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THE WALKING DEAD Fans Debate the Show’s Best Episodes EVER
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The Walking Dead’s fandom chatter never ceases, even when its on winter hiatus. The show’s official Twitter page reached out to its #TWDFamily and asked them to give their opinions about the most impactful, memorable, and all-around BEST episodes of the series. This is a pretty tough task considering The Walking Dead’s 10B Season premiere will be its 140th episode. There have certainly been some filler episodes and forgettable moments during the show’s run, but most fans can agree that the show also has its share of pretty stellar episodes too.

The Dead powers that be shared the following list as their picks and suggested that fans give their input on its order and what they would add or subtract to the mix.

Of course, this passionate fanbase (myself included) couldn’t wait to give their thoughts on the episodes that caused pivotal shifts or are unforgettable in this zombie apocalypse saga. Here’s what some fans wanted to keep and suggestions they had for the list:

Keep: “No Sanctuary”

Many fans agreed that “No Sanctuary” belonged near, if not at the top, of the list. And, I’d definitely agree that it should be there. Not necessarily number one, but pretty far up there, for sure. The episode came off the heels of an epic season four cliffhanger with Rick and the gang trapped in the Terminus train cars.

It was packed from beginning to end with suspense, gore, and action and cemented Carol’s status as a certified badass. “No Sanctuary” also completed Rick’s new evolution towards becoming a leader who was willing to take brutal actions to save his family. And, the Carol and Daryl reunion was pretty freaking sweet. The emotional reunions at the end and the post-credits teaser of Morgan’s return to the series.

Add: “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”

Several fans took notice of the soul-crushing Season 7 opener’s absence. This episode certainly stands out as one of the most memorable and hardest to watch out of the entire series. It was devastating to see Abraham’s head get beaten to a pulp, Rick’s psychological breaking at the hands of Negan, and Glenn’s completely unnecessary pummeling while he said his goodbyes to a pregnant Maggie.

The Lucille scene is from a super iconic moment in the comics so it’s weird that they left it out. It’s some seriously heavy material with absolutely stunning performances by the cast all-around, particularly Andrew Lincoln. “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” not only tied back into Dr. Jenner’s Season 1 warning to Rick but it also showed the confident leader losing his power for the first time.

Keep: “Days Gone Bye”

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It makes sense to keep the very first episode of the series on the list. The images of Rick riding that white horse into downtown Atlanta still resonate today. “Days Gone Bye” set this story in motion and it’s always an interesting re-watch because of how much the show has changed since then.

The episode is an ode to a simpler time on the show when the only major villain was the walkers themselves. However, several fans noted that it shouldn’t be so high up on the list.

Add: “A” 

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How can the show NOT have “A” on their list? It has perhaps one of the greatest Rick Grimes moments of all time: the epic biting of Joe’s throat. This moment had every character in that scene (and all of the fandom) shook because it took Rick’s willingness to survive to a completely new level.

The episode also further showed how Michonne is truly the real MVP who can shoot a man one moment and then comfort a child the next. The buildup to Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl arriving at Terminus and the truth dawning on them is brilliant too.

A established the brotherhood between Rick and Daryl and planted the seeds for the eventual Richonne romance too. An all-around good episode and perhaps one of the best season finales in the series.

Keep: “Pretty Much Dead Already”

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There’s a general consensus that “Pretty Much Dead Already” is an iconic Walking Dead episode. I certainly agree because SO MUCH went down in that one episode: Glenn spilling the beans about the barn with walkers, building tension with Herschel, Lori’s pregnancy announcement, Shane’s shooting rampage, and the revelation about Sophia’s sad fate.

It was the first time that a child died in their group and it literally took the wind out of everyone’s sails. No one will ever forget watching her stumble out of that barn and the looks on the characters’ faces. It was shocking and showed the real stakes of survival in the apocalypse.

Keep – “The Grove”

“The Grove” is one of the most memorable and often parodied episodes of The Walking Dead. There are people who are vaguely familiar with the series who know the “look at the flowers” reference. Fans said it belongs there (probably closer to the top) and they are not wrong. It’s so great that Robot Chicken’s Walking Dead episode did an entire skit with Carol telling everyone to look at the flowers before shooting them.

It’s dark, captivating, and honestly makes you feel (sorta) sorry for Carol because she’s now the only living person who knows what happened at that cabin.

Keep: “Too Far Gone”

Yes, keep it. Keep it please. The decapitation of poor Herschel, the prison battle, Michonne impaling The Governor, and the fall of the prison all make this quite a memorable (and great) mid-season finale. It breaks the group apart and destroys the small bit of security that they thought they had in a matter of minutes.

Add: “What Comes After”


A lot of fans were frustrated that “What Comes After” a.k.a. Rick’s final episode wasn’t on the list. I can understand why it resonates with fans because of the callbacks to the first episode, Shane, Herschel, Sasha, and it’s semi-happy ending. It may not be the “best” to everyone but there’s no denying that it was impactful to all the existing characters on the show, particularly Daryl and Michonne.

Keep: “No Way Out”

This episode is a surefire winner. The way Carl’s eye injury and the Anderson family deaths are adapted from comic book to screen is brilliant. “No Way Out” is virtually a flawless episode of The Walking Dead from start to finish.

Rick’s group and the Alexandrians coming together to fight for their home was a particularly touching and action-packed moment. That’s how you do a mid-season premiere.

Keep: “The Calm Before”

There wasn’t a ton of lobbying for episodes in more recent seasons. Perhaps there hasn’t been enough time removed to see them as memorable yet. But, several fans put “The Calm Before” on their lists too, likely because it is the pike episode. Honestly, I felt like this one was a letdown because of the lineup that they chose.

The Highwaymen really hadn’t been around long enough to care about and everyone else except Enid, Tara, and Henry (who needed to die anyway) felt kind of meh. I wouldn’t put it on my list but I see where it was a big turning point for the storyline.

The (Sort Of) Throwaways

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No one seemed to be aggressively angry about the chosen episodes. But, fans didn’t seem to stand up for “Clear,” “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” nor “JSS.” And, not surprisingly, no one suggested an episode from Season 8 because, well, it’s not a well-liked season among the fandom.

“Clear” was certainly a great episode with some deep moments between Rick and Morgan, but I can agree with placing other episodes on this list instead. And, I can see why the creative team behind the original list put season seven on this list. It kicked off the beginning of All-Out War, featured Sasha’s heartbreaking death, and had an awesome CGI tiger save the day.

Is it one of the best or most memorable episodes? I’m honestly on the fence with this one. “JSS” is a great episode but honestly “The Next World’s” hilarious introduction of Jesus and start of Richonne is better. And, I would personally throw season five’s “What’s Happened and What’s Going On” in the memorable mix too. But, that’s just my opinion. What about yours?

Which episodes would you pick to make the top ten list?

Featured Image: Gene Page/AMC