After George A. Romero‘s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, the whole zombie concept became a fan favorite for all those looking for horror. For some reason, the thought of the dead coming back to life with the sole purpose of eating anyone left alive seems to excite and terrify us. Countless zombie movies have come out over the years and many people have put their own spin on the common notion of what a zombie is, with the most terrifying being zombies that can run. But for the most part, zombies are slow moving, senseless, and easy to kill. These are the classic zombies everybody knows and loves; these are the zombies – or “walkers” – in AMC’s The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead premiered on October 31st, 2010 and has held its popularity to this day. The show follows a group of people from all different backgrounds who are trying to survive and adapt to a life in the zombie apocalypse. With new and intriguing characters adding to the plot line each season, the show’s been able to keep people interested (for the most part). The show has been known to stray too far into the realm of a soap opera, but that’s just a minor hiccup. There’s always a lot going on in The Walking Dead and with its multiple story lines, never-ending zombie attacks and nail-biting tension, you may have missed a number of Easter eggs hidden among the madness. Not to worry, though; we have found ten hidden messages for you! See what you missed while watching your favorite zombie series.
10. Romero’s Zombie
Dawn of the Dead is probably one the most famous zombie movies ever made, so it’s safe to say that it inspired the minds behind The Walking Dead. Co-executive producer and special effects supervisor Gregory Nicotero – who has worked with Romero in the past – paid homage to this film by replicating one of the more famous zombies known as Stephen “Flyboy” Andrews from Dawn of the Dead in the fifth episode of season three of the AMC series.
This zombie can be spotted in the Governor’s famous zombie fighting arena, wearing the same bloodied white shirt and tilting his head to give the impression of a broken neck.
9. The Crate
If you’re a horror fan, you’ve probably seen or heard of Creepshow, the horror anthology film from 1982 directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. If you haven’t, there’s a segment in the film where a janitor finds an old wooden crate in the basement marked with the words “SHIP TO HORLICK’S UNIVERSITY VIA JULIA CARPENTER ARCTIC EXPEDITION”.
This same crate is featured in an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead; clearly the producers were fans of the old horror classic. On a side note, Creepshow was featured as a graphic novel, just like The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead’s success has led to the making of a very well received video game developed and published by Telltale Games. The video game focuses on characters Lee Everett and Clementine, rather than Rick and the rest of his group from the show. The game takes place in the Macon, Georgia, which brings us to the next Easter egg on the list.
In the first episode of season 4, Michonne can be seen pointing out the county of Macon on a map; this is clearly a nod to the game and is easily missed, especially if you haven’t played the Telltale game.
7. Governor Pirate?
Everybody remembers the infamous Governor from The Walking Dead; he’s the sadistic leader of Woodbury who tricks everyone into believing he’s actually nice guy. It’s no secret that there are a lot of fan theories about the show out there, but there’s one involving the Governor that resulted in a pretty funny hidden message in the show.
Some fans were speculating that the Governor was actually a pirate – maybe it’s the eye patch – so in season four the creators of the show gave a nod to this fan theory by making it look like the Governor had a parrot on his shoulder. Obviously it wasn’t a real parrot but rather a cleverly placed pillow with a parrot stitching on it.
6. The Head from Jaws
Speaking of the Governor, remember his creepy collection of severed heads he keeps in aquariums? Well, there’s one head in particular that sparked our interest. Among his floating trophies, one of the heads in the tanks is a recreation of Ben Gardner’s head from Jaws.
This clever nod to the 1975 blockbuster is the work of SFX legend Greg Nicotero, who is an executive producer of The Walking Dead and has also worked on nearly every monster movie you’ve ever seen.
5. Umbrella Corporation
Resident Evil is a video game and movie series all zombie fans know and love; it should therefore come as no surprise that the creators of The Walking Dead have hinted at the flesh eating series on the show.
In season 5, a symbol that shares a striking resemblance to the Umbrella Corporation can be seen painted on a wall behind Michonne. An umbrella can also be seen during the scene where we meet Terminus’ Mary in Season 4, which happens to be the same umbrella we saw at The Governor’s camp earlier in the season. It may just be the reuse of a prop, but with so many Easter eggs, you have to ask yourself, is it really just a coincidence?
4. William Faulkner
Time has always played a big role in The Walking Dead. Being in a zombie apocalypse, you would think time is irrelevant but Dale would disagree. Way back in season one, Dale references a story by William Faulkner, when asked why he still bothers to keep time.
“I like what the father said to the son when he gave him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said: ‘I give you a mausoleum of all hope and desire which will fit your individual needs, no better than it did mine and my father before me. 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.’” What’s interesting here is that the five highlighted words are the titles of the last five episodes in season 5. It’s crazy to think the writers hinted this so long ago.
3. Comic Books
Even though most people know The Walking Dead as AMC’s hit zombie show, it was originally a graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. However, this fact is not overlooked on the show; there have been countless references to the Kirkman comics throughout the series.
For one, Carl can be seen wearing a T-shirt with the Science Dog logo on it, which is a Kirkman Comic. Another example of Kirkman’s work on the show can be seen in season 5, when Carl finds a comic of Robert Kirkman’s The Astounding Wolf Man and again when Carl meets Enid, who is reading the Kirkman comic Invincible. Many other nods to the artist can be spotted in different episodes.
2. Opening Credit Clues
In the opening credits for the last episode of The Walking Dead’s season three, there seems to be a clever use of foreshadowing at work. When the names of actresses Sarah Wayne Callies and Laurie Holden come up on screen, two shell casings can be seen in plain view.
At first glance, this holds no relevance to either character, but by the end of the episode, the bitter correlation between the casings and the characters is quite obvious: both die by a bullet to the head to avoid turning into a walker. This clever use of foreshadowing is a perfect example of how important every little detail can be when watching The Walking Dead.
1. Breaking Bad
This may be one of the more far-fetched fan theories involving the world of The Walking Dead, but it’s definitely the most intriguing. Everybody’s heard about AMC’s other massively popular series, Breaking Bad. Well, there’s a theory that The Walking Dead takes place in the same world as Breaking Bad, and there’s some pretty strong evidence to support this idea.
The first sign came in season 1, when Glen can be seen driving the same black and red Dodge Challenger Walter White buys his son in Breaking Bad. If that doesn’t convince you,the name of the manager at the car dealership where Walter bought the car is Glen.
Secondly, in season 2, we find out that Daryl’s brother was a drug dealer before the zombie apocalypse; when looking through his stash, you can see Walter’s famous Blue Sky Meth in the bottom of his bag of narcotics.
Lastly, in season 4, Daryl tells Beth a story about a dealer his brother used to know who sounds an awful lot like a certain character from Breaking Bad: “Merle had this dealer, a janky little white guy. Tweaker. One day they were over at his house, watching TV. Watching this show, Merle was talking all this dumb stuff about it. Turns out it was the tweaker’s kid’s favorite show. He never sees his kid, so he felt guilty about it or something. He pulls a gun, sticks it right here. He says I’m gonna kill you, b*tch!” Daryl is pretty much describing Jesse Pinkman.