10 Improvised Tһe Wаlkinɡ Deаd Moments We Cаn’t Imаɡine Tһe Sһow Witһout

Despite a large cast of talented actors, The Walking Dead isn’t known for its improv. However, there are unscripted moments that enhance the show.

10 Improvised The Walking Dead Moments We Can’t Imagine The Show Without


  • The Walking Dead has had some improvised moments that have enhanced the story, such as Kelly’s reaction to Daryl and Connie’s flirting in Season 10.
  • Glenn’s scream after killing a walker in Season 3 was an unplanned but cathartic moment for actor Steven Yeun.
  • Daryl hugging Lydia in Season 10 was an improvised gesture by Norman Reedus, symbolizing his growing protectiveness towards her.

Over The Walking Dead’s 11 seasons, there have been some moments of improvisation that made the cut and enhanced the story so much that it’s difficult to imagine they weren’t scripted. Starting in 2010, The Walking Dead has since gained massive success, which led to multiple The Walking Dead spinoffs. With rich character storylines, like Michonne’s growth from solitude and Negan’s redemption, there are countless unforgettable moments.

While many of these key moments are dictated by the source material or carefully crafted story arcs told over time, a few are a bit more spontaneous. Although The Walking Dead isn’t big on improvising, when it has let its actors diverge slightly, some notable scenes have resulted. While The Walking Dead has many powerful characters, the show does an effective job of highlighting their human reactions and instincts to the danger and loss a zombie apocalypse throws their way. Similarly, the actors portraying these characters sometimes utilized their own instincts to help enhance these moments.

10 Kelly’s Reaction To Daryl And Connie’s Flirting

Season 10, Episode 1, “Lines We Cross”

Kelly Raising Her Brows At Connie In The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 1

At the time, hints at a potential romance between Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) had fans excited. The season 10 premiere offers flirty moments, even prompting other characters to wonder if there’s something romantic between the pair. Showrunner Angela Kang shared with EW that the suggestive eyebrow raise Kelly (Angel Theory) does after Daryl approaches her and Connie on the beach and Connie’s dismissive look was improvised. “This is just what the actresses did and we kept it in because it was such a fun moment,” says Kang. A romance between Daryl and Connie in The Walking Dead never developed, but the chemistry between them was undeniable.

9 Glenn’s Scream After Killing A Walker In TWD Season 3

Season 3, Episode 7, “When The Dead Come Knocking”

Steven Yeun as Glenn After Killing A Walker In The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 7

After being tied to a chair in Woodbury, Glenn faces a rampant walker. Merle (Michael Rooker) lets the walker in, and Glenn has to scramble to try and escape so he can defend himself. Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, shared in a Vanity Fair interview that the cathartic scream he does after finally killing the walker was unplanned. “It was the first time I was like, ‘Here’s like a feeling I have in this moment, and I want to just do it,” says Yeun. Aside from being a personal growth moment as an actor, Yeun’s improvisation here also provides a satisfying release after a tense fight between a tied-up Glenn and a walker in a locked room.

8 Daryl Hugging Lydia When She Spoke About Her Dad

Season 10, Episode 4, “Silence The Whisperers”

After Lydia (Cassady McClincy) is attacked by Margo, Alfred, and Gage for what Alpha has done, she has a heartfelt conversation with Daryl. She divulges information about her dad and how she’d always felt like he was abusive, but now understands he was only ever trying to protect her from Alpha’s abuse. The fatherly hug Daryl comforts Lydia with in this scene was all Reedus reacting to McClincy’s already emotional performance (via Cinemablend). This gesture, which made McClincy all the more emotional, symbolizes a step toward the protectiveness Daryl has over Lydia after this, as well as his compassion, despite many community members not accepting Lydia yet.

7 Eugene’s “I Could Go All Night” Line In TWD Season 10

Season 10, Episode 3, “Ghosts”

Eugene In The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 3

Amidst the Whisperer War, Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) clear out some walkers one night. In this scene, Rosita thanks him for coming out with her and he replies with “I could go all night.” In an interview with Alternative Mindz, McDermitt says he improvised this line, adding “most improvised lines are going to be funny though, but you want to make sure you stick with the tone.” This innuendo is particularly humorous considering Eugene’s long-time crush on Rosita, yet doesn’t detract from the tension in the episode. Given that he typically doesn’t have the stomach to kill walkers, at least at this point in the show, his being there with her further shows how big his crush is.

6 Maggie and Gabriel’s Reunion Moment When She Saves Him From The Whisperers

Season 10, Episode 16, “A Certain Doom”

Gabriel Reuniting With Maggie In The Walking Dead Season 10

Since Maggie left in season 9 and returned in Walking Dead season 10, there were bound to be touching reunions between cast members. One of these moments made its way to the final cut of the episode. In a scene where Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and a masked Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) rescue Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) from Whisperers, the former and Gabriel are reunited for the first time.

Cohan said, “In that scene with Seth, to pick him up from the ground and celebrate his rescue from death, and then… he started laughing! It wasn’t scripted but was just so right” (via Metro.co.uk). This improvisation signifies how far their relationship has come, from Maggie distrusting him to both of them protecting each other, such as when Gabriel helps her fake her death to protect her from Negan.

5 Mercer’s TWD Season 11 Line When Eugene Is Brought To Him

Season 11, Episode 22, “Faith”

After being found guilty of doctoring a recording of Sebastian, Pamela’s son, Eugene is taken for what he assumes is his walk to execution. With a sack over his head and an escort of Commonwealth soldiers, Eugene is ultimately brought to Mercer (Michael James Shaw). Once the bag is removed and a teary, frightened Eugene stares at Mercer, the latter slowly nods before saying, “Time to f–k s–t up.”

Shaw told AMC in a Q&A, “That night I did several different versions of [the line]. Then I said that line and the whole camera crew, they just erupted. In that moment, I knew, ‘Okay, that was the one!’” The line is not only the last bit of dialogue in the episode, but it also jump-starts Mercer’s diversion away from the Commonwealth’s goals toward helping the Alexandrians.

Season 5, Episode 12, “Remember”

Daryl And Carol In The Walking Dead Remember Episode

While Carol and Daryl’s The Walking Dead reunion is anticipated in Daryl Dixon season 2, some of the earlier moments between them are part of what makes their friendship so great. One of these particular instances is shortly after the group gets to Alexandria and acclimatizes to the new way of life. Carol decides to dress in stereotypical suburban mom clothing to secretly spy on the Alexandrians. This leads to Daryl commenting, “You look ridiculous.”

Reedus explained to EW, “It just kind of came out. She actually yelled off-camera ‘Thank you!’ which was really funny as well.” He says it’s a testament to how close the actors are. This transcends to the screen, adding to why Carol and Daryl’s moments are so convincing. Reedus also says, “It’s kind of one of those things that a little kid would say,” which echoes it as an example of some of their friendship’s more playful moments.

3 Rick and Michonne Grabbing Their Weapons When Jesus Walks Into Their Room

Season 6, Episode 10, “The Next World”

The Walking Dead season 6, episode 10 is a pinnacle moment for all Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) shippers since the couple share their first kiss and night together. Interestingly, the pair’s first meeting with Jesus when he barges into the bedroom was more modest in the original script. Instead of instinctively grabbing their weapons – the gun and katana – Michonne was originally supposed to grab a sheet to cover up before standing up.

Lincoln reveals that he and Gurira were wondering how to top the kiss that happens moments before in the episode. He adds more about how their pull for the nude scene came about, “Danai said, ‘No, [Michonne] wouldn’t [grab the sheet]. She’d go for her sword.’ And I said, ‘Yeah. And Rick would go for his gun. And we’d both be naked‘” (via Comicbook). This has since become an unforgettable moment in The Walking Dead fandom and the story of Rick and Michonne’s relationship. Additionally, it highlights the characters’ instincts for defense, since they can go from vulnerable and asleep to armed and dangerous in a matter of seconds.

Rick and Michonne will reunite in their spinoff The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which is scheduled for release in February 2024.

2 Michonne’s Walker Slaughter In TWD Season 4

Season 4, Episode 9, “After”

Michonne After Killing Numerous Walkers In Season 4

Gurira describes taking out numerous walkers in one scene as “exhilarating.” While following footprints, Michonne finds herself attracting walkers so she takes shelter in an abandoned car. She dreams about her son and boyfriend Mike (Aldis Hodge), who appear like the walker ‘pets’ she has in the present, sans jaws and arms. Later, while walking among the walkers, she notices one that resembles her and takes out the small herd surrounding her.

Gurira shares, “It was a very unpredictable day. [Executive producer and SFX supervisor] Mr. Nicotero just allowed me to kind of improv, killing 24 walkers. That was awesome and exhilarating and a really amazing experience to do” (via EW). She adds how it was also a catharsis for her character. Through this, Michonne grieves her lost loved ones and establishes her purpose to keep following the footprints, symbolizing the start of her desire to protect Rick and Carl (Chandler Riggs).

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