I’ve been sitting at home this July 4rth. doing what many fans of The Walking Dead are doing this entire weekend: watching the AMC marathon of this cool zombie series. It’s struck me as I’ve been viewing episode after episode, both in color and in black-and-white, how many memorable quotes are in every episode. So, I have compiled a list of The Walking Dead Season 1 Top Ten Quotes, and a poll below, for you to vote on what YOUR favorite Top Ten quotes are from the first season of The Walking Dead.
The first episode of the six which comprise season 1, “Days Gone Bye,” still remains as one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. It is memorable in several ways, not least of which is that it introduces TV audiences as to what’s to come, the attempts of people in the Atlanta, Georgia, area to survive a zombie apocalypse.
A couple of my favorite quotes from “Days Gone Bye” are this one, by Morgan: “They might not seem like much one at a time, but in a group all riled up and hungry, man you watch your ass,” and one that a voice on the radio says: “Hey you. Dumb-ass. Yeah, you in the tank. Cozy in there?”
The second episode, “Guts,” continued in the tradition of the premier, in that it had a great script, excellent acting, marvelous special effects, and even more cool quotes.
Lori Grimes, wife of the main character, Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, has sex with Rick’s supposed best friend, Shane, in the woods. Shane’s told Lori that Rick is dead, thinking that is really the truth. Rick is still trapped in the tank, which he got inside of at the end of the first episode, to escape from hordes of zombies. This is also the episode where Southern redneck Merle Dixon gets handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of a building, and T-Dog accidentally drops the key down a drain and loses it.
One of the quotes I liked from “Guts” was ex-pizza delivery man, Glenn’s, to Rick: “Nice moves there, Clint Eastwood. You the new sheriff come riding in to clean up the town?”
Another quote I really liked was Rick’s, about the zombies: “There’s us and the dead. We survive this by pulling together, not apart.”
Season 1, episode 3, “Tell It to the Frogs,” has Rick returning to the camp with the department store survivors. He then has an emotional reunion with his wife and son.
Soon afterward, however, despite encountering a walker near camp, Rick decides to go against Shane’s advice and return to Atlanta to retrieve Merle and the bag Rick had dropped in the street when surrounded by zombies, which contained guns and a walkie-talkie he needs to warn Morgan against going to Atlanta.
Rick is accompanied by Merle’s upset and distrusting younger brother Daryl Dixon as well as Glenn and T-Dog. Lori warns Shane to stay away from her family now that Rick has returned. Rick’s return is a surprise, since Shane had told her Rick had died in the hospital.
The rescue team makes it to Atlanta and, once they are on the department store roof, they discover a hacksaw, Merle’s dismembered hand, and blood on his handcuffs, but he is nowhere to be found.
The two quotes I like the most from this episode are the one from Daryl to Dale: “You take that stupid hat and go back to ‘On Golden Pond,'” and Dale’s, later in the show:”Words can be meager things. Sometimes they fall short.”
The fourth episode of the season, “Vatos,” involves the search for Merle, who might still be alive. Also, the group tries to retrieve the bag of guns that Rick had dropped on his previous visit to Atlanta. However, they are attacked by several living Latino men who also seek the weapons.
Rick and the rest of his small band manages to grab an injured attacker, but several other attackers escape in a vehicle, taking Glenn with them as a hostage. Rick and the others interrogate their own hostage, and learn the location of their attackers’ hideout.
They head there hoping to make a prisoner trade. They are rebuffed by the Latinos, who demand the bag of guns along with a prisoner exchange. The threat of bloodshed is avoided when an elderly woman (the grandmother of one of the Latinos) disrupts the confrontation.
Grimes and his men realize that the “thug” image their hosts portray is just a protective front. The Latino “gang” is made up of former employees of a hidden nursing home within which many of its elderly inhabitants are hiding. Rick leaves them some of the guns and the men exchange prisoners and depart.
Upon leaving, they discover their van is missing and conclude that Merle has stolen it. Back at camp, a large group of walkers ventures up the hill and takes the survivors by surprise. Several members are killed, including Andrea’s younger sister Amy, and Carol’s husband Ed. Rick and the rescuers return to camp just in time to kill the remaining walkers.
There are again several good quotes in this episode, but I will just select two. The first one is yet another of Glenn’s: “Admit it. You only came back to Atlanta for the hat,” and Daryl’s to Glenn: “You’ve got some balls for a Chinaman.”
This brings us to episode 5, “Wildfire.” In it, the dead group members from the last episode, “Vatos,” are buried. Also, Andrea remains protective of Amy’s body until it reawakens as a walker, whereupon Andrea then apologizes and kills Amy again with a gunshot to her head.
Jim reveals that he was bitten by a walker in the fight, and the living members of the group decide to take him to the CDC, though there are signs of conflict between Shane and Rick, as Shane believes the trip to the CDC is a dead end.
This CDC episode is possibly my favorite of the season, even more so that the first episode, “Days Gone Bye,” and the second one, “Guts.” At the CDC building, a scientist, Edwin Jenner, has isolated himself while running tests on the walker virus. He has just lost his only virus test sample to fire, and is considering suicide.
When the group prepares to leave, thinking the building is empty, Rick notices the camera moving and begs for his group to be allowed in. The doors open as the group of survivors looks on, astonished.
That’s just the start of what’s to come. It’s a fantastic episode!
The two quotes I’ve chosen for this episode are one by Daryl: “The line is pretty clear: zero tolerance for Walkers,” and one by Rick about Atlanta: “Do not enter the city. It belongs to the dead now.”
The sixth and final episode of the season, “TS-19,” was pretty awesome, also. Among other things, it includes a flashback to the first episode, “Days Gone Bye,” when Shane attempts to move Rick out of the hospital but is unable to do so because of soldiers executing the hospital staff and walkers breaking into the building. Thinking Rick is dead, all Shane can do is barricade Rick’s door and flee the hospital.
In the present, the group enjoys an ephemeral normality amid the comforts of hot showers and wine. A drunk Shane seeks to defend his past actions to Lori, telling her that he had been certain that Rick was dead. He tries to force himself on her sexually but she fights him off.
The next morning, Dr. Jenner explains to the group, using a computer model called Test Subject 19, the process in the brain that takes place when a person is bitten and then partially revived as a walker. Subsequently the group discovers that a timer in the lab is counting down to the exhaustion of the building’s power supply and that when it hits zero the building will “decontaminate” by self-destructing.
Dr. Jenner locks them in, telling them that such an end is humane, and their deaths will be swift and painless. The group, however, believes they can survive, and attempts to break out. Rick convinces Jenner to release them; Jenner does so and tells him something inaudible before the group flees.
One of the members, Jacqui, tells them she will stay no matter what, and die with Jenner. Andrea chooses the same fate, but Dale says if she stays then he will stay and eventually convinces her to leave with them. Carol gives Rick a grenade she found in his clothes when she was doing laundry, and they blow up one of the windows and narrowly escape the building before it explodes, and then proceed to drive off.
The two quotes from this episode that I chose are Rick’s about the zombies: “You don’t know what it’s like out there. You may think you do but you don’t,” and Daryl’s to Glenn: “Keep drinking, little man. I wanna see how red your face can get.”
Of these twelve quotes, I’ve chosen my Top Ten and included them in the poll which follows. Please vote on which of the ten is your favorite from The Walking Dead Season 1.
Written by: Douglas Cobb