This year’s Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale ended on a somber note as it was revealed Carl was bitten and dying in the sewer while Negan destroyed Alexandria above. Until we get closure, let’s remember the top Carl Grimes moments from The Walking Dead.
10. Carl Starts All Out War (Season 7, Episode 16)
We’re starting off this countdown with the inciting incident of All Out War. Following Sasha’s (mostly) successful plan to attack and distract Negan as a walker – Carl decides to start the war by shooting his Scavenger captors and beginning a massive shoot-out in Alexandria between his people, The Saviors, The Scavengers, and eventually The Hilltop and Kingdom.
9. Carl Sacrifices His Arm (Season 7, Episode 1)
Next up is this emotionally draining moment from the Season 7 Premiere. As if brutally murdering Abraham and Glenn weren’t enough (spoiler alert), Negan chooses to REALLY test Rick by demanding he cut Carl’s arm off or he’ll kill all of his friends. This is the straw that nearly broke Rick’s back. Thankfully, Carl accepts his fate and tells his dad it’s OK. That takes balls, and even though Negan stopped Rick before he could cut Carl’s arm off, it still showed how heroic Carl could be.
8. Carl Shows No Mercy (Season 3, Episode 16)
Our eighth best moment on our list takes us back to Season 3 when our heroes still lived at The Prison and The Governor was very much still alive (and a dick). Speaking of the Gov, one of his Woodbury soldiers Jody runs into Carl and Hershel in the woods. Carl draws his gun and Jody immediately surrenders – he even slowly starts handing his gun to Carl. BUT, Carl shoots and kills him anyway – leaving Hershel horrified. Carl later explains to Rick that he was just doing what needed to be done, but Hershel tells Rick Carl killed him in cold blood – leaving Rick very concerned. It seemed to be a huge turning point for Carl.
7. Carl Reunites With Rick (Season 1, Episode 3)
Let’s take a break from those depressing Carl scenes and return to something happy – his reunion with his presumed dead dad Rick. After Rick settling into a survival camp outside of Atlanta and beginning to accept his new father figure Shane, Carl’s world was ROCKED when his dad came back from the grave and showed up at his camp.
6. Carl Finds Pudding (Season 4, Episode 9)
Speaking of Carl and Rick, our 6th best moment on the list comes during Season’s 4 Mid-Season Premiere, when the prison was destroyed, everyone was scattered, and Carl had to tend to his father. Of course, the real Carl moments come when he’s bonding with Rick, yelling at Rick, and going all Jiggy Jar Jar Do. But what most remember from the episode is when he takes a break and sits on the roof of a (mostly) abandoned house devouring a tub of chocolate pudding. Sure, Carl has been forced to grow up and make tough decisions, but sometimes a kid just wants to dive head-first into a barrel of chocolatey goodness.
5. Carl Gets Shot Through The Chest (Season 2, Episode 1)
We’re turning back the clocks again for number 5 on the list. Back in Season 2 – after escaping the overrun Atlanta camp and CDC our group was enjoying a nice day in the woods UNTIL Carl was accidentally shot through the chest! We later discover Otis, a member of Hershel’s farm, accidentally shot through the deer and into Carl, which led Rick to running to the farm to care for his dying boy. Thankfully, Hershel nursed him back to health and Rick’s group merged with Hershel’s and together they lived happily ever after…*whispering* except for Hershel, Beth, Glenn, you get the point.
4. Carl Infiltrates The Sanctuary (Season 7, Episode 7)
Time for number four, DAMN Carl got old. In Season 7, the Grimes boy decided he was done working for Negan and seeing his friends get killed. So, he snuck on a Savior truck, tricked Jesus into bailing, and when he arrived at The Sanctuary he unleashed ALL HOLY HELL ON THE SAVIORS. Actually, he only killed two of them, but it was still enough to impress Negan – who made a take your servant’s kid-to-work-day out of it. After some weird moments (like Negan making him sing and watching a guy get his face ironed) Negan returned Carl to Alexandria safe and sound.
3. Carl Loses An Eye (Season 6, Episode 9)
Our third best Carl moment happened the previous season when one of the most iconic comic book moments played out in the show. During a walker invasion of Alexandria Rick, Michonne, Carl, and the rest tried to sneak their way out of town in walker gut ponchos. Unfortunately, it was too much for Jessie’s kid Sam to handle and his freak out got him and Jessie eaten. Jessie’s other son Ron blames Rick for his family dying, points a gun at him, and gets stabbed through the chest by Michonne before he could kill Rick. Unfortunately, his gun went off anyway and hit Carl straight in the eye. Miraculously, Denise was able to save him but Carl’s eye would be lost forever.
2. Carl Kills Lori (Season 3, Episode 4)
One of the most brutal things Carl has ever had to do was kill his mom. While in labor at the prison, Lori bravely tells Carl to watch over Rick and the baby. Maggie then performs an emergency C-section, which kills Lori but saves baby Judith. Carl then does what needs to be done – put his mother down once and for all before she turns. It happens offscreen, but it shows how far Carl has been pushed to go in this apocalypse. It also begins a downward spiral for Rick.
1. Carl Puts Down Shane (Season 2, Episode 12)
Our top Carl moment happened in Season 2 when Carl was forced to put down his quasi-father figure Shane. Quick refresher: Dale had just died, Shane was isolated from the group, Lori tried to bring him back, it backfired, Shane tells Rick he’s not good for the group anymore and should leave, and then Rick stabs Shane. Carl, who was looking for Randall, had watched the whole thing, saw Shane return as a walker, and then shot and killed him to save his father. It was a pivotal moment that showed Carl could be strong and do what was necessary to protect his family. It’s clear Shane wasn’t part of that picture – and it began Carl’s journey into becoming more and more like Rick.
So there you have it! What was YOUR favorite Carl moment? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!