There’s no question that Negan is the most popular The Walking Dead character at present. With Rick’s departure, more focus has fallen on Negan to rescue the show’s ratings, since fans flock to any episode that features this wisecracking character. After taking a turn toward the good side in Season 9, Negan is now beloved by all.
This doesn’t mean you should forget about all the atrocities he committed from Season 6 to Season 8, though. What better way to recall the monster Negan used to be than by taking a trip down memory lane to recount some of his worst turns of phrase?
10 "I Do Not Accept Your Apology!"
In many ways, Negan can be considered a good guy. He didn’t like to kill the heroes if he could avoid it, and would kill his own men if they strayed too far from their morals. In this instance, Negan brought a swift end to David for trying to take advantage of an imprisoned Sasha.
Before Negan uttered these words, he was slowly building up toward taking David’s life. But it was the fact that he dug the knife straight into David’s throat while he rejected David’s apology that made the moment very unsettling to watch. On one hand, he saved Sasha, but he also relished the act.
9 "You're Not Saving This World, Rick. You're Just Getting It Ready For Me."
Before Negan became a good guy by the end of Season 9, he still teased being a villain early on in the season. What made this quote scary to hear was that we expected Negan to show some kind of remorse, but he hit back at Rick with this threat.
We didn’t see Negan’s face either, so that quiet promise of taking everything back, combined with the sight of his vengeful eyes, left more than a few fearing for what was to come. At that time, Negan definitely believed he was going to be reclaiming the world for himself once again.
8 "P****ing Our Pants Yet?"
These were Negan’s very first lines on the show, and they told the whole story of what we were feeling (and what the show wanted us to feel) at that moment. We knew the leader of the Saviors was about to make his appearance, but the expectation was of someone filled with anger at losing his men. Negan’s calm and funny demeanor turned out to be even scarier.
He waltzed onto the scene certain that his soon-to-be victims were about to wet themselves out of fear, and this level of certainty made it clear that nothing good was about to happen. As we know, it all went bad after that.
7 "Who Are You?"
Negan’s go-to system of commanding absolute authority was by asking these three small words, and they became the mantra with which the Saviors conducted themselves. Every time Negan uttered this quote – and he did so with the most haunting whisper – you just knew he was either going to make a servant out of someone, or a victim.
It was uncomfortable how quickly the scene shifted every time these words were spoken, and Negan could turn into the stuff of nightmares if he saw defiance in the face of his victim.
6 "Take A Damn Look!"
At this point, people had really started to have their fill of The Walking Dead’s penchant for excessive violence. Negan taunting Rosita with his bloodied bat sure did make people want to wretch in disgust.
It was a testament to how dangerous the man was, that he wanted Rosita to “feast her eyes” on the bat. But it became truly frightening when he began demanding that she “take a look” at it. No wonder Daryl went ahead and punched him.
5 "People Are A Resource!"
Before this scene, Negan had been hammed up enough to become the source of comedy on the show, so people had begun underestimating him as the villain. However, the moment Negan banged Lucille hard on the table before him (and the way his subordinates all lost control in fright) told us he was still the boss.
Negan exclaiming that people were a resource loudly but firmly was enough to quiet everyone down – even the audience watching back at home. It was a chilling reminder of what his agenda was, and that he wasn’t playing around.
4 "Lucille Is Thirsty!"
We would’ve preferred Negan to have put Glenn out of his misery with as much intensity as possible, but the way he revelled in his actions frightened us more than anything. The wisecracks, the relentless fury of the bat swings... it was all too much.
People thought Negan hitting Glenn to signal his death would be the worst, but him repeatedly smashing the bat even after Glenn’s demise was somehow even more painful to watch. With Negan calling Lucille thirsty, we were made aware that there would be more victims for her to drink from over the season.
3 "Did You Treat Her Like A Lady?"
Not all of Negan’s bone-chilling moments had to do with him killing someone. He was also prone to tormenting his own men for his pleasure. This was best seen when he ripped into Fat Joey for handling Lucille the wrong way, and demanded to know if he had treated the bat like a lady.
It was an extremely uncomfortable situation to be in, as Fat Joey was speechless over what he should say. Even we, the viewing audience, had no clue what Negan meant over treating a bat like a lady – he followed that up with more colorful language that we won’t be repeating here. The scene was a tension-filled sequence, perfectly captured.
2 "You Got No Guts!"
This whole scene was heading toward Negan killing Spencer, but even when that moment happened, we all jumped in fright. Negan is known for choosing many imaginative ways to kill his victims, and Spencer places at the top of that list.
When he mentioned Spencer not having any guts, we knew Negan was going to make something of a literal show of that line. Even though Spencer was a low-level human being, he didn’t deserve to die that way. All because Negan didn’t think the guy had guts.
1 "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo..."
Could it have been any other quote? With these harmless words, Negan turned a children’s nursery rhyme into a game we’ll never forget for the rest of our lives. The whole of Season 6 was leading up to this moment, and as soon as Negan started the “Eenie, Meenie”, the audience was filled with fear.
For the next six months, fans recounted Negan saying the same few words over and again in the heads, as they worried over the fates of their favorite characters. Negan’s ability to turn something so innocent into something so scary meant that these words are now immortalized as a sign of complete brutality.