand is a pretty shocking page, but loses a little impact due to Bruce's dopey facial expression while he holds him down.
  • Nausea Fuel: You really have to admire the detail the artists put into the zombies. You can see every maggot and fly crawling around their decaying skin. And there are a LOT of maggots. And flies.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Dwight was despised at first for being a Jerkass member of the Saviors who killed Abraham. But after a more complex side of him was shown and he eventually pulled a Heel–Face Turn, he began to grow on fans and is now a fan-favorite.
  • The Scrappy: Basically, to avoid being a Scrappy in this series don't be Load, a Dirty Coward, or Too Dumb to Live.
    • Lori, for being generally whiny and unreasonable. Even Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn on the show, admitted to hating Lori when he read the comics.
    • Patricia, for being willing to forgive an unrepentant serial killer in one of this series' most extreme examples of Too Dumb to Live. The fact that she tried to help Dexter and Andrew kick out Rick's group only a little while after this did not help the fans dislike of her.
    • Spencer, who during the "No Way Out" arc wants to leave everyone else to their deaths when the herd is about to break through the walls, causing Andrea to give him a What the Hell, Hero?. He later plots to overthrow Rick by having Negan kill him. Needless to say, even Negan finds this act disgusting and demoralizing and guts Spencer.
    • Gregory, who is a total Hate Sink that has actually deluded himself into believing he is the Hilltop's main protector and is willing to let innocent people die just to save his own ass. His attempted murder of Maggie was the final straw that ultimately led to her publicly executing him. And absolutely no one is complaining.
  • Signature Scene: Issue 100 contains what has become possibly the most well-known scene in the comic: the new Big Bad Negan introduces himself by kidnapping the group, going on a Crazy Awesome monologue about how they are under his control now, and choosing one of them to beat to death as a "lesson" through a game of eenie meenie minie moe. Glenn is the unfortunate victim. It has become such an acclaimed moment that when the TV adaptation elected to end it on a cliffhanger without showing who Negan killed, fans were livid and began claiming that the show had butchered a crucial moment in the story and Jumped the Shark.
    • Other iconic moments include the prison massacre in Issue 48, Carl getting shot in the eye in Issue 83, and Alpha decapitating several members of the group and putting their heads on spikes in Issue 144.
  • Squick: The Governor making out with his zombified daughter after pulling her teeth out with pliers.
    • Lydia licking Carl's empty eye socket before seducing him.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Patrica ends up throughly disliked by the rest of the cast after her actions listed above, and just when things seem to be getting better for her, not only does she lose her new boyfriend at the start of the Prison Massacre, but Patrica herself is uncermoneously killed by The Governor and completly forgotten about by all the other characters afterwards.
    • Spencer getting Gutted Like a Fish by Negan after being given "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • Gregory getting hung by his community for his treachery.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Sgt. Abraham Ford is one of the most Badass characters in the series, but gets an extremely anticlimactic death via an arrow to the eye. To add insult to injury this happens just before the war with Negan, which would have been a perfect storyline to utilize his skills. Robert Kirkman himself even regrets this and thus Abraham was Spared by the Adaptation in the TV show.
    • Rosita was one of the longest lasting survivors but was also pretty much always Out of Focus, especially after breaking up with Abraham. She ends up getting a sudden and saddening death at the hands of Alpha during the fair massacre in Issue 144.
    • Alpha was the first major female antagonist in the comic and had great potential to be an Ice Queen who still had some good left in her. Just when we start to see a more complex side of her she is brutally killed by previous Big Bad Negan.
  • Toy Ship: Carl and Sophia.
    • Carl and Lydia.
  • Villain Decay: Strangely, the walkers are starting to be considered less and less of a serious threat to the characters since human villains kept popping up. In fact, it's almost safe to say that any named character is not endangered from being Devoured by the Horde.

YMMV for the novels

  • Ass Pull: The Governor letting the rebels live even after they tried to drag him out of town and feed him to the zombies. He does punish them... by making them cut up corpses to feed his zombies. Needless to say, this goes almost completely against his characterization in the rest of the book as well as the comic.
  • Broken Base: Over this book retconning away the backstory of Lilly from the Telltale Game.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Lilly berates herself for her 'cowardice' but doesn't seem aware she's judgmental, haughty, and just plain mean to everyone around her.

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