I think that I have finally heard the word zombie being used in The Walking Dead.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but in season 4 episode 2 when the sickness started to spread through the prison Rick and the group go in there to kill the walkers that were in there when they took one of the little girls to put her in one of the cells. They picked her up kind of and when they do if you listen closely you can hear her say that she's scared or something of the zombies. Now watch this episode and play that part again and again, listen very closely to the little girl to hear her.

  • The official stance of the Walking Dead is that the only difference between that world and our world is that the Romero movies don't exist, hence the word Zombie is not in common use. If she said it, it's a production mistake.
    – cde
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 8:10
  • @cde The Romero movies or ANY zombie movies?! Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:38
  • @Andrew Any modern zombie movie is essentially based on Romero's, so yes.
    – cde
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:39
  • @cde For the most part, but he was far from the first to put zombies in a movie, and he probably wouldn't have been the last? It wouldn't be unthinkable for someone raised in a world without Romero to look at these... undead humans... and say "zombie". Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:46
  • @Andrew tell that to the writer. Romero may not be the technical first, but Edison didnt invent the incandescent bulb either, yet he's the one that it's attributed to (One of his employees invented a practical long lasting version, but incandescent bulbs existed before that). And even if we say that zombie movies of one type did exist, the ones that said zombie would 1) not be understood by anyone else. Obscure pop-culture reference much? And 2) likely be dead before they could say it.
    – cde
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


TL;DR: No.

The line you're talking about is actually "I forgot everything you taught me".

What does the little girl say?

I don't know of any official scripts available online, and the dialogue you're talking about doesn't appear in the closed captions, so here's my own transcription this scene, along with what the closed captions on the iTunes version of the episode do say. The girl's name is Molly, and she was played by Kennedy Brice.

Carol: Molly!

CC: (Carol yelling)

enter image description here

Carol (to Molly): Come with me! (Carol pushes Molly to a nearby cell) Stay in here.

CC: Come with me. Stay in here.

Karen: (preventing a man from closing the cell door before Molly can enter) Wait, wait, wait, wait!

CC: Wait, wait, wait, wait!

Molly (to Carol): I forgot everything you taught me!

CC: (Sobbing)

enter image description here
- The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2, Infected

This line is quoted on the TWD wiki, it matches what we hear in the clip, and it makes sense: in the previous episode -* 30 Days Without an Accident *- Carol was seen teaching Molly and the other kids how to kill walkers:

enter image description here

Molly was simply explaining to Carol that she didn't remember what Carol had taught them.

The word "zombie" in the Walking Dead universe:

The shows:

On the shows, the word "zombie" simply doesn't exist.

The comics:

It is used - but only very rarely - in the comics; I have only been able to find two instances in which a character says "zombie":

enter image description here
- The Walking Dead, Issue #2

enter image description here
- The Walking Dead, Issue #7

Other media:

The word "zombie" has also appeared a few times in the Walking Dead games from Telltale Games, but the only Walking Dead media in which it is used frequently are the print novels. I only have the first volume of the series of print novels, but the word "zombie" appears 76 times in that book alone:

enter image description here

Why don't they say "zombie" on the shows?

We have word of god here, from the creator of the franchise, writer of the comics and novels, and Executive Producer of both shows, Robert Kirkman:

One of the things about this world is that people don’t know how to shoot people in the head at first, and they’re not familiar with zombies, per se. This isn’t a world the (George) Romero movies exist, for instance...because we don’t want to portray it that way, we felt like having them be saying ‘zombie’ all the time would hearken back to all of the zombie films which we, in the real world, know about. So by calling them something different, we’re kind of giving a nod to … these people don’t understand the situation. They’ve never seen this in pop culture, this is a completely new thing for them.
- Robert Kirkman on Talking Dead S1E2, Bloodletting, quoted on The Wrap


What are all the different names survivors have called zombies?

Has anyone revealed why the word “zombie” is used in the comics, but not on the show(s)?


From the Walking Dead Wikia:

While the term "zombie" does exist within The Walking Dead universe, it is seldom used. In the comic book, when Rick Grimes's group discover the prison, both Rick and Tyreese discuss how it still sounds funny to use the word "zombie." Likewise, in the Telltale video game, the term is used very rarely.

"Zombie" has not been used in the TV series; when interviewed, Lauren Cohan stated that Romero movie zombies never existed in the popular fiction of the TV Walking Dead universe. The characters within The Walking Dead TV series and comic books come up with their own monikers and categorizations for the undead.

Lauren Cohan plays Maggie Greene in the TV Series, and is likely informed by production that "Zombie" and Romero style movies simply never existed, in-universe.

Source: Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo 2012, interview panel with Lauren Cohan and Steven Yeun

Additionally, Word of God:

According to Comic Creator Robert Kirkman in Episode 2 of Talking Dead, in the world of The Walking Dead, the works of George A. Romero were never made, and thus zombies do not appear in fiction.

Source: Talking Dead is a live after-show about AMC's The Walking Dead in which the host Chris Hardwick discusses the show with special guests.

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