They're supposed to be grieving their closest loved one. Instead, it became a meme.
The Walking Dead may be one of the most popular shows on the air, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some good old-fashioned Narm.
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- You want to know where the "Dale face" meme came from? Well,◊ look◊.
- Abraham's Bowdlerized lines like "And there is no damned corner on this damned Earth that has not been dicked hard beyond all damned recognition," "Plan just got dicked," and "Mother dick!" However, most fans accept these catchphrases as an integral part of Abe's character, making them into Narm Charm instead.
- Comic fans often have a good chuckle at the Bowdlerization of several profane and iconic comic book lines, like "They're fucking with the wrong people" (see the Season 4 tab), some of Negan's lines, and Joe (the lead Marauder) telling Rick he screwed up repeatedly.
- After several seasons, some fans have become so Conditioned to Accept Horror that they now view a lot of the show's Gorn and shocking deaths as Black Comedy and the perpetual discourses on life, leadership, morality, humanity, and survival as less Serious Business and more take a drink.
- Even the actors' deliveries of the series' perpetual sermons fall flat, reducing what may seem to the writers on paper as dramatic, moving speeches to nonsensical, hamfisted rambling that no real person would actually say.
- The Talking Dead promos can have this effect, especially when they react very melodramatically to character deaths that just happened mere seconds ago.
- It's started happening more frequently in recent seasons, but the show has a very compressed timeline and only two or so years have passed In-Universe, while Season 8 will begin about seven years after the pilot's premiere. It's very jarring when events are recalled as having happened only the previous day or so, when it's possible that the episode being referenced aired several weeks prior. This is especially bizarre when a season premiere will begin literally moments after the previous season ended, such as Season 6 showing Eugene recalling the town meeting the night before, when the Season 5 finale aired about six months prior. Maggie and Glenn deciding to have a child in Season 6 is odd since they've only been there a week or so, have seen its many problems and still think it's safe enough to conceive and raise a child there.
- On the same beat, the show's shooting schedule begins in early summer and ends in November, meaning that the final episodes of the season always feature the cast being bundled up and visibly breathing cold air. However, sometimes it's odd since Season 3 started with the gang just coming off of their first winter, only to be bundled up and cold at season's end when only a week or so has passed; or in Season 6's premiere when everyone is dressed lightly for the summer when they'd just been bundled up two nights before.
- The series becomes more and more self-aware and unnatural in its attempts to avoid using the Z word, as Rick's group keeps encountering new people and groups with their own terms for the zombies, such as Gnawer, Biter, Roamer, etc.
- Although Narm Charm for some (he has been through a massive shock, after all), Rick's Inelegant Blubbering and collapsing to the floor upon discovering that his family is no longer at the house is so over the top it's hilarious, doubled by the fact that he's still wearing his hospital gown when he does it.
- Daryl's double Big "NO!" upon finding his brother's severed hand on the roof, which got played over again in the "Previously On" segment for next episode.
- "YOU'RE KILLING US!"
- Glenn randomly shouting the line "We don't burn them!" only to immediately drop back to calm for "We bury them," during the aftermath of the Fishfry Attack.
- Duane's over dramatic celebration of being able to take a shower. While Rick and Morgan just take a quiet shower, Duane acts like he's at a rave.
Duane: Whooo! Yeah! Hot wateeeeeer!. [does an annoying dance] Umph, Umph, Umph. Yeah, bring it around!
- Don't Dead, Open Inside.
- When Rick reacts to Lori's death by bending to face Carl and saying, "Ohh no...", the way he does it and his tone of voice can make him seem mocking rather than grief-stricken, which (combined with the fact they were mourning The Scrappy) gave rise to the Rick's Terrible Dad Jokes meme.
- When Daryl finds his brother Merle when he's reanimated after being killed by the Governer he naturally begins to cry. But Norman Reedus scrunches up his face◊ so much that it just becomes comical. This was obviously noticed by the fans and became a meme.
- The Governor emerging from (and nearly getting stuck in) a really tiny yellow tent in "Live Bait". This was followed by him running over Woodbury with a truck and then burning the entire town with a silent rage on his face while a melancholic song plays on the background, making it look like a Wangsty music video.
- Rick's Wham Line, "They're screwing with the wrong people", in the Season 4 finale is hard to take seriously when you take stock of all the ways the group were Out-Gambitted or left holding the Idiot Ball in the episode. The line becomes even sillier when the Season 5 premiere proves they really did need a Deus ex Machina to survive. A number of comic readers also smirked at the line's Bowdlerization.
- Bob's semi-delirious screaming "TAAAINTEED MEEEEEAAAAAT!" before being kicked in the face and instantly knocked out.
- Beth's death is so sudden that some viewers found it hard to take seriously at first, eliciting double takes, rewinds, and even confused laughter over its seeming randomness. On the other hand, some found Maggie's sudden excitement over their possible reunion (especially after exhibiting Angst? What Angst? about it all season) made it laughably easy to predict the upcoming Shocking Swerve.
- When the group are rushing to save Tyreese after amputating his bitten arm in "What Happened and What's Going On" it's supposed to be a very intense and emotional scene, but the sheer number of problems that arise is comical. First they've got to open a chained gate and kill a swarm of zombies that nearly bite him again, then they get him tangled in a wire fence near another ominous zombie, then their car gets stuck in the mud, then they immediately crash into a cargo truck that spills bisected zombies everywhere. It's as if the universe itself didn't want him to live.
- "Them" finally delivers the show Title Drop... in the most narm-filled delivery possible. Even for those it might have worked for, the scene is ruined when Daryl replies by stoically grumbling the episode's title, "We ain't them..." to which Rick agrees only for Daryl to repeat himself in the exact same tone.
- In "Here's Not Here", a flashback has Morgan waking up in the cabin of a stranger to which Morgan almost immediately starts to scream "KILL MEEE! KILL MEEE! KILL MEEE!". While nothing is wrong with Lennie James' acting, it can still be hard to take seriously.
- Carol's anguished declaration that "I will kill you to kill him so no one else has to die," in "Start to Finish".
- "No Way Out" features quite a bit of Padding before its Signature Scene arrives. If they had done it right as the end of "Start to Finish" implied, the chaotic death of the Anderson family and Carl losing his eye would've happened immediately after the cold open with the Saviors. But we get about half an hour of monologuing and silly decisions.
- Rick decides after two minutes of uninterrupted walking that his plan isn't working and they need a new one, even though it had been going perfectly.
- Owen the Alpha Wolf showing what appears to be a conscience completely out of nowhere after a whole season of being an unrepentant murderer just in time for Carol to shoot him. Needless to say, few people bought the change of heart and cheered for Carol.
- In "Knots Untie", after Rick kills Ethan, a member of the Hilltop Colony who tried to kill Gregory, Rick sees that everyone is staring at him in shock, and the camera reveals that Rick's mouth is covered in blood. Considering the amount of gore that there is in the show, as well as the fact that they were adapting a moment from the comics, this instead feels more like an unexpected, laughable moment rather than a dramatic one. Rick's line, though faithful to the comics and appropriately bewildered (as it shows how conditioned Rick is to horror), doesn't help at all.
- Carol's sudden romance with Tobin, after they'd had only a short moment of Ship Tease in Season 5.
- Abraham says "Why are dingleberries brown? Just the way shit is" in "Not Tomorrow Yet". While any other time this would be another hilarious Abrahamism, it comes off as exceedingly poor-timed and stupid considering he is cruelly dumping Rosita at the same time.
- Dwight shoots Daryl at the end of "East", and the camera fades to black, but Dwight is quickly heard saying "You'll be fine". It's clearly meant to address the audience that Daryl will survive, but it is bewildering and silly considering that it was clearly meant to drum up suspense, only for Dwight to immediately defuse it.
- Negan's arrival in "Last Day on Earth" is heavily bowdlerized for TV, and it works well for the most part, except when "fucked" is replaced with "pegged", which needless to say doesn't have quite the same effect.
- There's also the build-up to the scene, where after half a season of being mostly ineffectual and no match for Rick's crew, the Saviors abruptly turn into what one review described as "genius psychic ninjas" who effortlessly pen the group in at every turn.
- The dripping blood effect used in the POV shot of Negan's victim as he's killing them has been seen as goofy in how cheap-looking it is, comparing it to the one from the famous Bond Gun Barrel scene, or the opening credits to the Goosebumps TV show.
- Some viewers pointed out that Lucille itself, rather than looking like the weapon of choice of a psychotic murderer and a bat that's beaten in the heads of countless victims, looks like it was just bought fresh from the store.
- In the Comic-Con trailer, Negan has an odd drawl when he says "this is the oooooonly way". His usual smug grin also makes him look and sound kinda high. Less so in the actual scene, though.
- In one of the trailers leading up to the season premiere, we get treated to huge, bold text insisting vehemently that "YOU. WILL. KNOW." It's good for a dark chuckle that the show runners clearly feel they may have indeed lost some credibility after the cliffhanger and have to so strongly insist that the plot will actually be resolved in the season premiere.
- Rick's hilariously goofy dream of the entire group sitting at a long banquet table outdoors in Alexandria. No wonder Negan said it was a silly daydream.
- Negan arriving in Alexandria is accompanied by him shouting "Hot diggity dog!" followed by a zoom out that wouldn't look out of place on The Office.
- After so long of the show's world being portrayed as the last dregs of humanity barely hanging on to civilization, it gets pretty goofy when this season suddenly reveals there's at least four large, stable communities within walking distance of Alexandria.
- Carl and Rosita's attempts to kill Negan, which are both so hilariously incompetent (Rosita perfectly nails Lucille, for crying out loud!) that it honestly comes off like they know they're in a TV show and the main bad guy can't die yet. Even Eugene warned Rosita that it probably would end badly and just get more people hurt.
- The end of "Hearts Still Beating" is a pretty heartwarming reunion and resolve to fight back against Negan, but we get some fairly lengthy shots of each member of the group smiling. It gets a little awkward.
- The group reunites with Morgan in "Rock in the Road" at the Kingdom. The only thing is, it comes off as really... odd to see Tara and Sasha going to hug him, as they'd never really interacted before this scene.
- Richard's incredibly convoluted Xanatos Roulette plan to use Carol's death to get Ezekiel to go to war with the Saviors.
- The Scavengers/Heapsters/Trash People. Especially their habit of being a bit... creative with their grammar when they speak.
- The CGI deer from "Say Yes".
- At the end of "The Other Side", Sasha runs off into the Sanctuary guns blazing, crying and smiling, dramatically telling Rosita that it's not her time and that the group still needs her. Um... last we checked, the group still needs you too, Sasha. Many fans found it a cringe-worthy, fatalistic Idiot Ball moment needed to ensure Sasha's quick exit from the show since she had just been cast as the lead of Star Trek: Discovery.
- Negan spends four episodes of the season giving the same song and dance to members of the group who visit his base to showcase his philosophy and convince them to join his team. This villainous "Hakuna Matata" gets old really fast.
- The sudden appearance of Shiva and reinforcements from the Kingdom and Hilltop in the finale (while admittedly a CMOA) was this for some people. Just the sheer fact that apparently none of the huge group of Saviors, Scavengers or Alexandrian captives saw a freaking tiger about to pounce on them... And then there's the fact that somehow Shiva knows exactly who the bad guys are...
- The speech at the very end of the finale somewhat borders on this. Yes, it's a nice tribute to Glenn but it very quickly becomes long-winded and repetitive and a little preachy. Especially after Negan's to-the-point "We're going to war!".
- Season 8 became infamous for using strange close-up shots of the cast that crossfade into each other in several episodes. This meant you had to watch Eugene stare blankly into the camera, or watch Ezekiel look off into the distance for a while. It reached an even more ridiculous level in "The Key", which features lengthy close-ups of Negan, Simon, and Dwight looking off-camera, but without the cross-fade, making it even more boring and silly.
- Aaron's face when he sees Zombie!Eric disappearing into a herd, meaning that Aaron cannot put him down peacefully. He is supposed to be emulating grief, but instead, it appears to show him oddly smiling and about to laugh.
- Shiva's sort of pointless and anticlimactic death scene. She appears out of nowhere to help rescue Ezekiel from a small group of walkers, easily dispatches a couple of them, then just kind of lies down and lets the other ten or so eat her with minimal resistance despite clearly being strong and fast enough to fight them off.
- "I DID NOT EAT THOSE PANCAKES!" At least we know Gregory is supposed to be hamming it up to be let back in.
- The rather hamfisted Red Shirt treatment of Neil. He suddenly speaks up in a corny voice, "damn straight", and then says "oh shit". And then he's quickly killed off. As if he wasn't a painfully obvious Red Shirt from the start, his corny accent and swearing makes him sound like he's trying to be a discount Abraham.
- Carls death often haphazardly cuts to Morgan and Carol rescuing Ezekiel from the Saviors, ruining the drama and tension of the moment.
- On a similar note, Gavin tells his men to "stop picking dingles". Much like Neil before him, he comes off as a poor mans Abraham.
- The producer statement that the season's back half would feature their first fully nude zombie. Even more than the above-mentioned "You will know," it comes off as an especially desperate piece of marketing after the show got its lowest ratings since Season 2 in the season's first half.
- Jadis suddenly starts speaking normally in her shock at losing all of her people, giving the impression that all along the Scavengers were just a bunch of theater hipsters who all talked like cavemen just because they thought it made them seem cooler than the squares. Her monologue about how she saw the world and her philosophy also fell on plenty of deaf ears, since her entire community was a bunch of Scrappies.
- Hidge and Milda, much like the Scavengers, come off as silly hipsters even though they're clearly intended to be comic relief. They just seem like they're trying way too hard to be memorable and quirky, and join Neil and Gavin as discount Abraham's.
- The zombie attack in "Do Not Send Us Astray," where the dramatic tension is based entirely on every single person at Hilltop sleeping like, well, the dead, not hearing the likes of a zombie falling through a staircase or a nurse screaming as she's devoured. Plus, they apparently didn't feel any need to lock the door despite having just fended off an attack by the Saviors (or at least put up some kind of barrier since the door was open to allow better air circulation with about a hundred people sleeping inside).
- Gavins posthumous conversations with Morgan. The Madness Mantra of you know what it is sounds less like drama and more like Wiz Khalifa.
- When Simon gathers his conspirators to plot his betrayal of Negan, Gregory is randomly brought along as if he's an active member of the group. It comes off as pointless shoehorning of a character into a scene he didn't need to be in, especially since he'd just been reduced to Simon's coffee boy.
- Duke, the Savior with electric blue hair, came off as particularly ridiculous to many viewers. Thankfully, he only appears for a short few moments before hes fed to Rick as a sacrifice.
- The death of Ken really doesnt resonate as much as the show seems to think it does, because the character was literally a Red Shirt who was introduced a few minutes before his death. Sure, his death sets off a big chain of events, but are we really supposed to buy that the death of this Red Shirt is a major loss?
- The Saviors are shown to practically worship Rick as a war hero. Its certainly an interesting development, but the way they over-enthusiastically nod at the littlest things he says are just too heavy-handed to be taken seriously.
- The utterly random appearance of Sasha, who was never that close to Rick, among the dead characters he converses with in his final episode. Its very jarring to see Sasha of all characters return over Ricks own deceased family, Lori and Carl, or other friends that he was actually close to like Glenn. It didnt sit well with audiences that Sonequa Martin-Green was the best they could get after Jon Bernthal and Scott Wilson.
- Even for a game played by some drunk teens, the Hilltop kids version of ring toss with a trapped walker is pretty ridiculous.
- Some of Tammy Roses lines make her into more of a mouthpiece for the writers than an actual character; she spells out most of Maggies arc in the first half of the season and later does the same for Tara in the mid season premiere.