The Walking Dead established itself as a gory show pretty early on. In the opening scene of the very first episode, Rick shoots a zombified little girl in the head. Later, outside the hospital, half a corpse starts crawling towards him.
A couple of episodes later, he’s gutting some dead walkers with Glenn so that they can cover themselves in blood and organs and disguise themselves among the hordes of the undead. It’s only gotten bloodier from there as the ratings have continued to soar and the makeup budget has gotten bigger. So, here are the 10 Bloodiest Episodes Of The Walking Dead.
Season 4’s “Infected” is better known as “the one where a walker presses its face through the prison fence to get to the living.” The moment was infamously disgusting.
Scott M. Gimple, who was the showrunner at the time, has said, “I think we’ve found the sweet spot between totally awful and abhorrent, but acceptable,” citing this moment as one where the gore was toned down to fit just on the “acceptable” line they’re trying to walk with the show. Still, it was the icing on the cake in a very graphic, very violent, and very bloody installment of the show.
In season 5’s “Spend,” a lot goes wrong for the group. Aiden gets impaled on a wall after demonstrating some terrible shooting skills, and then due to Nicholas’ cowardice, he ends up stuck in a revolving door surrounded by walkers with Glenn and Noah.
The rest of the group tries to save Aiden, but that’s futile, so they end up leaving him to get torn apart by walkers. And then Glenn makes it out of the revolving door with Nicholas, but Noah doesn’t, and he, too, gets torn apart by walkers. It’s not a good episode to watch if you have a weak stomach.
Right as they arrive near Terminus in the season 4 finale, Rick and Carl’s hope of a safe haven is cut short when some Deliverance-style creeps show up to have their way with Carl and force Rick to watch. That’s when Rick truly loses it for the first time.
He bites the jugular out of one of the guys’ necks to show them he means business and protect his son. Of course, the season 4 finale ends with all the characters being loaded into a train carriage where they’ll have to wait to die at the hands of a gang of cannibals and Rick says, “They’re screwin’ with the wrong people!”
7 Killer Within
This is a particularly gory episode, because it not only features a zombie invasion of the prison; it features a frightening childbirth scene. Maggie has had to teach herself how to do a C-section, having delivered baby animals on the farm where she grew up, and she ends up getting the baby out at the cost of the mother’s life.
Carl has to watch Lori, his own mother, give birth in a grimy prison while zombies are breaking through the gates, and then he has to shoot her in the head when she dies and starts trying to eat him. Also, T-Dog heroically meets his end in this episode, so it’s extra bloody.
6 Not Tomorrow Yet
Remember back before we knew Negan, when Rick and the group were seriously underestimating the Saviors’ power? They went to a satellite outpost, which turned out to be just one of a few outposts they had, and started stabbing the Saviors one by one in their sleep.
A few of the Alexandrians, like Glenn and Heath, were apprehensive about killing them until they saw a wall of prized photographs of caved-in skulls and realized the Saviors were even more savage than them. Then the Saviors woke up and a bloody battle broke out in the compound. All in all, it was one of the most disturbingly violent episodes TWD has ever done.
The Walking Dead will always take any chance to show how much of a badass Carol is – and the fans will always appreciate it. In the episode “JSS,” we finally find out who “the Wolves” are.
They’re just a bunch of savages who want to invade Alexandria, and almost succeed in doing so. As the Wolves tear through the town and terrorize people, Carol takes up arms, disguises herself as one of them, and then starts picking them off, one by one, in a blaze of glory. It’s a sight to behold, but it is a graphic sight to behold.
4 No Way Out
With the episode “No Way Out” coming up, fans were wondering how the show was going to handle Jessie’s future. She was a love interest to Rick, a mother of two insufferable boys, and her character died at this point in the comics. As it turns out, they just went ahead and adapted the death – and brought down the two boys with her. Sam, the little one, is devoured by walkers. Then his mother refuses to let go of his hand and, with that, Carl can’t get his hand out of her hand.
So, Carl falls and drops his gun. Then Ron, now without a brother, mother, or father thanks to Rick, picks up the gun and aims it at Rick. But Michonne manages to plunge her sword into the boy before he can kill Rick – but not before he can pull the trigger and shoot out Carl’s eye. Just a horrific episode, all-round.
3 Too Far Gone
This one may have been included on the list because it’s not just that it contains a decapitation scene; it contains Hershel’s decapitation scene. Everyone’s favorite one-legged, spaghetti-loving farmer has been taken by the Governor, along with Michonne, and with one prisoner’s katana, the Governor cuts off his other prisoner’s head.
After this, a huge war breaks out at the prison that leaves it uninhabitable for the rest of the series. The walkers get in, while Rick and the Governor have a brutal fight that ends with the former getting pummeled and Michonne slaying the latter. It’s a pretty bloody episode.
2 No Sanctuary
The season 5 premiere paid off the back end of season 4 in the most gross way. All of the characters separately headed for Terminus, seeing it as the hope and salvation they’d all been waiting for. But then when they get there, they’re taken and loaded onto train carriages, where they wait to be held over a trough, have their throats slit, and get eaten.
The scenes in Terminus are among the goriest in TWD history. Meanwhile, Tyreese fights off a cabin full of walkers with his bare hands to save baby Judith from being eaten alive and Carol comes to rescue.
1 The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be
The season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead may be the most horrifyingly graphic and violent hour of television ever filmed. It was the payoff of a gimmick in the season 6 finale in which all the main characters were lined up and one of them was beaten to death in a P.O.V. shot.
The big payoff was that we’d finally get to see whose head Negan caved in with his baseball bat. The levels of violence reached in this episode are so beyond the pale and sadistic that it put millions of people off watching the show forever. Meanwhile, the bashing-in of Glenn’s head and the popping-out of his eye were deemed wildly unnecessary.