So I just finished watching the first episode of the fifth season of The Walking Dead and

in the first five minutes of the episode, Rick gets hit in the head and passes out.

Rick is a tough guy, was in the police forces and can take a beating, that we know, but how can a man survive that much head trauma and still be able to talk or act normally.

The timeline we are currently in is not that long after the Governor destroy the prison and there again, Rick got hit in the head several time, almost killing him.

But everytime, he manages to get up again and carry on like "everything is fine".

Maybe I'm too demanding for a show based on a zombie apocalypse, but still, how is it that none of those injuries has left any permanent damages.

  • 1
    He's got nothing on Giles [BTvS-SPOILAGE].
    – Walt
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 22:12
  • You are asking about realism when we are talking about a show which consists of "walkers"? I don't think this questions can be answered objectively without opinion. I don't see how Rick can get up from getting thumped like that so many times, either. Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 23:21
  • I was wondering if there could have been any explanation from the writers or something like that. I was not able to find any AMA or any interview where the writers could have faced this question. I guess that the answer is NO. Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


It is a common fact on TV that combat and injuries are stylized to make it look good rather than realistic.

Have a look at pretty much any film fight where someone knows a martial art and compare that to someone who knows a martial art fighting for real. They are worlds apart. Even if you look at American Wrestling and BJJ you can see the difference.

Knocking someone out with one punch is extremely difficult, especially if they are used to combat. I have taken an unpulled hit from a quarter staff on the top of my head which caused me to blackout later but I still didn't go down at the time. After almost 20 years of martial arts and living in rough areas I have only been knocked unconscious with one punch once, when I was 17 by the European Kickboxing champion. I was punched to the ground by a bouncer in Portsmouth when I was 20 but was still conscious until he stamped on my head.

Most of the people in the Walking Dead would have starved or succumb to injuries by now if they were suffering this scenario for real. Not to mention being struck down by illness.

It is just a convention of the media that people are routinely knocked out in one hit and recover completely when the plot demands it and don't when the plot demands that instead.

  • This is a pretty good answer. I think that I was maybe expecting to much realism from the show, but hey.. ZOMBIES! ;) Thanks for taking the time to look at this question. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 17:31

Just one of a handful of many tropes used in TV and movies. Another one used frequestly is the "wound dab", where cotton is lightly dabbed around a wound so as not to remove any of the makeup. Also, the "extended fist fight". When someone gets punched in the face and just stands there stunned. Apparently few people in movies and TV get broken noses from those punches, and I can guarantee you that if that ever happened to you that you wouldn't just stand there dazed. That HURTS.

So, to answer your question, much of entertainment does not follow physics/biology/anatomy rules and simply presents a picture of a character. And, in most cases, those rules are just thrown out the window with no explanation at all, and at this point it's a simply accepted behavior.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .