Back in The Walking Dead's golden years, Daryl Dixon was every fan's hero. The taciturn redneck with a heart of gold and a knack for handling a crossbow charmed viewers everywhere within minutes of being on the show. Daryl was introduced in TWD's third episode ever. Shortly before Daryl sauntered out of the woods and fans everywhere fell in love, Daryl's infamous big brother, Merle, had been abandoned by Rick on a roof in Atlanta.
Thus began one of The Walking Dead's most well-known storylines, and was the birth of one of the show's most iconic characters.
With TWD nearing its tenth season this October and Daryl filling Rick's shoes as the main character, fans have become gradually more disenchanted with the once-fan-favorite, Daryl Dixon. He still has a massive portion of the fanbase rooting for him though, and that's mostly due to his usually quiet and loyal demeanor.
When Daryl Dixon does talk, it's memorable, because it's so rare. He has coined some of the series' most famous lines, so let's review them.
10 "PEOPLE IN HELL WANT SLURPEES."
Season 2 shone a limelight on two notable sides of Daryl Dixon: his sassy side and his sensitive side. With the search for Sophia being a major part of the season, the storyline revealed that Daryl's rough exterior really wasn't all there was to him, and he had a truly heartfelt side underneath.
But no Daryl fan doesn't appreciate some good old fashioned Dixon sass, and Daryl provided a lot of this in season 2. When Jimmy, a kid who resided at Hershel's farm, wanted to join in on the search for Sophia, he insisted on having a gun. To this, Daryl replied, "and people in hell want slurpees", which is a quote that no one will soon forget.
9 "I MIGHT BE THE ONE LEAVING, BUT YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S WALKING AWAY - AGAIN."
Daryl and Merle had a very touching relationship. They had lived hard lives before the apocalypse, and their relationship as brothers never really got mended before Merle's death in season 3. The Dixon brothers were an iconic duo, and they remain a fan favorite to this day.
At every turn, this relationship evoked strong emotions from fans. It made them laugh, it made them cry. The above quote was said in a particularly heartbreaking scene that took place a few episodes before Merle's death. Daryl decides to go back to the Prison, and believing Merle will just go his own way, says, "I might be the one leaving, but you're the one who's walking away - again."
8 "IT'S A CHEROKEE ROSE."
This line serves to highlight one thing fans love a lot about Daryl - his sensitive side. In season 2, the Sophia storyline shone new light on what a caring guy Daryl Dixon actually is, and viewers loved it. Daryl completely dedicated himself to finding Carol's daughter - and although he was not ultimately successful, the entire gesture was so extremely touching.
In an attempt to give Carol some hope, Daryl waxes poetic and tells her the story of the Cherokee rose - after bringing her one.
7 "WE AIN'T ASHES."
In yet another attempt to give Carol hope, Daryl spoke this iconic line in season 5. The Walking Dead can sometimes go a little far in the speeches the characters give. This problem has worsened over the years, and nowadays, the survivors mostly speak in purple prose.
Season 5 was just the beginning of this glaring issue, but in Daryl's case, it actually worked out pretty well. Having him say, "we ain't ashes", didn't push the envelope too far for his character, and the line wasn't nearly as pretentious as most of Rick's speeches.
6 "TODAY'S YOUR LUCKY DAYS, FELLAS."
One Daryl Dixon's most famous mini-speeches, and a classic example of that sharp Dixon sass fans adore, this quote took place early on in season 3. The gang arrived at the Prison to find that it was already being inhabited by a group of convicts. In typical Officer Friendly fashion, Rick threatened the convicts many times. But Daryl took a much different approach, sarcastically saying, "today's your lucky days, fellas. You've been pardoned by the state of Georgia; you're free to go".
5 "CHOKEHOLD'S ILLEGAL."
Daryl Dixon probably has come up with some of the most memorable clap-backs in the show's history. He utilized this talent frequently in TWD's earlier seasons, since that was the time he got the most flack from other members of the group.
Daryl was particularly at odds with Shane, who would never hesitate to patronize the younger Dixon brother. When Daryl discovered that the group had abandoned Merle on a roof in Atlanta, he understandably lost his cool. Shane resolved this situation by putting Daryl in a chokehold, to which Daryl's sharp response was, "chokehold's illegal".
4 "IT LOOKS LIKE A DOG SAT IN PAINT AND WIPED ITS ASS ALL OVER THE PLACE."
Daryl definitely has a very unique sense of humor. His dry, sarcastic demeanor provides a platform for this, and he cracks jokes in a way no one else on the show does. Not a lot of his fellow survivors really "get" Daryl's sense of humor, but viewers everywhere have loved it for almost a decade.
Daryl made this particular crack in season 5, in an attempt to lighten the mood during the search for Beth. While he and Carol examined an abstract painting, Daryl mused, "it looks like a dog sat in paint and wiped its ass all over the place".
3 "GOOD DOG."
Speaking of dogs, one of the highlights of The Walking Dead's ninth season, was the fact that Daryl finally got his own dog. Both fans and Norman Reedus himself have been asking for this for quite some time now, and the payoff was satisfying.
The relationship between Daryl and his dog is one for the ages - and one we're hoping will last very long. Daryl's soft side certainly comes out when he's interacting with his pup, and this is something that really melts the viewers' hearts.
2 "YOU'RE SITTING OVER THERE TALKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF YOUR MOUTH."
Season 6 introduced one of the main antagonists of the show. Gregory, the leader of the Hilltop community, was absolutely insufferable from the very beginning.
He finally met his demise in season 9, so for almost three seasons, his character was free to wreak havoc and cause problems for the main group and other communities. It was about time that someone called him on his cowardice, and Daryl definitely did with the above quote.
1 "SORRY, BROTHER."
Season 2, though commonly dislike throughout the TWD fandom, was a season rich with character development and character-driven storylines. The season had its issues, but right about now, The Walking Dead would undoubtedly benefit from focusing that heavily on the survivors and their relationships with each other.
Dale Horvath was a character that strongly valued the close-knit nature of the group. He attempted to be the glue that held everyone together for the better part of his time in the apocalypse, and his death at the end of the season was utterly heart-wrenching. After Dale was fatally attacked by a walker, it was Daryl who stepped up and put him down. In the moments before executing this, Daryl whispered, "sorry, brother." This memorable line served to make the scene all the more unforgettable.