Mistakes happen to all of us from time to time. But when you’re living in an undead world, you really can’t afford to make bad choices. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the "Top 10 Walking Dead Fails."
For this list, we’re looking at some of the dumbest, most facepalm-worthy decisions ever made by characters on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Though the showrunners have made their fair share of poor judgment calls, we’re only interested in fails committed by characters themselves. And it goes without saying, but this list comes with a MAJOR SPOILER WARNING.
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#10: Keeping a Barn Full of Zombies
The new realities of life in this world would be challenging, and for the Greene family in particular there were harsh lessons to learn. But it only takes one encounter with a walker to teach you that they’re too dangerous to risk keeping around. Sure, Hershel’s decision to secretly keep them in his barn was motivated by good intentions, and yes, for all he knew, a cure was just over the horizon. But none of that matters—he was risking actual lives in the hopes of a miracle. Thankfully, Shane dealt with them before catastrophe inevitably struck. Otherwise, this series might’ve ended MUCH earlier.
#9: Trusting the Terminus Signs
Hope might be the only thing keeping people alive in the world of The Walking Dead, but when embraced too wholeheartedly, it can also spell demise. Yes, our various groups approached Terminus with caution after their home at the prison was destroyed and overrun, but considering what they had just survived, if they had an ounce of sense between them, they all would have avoided Terminus like the plague. They had literally just learnt first-hand that humans were the biggest threat to their safety in this new world, and yet, they all opted to take hand painted signs at face value. Honestly, had they been eaten, it kinda would’ve served them right.
#8: Beth’s Last Stand
After committing a significant amount of their time in season five to finding Beth, our survivors finally manage to find the missing Greene sister. And what does Beth choose to do with her newfound freedom? Why, she stabs her ex-captor in the shoulder, delivering a decidedly non-fatal wound, which, unsurprisingly, causes the gun-wielding manipulative cop, Dawn, to promptly shoot Beth in the head. Yes… Dawn forcing Noah to stay was a blow to morale, but had she left with the group, Beth could’ve figured out how to liberate her friend as well. With this impulsive decision, she threw away the rescue and her life.
#7: Saving Gregory
How Gabriel has grown! This priest was introduced as a selfish coward who still somehow found it in him to criticize Rick’s group. Over the seasons, however, he has come into his own, learning to carry his weight in the group and fight the good fight. Sadly, it seems as if Gabriel may only know how to lead a life of extremes. He’s gone from sacrificing innocent lives to risking his own for a man who has done nothing but work against him and his group. We applaud Father Gabriel’s selfless act, but deplore his stupidity in applying it to the one character who was for sure going to betray him.
#6: Every Time Someone Goes After Negan Solo
For the sake of your continued group survival, stop lone wolfing it! Considering how badly Negan schooled Rick’s group the first time they underestimated him, you’d think they’d take some time to make a real plan, but nope, it’s just one sad solo performance after another. Our first disappointment is Carl, who gets points for being a total badass, but whose life would have ended then and there had Negan not shown mercy. Then you’ve got Rosita who, despite a foolish plan, could’ve earned the title of hero had she taken a moment to aim. How about Sasha, who failed both in life and death?
#5: Glenn Not Killing Nicholas
There are a LOT of characters that we’ve wanted to throttle, but Nicholas is among the worst offenders. At least most of the villains in the series are interesting; Nicholas is just one big, unpleasant walking inconvenience. He first proves himself to be a liability and a dangerous coward, before evolving into a murderous traitor. After Nicholas’ attempt to kill him in cold blood, Glenn should’ve ended him. And he almost does before pity gets the best of him. Though Nicholas quit his antagonistic ways, there was no curing him of the cowardly streak, and it nearly killed Glenn again.
#4: Pulling the Walker from the Well
Listen, we’re not going to pretend to be water purification experts, but a quick visual and olfactory assessment of a water source is always recommended before consuming from it. If the water is hazy or has an off-odor... probably best to steer clear. If it’s got a freakin’ bloated reanimated corpse living in it, you definitely should NOT drink from it. Even had the corpse come out of the well in one piece, the degree to which the water had been contaminated is impossible to evaluate. Glenn should be offended that the group was willing to risk his life on such an ill-conceived plan. Abandoning this well was the only choice from the start.
#3: Dealing with the Scavengers… TWICE
Hey Rick… can you remind us of the stated philosophy of the Scavengers according to their leader? Oh right. Complete self-interest. MAXIMUM self-interest. So why would you trust this group of Scavengers with the safety and future of your settlement? To the surprise of no one but Rick, they take the guns from him, and then double dip by talking to Negan to get twice the payout by betraying Alexandria. Thankfully… Rick always learns from his mistakes. Nope! He decides to go negotiate with them again. And sure enough, he gets imprisoned, nearly executed, and after striking a deal, abandoned.
#2: Fighting Over the Dynamite and Throwing It at the Truck
In a world where all but the most rudimentary forms of industrial production have come to a grinding and indefinite halt… you really can’t afford to be wasteful. But of all the things you see as precious, guns are by the most valuable, rare and important. So… when Rick and Daryl manage to get their hands on a shipment of weapons intended for the Sanctuary, you’d think they’d load up on them, rather than arguing and get into a fistfight. But the real winning decision comes when Rick lobs the dynamite at the overturned, smoking wreck of a car and blows everything up.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Negan Burning His Own Doctor
- Lori Going After Rick and Leaving Carl Behind
- Andrea Choosing the Governor
#1: Not Shooting Negan When They Had the Chance
Of all the boneheaded decisions that have been made by Rick and his group… this is the one that haunts viewers. Negan is the problem, so kill Negan. When he steps out onto the balcony and you’ve got an entire army of gunmen ready to fire, open fire! Don’t ask for surrender. Don’t slowly start counting down from ten. Sure, Rick cut off the countdown early; if he'd told his troops to open fire when he gave the word, Negan would’ve been dead. But then again, when it comes to Negan, no one seems capable of thinking clearly. Daryl… we’re looking at you too, pal.
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