- The Walking Dead sparingly used the F-bomb, but when it did, it left a lasting impact on viewers, no matter how desensitized they were to violence.
- Characters like Hope, Winokur, and Jason in spinoff shows surprised fans with their use of the F-bomb, further emphasizing the intense emotions and shocking moments in their respective storylines.
- The franchise strategically chose characters like Negan, Rick, and Daryl to drop the F-bomb, showcasing their transformation, character growth, and the high-stakes situations they found themselves in throughout the series.
The Walking Dead is largely known for its brutality and gory scenes, but kept its F-bombs to a minimum–however, there were quite a few characters who dropped it over the years. The show was never shy about using profanity, but it saved stronger words for rarer instances. Given the nature of the show, it seemed a strange choice to use such language so sporadically; when the show did finally use them, it left an impression. No matter how used to the violent nature of the show the audience got, an F-bomb always remained a surprise. They became more common toward the end of the main series, but some lesser-known ones appeared on DVDs as well as other Walking Dead shows.
Through all the different spinoff shows, there are only so many instances of the word being used. Therefore, the characters that did get to use the F-bomb join a unique list of the only characters in The Walking Dead to do so. After nearly 13 years of shows taking place in the universe, there are 11 characters who have dropped at least one F-bomb throughout the franchise’s existence. Whether it is for dramatic effect or a bit of humor, the franchise made sure to savor the word’s use. Here is every Walking Dead character who has dropped the F-bomb and when they said it.
21 Hope Bennet – The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, Episode 9, “Death And The Dead”
When Hope (Alexa Mansour) dropped the F-bomb in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, it was The Walking Dead’s first F-bomb in three years. The penultimate episode of the show saw Hope utter the words “F*** this place” regarding the CRM compound. It was a slight surprise to hear it dropped in World Beyond given it had been so long since any show within the universe had previously used it. Add to the fact the spinoff focused more on teenagers than adults, and it made the inclusion all the more shocking. It worked in really selling the emotions of the characters with Hope eager to leave the CRM compound behind.
20 Winokur – Fear The Walking Dead: Dead In The Water Season 1, Episode 3, “Do What Needs Doing”
Fear The Walking Dead: Dead in the Water was a unique spinoff show that featured six short episodes telling a one-shot story. Winokur’s (Ja’Quan Monroe-Henderson) stint in The Walking Dead may be short, but he is one of the few characters who dropped an F-bomb. Seeing zombies in action for the first time, Winokur panicked, shouting, “They’re eating each other; what the f***?” His genuine reaction acts as a reminder to the viewer how horrifying these zombies are to those not used to them. While walkers have become an almost secondary part of most shows, this was a look back on how terrifying they can be.
19 Jason Riley – Fear The Walking Dead: Dead In The Water Season 1, Episode 1, “Something Bad”
The protagonist of Fear The Walking Dead’s submarine spinoff show dropped a few F-bombs in the short digital series. In the very first episode, Jason (Nick Stahl) said “What the f***?” in response to the lack of radio communication they were getting on the submarine. This was one of the early signs things were going wrong in the series which prompted an F-bomb just over 2 minutes into the show. It created a more authentic feel around the confusion of it all, with the group having no idea what was happening to the rest of the world. It wouldn’t be his last time dropping the word, however.
18 Jason Riley – Fear The Walking Dead: Dead In The Water Season 1, Episode 4, “Incoming”
Ironically, Jason drops the very same line in episode 4 of Dead in the Water, albeit in very different circumstances. While his first time saying the line was inquisitive, his second was met with confused rage. After Winokur is bitten, Alvarez (Jay Gutierrez) shoots him prompting another “What the f***?” from Jason. This one certainly has much more confused emotion involved, highlighting the stakes of this outbreak onboard. Jason would become an important character in the universe, joining Fear The Walking Dead so his F-bombs helped establish his character heading into the series. He would become an antagonist despite being the lead character in Dead in the Water.
17 Nick Clark – Fear The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 12, “Brother’s Keeper”
Nick (Frank Dillane) was the first character on Fear The Walking Dead to drop an F-bomb. While Fear The Walking Dead is ending, it did manage to leave its mark in terms of profanity. After searching for the exiled Troy (Daniel Sharman), Nick looked into the distance to see a horde of zombies, prompting a simple, “F***.” It was the first time the show had used the word but helped sell the dramatic scale of how big and imposing the horde was. Although Nick had the honor of being the first on the show to use it, he wouldn’t be the only Clark to drop an F-bomb in FTWD.
16 Madison Clark – Fear The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 16, “Sleigh Ride”
Having been the first to drop the word on the show, Nick would also be the first and last to receive it. It was also his own mother who used it against him. The two were locked in a heated argument where Nick alludes to his own mom being a killer, allowing her to be her true self in this world. This prompted a “F*** you” from Madison (Kim Dickens) to her son. While it is hardly a bombshell of a line, it does help sell the emotions of the scene and how far the two had drifted come season 3 of the show.
15 Juanita “Princess” Sanchez – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 19, “Variant”
Juanita Sanchez (Paola Lazaro) AKA Princess is among just six characters from the main series that dropped the F-bomb. Princess was a character bursting with personality but her introduction caused backlash which the Commonwealth story helped improve. Allowing Princess to be one of the few characters in the universe to get to use the word makes sense given her vibrant personality and Lazaro’s perfect delivery. When talking to Mercer (Michael James Shaw), Princess says, “F*** that thinking, it could be better, too.” It reinforced her more positive mindset despite her darker and lonelier backstory, a speech that ultimately helped inspire Mercer to do the right thing.
14 Michael Mercer – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 22, “Faith”
Perhaps the best F-bomb in the entire series goes to Mercer. He is a late introduction to the show, only coming in during the Commonwealth storyline. He still manages to have a huge presence in season 11 and becomes one of the more important characters towards the climax. There is obviously a good person in Mercer, however, he often finds himself protecting the Commonwealth’s laws, even when he knows they’re wrong. Princess’s speech inspired him to join the main survivors and drop an F-bomb of his own. After freeing Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Mercer says, “Time to f*** sh** up,” emphasizing he’s no longer loyal to protecting the Miltons.
13 Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 16, “A”
Season 4’s finale is among the best episodes of The Walking Dead. Upon great action and a tense cliffhanger, it also provides one of the best F-bombs in the series. Although it didn’t air on cable, Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) first F-bomb in “A” really set the tone for how he was changing as a character. In the episode’s tense conclusion, the group is locked in a train car with seemingly no escape. Most of the group is worried, but Rick is quietly optimistic, claiming the Terminus group is going to feel pretty stupid when they find out “They’re f***ing with the wrong people.”
12 Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 10, “The Next World”
Surprisingly, the show’s protagonist only drops the F-bomb twice, both of which never made it onto television. Rick’s second F-bomb came in a more humorous scene which highlighted why the show should have let the word appear more often. After informing Daryl (Norman Reedus) that there are good people out there, Daryl asks, “Like this guy?” Rick bluntly responds, “No. F*** this guy.” It is a moment in the show that highlights how funny The Walking Dead could be with more subtle moments like this. The response felt natural yet provided humor which showed the use of the F-bomb didn’t always have to be for dramatic effect.
11 Rosita Espinosa – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 9, “No Other Way”
Rosita (Christian Serratos) drops three F-bombs throughout The Walking Dead. While she wasn’t shy of using profanity, having more uses of the word than Rick is a little unexpected. Every occasion came in season 11 for Rosita, where the show was less shy in using it than when Rick was around. The first instance came when she was fighting off a group of walkers inside a house, letting out a faint “F***” while attempting to fend them off. It may not be earth-shattering, but it was a subtle inclusion that emphasized how much of a struggle this close-quarters fight proved to be.
10 Rosita Espinosa – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 21, “Outpost 22”
Once again, Rosita drops an almost inaudible “F***” after hearing on the radio about an enemy group that is looking for her and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Both Rosita and Gabriel are injured after escaping one of the trucks taking them to Outpost 22, but after hearing the Commonwealth soldiers have spotted their footsteps over a radio, it becomes obvious they are still in trouble. Serratos nailed the more subtle use of the word on both occasions. It helped ground the situations and created more authentic reactions as opposed to building up an overly dramatic F-bomb that didn’t fit the situation.
9 Rosita Espinosa – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 24, “Rest In Peace”
While the first two occasions may have packed less of a punch, Rosita’s final F-bomb was as clear as they come. Radioing for help, Rosita informs the group that “Our ride is f***ed,” signaling they need desperate help. Rosita is trapped in a vehicle with Eugene, Gabriel, and her baby. Having her child with her adds to the drama and desperation she’s in, making her extremely stressed. She is able to escape but ultimately is bitten in the process, making Rosita’s Walking Dead finale death hit extremely hard. She may not have survived the series, but she did go out swinging and with one last powerful F-bomb.
8 Negan Smith – The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 16, “Last Day On Earth”
One of the most iconic character introductions also led to The Walking Dead’s most controversial cliffhanger. When Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan) first arrived in the show, it completely shifted the dynamic. His 11-minute monologue set up a huge cliffhanger ending that sparked outrage as fans had to wait months to find out who died. While there were no F-bombs in the version that aired on TV, the DVD’s uncensored version shows him dropping the word 23 times during his speech. Opinions are split on whether the censored or uncensored version is better, but the latter dropped more than its fair share of F-bombs to properly introduce Negan.
7 Negan Smith – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 17, “Lockdown”
Negan’s foul-mouthed reputation from the comics didn’t quite translate to the show. With networks not being too keen on the F-bomb, Negan didn’t drop it again until season 11. When Negan joins the show’s main group to try and take down Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), he must face Hornsby head-on as he is essentially a stranger to him. When his wife Annie (Elizabeth Keener), suggests going with him, Negan responds, “I need you to be safe. Besides, I’m f***ed anyway.” This use of the word is far from the F-bomb once expected of the show’s biggest antagonist, however, it shows just how much he has changed come season 11.
6 Negan Smith – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 23, “Family”
Jeffery Dean Morgan performed his last F-bomb in The Walking Dead during the series’ second-last episode. Season 11 went all out in raising the stakes, adding variant zombies in the main series for the first time since season 1. Variant zombies made The Walking Dead more exciting and also provided a hilarious Negan moment. Watching a walker climb on top of a structure for the first time prompted a “What the f***?” from Negan. It is another example of where the F-bomb serves as a genuine reaction that can also provide the audience with a bit of humor in an otherwise serious situation.
5 Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 6, “Consumed”
No one in The Walking Dead universe has dropped more separate F-bombs than Daryl Dixon. Negan’s uncensored speech may have more than everyone else put together, but Daryl has the most individual instances. His first came back in season 5 in a conversation with Carol (Melissa McBride). Attempting to help Carol forget about the past, he says, “F*** the way it was,” attempting to help her move on. His casual delivery fits well with Daryl’s behavior during this period of the show. It may be a big deal to the audience, but for Daryl, it’s just a word used to help his friend through the apocalypse.
4 Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 4, “The Obliged”
“The Obliged” is the last episode of the franchise in which Daryl and Rick have a conversation. This episode tested their long-standing bromance and also featured an F-bomb between the two. After falling into a pit, the two start arguing over their differences about sparing Negan. Daryl tells Rick if it wasn’t for Glenn (Steven Yeun), he wouldn’t have found his wife or son and “You sure as f*** wouldn’t have found any of us.” It’s heartbreaking this is one of their last-ever conversations. Thankfully though, they did patch things up before they were separated and a Rick and Daryl reunion does seem inevitable.
3 Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 15, “Trust”
After 11 seasons, The Walking Dead dropped its first real F-bomb. While many on the main show had taken place on DVD or had been muttered, Daryl’s F-bomb in “Trust” was clear. As tensions continued to rise between the main survivors and the Commonwealth, Daryl pointed a gun at Hornsby and said, “Tell them to drop the guns before something really f***ing bad happens.” His threat definitely didn’t hold anything back and proved effective in defusing the situation. This set the tone for the latter part of season 11 which saw most of the main shows clear F-bombs take place.
2 Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 18, “A New Deal”
As the confrontation between the main survivors and the Commonwealth continued, so did the F-bombs. In a tense scene where Daryl has Hornsby at his mercy, Pamela Milton (Lalia Robins) and Mercer ask Daryl to stand down. Adamant that Hornsby deserves to die, he replies to Mercer “Do what you f***ing gotta do.” Carol eventually convinces Daryl to turn Hornsby over, but his anger and resentment are evident in this scene. Using the F-bomb only helped further cement how locked in the moment Daryl was and had it not been for any interventions, Hornsby would have likely died then and there.