The Walking Dead has always owed fifty percent of its popularity to its charismatic, unpredictable villains, from Shane Walsh to The Governor to Negan!
We look back and celebrate villainy in the show’s universe by reflecting on the 25 best Walking Dead villains from season 1 through midseason 9. This list tries to focus more on the generally accepted notion of a villain, despite the show’s tendency to explore the gray areas in everyone. That means you won’t find the show’s cast of heroes like Rick Grimes or Carol presented as villains. Only good old-fashioned villains to be found here!
There is room for interpretation, though, especially for characters like Richard, who had seemingly good intentions in wanting to bring down the Saviors. And who’s to say Negan’s intentions in maintaining his community weren’t noble in some way? Everyone has a backstory.
We’ve broken down this list into introductions, each villain’s most infamous moment, their weak points, their good sides, their first appearance, last appearance, cause of death (if any) and a memorable quote. And away we go!
25) Dave (and Tony)
Introduction: Despite only appearing in one scene on The Walking Dead, Dave was one of the most memorable villains of the series. He and his pal Tony encounter Rick, Hershel, and Glenn sitting at a bar in the early days of the show, when they hear about a farm they’re living at. Dave requests that he and his group join this farm, and inquires about its location. Rick responds in a civilized way. “There’s barely room as is,” he says, shutting down the request. Dave attempts to reason with Rich and Hershel over drinks, trying to relax the situation and his friend Tony before things turn violent.
Biggest moment of Villainy: Dave asks Rick where they should go. “I don’t know,” Rick replies. “I hear Nebraska’s nice.” Rick laughs (“This guy”) before starting up an old west-style shootout. Just as Dave draws his weapon, Rick shoots both him and Tony in the head.
Everybody Hurts Sometimes: Neither Tony nor Dave get an opportunity to plead for their lives before Rick kills them. Dave happens to be the first living character Rick ever shoots on the show.
The Good Side: Considering some of the folks Rick Grimes would later encounter, Dave was more civilized than most and possibly would have joined the group if he’d been allowed. Certainly no worse than the Saviors. Different times.
First Appearance: “Nebraska” (season 2, episode 8)
Last Appearance: Living: “Nebraska” (season 2, episode 8) — As Walker: “Triggerfinger” (season 2, episode 9)
Cause of Death: Shot in the head by Rick Grimes.
Memorable Quote: “We’re just friends having a drink, that’s all. Now, where’s the good stuff? Good stuff, good stuff, good stuff! You gotta understand, we can’t stay out there.” (To Rick)