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Video Game / The Walking Dead: Season One

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"I'll protect her no matter what."
Lee: Hey, you're strong, Clem. You... you can do anything.
Clementine: But... I'm little.
Lee: Doesn't mean nothing. You're gonna see bad stuff. But it's okay.
— (No Time Left)

Season One follows Lee Everett, a former history professor turned convicted criminal, who is given a second chance at life after he escapes transport to prison during the outset of the Zombie Apocalypse. Taking a little girl named Clementine under his wing, the two set out to find safety in the new, more dangerous world.

Be warned: with all episodes of Season One now released, this article will have spoilers, and some may be unmarked. Proceed at your own discretion.


This video game contains the following tropes:

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     A to H 
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Despite being released in 2012, the game shares the same universe as the comic book, which makes A New Day set around the summer of 2003.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewer you see in Around Every Corner. It leads to a hospital morgue housing a group of cancer survivors who are important characters in the episode.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The chat with the man who kidnapped Clementine in Episode 5 happens right after you fight your way through a horde of Walkers armed with a shard of glass and a meat cleaver (or just the meat cleaver, if you took off Lee's arm).
  • Action Girl: This seems to be a prerequisite for survival in the zombie apocalypse for most of the female characters in this game:
    • Carley, who manages to be the second most badass survivor in the group next to the playable character, thanks to her crack shooting skills. She's also the most likely and consistent candidate to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment and save Lee whenever he's in trouble.
    • Lilly, who routinely fought for the leadership role of the group with Kenny, who was explicitly stated to have served in the Air Force before things went to hell. She can potentially save Lee a good couple of times depending on your choices.
    • Molly seems like she'd be more at home in some zombie spin off of Uncharted or Assassin's Creed rather than a point and click, the way she traverses the city by roof top and elegantly dances around the Walkers to bury her ice-climbing axe in their craniums.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The game touches upon almost every major core theme of the comic, such as teamwork, distrust, and the difficult choices that come with the disaster, in the span of five (six, if you count 400 Days) episodes.
  • Adult Fear:
    • In Episode 3, when Duck is bitten, Kenny refuses to believe his son will die, Katjaa realizes that her medical knowledge cannot save their son and Lee has a nightmare about the same thing happening to Clementine.
    • When surveying the mansion in Savannah, Lee and Kenny find a reanimated little boy in the attic, apparently having been left behind to starve/dehydrate. Lee is very shaken to find him, and wonders if the same thing may have happened to Clem if he hadn't found her.
    • Episode 4 ends with Clementine kidnapped and Lee bitten (which can be considered a terminal disease).
    • It's quickly apparent in No Time Left that losing his wife and children has driven the Stranger mad.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: A lot of players don't believe that the ceramic found inside a spark plug can easily break car windows. This can be done in Real Life.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Hollywood Nerd Doug with the severely handicapped social skills and the savant-like working knowledge of electronics.
    Doug: Man, I miss my robots.
    Lee: You're a strange guy, Doug.
    Doug: I know.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Whether or not resuscitating Larry would have been successful in Starved For Help, with multiple factors indicating it could have gone either way if you try to save him (such as whether or not he's actually breathing, or if he's already becoming a Walker).
    • In No Time Left, the player is given the option to cut off Lee's arm to stop, if not slow down, the infection from a Walker bite. Whether or not it worked is hard to tell, as either Lee is still dying from the infection, or the blood loss from his arm is too severe to recover from. Making things murkier is that other Walking Dead works show that amputating bitten limbs can stop the infection, but it must be done immediately after the bite—Lee only gets his arm amputated what seems to be hours after.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The only way to free David from the bear trap is cut off his leg. Can also happen to Lee, with his bitten arm, in Episode 5 depending on your choices. The depressing thing is that this does absolutely nothing to halt the inevitable in either case.
  • Anyone Can Die: It wouldn't be The Walking Dead otherwise. It's guaranteed that you won't get through an episode without at least a couple of the main characters kicking the bucket:
    • Episode 1: Shawn is killed when Duck accidentally rolls the tractor onto him, pinning him down before he can escape from incoming walkers. Later the player must choose between saving Doug or Carley from walkers in the pharmacy.
    • Episode 2: Mark has his legs cut off and eaten by the cannibal St. John family, and dies off-screen from the blood loss. Larry is killed by Kenny in the freezer when he has a heart attack, making Kenny fearful that he will reanimate as a walker. The whole St. John family will be killed, either by Lee or the walkers that storm the dairy.
    • Episode 3: Doug/Carley is killed by Lilly during the group's argument on the side of the road—Carley will be shot after she talks back to Lilly, but Doug will be killed by accident when he tries to protect Ben. Duck is bitten by a walker during the bandit shootout, and will either be shot to spare him reanimation, or left behind—this being too much for his mother, Katjaa, to take, leading to her taking her own life.
    • Episode 4: Chuck is killed off-screen by walkers in the sewer, as well as possibly Mollynote  Ben may also die if you choose to drop him in the tower.
    • Episode 5: If Ben was spared in the previous episode, he'll be killed when he gets impaled on rebar. The confrontation with the Stranger will end with him being killed by either Lee or Clem. Finally, Lee himself meets his end, either by succumbing to his walker bite (and/or the blood loss from his missing arm) or having Clem shoot him so he doesn't turn.
  • Arc Villain:
    • The St. Johns for Episode 2. A seemingly friendly family who takes the group in, they reveal themselves to be cannibals, and upon discovery set to kill and/or eat the group. They are all presumed to die by the episode's end.
    • The Save-Lot Bandits and Lilly in Episode 3. While they made their presence known before, the bandits turn their sights on the group when they don't get their supplies fed to them by an unknown mole (later revealed to be Ben.) They raid the motel, necessitating the group to flee. Even then, the group still has to deal with Lilly, who has begun to crack under the stress of her father's death and being the leader. Discovering that someone is feeding the bandits supplies tips her over the edge, leading her to kill either Carley or Doug in a paranoid panic. She'll either be left behind by the gruop, or she'll steal the RV.
    • The Stranger for Episodes 4 and 5. He doesn't appear beforehand, but unbeknownst to the player, the car the group (and Lee, possibly) steals from at the end of Episode 2 belonged to the Stranger. Having their supplies stolen due to his negligence led to the Stranger's wife and child leaving him, and thus being killed by walkers. He then set his sights on Clementine as a Replacement Goldfish, luring her and the group to Savannah and finally kidnapping her.
  • Arc Words: "In the end, family's all that matters."
  • Art Evolution: Comparing the animation of Episode 1 to Episode 5, the characters move much more vividly, and the animations themselves aren't repeated nearly as much.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The group needs to find a car battery for their boat, which is all well and good. But even small car batteries weigh nearly forty pounds, which makes Molly putting it in her backpack and doing parkour just a little too hard to believe.
  • Asshole Victim:
  • Bait-and-Switch: Episode 2 is initially set up to make the player believe the bandits are going to be the villains of Episode 2. They even get featured as prominent villains in the episode preview you get upon completing Episode 1, with the St. John family featured in the trailer as yet another batch of heroic bystanders like the Greenes were. As it turns out, while the bandits are assholes, the real villains of Episode 2 are the St. John brothers and mother themselves.
  • Battle in the Rain: Lee Everett vs. Andrew St. John near the end of Episode 2. Lee will beat him to a bloody pulp, but ultimately leave him for the walkers, all while a storm rains down on them.
  • Bear Trap: In Episode 2, Lee comes upon Ben and Travis trying to free their teacher Mr. Parker from one that's been modified to trap humans, and later in the episode Lee and Kenny find another one in the St. John family's abattoir.
  • Behind the Black:
    • Not as obvious as most examples of this trope, but one of the Bandits in Episode 3 gets attacked by a zombie that follows him through the entrance he made to the Motor Inn. Given that only a few seconds pass between him entering, and the fact that he'd have to cross the street to get there, it's odd that he wouldn't have noticed the zombie on the way in, never mind take the time to kill it (or his fellow Bandits to pick it off beforehand).
    • Also in Episode 3, three zombies in the abandoned railway station appear from seemingly nowhere. Given the size of the room, it seems strange that none of them were visible from the door. Said railway station was covered in Hollywood Darkness but the point still stands.
    • Especially bad in the sewer level during Episode 4, where Lee can walk straight into Walkers the player doesn't see because of the camera angle. The worst is when the camera angle hides that there is one holding on to his foot, instead looking like it's just stuck in a grate.
    • Also in Episode 4, there is a hidden boat in the unlocked shed behind the house the team uses for shelter in Savannah, and no one seems to think to look inside when they first arrive for no other reason than the door is facing away from the camera. The Doylist reason for this is obvious—the contents of the shed is useless at this point but an important reveal later—but it is rather odd that no one considers checking it, considering Lee eventually has to dig up a rotting dog carcass to get inside the house. They need tools to get through the door, right? What sort of things do you keep in a shed? Obviously, only a boat, never tools.
    • There's a Jump Scare near the end of Episode 4 when Lee is revisiting the shack in Crawford he used to get over to the garage. A zombie hidden from the player's eyes randomly attacks Lee out of nowhere despite the fact that he probably could've smelled it the second he walked inside.
  • Being Good Sucks:
    • Used during Episode 2. If you kill the Big Bad(s) Clementine will be scared of you, and if you try to save Larry, your former best friend (assuming certain choices) will throw a hissy fit and hate you. And if you want to please Clementine, you better not take that delicious food in that car.
    • Putting certain people out of their misery can result in Lee getting scolded for it or, in the case of Episode 3, alerting the Walkers and resulting in them having less time to get supplies.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: It's The Walking Dead. Plenty of examples found in the game, including a zombie infectee, one of the older survivors, an unnamed couple found dead in bed, etc. Justified, however, because if someone chooses to die, they can at least blow their brains out and thus not come back as a Walker. Dying at the hands of the Walkers, on the other hand, is not only unpleasant but all but guarantees that the person will come back as one of them and possibly kill other people. Clementine can kill Lee at the end if the player chooses.
  • Betty and Veronica: Depending on how you choose to interact with them, Lilly and Carley could potentially be implied romantic interests with Lee/"Archie". With Lilly being a jaded and insecure "Betty", and Carley being the slightly more glamorous city girl "Veronica". Nothing comes of this in either case.
  • Beware the Living: Naturally. When the characters aren't dealing with bandits, authoritarian communities, and random lunatics, they're squabbling with each other.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Clementine, who is an adorable child of eight (later nine), smashes either a bottle, a meat cleaver, a lamp or her fist, over the Stranger's back.note 
  • Big "NO!":
    • Understandably used by Lilly when her father's head is crushed right in front of her.
    • Also used by Kenny when Katjaa kills herself, assuming he's there with her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the major "victories" in this series are this trope:
    • A New Day ends with the survivors at a Motor Inn, which is pretty safe, and barring the power going out, they're fairly set, but a few survivors left and one dies due to you being unable to save them, which continues to haunt the characters afterward.
    • Starved For Help has the characters finally get food and supplies after almost running out, but Larry is killed by Kenny in a fit of paranoia, and depending on your choice, damaging your friendship with Kenny due to trying to save Larry, or causing Lilly to hate you by assisting in the murder of her father, along with the death of Mark.
    • In Long Road Ahead, the characters finally make it to Savannah and get some new survivors, but Carley/Doug, Katjaa, and Duck are dead, Lilly either leaving the group or left on the road, Ben confessing to you his collusion with the bandits, and you find out that Clementine has been talking to someone without Lee or anyone else noticing.
    • At the end of No Time Left, Clementine is saved and makes it to safety, but Lee has to either be shot in the head by her before he could turn into a Walker or be left behind. Either way, the game doesn't exactly end on a happy note, though it does give off a sense of hope.
  • Blatant Lies: Clementine invokes this on a few occasions what with her being just a kid.
    Duck: Daddy says it's called a salt lick.
    Clementine: Yeah, but don't lick it. It's gross.
    Lee: Did you lick it?
    Clementine: (Beat) I don't know...
  • Blink-and-You-Miss-It: In Starved For Help if you help Lilly try to revive Larry; you can see his mouth moving and just after the salt lick connects to his head, you can quickly hear a walker growl as Larry's final breath. This strongly indicates that Kenny was right, Larry's heart attack was fatal and the brain needed to be destoyed before he could fully reanimate as a walker.
  • Blood Is the New Black:
    • Lee ends up like this in Episode 1 after either bludgeoning Clementine's babysitter to death or slipping in a pool of blood.
    • In Episode 2, depending upon your choices, poor Lilly can get splattered with her own father's blood. If this happens, they remain like this for the rest of the episode.
    • Both Lee and Clementine end up like this in Episode 5 as part of a ploy to get past the Walkers.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: The game ends with Clementine wandering through a field and seeing two people on a hill who might be Christa and Omid.
  • Bookends:
    • Lee begins and can end the game in handcuffs, if you choose to let him turn.
    • Lee and Clementine meet each other as she hands him a hammer to kill a zombified babysitter, and shortly before he dies, Lee hands her a baseball bat to kill a zombified security guard. It also starts and ends with Lee supporting himself on something as he makes his way towards a Walker who used to be a cop.
    • The very first achievement you get in Episode 1 is called, " Out of the frying pan...," and the very first achievement you get in Episode 5 is, "Into the fire".
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Averted in episode 1. Running out of ammo is what can possibly kill Carley near the end of Episode One, when she cannot reach her extra ammo in her purse.
    • Played Straight in Episode 2, as the bandits that ambush you early on have numerous arrows, and will use over fifty by the end of the ambush; they don't even have to load them, as soon as one arrow flies out another comes again.
    • Honestly, there are several examples of this trope being played straight and averted. Episode 1, for example, has Lee loading a police officer's shotgun to kill his reanimated corpse. You're screwed if you miss that shot. Episodes 2 and 4, on the other hand, have moments where Lee has to open fire on groups of bandits/undead closing in on him. You can take as many shots as you like as long as no one reaches you. And averted in Episode 5 when the whole party announces how many bullets they have, and after they've all fired, that's it.
  • Break the Cutie:
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Talking to Kenny five times in the bedroom right before before his alleged death (and Ben's potential death) will net you a cutscene of Lee extolling the virtues of a Telltale employee's mustache.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Near the beginning of Episode 2, Mark talks about Larry's powerfully muscled form and notes that he "wouldn't want to be locked in a room with him". Near the end of the episode, Lilly, Larry, Lee and Kenny are indeed locked in a room together, though the humor is lost when Larry suffers a possibly fatal heart attack, which they know would result in being trapped with a very strong Walker.
    • In Starved For Help, Kenny assumes Lee knows how to pick locks because he's "well... urban" (i.e. African-American), and Lee (who is a highly-educated college professor) naturally takes offense. Near the end of the next episode, while boosting Clementine over another locked door, Lee comments to himself that Kenny would probably ask him to pick the lock, which "might work now that we've got the time."
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In Episode 5, the mysterious man reveals the group's choice to take his supplies from his station wagon killed his wife and daughter, meaning they indirectly took two lives and drove a man insane through what they considered finders-keepers.
  • But Now I Must Go:
    • Glenn at the end of Episode 1. This is so he can find his friends in Atlanta.
    • In Episode 3, Lilly will leave the group by stealing the RV if you choose not to abandon her on the roadside after she kills Carley/Doug. Kenny comments that she isn't very likely to be able to drive more than 30 miles, as the RV's radiator is worn out and close to overheating.
    • Episode 4 has Molly, though this could be out of a desire to not split the group up.
  • But Thou Must!: You are often given three options or silence as a reply to timed responses. At times, all the dialogue options you're offered for a given choice amount to basically the same sentiment, just phrased slightly differently.
    • All the sadistic choices count too, as you are forced to choose, and whatever you choose, someone is going to end up dead or really pissed at Lee.
    • If you pit Hershel against Shawn in an argument about fortifying the farm, you have four replies that can time out twice before the game forces you to choose one in Shawn's favour.
    • When you try to save David at the beginning of Episode 2, you are given a variety of items to seemingly release the trap with. They of course all fail, leaving the choice only to leave him or cut through his leg— which is a very gory process.
    • In the same vein, more pragmatic players might elect to simply leave Ben and the others in order to avoid the possibility of adding members to the group and further draining its resources. Despite dialogue options to this effect, the game forces you to attempt (successfully or not) to free David, thus allowing Ben to join and making it impossible to avoid Lilly predictably chewing you out for bringing in more mouths to feed.
    • Also in Episode 2 is the option to turn down the offer of food and safety from the St. Johns. Since it makes no sense for Lee to turn it down, second time players trying to avoid the nightmarish plot that results see Lee get outvoted, before Clementine's hunger changes his opinion.
    • Again in Episode 2, the game does this if you try to return to dinner without investigating, or try to head back down stairs after starting to investigate; the game pretty much demands the player continue by having Mark audibly scream out for help and bang on the floor.
    • And one more time in Episode 2: Think you can avoid the whole mess with the Stranger by refusing to steal the supplies from his car? Lee and Clementine will just stand aside while the rest of the group takes them anyway.
    • In Episode 3, after Duck gets bitten, Katjaa will always be the one who goes to Mercy Kill him, no matter what Lee tries to say. Naturally, this results in her suicide.
    • When Lee meets the cancer survivors, he has the option of saying he can make his way home without assistance, or asking for help. If Lee doesn't ask for help, Boyd will insist that Vernon can't just let Lee take that risk, no matter how Lee treats them. Either choice will also result in Brie asking why they should help Lee, and even if Lee didn't want their help, he is suddenly given three choices of convincing them to help him. Choose to stay silent? Vernon asks if there's anyone in your group who's injured, and so comes to help Omid.
    • At times, all dialogue options for a given choice amount to the same sentiment, just phrased slightly differently. This is most obvious at the end of Around Every Corner when Clem asks Lee if they have time to search for her parents, and the four responses amount to "No", "Sorry but no", "Hell no", and "[Lie]", forcing the player to invoke the major Cliffhanger where she goes missing.
  • Call-Back:
    • Whatever word Lee used to explain the smell of Hershel's barn in A New Day, Clem will use to explain the smell of the St. John's barn in Starved For Help.
    • Astute players may notice a certain modified bear trap inside the slaughterhouse in Starved For Help.
    • Carley's problems with batteries in A New Day become a Running Gag when she offers Lee some batteries at the end of Starved For Help and when she asks if the batteries are backwards in a broken flashlight in Long Road Ahead.
    • The achievement upon arriving in Savannah in Around Every Corner is called "Georgia's First City," referencing its foundation in 1733. After you escape from the overrun Crawford, the achievement is called "Georgia's Last City."
    • In Episode 3 Lee cuts Clementine's hair to ensure she won't get grabbed by the walkers easily. Shortly before Lee succumbs to his bite he can give her a last piece of advice:
      Lee: Keep that hair short.
    • In Around Every Corner, you meet Molly, who uses church bells to attract hordes away from where she's looting. At the beginning of No Time Left, Lee uses the same trick to escape the hospital.
    • When Clementine is unable to shoot a Walker in the train station in Long Road Ahead, Lee can say she just needs to learn to pull the trigger. If she's the one who kills the Stranger, Lee will comment that he wishes she hadn't had to learn to pull the trigger. Alternatively, he can tell her not to be afraid, and then she'll say that she wasn't.
  • The Cavalry: Sometimes your allies will step in to save Lee at critical moments. However, not all of these are Cutscene rescues; depending on your personal relationship with someone, they may opt not to help out.
  • The Cameo: Both Glenn and Hershel show up in Episode 1.
  • Cannibal Clan: The St. Johns in Episode 2.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Lee in Episode 1. And again in Episode 3.
  • Character Death:
    • In A New Day, The policeman driving Lee dies after being pulled from the cars by Walkers off-screen. Lee will have to kill Sandra, Clementine's zombified babysitter. Chet, Shawn's friend, will be alive if you travel in the day, but traveling at night, he'll approach you as a Walker. Later at Hershel's farm, Walkers will crawl over the barricade-fence and kill Shawn. Lee finds the bodies of his parents and his undead brother outside the pharmacy. No matter what you do, Irene (the girl whom you set out to save) will take Carley's gun and commit suicide. If you choose to save Carley at the end, Doug will be pulled out of the pharmacy by Walkers and eaten. If you choose to save Doug, Carley be pulled by the hair by Walkers and devoured.
    • In Starved For Help, Travis will either be left behind and eaten by Walkers or will reanimate after dying from a gunshot wound. Similarly, his teacher can also either be left behind or will reanimate from his leg wound. While walking to the St. John farm, the group will see a bandit murder another bandit with a shotgun overkill. Jolene, the madwoman at the camp, will be shot by either Danny or Lee. Mark will have his legs cut off for food by the St. Johns and die from his wounds off-screen. Larry will suffer from a heart-attack in the meat locker, and Kenny will smash his head in with a salt-lick (possibly with Lee's help). You have the option to kill Danny with a pitchfork in the barn. Brenda St. John will be killed by a reanimated Mark while holding Katjaa hostage. You have the option to kill Andrew St. John, but it's implied that even if you spare him and his brother, they both die in the ensuing Walker attack.
    • In Long Road Ahead, Lee and Kenny will see a bitten girl being attacked by Walkers, and Lee can either Mercy Kill her or leave her to die to buy him and Kenny time. Most of the Save-Lot bandits will be killed in the attack on the Motor Inn. Depending on whether you save Carley or Doug, they will be killed by Lilly while defending Ben (if you save Carley, it's on purpose, but if you save Doug, it will be an accident.) You find out that Duck was bitten during the attack, and Katjaa will commit suicide before she can Mercy Kill him. You or Kenny can shoot Duck instead, or you can leave him.
    • In Around Every Corner, Lee comes across an undead boy in the attic and will either have to Mercy Kill him or leave the attic and have Christa do it instead. Lee will come across Chuck, who had stayed behind earlier in the episode, dead in the sewer. In a video tape, one of the doctors at Crawford is stabbed in the stomach on-screen, and you'll kill him as a Walker later. Brie will be eaten by Walkers as the group flees Crawford. Depending on your choice, Lee can drop Ben from the bell tower and to his death.
    • In No Time Left, if you saved Ben in Episode 4, he will impale himself on a bar and be shot dead off-screen. Kenny sacrifices himself to save either Ben or Christa (after she falls into a building from the ceiling) and is presumed dead. Lee or Clementine will kill the Stranger at the Marsh House. As Lee and Clementine exit, they will see Ed and Diana (Clementine's parents) reanimated on the street. Lee will eventually succumb to his bite from Episode 4 (and/or possibly his amputation), and will either be left by Clementine to reanimate or shot by Clementine to prevent reanimation.
  • Chekhov's Army: It took a whole episode for the Walkers from the bridge to catch up with you. And they're staying for the season finale.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The cane that belonged to Lee's father. A bit of Foreshadowing and Call-Back: The cane once again protects the store, even without its owner.
    • Lee can notice that a white arrow in a Walker might have been used by the St. Johns, but it unusually doesn't reappear in the plot if you take it. Cue the fence turning on, and a white arrow hits Mark from further down the fence before the bandits start attacking with red colored arrows.
    • When Lee enters the barn, he'll ask about the salt licks. A couple of scenes later, Kenny kills Larry with one. Just in case the player didn't examine them while in the meat locker.
    • Larry's 60 cents are used to unscrew an air conditioner from the wall, in order to create an escape route.
    • Depending on who arrives, either Doug's laser pointer or Carley's gun is used to distract Andrew St. John before he can shoot Lee.
    • The Multi-tool is a subversion. When locked in the meat locker, Lee realizes he can use it to unscrew the air-vent, only to find that the St Johns have stolen it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Hey, remember that station wagon with the supplies at the end of Episode 2? The one that everyone was pretty sure had been abandoned? Turns out it wasn't, and the owner is the one responsible for kidnapping Clementine for Episode 4's Cliffhanger ending.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At the beginning of Long Road Ahead, Clementine demonstrates to Lee how she made a pencil imprint of a leaf due to remembering it from school. Lee remembers this, and uses the same technique to get the imprint of an engine operation diagram when the group discovers the train.
  • Children Are a Waste: In episode 4, the inhabitants of the Crawford enclave seemed to think so, with their policy of no mouths to feed who could not provide back for the community. In a case of Darwinian Irony, the structural exclusion of children and elderly combined with their isolationist policies would lead to them eventually falling apart when its members are too old to fend for themselves anymore and their population of young and healthy people dwindled.
    • If you watched the camcorder tapes in the nurse's office, you'd find out that, like much else in the game, someone decided two choices weren't enough. A woman who'd gotten pregnant and was faced with the decision of leaving Crawford or having an abortion snapped and stabbed the doctor before running away. He presumably turned and Crawford was destroyed from the inside.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Episode 4 ends on a doozy of one: Clementine goes missing and Lee gets ambushed by a Walker while searching for her and bitten on the left arm. Lee goes off to look for her — either alone, with some survivors, and maybe ALL of the survivors — and head to Vernon's hideaway thinking he took her, but find it's empty. Just when all seems lost, the walkie-talkie springs to life with Clementine on the end, who's promptly replaced by her kidnapper. No matter what response you pick, you never hear Lee speak it because he finds himself speechless before the screen cuts to black. What's more, there no preview of the next episode either.
    • Episode 5 ends on a minor one: After the credits, we see that Clementine was able to get out of Savannah but didn't seem to find Omid and Christa. Then she suddenly notices two people in the distance and the game ends. This ended up being a Sequel Hook for the second season.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Kenny does that in Episode 3 when they find a truck hanging from a bridge, blocking exactly where the train has to pass through.
    Kenny: Fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK, FUCK!
    • Other than that, to sum it all up in one whole game, it takes almost 5 minutes just to count how many swearing words in Season One.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The subtitles. Each character (with the exception of Shawn, Hershel, Glenn, and other minor characters which are grayish off-white) has their own individually colored subtitles.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Glenn, when confronting the bitten woman at the inn.
    Glenn: ...You have a boyfriend?
    Carley: GLENN!
  • Contrived Coincidence: Larry has a medical problem and needs nitroglycerine, so his group gets into a pharmacy before the player meets them. And who does this pharmacy belong to? Lee's family. And not only is there a Walker pinned outside the pharmacy that has the key needed to open a door, it is also Lee's zombified brother.
  • Controllable Helplessness: You'll end up in more than one situation where you have to mash a button to escape... only no matter how hard or fast you mash, you can't fix the situation on your own.
  • Cool Train: Omid certainly thinks it is, what with his eagerness to learn the controls and all.
  • Cruel Mercy: The player can indulge in this at the end of Episode 2 if they leave Andrew the only remaining St. John, tell him his mother and brother are both dead, beat the crap out of him and then leave him screaming in the mud.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: If you're fast enough, Larry shows signs of waking up... though he might just be reanimating.
  • Daylight Horror: The game's general encounters with zombies and bandits happen during broad daylight, but the darkest moments happen as night is setting, often leading to a Battle in the Rain or A Storm Is Coming.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lee killed a state senator he caught in bed with his wife. Worse, a couple characters know this, although you can let one of them die in Episode 1 and the other dies in Episode 2. This becomes a big plot point in Long Road Ahead when Lilly reveals the truth to the group after murdering Carley/Doug, although you can (and are encouraged to) tell each member of the group beforehand.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • While very episode goes more and more into darker and disturbing material, Episode 5 takes the cake. Lee's group gets whittled down, has their only way of escape stolen, and Lee dies after a traumatized Clem has to leave him to turn or shoot him.
    • The general behavior of the group shifts as well: Lee, who can have the most optimistic lines of the game depending on your choices, turns into a determined and angry man who is pessimistic and doesn't care about his own death. Kenny descends into alcoholism and depression, only regaining hope literally minutes before he disappears, presumed dead; Christa has no major signs of her change, but at one point she downs nearly an entire bottle of liquor seemingly not caring that it's bad for her baby; Clementine ends up wandering lonely and depressed over both her parents and Lee's death.
  • Dead Hat Shot:
    • There's one in Episode 3 as part of a Non Standard Game Over. If you can't convince Kenny to stop the train then Lee will return alone to the boxcar. He'll see Clementine's hat lying on the floor just before he gets murdered by Walker!Duck.
    • At the end of episode 4, Lee finds that Clementine has disappeared when he wakes up, and goes into the backyard of the house to look for her; the camera zeroes in on her discarded hat in the foreground. Thankfully, in this case, she's still alive.
  • Deconstruction: The game deconstructs just how screwed a normal person would be if the government disappeared and zombies and crazy people started turning up all over the place. You're more likely to die getting everyone else killed then killing a horde of zombies. Ben may be counted since many fans agree that he is the most realistic.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • While walking to the St. John's Dairy Farm in Episode 2, you can say that Lilly, Kenny, Lee, or that the group is a democracy when Andy asks about the leader, and then when talking to Brenda alongside Andy, you can go back on what you said and Andy will notice that you contradicted yourself and call you on it.
    • If you help Kenny kill Larry, but spare Danny St. John, Lilly calls you out on your hypocrisy.
    • If you've taken the time to look at the St. John's farm, Lee will try and talk some sense into Brenda by using what he knows about the farm and its inhabitants in the dialogue options when she's got Katjaa at gunpoint.
    • Upon entering the morgue, you can try to calm things down or act violent and dangerous, and later in the conversation make outright threats. However, if you act calm at first and then make threats, Vernon calls your bluff.
    • During the mansion attack in Episode 5 everyone says how many bullets are left in their guns. If you fire all but one, you can give it to Kenny when he tries to help Ben (if he survived the previous episode) after his fall, so he can Mercy Kill Ben and (allegedly) himself. Otherwise he will only have the one bullet from the gun taken from a dead couple found just before.
    • In the same episode, if you choose not to tell Clementine what to do with you, she'll make the choice herself to either leave without killing you or kill you to prevent you from becoming a Walker.
    • However, it's averted a few times, where they don't recall certain things, like a shot of the elevator in Episode 5. You'd previously jacked the doors open with a rib spreader, but now they're closed again with no spreader in sight.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Some deaths will vary on who you choose to save:
    • In Episode 1, A New Day, when the drug store gets overwhelmed by the Walkers, Carley or Doug will become the victim of this depending on who you choose to save.
    • In Episode 2, Starved For Help, Travis or David will suffer this fate depending on who you save. If Lee chooses to save David, who's leg is caught in a bear trap, Travis will be distracted and he'll be devoured by several Walkers. If Lee doesn't save Daivd in time, Travis will try to take Mark's hunting rifle but will get accidentally shot, forcing the others to leave David behind to be devoured by the Walkers.
    • In Episode 3, Long Road Ahead, while Lee and Kenny are searching for supplies in Macon, they see a young woman fleeing outside a building with her screams attracting the Walkers which one of them bites her, Lee has the choice to shoot her to spare her from the Walkers or let them devour her and use her as a distraction.
    • In Episode 4, Around Every Corner, when Ben is grabbed by a zombified Crawford Oberson who had been hung from the bell and Lee saves him from it, Ben wants Lee to let him go because of all the trouble he caused. If Lee chooses to let him go, Ben will drop down the tower and break his legs while nearby Walkers will devour him alive.
    • Presumably what happens to Kenny, when he stays behind either to Mercy Kill Ben or to save Christa in Episode 5. However, he "got lucky" and escaped unharmed.
  • Dog Food Diet: If Lee examines the dog food bag in Around Every Corner, he'll declare that he hopes he's never hungry enough that it looks appetizing and later speculates the boy in the attic may have been eating dog food out of desperation.
  • Doomed by Canon/Saved by Canon: The characters from the comics and those from the video game largely don't overlap, but the ones that do mostly appear in Episode 1: If you've read the comics, you'll know that Shawn will die and become a Walker, which happens during the episode, and Hershel and Glenn will live and later appear in the comics. This was originally the case with Lilly as well, but thanks to a Retcon she has now been confirmed as a different character.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 5 ends with almost all of Lee's group dead, with the only members left with a possibility of being alive preparing to go through a city filled with thousands of Walkers. Lee slowly dies from either blood loss, the zombie infection, or a mix of both, all while he guides a tearful Clementine through how to survive without him. Afterwards, Clementine either has to let her surrogate father and mentor turn into a Walker, or kill him herself. The only thing that saves it from being horrifically depressing is the post-credits scene that shows Clementine made it out of Savannah safely, and the last scene of the game hints that she might have found Omid and Christa.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • In Episode 1, Irene, the young girl you find at the Motor Inn, as she was bitten.
    • Ben in Episode 2 tells of how the girls' dorm was rendered a mess after one of the girls decided to overdose on pills.
    • In Episode 3, Katjaa shoots herself in Long Road Ahead after she carries a rapidly-fading Duck into the forest with or without Kenny following.
    • In Episode 4, Chuck, when he was cornered by zombies in the sewers.
    • Also in Episode 4, Ben, blaming himself for Duck's and Katjaa's deaths, begs Lee to let him die.
    • And in Episode 5, Kenny, partly in atonement for his treatment of Ben, stays behind in an alleyway to Mercy Kill him with the last bullet in a gun, in the face of a horde of Walkers.
  • Dwindling Party: Usually averted, due to a revolving door of characters (every episode, some will die and new ones will join the group). However, this trope is in full effect in Episode 5.
  • Easter Egg: See Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • In Episode 2 the weather starts out calm, but grows cloudier and has low, ominous thunder off in the distance when Lee starts investigating the St. Johns' suspicious behavior, culminating with a Battle in the Rain at the end of the episode.
    • In Episode 5 shortly before Clementine and Lee encounter the former's undead parents and Lee's infected bite wound makes him lose consciousness, a storm seems to be gathering.
  • Episodic Game: The game contains 5 episodes, plus the DLC Episode 400 Days.
  • Establishing Series Moment: By the time you reach the drugstore in the first episode, you're treated to an argument between your group of survivors and another, summarizing one of the themes of the franchise and showing that you're going to really need to work on your relationships with the survivors.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: You can play Lee as an unrepentant murderer and Jerkass, and yet, some of the things he sees will still repulse him.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Invoked, if Lee chooses to tell everyone about his conviction in Episode 3.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: By the end of Episode 5, everyone save Clementine and possibly Omid and Christa are dead. Including Lee.
  • Eye Scream: Lee digs his thumbs into the eyes of a zombie trying to kill him.
  • Fate Worse than Death: How pretty much everyone feels about getting bitten. Sure, no matter how you die you come back as a Walker, but getting bitten causes you to suffer a drawn-out, painful, debilitating illness first.
  • Final Girl: Clementine is the only party member who definitely survives Season One.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The bandits in Episode 2 used to work at a Save-Lots store, and are therefore known as "The Save-Lots Bandits."
  • Foreshadowing: "It goes to show, people will up and go mad when they think their life is over."
    • Or, if you continue trying to examine the police radio when a bunch of cops are rushing to the city (to deal with the zombie apocalypse and all) you'll get "You'll have to learn to stop worrying about things you can't control".
    • If you watch the traffic while in the police car, you might spot Kenny's car or the Stranger's car.
    • If Lee is dishonest with Hershel on the farm, Hershel catches him out and advises him to "become a better liar." At future times when Lee can choose to lie, he is generally more successful.
    • If Lee tries to save Shawn one of the things Hershel can say is to warn Lee to watch Kenny, as he will prove unhelpful if Clementine is ever in any danger. Lo and behold, Kenny can refuse to help Lee rescue Clem at the end of Episode 4 if their relationship has been too negative.
    • Kenny says about Larry, in Episode 1: "I'm gonna kill him, Kat". He does so in Episode 2. Additionally in Episode 1, when Larry is suspecting Duck is bitten, he suggests the group should "smash [Duck's] head in." Guess what happens to Larry in Episode 2.
    • If Lee tries to stay neutral at the start of Episode 2 between Kenny and Lily, Kenny aggressively warns him that he will eventually have to pick a side. Guess what you have to do in the meat locker scene.
    • If you choose to help Lily in Episode 2, Lee can call out Kenny's survivor mentality by asking him if he has what it takes to "do the hard thing" if it came to Katjaa or Duck. Kenny just shrugs it off and says it'll never come to that. Come Episode 3...
    • If you choose to save David in Episode 2, you'll have to chop his leg off to save him from a bear trap with no release hatch, and he'll eventually die from blood loss and reanimate. Later on in the episode, you find out who modified the bear traps and Mark dies from blood loss due to the fact that he had his legs chopped off to be served as food. Depending on exactly how far Telltale planned ahead, this could also be foreshadowing Lee (potentially) amputating his own arm in an effort to avoid becoming a Walker. It works about as well there as it does here.
    • Mark does a few times in Episode 2. First, he states that he wouldn't want to be alone in a room with Larry, then says he's so hungry he could eat anything. He also says that he's worried he might become dinner himself. Of course, the former is a dilemma Lee, Lilly, Kenny and Clementine find themselves in when faced with the possibility of an undead Larry, while the latter, Mark finds that he is dinner. Mark's line could also be taken another way, as by the end of the episode, he's a zombie, and ends up taking a bite out of Brenda St. John's neck.
    • Also in Episode 2 inquiring about the empty stables will have Andy mention that their only cow is the pregnant one as the other cows died of sickness, hinting that maybe beef isn't the meat of choice. Additionally, checking the back-right stable will reveal a wheelbarrow of spare clothing that smells awful.
    • Again in Episode 2, several areas of the dairy's past point to suspicious activity. The bandits shout that "It ain't right! We had a deal!" and that the dairy "fucked with [them]."; considering they're obviously shouting about the supplies, and there's a large amount of dairy boxes left at the camp Jolene took, it's almost like the problem they're having with the supplies wasn't the amount, but what they realized it was. Also, when first arriving, Andy will reveal people have stayed before when pressed, and trying to head for the barn before fixing the fence will prompt him to anxiously question why you're heading for it.
      • Additionally in Episode 2, when Lee is examining the camp with Danny St. John, Danny becomes visibly nervous when Lee finds a few boxes of the supplies sent from the dairy and quickly tries to distract Lee. He is also unnerved by the video camera Lee finds and is noticeably relieved when Lee notes that the battery is dead. Finally, during the confrontation with the crazed Jolene, if you haven't done so already Danny shoots her dead when she starts veering towards talking about the St. John family's secret. You can even respond to the timing with suspicion, which Danny picks up on.
    • In Episode 3, Long Road Ahead, Katjaa delivers this line to Kenny shorty before shooting herself in the head, because they have to shoot their own son in the head before he can come back as a Walker:
    Katjaa: Kenny, I love you very much. I love our son more than life itself.
    • Chuck talks to Lee about preparing Clementine, because there may be a point where Lee won't be able to protect Clementine anymore.
    • A minor one, but in Episode 4, when Lee is in the Savannah sewers, he can comment about a dead rat saying the last thing he needs is "some god-awful disease."
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Lee uses a Georgia state quarter to unscrew the air conditioner from the wall during the escape from the dairy farm. And which state does the game take place within?
  • From Bad to Worse: There's a brief bit at the end of Episode 1 through to the beginning of Episode 2 where things improve— they get their motel fortress set up and life is fairly stable if precarious. At any other given time, though, you are merely trading one bad situation for an even worse situation, only occasionally finding moments of stability.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The game sometimes imports choices from Episode 1 and Episode 4 incorrectly, randomizing those missing flags.
    • Sometimes if you give a fifth chest compression during the CPR sequence on the PS3 version, the game repeats everything twice and gives wonky camera angles, requiring turning off the system to avoid save file corruption.
    • Although there's a rough fix for it (that needs to be constantly reapplied and doesn't seem to work quite perfectly), the Steam version seems to wipe your save files post-Episode 1 whenever you close the game.
    • The disc release of the game suffers from massive lag on some systems, making the quick-time events nearly or completely impossible to pass.
    • If you don't trigger talking to Kenny after you've met Chuck, it's possible you try going back to the cabin to run the train. This will make sure Kenny is there, which makes you meet Chuck again when/if you pass through the box car. This can lead to your save mucking up after the last scene (and sometimes mess with your other saves) which will cause your save game to show up as a black screen with just Walker growls.
  • Genius Bruiser: Lee, who was a history professor at a university, who can do some damage to zombies and can beat up the Big Bad pretty well, unless he's slipping on every thing in the vicinity (this is less of an issue when his leg heals).
  • Gilligan Cut: In Episode 3:
    [Lee needs to weld metal over a large drop]
    Lee: [hands welder] Here. The weak portion of the coupling is out of my reach.
    Omid: You think it'll be in mine?
    Lee: No, but I'm gonna dangle you over that ledge.
    Omid: The hell you are!
    [Cut to Omid dangling and welding]
    Omid: God, you're a real son of a bitch, aren't ya?!
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: When Lee gets bitten by a Walker and Clementine gets kidnapped by the Stranger in Episode 4, Lee goes looking for her. Your past relationship with the survivors determines who joins you. If you play your cards right, you can end up with every group member choosing to go with him, even if you choose to reveal the bite. In fact, revealing it actually increases the likelihood of Omid and Christa going with you.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Normally, the series averts this. But in Episode 3, when Lee or Kenny is forced to Mercy Kill Duck, you don't see the results of the gunshot. But Lee and Kenny certainly do...
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!:
    • Clementine reacts with a dismayed gasp if Lee says the word "shit". If he says "manure" instead, she'll smile. Brought up in Episode 2, where what Clementine says in the barn relates to what you told her in the earlier barn, if you say "shit" you get this gem when Duck asks about the smell.
      Clementine: Like shit!... Right, Lee?
      [Andrew, Katjaa, and Duck all stare at her]
    • On the other hand:
      Duck: What's manure?
      Clementine: ...Doo-dee!
    • Every time Lee swears later in the series, Clem's response is to chide him: "Swear".
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: The vast majority of major choices show this, with no clear-cut "good" or "evil" answer.
    • The conflict between Lilly and Kenny in Episode 2. Both have their merits and flaws, and they represent order and chaos respectively.
    • In the end, the Stranger is just another survivor who lost everything, and gives sympathetic reasons for his attitude toward you. But by this point, he is completely fucking insane.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming:
    • In Episode 2, Clementine will witness if you kill Larry or any of the brothers.
    • In Episode 3, if you choose to not kill the girl who was bitten and is being attacked by zombies, you have much more time to get supplies, all while she screams in agony. And then she suddenly stops.
  • Gunpoint Banter, or rather two guns and a crossbowpoint.
  • Half-Truth: Lee can give plenty of these to the other survivors when they question him about his past. Giving people these early may bite you in the ass later, though.
  • Hammerspace: Characters, mostly Lee, will pull out items or objects from their pockets, sometimes ones that will be larger then their pockets. Some of the more egregious offenders include: an acetylene torch and its tank, a fire axe, and a car battery. There are some subversions to this as well, like the tools at the train. Lee can only carry one of them at a time.
  • Harmful to Minors: Poor Clementine witnesses a seemingly endless cavalcade of horrific deaths over the series.
  • The Hero Dies: Lee Everett at the end of Episode 5.
  • Heroic BSoD:
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Episode 3 shows Doug Taking the Bullet Lilly had reserved for Ben, if he was the one Lee had saved near the end of Episode 1.
    • In Episode 4, after Ben ran off and abandoned Clementine when they were surrounded by Walkers, Chuck runs to her aid and tells the group to move on while he holds back the Walkers. Later on, Lee finds his corpse in the sewers.
    • In Episode 5, depending on your choices, Kenny appears to sacrifice himself either to save Christa or Mercy Kill Ben.
  • Heroic Second Wind: All of Episode 5, certainly for Lee but for Omid as well.
  • Hidden Depths: Larry. So hidden as to be almost invisible, but they're there.
    • Lee as well, even if he is played as a Nice Guy, he still shows some moments of homicidal anger, and his backstory of murdering his wife's lover shows that while Lee is generally courteous and caring, he is still flawed, and can have a very short fuse.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • Larry. Killed by the very same knee-jerk emotional reaction that almost had him killing Duck ("We've gotta throw him out or... smash his head in!").
    • The St. Johns chop off Mark's legs and make them into meat for dinner. Mark dies from blood loss and comes back as a Walker, grabbing Brenda from behind as she's holding Katjaa hostage.
    • Danny ends up falling victim to one of his own modified bear traps during the fight in the barn.
    • On a much larger scale with Crawford. The very system they set up to ensure their survival instead ensured their own downfall.
  • Hollywood Science: The walkie-talkie was a child's walkie-talkie used to talk between a house and treehouse a few feet away. Who knew it could work inside a metal boxcar or train locomotive miles from another walkie-talkie.
  • Hollywood Silencer: You use a pillow to suppress the sound of a gunshot at a certain point.
  • Hope Spot: The end of Episode 1, where the cast states that the Motor Inn is defensible and has power, so they could stay for a good while. Right on cue, the power goes out.
    • Episode 2 is all about this. The group's food supply run low but they seem to come across some friendly people with a dairy farm, plenty of space to move around and a electric fence to keep the Walkers out. Then it's revealed the family reverted to cannibalism and was stringing them along so they can capture and kill them later for food.
    • In Long Road Ahead, after the motel investigation with Duck (who can think you're "totally awesome") and the ensuing confrontation with the bandits, everyone manages to escape in Kenny's RV, and breathes a sigh of relief. Then, it's revealed that Duck was bitten by a Walker during the escape, and the ensuing chain of events leads to the deaths of Doug/Carley, Katjaa, Duck and possibly Lilly.
    • All throughout Episode 3, the decisions you make with Carley or Doug say that they will be remembered by them. Of course, it's all pointless in the end because they die anyway.
    • Episode 4 is based around this. Kenny is driven to find a boat in Savannah they can use to escape and live a peaceful life on. After a short exploration of the docks shows this to the pointless, Clementine finds an intact boat in the shed behind the house they're hiding out in. The look on Kenny's face when he comes out and sees it almost makes one think he's starting to come back from his Heroic BSoD. Then Lee gets bitten, and Clementine is kidnapped.
    • Episode 5 uses this to trip up players with some knowledge of the overall Walking Dead canon. Lee can have his bitten arm amputated, and others have actually survived a bite this way. Surely our hero will be all right! No, he won't. Oh yeah, and the boat gets taken by the cancer survivor's group that Lee befriended in the sewers.
  • Hostage Situation: Used at the end of Episode 2, but is interrupted, thankfully. In Episode 3, as well.
  • Hot Scoop: Carley, the reporter, is quite easy on the eyes. If the player chooses, Lee can flirt with her.
     I to P 
  • I Call It "Vera": Danny St. John calls his rifle "Charlotte". Molly calls her ice-climbing axe "Hilda".
  • I Can't Reach It: Two examples in Long Road Ahead. When Lee discovers a Walker buckled into the seat of a car, you are only allowed to kill it by releasing its seatbelt and letting it come after you, rather than simply climbing over the car and attacking it from safety. Later, after Kenny has crossed the Despair Event Horizon, you have a literal example when he refuses to move to let you grab a map.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Stated verbatim a couple of times.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Really, the Stranger had to have been holding this, for leaving the station wagon the way it was in Episode 2. One, he left it completely alone in the middle of the night, in an area filled with zombies and bandits. Did he really expect anyone to make a different assumption than "being dead" or "ran for the lives"? And two, look at how he left it: The keys were in the ignition, the door was wide open, the car lights were on, and the food was completely uncovered. It would be both impossible to miss and really easy to break into.
      • If Lee rejected the idea of stealing from the car, he can actually state that he refused because the lights were still on and he thought it might not have been abandoned. Though the follow-through is not explicitly stated (and the Stranger doesn't consider this to excuse Lee's culpability), this actually makes sense after a moment thought— the car wasn't actually running. If it had been abandoned for a significant length of time with all the lights on, the batteries would have already run down and the lights wouldn't be on anymore; either it had been abandoned that very day, or it hadn't been abandoned at all. Even if it was running, it would only last as long as its tank of gas, at which point the same reasoning would apply. Given the reason the Stranger and his family left the car —to find his son— it makes a certain amount of sense to leave it as a beacon in the light for them (or their missing son), to find again. A complete blindness as to the possibility of other people like said bandits or Lee's group coming by, but not completely irrational from the perspective of someone who hadn't really mentally adjusted to the post-apocalyptic world yet.
    • In the first episode, the police officer takes his eyes off the highway they're on to look at Lee (sitting in the back seat) while saying something to him.
    • One also has to wonder why Lee changes his outfit from thick, layered shirts underneath a leather jacket to a light-blue collared shirt over a sweater, considering it's mentioned that winter is approaching in about a month as of Episode 3. It can double as a bit of Fridge Hypocrisy if Lee decides to join the group in looting the Stranger's station wagon in Episode 2, since doing so will have him give Clementine a hoodie because it's getting colder out. Similarly, one might even have a case of Fridge Logic after thinking back on this. Oh, but lo and behold, does this change in attire make a Walker to take a bite out of him at the end of Episode 4.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The St. John Dairy Farm from Episode 2 hides this sinister secret.
  • Important Haircut: Clementine in Episode 3.
  • Improvised Screwdriver: After Larry's death, Lee must search the corpse's pockets for some coins, which he can use as improvised screwdrivers to remove an air conditioner from the wall of the room they're locked in.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After Katjaa and Duck's deaths, Lee can tell Kenny that Chuck has some whiskey. He's quick to take advantage, and later shares another bottle with Christa and Omid.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Subverted. Some of the story messages are quite relevant, but others turn out to be ultimately meaningless, and a few actions with consequences further down the road don't result in one. It doesn't take long to realize that they are very likely to be vague foreshadowing at best or deliberate misdirections at worst than spoil the plot. Some of them, like one that says "Carley will remember that" in Episode 3, are there only to deceive the player and hide way better the "spoilers", in this case it's only to make the character's death seconds later all the more jarring. In Episode 5, almost all of the "[Character] will remember that" messages double subvert this when Lee explains his actions/choices.
    • Since the achievements are all automatically unlocked with the story, you can see how much of the game you've completed by checking the list.
    • The captions almost always spoil when a character will be suddenly interrupted during a conversation, since it will show half the words.
  • Interface Screw: At least once a zombie will attack right in the middle of a conversation menu, and "[Character] will remember that" won't always show up for every significant action, nor is it indicative of how important it is down the line.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Defied, depending on the player's choices: Lee's conviction gets revealed by Lilly in Episode 3, but if he saved Carley he has the option of telling everyone beforehand.
    • The player can choose whether or not to reveal Lee's bite wound to the other characters. Ben's collusion with the bandits also comes out in the same episode, with the player having learned it in the previous episode.
  • Irony: Molly beats up a Walker to extreme proportions in Crawford rather than killing it quickly, and later justifies it as just making sure it was actually dead. She makes this justification just after we see it twitch; it's not dead.
  • Ironic Name: The St. Johns are named after a biblical saint who was famous for the act of baptism. In a symbolic sense; their actions did baptise the Macon group from their pre-outbreak social structure and exposed them to more... extreme methods of survival or the more hostile acts that are only justified by a victimhood mindset. The St. Johns have resorted to cannibalism to make sure there is a consistent, necessary stockpile of food, the bandits are introduced to the franchise and have indicated to have raped and murdered Jolene's daughter, and finally, Jolene was driven insane by the bandits and is revealed to have murdered the bandits to avenge and find her daughter.
  • It Gets Easier:
    • Averted or played straight with Lee, depending on the player. Lee will alternatively struggle with violence, or barely bat an eye when he kills the Big Bad(s) of Episode 2, and shows almost no distress if he helps Kenny kill Larry with the salt lick.
    • Played fully straight by Kenny.
    • Can be simultaneously invoked and averted in Episode 5. If Lee tells Clementine to leave him rather than granting him a Mercy Kill as he succumbs to being bitten, he can tell her this trope and that he doesn't want her to get used to killing a person because she should only do so if it's absolutely necessary.
  • The Jaywalking Dead: Played with. Walkers do get hit with cars a few times, but unintentionally, and the cars aren't much better off afterwards.
  • Jerkass: Of course, there is the option to play Lee as this.
    • Larry, who doubles as an Ungrateful Bastard.
    • His daughter Lilly, as well. And she only aworsens.
    • Kenny in the later episodes, who also may turn into an Ungrateful Bastard depending on the player's choices.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Several times, surprisingly.
    • Kenny is either a Jerkass or a Nice Guy depending on whether you're usually on his side or Lilly's. But he turns out to be right in Episode 3 when he keeps saying they need to leave the Motor Inn and that their stay there can't last forever; they do in fact get run out later by bandits. And even in Episode 2, he was absolutely right to be suspicious of the St. Johns and eventually want to leave and/or find out what they're up to— they were cannibals planning on killing and eating them! In fact, all the way back in Episode 1, he is absolutely in the right about what should be done with Duck. Duck wasn't bitten, and Larry was being an asshole in suggesting Duck be thrown to the Walkers, he would've been throwing out an innocent boy!
    • In Episode 2, you are confronted by a raging madwoman in the woods named Jolene. She proceeds to ream you out, call Danny a monster, and insist that she's not with the bandits and you and Danny are accusing her of shooting Mark falsely. Guess what— it's true! Danny and the rest of the St. Johns are in fact cannibalistic monsters, and Jolene isn't the one who shot Mark with an arrow, and she's not with the bandits!
    • Larry is a spiteful person, but it's possible for the player to make him (partially) right about you if you consistently pick "asshole" choices, such as repeatedly insulting him to his face or persuading him to eat human flesh.
    • Kenny's decision to kill Larry. Even if Lee and Lilly managed to get breathing for a bit, the odds are severely stacked against someone with a heart attack living with no medical aid. CPR is essentially stalling for time until actual medical helps arrives, and being trapped in a small room would make that unavailable. Kenny was probably right in wanting to take no chances that the biggest, strongest person in the room became a Walker in close quarters.
    • In Episode 3, Lilly becomes a paranoid wreck, ranting that somebody is stealing supplies and betraying the group. She first accuses Ben, and then either accuses Carley or keeps accusing Ben depending on whether you saved Carley or Doug in Episode 1. Guess what— she's right! (Except for the Carley thing, of course.) Ben was stealing supplies and giving them to bandits!
    • Also in Episode 3, Chuck scares Clementine half to death by telling her she's going to die if something doesn't change, then gives Lee a list of all the reasons why that is. Turns out he's right— Clementine's long hair was a problem because Andy St. John was able to grab it earlier to threaten her at gunpoint, she did need to learn how to shoot a gun to protect herself and in fact has to do it several times later, and the group didn't have a definite plan for what they were going to do when they got to Savannah.
  • Just Ignore It: When Duck gets bitten, Kenny's only way of coping is to pretend it's not going to be a problem. He's gone out of his way to prioritize the safety of his family and at this point, shutting down and going into denial is the only mental option he has left to "keep" his son safe. Lee has to knock some sense into him (verbally or physically).
  • Karma Houdini: Vernon's group steals Lee's boat and escape, and while they did go off to save Clementine, and would not end up needing the boat anyway, Vernon still knew they were trapped in a walker horde with a little girl and a heavily injured man. However, it's implied that the boat had only a small amount of fuel, plus the group consists of elderly cancer survivors with no weapons except for one gun, so their chances of survival are pretty slim even if they make it to land. note 
    • Also Lilly if Lee decides not to leave her behind.
  • Keet: Duck. Kenny, his father, states that what he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in enthusiasm.
  • Kill 'Em All: Clementine is the only confirmed survivor. The fates of Omid and Christa are left ambiguous (they are implied to be the two people Clementine sees off in the distance in The Stinger). Vernon's group made it out, but in 400 Days, it's all but confirmed that he died. It is unknown what happened to Molly and Lilly, but Lilly's odds in particular are not good. Every other named character dies onscreen, including Lee. Season Two mitigates it a bit by revealing that Kenny survived his presumed death, and that Clementine did meet up with Omid and Christa.
  • The Klutz: Lee spends the first half of Episode 1 slipping, tripping, and falling over everything he touches because of his injured leg. Thankfully he gets over it in the other half onwards, quickly showing he knows how to handle himself (including getting his Weapon of Choice in an axe, and using it to great efficiency).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The people of Crawford. One of their rules required anyone who got pregnant to have an abortion. One woman didn't want to go through with it and killed the doctor who intended to carry it out. This is what started the outbreak that destroyed their little Fascistburg.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Any episode past the first one will be this to someone who randomly decides to get the sequel episodes instead of the original. Episode 2 reveals that anyone who dies, regardless of bites, will become a zombie. That could be considered a spoiler for both the comics and TV show if you haven't read/seen them yet.
  • Lazy Artist: If Lee saves Carley in Episode 1, the Walker version of David has a gap in his head suggesting that he gets an axe in it when he's dead, which does happen in another run, but he gets shot in the head in a Carley run.
  • Le Parkour: How Molly gets around.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Lee says that "you often think you have a choice when you really don't".
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Twice, and subverted both times.
    • In Episode 2, the teacher caught in the bear trap. He can only be freed by chopping off his leg, and dies of blood loss.
    • In Episode 5, the player can have the group cut off Lee's bitten arm. He succumbs anyway, although it's unclear whether it was due to the bite having spread far enough, or infection from amputating his arm.
  • The Load: Most players rescued Carley over Doug, since she's a crack shot with a pistol. Doug's more esoteric skills seem like a dead weight in comparison. The developers have stated their disappointment in interviews that they didn't make the choice more difficult.
    • Ben. The most useful thing he ever does is inform you that you can turn no matter how you die.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Larry's death, which goes from heart attack collapse to skull explosion under weight.
  • Made of Iron: Lee is this through several of the times he gets injured repeatedly from things that would usually knock out an average man or even kill him. Taken to the max in Episode 5, where he suts through a zombie horde while suffering from zombie infection or blood loss from cutting his arm off. His optional injuries show this too, as by the end he can be suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach from the Stranger, and having been bitten up to three more times while going through the horde.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Kenny does work on vehicles and other characters will fight zombies from time to time, but it often seems like the largest hordes are left for Lee. There are some puzzles for him too, but that could be justified from the fact that he was a professor before the apocalypse, so he is probably the smartest even if he mostly knew about history and killing Walkers.
    • "Saving" Irene: Carley shoots and Glenn helps, but the majority of thinking and zombie killing is done by Lee.
    • Escaping the meat locker: Larry bangs on the door, Kenny examines the walls for weak points, and Lilly vomits. Lee unscrews the ventilation shaft and helps Clementine out.
    • Killing The St. Johns: Lee takes care of both brothers. Kenny or Lilly will help defeat Danny, but Lee will receive no help against Andy unless he sided with Lilly and she helps. Everyone else just observes.
    • Missing Supplies: Lee and Duck are the only ones who take any interest when Lilly says someone has been stealing supplies.
    • Getting the train working: Lee gets the train working and unhooked (though Ben does correctly point him to the right button). Kenny drives, but lets Lee activate it.
    • Getting the gas tanker out of the way: Lee and Clementine unlock the building, fight zombies, and get the blowtorch. Christa only intervenes afterwards and calls them out on going alone, despite Lee announcing what he was going to do before they went in.
    • Taking supplies from Crawford: Lee had to deal with the battery and the medicine despite only being tasked with the former, and later is the one who slows down the horde while the others escape.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Done seriously in Episode 5; when the balcony collapses, Ben falls about 30 feet onto a metal frame and states he thinks he damaged his leg, but he should be okay. The shock from the fall helps hide the fact that he's actually been impaled through the chest. He doesn't register that until he can see it.
  • Mauve Shirt: Two notable examples in Season 1's episodes 2 and 4, Chuck shows up in episode 3 and doesn't last an episode more than that. Mark doesn't even reach the end of his.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • In Episode 1, if Lee and Clementine choose to leave the house in the morning, they meet Chet. As he's running away from Walkers he looks at his arm. If the two leave at night they meet him as a Walker.
    • In Episode 2, the zombified Mark behind Brenda is illuminated by a lightning flash.
    • A very subtle one in Episode 3, just before Lilly shoots the Episode 1 survivor, there's the briefest glimpse of her pulling out the gun from her back waistband when the camera pans over to Kenny. Many players won't notice this until a second viewing.
  • Mercy Kill:
  • The Millstone: Ben thinks this about himself... and let's face it, he's absolutely right. Let us count the ways.
    • First, he made a deal with bandits to trade them supplies in exchange for not hurting his friend— when he realized they didn't have his friend, he continued giving them supplies because they'd threatened to kill him and his group.
    • Second, his not confessing to the paranoid Lilly about his guilt winds up in getting an innocent person killed.
    • Third, as a result of his pissing off the bandits to such a degree, Duck winds up getting bitten, and Katjaa is Driven to Suicide as a result.
    • Fourth, when he and Clementine are cornered by zombies in Savannah, he runs away rather than stay and help her, which ends up getting Chuck killed when he comes in to save her instead.
    • In Episode 4, he removes an axe keeping zombies out from a doorway so he can use it to open another door (which also gets Brie killed). Too Dumb to Live barely begins to describe it, but lord knows he tries...
    • Then, proceeds to tell Kenny about being the one trading supplies as Walkers try to take down the door, when it is quite clear this will cause Kenny to be furious and cause a crisis amongst the survivors in a critical moment.
    • And finally, after having improved a fair amount, he can get screwed by chance, when a small balcony collapses under him as he's about to jump from a window to a nearby roof, forcing Kenny and Lee to go down to help, with Kenny's suicidal tendencies finally coming to fruition as he shoves Lee away, kills Ben with the only remaining bullet, and lets the zombie horde devour him (or so it seems).
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: If you talk to Clementine in the pharmacy, which is only the day after you met her, you have the option of saying "We should get to know each other". Sounds like Schmuck Bait, right? However, Lee apparently realises this, as selecting the option actually results in him awkwardly saying:
    Lee: So, um... uhh...
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Achievements/Trophies, which come at the end of an episode and therefore often after a heartwrenching Sadistic Choice, are very often ridiculous puns or plays on words, for example, " Too Much Salt Will Kill You".
    • Carley's abrupt transition between the flirtatious dialogue with Lee and urging him to tell the others about murdering the senator is this for both him and the player.
  • Moral Myopia: Kenny radically differentiates between his family and others when it comes to zombification; crushing Larry's head without hesitation in front of his daughter while she's trying to resuscitate him because he had a heart attack is totally necessary, but when Duck is dying from a bite, he's convinced everyone needs to back off because their son is different and won't turn.
  • Morality Pet: The developers purposely made Clementine this for Lee. Though acting a certain way can make Clementine a Morality Chain, and Lee a Broken Pedestal.
  • Motor Mouth: Duck. After the zombie attack, he becomes completely silent. He goes back to his usual self at the end of episode, much to Clementine's dismay. He does go silent again (and permanently) later in Episode 3, when he gets bitten.
  • Multiple Endings: Subverted. In the end, it doesn't matter who you made friends with or who hates your guts. The closest thing you get to alternate endings is if Clementine shoots Lee, or leaves him to turn into a Walker.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Within the first minutes, the prison that Lee is being transported to is "The Prison" that Rick's group goes to. The prisoner that the UPO talks about that was crying was Thomas Richards, the man who kills the Greene sisters in the comic.
    • Lee and Clementine sleep in Hershel's barn, and he is later shown cleaning it up. In the comics and the TV show, this is where he locks up zombified family members. Including Shawn, whom you fail to save.
    • Though set in the comic universe, there is a little reference to the TV show as well. At the end of Episode 1, Glenn leaves with Clementine's walkie-talkie, the same one he uses to contact Rick when the latter is trapped in the tank.
    • The group travels around in an RV for the first three episodes, much like the Atlanta group of the comics and TV series.
    • The Stranger's tragic story is similar to Abraham Ford. Like Abraham, the Stranger's wife and child left him after a certain action and he tracked them down only to find them dead the next day.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Poor Ben...
    Ben: I never got to see my family, my parents, my little sister... do you get that? Your family is gone, but at least you had them to lose. I never made it home...
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The next episode previews sometimes have events, dialogue, and character designs that don't match up to what actually happens in the next episode.
    • The debut trailer shows a lot of things that don't happen in the game proper or in an altered fashion, the most notable probably being Ben, Kenny, and Lee in a forest with Christa, who shoots herself in the head with a gun. This situation does come to pass in Episode 3, but with Katjaa rather than Christa, who you don't even meet until later.
  • Nice Hat: Clementine, Kenny, and Glenn all wear baseball caps.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Depending on how well the player does, Lee can deliver a brutal beatdown to the Big Bad of Episode 2's face.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Lee mournfully utters a variation of this ("No one was getting out of there"). Kenny seemingly sacrifices himself to save Ben in Episode 5. Since Kenny was in a narrow alleyway with a horde of Walkers approaching from either end, almost no ammo left, no other weapons and about a second to think of an escape plan before the Walkers were on him, it's understandable he would think as much. Sure enough, though, Kenny survives and reappears in Season Two without any explanation except for he "got lucky".
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Invoked a lot, but especially by Kenny at the end of Episode 1.
    Kenny: No one gets eaten again today. (If you've been loyal.) "Especially a good friend."
    • Or alternatively, if you were not loyal:
    Kenny: "Even if he is an asshole."
  • No Name Given: Downplayed.
    • Many characters are referred to by only their first name— in fact, the only characters who do have last names are Lee's family, the St. Johns, Shawn and Hershel, and Ben Paul and his teacher, David Parker.
    • Lee's family actually goes the other way with this— Lee's the only one who has a first name, although Lee's brother may have been named "Bud".
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
  • Nothing Is Scarier: First flavor:
    • In the first episode, Lee needs to get handcuffs off of his hand by taking the keys off of the corpse of the officer. You drop the keys in front of his face... And when you pick them up again, no reaction... Until after you release yourself, in which the officer reanimates and tries to devour you.
    • In Episode 5, you at one point have to cross a rickety bridge erected between two buildings over a waterway full of Walkers. Christa warns Lee to be careful, the camera pans above him, the action cursor appears, and you walk across the entire thing without any problems.
    • In Episode 5, when you finally make it to the Marsh House hotel, after literally fighting through a horde of Walkers, you find the hallways to be completely empty, which just makes it more unsettling.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: None of the survivors calls the zombies Zombies— instead, they're called Walkers or simply the Dead.
    • This is actually played with in a couple of funny ways. Lee refers to them as zombies a grand total of once in Episode 1. This is most likely an oversight, as zombie media never existed in either of The Walking Dead's universes. In Episode 2 when he refers to them as Walkers, Andy acts amused at the terminology. And in Episode 4 when you meet another survivor who has been fending for herself long before you show up she refers to them as Geeks with her own justification for doing so.
    • The interface, though, does call them zombies occasionally.
    • In Season Two, the cabin group you fall in with calls them Lurkers.
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: Lee and Omid do this when escaping a horde of Walkers. Omid falls off and badly injures himself.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Between Episodes 1 and 3, the military attempted to re-take Macon but failed. You return to the drugstore to find dead soldiers, jeeps, and a helicopter crashed into the roof of the drugstore.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Many times throughout the first season, a Walker will attack Lee from behind, even when you've thoroughly investigated the area.
    • Various characters do this either for the sake of convenience or plot importance, such as Andrew St. John talking to you about the farm and the Stranger sneaking up on Lee.
  • Offstage Villainy: The people of Crawford had decided to create a Social Darwinist utopia that ruthlessly weeded out those too young, old or sick to pull their weight into survival. Other than a video making it clear that any pregnancies had to be aborted if the mother wished to stay protected, Molly resorting to Sexual Extortion to hide and treat her sister's diabetes, and the impaled zombies (who may have been candidates for Crawford that didn't make the grade), we never see any of their cruelty firsthand.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lee gets seriously scared in Episode 5 when he wakes up, almost ready to turn, to find out Clementine locked herself in a jewerly room with him.
  • Old Save Bonus: The game series is built on this, as its choice system rivals Mass Effect and goes beyond with almost every choice mattering, thus saves are highly recommended. Otherwise you get an utter mess of randomized choices as the default.
  • On the Next ______: Each episode ends with a trailer for the next chapter.
    • Except for the end of Episode 4, which just shows the game's title and the title for the final episode.
  • Only in Florida: Kenny comes from Florida and invokes this trope after he wonders if Lee, a black man, can pick locks:
    Kenny: Jesus, man, I'm from Florida! Crazy shit just comes out of my mouth sometimes!
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Cissy Jones tried to give Katjaa a German accent, but it comes off as slight at best. Not to mention that she frequently drops it, making it an inconsistent accent.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: At first the Walkers appear to be your standard zombies Then you learn that they don't need to bite to spread their condition: all dead with intact brain stems become zombies. note 
  • Outrun the Fireball: Although you never actually see the explosion, it's inferred because Lee kicks a lit blowtorch onto a leaking fuel tanker to try and blow up a horde of Walkers, before jumping onto the roof of a speeding train.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Mark does this in Episode 2 to either David (if he was freed from the bear trap) or Travis (if David wasn't freed from the bear trap, since he'll be shot in the stomach instead).
  • Pædo Hunt: Shawn and Hershel get a little suspicious if Lee admits he doesn't really know Clementine.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Many characters have the bad habit of keeping their guns in their waistbands.
  • Parental Abandonment: Before the outbreak, Clementine's parents left her with a babysitter so they could go on a trip to Savannah. They didn't make it.
  • Perpetual Poverty: By Episode 2 everyone's hunger and your food shortage is a major plot point. However, the only points where you find food are at the end of Episode 2 and the beginning of Episode 3. Despite losing everything in the bandit attack, no one in your group complains about food again. The only character in the entire series to starve to death is Fivel, a minor character who died off-screen.
  • Philosophical Choice Endings: Is survival worth risking becoming a violent monster? In the ending, you have to decide over Lee's fate, but in a way that is also your last lesson for Clementine. Do you want to A) have her shoot Lee and teach her to survive at any cost, even if through violence, or do you B) teach her to abstain from violence when ever possible to prevent her from possibly turning into a ruthless monster. With the game often giving you the opportunity to use violence or not, this perfectly fits the game's general theme pretty well.
    • Alternatively: Is your own safety worth deliberately putting other people in danger and causing them to suffer? As Lee himself points out, one reason for Clementine not to shoot him is because gunshots make noise and noises draw the Walkers. Since shooting Lee puts Clem in a more difficult situation in which to survive, the message would actually be the opposite of what's described above. Not shooting Lee ensures that Clem is more secure on her way out of town, but also leaves her father figure to suffer a lot more, and eventually turn into a monster who would kill people if given the chance. Choosing to shoot Lee not only saves him pain, but also saves others from the Walker he would become.
  • Poorly Timed Confession: In Episode 4, Ben finally decides to tell Kenny about his dealings with the bandits which led to the deaths of Katjaa and Duck while Walkers, that were accidentally let in thanks to him, are trying to break in. Kenny becomes furious and tries to attack Ben, but he was held back so he decides to not let him on the boat when they escape. And before escaping the area, Lee has to decide Ben's fate to live or die and Kenny silently encourages Lee to let him die.
  • The Power of Friendship: The cornerstone of the gameplay. How you treat others determines who you bond with, and whoever you bond with will in all likelihood save your ass, come hell or high water. It seems to be literally impossible to finish the game without the help of those who trust and value you.
  • Press X to Not Die: In exchange for the usual style of action gameplay, moments of danger are treated as this, although the new interface is somewhat more effective than those used in previous Telltale games. Quite humorously; the PC-version employs the "Q" and the "E" buttons for these events.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: (snort) Averted.
  • Pun-Based Title: Oh man, some of the Achievements/Trophies. For example:
    • "Bedside Manor".
    • "Too Much Salt Will Kill You": Kenny bashes Larry's head in with a salt lick.
    • "You Fight Like A Dairy Farmer".
    • No Time Left: It's not an achievement, but it's still a pun. You have little time in Episode 5, the one with said title, because you got bit. Even if you cut your arm off, you still can't survive. It could be because of the blood loss, you getting your arm cut by something that probably isn't all the clean, or the fact that you didn't remove the bitten arm immediately after the bite. The arm that gets bit is your left hand. It also has your watch. Get it? No. Time. LEFT!
     R to Z 
  • Railroading: One of the most common complaints about the game is that sometimes you don't really get a choice even when offered one, and the story will usually proceed as it usually does. The game does sometimes lampshade this trope, particularly when Lee talks to Kenny alone in the drugstore.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Molly's little sister was diabetic and needed a constant supply of insulin. Crawford's less-than scrupulous doctor offered to give her the drug, but only if Molly would have sex with him whenever he wanted.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Carley (if she survived Episode 1) delivers one to Lilly in Episode 3. Lilly responds by shooting her in the face.
    • Episode 5 has Ben finally delivering this to Kenny.
    • Episode 5 also has the mysterious Stranger attacking Lee for the things he has done through the story, but if the player has steered clear of the more morally questionable decisions, he comes off as desperate and impotent as he brings up events that were more or less out of Lee's control. But if Lee has been trending towards more more pragmatic and selfish behavior, he can comes off as pretty justified in his attacks, especially if Lee supported taking the supplies from the car.
  • Red Herring:
    • The game tips will do this to avoid spoilers; the game will almost always note "[Character] will remember that." following a major choice or opinion, regardless of if the character must die before it matters. A major example in Episode 3 includes Lilly remembering who you side with, despite the plot requiring her to disappear after she murders Carley/Doug.
    • In Episode 5 after Lee smears himself and Clementine in Walker gore to safely move through the hoards, the sounds of thunder can be heard in the distance, and once outside looking up reveals the sky has gone dark with clouds. Fans of the TV series think they know what will happen next, only to be blindsided by something else entirely.
    • The Stranger on the radio's text in Episode 3 is dark brown, but in Episode 4, changes to yellow, and you meet two characters in the episode who both have yellow text, though slightly hued differently. This may make you suspect one of them is contacting Clementine. Neither of them are, and by Episode 5, the Stranger's text is back to being dark brown.
  • Relationship Values: As alluded to in the summary, your actions affect how the rest of the group views and treats Lee.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Used with Mark in Episode 2, as he joined between installments.
  • Retcon: Due to the novel changing the entirety of Lilly's background, Telltale covered themselves by removing any references to the game Lilly being the same one from the comics, including changing their official website and renaming an Achievement/Trophy that was nod to where Lilly was in the comics.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: You finally get to do one in Episode 5.
  • Running Gag: Clementine commenting on Lee's swearing can be this, depending on how often the player makes him swear. Also, Carley's trouble with batteries.
  • Sadistic Choice: You'll be making plenty of these.
    • There's a subverted one where you have a choice between Shawn and Duck. No matter whom you pick, Shawn dies and Duck lives. The reactions of other characters however will be influenced by your choice.
    • The first real one is near the end of Episode 1 where you have to choose between Doug and Carley.
    • Also in Episode 2, Larry suffers a heart attack and collapses in the meat locker. Given the revelation that anyone who dies becomes a zombie, Lilly desperately attempts to resuscitate Larry, while Kenny demands they execute him immediately. Kenny kills Larry irrespective of your choice, but (again) the characters react differently according to your decision.
    • Very early in Episode 3, Lee and Kenny are scouting for supplies when a woman a good distance away is cornered by Walkers and about to be eaten alive. Lee can either give her a swift death and attract the Walkers immediately, or leave her as a distraction to buy more time. note 
    • Another subverted choice in Episode 3 where you have to choose who to help between Omid and Christa. You may think you're condemning one of them to get eaten by the large group of Walkers chasing the train, but no matter who you choose, the other will make it. Of course, the one you save will bitch at you about not saving the other one first.
    • Subverted again in Episode 4. There are seven people in the group, and the boat can only hold five people. Molly gives up her place, and Lee is bitten and will turn. This troper thinks you can see where this is going.
    • Episode 5 is full of them, and the worst part is they will come with a short timer, so not only do you have to make a hard choice, you have to do it quickly.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Molly's introduction.
  • Security Blanket: The walkie-talkie becomes this for Clementine, as she and her parents used it to talk and she feels it's the only way she'll be able to reach them. Until the end of Episode 3, when it comes out that the walkie-talkie wasn't as broken as it seemed and someone has been extorting Clementine under the pretense that he's with her parents.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Kenny in Episode 5. There was no reason for him to stay behind like he did instead of just shooting Ben before heading back up to the roof. It's pretty heavily implied this was just an attempt to justify his suicide to himself, he's been obsessing on the topic and you can actually call him out on it.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After 3-4 episodes of mentoring and protecting Ben, and eventually saving his life, the lead-up to any sort of redemption or even Redemption Equals Death fizzles out entirely when he dies like a chump due to a random vertical piece of iron.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The player can do this in Episode 5, to a limited extent, to the Stranger, by telling him "You fucked up" when he talks about how your stealing the food from his car destroyed his family. You can also answer "Yes" when he asks if he looks like a monster to you. He responds to both by merely ignoring your defiance and continuing with his rant. You can also do a more successful version of this by having Lee say he'll bite the Stranger and cause him to turn since he's already been bitten himself when the Stranger threatens to kill him: doing so will cause him to stutter momentarily. And speaking to him politely at the beginning of the conversation will temporarily derail him.
  • Signature Style: When you realize that Episode 4 was written by the same screenwriter as The Book of Eli, Molly's character makes a lot more sense.
  • Silent Credits: Episode 5. At least before the semi-hopeful epilogue, anyway.
  • Silent Protagonist: In conversations, silence is nearly always an acceptable answer, allowing the player to invoke this trope if they really want to. However, there are points where Lee will talk to people without input. Also, in a game where building trust and friendship with team-mates is a vital key to success, being an unsocial mute may hurt in the long run.
  • The Slow Walk: Near the end of Episode 5, Lee does this when there is a horde of Walkers between himself and the hotel where Clementine is being held. With no other way around them, and running out of time, Lee decides to just push through, determinedly walking through the crowd and hacking the heads of any Walkers that get too close while keeping a steady pace.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The cancer survivors don't appear at all in Episode 5, but they steal the boat offscreen, making most of Episode 4 pointless.
  • The Social Darwinist:
    • The St. Johns in Episode 2, who consider anyone wounded or weak as lower on the food chain, and to be treated as a meat resource and slowly eaten.
    • The inhabitants of Crawford, who didn't allow anyone who wasn't a completely healthy adult in the city (namely, cancer survivors, anyone under 14, people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, the pregnant, the elderly, or the disabled to name a few).
  • Soft Glass: Averted twice. First, when Lee has to kick out a car window, it is realistically hard, and takes several attempts (and even then, he has to kick the entire plane of glass out, not just kick part of the window), and don't forget said car has turned several times on the ground before coming to a stop. It is then averted again when Lee tries to elbow in a truck's window. Not only does this fail, but they actually need porcelain to break it open quickly and safely enough. And then in Episode 4, where a group of Walkers cannot break through a glass door.
    • Invoked however in Episode 5, when Clementine has to bust the glass window on a door open.
  • Spinoff Sendoff: Both Glenn and Hershel show up in Episode 1.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Kenny does one to Lee when the group is leaving the pharmacy in Episode 1.
    • In Episode 2, you get the option to stab an adjacent hay bale if you spare someone's life.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers:
    • Episode 1 has Doug and Carley; after hiding their mutual attraction, they both attempt to admit it when Walkers attack the pharmacy, only to be interrupted on both occasions before one of them has to die.
    • And Episode 3 has Lee and Carley, if she was the one Lee had saved during the pharmacy attack near the end of Episode 1. She's killed by Lilly before their relationship could go anywhere.
  • Steel Eardrums: Averted. Lee grabs his ears in pain when a rifle is fired closed to his face, and Clementine complains of her ears ringing after a shooting lesson. Ben also covers his ears in the bell tower when the bell tolls next to him and Lee.
  • Stereotype Reaction Gag: In Episode 2:
    Kenny: Hey. Lee. You know how to pick a lock, right?
    Lee: No! Why would you think that?!
    Kenny: (Beat) Well. You're... you know... "urban"?
    Lee: Oh, you are not saying what I think you are saying.
  • Stock Scream: Part of the Wilhelm Scream can be heard at the end of Episode 1 as Doug gets dragged out the window to his death after the Sadistic Choice. Averted if you save him instead of Carley.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: Compared to saving Doug, saving Carley gives Lee a potential Ship Tease along with added conversations concerning Lee's past in Episode 3. Comparetively, Doug doesn't shoot David/Travis when they reanimate leaving either Larry or Mark to save Lee, and Doug does not parcipate in the walker takeover in Episode 3, giving more justifications to save Carley.
  • Take a Third Option: You can sometimes do this when presented with two unpleasant choices. Annoyingly, there are a few times when it would really make a difference that you can't do it.
  • Taking the Bullet: That's how Doug (if he survived Episode 1) dies in Episode 3 while trying to protect Ben.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Carley, if she is alive in Episode 3, has some flirtatious dialogue with Lee. Of course this means she's a goner.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Lilly says she thinks everything is going to be okay at the hotel at the end of Episode 1. Then the power goes out, and things only get worse from there.
    • Both Carley and Larry let Lee know they've figured out his secret, and both come with the choice to be offed at some point (namely, in Episode 1 and 2 respectively, though the latter happens regardless and neither can survive past Episode 3).
    • All of the group besides Kenny, Lee and Lilly think the St. John Dairy Farm exists as some kind of miracle, even ignoring such things as Mark getting shot with an arrow because they broke a deal with bandits. They even ignore the fact that they have an ample supply of meat despite the fact there is one cow on the farm. Bonus points as they mention at every turn they get how great it is.
    • Larry states that he's going to survive longer than Lee, and that he's going to be the one to kill Lee if he turns. As was said previously, no matter what you do, he dies anyway right after saying this.
    • Kenny does this to himself on a few occasions, such as avoiding the "What if it was your family?" arguments by insisting that Duck and Katjaa would never come to harm or be in that position. Cue Episode 3 where Duck is infected and Katjaa kills herself.
    • The man who kidnaps Clementine does this as he talks to his wife's reanimated head in a bowling bag, saying that Clementine "wouldn't hurt a fly". Cue meat cleaver, bottle, table lamp or if you don't prompt her, her fist.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Played with near the end of Episode 2 when Lee confronts Brenda; your dialogue choices are "It doesn't have to end like this!" or "Put the gun down, bitch!" Trying to "act tough" leads to Brenda shooting Lee and causing a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Judging by all of the decisions by players according to the stats, a vast majority refused to kill, whether it meant electing to spare villains like the St. Johns, trying to save jerkasses like Larry, or stopping a load like Ben from committing a heroic suicide. note 
  • Time for Plan B: Defied in Episode 4 if Lee brings up the idea:
    Kenny: There is no plan B!
  • Time Skip: Three months pass between the events of Episodes 1 and 2.
    • And a week passes between Episodes 2 and 3.
  • To Be Continued: The first three episodes are followed by previews of the next episode, and the previews all reflect your choices. The fourth episode, however, lacks a preview of Episode 5. For obvious reasons, considering it's the "grand finale". Later seasons continue this trend.
  • Together in Death: The unnamed couple in Episode 5 who committed suicide in their bedroom.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The game itself.
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: The game begins at the onset of the apocalypse, which coincides with the beginning of the comic series, which was October 2003. At the beginning of Episode 2, then, it is January 2004. The gas prices (around $2.00) may clue some players in.
  • Undead Child:
  • Underdressed for the Occasion: Lee's conversion from a thick jacket back to a blue long sleeved shirt leaves him vulnerable to a Walker bite in Episode 4.
  • Ungrateful Bastard/Ungrateful Bitch:
    • Even if Lee does a Pet the Dog moment with Larry, and even after he saves his life getting nitroglycerine for his heart condition, he still forces Lee back towards the zombies when the group is trying to escape.
    • If you save Doug over Carley, Doug acts like this for saving him for about the whole conversation, but then just chalks it up to "that survivor's thing".
    • Kenny too, you could have defended his kid from zombies and Larry, give them food, support his leadership, and he still whines about you not helping him kill Larry, who was (maybe) still breathing right before his head got turned into Ludicrous Gibs.
    • Similarly, if you chose a fairly neutral response to Duck's suspected zombie bite, such as trying to reason with Larry, Kenny will continue to rag on you for not caring for his son throughout the second episode until you redeem yourself in his eyes.
    • Lilly in Episode 3 if you choose to bring her along after she kills Carley/Doug and especially if you try to have Lee and Clementine leave with her. She repays the favor by stealing the RV, stranding the group by the train.
  • Videogame Caring Potential:
    • The surrogate relationship between Clementine and Lee.
    • Most friendships in the game.
    • Pretty much the whole point of the game is to invest the players in its characters, then use that to break their hearts into little weeping bits.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • A player can do this to Clementine, as they can be extremely cruel to her. Taken Up to Eleven as they can let Clementine and the group eat human meat by not racing downstairs or failing to shout out what it is.
    • Bonus monster points if the player doesn't shout out that it's human meat; when Larry berates Lee for being rude, there's the option of saying "Fuck you. Eat up, Larry", prompting Larry to state he'd love to before eating a slice of human meat.
    • However, it should be noted that any cruelty the player shows Clementine will usually be mitigated somehow, since for plot reasons especially for Episode 5's Tear Jerker of an ending Clementine cannot have too negative an opinion of Lee. For example, if the player doesn't save Clementine from the bathroom Walker in Episode 1 and if Carley has to shoot it instead, Lee will explain that he was too far away to do anything, which Clementine will accept with a simple suggestion to stick closer next time. For another example, if while handing out four rations for ten people during Episode 2 the player doesn't choose Clementine as one of the people to feed, Clementine will complain later that she's "very hungry", but that problem is solved or so everyone thinks when the dairy farmers show up so this won't have too negative of an impact.
  • Villain of Another Story: The mysterious voice on the radio is only a villain at all because Lee's group were the villains of his story: their theft of his supplies caused his remaining family to leave him and subsequently die, and he came after revenge.
  • Violation of Common Sense: After killing Clementine's zombified babysitter, Lee has the option to choose when to go out and look for help. Abstute players usually choose to go out before sunset since the Walkers rely on more than just eyesight, whereas people tend not to. However, choosing to go out at nighttime while resulting in the seemingly-preventable reanimation of a likable character, ultimately spares you from having to do one of the many QTEs that fans tend towards disdain for.
  • Visual Novel: The Walking Dead is an American example of this trope.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Game.
  • Wham Episode:
    • It all starts falling apart in Episode 3. The episode really is about lost innocence: things are going to get really bad before they get better, if it does get better at all.
    • Episode 4 does its best to top this. And with Lee getting bitten, and Clementine getting kidnapped being at the top of the list of things that happen, they succeeded.
  • Wham Line:
    • The first episode has one in the first scene in the police car. The line varies, but the overall scene is the same— the police officer is in the middle of saying something when the dialogue choices suddenly pop up (which include "IN THE ROAD!", "WATCH OUT!", and "OH SHIT!"), moments before the car hits a Walker. It's a nice way of showing that sometimes, choices will pop up out of nowhere, and you're not always going to have a lot of time to make a decision.
    • In A New Day, right when you're about to escape the zombie-infested drugstore, Larry yells "You're not coming with us, you son of a bitch!" at you and punches you to the ground, with Kenny barely saving you from the zombies afterwards. This is after you risk your life to get Larry the pills for his heart.
    • Ben telling the group that just dying will cause you to become a Walker. Being bitten isn't necessary. One of Lee's responses is an appropriate, "God help us".
      Ben: It's not the bite that does it! You come back no matter how you die. If you don't destroy the brain that's just what happens!
    • The end of Long Road Ahead has a doozy, especially since it comes from Clementine's supposedly busted walkie-talkie.
      Voice: Can't wait for you to get to Savannah, Clementine. I've got your parents right here! And you be sure to find me, whether Lee wants you to or not.
    • Around Every Corner:
      Voice (after revealing he has Clementine when Lee responds to her walkie-talkie): If I were you, I'd pick your next words VERY carefully.
    • If you say you don't know who the Stranger is, he jogs your memory by reminding you about the car and supplies you stole in Episode 2...
  • Wham Shot:
    • During Episode 2, Lee investigates the upstairs of the St. John house to check in on Mark. Once he opens the door to the upstairs bathroom, the camera shows Mark lying bloodied on the ground with his legs cut off.
    • Near the end of Episode 4, after killing a generic walker by Clementine's walkie-talkie, Lee picks up Clementine's hat, which caught a bloodstain from the fight. The camera then slowly pans where you are greeted with a bite mark right on Lee's wrist. His fate is now sealed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Andre the policeman disappears after dropping Lee and Clem off at the Greene farm at night.
    • Maybelle, the St. John farm's pregnant cow, isn't ever brought up again after you find out the St. Johns are a Cannibal Clan.
    • In Episode 5 Molly does not return after leaving the group, but considering that Savannah is completely overrun, her odds are not good.
  • What Have You Done for Me Lately?: Kenny's almost verbatim line when he's complaining about Molly, and Lee points out that she did save his life. Given his reactions if Lee ever disagrees with him, Kenny seems to have this mindset quite often.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lee gets this a lot, regardless of his choices. The man who kidnaps Clementine really lets him have it when he arrives at the hotel. It can be pretty hilarious if the player have made an active effort to steer Lee away from heinous acts, as he starts bringing up events there were either more or less out of Lee's control, or very easy to reasonably justify. On the other hand, if the player has been doing stuff like stealing food from the Episode 2 station wagon, or stabbing Danny St. John to death with a pitchfork when Danny was already incapacitated and at Lee's mercy, the man chewing Lee out can actually have a point.
  • Worst Aid: Yeah, Hershel. Go ahead and put that bandage on OVER Lee's grimy, bloody pants. It's not like that would double the risk of infection or anything by pushing said pants up against the wound.
    • Also, CPR won't actually do any good against a heart attack.
  • Writing Indentation Clue: Used by Lee to get instructions for how to drive a train from a ripped notepad.
  • You All Look Familiar: While the game features unique human NPCs, there are only about seven or eight different types of zombies, aside from a few unique examples (the helicopter pilot, for example).
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Regardless of alternate choices made, the outcome of certain events will exactly be the same.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Well, it is about the walking dead.


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