The Walking Dead, an American post-apocalyptic horror television series created by Frank Darabont, first aired on AMC in 2010. The show follows Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes as he wakes up from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way. With 12 seasons and countless episodes, it can be difficult to determine the best episodes of The Walking Dead. Therefore, we have ranked the best episodes of The Walking Dead.
From Rick's initial awakening to the epic battle of Alexandria, The Walking Dead has had no shortage of thrilling episodes. Season 3's "Clear" and Season 5's "Conquer" are some of the most memorable episodes of the series. Season 9's "What Comes After" was an emotional finale that left fans in tears, while Season 4's "The Grove" is a fan favorite for its heartbreaking conclusion.
With so many amazing episodes, it can be difficult to choose the best episodes of The Walking Dead. Hopefully, this ranking of the best episodes of The Walking Dead will help you decide which episodes to watch first.
Written by Sophie and last updated on nov 12, 2023.
PS: The following content contains spoilers!
PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!
In the episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner" of The Walking Dead, Rick sides with Shane, causing Dale to worry that the group is losing its humanity. Carl's actions have unintended consequences, and Daryl reveals to Dale that he knows what Shane did to Otis. Dale expresses his opinion that the group is broken, and his ideal will live on through Rick. At the end of the episode, Dale meets a tragic end, leaving fans heartbroken.
The episode was filled with moral dilemmas and heartbreaking moments as viewers watched Dale struggle to keep the group's humanity. Rick was able to stop himself when he saw how it was affecting his son, providing a moment of hope, but ultimately Dale was unable to succeed in his mission. While some fans were heartbroken by the sudden and tragic death, others were not so forgiving and viewed it as a satisfying yet bittersweet ending.
The episode was rated 8.17 from 2783 votes.
The Walking Dead's pilot episode, Days Gone Bye, follows Rick Grimes as he wakes up from a coma and is thrust into the post-apocalyptic world of the walking dead. He embarks on a quest to find his family, and on the way, he meets Morgan and Duane who help him to learn the new rules of survival.
This episode is widely considered one of the best episodes in a series ever. It is absolutely phenomenal, and it feels like a movie. Watching the first episode again is always a pleasure. Although the production values are a bit low, and there is some over-acting, the episode is generally quite engaging and enjoyable.
The episode was rated 8.17 from 4829 votes.
The Grove is an episode of The Walking Dead that explores the harsh realities of the post-apocalyptic world. After establishing a new shelter, the group must grapple with the idea of returning to the way things used to be. This episode focuses on the character Lizzy and her attempt to cope in the new world.
The episode is filled with a mixture of emotions, from dread to sadness. Lizzy is a young character who has been desensitized to the zombies, and this episode brings to light the difficult decisions she must make in order to survive. This episode also features a defining moment for Carol, as she must come to terms with the difficulties of the world they now inhabit.
This episode has been met with both positive and negative reviews. While some find Lizzy annoying and her actions misguided, others admire her toughness. Despite the differing opinions, this episode is a wonderfully depressing and dark exploration of the realities of life in a post-apocalyptic world.
The episode was rated 8.19 from 4170 votes.
This Sorrowful Life was an intense episode of The Walking Dead, as Rick and the group had to face a difficult decision in order to come to a truce with the Governor. This episode was also a bittersweet farewell to Merle, as his death was the ultimate sacrifice to achieve peace between the two factions.
The episode had a lot of heartbreaking moments, as Merle finally saw the light before his death and even had a chance to apologize to Daryl for the mistakes he had made in the past. Despite how Merle was portrayed in the earlier seasons, viewers were still able to sympathize with his death and recognize the difficult decision that had to be made. While many viewers were disappointed that this episode was not dedicated solely to Merle, the Glenn and Maggie subplot still added to the heartache of the episode.
All in all, This Sorrowful Life was a powerful episode that showed the consequences of war and the sacrifices that had to be made in the name of peace. It was a fitting end to Merle’s journey, and a reminder of the sacrifices that have to be made in order to move forward.
The episode was rated 8.27 from 3310 votes.
In the season premiere of The Walking Dead, Rick discovers a potentially safe haven for himself, Lori, and the group. However, before he can secure the premises, Rick and the group must push their limits to do so.
The first five minutes of the episode is something else, and it is as good as viewers remembered. Rick and Lori have tension between them, and Carl is mad at Lori as well. How they thought a jail would be safe when there were tons and tons of people there is a mystery, but otherwise the episode is great.
The episode was rated 8.28 from 3172 votes.
In the episode "Made to Suffer" of The Walking Dead, Andrea steps up to lead the people of Woodbury when they are thrown into uncharted territory. Meanwhile, a new threat arises at the prison. This episode has been widely praised, with many saying that it is the best episode so far. People have also commented on Andrea's stubbornness and their frustration with her refusal to change her ways. The ending scene of the episode has also been criticized for its bad extras, which many have found laughable.
Despite this, the episode was still a hit, with its intense action and suspense. Many were happy to see Andrea take on a leadership role, and it was certainly a fitting episode for the season. The Walking Dead continues to deliver thrilling episodes, and "Made to Suffer" is no exception. It is definitely worth watching, and it is sure to have fans talking for a long time to come.
The episode was rated 8.28 from 2853 votes.
The Walking Dead's episode A marks an important point in the series as many paths come together and Rick Grimes must face the brutality of the world. We see glimpses of many characters and their development as they struggle to survive. This episode is particularly memorable as it ends with a powerful line - "They're fucking with the wrong people!".
The episode was highly praised by fans who have been following the series and it was seen as a fitting way to end the season. It also served as a setup for the upcoming season as the characters are left in a precarious situation. The episode's title, A, was a source of speculation for many viewers, however it's true meaning remains a mystery.
The episode was rated 8.33 from 4197 votes.
Episode Conquer of The Walking Dead was a thrilling episode full of suspense as Daryl finds trouble while on a run and Rick and the group feel like outsiders in Alexandria, where trouble approaches the gates. This episode had many memorable scenes, one of which was when Morgan said "all life is precious," reflecting a inner peace of this man which is critical in order to survive in the zombie apocalypse. Fans of the show rated this episode a 10/10, remarking on the wonderful bojutsu work by Morgan and the suspenseful moments of the episode.
The stick is one of the most amazing non-lethal practical weapons that can be used and Morgan's work with it was truly remarkable. Fans of the show highly praised the episode and were looking forward to the next season with much promise. The episode ended with the famous line "Rick, Do It!" which was a fitting conclusion to the episode.
The episode was rated 8.34 from 4930 votes.
In the episode “Better Angels” of The Walking Dead, Rick, Shane, Daryl, and Glenn are determined to keep the group safe when they discover that someone dangerous may be loose near the farm. This episode notably includes the scene in the barn between Rick and Carl, which is even more heartbreaking and moving after having seen the flashback of a certain character’s death. This scene is one of the most satisfying scenes of the show, and it is no wonder why it is so popular among fans.
The episode was rated 8.36 from 2823 votes.
The Walking Dead's episode Killer Within is an emotional rollercoaster. It follows the characters as their lives are placed in jeopardy after their group is severed. Merle has a request for the Governor, but it is unclear what it is. The episode has left viewers speechless with comments such as “Nooo no noo oh god nooooo” and “and it made me cry again... probably the most emotional episode until this point.” It is clear that this episode has had a profound impact on viewers and is one of the most emotional episodes to date.
The episode is a powerful reminder of the human cost of war and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters. It is a gripping portrayal of the difficult decisions and heartbreaking losses that the characters must face. It's no surprise that viewers were left with such strong emotions after viewing this episode. The Walking Dead's Killer Within is an episode that will stay with viewers for a long time.
The episode was rated 8.40 from 3090 votes.
This episode of The Walking Dead was undeniably one of the best episodes in the show's history. It was filled with unexpected moments and plenty of action. The rocket launcher vs. the motorcycle gang was particularly memorable, as were the other moments such as Glen being saved from sure death and Carl's iconic "Dad?" line.
One interesting thing to note was the role Morgan played in this episode. While he is usually quite annoying, his act of saving Alpha Wolf set in motion a series of events that ultimately led to Carl's life being saved. This goes to show that Morgan's "All life is precious" mantra still holds true.
The episode also featured other characters such as Father Gabriel and Eugene stepping up, and of course, Daryl killing it more than ever. All in all, this was an incredible episode of The Walking Dead that had fans hooked from start to finish.
The episode was rated 8.42 from 7067 votes.
The Walking Dead episode "Pretty Much Dead Already" was one of the show's best. It was filled with intense tension and shocking revelations. Hershel sets a deadline for the group, forcing all secrets to be revealed, and Glenn stands up for himself. Shane takes charge and makes some tough decisions that will shape the rest of the season.
The climax of this episode is truly breathtaking. It's a scene that fans of the show still remember and talk about to this day. Sophia, the daughter of Hershel, has been missing and the group finally finds her. Unfortunately, it's too late and she has turned into a walker. Everyone is devastated and the realization that the zombie apocalypse has become real hits them hard. Even though the scene is heartbreaking, it also serves as a reminder of what the group is up against.
The episode was rated 8.47 from 2884 votes.
In the episode "Beside the Dying Fire", Rick and Carl stumble upon a farm that is in danger. The group quickly becomes split apart in the chaos and Rick's leadership is questioned. Lori and Carol's reactions are brought into question as well, as it appears that they are keeping a secret from them that isn't as big of a deal as it seems.
Rick's leadership is put to the test as he addresses the group and makes clear that it is no longer a democracy, but a Ricktatorship. This is the first time we see Rick take control and become a leader, which is one of the most important aspects of the show. Also, we get to see the introduction of Michone, who will become an integral part of the show.
The episode was rated 8.51 from 2829 votes.
In the shocking episode of The Walking Dead, "No Sanctuary", Rick and the group learn the true motives of the Terminans as they find themselves in a vulnerable situation. This episode was intense and action-packed, providing an exciting and memorable experience for fans of the show.
The standout star of this episode is undoubtedly Carol, who proves her worth as a powerful and fearless warrior. Her incredible strength and courage is on full display as she saves the group from certain doom. Fans of the show were thrilled to see her badassery in action, and her performance was met with rave reviews and applause.
This episode of The Walking Dead is considered by many to be the best one of the series so far. The intense action, suspenseful plot, and Carol's remarkable performance made this episode particularly special. It is no wonder why this episode is so beloved by fans of the show!
The episode was rated 8.57 from 5030 votes.
The Walking Dead episode "Too Far Gone" was an emotional rollercoaster. It was one of the most intense episodes of the show, with a lot of suspense and tension. Rick and his group faced imminent danger and destruction, which made for a surprisingly gripping story.
The episode was very successful in making viewers feel for the characters, which is highlighted by the comments from fans. Many of the viewers rated it 10/10 and expressed their sorrow for the characters of the show. The episode also featured a memorable villain, which caused many viewers to hate them intensely.
The episode ended with a bittersweet goodbye for Scott Wilson, which left many viewers in tears. Now, we're left waiting to see where the story will go from here.
The episode was rated 8.64 from 4325 votes.
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