In 2003, comic book writer, Robert Kirkman and Image Comics unleashed The Walking Dead into the world. Thanks to Frank Darabont, Kirkman, and the AMC Network, the book was adapted into one of the longest–running shows of all time. The Walking Dead debuted in 2010 and had consistently been one of the most popular shows every year. Not just on DVR’s either. The show is must-see television. In today’s era of spoiling everything with all kinds of social media posts, if you don’t catch the show at its airtime, chances are someone is going to ruin an episode for you.
For a comic – book show about zombies, the series has garnered a ton of acclaim over the years, including a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series. It is the most watched basic cable TV show in history. The popularity of the show has launched an entire franchise. The spinoff series, Fear The Walking Dead; various mini-Web Series like Machete; video games, toys, novels, you name it, you can slap the logo on it.
Even though the show has lost Andrew Lincoln, Lauren Cohan, and soon Danai Gurira, there still doesn’t seem to be any signs of slowing down. There are going to upcoming movies that detail Rick and Jadis’ time on the helicopter with the “A and B people.” According to former show-runner, Scott Gimple, there is another spin-off in the works as well. The message is clear, we love our zombies. Here’s some Easter Eggs that even the most ardent fans may have missed. Here are 25 Hidden Things Fans Completely Missed On The Walking Dead.
25 Cherokee Rose Callback
While there are undead crazies roaming around the world, at its core the show has always been about the relationships and connections that the living characters form with another. One of the most endearing and enduring relationships on the show has been between the motherly but intense Carol and the introverted but lovable Darryl.
Part of their friendship was laid out when Darryl would not rest until he found Carol’s daughter Sophia. But their friendship has moved way past that as well. A callback to their friendship’s beginnings happened during the sixth season when Darryl, alone in the woods, caught sight of a Cherokee Rose on the back of a Walker. It’s the same flower he gave to Carol after he failed to find Sophia.
24 Breaking Bad Connections
While the show is the longest running in AMC history, the network’s most critically lauded show is and was Breaking Bad. For some strange reason, the saga of a mild-mannered science teacher rising to the top of the criminal underworld in the American Southwest resonated with viewers and there are many who proclaim the show as the greatest of all time.
The connections with The Walking Dead are way too similar to not think that the show is paying homage to Heisenberg. Besides both shows making use of a camper, early on in season two, you can catch some of Walter’s Big Blue Sky in a baggie On Darryl’s motorcycle.
23 Terminus Warnings
It seems like a really long time ago that Rick Grimes and the Grimes Gang were trying to seek refuge in a place called Terminus. If its name wasn’t ominous enough, there were all kinds of railroads with signs and transmissions of “those who arrive, survive.” But still, they all pressed on, despite viewers’ better judgment for the main characters.
But even before the strange promises of paradise, Michonne was getting warnings not to head to Terminus. She came upon a house with a painting of a little girl named Mary. Some fans believe this foreshadowed meeting the Terminus lady also called Mary.
22 Johnny Depp Cameo
All of the big stars like being a part of the big shows and movies, right? Being a part of the biggest show on television would certainly be a feather in the cap of any actor. But how about for a quirky actor who frequently wears fedoras with feathers? Unbeknownst to him probably, but Johnny Depp’s head has made an appearance on the show.
According to Greg Nicotero, Depp’s noggin was one of the heads featured when Rick and company were using parts of Walkers to prove their worth before setting out on their mission for Hilltop.
21 The Callback To The First Episode
One of the first iconic images the series ever was the very first scene - Rick wandering around. From underneath a car, he sees a little girl holding her little teddy bear. But instead of her scared and looking for momma, she was looking for some brains.
Several years later, as the show celebrated the monumental 100th episode, we’d meet her again in a similar situation. Only this time it was Carl looking for gas in a pretty cool callback scene for those who noticed.
20 Rick’s A Changed Man
Sometimes, especially with some of the more plodding storylines, it’s seems like there is little to no character development on The Walking Dead. But then Rick straight up lies to and eliminates a bunch of would-be bandits, with Morgan helping him. That’s definitely not what the Rick of last seasons would have done.
In fact, Rick was staunchly against hurting the living, unless faced with threats from them. It would several years later that Rick would be held by a couple of guys. He promised them sanctuary. But when they agreed and let him and Morgan go, they quickly learned they were messing with the wrong guy.
19 Saving “Sophia”
The second season of the series is probably its most divisive season to date. With most of the season taking place all in one spot and listening to philosophical discussions between Dale, Rick, Hershel, and Shane; all the while searching for Sophia and licking their wounds was a little daunting to watch for some.
It’s a subtle callback but at one point Rick talks to Sophia near a tree. If you want to see a connection, Carol found Henry at a tree. But even more important – the kid that played Henry was played by Macsen Lintz. His older sister is Madison, who played Sophia.
18 Whisperers Foreshadowed
As the current group of survivors threatening our heroes, the Whisperers are pretty out there. Deciding that trying to rebuild society as it once was is a bad plan, they instead cover themselves in Walker blood and masks to move freely through the world and survive.
Strangely enough, Morgan would speak of these villains years earlier. In the classic episode “Clear,” Rick reconnects with his old friend, who has gone completely insane. He’s mumbling and muttering about all kinds of things, but one of his inane musings was not as nuts as it seemed – “people wearing dead people’s faces.” Fans of the comic book knew exactly who he was talking about.
17 Andrew Lincoln’s Real Voice Cameo
Every so often, the show would introduce a character from the comics and for whatever reason, not use them very well. Fans were a little divided on Tyreese and his portrayal on the show. Of course, when they finally started using the big man best, he got bit and started hallucinating.
The big lug was heading for that big good night when he started to hear news accounts of the Zombie Apocalypse taking place in the United Kingdom. The newscaster’s voice was actually the real-life voice of series star, Andrew Lincoln.
16 Negan Foreshadowed
Besides Rick and Darryl, Glenn Rhee might’ve been the show’s most popular character. He was certainly the heart of the show as well. For many seasons, he was actually the only guy to have not killed any human beings. Even more than Rick, he’s usually the first person to try and accept new people into the group.
The guy’s demise is the most intense and heartbreaking scene on the show and a true showcase of how powerful Negan is. But his demise was also foreshadowed on the series when he took part on a raid at Sanctuary. Glenn ran afoul of polaroids of what looked like serious damage to people by what probably was Lucille.
15 Bible Verses Tell The Story
Fandom is an awesome thing sometimes. It’s why articles like this one are great. Fandom also allows dedicated fans of any show to head right down the rabbit hole and find out all sorts of gnarly tidbits. Like the Reddit user who took the time to research the bible verses listed on the wall of Ezekial’s church.
Not coincidentally, they all had something to do with the events of the show. For example, Matthew 27:52 “…and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had [perished] were raised from the dead.”
14 TMNT Connection
Inspiration comes in all kinds of places. During the sixth season of the show, Morgan returned to the Grimes Gang and we got to see how he became a peace-loving pacifist. Thanks to a man he met along his path, Eastman, he became a master of Aikido.
Eastman is also the name of one-half of one of the creators of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While you might think that was just a coincidence. The shirt Eastman is wearing in “Here’s Not Here,” says “Save The Terrapins,” just to hammer the point home that TMNT helped to influence Morgan.
13 Hollywood’s Smoking Connection
Considering the stress of living in the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s surprising that only two main in characters take the edge off by having a smoke or two when they can find them. Darryl was super happy to found a carton of Morley’s. Carol even found the flavor in Menthol.
For fans of both The Walking Dead and The X-Files, you’ll know that Morley’s we’re the preferred brand of the Smoking Man, the proverbial man behind the curtain. The CSG behind both the alien and zombie invasions would make for a crazy crossover.
12 Scott Ian Cameo
Johnny Depp’s head might have cameoed on the show, but what if the Zombie Apocalypse was caused by Anthrax? Scott Ian, the lead singer of the thrash band, Anthrax, is also a huge fan of The Walking Dead. Like any good celebrity fan, he used his stroke to nab a guest spot on the show.
The makeup team that does a tremendous job creating Walkers did an even better one here. They yanked back the singer’s epic goatee to play a Walker in the “Torn Apart” Webisode, “Everything [Passes],” and season 5’s “Remember.”
11 Achievement Unlocked?
Its one of the very rare instances of humor about all of the decaying madness happening on the show, there is a long-held fan thought that a strange noise was heard when Rick ended his first Walker, one of his old sheriff buddies.
The sound effect of this shot happens to sound eerily like the “Achievement Unlocked” noise that happens when playing any games on the X-Box. A lot of fans have speculated that Rick never woke up from his coma, the achievement noise could be proof.
10 Rick’s A Good Leader?
Rick Grimes has made a ton of decisions along the group’s path towards survival. Some decisions good, some bad, mostly terrible. Even he knows that he’s not a great leader. That’s why he was planting tulips at the prison instead of taking charge. He doesn’t want to be the only one leading and it’s good that he tries to defer that leadership to all sorts of committees.
Yet, the group follow him and seldom question his means or methods. It has only been recently since he decided by himself to leave Negan alive that a schism between the groups started.
9 Unrealistic Gunplay
Using a gun to eliminate a Walker or two attracts a whole lot more. Every so often though, the Grimes gang has no choice but unload a ton of ammunition on a horde of Walkers; the Governor and his henchmen; the Saviors; whoever.
One would think that behind-the-scenes, at least the main actors would be trained to look firing weapons. If you’re in the know, then you’ll realize that there is no kickback to any of the guns firing and barely anyone is wincing at flashes and bangs.
8 The Title Card Decays
The world of The Walking Dead is a giant decaying landscape. The entire world is seemingly a wasteland with nothing left except Walkers and those who are just trying to survive long enough to maybe reestablish some kind of civilization.
Every season, that decay is shown through the show’s great effects team. The Walkers look more and more disturbing. Even some of the people look more and more world-weary. Most areas are overgrown until characters clean it out. Even the show’s title card has gotten more frayed and dirty over time. Chronologically speaking, Fear The Walking Dead’s title card from season one is actually the cleanest.
7 Zombie Is Never Used
With its origins based in Haiti and Brazil, the term Zombie dates back over 200 years. In literature, since the early 20th century. George Romero brought the term to the mainstream moviegoing public with Night Of The Living Dead. The word Zombie wasn’t used in that movie though. Fans coined the term.
Perhaps, in similar fashion or in praise of, The Walking Dead has never mentioned the word either. They’re Walkers, Biters, Creepers, Dead Ones, Geeks, but they’re never Zombies.
6 Dale’s Speech Becomes Episode Titles
In the early days of the show, there was Rick’s point of view, Shane’s, and then Dale’s. Dale thought Shane was a hothead, Rick wanted to help rebuild communities, and Dale was the groups’ moral compass. He had a speech during the first season’s “Vatos,” that was again referenced in the episode titles of season five.
“...I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it. For a moment, now and then, and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.’” While most people might not pay attention to episode titles, but for whatever the reason Scott Gimple used Dale’s speech here.
5 Did Beth Find Lucille?
It took a while, but Beth finally became at least a little liked by fans of the series. But that didn’t help curtail her fate. In the interim, she had some decent moments that didn’t involve any singing. Most were when she was partnered up with Darryl. As she bolted from the prison she came across some bodies and a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire.
While this clearly wasn’t the work Of Negan (he would never leave Lucille behind), it was a pretty cool Easter Egg for comic book fans to inform their non-comic book fan friends that about the problems awaiting our heroes.
4 Pirate Governor
A show like The Walking Dead, by design, has no choice but start out pretty bleak and just get nastier, grittier, and a whole lot darker. Moments of humor are pretty fleeting, but when they come; if you notice them, they’re pretty hysterical.
One of those moments came when we were learning about the backstory of the Governor. Tara and her family had taken the Governor in. When they found him, he was laying on a pillow with a parrot on it. Between the patch and the bird, for a brief moment, the Governor was a pirate.
3 More Breaking Bad Connections
Prior to the Walker outbreak that started the entire series, Darryl and his brother, Merle didn’t exactly hang out with the most honest law-abiding crowds. They seemingly ran with a certain meth head turned partner to the kingpin of the Southwest.
According to Darryl, he and Merle used to buy substances from a scrawny white kid with an affinity for using a certain word a whole lot. While it was never explicitly stated, that sounds a lot like Jesse Pinkman, doesn’t it?
2 Paying Homage To Romero
In 1968, Night Of The Living Dead shocked and stirred audiences into a frenzy. The modern zombie, as many of us know it was born (unborn?) with this game-changing horror film by George A. Romero. If you’re doing anything involving zombies, you have to homage to The Godfather Of The Dead.
Which is exactly what The Walking Dead has done. On several occasions, a few of the Walkers on the show look eerily similar to characters from Romero’s flicks. Besides that, the first episode of season 8 was dedicated to visionary.
1 The Umbrella Corporation
In the world of zombie survival video game series, Resident Evil, the Zombie Apocalypse was wrought upon the world by the nefarious Umbrella Corporation, and they’ve been trying to cover up their tracks ever since. The show has never stated what, if anything, caused the outbreak, but they still found a way to pay a little homage to the popular video game series.
In one episode of season five, in a close-up Of Michonne, there is a crafted octagon that looks very similar to the Umbrella Corps’ iconic logo.