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Nightmare Fuel / The Walking Dead TV Show

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Very few entries will have spoiler tags. Read at your own risk!

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"You ruled the roost. You built something. You thought you were safe. I get it. But the word is out. You are not safe. Not even close."
Negan, "Last Day on Earth"
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From psychopaths with tanks and baseball bats to hordes of starving corpses, The Walking Dead has plenty of Nightmare Fuel to chew on... provided the Nightmare Fuel doesn't chew on you.


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    The Walkers 
  • One of the most fundamentally disturbing aspects of the walkers is how they remember their past lives. A walker is just another walker to be shot in the head, right up until it walks home and tries to go back into its house, or it picks up a stuffed animal and carries it around. Then it becomes something a hell of a lot harder to shoot. Even more disturbing if you wonder if some of them know what they became.
  • All of the walkers. The ones that are all torn up and obviously walkers are bad enough, but there are some that look fine, for the most part. They are dead though, so something still looks very wrong about them. Something that's also particularly worrying is that, despite the walkers being unintelligent, some of them retain enough intelligence be even more dangerous to their prey, like defending themselves in attacks, using rocks to smash in a window to get at their prey, or in the case of Morgan Jones' wife, being able to open doors. It's easy to think that you'll be safe when they have the IQ of a brick, but regarding those who do retain enough of themselves to be a more dangerous threat? Not so much.
    • There's also the fact that they. Will. Not. Stop. No matter how mutilated or decrepit they become, they will never stop moving or trying to attack younote . A road-flattened corpse, tar-covered blob, or rotted skeleton coated in moss desperately scrabbling to drag itself after you might not be much of a threat, but it's far more disturbing.

    Season 1 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walkers_in_atlanta.jpg
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
1 - Days Gone Bye
  • Rick's awakening. Imagine waking up in a hospital, having no idea what is happening in the world, and then venturing out of your room to find someone. What do you find? The place in ruins, some stairwells padlocked with cryptic warnings painted on them and strange noises coming from within, and piles and piles of dead bodies all over. Worst case scenario: you've woken up to an extreme epidemic in progress. Really though, it's enough to make a person think that they may very well have woken up in Hell.
  • The night in Morgan's house. Seeing all the Walkers right outside the door, and knowing that the only thing keeping you safe is that they don't know you are there. One wrong move, and they all come after you. To make things worse, Morgan's wife is a Walker, and is outside, and remembers just enough of her life to know that the house is somewhere she wants to go, so you have to hide there quietly, listening to those quiet, ineffectual sounds as she tries to get in, as you pray that her attempts don't attract others to try the same thing.

4 - Vatos

  • The first time a horde of Walkers attack the camp in "Vatos". It comes off as a complete and utter shock, both to the group and the viewers. Sure, some of us were probably expecting something bad to happen, but we certainly weren't expecting the gruesome bloodbath shown. First, the Walkers gang up on Ed before devouring him, but his death was coming, since he was an asshole throughout his appearances. The real horror comes when a Walker suddenly shows up behind the RV and bites Amy on her arm, with her screaming in terror. The whole group soon falls into a panic, and throughout the montage of people running, screaming, or being eaten, the message becomes pretty clear: NOWHERE IS SAFE. NOBODY IS SAFE.

6 - TS-19

    Season 2 
2 - Bloodletting
  • In the second episode of the season, T-Dog finds the empty, baby car seat splattered with blood and bits of flesh. Dear God.

3 - Save the Last One

  • Shane betraying and killing Otis in cold blood. It came off so sudden and was completely unexpected, even for those who knew how villainous Shane was from the comics. Descent into darkness indeed...

4 - Cherokee Rose

7 - Pretty Much Dead Already

  • Sophia getting lost in the woods is Adult Fear enough; getting lost in the woods after being chased by zombies takes that Up to Eleven. But her eventual turning is something far beyond a parent's worst nightmare. The worst part is that she was always there in that barn, when everyone was searching for her. In other words, it's an absolutely sadistic twist towards the "child gets lost somewhere but is always rescued" plot-line seen in most media.

11 - Judge, Jury, Executioner

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    Season 3 
  • After Lori can't feel her baby kicking for a while, she worries that it might have died, and will soon be clawing its way out of her. Even more horrifying as you realise that, somewhere out there in the world, a pregnant woman may indeed have suffered this fate.
  • In the season 3 premiere, Hershel's leg amputation.
  • In Season 3, Hershel grabbing Lori when he's being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after a bite. He's not a walker, mind you.
  • The Governor and his men brutally mowing down those US soldiers.
  • The Governor's collection of severed heads in various fish tanks.
    • The soldier that The Governor rescued from the helicopter crash is the most recent head added to his collection. Considering Woodbury's means of obtaining provisions, one head could serve as a symbol for one group Woodbury has destroyed.
  • Lori's difficult birth. Not just the terror of a complication when there's an airborne zombie infection, but what Carl has to go through.
  • Rick's breakdown after Lori dies. He rampages through the prison, almost kills Glenn when he tries to calm Rick down, and finally repeatedly stabs the stomach of a walker who ate Lori's corpse.
    • The sheer squick and horror one feels when Rick finds the walker. It's severely bloated, and too full and lethargic to even move. Lori is now nothing but a chewed up, very large meal in the walker's stomach.
  • The gladiator games in Woodbury, where two men beat the crap out of each other while surrounded by restrained walkers. The zombies have had their teeth removed so the combatants are in minimum danger (although they could still be scratched), but it's still sick. As Andrea points out, the games make people think walkers aren't dangerous.
    • And how voluntary is it for the people fighting in the arena?
  • Merle, infuriated when Glenn refuses to tell him where the prison is, unleashes a walker in the room and closes the door. Glenn is tied up in a chair. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome when he breaks the chair and kills the Walker.
    • And in the next room, the Governor forces Maggie to take off her shirt and lean over the table while he stands behind her. He doesn't rape her, but he does psychologically torture her with the threat of it.
  • Whenever Judith is placed in Rick's arms, and that echoing starts to surface. It really gives the impression that Rick is going to snap and drop her or throw her at a wall.
  • Rick's Freak Out! upon hallucinating Lori in a white dress watching him kicking Tyreese's group out, waving a gun around and sending everyone else the hell out as fast as they can. And remember that this is Tyreese and the others' first impression of him.
    • Even worse, it's just possible to discern through the darkness that Lori's face is bloodied.
  • In "Home", seeing the mother and baby stuck inside a car crying while walkers press around them, with one breaking through the back window and crawling towards them. Thank God Daryl saves them.
  • Also from "Home", the walker bomb, a van full of walkers sent crashing through the gates of the prison courtesy of the Governor. The characters, as well as the audience let out a Mass "Oh, Crap!".
  • In "Clear", we discover the fate of the Jones family. Duane was bitten by his zombified mother, forcing Morgan to put her down, and it's implied he did the same to Duane. Morgan is now completely nuts and suicidal, holing himself up in King County to rot.
  • The barbecued zombies from "Prey". They're cooked, blackened and stuck together, and some still try to reach the Governor's men. Not recommended viewing while eating.
  • The torture room that the Governor has prepared for Michonne is shown in "Prey". At the centre is a dentist's chair with handcuffs, while at the side is a table with various tools on it, including knives, scalpels, dentist's tools, a fish hook with thread, and a speculum. The latter is what most fans found particularly disturbing, for obvious reasons.
    • Particularly disturbing is the way he contemplatively taps the speculum with a dentist's pick.
    • The way The Governor prepares the torture room is with the cheerful nonchalance of a man whistling while making a sandwich.
  • The Governor stalking Andrea through the warehouse, dragging a piece of metal across the floor so she can hear death approaching, and whistling for her to come out.
    • The Governor trying to mow her down in an open field in a Jeep.
  • The Governor biting off two of Merle's fingers when fighting him.
  • Andrea tied to a chair with plastic handcuffs, trying to grab pliers off the floor with her feet to untie herself, while across the room Milton is slowly dying and about to reanimate.
  • The Governor massacring his own men with a rifle.

    Season 4 
30 Days Without an Accident
  • Starting with Season 4, walkers are now constantly shoving against certain spots on the prison fence. The inhabitants get to gradually watch their greatest defenses get worn away, with no easy way to fix the problem.
  • The unnamed woman that Rick runs into the in the forest in the first episode. She's so dirty and ragged that he initially mistook her for a walker, speaking in quiet, distant tones with her eyes wide, talking about how she learned to do "whatever she had to do" to survive when she takes Rick to her camp. Eventually, it's revealed that at her camp she keeps her reanimated husband in a burlap sack, and that she took Rick there to feed him to him. When Rick fights her off after her sudden lunge at him she decides she can't take it anymore and stabs herself so she can be a walker too.

Infected

  • The disease in Season 4, which causes victims to cough, bleed from the eyes and mouth, then collapse.
  • In the supermarket fight, several zombies' heads simply fall apart due to decomposition.
  • Rick snapping when punched by Tyreese, and beating the latter into a pulp and screaming at Daryl to let him go.

Isolation

  • The herd: walkers, stretching as far as the eye can see over the road ahead, marching towards the cast's car.
  • The reveal that Carol had murdered Karen and David. Of course, it was to prevent the virus from spreading any further, but the way she casually answers when Rick questions her is chilling.
  • As if "Interment" wasn't bad enough with the plague hitting an all time high, it ends with an odd figure looking at the prison. At first, it looks like a random survivor but then ominous music builds and as the camera lowers down, we see who it is: The Governor.

Live Bait

  • When The Governor lets the rage within him reveal itself, even when it's for good reasons. He brutally bludgeons a walker in front of its daughters, and beats another walker to death with his bare hands.
  • The Governor's final attack on the prison. He does this by nearly decapitating Hershel, then finishing the job and does a brutal, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Rick and nearly strangles him to death.

Inmates

  • Lizzie tries to suffocate Judith because she wouldn't be quiet. Keep in mind that this was after she was seen killing rabbits in the night.
  • Glenn almost getting overwhelmed when he runs headfirst into a herd of walkers wearing riot gear. The P.O.V. Cam view of them trying to chew through his visor didn't exactly help.

Claimed

  • Rick actually attempts to relax for once, lying down in bed with a book while Carl and Michonne go looking for supplies...and then several men break into the house, and Rick is forced to hide under the bed. He further confirms these guys are bad news when one guy lies down on the bed, and another guy comes in and suffocates him until he's unconscious. If he could do that to one of his cohorts, just IMAGINE what he would've done to Rick had he found him. To add to the creepiness factor, the home invaders are only shown from Rick's visual perspective.
  • Andrew Lincoln REALLY sold this scene with his acting. Never had Rick looked so scared.
  • The episode also contains a very weird, creepy scene that borders on a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. Michonne and Carl are looking through a house when Michonne finds a bedroom with bright, pink walls, where an entire family's mummified bodies are laying peacefully in beds and chairs around the room.

Still

  • The opening scene has Beth and Daryl have to lock themselves in a car's boot to hide from a horde. The show skips through snippets of the rest of the day, the night and eventually the morning, where the two just stare out through the crack of the door, listening to the innumerable walkers and a storm.

The Grove

  • When Tyreese and Carol come back to their safehouse, they discover that Lizzie, whose hand is covered in blood and is holding a knife, has killed her own sister, Mika, so she can reanimate and what's worse is she was planning to do the same thing to Judith. And before Carol puts Lizzie down, Lizzie completely misses the point that she thinks that Carol wants to "talk" to her not because she killed her own sister, but because she aimed a gun at her, which shows just how messed up she has become.

A

  • Carl's Attempted Rape is one of the most disturbing and uncomfortable scenes in the entire show despite very little actually being shown, just for the sheer Adult Fear factor of it: Rick and Michonne are being held at gunpoint and Daryl is in the process of being beaten to death while one of the Marauders drags Carl from the car he'd been sleeping in, pins him to the ground, and can be distinctly heard struggling with his belt buckle, all while leering at Carl and telling him to "stop squirming". It's incredibly difficult to watch, and it makes what Rick does to the Marauders incredibly satisfying, as horrible as it is.
  • Granted, the victim wasn't exactly pleasant, but Rick biting Joe in the neck and tearing out his throat was pretty unnerving, especially because for a few brief moments it makes him seem very much like the walkers.
  • There are a few very creepy moments during the scene where Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl are being chased through Terminus by sniper fire: first, they're led into a bizarre room filled with candles and what look like memorial shrines with names written on the floor and the messages "NEVER AGAIN", "NEVER TRUST", and "WE FIRST, ALWAYS" emblazoned on the wall. Back outside, they pass a courtyard filled with what looks an awful lot like bloody human skeletons entirely stripped of flesh, and a series of train cars from which voices can distinctly be heard screaming for help. All of these instances are made even more disturbing by the fact that they aren't explained — but there are more than a few hints that the inhabitants of Terminus are in fact the TV show's take on the cannibals from the comic continuity, and the season ends with them taking most of the cast prisoner...

    Season 5 
No Sanctuary
  • The trough room in the season premiere. The main characters are at the back of the line as redshirt captives are being slit one by one. Glenn was only seconds away from joining them. Plus the butchered human body parts in the next room.
    • And in the background, one of the Terminus residents Rick killed in the Season 4 finale, the brother of their nominal leader, can be seen being prepped to be butchered.
  • During her assault on Terminus, Carol comes across items the Terminites took from the people they ate. Among them is an entire table full of stuffed animals and other toys.
  • Any parent can attest to the fact that Martin with his hands around baby Judith's neck is nauseating Adult Fear personified.

Strangers

  • In the cold open, Daryl and Carol hear something in the woods and report to Rick they felt like they were being watched. Later, something approaches from the bushes close to Carol before backtracking. Then when he's on his own, Bob is knocked out by a hooded figure. It's made clear by the ending (and the following episode) that the Hunters were this close to capturing Carol.
  • The ending where Bob finds himself captured by the Terminus survivors, and gets an excellent view of the group cooking and eating his leg.

Four Walls and a Roof

  • Continuing on from the "Strangers" entry, the Hunters are just wolfing down Bob's leg like it's nothing but a delicious meal after a long day. Several shots of a nearby group of walkers are intercut with shots of the Hunters ripping flesh from bone and noisily chomping down on their meal. During the scene, Gareth is rambling and his reflection is in the glass holding the flesh-eating walkers back. Gareth goes on to note that his brother Alex claimed women taste better because of a layer of fat for childbearing, seeing people as nothing more than different types of food. After contemplating eating Carol and Sasha, he declares that the Hunters are going to "try them all". It's literally a nightmare.
  • When they return the legless Bob to the church, the camera shows that the Hunters have painted the letter 'A' on the side of the church - branding them like cattle and promising they'll be back for revenge. There's a reason the arc in the comic was called "Fear the Hunters".
  • Rick and Abraham are arguing over the latter wanting to flee, and Rick demands that they stay since Daryl and Carol are coming back. Abraham snaps, "TO WHAT?!? PICKED OVER BONES?!?" Even the biggest, toughest member of the group admits his fear of the flesh-eating monsters coming for them.
  • The slow, tense invasion of the church. The Hunters are cast mostly in shadow, and Gareth continuously taunts the remaining group members about their being outgunned and that if they surrender, they'll make it easier on them. As they get closer, the remaining group tremble in fear even as they prepare to mount a defense, clearly thinking Rick and the others were tricked and won't be able to save them.
    • Gareth offers Gabriel a chance to leave with Judith, since he had no part in the destruction of Terminus. Then Judith cries, giving the group away. The Hunters share sneers of approval, and Gareth says, "Actually, I think we'll keep the kid, I'm starting to like her."
    • Then there's the fact that the Hunters were able to stalk the group successfully enough to learn all of their names.
  • Rick, Michonne, Sasha, and Abraham savage the Hunters to death with rifle butts, knives and machetes, inside a church no less.

Slabtown

  • Beth's ordeal while in the hospital held against her will for god knows how long, nearly raped, then tricked into assisting in the murder of an innocent man.
    • Over the course of the episode, learning the true nature of how the hospital is run and the subtle hinting at Beth's most valued purpose for being there.
      • The scene with the lollipop has a rather unnerving subtext. Noah, the only other trustworthy person in the facility, had given her that candy as a token of friendship, but when the doctor finds it, he twists it into a lewd interpretation. They just can't let her have anything good and innocent in that place.
    • Dawn is fine with looking the other way when it comes to what her colleagues are doing, as long as they keep the place functioning. She believes it is up to the girls to defend themselves, and if they can't, they are too weak to survive. This rationalization is especially cold-hearted, considering the high likelihood that these men are stealing girls that may be younger than Beth.

Self Help

  • There is just something very unsettling about Abraham's Hair-Trigger Temper seen during the course of early Season 5. Nearly killing Eugene after he had lied to him and been found out, Abraham just goes off on him and beats the holy hell out of him for lying.
  • Seeing Carol get mowed down with a car while Daryl is helpless to go to her, knowing she's going to be trapped in the same hell as Beth until they can come back with reinforcements.

What Happened and What's Going On

  • Tyreese's death scene. It isn't quick, not even close, as he's left suffering and dying for almost the entire episode; not only is it shown mostly from his perspective, but it's also punctuated by what can best be described as strange hallucinations of dead characters visiting and mocking him, even welcoming him into death. The Hope Spot of the others getting to him and getting him out of there ends up being for nothing, as he dies halfway home after great trouble on part of the rest of the group.
  • The group discovers something very strange in this episode. Somebody looks to have chopped a ton of walkers in half and left their bottom halves to rot in a field. The group finds their still (un)live armless top halves stuffed into the back of the truck they parked near in the process of getting out. From the W's carved on their foreheads, the wolves did it, although that still leaves the question of why.

Them

  • Maggie found a female walker who is Bound and Gagged and trapped inside a trunk car. She's implied to be a victim of kidnapping and has been left to die starving in there. Who knows how long she's been bound and gagged and trapped in there? Also doubles as Tear Jerker, because Maggie seems to be reminded of Beth due to the walker's blonde hair and the fact that the walker's bound and gagged.
  • When the group is in the barn, a herd of walkers storm the barn and almost break through the door had the group not awakened to hold the barn's door together. The next morning, it's revealed those walkers are all either crushed or impaled (still alive but cannot move anymore) by falling trees around the barn, which was caused by the raging rainstorm in the previous night. Wow. Imagine what would happen to the protagonists if Daryl didn't find the barn and the group had to sleep outside. Sasha points this out.
    • It gets even worse when you realize the fallen trees are all in a line, roughly 50ft or so across. That wasn't just a rain storm, that was a tornado taking out all the walkers. What if it had been a few feet closer?

Remember

  • We're introduced to Pete. Fans who are familiar with the comics already know what kind of a man Pete really is, but those who aren't can probably get a pretty good idea from his first scene. He's just sitting alone in the dark, smoking a cigarette in the shadows. He seemingly threatens Rick when he just talks in a Creepy Monotone about how his wife spent time with him. It's not helped when he reappears in the next episode all happy and friendly when talking with Rick again, like it's their first meeting. A not so subtle hint to his true nature.

Forget

  • Sam (Jessie and Pete's young son) walks in on Carol stealing some guns, and she tells him to keep it secret in exchange for cookies. But, Sam says he has to tell his mom, since he tells her everything. Carol then calmly and in great detail explains what will happen should he tell anyone: he'll wake up tied to a tree, with no one around, and he'll be ripped apart by walkers and no one will ever know what happened to him. The look of sheer horror in the poor kid's eyes is terrifying. So ultimately, he chooses living and cookies over telling his mom what he saw.
  • At the end of that episode, Rick hears a Walker banging on the walls of the town. A strange echoing version of Spicks and Specks starts to play and Rick just... leans against the wall. It's less scary and more unsettling.

Spend

  • This easily qualifies as one of the goriest episodes in the entire series.
  • Aiden is impaled on rebar and left for the Walkers, who rip out his intestines and tear into his neck.
  • Noah is pressed against a glass window by a mob of Walkers and devoured — we're shown a close-up of his eye being gouged out and his jaw being pulled apart!
    • Imagine being Glenn in this situation. He was holding onto Noah who begged him not to let go as the walkers grabbed his foot, and just a few seconds later, Noah was dragged away to the other side of the door. Glenn couldn't do anything but watch Noah get his jaw pulled apart and scream in agony.

Try

  • While searching for more survivors, Daryl and Aaron come across a pile of freshly dismembered walker limbs, and find the corpse of a woman who had been tied to a tree and eaten alive by walkers. The scene is so fresh that the corpse hasn't even turned into a walker yet. Daryl and Aaron both wonder who could have possibly done this.
  • Rick loses it with these people and launches into a rant about how ludicrously stupid these people are. Up until that point, Rick had been mostly calm, and to hear him launch into a screaming fit out of nowhere is terrifying.

Conquer

  • Nicholas' Near-Villain Victory in the episode. He follows Glenn out into the forest so he can kill him and wounds him. He gives Glenn a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown and leaves him with the walkers closing in on him. However, Glenn survives and gives an even worse beat down and prepares to kill him. Fortunately for Nicholas, he can't go through with it.
  • Also, Pete's Villainous Breakdown and cold murder of Reg. He killed him in front of the whole town and perfectly recaptures the memory of the Governor's murder of Hershel. And to make it even worse, he has Michonne's sword, which was on the wall in hers' and Rick's house', where Carl and Judith were earlier seen watching the ballerina music box. Alone. He could have easily killed both of them when he broke into the house to steal Michonne's sword.

    Season 6 
JSS
  • We finally get to see what made Enid such a Broken Bird. In a brief flashback, we're shown a horde of walkers approaching the girl as her parents try to fix a stalled car engine. The scene then cuts to a trembling Erin locked inside the family car, blood splattered everywhere, cringing as her parent's corpses are devoured mere inches away from the vehicle. And yes, she watched it happen.
  • The attack on Alexandria. The deaths are horribly violent and bloody, with people being hacked to pieces with machetes, long after they're already dead.
  • During the attack on Alexandria, it is very easy to see the wear on Carol's mind. While completely awesome, her systematic slaughter of the Wolves is terrifying. And when Morgan suggests not killing them, Carol seems genuinely confused as to why.

Thank You

  • Several characters are Devoured by the Horde by walkers when the plan goes south, and Glenn is almost one of them; in fact, he's missing presumed dead for the next three episodes.

Always Accountable

  • We get our very first view of the Saviors. First, they randomly assault Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham on the road with an arsenal of heavy weapons and vehicles, but they fortunately get away. However, it turns out that they came out to recapture Dwight and his friends for escaping the group. When Daryl helps them get away, one of the Saviors is bitten by a walker. His leader finds him and nonchalantly hacks off his cohort's arm as if it was nothing. This is only the start to their presence on the show.

Start to Finish

  • Deanna is fighting off a section of the horde and would've been eaten if not for Rick saving her. However, she falls on a buzz saw before being saved and finds out later that she was bitten in the struggle. What follows is Deanna slowly getting weaker and weaker, bleeding out from the buzz saw wound while slowly transitioning into a zombie. While she puts on a strong front, viewers can see how scared she really is; who wouldn't be scared? Finally culminates on wasting her chance to die peacefully (shooting herself) and instead takes out her frustration and bullets on some of the horde that managed to get into the house. She gives one last scream of defiance before being devoured alive off-screen.
  • Jessie's kids breaking down from the horde invading their town and their subsequent reactions to it. Ron believes that they're all going to die and tries to murder Carl as one last ditch of revenge for his father; the struggle between the two attracts the horde to their house. Sam is slowly losing his nerve and mind from all the crap going on around him: drawing pictures of himself tied to a tree while zombies eat him (thanks Carol), seeing the group coat themselves in zombie guts and blood, hearing a song he's playing being distorted in his mind, etc.
  • The beginning of the episode serves as a disturbing metaphor. Imagine the half-eaten cookie as Sam and the ants eating the cookie as the zombies. Now remember what happens to Sam's counterpart in the comics...
  • Maggie barely managing to get away from the horde by climbing up to an unstable wooden platform, hoping that it doesn't give away and dispenses her on the waiting monstrosities below...
  • The group cover themselves in zombie guts. It's just as disturbing as the first time they did it.
    • As the group start making their way safely through the horde, Sam starts calling for his mother. Starts off slowly and then starts making his voice louder and louder. The horde of zombies, while ignoring them at first, begin to notice the noise and slowly but surely turn toward Sam. The screen then cuts to black...
    • And Sam's nightmare comes true in "No Way Out", as the boy manages to keep quiet long enough for a Hope Spot, only to lose his nerve and start crying when ever-more-gruesome walkers surround them. And the sound of Carol's threat to feed him to the walkers plays over the scene of his fragile courage starting to crack.
  • Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham run into a group of bikers, who demand they step out of the vehicle and give all their belongings to their leader. When Sasha and Daryl question who the leader is, the one in charge merely says that their stuff belongs to Negan now. Not good.
  • That moment when viewers familiar with the comic realize that Negan is now in the show. Considering that the war with Negan is the most intense plotline of the entire comic series, the seasons to come are going to be very grim and filled with Tearjerker.

No Way Out

  • That big scene of nothing but chaos and death.
    • Sam's death. He tries to be brave and doesn't want to leave his mother's side (even when given the chance to escape to safety with Gabriel and Judith), but ultimately he breaks down completely in the herd. He remembers Carol's threat about how he could be Eaten Alive, and the final clincher is seeing a child walker. He starts to whimper, unable to move... and then he's immediately grabbed and chomped down on. His last moments are spent fruitlessly screaming for his mother as he's torn to pieces, his worst fear coming true. One walker even bites into his skull.
    Sam: (while being eaten) MOMMY! MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
    • Jessie's death is no picnic either. She also completely breaks down when she sees Sam get eaten, and then what finishes her is when a walker rips off a hunk of shredded meat from Sam and looks directly at Jessie while chewing it. Seeing her child be reduced to nothing more than shredded lunch meat in the monster's teeth causes her to just scream in agony. She doesn't move at all and ultimately she's devoured herself. She doesn't even put up a fight, and her only reaction is her own last screams of pain. After she dies, her hand is still holding onto Carl's, and Rick is forced to chop off Jessie's hand with an axe to save his son.
    • Then here comes Ron. Seeing his mother and little brother die horrible deaths in front of him finally puts him off the deep end, and he raises a gun at Rick and Carl, now every bit as insane as his father.
    • As the final cherry on top, Michonne immediately kills Ron, whose gun still goes off. Rick nods his thanks to Michonne, and the two turn to Carl... only to see that Ron succeeded in shooting Carl in his eye, which is now nothing more than a pit of gore and blood. In shock, Carl slowly looks to Rick and asks "Dad?", confused about what just happened, and then collapses on the ground. Rick and Michonne almost lose it right then and there and immediately rush their way to Denise.
  • Shortly before Daryl kills the Saviors, several viewers have pointed out that there appears to be a car driving up in the distance. The show runners are known to keep a very tight set, so either this was an unexpected error, or potentially some Saviors arrived to keep watch in the background, only to witness Daryl wiping out their friends. Fans of the comic know that Negan doesn't take well to the deaths of his men...

The Next World

  • While Rick and Daryl chase Jesus through the field, it's a pretty lighthearted, funny chase that wouldn't look too out of place in The Dukes of Hazzard. Rick comes across a tractor that has several walkers tied to it, and some writing on the tractor that says "WE WILL COME BACK FOR THEM". It's got nothing on the Wolves' scenes of carnage, but it's certainly a bit unsettling.

Knots Untie

  • In this episode we are properly introduced to the Saviors by way of exposition, as we learn of their subjugation of the Hilltop and that they beat a boy to death just to make a point to the Hilltop.

Not Tomorrow Yet

  • The group come up with the idea of finding a walker that resembles Gregory enough to decapitate and use as a decoy in order to get Craig back. Some pretty grisly stuff.
  • The raid on the Saviors' compound. No one disagrees that the Saviors had it coming, but this is a pretty dark moment for our protagonists as they storm the compound with the intention of exterminating the Saviors.
    • The infiltration is very quiet and very tense given the fear that they might encounter Negan or his men at any moment.
    • Even worse on a meta level, as even people who haven't heard about the comics' Negan are bound to suspect that the Saviors have other bases and this raid will only start a major war rather than neutralize the threat.
  • Glenn is forced to take his first human life in the series - and by killing the Saviors in their sleep. It takes a devastating toll on him. Heath is unable to and Glenn has to do it for him.
    • Then the real kicker of the episode comes in. The two see a bunch of Polaroid pictures on the wall of bashed in human heads, reduced to piles of gory mush. Fans of the comics know what these pictures mean: the victims met Lucille.

The Same Boat

  • Sure, she's a bad guy, but Paula's death is right up there with Noah's in terms of nastiness. She's shish kebabbed on a skewer where a walker proceeds to eat her face off. Then, as if that's not bad enough, Carol and Maggie walk past her half-eaten now-zombified body on the way out.
  • Although it's immensely satisfying to see, there's also something horrific and disturbing about watching the Saviours being burned alive.
  • Rick coldly shooting the last savior.

Twice as Far

  • Denise's abrupt death: a crossbow bolt piercing the back of her head and coming out through her eye! Made even worse in that she's Killed Mid-Sentence and has no idea what happened, so she keeps talking, her speech becoming slurred as she just slumps over.
  • Denise's disturbing find as Rosita and Daryl raid the pharmacy: a female walker in a backroom, and a child's foot sticking out of a pool of bloody water, with "Hush" written all over the walls. The bloody walker handprints outside suggest that the child might have been making too much noise and attracting walkers, so the mother drowned him/her to keep it quiet, but went insane from killing her own child. Yeesh!
    • Killing her own child, then seeing it start to reanimate, then killing it again, most likely. The drowned child's foot isn't moving, after all...
  • Dwight's back with the Saviors, and he's got a nasty burn wound on the side of his head. Fans of the comics know that this is how Negan punishes his subordinates who disobey or in this case try to desert him.

East

  • If you've read the comics, you know that the show has pretty much reached the point where it's time to adapt the events of issue 100. Given that events in the show are already a little different, there's every chance that they may take things in a different direction, but we all know something big is going to happen. Especially considering the title of next week's episode...
  • The whole episode has a feeling of lurking danger and that something bad is going to happen at any moment. As if Negan himself is watching your every move and just waiting for the right moment. That being said, the second part of the season has pretty much built up everything for Negan's first appearance and his influence is very strong in this episode, despite being absent until the very end.
  • Carol's encounter with Jiro reveals what we've been dreading: the Saviors have found Alexandria.

Last Day on Earth

  • Much like the last episode, if you've read the comics, you knew the scene with the baseball bat was coming. Watching Negan make his speech, knowing what he's about to do raises the tension to fever pitch. Never has "Eeny Meeny Miney Moe" been so terrifying. And then it gets even worse by not even showing who Negan killed. You want to know who the victim was? Have to wait 'til next season.
  • We also start to get a feel for how capable the Saviors really are. After half a season of Rick's group getting a number of fairly easy wins against them, the Saviors are able to herd the heroes right into a trap. There's a bunch of Oh, Crap! moments as the group starts to realize what kind of numbers and resources their enemy has. Their whistling also manages to get under one's skin after listening to it for a good 10 seconds; now imagine it going on and on and on...
  • Negan's first appearance in the show is enough to incite terror; the build-up throughout the rest of Season 6 pays off as Negan exudes confidence and sadistic behavior to Rick and his group. When Simon signals for Negan to exit the RV, the music slowly rises as the Alexandrians can only look around in fear and anticipation like scared animals.
  • Rick's crushed spirit is one of the major factors in why the last 10 minutes of the episode is so scary. Andrew Lincoln plays Rick like the hardened Badass that he is and is so sure that he and his group can overcome anything. As the episode goes on, however, we see the stress of trying to keep the group alive get to Rick and he's not as sure as he was at the start. When he and his group are finally caught in the Savior's trap, Rick's confidence is slowly but surely leaving him; he even tries to appeal to the punk who antagonized them at the beginning of the episode with the words, "We can talk about it-" before he's cut off harshly. Comparison  By the time Negan shows up and starts his sadistic spiel about the "new world order", Rick is a sweating, shaking mess.
  • Glenn trying and failing to protect his wife from Negan before he's pulled back into line. Rick finally having enough and telling Negan to get on with it already.
  • Carl during this scene. While everyone else was either crying or shaking in fear, Carl just glares at Negan with a creepy, cold expression. While a badass moment for Carl, it's terrifying to see that despite how far Carl has gone into regaining his humanity from Season 3, we get the reminder how much of a Creepy Child he still is. (It doesn't help that he gets Negan's own version of a nod of respect.)
  • Negan slamming his bat "Lucille" into his unfortunate victim. From their POV, we see blood trickling down their right side, and if it is anything like the comics, it's enough to dislodge their eye from its socket. The second strike cuts their vision off and their hearing becomes more distorted. Negan then starts hitting six more times; at this point, the audience at home can only hear the distorted but fading screams of Rick's group and the increasing gory sounds of bat connecting with skull.
    • Consider that a human skull is one of the hardest bone structures in the human body. When one remembers the victims of "Lucille" in the Saviors' Polaroids as their heads are completely destroyed and left a bloody mush, Negan is swinging his bat with enough force to shatter bone and crush internal organs (eyes, tongue, teeth, brains, etc.) There is no way in hell that character survived.
  • The unfairness that despite a Zombie Apocalypse taking place, sadistic assholes like Negan and his "Saviors" exist to steal and incite fear into others. Instead of helping one another overcome the madness, madness is now in charge; good decent people at the mercy of bullies, and there's not a damn thing one can do about it.
  • The gradual revelation that despite all the Saviors Rick's group killed in previous episodes, there are still more. And more. And more. And more. Negan might have accumulated as many people as Rick and co. have met since the beginning of the apocalypse, brainwashed them all into loyal, hardened thugs and then cultivated settlements around Washington D.C. to support them. They're not a pack of survivors, they're an army, with cars and guns to go around and no weak links to look after. Having dealt with small groups and tiny communities with more civilians than fighters for six seasons, Rick is completely unprepared for this level of opposition. And at least part of his apparent breakdown is realizing that he has nobody to blame but himself for making the first move without knowing what he was up against.

    Season 7 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/glenns_body.jpg
"You bunch of pussies. I'm just getting started!"
1 - The Day Will Come When You Won't Be
  • The announcement of the title of the episode was already enough to induce spooks. Jenner said that exact phrase to Rick at the end of season 1 when Rick told him he was grateful that Jenner was letting them escape the CDC, and not die there in the facility's self-destruction. With the title of the episode, and the sheer horrors of what Rick and company endure in it - and even though Rick never outright says anything along these lines - it becomes plainly clear that that day has finally arrived.
  • In the cold open (as well as the preview clip released for the episode) Rick has the victim's later revealed to be Abraham's) blood splattered on his face. Negan is just grinning happily, Lucille completely drenched in blood and muck. Rick declares that one day he will kill Negan, and despite how broken he is, you can tell there has perhaps never been a moment in Rick Grimes' life in which he has ever meant it more sincerely. Negan talks about Simon, his right-hand man, and asks if Rick has one... or if he just killed him. He then holds up Lucille covered in bloody mush and dangles it in Rick's face. Rick is then hauled away into the RV by Negan, and the camera pans to what is left of the victim, a completely unrecognizable pile of bloody mush. You can even see teeth and gums strewn about in the remains.
  • We get to see Negan's eeny, meeny, miny, moe once again but this time from Rick's POV while a chillingly ominous music plays in the background. Imagining this scene in Rick's shoes in itself is extremely nerve-wrecking: his group is kneeling helplessly before Negan and they can't do a damn thing about it. This all culminates in Negan choosing Abraham as his first victim and brutally beats his head in and seeing this from Rick's perspective is terrifying.
    • What's even worse is that, after Negan has already killed Abraham, he still continues to beat his already lifeless body just for the kicks while the rest of the group try their best to avoid from seeing or hearing the gruesome sight. And just when you though that the worst part was already over, it starts to get Up to Eleven.
  • Glenn's EXTREMELY graphic death as his head is gradually bashed in and this time the camera excessively focuses on his injuries unlike the previous one. Like the comics, they most certainly delivered. There's a huge geyser of blood when Negan appears to finally succeed in cracking his head open.
    • Specifically, after the first two blows from Lucille, Glenn is left in massive agony. His head is crumbled, his face is bloodied, he can barely speak or breathe, one of his eyes is covered in blood, and his other eye HAS POPPED OUT OF HIS SKULL! Can you honestly blame people for getting upset at this?
    • Worse, when Negan finally walks away from the body, you can actually see Glenn's scalp dangling from the barbed-wire at the end of his bat. You can even make out the skin and hairs right as he passes in front of the headlights.
    • It gets even worse. There's a brief shot of Glenn's body with his head completely bashed in, and his body is still twitching. If you look close enough, you can even see Glenn's dislodged eyeball floating in his remains.
    • After Negan and Rick return from their little trip the next morning, we get to see Abraham's and Glenn's mangled corpses a couple of times. Glenn's in particular is an almost unrecognizable mass of brain matter that just lays there for everyone to see. After six long seasons of TWD, it's really hard to believe that Glenn is now gone, forever and there's no returning back.
  • The way in which Negan flips between utter barbarity and light-hearted banter. No man should be that light-hearted after bashing a person's head in.
  • Just like "No Way Out" before it, this episode is once again emotional hell for Rick. The tribulations that Negan makes him go through are things NO ONE SHOULD EVER GO THROUGH IN THIS KIND OF SITUATION.
  • Leaked footage of an alternate take surfaced where Maggie was Negan's first victim. She takes a hit and still manages to get back up, and when Negan says she's taking it like a champ, she just glares him down, bleeding from her head which already looks crumpled in a bit, and spits blood at Negan in defiance.

3 - The Cell

  • Daryl's torture. He's locked in a dark cell, dirty and naked, fed dog food sandwiches, and forced to listen to the same song blasting at full volume, preventing him from falling asleep. As if this wasn't bad enough, Dwight eventually loses his temper, handing Daryl a photo of Glenn's mangled corpse whilst reminding him that he's the reason it happened. This last one is so bad that it causes Daryl to break down, and when Dwight returns the following morning, Daryl has thrown up.
    • Sherry and Dwight's backstory. The reason they ran away in the first place was to protect Sherry's sister, Tina. After she died, they panicked, returning to Negan when it became obvious they had nowhere else to go. Dwight begged Negan not to kill his wife, so Sherry promised to marry Negan if he let her husband live. Sherry essentially became a Sex Slave to Negan, whilst Dwight had half his faced ironed as punishment for deserting the Saviours.

4 - Service

  • David's creepy and perverse behaviour towards Enid. When she asks him to let her keep the green balloons, he forces her to say please three times before he lets her have them back. Then he strokes her cheek whilst calling her "little girl." Keep in mind Enid is around 15 years old.
    • His behaviour becomes even worse if you're familiar with his comic counterpart, who ended up trying to rape Holly despite Negan's Anti-Rape rules, which means that had there been no one else around them at this time, Enid's situation could have ended up being even worse.

6 - Swear

  • Rachel, a little girl, is entirely too eager to kill Tara.
  • The fate of the Oceanside. They were once an ordinary colony that ended up working for the Saviors, but after an unsuccessful attempt to mutiny against their rule, the Saviors proceeded to line up the residents and then executed every single male survivor above the age of ten. The remaining residents were so traumatized by the outcome that they decided to escape to their current location where they indiscriminately started killing every stranger on sight, not wanting to take any more risks with hostile survivors.

7 - Sing Me A Song

  • Negan melting half of Mark's face off with a hot iron. Mark screams and screams and screams, and then passes out. Special mention goes to the subverted Gory Discretion Shot—the camera shows mostly people's reactions when it's actually happening, but then cuts back in gruesome detail to the liquidated flesh peeling when Negan pulls the iron away.
  • The whole time Carl is forced to sing for Negan, he sounds shaky and terrified, and he looks up to see Negan taking practice swings with Lucille.
  • Negan holding Judith and talking about how he should kill Rick and Carl to raise her as his own, and live in Alexandria.

8 - Hearts Still Beating

  • Spencer's death. Negan slices his stomach open so violently that his guts start spilling out. He actually holds his intestines for a moment before collapsing to the floor. And when Negan and his men leave Alexandria, we briefly get to see a birds-eye view on Alexandria and the streets are literally flooding with Spencer's blood and intestines
  • When Rosita pushes Negan's Berserk Button, he loses all of his usual Comedic Sociopathy, instead going into a full blown screaming rage. It's the first time we've ever seen him this angry, and it's terrifying.
    Negan: SHIT! WHAT THE SHIT?! SHIT! YOU JUST - YOU TRIED TO KILL ME!? YOU SHOT LUCILLE!
  • During his escape from the Sanctuary, Daryl issues a No Holds Barred Beat Down on Fat Joey, resulting in the latter's death. It's not that Fat Joey didn't deserve it, but it's unnerving to see Daryl snap, and does not speak well for his state of mind going forward.

10 - New Best Friends

  • Winslow, the armoured, covered-in-metal spikes walker that Rick faces. That is all.

11 - Hostiles and Calamities

  • Negan throwing Carson in the fire. From the suddenness of it after appearing to have forgiven him to the way he just holds the poor guy in there until the screaming finally stops.

13 - Bury Me Here

  • Watching Morgan go through a mental breakdown after Benjamin's death is upsetting to watch.
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    Season 8 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walkingdeadnightmarefuel8.png
5 - The Big Scary U
  • When Simon suggest they kill everyone at the Hilltop to send a message, Negan angrily slams Lucille on the table and yells at Simon for suggesting that idea. The way he slammed Lucille on the table made everyone jump and his yelling made everyone, including Simon, cower.
    Negan: (Slams Lucille on the table) People are a resource. (Slams Lucille again) Money on the table! (Slams Lucille for a third time) PEOPLE ARE THE FOUNDATION OF WHAT WE'RE BUILDING HERE!
    • It's very unsettling to see Negan being serious and angry. It serves as a reminder that although he's usually a Large Ham, there are still times when he can be terrifying.

9 - Honor

  • Morgan is terrifying in this episode:
    • First there is Morgan killing one Savior at the Kingdom theatre by digging into his gunshot wound and ripping out his intestines. Even Gavin was left shocked.
    • A little afterwards there's Morgan stalking an injured and terrified Gavin.

10 - The Lost and the Plunderers

  • Negan yelling at Simon. It still shows that despite his theatrical villainy he can be truly terrifying when he needs to be. Even Simon looks visibly nervous.
  • Simon and his troops massacring the Scavengers with only Jadis surviving.
    • Once Negan finds out what happened with the Scavengers and with Gavin's group...

13 - Do Not Send Us Astray

  • Tobin turning into a walker after getting stabbed by an infected weapon, and then his attack on the Hilltop while they were sleeping.

14 - Still Gotta Mean Something

  • Rick going back on his word to take the escaped Saviors back to Hilltop for a fresh start and murdering them with Morgan right after the fight is over. He and Morgan show almost no remorse for their actions.
  • Speaking of Morgan, his downward spiral into insanity also counts. His ghostly visions change from Gavin to Henry, and at the end when the two see each other for real, the tension and unease in Morgan's eyes makes you almost expect him to snap and murder the real Henry, but he doesn't and Morgan is shown crying his eyes out afterwards.

15 - Worth

  • While strangling Simon, Negan screams in his face that thanks to his attack on Hiltop, any chance for peace between AHK and the Saviors is now gone, and now Negan believes the only way to end the war isn’t through intimidation or fear. It’s with full-on 'extermination'. Ironically enough, it seems like Simon’s method has sunk in.
    Negan: You went for it all at the Hilltop. You got Saviors killed. And then you ran away like a coward! You got shown up one too many times. Those people are always going to know there's a loophole, a way to escape, they are always going to be looking for that chance to push back, SO NOW I'VE GOT TO KILL ALL OF 'EM, JUST LIKE I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!
  • It is finally revealed that, yes, Simon was in fact responsible for massacring all of the male population in Oceanside. Not only is this a pretty severe crossing of a Moral Event Horizon, Simon has now proven to be far more monstrous than Negan himself and is pretty much the embodiment of cruelty and sadism within the Saviors.

    Season 9 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walkingdeadnightmarefuel9.png
"The trail ends here."
8 - Evolution
  • Before The Reveal at the end of the episode of the Whisperers, there's a lot of Paranoia Fuel regarding whether the walkers genuinely evolving into more dangerous threats or not. Eugene, ever the scientist, only has this as his theory to explain the walkers' recent strange activity:
    • They're milling about in fields in circles, and expanding their ranks very quickly.
    • They're starting to ignore common diversionary tactics. The clock Daryl uses to throw off the herd following him, Jesus, and Aaron barely slows them down. A massive red flag arrives when Daryl even uses fireworks and Dog's barking to try to lure them... only for them to quickly turn around and resume their pursuit of Eugene and the others. Daryl can only watch in pure astonishment.
    • The walkers keep patrolling the area around the barn where Eugene is hidden as opposed to simply moving on.
  • When Daryl and Aaron dismiss Eugene's theory that the walkers are somehow evolving, Jesus actually begins considering the possibility, and outlines that if it's true, then the survivors are in deep trouble, since the walkers may be learning to communicate, plan, and hunt. When two of the smartest survivors are this worried about what's going on, you know it's bad.
  • The creepy, foggy cemetery where the group is pinned down by walkers is a frightening locale and perfect for the horror that is about to ensue...
  • The cliffhanger. Thanks to Michonne and Magna's sudden arrival, everyone is able to get out safely, except for Jesus who remains behind to delay the herd. After some impressive fighting and swordplay, Jesus is suddenly parried and stabbed in the abdomen while the 'walker' responsible whispers the image quote to him. As Daryl quickly discovers, said 'walker' is a human who has worn the face of a walker. As if the situation couldn't get worse, the herd continues to surround the graveyard with audible whispers heard about flanking and keeping them trapped, giving the impression that there's a lot worse to come.

9 - Adaptation

  • At the end, Luke and Alden are lured into a trap surrounded by Whisperers. One of their memorable comic-book moment is adapted (and pictured in this folder), where Alpha aims a sawed-off shotgun towards them. Humans wearing walker skins and brandishing blades is one thing, but one holding a gun? Which has been used less by the AHK due to faltering supplies? That is the time to be afraid.

15 - The Calm Before

  • It's definitely chilling to see Alpha in disguise walking the streets of the Kingdom during the fair. She listens to people chattering around her and uses what she hears to blend in when Ezekiel stops to talk to her. She fits in so well that Ezekiel doesn't seem to expect a thing, and it's incredibly tense for comic readers when Ezekiel leads her away to show her around the fair. Just imagine that a murderous psychopath is wandering the streets of your neighborhood, blending in and looking for victims, and she may even have her eyes on you.
  • After capturing Carol, Daryl, Michonne and Yumiko, Alpha takes Daryl to a quarry where she shows one of the biggest herds seen to date and points out how they could just unleash it upon the communities, who would be helpless to stop such a massive herd.
  • During their conversation, Alpha warns Daryl not to cross the border in the field to the north. Said border has been marked with the decapitated & undead heads of several characters, which includes Tara, Enid and Henry. Even by this show's standards of death (which includes a child massacre in the last episode), it's incredibly horrific to see it.

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