Follow TV Tropes

Following

Sandbox / TWD Show 3

Go To

  • Lady Macbeth: Lori has a moment of this at the end of "Triggerfinger".
  • Last Episode, New Character:
    • Michonne debuts in the Season 2 finale, "Beside the Dying Fire".
    • Gareth and most of the Terminus residents are introduced in the Season 4 finale, "A".
  • The Law Of Inverse Recoil: When Carl fires a gun late in Season 2, he suffers almost no recoil. Possibly justified since Carl had been taking his previous training seriously.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end of "Inmates", Tara shouts out "Hope you assholes enjoyed the show!" while looking directly at the camera. She was really shouting at Abraham Ford, though.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol:
      Advertisement:
    • The way Andrea goes out after she's bitten. Michonne insists on staying with her at the end, though.
    • In season one, Rick offers one to Jim. He refuses on the ground that they will need it and that if he turns, he may have the chance to meet up with his undead family.
  • Leave Him to Me: The Governor says this before his fight with Merle.
  • Leave No Survivors: In a flashback from Shane, it shows the army lining civilians up against a wall and executing them then shooting them in the head to be sure.
  • Let the Past Burn: Towards the end of the fourth season, Daryl and Beth torch the house they had gone to for the purpose of getting drunk off the stored booze, Flipping the Bird at the flaming house that represented Daryl's past.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision:
    • Merle cuts off his own hand when T-Dog panics and leaves him handcuffed to a pole as the walkers are attacking.
    • Advertisement:
    • In "Triggerfinger", they consider doing this to Randall to free him from the fence his leg's impaled on, but when a mob of walkers show up and leave them with no time, Rick ends up just yanking it free instead.
    • In the Season 3 opener, "Seed", Hershel gets bitten on the ankle, prompting Rick to hack his leg off just below the knee to try and save him.
  • The Load:
    • Carl generally needs protecting and sometimes does stupid things that put others in danger. His parents have a bit of a struggle trying to balance keeping him out of danger and getting him to learn to defend himself. In Season 3, he definitively Took a Level in Badass and is no longer a load, by any definition.
    • Characters sometimes argue about whether they're pulling their weight in the group or not, basically accusing each other of being The Load.
  • Advertisement:
  • Living Is More Than Surviving: In season five, Abraham Ford is in a discussion with the core Atlanta group, and offers a toast to survivors, but then challenges the group to do more than survive, and join Ford's group on their way to Washington, DC with Eugene, a person who says he can help end the Zombie Apocalypse. Eugene lied.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: By the end of Season 4, there are around fifteen major characters still in play, with an ever-changing ensemble of minor and recurring characters. Due to the nature of the show, characters both major and minor are routinely killed off and replaced with newcomers as the survivors continue their search for a safe haven, and as a result the cast going into Season 5 looks very different to the cast of Season 1.
  • Love Confession: Glenn finally admits he loves Maggie near the end of "Beside The Dying Fire", after being unable to say it for most of the season.
  • Love Makes You Crazy / Love Makes You Evil: Shane.
  • Love Triangle: A type 4 between Shane/Lori/Rick — now that Lori's husband whom Shane and Lori thought was dead has returned and the affair with Shane ended.
  • Low-Angle Empty World Shot: Used fairly often to save on having to close streets and dress them with trash.
  • Made of Plasticine: From the start of the second season the survivors have little trouble driving any kind of implement right through a zombie's skull with simple muscle power alone. The third season has them driving knives and/or swords right into skulls. Seems like this is intentional, to signal the decay of walker bodies over time.
  • Madness Mantra: In "Clear", the eponymous word spray-painted repeatedly on the walls by Morgan, among other assorted graffiti.
  • Magic Countdown: "TS-19": The CDC is set to blow itself up when the backup generators providing emergency power run out of fuel — a countdown starting at when there's only an hour of power left. The residing doctor remaining kind of omitted this particular bit of information. He only hinted at it when he told them, "when these doors close, they will not re-open."
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: So far, Glenn and Maggie have had sex in a drugstore (which later turned out to have still-active walkers inside), an intended rendezvous in Hershel's barn (which led to Glenn discovering the walkers inside) and in a guardtower at the prison.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • Everyone in episode four during the fish fry, just before a large group of walkers descends on the camp, biting people left and right.
    • The survivors discover what happens when the CDC countdown clock reaches zero.
    • When walkers are set loose on the prison in episode four of season three.
  • Mauve Shirt: Some characters survive long enough to get at the very least a name or even a minor backstory.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • When Rick is shot by criminals in the first episode, Shane comforts and shushes him while he blacks out. In "Better Angels", Rick stabs Shane and comforts him in the same manner.
    • Rick's line in "Better Angels" ("No more kids' stuff. People are going to die.") is remembered by Carl in "Killer Within" when he shoots his mother to prevent her from returning as a walker.
    • The Governor comforts Maggie (who he had just threatened to rape), and then uses the exact same line and tone to comfort Andrea (with whom he has having a fling) in the next scene.
    • Not a line, but most of an episode. In the first episode, Rick is knocked unconscious by Duane, Morgan's son, and then tied to a bed until Morgan is sure he's not a threat. In "Clear", Morgan is knocked unconscious by Carl, Rick's son, and tied up on his bed until Rick is sure that he's not a threat.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Get past looking at Merle's Oh, Crap! face near the end of the and you'll see that the guard behind him is threatening him with a rather familiar looking crossbow. Suffice to say, its owner might be in trouble.
  • Mercy Kill: Averted with Randall. Played straight in many examples:
    • Rick pulls one off on Hannah (the "bicycle girl"), expressing his sympathy for her with the words "I'm sorry this happened to you" before killing her.
    • At the police station Rick killed the former cop who in the intro had talked about being on video, specifically stating that while he thought the guy was an overexcited rookie, he didn't deserve to be shambling around as a walker.
    • Dr. Jenner tries to present death by fuel-air explosive as this to the survivors.
    • In "Pretty Much Dead Already", zombified Sophia is on the receiving end of a mercy kill courtesy of Rick.
    • At the end of "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Daryl does this to Dale after he is mauled by a walker.
    • At the end of "This Sorrowful Life", Daryl finds Merle after he was killed by The Governor and turned into a walker. When Merle tries to attack, he pushes him away at first, but eventually Daryl forces himself to stab Merle in the head.
  • Mexican Standoff:
    • Between Rick, Daryl, T-Dog, and the Vatos when arguing over the gun bag.
    • Daryl seems to attract these. It happens two more times between him and Rick — first when he threatens T-Dog, then later when he wants to mercy kill Jim.
  • The Millstone: Sophia. Because of Sophia's actions at the beginning of the second season, Carl was shot, Otis got eaten alive, Daryl got impaled on one of his arrows, mistaken for a walker and shot (with a thankfully grazing blow), and the group was split on whether or not they should even keep looking for her until they discovered her as a walker shambling out of the barn.
  • Mood Motif: The Theme Tune in particular, but the rest of the show's music is all about the Strings of Suspense.
  • Morality Pet: Daryl is possibly the only person in the world Merle cares for.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Atlanta residents were amused to see the picturesque Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre masquerading as CDC headquarters, miles away.
  • Mundanger: The main threat to Rick, Glenn and Hershel in 'Triggerfinger' is a group with guns and a grudge.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Carl seems to have developed this belief, due to every one of the group's attempts to avert this trope going horribly wrong.
  • The Musketeer: Almost everyone is enforced to become equally skilled in using melee weapons and firearms in case the latter runs out of ammo.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Carl has a silent version of this at the end of "Judge, Jury, Executioner" when he realizes the walker he inadvertently freed killed Dale.
    • Rick has a brief moment of this after killing Shane.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Glenn and Maggie first become involved in episode 10, much like their comic counterparts in the comic's 10th issue.
    • Michonne debuted in episode 19, much liker her comic counterpart did in the comic's 19th issue.
    • In "Live Bait", the Governor uses the name Brian as an alias. In The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, which is canon to the comics but not the TV series, Brian was the Governor's true name, as he took his brother's identity after his death. Later that episode, Lilly watches helplessly as The Governor caves in her walker father's head. In the Telltale game, Lilly watches helplessly as Kenny caves in her walker father's head.
    • Rick has been using his left hand for the first half of Season 4, nodding to his Handicapped Badass status in the comics.
    • After the events of "The Grove", Carol, Tyreese and Judith are in a single party. All three characters are currently Spared by the Adaptation.
    • The season 5 premiere had a lot of fun with it.
      • Glenn was almost beaten by a baseball bat in the head twice. This is how he met his end at the comic.
      • At the same above scene, a mook is sharpening a knife behind Rick, with the knife looking like the one The Governor used in the comic to chop his (right) hand off.
      • Carol and Tyreese encounters a blonde walker wearing Andrea's comic outfit.
    • By the end of "Slabtown", Beth has acquired scars across her forehead and cheek, which coupled with the blonde ponytail make her appearance strikingly similar to that of Andrea from the comics.
  • Named by the Adaptation: A number of characters.
    • The bicycle girl walker was named Hannah. She was also given a backstory.
    • Ed Peletier, Carol's husband and Sophia's father, was given a full name compared to the comics where he's only referred.
    • Carol, Sophia (see Ed above), and Glenn (Rhee) were given surnames.
    • The Marauders were named "The Claimers", with each members getting names as well.
    • Technically, Mary since, in the comic, Chris' mother is not an actual character.
    • Abraham's nameless children were named A.J. (son) and Becca (daughter).
  • Near-Rape Experience:
    • A drunken Shane nearly forces himself on Lori in "TS-19", until her resistance makes him stop and think about what he was doing.
    • In "The Dead Come Knocking", the Governor forces Maggie into a Shameful Strip and forces her down as if to rape her. When she makes clear that it won't break her, he stops.
  • Never Found the Body:
    • Rick locks Andrew the convict in with a bunch of walkers and assumes him to be dead. He shows up again a few episodes later, understandably pissed off.
    • When T-Dog is killed, the group finds Carol's headscarf nearby and assumes she died as well. They even go to the trouble of digging a grave, filling it back up with nothing, and setting a marker. Daryl later finds Carol trapped in a cell, half-delirious.
    • During the attack of the prison in "Too Far Gone", Rick and Carl find Judith's empty baby carrier, and they both breakdown in tears and anger, assuming she's dead. In "Inmates", however, we discover Tyreese took her from her carrier and with him, Lizzie, and Mica. What's more heartbreaking is season 4 ends and Rick and Carl still have no idea that Judith is alive (despite Lizzie's "good-intention-ed" attempts to kill her).
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers usually really can't be trusted too much, especially the ones shown at Comic Con.
    • The first season finale trailer heavily implied that Andrea was infected. She is, just not in the same way as Jim was, as the audience finds out at the end of the second season.
    • Likewise, the trailer for "Save the Last One" implied Shane might be infected. He's not but he was injured by Otis, who pulled out a chunk of his hair and scalp in their struggle.
    • One scene from the trailer was Carl with Rick's hat, aiming a gun, which is almost a perfect recreation of the comic panel where he shoots Shane in the first story arc from the comic. It was actually him pointing at a walker stuck in mud. Ultimately he shot Shane one episode later.
    • Another scene for the trailer hinted at Merle's return, with Daryl saying "sorry, brother." He's actually talking to the mauled Dale, whom Daryl is about to Mercy Kill.
    • The third season's Comic-Con trailer indicated that the Governor showed up at the prison early on in the season, and met with Rick, Daryl and T-Dog. While it was accurate in that Daryl and T-Dog had become Rick's two right-hand men, T-Dog dies long before the Governor first arrives at the prison. The Governor's first visit is to attack it, not to talk, as the trailer suggests.
    • The fifth season's Comic-Con trailer seemingly depicted Gareth becoming a Token Evil Teammate to Rick's group as they journey to Washington, D.C., and Rick warning Carl that he doesn't trust him. Gareth remains an antagonist for the entirety of his brief presence on the show, and Rick was actually speaking about Father Gabriel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • The main characters try to pull a fat walker out of a well in an attempt to prevent the well from getting contaminated. It rips in half, pouring guts and blood all over and in the well.
    • Instead of killing Andrew in the contained courtyard filled with walkers, Rick locks the door on him and assumes the walkers will finish the job. This comes back to hit him two episodes later in "Killer Within" when Andrew, having escaped the courtyard, turns on the prison generators and cuts the chains holding the courtyard gate closed, allowing walkers to flood the prison, which results in the deaths of T-Dog and (indirectly) Lori.
    • Michonne killing the Governer's undead daughter in front of him, after seeing him beg her not to. This resulting in a fight between the two, the loss of his eye, and thus starting his road to madness and the downfall of Woodbury. Although judging by his notebook, he went off the deep end after his daughter turned, and all Michonne did was strip away the veneer and hasten the inevitable conflict.
    • Morgan's failure to kill his zombified wife results in her ambushing and killing Duane during a supply run.
    • Milton prevents Andrea from assassinating the Governor in Season 3, claiming that he knew the man before the apocalypse and thought he was still in there. Because of this, the Governor's war on the prison continues and the Governor murders half of Woodbury, Andrea, and Milton himself.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in the third season, where Rick finds out the hard way that some prisoners holed up in a cafeteria for 9 months still pooped, whether or not they had the facilities for it.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: While Atlanta is obviously real, King County (where Shane and Rick were Deputies) and Mert County (where they take Randall in "18 Miles Out") are fictional.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Judy from the webisodes is zombified by giving CPR to what she thinks is a collapsed woman.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The fight between The Governor and Merle is pretty one-sided. Too bad Merle wasn't the one doing the beating...
  • No Periods, Period: Glenn indicates he read somewhere that women spending time in proximity to each other will have their cycles all line up and he wonders if that means all the women in their group will "go hormonally crazy" at the same time. Dale wisely tells him to keep that theory to himself.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Sophia is lost in Season 2, and is found to have turned into a zombie and killed at the midseason finale. You can tell the actress, who is in her early teens, had grown considerably in the hiatus between the two seasons and would probably have been progressing faster than the scant weeks which were supposed to be passing could account for.
  • Not a Zombie:
    • Tame, generally. In the intro for the pilot episode, while looking beneath a car Rick sees a little girl's feet shuffling along. However, once he sees her fully after standing up and she turns to his voice, he realizes she's a walker, and promptly blows her head off.
    • Inverted in the first episode of the first season, where Rick is initially mistaken for a walker and gets whacked in the head with a shovel. A few moments later, it's noted that as Rick was talking before being knocked unconscious, he's unlikely to be a walker, as they don't talk.
    • In the webisodes, Judy finds out the hard way she was wrong about that fallen person needing artificial respiration.
    • Inverted again with Daryl in the Season 2 episode "Chupacabra". After falling down a hill twice and getting impaled by one of his arrows as a result, he limps back to the others, dirty and bruised. When the others rush out with melee weapons, they realize he's not dead. Andrea, however, has taken aim with a rifle and nearly takes the poor guy's head off for all his trouble.
  • Not So Different:
    • When Rick and his group confront the Vatos, they find out that the gang is actually protecting the elderly residents of a retirement home. They put up a tough image in order to chase away raiders and thieves.
    • The terms Dave, in "Nebraska", uses to try to convince Rick to take them in are in themselves a callback to what Rick said to Hershel when he was in that situation.
    • In the next episode, what Rick calls out to Dave and Tony's backup is basically the same things Dave said to try and convince them to take them in.
  • Nothing Is Scarier/Quieter Than Silence: Used to underscore the complete lack of anyone living around Rick when he's in the hospital and at several other points
  • Not His Sled: Season 5 opens with Glenn, Rick, Daryl, and Bob tied up and about to be killed with a baseball bat — clearly meant to evoke Glen's death-by-baseball-bat in the comic book, as Glen is the first of the four in line about to be killed. But though the executioner winds up no less than three times, he's repeatedly interrupted and and is then distracted.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: So far, "walkers," "geeks," "lamebrains," "roamers," "biters," "D-K's," and judging by the trailer for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, "Eaters." The Zombie Apocalypse trope does not exist in this world, so survivors are not savvy to call them zombies. In the series, unlike the comics, the term "walker" is never used to contrast the second variety of zombie that sits motionless until something crosses its path.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't:
    • Rick says this, almost word for word, to an overexcited cop during the high speed chase at the beginning of the first episode.
    • He does it again in the second episode to Andrea after she apologizes for pointing a pistol at Rick. After Amy dies, Rick tries to talk to Andrea about her coming back, but she points a gun at him and tells him that she knows how the safety works.
  • No Zombie Cannibals: Explained as the walkers only being attracted to the smell of the living, although in one scene from Season 2, while looking for Sophia, Daryl and Andrea find a walker hanging from a tree. His suicide note says he was bitten, and he'd have reanimated after death even if he wasn't, but other walkers had subsequently eaten the flesh off his legs. It's unknown how long went between hanging himself and reanimating as a walker, however.
  • Off the Wagon: Hershel in "Nebraska", after Shane lets the walkers out of the Greene farm and the group kills them.
  • Offhand Backhand: As the Governor walks through the smoke Rick's group threw into the midst of the Involuntary Battle to the Death between Merle and Daryl, he casually shoots a walker while looking in another direction entirely.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In "Us", Maggie explains that she used the last clip of bullets to cause a cave in that stopped a walker horde.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Started with a Hope Spot when Rick, while in Atlanta, sees a helicopter and tries to follow it, then promptly hits the skids when he turns a corner and sees a dense mob of walkers filling almost the entire street in front of him.
    • The second episode has a sudden rainstorm pouring on Rick and Glenn, who have covered themselves in gore to fool the walkers. The rain washes off the scent, giving them away, and they quickly have to book it.
    • Rick and Dale's reactions upon seeing a horde of zombies shambling in their direction in "What Lies Ahead".
    • When Shane and Otis try to salvage medical supplies from a FEMA camp, they realize there are a lot more zombies than they anticipated. They get another moment when the distraction they set up for the walkers doesn't last as long they hope.
    • At the end of "Cherokee Rose", Lori finds out she is pregnant.
    • In "Chupacabra", Andrea shoots Daryl after mistaking him for a zombie. She looks triumphant, until she hears Rick screaming, "NO! NO! NO!"
    • Dale gets a quite delicious one when Shane points out how very stupid it was of him to confront a guy who he believes capable of killing his best friend.
    • Glenn, upon finding out while looking for a makeout spot in the barn that it's full of walkers.
    • A furious Shane throws a large wrench at Rick, smashing a window. Said window had a small horde of walkers behind it.
    • Carl, trying to play the big man, lets a walker get close to him, and then lacks the capability to shoot it at point blank range. Then the walker grabs his ankle, and he frantically thrashes to escape.
    • Daryl and Glenn, upon finding and killing the undead Randall, find that he died from a broken neck, and despite not having any bite marks on him, still revived as a walker.
    • Rick and Carl in "Beside the Dying Fire", upon seeing a herd of walkers coming towards them.
    • Merle has a rather spectacular one in "Made to Suffer", when the Governor brands him a traitor for not telling the truth about Michonne's demise. Bonus points for getting another Oh, Crap!-worthy moment seconds later, when the Governor reveals that the prisoner they captured is his brother Daryl, whom he hasn't seen in a year, and they're both trapped at Woodbury with no easy way out.
    • Carol and Tyreese in The Grove when they return from an aborted deer hunt to find sociopath Lizzie standing over the body of her sister Mika, hands dripping blood. She was — as she casually tells them — just about to do the same to baby Judith.
    • A particularly stunning example happens after Rick bites Joe's throat out in "A." They're too shocked to even defend themselves.
  • One Bullet Left:
    • Otis and Shane as they escape from the zombies. Shane uses his on Otis, so he can get away.
    • Daryl gets down to his last crossbow bolt as of "Chupacabra", but makes more bolts in later episodes.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Played straight and subverted.
    • Subverted in the Season 2 opener, T-Dog severs a major artery during the horde incident on the highway, and loses a significant amount of blood. He ends up running a high fever and gets blood poisoning for two days before Daryl gives him strong antibiotics for the pain, and he continues to wear an arm patch throughout the rest of the season.
    • Subverted with Daryl, who gets an arrow through his side in "Chupacabra" and proves to be strong enough to make it back to camp, in spite of being visibly impaired and walking with a limp. He continues to have trouble walking for several episodes thereafter.
    • Carl is injured via a rifle shot that penetrated through a deer before hitting him, and requires two surgeries and additional equipment to save his life. Less than a week later, he's up and walking like nothing ever happened. And as the One-Hit Polykill page shows, even low powered rounds can retain lethal force after going through a target.
    • In Season 2, Randall (a member of the "Philadelphia crew" Rick, Glenn, and Hershel encountered at a bar) has to be rescued by Rick after he spears his lower leg through a pointed fence. We see very little of his recovery time, and Daryl even re-opens the wound to torture him. In "18 Miles Out", an apparently short time later, Randall is shown to be walking just fine and even bends his legs to escape from his bonds without much trouble.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Hershel is a veterinarian. He's also the only medical practitioner available to save Carl. This is actually somewhat justifiable. Hershel would must likely be a farm animal vet (Lori asks what you did this on pigs?). Pigs are actually a very good substitute for the human body. Sure it wouldn't be exactly the same, but it would be similar enough to make the procedure plausible.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • The zombies in the show can be surprisingly smart and agile, depending on their physical state when seen. They've been seen using rocks to smash through glass, the pilot episode showed one grasping at a doorknob as if attempting to open it, and a couple actually managed to climb over a short chain-link fence in pursuit of Rick and Glenn. By Seasons 2 and 3, however, their continuing decay seems to have reduced their capabilities.
    • Discussed in detail between The Governor and the researcher Milton in "Walk with Me". Milton explains that the walkers Michonne was traveling with stopped trying to attack her because she cut off their arms and lower jaws. He later hypothesizes that the walkers retain a slight recollection of who they once were, and that they also starve (albeit slower than living humans).
    • One zombie the Governor's daughter Penny is shown going after a bowl of raw meat - a rare case of a zombie not going for the living.
  • Painting the Medium: The car alarm blaring from Glen's ill-gotten sports car from the first season matches the beat of the background music perfectly.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Basically everyone but Rick, who has his hip holster from his old uniform. Most notable with Shane, who used to be his department's firearm safety instructor. Again, may be justifiable. Police officers are notorious for having poor home security systems despite having Seen It All. It wouldn't be a stretch that a gun safety specialist would somehow convince themselves that, since they know better, they can take greater risks. It would be the same kind of fallacy. Eg. they put the safety on then put the gun in their pants, thinking that would be enough, but not thinking that the action of walking may click the safety off.
  • Parental Neglect: The sheer number of times Carl is allowed to wander off on his own, ignored, or otherwise left to his own devices is astounding considering it's the middle of a zombie outbreak. Even at times when there's no reason whatsoever not to.
  • Party Scattering: Following the events of "Too Far Gone", the core survivor group has separated into the following smaller factions:
    • Rick and Carl.
    • Daryl and Beth.
    • Maggie, Sasha and Bob.
    • Tyreese and the kids.
    • Glenn and Tara.
    • Michonne on her own.
  • The Patriarch: Dr. Hershel Greene.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Shane has one of these moments in "Nebraska" when he's trying to console Carol over the discovery of Sophia being a walker in the barn the whole time she's been missing. His kind words and the care he uses in cleaning up her hands and arms shows that he has a lot of caring in him.
    • Merle, of all people, gets one when he expresses his condolences to Andrea over the death of her sister Amy.
      "She was a good kid."
    • The Governor may have had a field day trying to kill Michonne, executing the National Guard troops and almost raping Maggie, but when Michonne takes the zombified Penny as a hostage in "Made to Suffer", stabs her through the head and eventually stabs him in the eye, the only thing he can do is crawl over to Penny's body and cry uncontrollably as Andrea looks on.
  • Perma-Stubble: Rick is the king of this look. He even had a stubbly beard when he woke from a months-long coma! Supposedly, teh nurses shaved him for easier access to his face for tubes and the like up until the point they were shot and eaten or they deserted the hospital.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: The dead are hungry, but never actually seem to starve to death. At least one character ( Patricia, at Hershel's farm) gives them food anyway because the Greene family believes they're still alive. In the third season, however, we learn from Milton that they can starve, but they do it at a much slower rate.
  • The Plague: The plot of Season 4.
  • The Plan: Shane attempts one in order to get Rick out of the way so he could have Lori all to himself. He fails.
  • Plot Armor: Taken literally by way of human being. In "This Sorrowful Life", just as Merle has a shot perfectly lined up on the Governor, Ben walks right into the crosshairs and takes the bullet.
  • Pocket Protector: Bob gets chomped on the shoulder by a walker, but survives because it bit directly on top of a thick gauze bandage he'd been wearing over a previous injury.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • "When this door closes, it will not open again." Jenner meant that literally.
    • Also Lori's inability to tell Rick she was sleeping with Shane, and by extension her pregnancy, almost led to the self-induced abortion of her child.
    • A lot of the conflict in Season 3 could have been avoided had Michonne explained to Andrea what made her suspicious about the Governor.
    • Tyreese's group would have easily joined Rick's if someone had merely taken them aside and explained that Rick wasn't himself because his wife had just died and he hadn't been sleeping. Instead, they just run straight out of the prison and keep running, leading to a lot of conflict later on when they are easily persuaded that Rick's group is dangerous.
  • Pop the Tires:
    • In the opening of the first episode, they stop the high speed pursuit with a spike strip taking out the wheels of the escaping car.
    • They also show up in the third season finale, as the group defends the prison with makeshift spike strips.
  • P.O.V. Cam:
    • From a walker's perspective as Daryl headbutts it with a rifle during the fish-fry attack in "Vatos".
    • From Randall's perspective as Rick gags him and puts him in the car trunk in "18 Miles Out".
    • From Sophia's perspective prior to being shot by Rick in "Pretty Much Dead Already".
    • From Dale's perspective just before Daryl shoots him in "Judge, Jury, and Executioner".
    • From Michonne's perspective as the walkers close in on her (just before Carl shoots them down) in "When The Dead Come Knocking".
    • From Milton's perspective when The Governor is beating him in "Welcome to the Tombs".
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: While the overall story is the same, there are a number of differences from the comic, including specific events and completely new characters. This was to prevent readers of the comics from thinking the whole series was a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Precocious Crush: As of Season 3, Carl has one on Beth.
  • Pretend We're Dead: Played for Drama.
    • This is how Glenn and Rick get everyone out of the store in the first season. The two cover themselves in zombie gore then make their way through the undead crowd toward a parking lot with the scent masking their presence. It works, until it starts to rain. Justified, in that Atlanta summertime weather does go from hot and dry to sudden thundershowers just like that. There was also a bit of foreshadowing earlier with storm clouds. Also something of a deconstruction, since they first have to smear themselves in dismembered zombie bits to get the proper scent going.
    • Daryl Dixon pull this off by dropping a dead body on T-Dog and another on himself as the zombie herd passes on the highway. Suffice to say, it works.
    • In "18 Miles Out", Rick throws the body of a walker he killed seconds earlier on top of himself to avoid the walkers coming out of the public works building.
    • Karen plays dead under the corpse of another person after The Governor massacres the Woodbury soldiers in "Welcome to the Tombs". This only works, however, because he had ran out of ammo, while delivering headshots to the gunned-down people so they wouldn't become walkers.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles:
    • Norman Reedus (Daryl) in Season 2.
    • Lauren Cohan (Maggie) and Michael Rooker (Merle) in Season 3.
    • Melissa McBride (Carol) and Scott Wilson (Hershel) in Season 4.
    • Emily Kinney (Beth), Chad Coleman (Tyreese) and Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) in Season 5.
  • Pulling the Thread: When Andrea decides to leave Woodbury, she feeds the guards on the wall a story designed to lure them away. They pick at it a bit and she gets fed up and says "Look, I'm going. I don't want any trouble."
  • Punch-Clock Villain: "Alone" has various members of Rick's group connecting with members of Woodbury.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Dr. Jenner claims, in a tense standoff capping a stressful situation, that the CDC stores WEAPONIZED! SMALLPOX! along with EBOLA STRAINS! THAT! COULD! WIPE OUT! HALF! THE NATION!
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: While scrounging for supplies, Glenn and Maggie encounter Merle, who takes Maggie hostage after a tense conversation and convinces Glenn to put down his gun.
  • Put on a Bus: This trope is played almost ruler-straight with Carol. The only difference being that it was a car instead of a literal bus. She returned in the second half of Season 4.
  • Rare Guns: Rick's Colt Python is fairly rare and well sought-after by gun collectors, driving its price beyond a thousand dollars, easily. Not exactly the kind of gun a police officer would carry day-to-day, especially since many police departments have retired their revolvers for semi-auto pistols.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: A couple of notable instances in the cast so far.
    • Dale was killed off because his actor, Jeffrey DeMunn was unhappy about Frank Darabont (someone with whom he'd worked for years) being fired, and quit the show in protest.
    • Sophia was present for the first episode of the second season, then gets lost to kickstart the arc that involved searching for her and Carl needing medical attention at Hershel's farm as a result. Madison Lintz, the actress who plays Sophia, was growing too fast for the time frame in which Seasons 1 and 2 take place, necessitating in her Walker transformation the next time we see her and subsequent death at Rick's hands.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • In "Days Gone Bye", Rick fires a gun in a tank and spends about the next minute stunned with a loud ringing in his ears. Also an aversion of Steel Eardrums.
    • In "This Sorrowful Life", Merle successfully hotwires a car. Then the alarm goes off, attracting a bunch of walkers.
    • In "Welcome to the Tombs", the Governor's impromptu army attacks the prison, blowing up guard towers with a grenade launcher and shredding walkers with machine guns. Then, the moment they're fired upon, they react how you'd expect a barely-trained, inexperienced group of people to react.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • From Michonne to Andrea in "I Ain't a Judas".
    • In "Welcome to the Tombs", Carl gives one to Rick, pointing out where Rick's soft-hearted decisions have resulted in people dying.
  • Reckless Gun Usage:
    • Dave and Tony, the Philly survivors in "Nebraska", set Rick up by bracketing him. Had they actually managed to get off a shot, they would have almost certainly hit each other.
    • Andrea shooting at Daryl, mistaking him for a walker. Not only did she fail to confirm her target, she also completely ignored the multiple other people mere feet from him.
    • In "A", The Terminus resident searching the group hands back Rick and Carl's guns by the barrel, with it pointing right at himself.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Merle attempts to kill the Governor by himself in a surprise attack, but is ultimately killed by him, and his zombified self is later found by Daryl who in turn kills him.
  • Relax-o-Vision:
    "Picture something nice. Puppies and kittens."
    "Dead puppies and kittens."
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Milton. He has a better insight into the Governor's true nature than most Woodbury residents — even enabling several of his worse excesses as the resident Smart Guy — but turns a blind eye due to interest in the experiments he is able to perform under his patronage.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain:
    • Only the latter works. The walker that killed Daryl's deer got decapitated, but it kept snarling until Daryl put a crossbow bolt through its skull.
    • In "Secrets", the walker that attacks Maggie is still standing when Glenn partially decapitates him. It takes multiple repeated blows to the head while the walker is on the ground to subdue it.
    • Zigzagged early in season 3 - Michonne slices off a walker head which is shown still moving after that, but later we see the Governor with a bunch of intact heads that are mosty done moving.
  • Replacement Goldfish: There's a strong subtext suggesting the group the Governor travels with in "Live Bait" — especially the little girl with them — acts as a substitute for his own deceased family.
  • Rescue Arc:
    • Season 1: "Tell it to the Frogs" had Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and T-Dog rushing back to Atlanta to save a handcuffed Merle. They failed. "Vatos" had Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog attempting to save Glenn after he was kidnapped by the eponymous group. This time it ends well.
    • The first half of Season 2 has an odd variation; It deals with the entire group searching instead of actually rescuing a missing member of their group.
    • Season 3: "Made to Suffer" features Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar rushing to Woodbury to rescue Glenn and Maggie. They succeeded, but with Oscar dead and Daryl captured. This leads to the following episode "The Suicide King", where the surviving rescuers and the previous rescuees successfully saving their captured friend and his brother, who ironically is the center of the first (failed) Rescue Arc. The last part of the Season Finale features Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Tyreese tracking Andrea. They did, but they're too late.
    • Season 5: Originally, Daryl and Carol were supposed to rescue Beth, who was kidnapped near the end of the previous season. But after Carol gets caught, Daryl brought the entire crew along to rescue both of them. Technically, they saved both of them. But Beth has other plans which ended in a fatal conclusion.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Michonne kills the Governor's zombie daughter.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In "Say the Word", Rick grabs an axe and goes on a killing spree through one of the prison cellblocks after he learns of Lori's death. In the next episode, "Hounded", Rick estimates that he killed anywhere from one-to-two dozen walkers by himself.
  • Room Full of Zombies:
    • In the pilot, a handy sign on a door warns Rick away from one of these, written on the doors chained shut to contain the walkers.
    • The webisodes do a version of this.
    • Hershel's barn is also full of zombies.
    • The Governor has a private room that's filled with the heads of decapitated walkers.
    • In the episode "Prey", Andrea barges into one, has an Oh, Crap! moment, and then quickly backs out and shuts the door. A short while later, she unleashes that horde on the Governor.
  • Rousing Speech:
    • Andrea gives one to the citizens of Woodbury in place of the absent Governor to calm them down after the first attack by Rick's group.
    • Abraham gives to Rick and his group to inspire them into joining him to the Washington D.C trip so they can try to put an end to the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Rule of Cool: The firefight with the massive herd in "Beside The Dying Fire" is dependent upon this trope. Shooting from moving vehicles and hitting targets at extended distances just doesn't happen otherwise.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report