Are you drained from all the action, drama and suspense? Stuck in the bleak world of The Walking Dead? I think it’s time to crack open a few yummy (and maybe some rotten) Easter Eggs.
From sneaky references, secret shout-outs, clues, and even a cleverly hidden connection to Breaking Bad, here are the best Walking Dead Easter Eggs only super-fans would have spotted…
Get your basket ready! You’re about to go on an Easter Egg hunt in television’s most apocalyptic world…
1. The Governor or a Pirate?
When Tara saves The Governor in season 4, she has no idea about the turmoil she’s started. But to add a little humor to ease the tension, we can see David Morrissey lying on the ground with his trademark eyepatch on. Did you spot the parrot pillow behind him? The bird was strategically placed, perfectly perched on his shoulder to make the villain look like a true pirate.
2. The Titles Are Decaying
Fun fact about The Walking Dead? If you compare the opening titles of each season, you’ll notice that they slowly get more decayed and discolored – just like the zombies. The show is more creative than you thought! Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd confirmed “We are reflecting the world. The world is more decayed, the walkers are considerably more decayed, so it really is reflective of that.”
3. A Rockstar Cameo
It seems The Walking Dead has a fan in heavy metal band member, Scott Ian. Did you know that he played a walker that Carl killed outside Alexandria in season 5? He is so much of a fan that he also played a zombie four years earlier!
4. A Nod to the Game
Yes, the show does cleverly connect to the games! In season 4, Michonne considers heading to Macon. This is also the hometown of the protagonist, Lee Everett, of Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead: Season 1. Let’s just say it’s a good idea that no one from the Survivors went there!
5. Dawn of the Dead Cameos
They didn’t let this one slip by us! There are a few nods to George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead! In fact, there’s more than one cameo from the movie! One of the most iconic zombies of all time, Bub, who regains his humanity in the film is seen trapping Tara and Glenn in a tunnel in season 4. And we can’t forget Flyboy who also makes an almost identical-looking return.
Stephen King County
As fans might recall, Rick Grimes worked for the King’s County Sheriff’s Department before the apocalypse. The name ‘King’ is no random choice by the show’s creators. It’s a tipping of the hat to famous horror author, Stephen King, by the show’s front-runner, Frank Darabont. Turns out the two are good friends!
7. The Science Dog T-Shirt
In season 1, Carl Grimes can be seen wearing a t-shirt with a paw print on it. This a direct tribute to TWD comic-book writer Robert Kirkman’s character, Science Dog – yet another creation from his Invincible comic series. Of course Carl would have been a fan!
8. Breaking Bad Egg
When T-Dog (remember him?) was infected in season 2, Daryl came to the rescue with a veritable pharmacy of drugs from his bike bag. If you looked close enough, you’d have noticed that it was identical to Breaking Bad’s Walter White’s infamous blue meth! The two popular shows belong to AMC, so it’s no surprise that the show’s creators decided to give fans a fun teaser like this.
9. The Cherokee Rose Callback
He might not shockingly exist in the Walking Dead comics, but Daryl has quite a few significant Easter Eggs under his belt. In season 6, we see Daryl walk through a glade of slain zombies. Out of the back of one of the zombies blooms a flower. Not just any flower, but a Cherokee rose. This is the same flower Daryl gave Carol back in season 2 to comfort her when Sophia disappears. Sweet!
10. A Johnny Depp Cameo
Do one of these three heads look familiar? That’s because the one on the far right is a replica of Johnny Depp’s head! It seems that Depp’s permission may not have been involved – Greg Nicotero, executive producer, told Entertainment Weekly – “One of the other heads, I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble if I say this, was Johnny Depp.” What an interesting, but rather strange choice.
11. Andrew Lincoln’s Voice
In one of the saddest TWD deaths, we see Tyrese Williams bleed out in the back of a car. While this happens, we hear the voice of an English person reporting about the zombie apocalypse from the radio. This voice is, in fact, belongs to none other than Andrew Lincoln. In case you didn’t know, yes, Rick Grimes is British in real life. How did we not recognize that signature voice?!
12. A Vase of Flowers
In the 100th episode of The Walking Dead, show-runners thought they’d add a few teasers and fun callbacks to earlier seasons. In Rick Grime’s flash-forward to a perfect Alexandria, we see him as an older man lying in a bed and waking up with a vase of flowers next to him. Bringing to mind one of the best Walking Dead moments, this scene is a clear mirroring of the very first episode when Rick wakes up in a hospital at the beginning of the apocalypse and sees a vase of dead flowers.
13. 100th Episode Callback
Again, in the 100th episode, we see Father Gabriel and Negan completely, and seemingly impossibly, stranded in a container surrounded by walkers. This harks back to the first episode where Rick is also totally trapped in a tank with hundreds of walkers, showing the same aerial view. Memories!
14. A First Walker Returns
Remember the ‘little girl’ walker that Rick and Carl encounter in the season 1 premiere? You may have recognized the same actress, now 17, and now an older-looking walker, at the abandoned gas station in the season 8 premiere. Looks like nobody’s killed her off yet. But wait, did you know that walkers age?
15. Negan’s ‘First’ Appearance
Here’s a super-cool Walking Dead Easter Egg that few would have noticed! In season 4, Beth stumbles across a group of annihilated walkers in a clearing. Next to one of the bodies is a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, clearly a nod to Negan and Lucille’s future appearance! Wow. If only we knew what terror was to come.
16. The X-Files Crossover
Indeed. The Walking Dead and The X-Files somehow interlink. Or so you could say. Daryl is regularly seen with packs and large stashes of ‘Morley’ cigarettes on the show. This is in fact, the same brand that The Cigarette-Smoking man in The X-Files liked smoking. Cool, huh?
17. Save the Turtles
In season 6, we see Eastman wearing a Save the Terrapins t-shirt. This was no random outfit choice by the show’s creators. In actual fact, Eastman is a nod to the creator of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman. That’s not all. Eastman ironically wears the shirt after we see Enid savagely eat a turtle. Now that’s what you call two cleverly hidden references!
18. Achievement Unlocked?
It’s hard to catch, but it’s there! Some fans believe that the X-Box ‘Achievement Unlocked’ sound can be heard in Rick’s first ever zombie kill. Avid gamers would have needed the ears of a hawk to notice this one!
19. Clock Reveal
You’d have to be eagle eyed to spot this cleverly hidden Easter Egg! Apparently, clocks on the show sometimes reveal what season and episode is taking place. Special effects and make-up artist admitted, “Every episode that we shoot we adjust the time on the watches and the clocks to whatever episode it is we’re shooting.”
20. Little Red Riding Hood
We’ve had a Dawn of the Dead character and an X-Files and Breaking Bad reference. What could possibly be missing? A fairy-tale character in The Walking Dead, of course! Yes, Little Red Riding Hood was intentionally and smartly placed in season 5 when we were being introduced to the Wolves. Smart, indeed!
21. “I Found You”
Confused by Rick’s last words in his final TWD episode? You might recall Mr Grimes saying, “I found you” just before blowing up the dynamite on that bridge. This was in fact, a clever callback to the first ever episode when Rick muttered the exact same words upon being found by Morgan.
22. Maggie’s Wall of Memories
Look closely at Maggie’s wall in her Hilltop office and you might shed a tear. Emblazoned on her wall is artwork of the multiple loved ones she’s lost over the years including the likes of Glenn, her father, Hershel and sister, Beth.
23. Carol’s Late Children
Remember when Carol sort of overdosed on pills in episode 3 of season 10? In Ghosts, Carol hallucinated a bunch of things, but one of them stood out as a creepy shout-out to former kids on the show. When she picks up an economics text book, its cover depicts a mother serving dinner to her children. Look closely and you’ll realize it’s Carol serving food to a throat-slit Sophia, Lizzie, Mika, Sam, and Henry – all the kids she’s lost in the past.
24. Rick’s Message to Michonne
This Easter Egg may trigger a few tears. In season 10 episode 13, Michonne is on the hunt for Rick when she stumbles upon his old cellphone with a sketch of of herself and Judith drawn on it. Above the sentimental drawing is some Japanese writing, which the showrunner Angela Kang revealed means “believe a little longer”.
25. Freddy Krueger’s Cameo
The show’s producers wanted to give fans a Halloween treat by having iconic horror movie character, Freddy Krueger make a cameo. In episode 17 of season 11, Krueger – including his signature outfit and gloves – can be spotted as one of the walkers approaching Daryl and Maggie in the sewers.
26. R.J.’s Comic Book
Episode 18 of season 11 gave us a sweet little Easter Egg in remembrance of Carl Grimes. A close-up shot of little R.J.’s comic book reveals that it’s the exact same one his older late brother used to read and was gifted by Michonne. That’s not all – “Invincible #56” was written by Robert Kirkman – a.k.a. The Walking Dead‘s original author.
27. Carl Grimes Make a Cameo
The Walking Dead really wasn’t The Walking Dead when it decided to kill of Carl Grimes all those seasons ago. Well, the show gave fans some closure in the form of a Carl Grimes – hidden – cameo. If you looked closely at one of the last scenes in the finale where Maggie, Daryl and Carol were at the Hilltop, in the background, Chandler Riggs can be spotted as one of the Hilltop farmers!
These TWD Easter Eggs were well-hidden, for the most part, as the crew clearly like to keep things subtle. If you managed to spot them all, consider yourself a true fan!
Are there any other hidden secrets and inside jokes that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments!
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