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Top 10 Zombie TV Episodes

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Joey Turner The undead can pop up anywhere, even in our favorite TV series. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Zombie Episodes. For this list, we’re looking at some of the creepiest episodes where the undead - or zombie-like creatures - invade TV shows. Since zombies are a rare thing in some series, we won’t be focusing on shows where they show up frequently - so “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” are both ruled out.
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The undead can pop up anywhere, even in our favorite TV series. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Zombie Episodes.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the creepiest episodes where the undead - or zombie-like creatures - invade TV shows. Since zombies are a rare thing in some series, we won’t be focusing on shows where they show up frequently - so “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” are both ruled out.

#10: “The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre”
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)


The Paddy’s Pub gang finds out about the wedding of Dennis’ ex-wife Maureen, to one of the incestuous McPoyle family members. Dennis wants the wedding to go off without a hitch so he can cut ties with Maureen… so naturally, when they crash it, EVERYTHING goes wrong. The inbred family starts shambling aimlessly throughout the halls before viciously attacking each other – leading Mac and Charlie to think they’re all zombies. The guys are interrogated by the police after the chaos, and find out that the undead behavior was due to someone spiking the drinks with bath salts. With a comically scary style almost new to the show, this one insane night ends gruesomely for all involved… especially Dennis.


#9: “The Frond Files”
“Bob’s Burgers” (2011-)


Wagstaff School is having an exhibition night to showcase the students’ reports… but Mr. Frond won’t show the Belcher kids’ projects – mostly due to their portrayal of him. Bob and Linda read the essays and each one is… very distinct; but then they read Tina’s – an erotic horror “friend fiction.” The school jocks have turned into zombies after a plague of jock itch, and only a handful of kids remain. To smite the undead, Tina… flirts with them and makes them her boyfriends? While it’s mostly a peek into the mind of an awkward hopeless romantic, this is also a hilariously creative take on the walking dead scenario, and easily the highlight story of the episode.


#8: “Habeas Corpses”
“Angel” (1999-2004)


Team Angel’s still banged up from the rampage of a monstrous demon – though Angel’s more shaken about something else. However, there’s no rest for the wicked when the Beast goes on a killing spree at Wolfram & Hart… and Connor is locked inside with it. The team goes in to rescue him… but not only is the Monster still about… all of its victims have been reanimated as zombies, outnumbering them by the hundreds. While it’s never fully explained how all the employees became zombified, his episode raises the stakes with two gruesome threats breathing down the team’s necks… and seemingly no escape – with the creepy, “Resident Evil”-like ambiance definitely pulling the whole ordeal together.


#7: “Slumber Party Panic”
“Adventure Time” (2010-)


In the series premiere, Finn and Princess Bubblegum are experimenting with a serum to revive the dead… unfortunately, science almost always backfires in these scenarios. The serum creates a horde of Candy zombies hungry for sugar, and PB has Finn keep the Candy citizens ignorant and occupied with a slumber party while she looks for an antidote. It’s easier said than done with Jake’s constant prodding and the zombies breaking in. Fortunately, Finn manages to trick the unknowing partiers into beating the undead back like piñatas. At the end of this surreal night, PB successfully fixes the serum and brings the undead back to life… geez, talk about a deadly start to an animated smash.

#6: “Mr. Garrity and the Graves”
“The Twilight Zone” (1959-64)


In the old western town of Happiness, a man named Garrity makes the claim that he can bring back the dead. Naturally, the townsfolk laugh him off, until he “revives” a dog. Thinking he’s the real deal, the locals suddenly would rather pay Garrity not to raise the dead… and he charges by the hundreds. The con artist leaves Happiness, satisfied with his scam… but he doesn’t see that he actually DID raise the dead, as several zombies awaken from their graves just as he leaves. Not underestimating your abilities and the consequences of inadvertently meddling with the deceased are just two more lessons to be learned in the Twilight Zone.


#5: “The Unquiet Dead”
“Doctor Who” (1963-89; 2005-)


One wrong turn lands The Doctor and Rose in Cardiff of 1869 on Christmas Eve… just in time for hell to break loose. The dead are rising again… but this time not by some infection or dark magic. Ghostly aliens known as ‘The Gelth’ are taking over the corpses, seemingly hoping to survive. The Doctor takes pity on them… but The Gelth’s goals are a lot more malicious – they want to murder humans so they can hijack more bodies. This was a unique spin on the classic zombie formula, since it combies the walking dead epidemic with ghost stories and alien invasions, topped off with a twist of Charles Dickens.


#4: “Dead Man’s Party”
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)


Buffy finally returns to Sunnydale after running away. But readjusting to life back home is no easy feat… and the tension between her and her loved ones doesn’t help either. They try to throw her a welcome home hootenanny – which only makes her feel more isolated. Adding to that, the party’s over when a horde of zombies marches in, drawn to the house by Buffy’s mom’s new Nigerian mask. Once the undead arrive, all hostilities are forgotten, and the Scooby gang bands together again to smite the horde down. It’s an extremely uncomfortable episode, and it’s got an ingenious double meaning: you can’t just bury your feelings and/or the undead and forget about them, as either may come back to bite you.


#3: “Treehouse of Horror III”
“The Simpsons” (1989-)


With the family spinning tales of the macabre on Halloween night, Bart has a scary story of his own. He picks up a book about black magic from the library, and naturally starts messing around with it. He tries to revive an old family cat… but he accidentally raises the dead from the human graveyard next door. Pretty soon, reanimated corpses overrun all of Springfield on a feeding frenzy, and no one is safe …unless they’re brainless like Homer. This was a funny and simple zombie tale, made all the better thanks to “The Simpsons’” usual satirical, zany humor; and fortunately, the day is saved and the family avoids becoming zombified… or DO they?


#2: “Millennium”
“The X-Files” (1993-2002; 2016-)


In a crossover between “The X-Files” and “Millennium,” Mulder and Scully are investigating corpses disappearing from their graves… with necromancy possibly at play. With help from Frank Black, the duo finds out that a Millennium Group fanatic has been reviving the corpses in preparation for the supposed apocalypse. The tension is raised in the basement, where Frank and Mulder are forced to defend themselves against the quick-footed undead – only to be saved by Scully. While not the best conclusion for “Millennium,” the episode stands on its own, successfully incorporating several biblical apocalyptic references into a dark and creepy story - with an unexpected yet inevitable surprise ending.

Before we unveil our number one pick, let’s reanimate a few honorable mentions.
- “Episode Seven”
“Misfits” (2009-13)

- “Pinkeye”
“South Park” (1997-)

- “What Lies Below”
“Fringe” (2008-13)


#1: “Epidemiology”
“Community” (2009-15)


Greendale Community College has gone all-out with the Halloween party – everyone’s in costumes, the music’s pumping, and of course, there’s rancid surplus taco meat that gives everyone a mysterious sickness, and turns them into flesh-eating zombies. With nowhere to escape, everyone is picked off one by one, until only Troy remains to save everyone…or he tries to at least. This episode is comedy gold purely because of how surreal it is – it spoofs almost every horror genre cliché imaginable, while also referencing how rabies was one of the biggest inspirations for the zombie plague. If you want a zombie episode you can laugh at while still feeling claustrophobic, “Epidemiology” is the perfect pick.
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