The entire conceit of The Walking Dead was to take a realistic look at what would happen to the world following a zombie apocalypse. Comic book creator Robert Kirkman said he loved zombie movies, but hated how they just ended. This could explain why the series decided to forgo scenes of the initial outbreak and pick up when the real survival and rebuilding had just begun.
Overall, the show does an excellent job at showing us what a world in ruin would actually look like: horrible people have risen to power, food and water are always running out, and people die — a lot of them. The Walking Dead takes all the camp and satire that usually accompanies a zombie story, and replaces it with gritty realism and heartbreak.
But that’s not to say the show always gets everything right. And if we’re going to get nitpicky, there are a few things from the show that are just utterly unrealistic. So here are 15 Things That Don’t Make Sense About The Walking Dead.
15. How Rick Survived His Coma
One of the prevailing fan theories about The Walking Dead insists that the whole thing is all a bad dream and that the show will end with Rick waking up from his coma. While this would be a massive let down, it may actually be a more realistic scenario than Rick surviving his coma in the first place.
Robert Kirkman confirmed that Rick’s coma probably lasted about four to five weeks, which is a fair amount of time for the world to go to hell. But the real question is how long before the hospital remained functional before it was overrun? When Rick finally stumbles out of his room, things look pretty rough, but there’s always the possibility that the place was overrun within the last day or two.
However, if the world was in such bad shape that the hospital could have been overrun that quickly, do we really think that someone was taking the time to feed and clean Rick a few days before he woke up? Chances are self-preservation would’ve set in before then, and anything longer than three days without water and Rick would’ve gotten out of bed a zombie.
14. A world without “Zombies”
While we have admit the word “walker” sounds much cooler in a Southern accent, it’s still a little odd that no one has said the word “zombie” at least once on the show. Instead of using the Z word, the characters have referred to the living dead as “roamers,” “biters,” “geeks,” and even “lame-brains.” Every new groups seems to have their favorite moniker for the undead flesh-eaters.
Though in the comic, Rick and Tyreese discuss how weird it is to use the term “zombie,” on the show it appears as though the characters are living in a world without zombie movies. Lauren Cohan, the actress who plays Maggie Greene, has actually confirmed that Romero movie zombies don’t exist in their universe, which explains why the characters have to figure out what’s going on from scratch at the onset of the apocalypse.
While it seems impossible that no one in The Walking Dead universe has ever made a movie about reanimated corpses eating people, it’s either that, or the audience would have to sit through an existential conversation about how the characters feel like they’re trapped in a zombie movie. That may be more realistic, but it’s also more of a cliche.
13. Hershel’s Infinite Shotgun
Of course Rick’s group deserved a respite, but pretty much everybody was rooting for the downfall of Hershel’s farm by the end of season two. Twelve episodes of the idyllic farmhouse were more than enough, and we were ready for the herd to level the place so the group could move on to a more intriguing setting. But the farm did not go down without a fight, and for a moment there it seemed like Hershel might actually succeed in taking down the whole herd with a single round of ammo!
The gun that Hershel is using is actually a 12-gauge Remington 870 Wingmaster, which holds four rounds at a time — not ideal for warding off zombies. However, Hershel fires off a total of nine round while on camera, and at least another eight can be heard when the camera cuts away to Lori and Carol!
We expect unlimited ammo in films like Shoot ‘Em Up and The Expendables, but The Walking Dead is not a frivolous action movie. The inaccuracy even spawned its own meme known as “Hershel’s Infinite Ammo Cheat,” along with a number of Youtube videos where the footage loops over and over again, showing Hershel unloading hundred of cartridges without ever stopping to reload.
12. The Prison Lawnmower
Overall, The Walking Dead does a fantastic job of making the world look like it’s gone to waste. The windows are always covered in dust, the roadways are blanketed with leaves, and signs of the initial outbreak can still be seen in the abandoned towns that the group passes through. But if we’re going to get nitpicky about one location, it has to be the West Georgia Correctional Facility, AKA the prison.
When the group first arrives to secure the prison in the beginning of season three, the grass and weeds outside the outer most gate are clearly overgrown. But when they start moving through each security gate the grass seems to get shorter and shorter. It would be one thing if the grass appeared dried out and stunted by the sun, but it actually looks healthy and green.
This episode also takes place after a significant time jump in the story, as the group spent the entire winter scavenging on the road. Realistically, it would have been a year since anyone cared to mow the lawn of the prison, yet it’s not until much later in season three and four does the grass inside the prison gates become significantly overgrown.
11. One Hungry Zombie
Though Lori was far from our favorite character, she at least deserved a send off that was somewhat logical. Those who had read the comics knew that Lori (and the baby) meet a horrific end. But in a gut-wrenching twist, Lori met her demise earlier on the show, which succeeded in keeping even the comic fans on their toes. Our problem isn’t with the death scene, but with what happens to Lori afterward.
While grieving, Rick fights his way through the prison to find the body of his dead wife — except there is no body. There’s not even any bones! Just a bloody stain on the floor where she gave birth to Judith.
Around the corner Rick finds the zombie who feasted on his wife, and the zombie definitely looks full, but not that full. Heck, Lori’s stomach was bigger with just a baby inside it. Are we supposed to think this one zombie ate a grown woman, bones and all? Rick could just as easily have found a half-eaten corpse, which would have prompted him to cut into the zombie’s stomach all the same. We’re simply not buying this plot point.
10. The Ease of Headshots
Anyone who’s survived this long in the show has killed their fair share of zombies, and it makes sense that the longer you survive, the better you’ll become at dispatching walkers. But even for an expert marksman, some of the headshots that these characters are landing are down right ridiculous.
Back in season three, when the group is clearing the prison, we get a look at how accurate they’ve all become after a long winter on the road. Aside from Carol missing her target once, every other shot that’s fired is a confirmed kill. Even Carl, who’s firing a pistol from atop a guard tower, is picking off zombies from half a football field away.
Believe it or not, Rick makes some of the most absurd headshots in the show. Even though he was a trained police officer with tons of experience before the zombie apocalypse ever began, he almost never stops running to take a moment to look down his sights before firing his revolver. If only landing headshots in Call of Duty were this easy.
9. Everybody Should Have a Car
Remember the iconic shot of Rick riding his horse into Atlanta with the outbound lane of traffic packed bumper to bumper with abandoned cars? The world of The Walking Dead is overflowing with free vehicles, yet the group only seems to drive around in a few, and when one breaks down, pandemonium ensues. The reality is, is that the group could easily have dozens of cars waiting on standby. It’s realistic that the batteries on most cars would be totally dead by now, but otherwise, cars sitting around in a mild climate do not break down that quickly.
Some believe that the survivors would have run out of gas by now, but with the overwhelming majority of the population gone there would be a lot of gas just sitting around. Most new cars have gas tanks that cannot be siphoned the old fashion way, but with nothing but time on their hands, getting gas out of vehicles and gas stations is far from impossible. And if it’s stored correctly and fuel stabilizer is used, gas can last for years upon years without any serious problems.
7. Winter Isn’t Coming
It’s likely that the timeline of The Walking Dead TV series is intentionally hard to pin down. While a careful counting of the days and the time jumps has yielded a timeline somewhere in the two year range, the characters have visibly aged much more than this, particularly Carl. But even after all this time, whether it be two years or seven, the seasons haven’t gone through any significant change.
The first few seasons of the show take place in Georgia, where the climate is largely the same year around, though the state does get an average of one to two inches of snowfall per year. However, the group is now farther north in Virginia, where a good portion of the year is spent with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, with an average annual snowfall of around one foot! So where exactly are the seasons?
Though the characters may be in Virginia and the surrounding D.C. area, the cast and crew are still filming in Georgia. The shooting schedule for the show largely puts production onto hiatus during the winter months, which explains why we don’t see a season change, by even Georgia’s standards.
8. The Hyundai Tucson
It’s not the first time this vehicle has come under criticism. While others have incorrectly speculated that this Hyundai Tucson wouldn’t have even existed during the time of the outbreak, the 2011 model would have indeed been for sale by the end of 2010 — which is when the outbreak in The Walking Dead took place. However, we still have an issue with the appearance of the car, and if it looks like a product placement, chances are it probably is.
As it turns out the Korean car company paid the show to display their Hyundai Tuscon in pristine condition, which explains why the SUV is never covered in dust or mud like every other vehicle that Rick’s group has ever driven.
They even made the stipulation that the vehicle could not be used to run over zombies, which makes sense since you don’t see many car commercials with blood smeared across the bumper. But apparently the company didn’t have any problems with Shane and Andrea having sex in the front seat of their Hyundai — it’s a very spacious vehicle, after all.
6. Body Hair and Overall Hygiene
If you’re constantly fending for your life against a herd of zombies there are a few niceties that are going to fall by the wayside pretty fast. Shaving your armpits and grooming your fu manchu are at the top of that list. Yet every time we get a glimpse of Rosita or Michonne’s armpits they appear naturally hairless (which is not how it works, gentlemen). And despite being on the road for weeks at a time, Abraham somehow managed to maintain the finest piece of facial hair in the entire series (though Rick’s beard is a close second).
On the flip side of this, there’s very little attention paid to the most important aspects of maintaining proper hygiene– brushing your teeth, for one. You know how bad morning breath can be after just one night’s sleep? Now imagine even a week without brushing before bed? Truly horrific stuff. And what about toilet paper? Plenty of importance is placed on food and weapons, but nobody has suggested making a Charmin run.
5. The Zombies Would Be Skeletons By Now
Remember how bad the zombies were looking in just episode one? Well, it’s just within the last few episodes that it’s become a “problem” that they are decomposing beyond the point of being able to walk. Fortunately, Eugene was able to think his way out of Negan’s problem, and proposed pouring molten metal over the walkers to keep them intact.
The fact of the matter is that years have gone by since the apocalypse, and this level of decomposition would have happened long ago. They were in the deep South, after all, with extremely hot and humid weather that would have only accelerated the decay.
According to a forensic archaeologists, within a period of six to nine months the walkers’ eyes would be totally gone, and in a hot and humid environment, their skin would start slipping off in a matter of weeks! In reality, most of these zombies would be eyeless skeletons by now, making them much easier to avert than the walkers still featured on the show.
4. Too Much Meat on Their Bones
While the Saviors are the only group that seems replete with foodstuffs (they even have pickles, for crying out loud!) pretty much every other group on the show has been strapped for food since season two. Rick’s group has eaten some pretty unsavory meals — owl, squirrel, even dog food — yet many of the characters look the same as when they first debuted.
When Abraham shows up in season four he’s still packing an impressively muscular build, with some weight in the middle to spare. And Eugene is far from emaciated, despite the fact that their group has been constantly on the move without a stockpile of food.
We don’t expect these actors to all look like Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, but the lean and muscular build of Rick and Michonne seems to capture the state of the group’s survival perfectly. It’s fine if the actors don’t intend on dropping any weight, but in that case, the show needs to include fewer scenes with the characters talking about the food shortage.
3. Why Are People Still Following Rick?
The days of the archetypal hero in storytelling are largely over. Today, it’s all about the anti-hero. Morally ambiguous characters are just far more interesting, and realistic. AMC alone has given us a slew of interesting anti-heroes worth watching: Don Draper, Walter White, and of course, Rick Grimes.
While Rick’s imperfections are what keep the show interesting, the former sheriff turned group leader has gone off the deep end on more than a few occasions. He’s slammed Glen up against the prison walls, argued with his dead wife in front of some newcomers, and pointed a gun at the citizens of Alexandria– just to name a few.
Rick has made some good calls, for sure, but he frequently swings between rash action and totally inactivity, and his followers often have to keep him in check. While Spencer was by far one of our least favorite characters (and one of the few we’re happy Negan slaughtered) he did have a point: things do get worse with Rick Grimes around. It’s a wonder the group hasn’t elected Glenn (RIP), Maggie, or Michonne to take over as the new leader before now.
2. How careless the characters have become
While the biggest threat in the series has proven to be their fellow man, plenty of characters have still succumbed to the walking dead. Yet no matter how many characters get eaten, bitten or scratched, the others continue to act carelessly when out in the open.
All the way back in episode two of the series, the characters learned that covering your clothes in walker guts makes you ostensibly invisible to walkers. In season three we also saw how Michonne neutered two zombies that ended up acting as camouflage, and there’s also the riot gear that the group utilized in the prison.
Of course, many of the characters that have survived this long have become zombie killing aficionados, but they’ve also learned time and time again that you can never be too careful. So why wouldn’t they continue to implement the tools that have saved their lives in the past? A riot suit covered in zombie guts sounds pretty full proof to us. At least against biters.
1. They should all be zombies by now
Going hand in hand with the previous entry, way more characters in The Walking Dead — if not all of them — should have turned into zombies by now. Almost every member of Rick’s group has been showered in zombie blood more than a time or two. Often, they’ll spend entire episodes walking around with dried blood on their faces and hands.
The point being, if a simple bite or a scratch is enough to make you turn, these zombies are extremely contagious. So if any trace of their blood gets in a minor cut or splatters in your eye, you’re going to turn.
Yet every time Rick and his followers are out plunging knives into zombie skulls they’re not even wearing gloves! Not to mention that living out in the wild is going to ensure that your hands and arms are always covered with nicks and scratches by default.
Back in the episode “Guts,” Rick and Glen were at least smart enough to put on surgical gloves before smearing zombie guts on their trench coats. Now the characters are all but performing zombie autopsies with their bare hands.
So do you think we’re being too hard on The Walking Dead? Or not hard enough? Let us know in the comments.
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