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     Trope A 

  • Abandoned Hospital Awakening: Rick does this in the first episode. In "Slabtown", Beth has one as well.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The Vatos' story was originally intended to conclude in "What Lies Ahead", with Rick and the group finding out that the Vatos and nursing home patients were executed offscreen by an unknown party, and then left for the walkers. The whole sequence revealing this was deleted from the episode as aired, but is shown in the deleted scenes in the second season box set. Now that the series has moved to Alexandria, Virginia as of Season 5, it's unlikely we'll ever find out what happened to them in-show.
    • Andrea and Dale were originally set to become lovers as it was in the comics. This changed when Dale's actor left the show, forcing Dale to be killed off in the ante-penultimate episode of Season 2.
  • Action Girl: Andrea. Maggie. Michonne and Carol in spades. By Season 4, pretty much every female character still alive has become this to varying extents, with even Beth, Tara (who initially seemed to be more of a Faux Action Girl) and Rosita (who was The Chick and very little else in her comic book incarnation) capable of holding their own against walkers without much trouble.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness
    • The Governor has a menacing and unkempt appearance in the comics. Here, he is given a more "slick and Cultured Badass" look.
      Michonne: There's a town called Woodbury led by a man who calls himself The Governor. Pretty Boy, Jim Jones type. I don't trust him.
    • Possibly Tara Chambler. Her comic counterpart is described as overweight, though it wasn't stated if she's a Big Beautiful Woman or not. She does have Adaptational Curves here, though.
    • Tomas, the Composite Character of Thomas Richards and Dexter from the comics, was given a more handsome take of The Governor's comic appearance as well as Adaptational Curves.
  • Adaptational Badass: The series actually made the (non and) Action Survivors more combat proficient (e.g Glenn, Carol, Lori, Maggie)) or/and the emotionally and psychologically fragile be more emotionally strong and assertive (e.g Carol, Maggie). Inverted with a few other characters, with Andrea being most noticeable.
  • Adaptational Curves
    • Maggie is already beautiful in the comics, but the series gave her height and bust-size upgrades by casting former model Lauren Cohan.
    • Tara Chambler. Her comic counterpart is described as overweight. Here, she's played by the slender Alanna Masterson. After arriving in Alexandria, she puts on some weight (due to Alanna Masterson having a baby in real-life), which arguably makes her even more attractive.
    • Tomas, the Composite Character of Thomas Richards and Dexter from the comics, was given a more handsome take of The Governor's comic appearance.
  • Adaptational Heroism: A number of Anti Heroic and morally gray characters in the comics are more humane in this incarnation.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Carol's husband Ed, Andrew from the prison, Allen, Nicholas, and most notably Shane are more villainous here compared to the comics.
    • Negan and The Saviors, surprisingly. In the comics, they at the very least genuinely provide a protective service in return for their non-negotiable payments. The show's Saviors, in comparison, are just swaggering bullies.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The series only follows the comic in Broad Strokes so those who have read the comic don't assume the outcome of the series is a Foregone Conclusion, introducing new characters and scenes in addition to the ones that showed up in the comics.
    • This is especially notable with Arc Villains. The final scene with the Claimers in "A" comes from the confrontation with the Marauders in Issue 57. However, their scenes in "Claimed," "Alone," and "Us" are entirely original. Likewise, "Strangers" and "Four Walls and a Roof" adapt the "Fear the Hunters" arc from the comics, but the entire buildup to Terminus as well as its destruction are unique to the show. The Wolves' raid on Alexandria in "JSS" is the show's version of the battle with the Scavengers in Issue 75, though they receive a considerable amount of foreshadowing beforehand, as well as a subplot afterwards with their leader taken prisoner. Towards the end of the season, there's much more of the Saviors seen before Negan's arrival, including a subplot about the Alexandrians attacking a Savior compound, and their confrontation in the finale is much bigger in scale as well.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Out of Hershel's family: his twin daughters, son Billy, eldest son Arnold, and eldest daughter Lacey, replaced with one teenage daughter, Beth.
    • At the prison: Dexter is replaced by Tomas, while Thomas Richards had been replaced as Knight of Cerebus by Dave before the prison arc even began. Tomas, however, has been confirmed to be his counterpart by Robert Kirkman.
    • At Woodbury: Bruce and Gabe, the Governor's Co-Dragons, have been replaced by Merle. Alice has been combined with Dr. Stevens.
    • Allen and Donna have only one son, Ben, with no sign of Billy.
    • Tyreese's daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris are gone, replaced by Tyreese's Canon Foreigner sister, Sasha.
    • Behind the scenes issues with the production crew ultimately caused Dale's actor to leave the show — first by his own choice, then when he changed his mind mid to late production, a "we're too far into things now, you still have to go" choice was made by AMC. Dale was intended to fill the spot Hershel has been filling throughout Season 3, at least. After Hershel's death, Bob takes up the remaining arcs for Dale until early Season 5.
  • Adult Fear:
    • During "Bloodletting", T-Dog looks through a car for medicine, then notices a baby's car seat in the back seat — splattered with blood. It freaks him out enough to cause him to shake violently and flee the scene.
    • Similarly during "Too Far Gone" when Judith ends up missing during the final battle with The Governor. The same happens to Meghan after she had been bit by a Walker while her mother was too far away to save her.
    • Your little sister dies, your kid gets lost in the woods, your son starts getting used to the psychological horrors of conflict, your baby may be dead in the womb. The story has a lot of these.
    • Outliving One's Offspring and Kill the Ones You Love have been played several times during the show.
  • Age Lift: Several characters are noticeably older than their comic counterparts.
  • The Alcoholic: Bob Stookey, or at least a recovering one. When he inspects a bottle in the supermarket during the Season 4 premiere, it's part of what leads to him being trapped and the walkers falling through the ceiling.
    • Hershel used to be (long) before the start of the series' timeline.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Beth sacrifices herself so that Noah doesn't have to go back to the enforced labor of Grady Memorial Hospital. Only a few weeks later, Noah is killed in a supply run, meaning her sacrifice was for nothing.
    • In a leaked alternate take of the Season 7 premiere, Maggie was Negan's choice to die. This is made even worse by the fact the main reason most of the group was out in the woods trying to escape the Saviors was to get her to Hilltop for medical treatment to save her unborn child.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • In Season 2, Andrea jumps Shane after they survive the overrun subdivision and shortly before he loses it and tries to murder Rick. In Season 3, she falls for the Governor.
    • Averted with Maggie, who falls for the socially awkward Glenn. When Glenn later questions whether or not she would have noticed him if it wasn't the apocalypse, she insists she's always had a thing for the nice guys.
    • Her sister Beth also seems more interested in the nice guys.
    • As a meta-example, Daryl's large female fanbase supports this. Negan also has a growing number of female fans.
  • All There in the Manual: The story of how Hannah became the "Bicycle Girl" walker is in the webisodes.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • Andrew's sabotage and compromise of the prison in "Killer Within". He tries to get Oscar to kill Rick and help him take over, but this fails.
    • The Governor's attacks on the prison in "Home" and "Welcome to the Tombs". The attack in "Welcome to the Tombs" ends as an Averted Trope, as the group successfully fights them off.
    • He attacks again with a new group (armed with a tank) in "Too Far Gone". This one results in a full-scale battle between the two groups, many dead (including Hershel and The Governor himself), the fall of the prison, and the group scattered and separated.
    • Thanks to Carol, all of Terminus is overrun by walkers.
    • In Season 8, the allied forces of AHK (Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom) lay siege to the Sanctuary and trap its main members inside with a herd of walkers, and then proceed to attack their smaller outposts. Two are wiped out, one is defeated with its survivors taken prisoner. Once the Saviors escape their siege, they return the favor with gusto by bombing and sacking Alexandria, and claiming the Kingdom as their new base until the Sanctuary is repaired.
  • Almighty Janitor:
    • After Glenn comes up with a strategy of military efficiency to get Rick's bag of guns off the swarmed street, Daryl asks him what he used to do for a living. He says he used to deliver pizza.
    • The leader of the Vatos used to be a custodian.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Wolves. The first clue of their appearance is mid-Season 5, when the group encounters a car filled with decapitated heads with the letter W carved into their foreheads. Later on, Daryl and Aaron get caught in a death trap made by the Wolves where infected (also with Ws carved into their foreheads) get released from tractor trailers when they try to search one of them for food. In Season 6, the Wolves directly attack Alexandria while Rick and several of the Alexandrians are away to draw the horde of infected away from the settlement. All members of The Wolves shown on screen show the desire to kill other humans.
  • It's Always Spring:
    • The series glosses seasons over. Even the south gets a freeze and snow now and then. Having winter happen would provide too much of a chance for the group to settle and regroup because the walkers get slowed down in snow, possibly freeze, slip on icy unsalted roads twisting and breaking many ankles, and at the very least leave a noticeable dragging trail wherever they go (the comic doesn't ignore winter, but almost totally skips over it, due to the walkers being frozen and not a threat). Even if they have been having unseasonably warm winters in the south for the series, the Northern part of North America should be pulling through okay. This is due to the schedule of the series production usually having the first half of a season be filmed in the early summer, while the latter half is filmed in the fall. This leads to the opening of Season 3 having the group come off of their first winter, only for the cast to be bundled up and cold in the season finale, which thanks to the series' compressed timeline is not nearly enough time for eight months to pass.
    • The end of Season 9 actually depicts a vicious blizzard striking the communities, and while many walkers are indeed frozen, they are still very much a threat.
  • Alternate Universe: As per a comment by Kirkman on the Talking Dead talk show, this world never had a Night of the Living Dead (1968), which pretty much defines modern culture's view of zombies. The only other zombies are of the voodoo variety, and their heyday as a fictional device was in the 1920s, before even Dale was born.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • "Inmates" starts out showing Beth and Daryl following the tracks of another group of survivors from the prison, then jumps back a few hours and shows what happened to Tyreese's party as they left that trail.
    • "Four Walls and a Roof" ends with Daryl returning to the church after his and Carol's departure to Atlanta the previous episode. Three episodes later in "Consumed", their trip to Atlanta is explained, starting on the night that they left in "Strangers" and concluding on the day that ends "Slabtown".
    • "Slabtown" jumps back to Season 4 time to explain what happened to Beth after she was kidnapped. By the end of the episode, Carol is shown getting wheeled in on a trolley, which is explained later in "Consumed".
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Rick uses one to chop up a dead body as part of a plan to sneak past the walkers and escape Atlanta.
    • In "TS-19," Daryl uses one on the door to the CDC, on a walker in midrun, and almost on Jenner's head because it's not designed to withstand a rocket launcher. One of his axe kills actually has him using two axes to behead one walker in one swing.
    • In "Seed," Rick uses one to amputate Hershel's infected leg.
    • In "Say the Word," after Lori's death, Rick kills a large number of walkers using a fire axe.
    • One of the Wolves in "JSS" wields an axe.
    • Again in "No Way Out," Rick uses an axe to unleash his fury on a herd of walkers after Jessie and her family are devoured by walkers and Carl's eye is shot out by Ron. He also uses it to remove Jessie's arm to save Carl.
  • And Starring:
  • Anticlimax:
    • A sizable number of viewers found the Season 3 finale underwhelming. The battle for the prison, which was hyped for six episodes and was a pivotal moment in the comics, is over in five minutes with no casualties on either side. Marketing had heavy use of Tonight, Someone Dies, but 24 of the 27 promised deaths were nameless redshirts. Many major plot threads are also left entirely unresolved, with the Governor on the run having lost his army. When the Governor returns for his next assault in Season 4, it's far more climactic and lives up to the moment in the comics.
    • The Wolves received a half-season's worth of buildup in the latter half of Season 5, however, the entire organization is wiped out two episodes into Season 6 bar the leader, who survives into the season's ninth episode. The group only kills Red Shirt's, but their attack does help the native Alexandrians develop into capable fighters.
    • Season 6 strongly hyped up the approach of Negan, as his introduction is the other most pivotal moment of the comic and utterly changes it, and involves the plot's biggest Sacrificial Lion. The season slowly builds up to his arrival, to the point that his Saviors became Adaptational Wimp's in order to give Negan's introduction more gravity, and the promotional material began liberally using Tonight, Someone Dies. The Season 6 finale, "Last Day On Earth", ends with an abrupt Cliffhanger smack dab during the iconic scene's adaptation, forcing the audience to wait the better part of a further year for the plot's resolution, after the season had already hyped it up for the past year.
  • Antagonist Title: Also counts as Double-Meaning Title since "the walking dead" doesn't just refer to the walkers, but also to the other survivors who killed/lost their humanity and went into the deep end due to the stress of the Zombie Apocalypse. Daryl seems to realize the latter interpretation of this in "Them" when Rick proposes they willingly become "the walking dead", and it helps him pull out of his near catatonic Heroic BSoD he'd been in for the past two episodes.
  • Anyone Can Die: The Walking Dead is probably one of the modern day Trope Codifiers along with Game of Thrones. Even some long-lived survivors from the comic died early in the show. The running tally so far:
    • Season 1: Ed, all the redshirt camp survivors, Amy, Jim, Jacqui, Jenner.
    • Season 2: Otis, Sophia, Dave, Tony, Dale, Randall, Shane, Jimmy, Patricia.
    • Season 3: Big Tiny, Tomas, T-Dog, Andrew, Lori, Oscar, Donna, Axel, Duane, Ben, Merle, Milton, Allen, Andrea.
    • Season 4: Zach, Clara, Patrick, Ryan, Karen, Ana, Dr Caleb, David Chalmers, Shumpert, Martinez, Pete, Hershel, Meghan, Mitch, Alisha, The Governor, Lily, all the background and redshirt prison survivors, Mika, Lizzie, all the members of Joe's gang, Alex.
    • Season 5: Sam, Mary, Mike, Greg, Albert, Theresa, Martin, Gareth, Bob, Joan, Gorman, Lamson, O'Donnell, Beth, Dawn, Tyreese, Aiden, Noah, Reg, Pete.
    • Season 6: Carter, Shelly, Erin, Holly, several dozen unnamed Wolves and Alexandrians, Barnes, Sturgess, Annie, David, Nicholas, Eastman, Tina, Deanna, Bud, Sam, Jessie, Ron, Owen the Alpha Wolf, dozens of unnamed Saviors, Ethan, Donnie, Molly, Michelle, Paula, Denise, Jiro and his group of Saviors, Roman.
    • Season 7: Abrahamnote , Glennnote , Fat Joey, Spencer, Olivia, Emmett Carson, Benjamin, Richard, David, Sasha, Roy.
    • Season 8: Andy, Freddie, Mara, Francine, Morales and his entire family, Eric, Todd, Daniel, Alvaro, most of the Kingdom militia, Gunther, Shiva, Natania, Neil, Dean, Gavin, Carl, Brion, Tamiel, most of the Scavengers, Harlan Carson, Tobin, Bruce, many AHK Red Shirts, Jared, Gary, Simon.
    • Season 9: Ken, Gregory, Justin, Arat, Regina, Jed, Jesus, Ozzy, Alek, D.J., Frankie, Tammy Rose Sutton, Rodney, Adeline, Enid, Tara, Henry.
    • As of Season 9, the only characters who have survived since the first season are: Daryl and Carol, with Rick and Morgan Put on a Bus.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: The show is an extended exploration of this trope, with the first two seasons basically breaking Rick down and forcing him to abandon civilized behavior.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People:
    • Daryl. Where all the other characters start out civilized and are forced to give it up, he starts out as a violent, racist redneck whose main saving grace is that, unlike his brother Merle, he will generally try to help other people—if he's not angry enough to attack them himself. After being separated from Merle's influence and being forced to work together with the group to survive, he gradually becomes a nicer, more steadfast and emotional, but still awkward person.
    • Deconstructed with Tyreese. He becomes a kinder, more gentle person (far more than his hotheaded comic incarnation), but it causes problems in Season 5 when he's lost his will to kill anything. He spares Martin even after he tried to kill Judith, and refuses to allow Carol to kill him either, which allows Martin to lead Gareth to the group. Ultimately Tyreese dies knowing that he just didn't fit in the world anymore.
  • Apocalyptic Logistics: While supply runs are a major facet of the show, well-maintained cars are driven around without any mention of fuel, or any show of characters getting it. While there are ample abandoned vehicles scattered about that probably have fuel, the show is as of Season 7 four years into the apocalypse and has taken place in areas with plenty of other people, making it questionable that gas would be that easy to get hold of. Automotive gasoline goes bad after six months to a year. Ammunition is mentioned to be scarce, but firefights in the show don't seem to show otherwise.
    • As of Season 9, the characters seem to have finally given up on cars, with everyone traveling on horse-back, or using horse-drawn carts.
    • As of Season 9, firearms are no longer used or used extremely sparingly. With ammunition harder and harder to come by, a shift to melee weapons such as knives and spears, as well as bows and arrows is emphasized. This has the advantage of being quiet, easy to make and use, and in the case of bows and arrows, reusable ammunition.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: There's discussion on whether the Chupacabra is real, and it's lampshaded that several months ago, they'd have been having the same conversation about walking, flesh-eating corpses.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • Roads for Season 1.
    • Blood for Season 2.
    • Walls and gates/doors for Season 3.
    • Crosses (both crucifixes and x-marks) and fire for the first half of Season 5, "W"'s for the second half.
    • Ever since Season 5, baseball bats begin to frequently appear everytime Glenn is around.
    • An engraving of Lucille, Negan's trademark bat wrapped in barbed wire, ultimately serves as this for Season 6.
    • Fans (either wall or desk) for scenes at the Sanctuary and The Saviors outposts to fit the Nightmarish Factory setting. The blades can mutilate and kill but also provide comfort and hospitable conditions.
  • Arc Villain:
  • Arc Words:
    • "Family" for Season 3.
    • Season 4 has two: "Can/Can't come back from" for the first half, and "Those who arrive survive" for the second half.
    • Season 5: "Can't go back" for the first half, and "Wolves not far" for the second half.
    • "Us" and "Them" for Seasons 5 and 6.
    • Season 6: "Then" and "Now" for the first half, "New/Bigger world" for the second half.
    • "You are not safe"; Rick tells Carl this in "Strangers" when he and some of the group are left in Gabriel's church, as Rick is trying to make Carl stay on his guard as he doesn't fully trust Gabriel yet, and knows that the group is being watched from the shadows. This phrase was also said during the "Fear the Hunters" arc, which began when Rick accepted a balance of his humanity and brutality, and declared that Terminus was "screwing with the wrong people", confident that his group would win out. Over the next two seasons, however, this backfires as Rick becomes way too confident and assumes that the Saviors, an enemy the group begins contending with in the second half of Season 6, will be easy to deal with. In the sixth season finale, Negan completely outmatches and emotionally breaks him, and tells him four words - "you are not safe."
    • "Something after/what comes after" for Season 8, focusing on the idea of the kind of world that the combined forces of AHK are fighting for: one built on peace and togetherness (which Rick ultimately embraces, thanks to Carl), or one built on vengeance and retribution against the Saviors (which Maggie and Daryl, especially, are desperate for).
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Averted, especially in regards to the riot gear wearing Walkers in the prison.
    • Averted again when Milton wraps his sleeves in duct tape. It actually does prevent a walkers bite from getting to him.
    • Averted yet again with duct tape by Glenn, while his arm was duct taped to the arm of a chair.
    • Averted once more with the athletic protective gear worn by knights of the Kingdom.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • In 1.6, Dr. Jenner says that the zombie pathogen "invades the brain like meningitis." The problem is that meningitis doesn't invade the brain at all, but the meninges (the protective coverings of the brain and spinal cord).
    • Viral Transmission of the pathogen has been largely variable and inconsistent in the comics, shows, and games: A person that dies of asphyxiation will become reanimated by the virus, implying an airborne capability, yet it doesn't affect living humans. A pregnant woman that recently gives birth to a child will most likely succumb to the virus due to less-than-sanitary conditions and a weakened immune system. And walkers can transmit the virus through scratches and bites but not through blood and other bodily fluids making contact with a living person's skin.
  • Artistic License – Cars: Even after so many years after the complete breakdown of society due to the apocalypse, the characters are still shown driving vehicles. The problem is, gasoline stored under even the most ideal of conditions won't be usable after maybe two years, three at most (but highly unlikely). Gasoline is heavily refined, so no more is being made, and it also aggressively absorbs water from the air. In addition, many of the additives in gasoline will congeal into solids after time. Realistically, in-show they should be to the point right now where gasoline will simply no longer be useful.
    • It appears that they've finally reached that point as of Season 9, with horse-based methods of transportation now the norm.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: In the first episode pilot, before the shootout with the criminals fleeing in the cars, one of the deputies at the road block starts joking about how it would be great if they were being recorded, because they could get on a show like Cops. Rick snaps at him that he needs to focus, make sure he has a round in the chamber of his gun, and that the safety is off. The deputy does so, racking back the slide to chamber a round, then we hear the click of a safety being switched off. Problem is, he is using a Glock 19. Glocks do not have a safety switch, the trigger is the safety.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The series from Season 5B on is set in Virginia, yet is still filmed in Georgia. This creates a disconnect and muddles the world, as the characters are roaming around what is supposed to be Alexandria, Virginia, which is depicted as heavily wooded rural areas and the occasional farm. The fact they are near Washington, DC, their original goal is never mentioned and why they never head into the city is ever brought up. Alexandria in real life is a heavily developed suburb of the nation's capital that sits on the Potomac River and is filled with houses, apartments, retail spaces, military and government facilities, a major highway (I-495 of the Capital Beltway cuts through it) and Ronald Reagan Airport, a major domestic passenger hub, nearby. There are no forested areas like the show depicts; the entire area is densely urban for miles in every direction.
  • Artistic License – Law: A brief example is mentioned in "Home". Axel, a former convict, says he was in prison for robbing a store with a fake gun. When the police came to his house, they found his brother's real gun and said he used that, making it an armed robbery. Except... using a fake gun would be armed robbery anyway. It only matters if people think it's real. We don't expect that he'd be a legal expert, but the charge would have been armed robbery either way.note 
  • Artistic License – Medicine:
    • When Rick reunites with his family and Shane, the impression is that a significant amount of time has passed since Shane left him in the hospital (when the post-apocalypse story picks up, they Shane, Lori, et al. have been camped near the quarry for at least six weeks) which means that Rick had been in his coma in the hospital that entire time. Without medical care, Rick wouldn't have survived any more than a week in a coma. This is not addressed in the series proper, though one of the webisode series shows that a single doctor was surviving in the hospital during this time and presumably tended to Rick and enabled him to survive.
    • Lori throwing up those "abortion pills" isn't going to do anything because they weren't going to work, even if she wanted them to. Morning after pills only work the morning after, though Lori admits she was desperate and not thinking straight during the incident.note 
    • "Always Accountable" features Tina, a diabetic who travels with her friends Dwight and Sherry. The show's portrayal of diabetics is to say the least implausible, and among them is the idea that anyone, no matter how well stocked their group is, would be able to maintain a consistent, daily stock of insulin two years into an apocalypse. Negan later lampshades this in Season 7, and actually used this to try to coerce her into joining his harem, as he promised to devote the large amount of resources to find her critically needed insulin if she married him.
  • Ascended Extra: As of Swear the community Oceanside. Originally not appearing until after a Time Skip in the comics, and even then it has yet to be seen in person. Here, not only are they found much earlier, they have a history with the Saviors. Namely that they tried to fight the Saviors and lost badly, to the point where all the men in their group were killed.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Abraham's "Who's Deanna?" from "Remember" gets a nod in "No Way Out" when he asks "Who's Negan?"
    • After Morales was Put on a Bus in Season 1, his return became a common joke in the fandom. Then, stunningly, he actually does return in Season 8, Episode 2.
  • As the Good Book Says...:
    • Season 3's "I Ain't a Judas" finds Hershel and Merle comparing their respective missing limbs:
      Hershel: "And if your right hand offends you, cut it off, cast it from you. For it is profitable that one of your members should perish..."
      Merle: "...and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell." Matthew 5:29 and 30. (beat) Woodbury had a damn fine library.
    • There's a scene in "This Sorrowful Life" where Hershel and his daughters are praying, and he reads a Bible passage that happens to be very relevant to their circumstances.
    • Someone (probably Hershel again) also leaves an open Bible with a very pointed verse highlighted for the Governor to find while he searches the prison.
    • Subverted in "Internment". After a long day treating and managing the plague, Hershel consults his Bible for solace... but is so shaken from losing so many friends to the plague that it doesn't help, and poor Hershel just sobs in despair.
    • Done subtly in Season 5. Rick's group confronts the Hunters, a gang of cannibals, in a church which prominently displays the quote "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life" from John 6:54. The verses on the wall of the inside of the church all reference resurrection of the dead, but would only be obvious to those well-versed in the Bible or look them up.
    • Father Gabriel quotes the Bible before killing a Savior in "Not Tomorrow Yet."
  • Asian Drivers: Daryl makes a joke about this towards Glenn in the second season finale.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The criminals in the opener. Their car is turned over, they're outnumbered by cops, and each cop has a weapon aimed at them, and they come out shooting anyway. Two are promptly gunned down. The third, who goes entirely unnoticed in the initial shootout, and could have gotten a decent head start since nobody had seen him yet, breaks from cover and starts shooting.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!:
    • The heavily-foreshadowed battle for the prison. The Governor attacks with a barely-trained group of civilians who've never fought humans before. The prison group abandons the place but leave a trail of clues that leads the attackers into a bottleneck, where they're ambushed. Without suffering a single fatality, the attackers panic and run, jumping in a vehicle and fleeing. The Governor is not amused.
    • In "Twice as Far," Daryl, Rosita, Eugene and Abraham chase off Dwight and his crew and kill several of them, even though they were initially outnumbered.
  • Audience Sucker Punch:
    • In the mid-season finale for Season 2, it's discovered that Sophia was turned into a walker.
    • Also, when Dale is killed by the zombie that Carl accidentally released.
    • The season 7 premiere. Both Abraham and Glenn are beaten to death by Negan, and Negan almost forces Rick to chop Carl's arm off.
  • Audience Surrogate: Beth, during her dual Day in the Limelight episode with Daryl. One could make the argument that much of that episode was intended as Wish Fulfillment for Daryl's female fans.
  • Auto Erotica: The episode "Secrets" includes a scene where Shane and Andrea get busy in the car they're in, just after they've escaped a housing development infested with walkers.
  • Automaton Horses: Real horses don't even take well to living crowds without special training, yet the one Rick rides into a city crawling with walkers barely snorts in nervousness. When attacked, it just stands there whinnying hopelessly and gets eaten alive rather than kicking, bucking or fleeing. Justified since it was running until it got cornered. On the practical side, realistic bucking/kicking would need a very skilled stunt rider. It would also be dangerous for the extras playing walkers.

     Trope B 

  • Back for the Dead:
    • Martinez disappears after "Welcome to the Tombs." He has a brief cameo at the end of "Live Bait," and is killed off halfway through "Dead Weight."
    • Sam is a textbook example. He first appears in "Indifference," where he goes missing. He reappears 13 episodes later in "No Sanctuary" for about a minute before he is slaughtered by the butchers at Terminus.
    • Morales disappears towards the end of the first season, as he leads his family away from the group to search for family in Birmingham. We don't hear anything of him, nor does anyone mention him, until Season 8, a whopping seven seasons and years later, when he returns as a villainous Savior, his family long dead. Morales is killed merely half an episode later by Daryl, who recognized he had no mercy left for his former comrades.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Merle and Daryl Dixon in the opening scene of "The Suicide King".
    • Surprisingly, Daryl and Martinez (the Governor's dragon) in "Arrow On The Doorpost".
    • Maggie and Sasha in "Alone" when they were surrounded by walkers near an ice cream truck.
    • Season 5 trailers show Rick and Daryl firing at at enemies/walkers in this manner.
    • During the battle of Terminus, Rick, Daryl, Bob, and Glenn fought their way through the Terminus residents and the herd invading the compound to free their group. Then the entire group gets in on this trope as they push for the exit.
    • Aaron and Rosita prove to be a good team when they watch each other's backs during two battles in Season 6.
  • Badass Boast:
    • After getting a wrench thrown at him by Shane, Rick says to him "If you want to kill me, you're gonna have to do better than a wrench."
    • His retort when Merle says that he won't shoot him, because he's a cop:
      "All I am anymore is a man looking for his wife and son. Anyone who gets in the way of that is going to lose."
    • Daryl to Andrea, after he gets mistaken for a walker due to his injuries and she shoots him:
      "You shoot me again, you best pray I'm dead."
    • "They're screwing with the wrong people."
      Becomes even more badass on the DVD release, which has Rick proclaiming, "They're fuckin' with the wrong people".
    • When someone's asking a tied-up Rick (who's about to be killed) about a buried bag of supplies:
      "There's a machete with a red handle. That's what I'm going to use to kill you." note 
    • Negan lets these loose as often as he swears.
    • The Season 7 finale "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" has two practically back to back:
      • Negan has Rick and Carl on their knees before him again, and this time declares he will kill Carl and destroy Rick's hands with Lucille. This time, however, Rick is not taking it:
      Rick: You can do it right in front of me. You can take my hands. I told you already — I'm gonna kill you. Oh, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but nothing is gonna change that — nothing. *whispers* You're all already dead.
      • Then the Kingdom arrives just in time to save them and start driving the Saviors back, Ezekiel roaring out an epic battle cry:
      Ezekiel: END THESE SAVIORS AND THEIR ACCOMPLICES!! ALEXANDRIA WILL NOT FALL — NOT ON THIS DAY!!
  • Badass Crew: Applies to Rick's group from Season 3 onwards, as a result of the months spent on the road following the loss of the farm. Driven home when the Governor expresses his surprise that just ten people managed to take over the prison, as Merle had declared it uninhabitable.
  • Badass Gay: Tara, a lesbian, who slowly becomes one of the group's best fighters. Then we have Aaron, who appears halfway through Season 5. He's a nice, normal guy...except when he's killing zombies, or evaluating potential recruits for the Alexandria Free Zone. His boyfriend Eric is a lesser example of this trope, but nevertheless must've had some chops to be a recruiter. He ends up proving himself in "No Way Out" when he's slaying the horde of walkers with no visible trouble, while recovering from a broken ankle, no less. Season 6 also gives us Jesus, one of the most badass characters ever introduced in the show. In Season 9, we get Battle Couple Yumiko and Magna, who take out walkers with a compound bow and throwing knives respectively.

  • Badass in Distress: At some point in the series, nearly every main character gets knocked out, captured, detained, or restrained in some way by some faction or individual and ends up requiring outside intervention to escape. Season 4 actually ended with over 90% of the main cast being captured. Thankfully one exception was Carol, who managed to save them all at the start of season 5.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Governor has one. Around the second half of Season 4, Carol starts wearing one.
    • The later seasons give us Jesus, Ezekiel, and, as of Season 9, Jerry.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Negan pulls a brutal one in the premiere of Season 7. Many fans were in wild speculation about Negan's chosen victim. The majority knew that it would be Glenn, as he was beaten to death with Lucille in the comics by Negan in his introduction. It turns out the unlucky person killed in the cliffhanger was actually Abraham. Because of this, many viewers let their guard down and were hit with shock when Glenn was killed a few minutes later just like in the comics.
  • Bang Bang BANG:
    • Warning — firing a gun inside a tank may cause pain and temporary hearing loss.
    • Thankfully, Rick remembers this in "Clear" when trapped by walkers in a car with Carl and Michonne. He warns them to cover their ears before firing his gun.
  • Bat Scare: A flock of birds bursts out of a bush, scaring Mika into running off during "Inmates".
  • Batter Up!:
    • Bats are occasionally used as weapons, with the second season's second episode having Maggie on a horse charge up and hit a walker upside the head that was threatening one of the group. Glenn is almost killed by the Termimus residents in the Season 5 premiere with a bat, and later wields a bat — which may or may not be foreshadowing that he will suffer the same fate at the hands of Negan in the show as he did in the comics.
    • Lucille, Negan's barb wire wrapped baseball bat. She. Is. AWESOME.
  • Beard of Sorrow/Beardness Protection Program: The Governor, after Woodbury falls apart.
  • Behind the Black: Time and again the characters will be surprised by walkers coming out of nowhere. That they would fail to perceive them, when they're usually in the forest with dry leaves all around (and the walkers have no stealth ability whatsoever), is kind of tough to swallow. Especially when you consider that Walkers are, essentially, moving hunks of rotting meat.
    • Tyreese dies of his injuries when he's taken by surprise by a walker after a precious moment of distraction.
  • Berserk Button:
    • When Shane tells Rick that he thinks Rick can't keep his family safe, Rick and Shane start whaling on each other.
    • In "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Daryl shows Randall that he should have kept his mouth shut instead of telling Daryl about an incident with a man and his two teenage daughters.
    • The Marauders should have never threatened to rape Carl and Michonne. Rick literally rips Joe's throat out with his teeth and then guts the other man who was attempting to rape Carl. He stabs him over and over and over again.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Beth is kept at the hospital partly because they believe her weak. According to Noah, they don't want people who would try to resist or escape. However Beth does exactly that. She also takes down several zombies, kills a rapist, schemes to keep Carol alive. Even before the hospital, she'd played her part in the prison's defence, and stood up to Daryl when he was acting aggressively towards her.
    • The first sign of Carol's inner steel is when she hacks Ed's corpse to bits. Over the series she becomes harder and tougher. By Season 5, underneath the friendly mother/housewife persona is a woman who can single-handedly destroy an entire cannibal enclave to rescue her friends.
    • From his introduction, Tyreese is always the moral voice. He doesn't like to get caught up in unnecessary violence, but when Karen is murdered he becomes full of barely contained rage, survival instinct and gives Rick a beat-down once. Even when he decides he can't kill humans anymore, he kills a handful of walkers with his bare hands to stop a cannibal from murdering Judith.
  • Big Bad: While there are many shorter-lived villains (see Arc Villains), there are only a few malevolent survivors who could be said to truly take the Big Bad reins:
    • Shane Walsh in Season 2.
    • The Governor, the leader of Woodbury, in Season 3 and the first half of Season 4.
    • Negan, the leader of the Saviors, in the second half of Season 6, Season 7, and Season 8.
    • Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers, starting with the second half of Season 9.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence:
    • Subverted with The Governor's first two assaults on the prison, as the first time around, he's only looking to shake up the prison group and kill whoever he can before running off. The second time, Rick simply scares out his inexperienced militia. The third time, it fits the bill, as the entire main cast besides Carol starts ripping into each other after Hershel is killed by The Governor. It ends up being a draw, as while The Governor and his army are wiped out, Hershel is dead, Judith is presumed dead, and the survivors are separated from each other (and later the bus full of civilian survivors dies when one of them turns and wipes them out).
    • In the Season 5 premiere, Carol starts one by herself, destroying a huge chunk of Terminus with a propane explosion and leading a herd of walkers onto the place, giving Rick's group the time necessary to overthrow their captors and join the battle. Daryl even remarks that it "sounds like a damn war".
    • "No Way Out" gives us a dozens-strong army consisting of Rick's group and most of the Alexandrians standing as one against the herd of walkers that invaded Alexandria.
    • "Not Tomorrow Yet" depicts about a dozen or so of the Alexandrians storming a Savior compound and killing forty Saviors, many of whom were sleeping, without a single casualty.
    • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" has a climactic clash as several dozen fighters from Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom fend off the Saviors and Scavengers. It's the first battle of a massive war between Negan and his rebelling communities.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Played with. Rick, T-Dog, Daryl, and Glenn return to camp just in time to save the camp from walkers in "Vatos". Then Rick and Shane have an argument as to whether the losses would've been greater or worse if the group had never left the camp in the first place.
    • Shane looks resigned to Rick abandoning him while he's stuck in the school bus in "18 Miles Out", until he looks over and sees Rick and Randall (who's driving the car) barreling into the lot at top speed to rescue him.
    • Andrea delivers one to Carol when the latter somehow manages to get separated from the group in "Beside The Dying Fire".
    • As Andrea is about to meet her fate at the hands of a walker after being separated from everyone, she's saved at the hands of a mysterious hooded figure. Fans of the comic will instantly identify the hooded figure as Michonne.
    • Carl, of all people, delivers one to Tyreese's group in "Made to Suffer".
    • In "Home", Rick looks to be walker chow as he runs out of ammo and is pinned to the prison's fence by two of them, when Daryl and Merle show up. At the same time, Glenn also returns (after bailing on his plan to go to Woodbury to kill The Governor) to rescue Hershel with Michonne's help.
    • In "Us", Glenn and Tara are surrounded by Walkers in a collapsed train tunnel, and Tara's leg is pinned. Tara is yelling at Glenn to leave her, and he refuses, making it seem like a desperate last stand. Cue Maggie, Sasha, Bob, Rosita, and Abraham showing up and leveling the Walkers with a hail of gunfire.
    • In "No Sanctuary", Carol mounts a one-woman assault on Terminus, camouflaging into a herd of walkers that were lured onto the premises, blowing up a propane tank with a firecracker, and helping the walkers slaughter the place's people. This impressive move gives Rick and the gang the distraction they need to overthrow and escape their captors.
    • In "Conquer", Daryl and Aaron are trapped inside a car, surrounded by a swarm of walkers inside a fenced yard. Just as they both risk their lives trying to make a run for an exit, Morgan shows up and helps them dispose of the walkers
    • In "No Way Out", when Glenn looks like he's about to be devoured by the horde after distracting them so Maggie can escape to safety, Abraham and Sasha arrive and gun down the swarm surrounding him from one of the gates, having finally returned from their mission. In fact, it's arguably the return of Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham that saves Alexandria, since the Alexandrians were getting pushed back and worn down by the herd until Daryl set the lake ablaze and lured the herd in, giving the others the chance to wipe them out easily.
    • In "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life", the Saviors have managed to capture the Alexandrians and regain control of the situation after a skirmish. Though Rick is defiant, Negan is about to kill Carl and destroy Rick's hands when Shiva, Ezekiel's pet tiger, roars onto the battlefield and eats a Savior. The surprise attack (and presence of a freaking tiger) gives the group the chance they need to strike back. Then Maggie arrives with a regiment from Hilltop, saving Rick and Carl as they were trying to re-arm themselves.
    • In the Season 8 finale "Wrath," Negan has lured the AHK forces into an ambush via false plans, and prepares to gun them all down and win the war for The Saviors. Their guns all promptly backfire, killing some and wounding others. Turns out Eugene sabotaged all of the bullets he made after having had a last minute change of heart after first seeing Gabriel try to sabotage a bullet, and also later after Daryl and Rosita temporarily kidnap him and verbally tear him a new one for his working with Negan.
    • Subverted in Season 9. A wounded Rick is being slowly pursued by a massive horde of walkers, and ends up leading them to the under-construction bridge that has been the focus of everyone's efforts in the season so far. Just as it looks like the horde are about to catch up to Rick, everyone shows up to start putting the horde down... except that, seconds later, it's revealed to all be a hallucination that Rick is having. Everyone then does show up, but are unable to get to Rick around the horde, forcing him to simply blow up the bridge to stop it.
  • Big Damn Reunion: The end of 7x08. Further fueled by the fact that everyone is finally ready to step up and fight.
  • Big Eater:
    • A horrific example with the cannibals of Terminus, who lure people in with the promise of Sanctuary but kill and eat most of their visitors. They seem to eat very well and have enough to feed a large compound of people, and most of their day-to-day activities seem to revolve around food production. Later when they're eating Bob's leg, they don't even try to ration it and are just noisily gorging like they're in a commercial for Burger King. Gareth also mentions a desire to "try" all of Rick's group.
    • Olivia, an overweight woman in charge of Alexandria's inventory, often talks about food and her desire to have certain foods again. Negan later mocks her for her weight.
    • Maggie starting in Season 7 as she's pregnant.
    • Fat Joey, an obese Savior, is clearly this, and other Saviors mock his appetite. Even in death, Negan can't stop mocking his weight.
  • Big Good:
    • Rick evolves into this as his group expands from a ragtag group of about a dozen to a community of several dozen, and in between. He becomes the survivors' rock of good and leadership.
    • When Rick took some time off of leadership for his and Carl's mental health, Hershel became the head of a council that governed the prison community. His capture at the hands of The Governor was what forced Rick to retake command of the group. Hershel was also the head of his family farm, which included people from two other families.
    • Deanna Monroe is the mayor of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, but she cedes power to Rick once she realizes she is not fit to lead the community through the harsh reality of the apocalypse and becomes one of his key advisors.
    • Subverted with Gregory, the boss of the agrarian Hilltop Colony. Despite leading a key ally of Alexandria, he's a selfish, cowardly jackass who only cares about himself, and would really prefer not to be an ally of Rick's. Ultimately, he loses control of Hilltop to Maggie when she wins the hearts of the locals by fighting for them in battle (while Gregory cowers in his room) and being a compassionate, caring leader (as opposed to Gregory who can't even remember his constituents' names).
    • Ezekiel, the self-styled king of The Kingdom. He's a good, noble and caring man who genuinely wants to create a peaceful sanctuary for his people, and plays a larger-than-life king persona to give them something to be inspired by.
    • Natania is the leader of Oceanside, a community of women who survived a Savior genocide. Despite poising a serious threat to Tara, she's not a bad person, only doing what she thinks is right to protect her people and is otherwise a loving grandmother to her family and seems well-respected by her people. However, when she refuses to try to challenge the Saviors, she's usurped by one of her key lieutenants Beatrice, who Rick unofficially makes leader of Oceanside.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Merle gets a few in when he's stuck on the roof in "Tell It To The Frogs".
    • Daryl does it too upon reaching the roof and finding Merle's severed hand. It must run in the family.
    • Rick several times, after Andrea tries to prove her worth by shooting an incoming walker. Turns out it wasn't a walker, but a wounded Daryl. Thankfully, she only grazed him.
    • Rick does another one at the end of "Killer Within", when he realizes that Lori died giving birth.
      • Carol has one in the same episode when she sees T-Dog get bit by a walker.
    • Rick again in "Too Far Gone", when The Governor swings the katana at Hershel's neck.
    • Gareth has one right as Rick begins hacking him to pieces with the machete he promised he'd kill him with.
    • Several characters give one when Negan beats Abraham to death with his bat, and later Glenn as well.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The standard modus operandi for the show.
    • Season 1: The group has escaped the exploding CDC, but they find that there truly is no government out there to help them anymore. Furthermore, Andrea has attempted suicide and Rick has learned a terrible secret from Jenner.
    • Season 2: The majority of the group has escaped the herd, but the Greene farm has been overrun, Andrea has been separated from the others, and Rick has forcibly brought the squabbling group to heel and insists they will no longer operate as a democracy. Rick also reveals to the group that Jenner told him that everyone is infected and will turn into a Walker upon their death.
    • Season 3: The Governor's attack has been repelled, Michonne, Tyreese, and Sasha are joining the group full-time, and Rick is on the path to regaining his humanity, but Andrea has died, Carl's mental state is taking an increasingly dark turn, and The Governor's whereabouts remain unknown.
    • Season 4: The group is largely reunited after the final battle with The Governor, but they have been captured by the cannibals of Terminus. Nevertheless, a newly confident Rick declares that they will overthrow their captors.
    • Season 5: This season comes arguably the closest to a happy ending for the group since there's little negative consequences for them this time. They've become more accepted in Alexandria, Morgan is joining them, Maggie, Sasha and Gabriel are returning from the Despair Event Horizon, and Rick has earned Deanna's trust. On the flipside, the Wolves have learned of Alexandria's location.
    • Averted in season 6. After half a season of Rick's group easily taking down the Saviors in multiple conflicts, they discover the group is much bigger than previously thought, and 11 major characters are captured, with Negan beating two of them to death. About the only "good" things to happen in the finale are the long-awaited introduction of Negan, and Morgan rescuing Carol and meeting some survivors that actually seem nice.
    • Season 7: After spending the entire season at the Saviors' mercy, the group finally fights back by forging alliances with other communities that the Saviors were also oppressing. However, many lives were lost to get there (namely: Abraham, Glenn, Spencer, Olivia, Benjamin, Richard, and Sasha. Eugene has left the group for the Saviors, and Heath is still M.I.A.
    • Season 8: The war ends in AHK's favor, and the Saviors surrender and become allies of the alliance. The communities of Alexandria, Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the Sanctuary all join together in peace. Negan has been defeated, and (hypothetically) will spend the rest of his life in prison watching the communities thrive without his tyrannical rule. Despite this, many, many friends and family have been lost. Daryl justifiably exiles Dwight and sends him to go find Sherry, the only person Dwight cares about.And Maggie, displeased with Rick's decision to spare Negan, plots with Daryl, and even Jesus, to one day kill Negan.
  • Black Cloak: In "Beside The Dying Fire", the "hooded stranger" (Michonne) uses a variant of this during their entrance.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The prisoners using standard riot tactics against the Walkers in an attempt to put them down, with one of them repeatedly shiving a Walker in the gut and nothing happening while Daryl, Rick and T-Dog watch on in disbelief.
      Rick: All right, do it right this time; no more of that prison riot shit.
    • The scene between Daryl and Rick as they gut the Walker at the beginning of Season 2.
    • The hapless backpack survivor in "Clear".
    • Negan is built on this trope, since he's clearly a goofy, fun-loving guy you'd probably love to hang with at a bar... only he's a Dark Messiah and an Evil Overlord, and thus all of his comedy comes during his humiliation and scaring of the group. Bad timing, but calling Carl "the little future serial killer" is still pretty funny.
  • Black Dude Dies First:
    • Inverted in the first season, in which one of the black characters is the LAST member of the survivor party to die.
    • Then, subverted in the second season when during a horde of walkers marching through the crowded highway, T-Dog cuts his arm wide open and leaks blood everywhere, attracting the attention of the horde. It looks as if it's all over for him as a walker is about to get him, when all of a sudden, he's saved at the last minute by Daryl (of all people). He survives the whole season.
    • Discussed when T-Dog is feverish and suffering blood poisoning:
      T-Dog: How old are you? 70?
      Dale: 64.
      T-Dog: And I'm the one black guy. Realize how precarious that makes my situation?
      Dale: What the hell are you talking about?
      T-Dog: I'm talking about two Good Ol' Boy cowboy sheriffs and a redneck whose brother cut off his own hand because I dropped the key. Who in that scenario you think would be first to get lynched?
    • As of Season 3, however, this trope seems to be in full force along with Token Minority. The first member of Rick's group to die is T-dog, and not long after, Oscar joins the group. The first of the prisoners to die was also Big Tiny, though about half of them were black anyway. A few episodes later Oscar is the only protagonist to die during the attack on Woodbury, and during that same episode, Tyreese is introduced.
    • In Season 4 of "Too Far Gone", the first person to die in the Governor's army during the assault on the prison was a black man.
    • If you take the trope by name in Season 5, Bob Stookey. The character isn't the season's first casualty per se, but the first casualty of the group.
    • Then, in the mid-season premiere, Tyreese is the first character to go, and then Noah dies a few episodes later.
    • Averted during "Thank You", as by the end of the episode, the survivors of Michonne's group are all black, excluding Glenn, who was separated from them and trapped under a dumpster.
    • Averted during Negan's introduction, as he first kills the straight, white Abraham.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Merle has the non-permanent variant to compensate for his missing right hand.
  • Blatant Lies: Discuessed by Daryl and Dale at the end of Season 2. Shane said that Otis died holding the walkers off so he could make it back with the medicine. But Shane came back with both guns... so what exactly was Otis holding the walkers off with?
  • Bloody Horror: The Walking Dead has way too many instances of this to list all at once. But generally the bloody mess is a result of them fighting off Zombies.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • Merle displays this throughout Season 3. He dismisses Michonne's flight into zombie-infested territory with a No One Could Survive That!. Later, he locks Glenn in a room with a Walker and then leaves, despite the room being filled which potential weapons and obstacles, all of which get used in the Walker's defeat. Then, when he and his soldiers recapture Glenn and Maggie following a brief battle, instead of gunning them down where they stand, he prepares to kill them execution-style, giving their friends plenty of time to sneak up and begin lobbing smoke grenades. One possible explanation for these are all indications that he is not evil, like the Governor, and doesn't really want to kill them. His conversation with Michonne before his death, where it's revealed that he knows how many men he has killed and doesn't look proud, seems to support this.
    • Bud, a Savior henchman, orders Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham to submit to them, but spends the vast majority of the encounter hamming it up about how awesome Negan is and how he'll kill them. It's this time-wasting that gives Daryl the opportunity to fight off a Savior appointed to him and blow the others to high hell with an RPG. Even his fellow Saviors think he's way too high on himself for his own good.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The first and last episodes of Season 1 both feature scenes of characters enjoying the now-rare luxury of a hot shower.
    • The "Sophia we're here" graffiti in the Season 2 premiere was featured again in the season finale but is now blurry.
    • Early in Season 2, Andrea is in the woods, trips and has to crawl away from an on-coming walker when Maggie shows up just in time to save her. At the end of the season the same scenario happens, but with Maggie replaced with Michonne.
    • In their first scene together in the Season 3 premiere, Michonne is featured tending to a sick Andrea. In their last scene together during the season finale, Michonne is featured tending a dying Andrea. Also, Andrea is wearing the exact same outfit in their first encounter.
    • Also prominent in Season 3. The first shot of the season is a close-up of a walker's pupil, which then slowly zooms out to reveal its entire face. Likewise, the first shot of the Season 3 finale is a close-up of The Governor's eye, which zooms out to show his face in an identical manner.
    • With The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, in a way. The game shows Merle's first chronological appearance in the canon, where he is drunk and shooting people from a hidden position until Daryl comes and rescues him. The same week the game was released in real life, "This Sorrowful Life" aired, showing Merle's last chronological appearance. Where he is killed while drunk and shooting people from a hidden position until Daryl comes and puts zombie Merle down for good.
    • The group's time in Georgia begins and ends in Atlanta. There's the series' most iconic shot of Rick riding into the city on horseback during a sunny day is referenced in Season 5's "Consumed," which shows Daryl and Carol driving into the far more decayed Atlanta at night. After the initial arc from Season 1, involving Merle, Rick's bag of guns, and the CDC, the group leaves Atlanta behind, and does not return until Season 5 for the Grady Memorial arc. After "Coda," they leave Georgia for good, moving on to Virginia.
    • In the series premiere, Morgan executes a walker and Rick is aghast, because he doesn't understand the situation. In the Season 5 finale, Rick executes a human and Morgan is aghast, because he doesn't understand the situation.
    • "You are not safe". First heard when Rick assures Carl they need to keep their eyes open during the "Fear the Hunters" adaptation, an arc in which Rick became a completely self-confident leader. Flash forward about two seasons, and Rick has let this and several victories over foes go to his head, and he's been completely outmatched and cowed into submission by Negan, who tells him "you are not safe" in the exact same tone and delivery.
    • Glenn's introduction and final appearance both involve a resolution to a major Cliffhanger episode and Rick being surrounded by a large horde while on a vehicle (first tank, then RV).
    • The season 2 episode "Cherokee Rose" had a conversation between Rick and Carl, where the former gave the latter his sheriff hat, as he was a part of the group now. It ends with Carl saying "I love you, dad", with Rick saying that he loves Carl too. Six seasons later in the episode "Honor", Carl gives his hat away to Judith while he is succumbing to a walker bite, and his final conversation with Rick ends with the same lines mentioned above.
  • Boom, Headshot!: With walkers, it's the only way to be sure.
    • This is Axel's fate during The Governor's first assault on the prison in Season 3.
    • The Governor's presumed fate at the end of "Too Far Gone".
    • Lizzie takes out Alisha and another member of the Governor's group this way in "Too Far Gone". She receives one herself, from Carol in "The Grove".
    • How Dawn kills Beth in "Coda", and what Daryl does to Dawn in turn.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Regarding what to do with Randall in late Season 2 and whether or not to execute him. The argument against it, led by Dale, is that its inhumane and on the basis that he might turn on the group if given a chance. The argument for it, led by Shane, is that Randall is too dangerous to let go, as he not only knows where the farm is, but took part in several gang rapes and murders. Furthermore, keeping someone prisoner during the first winter of the apocalypse could strain their resources further, and he may turn on the group if given a chance to join them. Ultimately, while the group sides with Shane's line of thinking, Rick decides against it since their humanity is at stake if they go through with it, and they decide to spare Randall especially after Dale is killed. In latter seasons, as the group adopts Shane's mentality to better effect, they'd clearly never think twice about executing Randall.
    • At the end of Season 3, Carl shoots a Woodbury soldier who was surrendering his weapon to him. Hershel argues that the Woodbury soldier was peacefully surrendering, but to Carl's credit, he ordered the soldier to drop his gun, not hand it over to him, hence why he executed him; furthermore, Carl saw Rick dupe Shane the same way when he killed him to lower his guard. Hershel ultimately does have a point when he says that Carl is becoming far too cold for his own good.
    • After the group escapes from Terminus, Rick orders his group to strike back and pick off the fleeing survivors of the compound. The vast majority of his group disagrees, on the grounds that they just barely got reunited after a harrowing ordeal and just want to get out of there, and that the survivors of Terminus will die anyway. Rick, on the other hand, knows that enemies who aren't dealt with will only continue to harass them and lost his wife and father figure because of his own inability to finish his opponents off. Rick ends up proven right as the Terminus survivors come back to attack them in the next episode.
    • Rick versus the native Alexandrians in Seasons 5 and 6. On Rick's hand, he's correct that the native Alexandrians are extremely sheltered and would not survive were it not for their walls. On the Alexandrians' hand, Rick shows a disturbingly power-hungry side as he plots to take command of the community by force - and when Deanna relents and puts him in charge, he refuses to consider them his own like his Atlanta survivors. It's not until the Battle of Alexandria that Rick realizes the Alexandrians can survive, and the Alexandrians realize Rick is a leader worth fighting behind.
    • Rick and Daryl come into conflict in Season 8 during the Savior War. The plan is to starve out the Saviors into surrendering, or simply pick them off if they still refuse to surrender. Daryl, however, wants to blow the Sanctuary to hell and kill everybody inside. On one hand, both men know what happens when you don't make sure a fight is finished and an enemy is defeated, and Daryl knows that even the best of Rick's plans have gone awry in the past. However, Rick points out that a preemptive scorched earth attack will endanger the workers who are forced to toil for the Savior soldiers, as well as Dr. Harlan Carson, who is needed by the pregnant Maggie. Rick also points out that in Season 7, rogue attempts to attack the Saviors ended in disastrous consequences, and that they must not deviate from the plan. The two men are unable to come to an agreement, and part ways after an argument spills into a fistfight.
  • Bottle Episode: At least one per season from the second season onwards:
    • Season 2 has "18 Miles Out", which features only two locations and a handful of the main cast, and deals with Beth's suicide attempt and Rick and Shane fighting over what to do about Randall.
    • Season 3 has "Clear", which only features Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Morgan and takes place almost entirely at King's County.
    • Season 4 has several episodes that could qualify owing to its different format, but the biggest example is "Still", which concerns Daryl and Beth in their quest for liquor and features no other characters.
    • Season 5 has "Slabtown", which focuses on Beth meeting Noah as the two try to escape from Grady hospital.
    • Season 6 has "The Same Boat", which takes place almost entirely in a Savior safehouse after a small group of them kidnapped Carol and Maggie.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted for the most part over the course of the series but there are a few exceptions:
    • In "Guts", Merle fires a great many more rounds than his rifle could physically hold. However it's not unreasonable to assume Merle reloaded his rifle in between his scenes.
    • Plays a vital, if background, role in "Beside the Dying Fire", when Shane's stealing some of the ammunition for himself in "Judge, Jury and Executioner" leads to Andrea having not nearly enough for herself when she's on her own in the forest trying to evade an entire herd of walkers.
    • Also in "Beside The Dying Fire", Hershel is seen (and heard) unloading many more rounds from his shotgun than is physically possible. The first time he's seen firing into the walkers heading towards the house from the barn, he fires nine shots on-screen, and is heard immediately afterward firing at least six additional shots without pausing to reload as Lori walks out and asks Carol where Carl is. Later on, when the action cuts back to him after most of the cars have left, he fires ten shots in succession as he retreats backwards.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • Randall in "18 Miles Out".
    • Andrea at the end of "Prey".
    • Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob at the Season 5 premiere,"No Sanctuary".
    • Carol and Maggie in "The Same Boat."
    • Glenn and Michonne in "East."
    • Gabriel in "Wrath."
  • Bread and Circuses:
    • In "Say the Word", Merle and Martinez engage in a mock gladiator fight, staged by the Governor for the Woodbury residents. They do so while surrounded by chained walkers.
    • We get to see the other side of this trope with Negan. At one point, purely on a whim, he proclaims that all of the Saviors will get fresh vegetables with their dinner that night, on him.
  • Breakout Character: Several characters have experienced large amounts of popularity and got larger roles in the series thanks to it.
    • Daryl is the poster boy for this show. He started off as an abrasive (but badass) recurring character, but was promoted to the main cast in the second season. He gets an episode totally devoted to showing how badass he was (and also had a very heartwarming scene with Carol showing his Hidden Depths), and by the third season he's become Rick's new right-hand man. By Season 4, he's billed only second to Andrew Lincoln and is the show's deuteragonist. After Rick's departure in Season 9, Daryl takes what basically amounts to the lead role in the show.
    • Beth was also just a minor recurring character, but became a member of the main cast by the fourth season and even got an entire arc devoted to her in Season 5.
    • Her father Hershel also won over a lot of fans thanks to being a badass, and was spared from death several times during the second and third seasons thanks to Wilson's performance also winning over the production crew. When the time came for Hershel's demise in "Too Far Gone", Robert Kirkman profusely apologized, noting how hard it was to realize that Wilson wouldn't be on set anymore.
    • Carol became this in Season 5 after her massive one-woman assault on Terminus and winning her fight with Mary. She's elevated to the level of Daryl in terms of popularity. The Entertainment Weekly cover promoting the sixth season even features Rick, Daryl, and Carol front and center.
    • Rosita was initially just a background character and a Ms. Fanservice. She eventually ascended to become one of the show's main characters, and appears more frequently in Season 7 than even Rick.
    • Aaron was initially a supporting character who got Demoted to Extra in Season 6, but enjoyed a large fanbase thanks to being a kind, badass LGBT character. In Season 7, his role is significantly beefed up, and he becomes one of Rick's most trusted right-hand men.
  • Break the Cutie: A frequent point with Carl, who is 12 but living in the apocalypse; in Season 2, Rick even bluntly tells him there's no more time for kid stuff, and that his parents will inevitably die. Season 3 keeps the hits coming. Not only does his mother die in front of him, but he has to put a bullet in her corpse and then watches his father collapse in distress. In Season 4, he thinks his baby sister is dead, almost has to shoot his father when he thinks he has turned, and is almost raped by a member of Joe's group. And by Season 6, he's lost his right eye. Negan also uses this verbally, first calling him adorable, then later in the same episode telling him "it would be more productive to break you".
    • Rick also counts. Idealistic and clean-cut in the first season, he's hard, bitter, and kind of greasy by the third. He tries to return to a simpler way of life in Season 4, inspired by Hershel, but the season finale shows how it was all in vain.
    • Beth goes through this in Season 2. She's a quiet, sweet girl and falls into a state of utter despair after the massacre of the walkers (including her undead mother) in Hershel's barn. She becomes catatonic for a while, and after coming out of this, voices a desire to kill herself as she now believes continuing living is a pointless exercise that will only end in violent death, sooner rather than later. However, she eventually gets past this, after going through with a suicide attempt and realizing that she wants to live, and is noticeably emotionally stronger as the seasons progress.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Season 3 has Rick sobbing when he discovers Lori died in childbirth, after he spent the entire winter coldly brushing her and her attempts to reconcile after the drama with Shane off.
    • Season 3 also has The Governor. After Michonne breaks into Woodbury, she finds his zombified daughter and kills her, despite him tearfully pleading not to. When he tries to kill her in revenge, he gets stabbed in the eye and is almost killed. Shortly after the fight ends, he crawls over to his daughter's body and begins to sob as he cradles it.
    • Season 4 later takes it one step further with The Governor. After the failed assault on the prison in Season 3, the Big Bad (The Governor) is abandoned by his men. Left behind by others in the following month as he more or less shuts down following the failure, he's eventually taken in by a family that, going by the Darwinist mentality shown in Season 3, would previously have been considered "weak".
    • Gareth is as smug as smug can be, and is eerily nonchalant about his group's violent, rampant cannibalism. Then his compound and family are killed, his dining on Bob's leg is ruined as his group refuses to eat after finding out it's "tainted", and then his ambush of the church completely and utterly fails. And he's butchered the exact way Rick promised to do it, pleading for mercy.
    • Throughout Season 6, Rick has shown to be unnervingly overconfident in his ability to handle the Saviors, thinking that they and Negan are just another Big Bad Wannabe like Gareth or another villain to take down like the Governor. And boy, is he proven wrong in "Last Day on Earth".
    • In Season 9, this appears to happens to, of all people, Negan. For his first couple of appearances in the season, despite being utterly defeated and locked in a jail cell, he still acts like same old Negan, gloating and crowing during his conversations with Rick and Michonne. The first cracks appear with his reaction to the news that Lucille was left on the battlefield after his defeat, which causes him to beat his head bloody on the wall. Then, in "What Comes After", Maggie arrives with the intention of killing him, and he starts trying to goad her into doing so, bringing up Glenn (and pretending to forget his name), and poking barbs at her struggles. Maggie quickly catches on to his Death Seeker mentality, and when she hesitates, the facade absolutely shatters, resulting in Negan sobbing and begging for Maggie to kill him, so that he can be reunited with Lucille (his wife, not the bat). Maggie's refusal to do so seems to leave him even more broken and hollow. The jury's still out on whether this was a genuine breakdown, however, or just a clever ploy on Negan's part to stop Maggie from killing him.
    • Another more extreme example in Season 9 comes with the decapitated heads of several characters upon pikes. Siddiq was already broken due to having witnessed it, Yumiko and Michonne are both in absolute shock and both Carol and Daryl break instantly upon seeing Henry's head (Carol's adopted kid) among the line.
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Clear" for Season 3, which takes a break from all of the Woodbury and prison drama and focuses on Rick, Carl, and Michonne performing a simple supply run.
    • "Still" is by far the quietest episode of Season 4, focusing on character development between Beth and Daryl.
    • "Them" is a solemn, slow episode focusing on the group grieving their recent losses and struggling to go on at their lowest point in the entire show.
    • "Here's Not Here", "Now", and "Always Accountable" are considerably more quiet and low-stakes than the opening three episodes of the season involving a thousands-strong herd of walkers, numerous gory deaths, and the apparent death of Glenn.
    • "The Next World" isn't as quiet as the other previous examples, but it's a Lighter and Softer episode depicting the gang after a Time Skip after the climactic events of "No Way Out", and includes comedy, lighthearted action, and a hot new romance as well.
    • After the sheer, unrelenting horror of "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", the decency, heroism, and sheer calm of everything that takes place in "The Well" provides a reasonable buffer.
  • Brick Joke: In "Clear", the episode starts with them passing up a man with a heavy backpack, waving for them to stop. He shows up again just a few minutes later, just as they are leaving a spot where they got stuck in the mud. At the end of the episode they pass the place again and find a smear of red where the man was presumably eaten by walkers. The car stops, they pick up the backpack, and drive on.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield:
    • In "Home", Carol uses Axel's body this way after he is killed by the Governor; Played Straight as it blocks multiple rounds from an automatic rifle without her being hit. Although they were shot in the head, and may have been wearing a bulletproof vest, since they were in one of the former guards' uniforms, but this still probably wouldn't stop all of them.
    • In "Too Far Gone", Daryl uses a zombie he shot to provide cover from weapons fire from the Governor's forces attacking the prison as he ran from one shielded area to another.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Merle Dixon disappears in "Vatos." He has a cameo as Daryl's hallucination in Season 2, but he doesn't reappear in the flesh until Season 3, where he becomes a main character.
    • The Governor disappears after "Welcome to the Tombs," and David Morrisey's name is removed from the opening credits. After a brief cameo at the end of "Internment," he returns for a major three-episode arc.
    • Rick banishes Carol from the prison in "Indifference." She returns in "Inmates," six episodes later.
    • Beth is kidnapped by the Grady Memorial Hospital group in "Alone." She reappears next season in "Slabtown."
    • Enid leaves Alexandria in "JSS." She comes back a few episodes later in "Heads Up."
    • Dwight first appears in "Always Accountable." His next appearance is seven episodes later in "Twice as Far."
    • Tara goes on a supply run in "Not Tomorrow Yet." She has a brief cameo in Rick's hallucination in "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be," and does not appear until "Swear," 10 episodes after leaving.
    • The most triumphant example is definitely Morales, who leaves for parts unknown in Season 1's "Wildfire" and next appears 95 episodes later in Season 8's "The Damned."
  • Laura disappears in "How It's Gotta Be" and later turns up seven episodes later in "Worth" (having briefly shown up offscreen in the previous episode).
  • Bus Crash:
    • Morgan's son Duane appears in "Days Gone Bye." When Morgan reappears in "Clear," he reveals that Duane died.
    • Sophia goes missing in "What Lies Ahead." Aside from a cameo in a flashback, she doesn't appear again until "Pretty Much Dead Already," where it's revealed that she's been Dead All Along.
    • Shumpert and Martinez abandoned the Governor after "Welcome to the Tombs. While Martinez was lucky enough to reappear in Season 4, Shumpert was not, and is revealed to have been Killed Offscreen.
    • The wife and two children of Morales. They leave with him in Season 1, but they die prior to his reappearance in Season 8.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The show is not kind to anybody, naturally, but even among this cast Bob Stookey stands out. He was the Lone Survivor of two separate groups before he even appeared in the series, which drove him into an alcoholic depression. Shortly into Season 4, his momentary weakness in reaching for a bottle of liquor collapses a shelf on him and costs Zach his life in saving him. Later, he is nearly thrown out of the group for doing it again on a medicine run. After finally finding brief happiness in Season 5 with Sasha, he gets kidnapped by the Terminus survivors, who proceed to keep him alive just so they can gloat about eating his leg. And at the time, he'd been bitten, so knew he was dying anyway.
    • Noah has a hellish tenure on the show. He breaks his legs trying to escape Grady, is indirectly responsible for Beth and Tyreese's deaths, finds out his home was overrun and his family massacred, and just when he finds hope for a footing in Alexandria, is killed in the most horrific fashion.
    • Carl is slowly reaching this status. He was accidentally shot in the chest at the start of Season 2. Four seasons later, he is hit straight in the eye by a stray bullet thanks to Ron Anderson. In Season 7, he comes extremely close to having his left arm chopped off. This is ultimately taken to its shocking conclusion in Season 8, when Carl is bitten by a walker whilst trying to save a stranger. He helps to evacuate and save the Alexandrians from Negan's forces, then kills himself before he turns.
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     Trope C 

  • Call-Back: Each episode on the recap page contains a more comprehensive list of these.
    • In "Guts", Merle asks Rick who he is, he answers "I'm Officer Friendly." In Season 3's "This Sorrowful Life", there is a Played With example of What the Hell, Hero? where Merle questions Rick's willingness to hand Michonne over to The Governor by asking "You're willing to do all that for a shot? You're cold as ice, Officer Friendly."
    • In "Nebraska" and "Judge, Jury, Executioner", Daryl is shown making himself an arrow to replace the shafts he's lost.
    • In "18 Miles Out", Rick hides from a small swarm of walkers by covering himself with a dead walker, similar to how Daryl and T-Dog hid from the large swarm in the Season 2 premiere.
    • In "Better Angels", Andrea and Glenn are attempting to fix the group's RV, and Andrea offers Glenn a screwdriver. The shot lingers on the tool a second before Glenn accepts it. Referencing Andrea's encounter with a walker in "What Lies Ahead" where she kills a walker by stabbing it in the eye with a screwdriver, as well as a reference to the time when Dale taught Glenn how to fix the radiator hose, showing that Glenn learned a thing or two from Dale.
    • In "Home", during an argument Merle has with Daryl, Merle tells him that he nearly killed "the Chinaman". Daryl corrects him on Glenn being Korean, to which Merle replies "Whatever."... just how Daryl called Glenn a "Chinaman" himself in one of the first episodes and replied "Whatever" upon Glenn correcting him.
    • Just before The Governor shoots Merle in "This Sorrowful Life", Merle says, "I ain't begging you!", the same thing he says during his opening speech in "Tell It To The Frogs".
    • When Andrea and Rick first meet in "Guts", she points a gun at him, but he points out that she left the safety on. This is first called back to in "Wildfire" when Rick is warning Andrea that Amy is going to turn and that she should let them dispose of her body and she again points a gun at him, replying "I know how the safety works." That line gets repeated verbatim (but with a very different tone) in "Welcome to the Tombs" when Rick gives Andrea a gun so she can end her own life before she turns.
    • In Season 4, episode 2, Carol (and then Mika) tells Lizzie "look at the flowers" while their dad is dying. This is repeated in "The Grove." (See Wham Shot below).
    • Carol uses Rick and Glenn's Covered in Gunge trick in the second episode to rescue Rick and the others in the Season 5 premiere. In "Start to Finish", the technique is used again on a larger scale, but with far less successful results.
    • In the second half of Season 5, an RV the group is using's battery dies. Glenn knows where an extra is, presumably because of Dale.
    • Just before Glenn sets off with Nicholas in "Thank You" he tells Rick "good luck, dumbass" over the walkie-talkie. He first called Rick a dumbass when they met in "Days Gone Bye."
    • In "Not Tomorrow Yet" Tara tells Father Gabriel that she took part in a similar attack before and didn't like it, referring to the Governor's attack on the prison in "Too Far Gone."
    • In the Season 1 finalé, Jenner lets Rick and his group escape the CDC facility before it explodes. Rick says he's grateful for what Jenner's done; Jenner tells Rick, "The day will come when you won't be." The title of the Season 7 opener? "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be".
    • In the Season 9 premiere, Daryl is smoking a cigarette outside the Sanctuary. When Carol joins him, he passes it to her, and she instantly stubs it out, telling him that "those things will kill you". Carol made her feelings on smoking known back in Season 6's "JSS", berating Shelley for it with the exact same words.
    • In Season 9's "What Comes After", a wounded Rick has hallucinations due to blood loss that are a whole series of these. First, he imagines seeing himself in the hospital whilst in a coma. Later, he imagines having a conversation with Shane; the two are in their police cruiser, talking over burgers and fries, echoing their introduction together from the pilot. The cruiser is also parked in a field, facing the flipped car that contained the criminals the two took on in that episode. During that same conversation, Shane brings up many things Rick has done throughout the series, such as killing Joe, Dan and Gareth. Later, Rick talks to Hershel, and the two are in Hershel's barn, overlooking the Greene farm. The famous shot of Rick riding on horseback into a dead Atlanta is recreated (albeit with the walker herd following Rick), and the equally famous hospital door Rick encounters in the pilot also makes an appearance (although the text is slightly altered, with "Inside" replaced with "Outside", and "Don't" crossed out).
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Maggie chastises her father Hershel for wanting to kick the group off of the farm. Though Hershel insists they move on, not trusting them and fearing a hostile takeover (as well as disapproving of Maggie's relationship with Glenn), Maggie protests that they've proven to be strong, good people who can help them stay safe.
    • Carl gives Rick a rather thorough one in "Welcome to the Tombs". He does so again in "After", but Rick is in a coma and doesn't hear it.
    • A much tamer example happens in Season 7's "Rock in the Road" in a heart-to-heart between Benjamin and his surrogate father King Ezekiel. Though the king is very hesitant about joining Rick's rebellion, Benjamin points out that the Kingdom has the supplies and numbers needed for a victory agains the Saviors - and if somehow Rick is able to free them from the Saviors without the Kingdom, the Kingdom will have done nothing to contribute. Ezekiel sees the wisdom in his words, but refuses to fight until Benjamin is nonchalantly killed by the Saviors.
  • The Cameo:
    • Jon Bernthal as Shane in "Made to Suffer". This is caused by Rick having a hallucination, and imagining that one of the Woodbury attackers is the aforementioned Shane.
    • Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori likewise shows up as a hallucination several times in the third season.
    • The third season features Emma Bell (Amy), Andrew Rothenberg (Jim), and Jeryl Prescott Sales (Jacqui) in voice only roles.
    • Retired football player Hines Ward has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance as a walker in Season 3's "The Suicide King". He's put down by Maggie.
    • The show's head special F/X guru, Greg Nicotero, has made several appearances as a walker.
    • The crew will often put in walkers that are homages to other zombie films. Example: Jack from An American Werewolf in London appears in "After".
    • Lennie James as Morgan shows up at The Stinger of the Season 5 premiere, "No Sanctuary", as well as the mid-season finale "Coda".
    • Several deceased characters, namely Lizzie, Mika, Beth, Bob, The Governor, and Martin, appear in hallucinations to the dying Tyreese.
    • The now-deceased Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) makes several appearances through flashbacks in the Season 7 finale to the dying Sasha.
    • In the Season 9 episode "What Comes After", a seriously-wounded Rick hallucinates conversations with Shane, Hershel and Sasha when he keeps passing out from blood loss.
  • Camera Abuse: Blood and/or brains are often splattered onto the camera, usually resulting from a gunshot, blunt object, or axe to the head.
  • Cannibal Larder: As Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob escape being butchered in Terminus (amidst an increasingly unsubtle string of hints that the people of Terminus were cannibals), they pass through a room with several bloody human torsos hanging from hooks.
  • Canon Foreigner: Quite a few — Merle, Daryl, the Morales family, Jacqui, Jenner, the Vatos...
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Shane. Every time he tries to kill Rick, something gets in the way. First time it was his conscience, second time it was a horde of walkers. And the third time Rick just goes ahead and stabs him in the stomach.
  • Car Cushion: Several walkers fall from an overpass onto a van that had just fallen off said overpass. The accompanying Talking Dead episode referred to the first one, in its "In Memoriam" section, as "wait for it walker", as there was several seconds delay between the van's landing and that of the walker.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: In his first appearance in "Walk With Me", Merle reintroduces himself to Andrea and Michonne as a walker comes up behind him, then casually turns around and stabs it in the head with his bayonet before asking Andrea for a hug.
  • The Cavalry:
    • When Andrea is ambushed by a walker in the forest, Maggie suddenly comes riding in on a horse and armed with a bat.
    • Happens multiple times in "Beside The Dying Fire". Andrea arrives to rescue Carol, Rick shows up at the last second to save Hershel from a walker bearing down on him when he paused to reload, and Andrea is saved by Michonne after she runs out of ammo and gets pinned to the ground by a walker.
    • During season 6 finale Carol and Morgan are saved by two cavalrymen from the Kingdom.
    • During season 7 finale the Kingdom and the Hilltop Colony come to help Alexandria in the stand-off with Saviors. Kingdom party includes a couple of horseriders.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • In "Better Angels," Rick mentions Senoia, Georgia, the city that stands in for Woodbury and Alexandria.
    • In Season 4, Beth sings a song written and sang by her actress in Real Life.
    • Tara mentions Band of Brothers in one episode, a show which features Abraham's actor Michael Cudlitz.
  • Central Theme: The development of Rick Grimes is the show's main focus since he's the main protagonist.
    • Finding government aid and sanctuary in Season 1, before the end of the season reveals that there truly is no infrastructure left to help the survivors.
    • Rick being forced to make hard decisions in Season 2, despite a group that constantly questions him and a best friend who begins trying to usurp him.
    • Rick's narrowly averted journey to becoming a Villain Protagonist in Season 3.
    • Rick being forced to find a balance between his brutality and humanity in Season 4.
    • Rick is Out of Focus for the first half of Season 5, but the overarching theme of Seasons 5-6 is the group's relationship with each other, particularly after the Darkest Hour of mid-Season 5 and the "No Way Out" arc of Season 6. When Rick returns to focus, the new theme is Rick questioning if there really is hope for the future.
    • A very poignant lesson learned by the group is that you need to make sure that an enemy is defeated, otherwise, they will come back and haunt you with likely disastrous results. Rick learns this the hard way when Andrew, a survivor he thought he chased into a hungry pack of walkers, returns to the prison with a vengeance and helps lead to the death of his wife.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • In "Home", it is revealed that Merle and Daryl initially joined the Atlanta survivors with the intention of robbing them.
    • In "Crossed", Rosita implies that Abraham became attracted to her when they met in Dallas because she was an Action Girl, making him an Amazon Chaser. In "Not Tomorrow Yet", Abe bitterly admits that he only got together with her because he felt like she was the "last woman on Earth", as he leaves her to start chasing after Sasha.
    • In "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life", we learn that hours before the Season 6 finale began, Sasha had a dream that her new boyfriend Abraham had died. As we saw earlier in the season, this nightmare ultimately foresaw Abraham's dead literally hours later. This makes Sasha's horrified reaction to Negan picking Abraham to die all the more heartbreaking, as she begged him to sit out the mission for his own safety.
  • Character Development: A major point in the show is showing how normal people are twisted by their experience, breaking or strengthening. One reviewer summed up the changes with: "if Shane was the example of how the zombie apocalypse can change a man for the worse, Daryl has become an example of how it can also change a man for the better."
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: Only four characters from the first season are still alive by Season 9, with everyone else either confirmed dead or unknown. Characters both major and less prominent die each season. Heck, fans breath a sigh of relief when an episode ends without someone you like dying.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. Jenner says a French research facility was the last still operational when he lost contact, working to find a cure until the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Often literally:
    • The grenade Rick picks up in the first season episode "Guts" gets used in "TS-19" to blast open an escape route.
    • In "Guts", distant thunder can be heard sporadically right from the first scene. This foreshadows the rain shower that washes away the zombie organ sludge from Rick and Glenn's clothes, thus compromising their camouflage.
    • Rick's sheriff uniform, which he consistently wears rather than more practical or comfortable gear, ultimately defuses the situation with the Vatos when one of the elderly they're protecting recognizes him as a police officer and asks for his help.
    • The damaged radiator hose on Dale's RV is mentioned several times in passing throughout the first season, and conks out once in "Wildfire" and again in the second season opener "What Lies Ahead".
    • Another was loaded and set on the mantelpiece when Dr. Jenner whispered in Rick's ear. This was eventually revealed in "Beside The Dying Fire", where Rick reveals what Jenner had told him — Everyone is infected, and unless they die by headshot, they will return as walkers. Which explains why Rick shot Tony in the head at the end of "Nebraska" after killing him.
    • In "18 Miles Out". After explicitly noting that the Mert county deputies were infected without bites, we see others become zombies that we know died without being bitten. This is later explained in "Beside The Dying Fire".
    • Daryl's gun, which Carl steals from his bike in "Judge, Jury, Executioner", which Carl later uses to put a bullet in the zombified Shane's head.
    • Carol pulls Glenn aside while Lori and Beth look after Hershel because she needs some help getting a walker so she can practice a C-section, because she knows Lori's had trouble in the past. Sure enough, Lori does have trouble.
    • After they invade the prison, Rick's group finds flash bangs and tear gas in the armory. They mention not knowing how useful they'd be against walkers, but they'll take them, just in case.
    • The prison alarm strategy used in "Killer Within" becomes important in the season finale.
    • The bottle of liquor that Bob Stookey stole in "Indifference" came in handy in "Inmates" for Glenn when he uses the liquor to make a Molotov cocktail bomb.
    • The knife Lizzie takes from Carol in "Infected" is the same knife Lizzie used to stab Mika in "The Grove".
    • The RPG launchers that Abraham finds in "Always Accountable" come in handy twice during "No Way Out."
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The walker Carl inadvertently frees from being stuck in the mud at the riverbank in "Judge, Jury, Executioner" shows up at the end of the episode and kills Dale.
    • In "Sick", Andrew flees when Rick kills Tomas, and Rick locks him outside with walkers as he attempted to attack him. During "Killer Within", it's revealed he turned on the alarms to attract the walkers as revenge.
    • In the first episode, Morgan is unable to kill his reanimated wife. In "Clear", Morgan reveals that she ultimately killed Duane when Duane couldn't shoot her, either.
    • Karen in Season 3.
    • Like her comic counterpart, Lilly is the one to kill The Governor.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Subverted in the third season. In "Sick", Carol uses a female corpse to teach herself how to perform a emergency C-section, in the event that Lori goes into labor and Hershel isn't around to help. Two episodes later, in "Killer Within", this is flipped on its head when Maggie (not Carol) is forced to perform a C-section on Lori to remove her unborn child just before she dies. Maggie even lampshades that Carol should be doing the operation, not her.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: In the second season premiere, the gang stumble across a small country church, which is explicitly identified as being "Baptist" on its signage. Inside on the altar is a very large crucifix. Baptists are one of the least likely Protestant denominations to have something so "Roman" in their church.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • Glenn and Rick. Shane even calls them out on it.
    • Daryl slowly develops this, too.
  • Clean Cut: Most sharp blades, since the walkers are Made of Plasticine. Michonne's katana is particularly notable, even pulling off a classic Diagonal Cut at one point.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • On a smaller note, "Bloodletting" ends with Shane and Otis trapped in a high school overrun by walkers.
    • The group and audience is left to ponder the ramifications of Rick's "this is not a democracy anymore" speech at the end of Season 2.
    • The end of Season 4, which ends with most of the protagonists being captured by the Terminus residents.
    • Carol is suddenly shown as a new captive of Grady at the end of "Slabtown."
    • Season 6 ends with Negan picking a member of Rick's group to kill as punishment for killing several of Negan's men. The murder is shown from the point of view of the victim, whose identity won't be revealed until season 7.
      • The session premiere reveals that Negan picked not one but two victims. The inital one the cliffhanger left on was Abraham. After Daryl lashes out in a fit of rage, Negan responds by beating Glenn to death.
    • The season 8 midseason ends with Carl mortally wounded after being bitten by walkers. Scott Gimple confirmed on the Talking Dead that it will play out exactly like any other walker bite, possibly to scuttle any rumors of a repeat of the infamous Glenn under a dumpster fake death scenario.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Andrea mistakes Daryl for a walker and shoots him. Fortunately, she only wings him.
  • Closest Thing We Got
    Lori: You're a doctor, right?
    Hershel: Yes, ma'am. Of course. A vet.
    Lori: A veteran? A combat medic.
    Hershel: A veterinarian.
    • In Season 6 after the death of Pete Anderson, Denise Cloyd becomes the new chief medical officer of Alexandria, but she has a lot of trouble at first since she's a psychiatrist, not a surgeon. She eventually comes to be as fine a medic as any after a crash course over the course of a few days.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Hershel certainly qualifies, being both a doctor and helping clear out the undead whenever necessary.
    • Carol is working on becoming this, getting directly involved in killing walkers and learning first aid from Hershel to make herself more useful to the group.
    • Bob is, literally, this, his former occupation before the apocalypse being as a medic in the US Army.
    • Denise tries to be this, but she's not an adept fighter and it's not advisable for her to leave Alexandria since she's their medic. It doesn't stop her from trying her hand at a supply run, and she's killed right after gaining some new confidence.
    • In Season 8, Carl saves a man named Siddiq, who later reveals that he was a medical resident. From Season 9 onwards, he becomes Alexandria's chief doctor. He's also got a hell of a walker kill record behind him.
  • Comforting the Widow:
    • In the time Rick was in the hospital, Shane and Lori were beginning to form this kind of relationship.
    • And again with Daryl and Carol.
  • Commuting on a Bus:
    • Morgan first appears in "Days Gone Bye." He doesn't show up again until "Clear" in Season 3. After that, he makes cameos in Season 5's "No Sanctuary" and "Coda" before finally joining Rick's group in "Conquer" and becoming a main character in Season 6. He stays until the end of Season 8, when he leaves the group and travels to Texas.
    • Heath goes on a supply run in "Not Tomorrow Yet" and does not appear until 10 episodes later in "Swear." During the events of this episode, he goes missing again and has not been seen again.
    • Sherry makes her debut in "Always Accountable," and then reappears 13 episodes later in "The Cell." Later in the season, she leaves the Sanctuary and has not been seen since.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
    • Andrea, to Dale. Justified, in that Andrea only left the CDC because Dale refused to leave without her.
    • Michonne does this in "Walk with Me" after she and Andrea are rescued by the Governor's men. In the few times she directly talks to the Governor or Andrea, she continually asks about getting their confiscated weapons back, and says that she doesn't trust anyone. She also refuses to thank the Governor, and eyes all of his guards and the townspeople suspiciously. She treats Rick and the group similarly when they rescue her outside the prison walls, but she does thank Hershel for sewing up her gunshot wound.
  • Composite Character: Practically, if a character suffers from Death by Adaptation, his or her characterization(s) will often be absorbed or distributed to surviving characters and fuse it with their own.
    • Because of the Dale's early death, his characterization starting the prison arc was fused with the Hershel. After Hershel dies in Season 4, Bob picks up the remaining remaining slack.
    • In Season 3, Andrea's story arc is more closely tied with Alice from the comics.
    • The Governor seems to be a combination of Philip and Brian Blake as he is both the Governor and the real father of Penny.
    • Tomas is basically a Race Lifted Thomas Richards with Dexter's role as the most antagonistic prisoner, while at the same time donning The Governor's comicbook appearance.
    • Lilly Chambler in Season 4 is a combination of Lilly Caul and April Chalmers from the comic/novel.
    • Meghan Chambler is actually a combination of two important people in Lily Caul's life; her main counterpart is the latter's stillborn child, but her given name was taken from the latter's best friend, Megan Lafferty.
    • Due to dying way too early, Andrea's characterizations from the comics were distributed; her supposed role as the group's resident Lady of War was given to Carol, while her and Dale's roles up until the Fear the Hunters arc were respectively given to Sasha and Bob.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Often averted due to a huge budget and a skilled (not to mention disturbingly enthusiastic) traditional special effects crew making an art form of creating things like realistic edible entrails. Word of God says that whenever possible, what you see is what you get, but there are still occasional slips and scenes that couldn't be done otherwise.
    • The wrench that Shane hurled at Rick in "18 Miles Out".
    • The CGI (and jawless, and armless) walkers that Michonne/the "hooded figure" appears with in "Beside The Dying Fire". The scene looks almost surrealistic compared to the rest of the episode.
    • The zombie that Glenn nearly decapitates in the pharmacy.
    • The flames when the walkers in the barn are set on fire by Carl and Rick.
    • The walker whose head is split in two in the first few minutes of Episode 5 from Season 3.
    • The detonation of a propane tank at Terminus in "No Sanctuary".
    • Shiva, Ezekiel's pet tiger, is a mix of animatronics and CGI.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The "fish fry attack" from the first season episode "Vatos" continues to be a sticking point between Shane and Rick (with both of them arguing over whether or not Rick was justified leading a mission to rescue Merle and retrieve the guns) long into the second season. "Pretty Much Dead Already" namechecks the event again, with Shane specifically mentioning two of the casualties of the attack, Amy and Jim.
    • Shane's pre-apocalypse flashback in the first season episode "TS-19" gets referenced again when he tries to make amends with Rick in "18 Miles Out".
    • The silencer on Carl's gun in Season 3 is made from an aluminum baseball bat. It's actually the same bat the group has had since the start of the series, most visible when Rick first meets the Atlanta survivors in "Guts" and carried by T-Dog at the end of "Chupacabra".
    • During Merle's first conversation with Andrea and Michonne in the Woodbury infirmary in "Walk with Me", he asks for a show of hands from the group, much like his initial appearance in "Guts". The same scene also has Andrea list off all the main and supporting characters in Rick's group (sans Shane) who died in the series to date.
    • The posthumous reveal in "Say the Word" that T-Dog drove a church van around picking up the elderly during the initial stages of the outbreak seems to come out of left field, yet it is a nod to the beige van he drove in "Wildfire" and "TS-19", and later siphoned the gas out of to put into the RV in "What Lies Ahead".
    • When Daryl asks Carl about names for the baby in "Say the Word", Carl mentions all of the dead female character's names as possible choices.
    • When Glenn escapes from the walker-overrun ruins of the prison in "Inmates", he's wearing an orange backpack that looks suspiciously like the one Rick, Michonne, and Carl scooped off the road near Backpack Guy's remains in "Clear".
    • In "A", Rick realizes something is off with Terminus when he spots residents there wearing the riot gear from the prison, Daryl's poncho, Hershel's watch, and the aforementioned orange backpack. These items were all grabbed by Glenn in "Inmates", and seen or mentioned both in earlier episodes, and flashbacks in the same episode.
    • The napalming of Atlanta was briefly shown in a flashback early into Season 2. We're shown the aftermath during the Rescue Arc in Season 5.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Cold Storage webisodes. Rick's hometown is retconned as Cynthiana, Kentucky, (as it is in the books), when it was King's County, Georgia, in the pilot. It's then discovered that Rick had a storage locker in Atlanta.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The times when it's been shown to rain on the show are very rare, yet it just happens to rain just long enough to wash the walker's scent off of Rick and Glenn in "Guts."
    • Rick's group arrives at the CDC in "Wildfire" very shortly before its self-destruction. Had they showed up a few days later, they would have found nothing but its charred remains.
    • In "Beside The Dying Fire". A group of walkers, attracted by the same helicopter that Rick saw in Atlanta in "Days Gone Bye" (and apparently happening at the same time, no less) makes its way towards the direction of the helicopter, and eventually masses more and more walkers who fall in step with the original group. The horde of walkers eventually smashes through a strong wooden fence and onto the Greene farm.
    • In "No Sanctuary", Carol arrives at Terminus independently of Rick's group just in time to rescue them when they are seconds away from being executed.
    • Several times during "Them", when the group has been without water and food for more than an entire day. Just as Eugene bemoans that things couldn't get worse, they are attacked by a pack of wild dogs that they kill and eat. Later, the group is spooked when they find a bunch of water bottles and gallons in the road with a note signed "From a friend". The group believes it to be a trap, and just then, it begins to rain note , quenching the group's thirst. Later on, a tornado manages to wipe out a herd of walkers besieging the group at a barn they take shelter in (a tornado dancing around a precious place is not unheard of in real life, to be fair). Finally, Daryl says he's fixed Maggie's music box, and later when she tries to play it for Sasha, it still doesn't play. Aaron arrives and promises he has good news... and the music box begins playing.
    • In "Conquer," Morgan gets lost and just happens to find his way to the cannery where Daryl and Aaron are trapped. Had he missed them, it is likely that they would have died and he would never have come to Alexandria. The idea that he would have found clues to track Rick's group is already very implausible. Georgia is a big state.
    • Alexandria has apparently been living in blissful peace for the past two years, naïve to the dangers of the outside world. However, within weeks of Rick's group showing up:
      • The mayor's son dies on a supply run
      • A gang of bandits attack the community
      • A zombie herd that has been trapped in a quarrel for the past two years gets out and decimates the town
      • They have their first run in with the Saviours.
    • In "Knots Untie," Rick's group happens to arrive in the Hilltop just a few minutes before the Saviors' assassination attempt on Gregory, which would have undoubtedly plunged the colony into chaos and prevented them from being an ally in the events to come. Had Ethan arrived a few hours earlier or later, things would have turned out very differently.
  • Conveniently-Placed Sharp Thing: Invoked when Milton drops a tray of scary-looking sharp things the Governor happened to have laid out in the holding cell, and deliberately leaves a pair of pliers lying out of sight when he clears up the others.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: In the Season 5 premiere, "No Sanctuary", when Rick's group gets captured by the residents of Terminus and are brought into slaughterhouse to be killed, just before the butchers could kill Glenn, they stop when they hear gunshots from outside, followed by a massive explosion that knocks everyone down, courtesy of Carol. Rick uses this moment to cut the rope around his hands to free himself and the others to fight back.
  • Cool Car: The car that Rick and Glenn use to draw the walkers away with the car alarm is a brand new Dodge Challenger. Glenn is understandably happy over being able to drive out of Atlanta with nothing but open road in front of him and no police to pull him over.
  • Cool Hat:
    • Rick's police hat. Glenn even jokes that Rick risked going back into Atlanta not to recover his lost guns but the hat instead. Later he gives it to Carl, who passes it on to Judith just before he dies.
    • Dale's hat is either thought of as this or thought to look goofy by the characters themselves.
  • Cool Old Guy: Dale, Hershel (after "Triggerfinger"), and Reg.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The farmer and his wife's suicide note, in the series premiere, is written on the wall in blood.
    • In "Alone", Maggie uses walker blood to leave messages for Glenn.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable:
    • Resorted to in the "Torn Apart" webseries. There's no reason the person should be attempting this, and it doesn't end well.
    • Used by Lori when Hershel stopped breathing, with a Jump Scare.
  • Crapsack World: Par the course for any Zombie Apocalypse tale.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Morgan's house in Season 3. He even has a knife duct taped to the bed, just in case. Hershel gets in on the act, too, strapping a gun to his stump. Would you frisk a one legged man? Would you feel up his stump?
  • Create Your Own Villain:
    • Rick handcuffs Merle on a roof and leaves him there alone, unwittingly forcing him to cut his own hand off to escape from walkers. He returns much later, with a Blade Below the Shoulder and a serious grudge.
    • Happens to The Governor when Michonne kills his zombie daughter and stabs him in the eye with a piece of glass. Granted he was a ruthless, murderous autocrat even before then, but the resulting combination of The Gloves Come Off and It's Personal turns him into a dangerous enemy bent on killing Michonne and subjugating anyone who tries to harbour her.
    • Joe and his group were ruthless before encountering our protagonists, but Rick killing a member of their group in "Claimed" out of self-defense didn't help matters, and leads to a brutal confrontation in "A".
    • After the destruction of Terminus, Rick is fully aware of this trope and prepares his team to go back and wipe out the survivors, knowing they might follow them in retaliation. However the group, weary from their ordeal, votes to move on, and Rick allows it when they reunite with Carol, Tyreese, and Judith. He's still wary of survivors from Terminus, and sure enough, after a few days, Daryl reports they were being watched, and that night the Hunters strike intent on eating them.
    • Through no fault of his own, Aaron accidentally leaves his bag full of supplies in a trap set by the Wolves, and one of them finds it, alerting them to the existence of Alexandria, if they didn't know already.
    • Daryl rescues Dwight and his companions in "Always Accountable" even after Dwight took Daryl hostage and threatened to kill him. Daryl gets his bike and crossbow stolen for his troubles, and Dwight ends up returning with a group of Saviors to murder Denise. It's unclear why Dwight joined the Saviors, but Daryl blames himself for Denise's death considering he had ample opportunity to kill Dwight earlier.
  • Creator Cameo: Scott Gimple, executive producer of the show starting from Season 4 onward, has appeared in the show five times as a zombie, as of the beginning of the sixth season.
  • Creepy Child:
    • The zombified little girl that Rick shoots in the pilot. And he does the same to Sophia in the second season.
    • And in Season 3, there's Penny, the Governor's daughter.
    • Lizzie. Dear lord, Lizzie.
  • Critical Staffing Shortage:
    • Dr. Jenner is the only one left of the hundreds of doctors that once staffed the CDC.
    • Later on the cast settles for a time in a prison that probably had a couple hundred inmates and guards. At their peak of Red Shirts there are maybe three dozen. This is a real problem in the fourth season when there just aren't enough able-bodied people around to do everything.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Where do we start?
    • The "bicycle walker" had so much of her eaten that there's barely half of her torso left.
    • Dale is unable to wrestle a walker off of him, and it rips open his stomach and guts. He's left writhing until someone can bring themselves to put him out of his misery.
    • T-Dog is bitten on the neck when the prison is invaded by walkers, and later sacrifices himself to save Carol by allowing himself to be horribly torn apart and eaten by walkers. When Rick finds his corpse, there's so little left of him that the only way he was recognized was by his tattered clothes. In the same episode, Lori orders Maggie to give her a C-section without anesthetic, and once Judith is born, Carl puts her down. Post-mortem, her body is completely eaten by a walker, who Rick finds bloated and dazed.
    • Milton gets tortured by the Governor for an unknown amount of time, and when he tries to fight back, he's gutted and left to bleed out and turn.
    • Zach saves Bob from being eaten... only to be bitten on the leg and get eaten himself from the leg-up. A fallen helicopter on the roof breaks through and crushes him for good measure.
    • Anyone who is captured by Terminus is gassed, bent over a pig trough, has their head beat in with an aluminum bat, and then gets their throats slit so they can bleed out. And then they're carved up to be eaten.
    • The Hunters are bloodily hacked to pieces by Rick's group in retaliation for previously capturing them and eating Bob's leg, but they're definitely Asshole Victim's.
    • Averted with Bob. He's bitten on a run, and while he does endure the trauma of watching the Hunters slurp down his leg, he dies one of the most peaceful deaths on the show. After the Hunters are killed, he says goodbye to his surrogate family, and dies smiling since the last thing he sees is Sasha smiling at him. And he gets one hell of a "Fuck You!" at the Hunters by informing them they've eaten "TAINTED MEAT!"
    • Aiden is impaled in several chunks of metal after accidentally setting off a grenade. He orders the others to leave him, and he dies a slow, horrible death when the walkers eat him, and he gets to watch them rip out and eat his innards. Later in the same episode, Noah is pinned against the glass of a revolving door, and gets torn apart in front of Glenn from behind. We get to see the walkers ripping his face to shreds and eating through his shoulders.
    • Glenn. Negan really draws out his beating with Lucille, giving us a good look at Glenn's bloody face and his eye popping out, mimicking an infamous panel from the comics. Negan then keeps beating his head to a bloody pulp long after he is clearly dead.
    • In "Honor", an unarmed Morgan is being beaten down by a Savior who had just been shot in the gut. Out of options, Morgan shoves his hand inside the bullet wound and rips out the Savior's intestines, killing him instantly. Everyone else's Oh, Crap! expressions say it all.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Accidentally revealed if you're paying attention to teeth in "Vatos" while Amy is in the boat.
  • Cute Monster Girl:
    • Sophia.
    • Morgan's zombified wife, who looks fairly normal except for rings around her eyes and the expression on her face. She is one of the more recent victims, and hasn't decayed as much as the others.
    • In the Torn Apart webseries, the female walker who Judy mistook for unconscious or in distress. Judy gets part of her face ripped off for her troubles.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Few can go up against baby Judith without fawning over her, but considering the circumstances, can you blame them? Even Negan isn't immune, but that just makes him creepier.


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