Top 10 Most Shocking Walking Dead Moments

Script written by Michael Wynands When the dead walk the earth… life tends to be full of surprises. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Most Shocking Walking Dead Moments. Special thanks to our users Zlatin Dotin, Austin Devine and mac121mr0 for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+The+Walking+Dead+Moments.
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Script written by Michael Wynands

When the dead walk the earth, life tends to be full of surprises. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most shocking moments on “The Walking Dead.”

For this list, we’re intentionally excluding the deaths of major characters, as they deserve their very own list. And as these moments prove, “The Walking Dead” has plenty of ways to shock us other than killing a cast member anyway. Also, it almost goes without saying, but this list comes with a MAJOR SPOILER WARNING.

#10: Hershel Loses a Leg
“Seed”

“The Walking Dead” likes to welcome viewers back at the start of each season with plenty of excitement. In this show, “excitement” means walkers and bloodshed. Season 3 picks up 8 months after the loss of the Greene family farm, and the group has been living a nomadic lifestyle ever since. During that time they’ve grown more rugged, practical and experienced – Greene family patriarch Hershel included. Unfortunately, no amount of experience can protect you from a walker this sneaky. That bite to the leg comes out of nowhere! Naturally, we assumed Hershel was a goner… but then Rick pulls out his fan-favorite hatchet, and tries his hand at surgery. If it’s a question of life or limb, better to lose the leg.

#9: The Governor Gets Stabbed in the Eye
“Made to Suffer”

You know what’s nice about fighting walkers? It’s never personal. Also, their lack of brainpower makes them predictable. Unfortunately, the same can rarely be said of the human threats that harass Rick’s group: The Governor certainly makes it personal, and is as crafty as they come. So when Michonne discovers his creepy secret room, it’s clear we’re in for a treat. Michonne is loved by fans for her brutal efficiency, but when she kills the Governor’s undead daughter – despite his begging – we were nonetheless surprised. The ensuing fight is a nail-biter (and nearly a nose-biter for Michonne). A vicious fight deserves a vicious ending, but a shard of glass to the eye… Only the Governor could’ve seen that coming. Literally.

#8: Shane Leaves Otis to Die
“Save the Last One”

From the outset, Shane endeavored to do what he thought was best for the group. Unfortunately he was also stubborn and self-righteous. It eventually became clear that what was “best for the group” was invariably whatever best suited Shane in the moment. He meets his end when he commits the ultimate betrayal against Rick, but well before that, Shane’s true colors were revealed (to viewers at least) with Otis’ death. Shane later claims Otis sacrificed himself, but flashbacks reveal the truth: Shane shot Otis in the leg and used him as a distraction for walkers to save his own skin – and, tbf, to get medical supplies back to an injured Carl. As the shaved head symbolizes, Shane returned a different man.

#7: The Barn Shootout & Sophia Reveal
“Pretty Much Dead Already”

In a missing persons case, they say that the first 48 hours are critical; after that, the likelihood of finding the person decreases significantly. If that person is a child and living in a zombie infested world? Well, those figures get a lot worse. The first half of season 2 was defined by two major themes – the search for Sophia and the tension between Rick’s group and Hershel regarding the treatment of walkers. This episode brought both to a head in the most unexpected of ways. It was no surprise that Shane finally snapped and forcefully cleared the barn of walkers against Hershel’s wishes, but for Sophia to be one of its inhabitants? That hurt. How many little girl zombies is that for Rick now?

#6: Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Negan Cliffhanger
“Last Day on Earth”

As far “TWD” comics are concerned, Negan is the biggest, baddest, most memorable villain Rick’s gang has faced. Fans have anxiously waited to see the big guy and his beloved barbwire bat “Lucille” brought to life on the small screen. Now, before we say anything else, let’s just acknowledge that Jeffrey Dean Morgan does not disappoint in the role. In fact, his performance was a real home run. Or maybe more of a grand slam? That bloody first person perspective was definitely surprising, but it wasn’t actually that shocking to see this maniac keep his promise to beat someone’s brains in. He looks like man of his word... in all the worst ways. The real shocker? Love it or hate it, it was that cliffhanger ending.

#5: Eugene Was Lying
“Self Help”

Imagine yourself in this position: family and friends? Dead. Civilization? Crumbled. The last scientist at the CDC called any cure “a lost cause” and killed himself. You’re probably feeling pretty hopeless. Then this mullet-sporting, socially inept weirdo steps into your life, and announces he’s a scientist and has the cure. He just needs to get to Washington and you’re his only hope. Talk about purpose! Talk about a reason to get up in the morning! Talk about a load of bull. When Eugene drops that atomic truth bomb on the group, Abraham’s murderous rage is pretty understandable. That last ray of hope was dashed. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and nobody feels fine.

#4: Carl’s Eye
“No Way Out”

Alright… who taped the “shoot me” sign to Carl’s back? Give the kid a break, will you? So far it’s been a rough childhood. In season 2, he sees a deer peacefully grazing in the forest, and it seems like a sign that despite all the turmoil, there are still moments of beauty and calm. Then reality hits with a shot to the gut. It’s surprising, but not nearly as shocking as seeing Carl get shot AGAIN – this time in the eye. Generally speaking, when someone’s shot in the face… they’re dead – especially in a world where modern medicine is scarce. Oh, and the wound is grisly. Thankfully, Carl seems to have inherited his father’s genetic predisposition towards being “unkillable.” We just jinxed it. We know, we’re sorry.

#3: Slaughterhouse Scene at Terminus
“No Sanctuary”

Wanna turn people off the idea of factory farming and the meat industry? Show them this slaughterhouse footage from “TWD”’s season five premiere. Cable television has trained us to think the camera will turn away before things get too gruesome. “The Walking Dead” is trying to undo that training by giving us a front row seat to this gruesome abattoir-style series of executions. This show loves to remind us that while Walkers are dangerous, it’s the humans that have truly become monsters in this new world – and the monsters here happen to be cannibals. Terminus promised safe haven, and that looked like it was true when Rick’s group arrived. But, no. Salvation? Try “Slaughterhouse” - with human cattle.

#2: The Attempted Rape of Carl (& Rick’s Response)
“A”

This is one scene from the comics that no one thought the show would dare recreate. So when the pieces fell into place and it was presented undiluted, jaws dropped in living rooms across the world. This moment is one of utmost depravity on the part of Joe’s group, and a display of extreme, unflinching brutality by Rick. We’d previously seen the threat of sexual assault on this show, but for a man to pin Carl and begin to undress him as his father watches helplessly? That’s beyond shocking. A second dose of surprise came from Rick’s response. Driven by sheer instinct and animal fury, he rips out a man’s throat with his teeth, and doesn’t stop there.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- The First Big Zombie Attack
“Vatos”
- Bob’s Leg
“Strangers”
- Carl Shoots Zombie Shane Instead of Rick
“Better Angels”
- Daryl Kills Zombie Merle
“This Sorrowful Life”
- Richonne
“The Next World”

#1: Glenn Falls into a Swarm of Walkers
“Thank You”

Morgan told Rick when they first met: walkers move slow, but become deadly when they swarm. So when Nicholas takes his own life, knocking Glenn down into the walkers in the process, it seems like a death sentence for the father-to-be. Look at this shot. How is that not a man dying an agonizing death? This would’ve been a shocking end for any character, but fans were already worried about Glenn’s fate, knowing that Negan was being introduced this season, which meant this plot twist caught viewers totally off-guard. We should’ve known better. Thanks to Merle, Glenn already had plenty of experience surviving close encounters with walkers. Yet again, Glenn survives, so we can continue to worry about him.

Do you agree with our list? Which Walking Dead moment did you find most shocking? For more surprising top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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