People like watching The Walking Dead for many reasons. First and foremost, there’s Daryl Dixon, who is almost everyone’s favorite zombie-killing, motorcycle-riding, crossbow-wielding survivor. Other than Daryl, many of the characters are also well-developed and completely lovable. Hell, even Carl is now 90% less annoying than he was just a few seasons ago. The family bond between these characters is another reason viewers tune in week after week. Yes, zombies may be eating everyone’s flesh. Yes, it’s a dark, bleak world. But these characters have all bonded together to create a makeshift family. They will do anything for each other. There is something hopeful and warm in that, even if zombies still outnumber people.
Obviously, there are many reasons why people watch The Walking Dead. There are also quite a few reasons that make it extremely difficult to stomach The Walking Dead week after week, death after death. The gore shown on this AMC show is next level. In fact, The Walking Dead may be the goriest show in television history, only rivaled by the likes of Game of Thrones, Dexter, and a few other modern gems. This gore level sometimes comes from the zombies, as the zombies can be extremely grotesque. Even if they are just standing there, and not munching on someone’s arm, the zombies can still be totally stomach churning. We know that these zombies, or the gore for that matter, are not real. Still, they look so realistic. The special effects department on The Walking Dead is clearly working hard, because they have created some of the most disgusting, most realistic zombies in television history.
Below are 18 of the grossest zombies – or rather “walkers” – from The Walking Dead. We recommend not attempting to eat while reading this one, folks.
18. Church Lady Walker
This gross zombie has lovingly been dubbed Church Lady Walker by fans. The nickname isn’t all that clever, but it works… because she’s a church lady walker.
The group encounters this zombie in season five, when they find shelter at Father Gabriel’s church. A few members of the group go to the food bank, where there are several zombies marinating in water. These zombies are grosser than regular zombies because the water has sped up the process of decay. By the way, that zombie flavored water is pretty gross too when you think about it.
While the group had to fight off several walkers in this scene, Church Lady Walker is one of the most memorable, mostly for her glasses and pearls. She was probably a pretty kind lady, before the whole wanting to eat flesh thing.
17. Cherokee Rose Walker
This walker is like a walking garden, which leads us to the question – are zombies good fertilizer? They could be, right? The fact that moss is literally growing on this zombie is pretty gross, but this zombie is also sentimental in a way. Fans of the show were quick to point out that the flower growing on the zombie looks like a Cherokee rose, a flower that has significance in Daryl and Carol’s relationship.
Way back in season two, while the group was squatting on Hershel’s farm for an entire season, Sophia was still missing. While Daryl was out looking for Sophia, he finds a Cherokee rose and brings it back for Carol. Daryl gives Carol the flower and explains how Cherokee roses are a symbol of hope. This was a major moment in their relationship and it was also a major moment in Daryl’s development. He was finally starting to peel back the layers and show that he has a softer side.
16. Virus Walker
Obviously The Walking Dead makes the most use out of their zombies. They aren’t always just gross and deadly. They can sometimes foreshadow events to come or represent some sort of symbolism. This particular zombie was especially vile looking with his bloody eyes. His bloody eyes were not just for show, though. It was foreshadowing.
At the prison, this bloody zombie was chillin’ outside the fence, looking really scary. Later, a virus would sweep through the prison, causing victims to cough out blood and die looking kinda like this zombie. While this zombie was totally gross, it also foreshadowed the virus sweeping through the prison. In fact, this zombie was likely a victim of said virus.
The fact that people have to worry about the zombie virus as well as other illnesses sounds unfair. If people have to worry about becoming a zombie, that should be the only disease they have to worry about, right?
15. Eyeball Walker
We told you not to eat anything during this article.
Eyeball Walker was truly next level repulsive. In this scene, zombies swarm the fence at the prison. They push and push as they try to munch on some delicious human flesh. However, they don’t succeed in munching on human flesh and it’s poor Eyeball Walker who pays the price of their forcefulness. His head is pushed into the fence as if it’s going through a cheese slicer. His skull is cut and his eyeball pops out.
This certainly may be one of the most disgusting zombie scenes in the history of the show. But, it does make sense. People often comment on how soft zombie skulls must be in order for the group to slay zombies so easily. This Eyeball Walker is further proof that zombies are a bit softer than us humans… y’know, because we hope that human heads wouldn’t be sliced by a fence this easily.
14. Walker Lake
In season seven of The Walking Dead, the zombies are no longer the biggest threat on the show. The group is used to taking down herds of zombies. In fact, if a character has survived this long, it would be a shame to be taken down by zombie. Now, the big bad is Negan, the barbed wire bat wielding dictator. While Negan’s tactics are much more intimidating than a herd of 1,000 zombies, season seven’s walker lake was pretty scary too. When Rick and Aaron find a boat full of supplies, they have to cross a zombie infested lake in order to get said supplies. There’s not a single zombie we can point out as truly gross, but rather the whole herd is gross. For whatever reason, zombies distilling in water just make for really gross zombies. Their flesh peels off, making them 100% more ugly than the average zombie.
13. Michonne’s Pet Walkers
While this is genius, it’s also gross. Michonne chopped off zombies’ hands and mouths, then made them her pets. By taking away their ability to scratch or bite, she effectively neutered the zombies. They couldn’t harm her. She then chained them up and walked them like dogs.
For whatever reason, having these pet zombies made Michonne virtually invisible to the rest of the zombies. It’s a bit like when the group wears zombie guts in order to blend in with zombies. While we’re down for this survival tactic, it’s still a little sickening.
The zombies get a tad more disgusting when you consider the fact that Michonne’s pet zombies were her boyfriend and his friend. These were literally people she knew and loved. Instead of putting them out of their misery, Michonne used them like zombie shields. One thing is for sure, Michonne is a survivor.
12. Walker Heads In Fish Tanks
The Governor was one sick puppy for many reasons, one of which was his use of zombies for weapons and entertainment. Entertainment wise, he would remove the teeth from a zombie, then host gladiator-style human vs. zombie fights. Without their teeth, the zombies didn’t impose a threat, but the audience, who cheered on this barbaric show, didn’t know that. The Governor also had a zombie pit, in which he would throw enemies or traitors. In a way, many of the Governor’s zombie uses seem very Roman.
What really steals the gross award is the Governor’s collection of zombie heads in fish tanks. Yep, ol’ Governor had decapitated zombie heads just floating around in tanks. These heads would just snap, snap, snap for food all day long. This is gross both because it’s friggin’ zombie heads in fish tanks, but also because of the deep level of the Governor’s disturbed personality.
11. Mud Walker
In season four, the Governor found a new daughter in Meghan. To be honest, the Governor was weird AF when it came to little girls. It’s most likely that the trauma of seeing his daughter turn into a walker forever scarred him, but even with that considered he was still a weirdo who is obsessed with little girls.
While the Governor was attacking the prison, Meghan was playing in a big pile of mud, making her mud pies. While making her mud pies, a zombie literally rises from the mud she’s sitting on and attacks her. This zombie was living inside that mud and sneak attacked her. The fact that zombies can also attack from the ground is horrifying. Poor Meghan died, as most little girls seem to do on The Walking Dead.
10. Penny Blake Walker
Penny Blake was the Governor’s daughter and, like we said, the dude was weird as hell with little girls. She was a zombie but the Governor, who was clearly not in the best mental state, refused to accept that fact. He kept Penny in a cage and would restrain her. It was all super weird, reminding us that the Governor was basically insane.
Penny wasn’t super gross herself, y’know for being a zombie and all. It’s rather the Governor’s treatment of her that made Penny truly a gross zombie. The Governor would feed her slabs of meat and brush her hair. These were actually some of the most uncomfortable scenes in a show where faces are routinely eaten off. Penny was finally put down by Michonne, and we can’t help but think that maybe Penny was happy to go. I mean, who would really want to be the Governor’s pet for all of time?
9. The First Walker
Speaking of gross little girl zombies, the very first zombie the audience sees is also a little girl zombie. You know what they say – you never forget your first. That is definitely the case with little girl zombie.
Rick, in full sheriff clothing, tries to help this little girl, who he doesn’t realize is a zombie. She shuffles away, wearing a robe and slippers, and carrying a stuffed bunny. She finally turns around to reveal that she is, in fact, a zombie and that Rick looks like a tasty meal. Rick’s totally bummed about it, but he still puts her down.
The fact that the show started with this little girl zombie is genius. It told us right away that kids were not off limits. It also let us know that everything was going to be very bleak from this point on. Both innocence and hope were dead. If you were upset about Glenn’s death in season seven, you should have seen it coming from the opening scene.
8. Gas Mask Walker
When the group was cleaning out the prison, so to speak, they had to put down several walkers in riot gear. This proved difficult since their faces were protected. The most memorable of these riot gear walkers was Gas Mask Walker. Rick was the one to face off with Gas Mask Walker. In a struggle, Rick removes his gas mask, making the zombie an easier kill. However, when Rick removes the gas mask, the zombie’s whole face comes off with it. Yes, all the flesh from his face also peeled off, leaving the zombie with a skeleton face.
While fans watching at home were totally grossed out, Rick was stunned for about .2 seconds, before he took that zombie down. Not even accidentally ripping off a zombie’s face can throw Rick off his game. He’s that good.
7. Greg Nicotero Walker
Greg Nicotero is one of the most in-demand special effects wizards working in the industry. He’s the main reason that the zombies on The Walking Dead look so utterly grotesque. He’s also the man behind blockbusters like Suicide Squad, horror films like The Hills Have Eyes, and several Quentin Tarantino films. Not only does Nicotero find time to make the horrifying effects for so many different projects, but he also finds time to play a zombie too.
In the third episode of the series, Nicotero can be spotted as this zombie, who was munching down on Daryl’s deer. This is Daryl’s introduction, and he is pissed about losing a deer to this zombie. He even suggests that they cut around the spot where the zombie was eating, to which the whole group looks hesitant. Daryl ends up crushing the zombie’s skull, because y’know Daryl.
6. Bicycle Girl Walker
The little girl walker is the first zombie we, as the audience, see. However, it is actually not the first zombie Rick encounters. The scene between Rick and the little girl walker serves as a prologue.
On the actual timeline, Rick wakes up in the hospital, where he sees corpses and zombie fingers, but never a full-on zombie. Upon leaving the hospital, Rick encounters this zombie, famously dubbed Bicycle Girl. The hungry corpse freaks Rick out, but he is still unaware of the zombie epidemic. He finds a nearby bicycle and gets the hell away from this zombie. After Morgan wises Rick up, Rick returns to Bicycle Girl, apologizes for what happened to her, and shoots her.
The popularity of this zombie resulted in a webseries spin-off, which detailed how Hannah, a divorced mother of two, became Bicycle Girl. The webseries concluded with Hannah being ripped apart by zombies in order to save her two children. The fate of her two children is unknown. It would certainly be cool if the two kids eventually popped up on The Walking Dead.
5. Kidnapped Walker
Some zombies are horrifying because they are straight up gross looking. That’s not necessarily the case with Kidnapped Walker. Instead, Kidnapped Walker serves as a reminder that mankind was cruel to each other, even before the zombie virus.
In season five, after the death of Maggie’s sister Beth, Maggie finds a zombie in a trunk. This zombie was clearly being kidnapped or taken hostage, as her legs and arms are bound. This was shocking and possibly one of the most interesting uses of a zombie on the show.
The Walking Dead does a great job at showing the cruelty of mankind. It’s been doing this for a while. Negan’s tactics are an obvious example, but let us not forget that Rick bit someone’s throat out back in season four. This zombie is a perfect reminder than humans were not very kind to each other even before zombies were a factor. That is what is so gross about Kidnapped Zombie.
4. Tree Hugger Walker
Tree Hugger Walker is gross on many levels. His chest and stomach are rotting out, so there’s that. But many zombies’ chests and stomachs are rotting out, so that fact doesn’t necessarily make him all that special. What does make Tree Hugger Walker so special is the fact that his guts are twisted around a tree. What is up with that?
The logistics of this zombie are so confusing. Why are his guts twisted around this tree? It could have happened when walkers were munching on him before he turned, but that seems unlikely since they would have eaten said guts. Some evil person would have done this to someone while they were still alive. Literally tying someone to a tree by their guts seems like an action that the Governor or Negan would happily do.
3. Decomposed Sewer Walker
When Maggie and Aaron go for a walk through Alexandria’s sewer system, they bond. It’s actually a cute scene. She confides her pregnancy in Aaron, who tells Maggie she can name the baby after him because it can be Aaron or Erin depending on the sex. However, their bonding isn’t the only thing that happens on this sewer walk. They are attacked by decomposing sewer zombies. Just how decomposed are these sewer zombies? Well, Maggie tries to fight one off and has difficulty since the skin keeps peeling right off.
2. Lori’s Walker
After Lori died in an extremely graphic C-section scene, Rick is understandably distraught. He’s so upset that he finds the room Lori likely died in… only she isn’t there. What is there is a zombie with a very bloated tummy. Yes, we are to believe that this zombie ate all of Lori, every single last bit of her.
Since Lori’s bones and clothing were missing too, this scene has an issue. We’ve never seen a zombie eat bones or clothing in an attack. This is a glaring plot hole, but whatever. We’ll forget about that for a moment and just focus on the fact that this zombie ate a whole person, like every single piece of her. Rick is pissed off at Very Full Walker, who sits against the wall, pretty much looking pregnant himself.
1. The Well Walker
Oh, the Well Walker. You can’t forget about the Well Walker. Believe me, I’ve tried.
In season two, the group was chillin’ at Hershel’s farm and everything seemed easy peasy. That is, until the group found a zombie in the well. They were hesitant to just kill the zombie, fearing it would contaminate the water. Instead, they came up with an elaborate plan, in which they would send Glenn into the well to tie a rope around the Well Walker. What could go wrong? Well, Glenn almost died, but that’s about par for most episodes.
After not dying, Glenn successfully gets the rope around the zombie. The gang then pulls up this huge, bloated zombie. Their plan seems to be working… but then Well Walker’s body snaps in half, sending his lower half of guts into the water they were trying to not contaminate. Both the huge zombie itself and everything involving this zombie was totally gross.
There you have it, the grossest 18 zombies on The Walking Dead. Sometimes we wonder why we keep going back for more, then Daryl and Rick hug and we know why.