The Walking Dead story arc is about to wrap up, and so is Negan’s path from principal antagonist to anti-hero in search of whatever counts as redemption in his own mind. The character exploded onto the scene in season 6 of the show, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the role. It has since gone on to become one of the signature performances of the entire franchise.
Negan is best known for cracking skulls open with his trusty baseball bat, but he’s equally known for his hilarious one-liners, many of which are steeped in a sort of perverse and twisted sense of humor. Later seasons portray Negan as far more stoic and serious, but the classic character was anything but.
Updated on March 23rd, 2022 by Derek Draven: With the final season of the mainline Walking Dead show set to conclude in March of 2022, it’s only fitting to look back at the character of Negan, who has undoubtedly become one of the most famous faces in the show, as well as pop culture in general. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance was punctuated by his ability to deliver hilarious one-liners, and it’s time to take a look at a few more that have made audiences laugh over the years. Whether Negan gets a final joke in by the time the series ends is yet to be determined.
The Big Entrance
“Welcome To A Brand New Beginning, You Sorry S***s!”
Negan’s first appearance was a massive turning point for The Walking Dead as a whole, and it represented a much more serious raising of the stakes. After murdering two of Rick’s own in cold blood, Negan then spent a degree of time teaching him a lesson about what it meant to serve the Saviors, or die resisting.
When then the dust had settled, and the blood began to dry, Negan dropped this quote as a proclamation that the survivors’ lives would permanently change from that point on. The choices were to obey or die, and Negan wasn’t about to bring them into the fold like a mother hen. Instead, he’d beat them to death if they didn’t measure up.
Visiting Alexandria In Person
“Hot Diggety Dog! This Place Is Magnificent!”
Old Negan attempted to use humor as a method of intimidation. His approach was simple – showcase enough confidence in his own numbers and leadership abilities to crack a joke without hesitating. When he showed up in the oftentimes confusing Walking Dead community known as Alexandria to examine his newest acquisition, he started out with his quote to get the ball rolling.
The jokes didn’t let up there, either. Negan kept using carefree humor as a means to demonstrate just how comfortable he was in his position over Rick and the survivors. Plus, he must have been happy that such a thriving community would be ready to tribute a portion of their supplies to the Saviors.
Trapped With Father Gabriel
“I Hope You Got Your S******’ Pants On.”
Even when trapped in a seemingly no-win situation, Negan wasn’t about to can the humor. In fact, he often used it as a means to gain control of the situation and turn the tables. He demonstrated this in the season 8 episode “The Big Scary U” when he became trapped by a zombie horde alongside Father Gabriel, a character with one of the most tragic Walking Dead backstories.
Negan’s low, gravelly voice talking about underwear options as he emerges from the darkness is equal parts comical, and spine-tingling. Father Gabriel probably thought he was in a heaping dose of trouble, but Negan actually ended up saving his life when the dust had settled.
Playing Up His Own Presence
“I Wear A Leather Jacket, I Have Lucille, And My Nut Sack Is Made Of Steel.”
After Rick and the survivors took the fight to Negan in one of The Walking Dead’s most brutal battles, his Saviors were scattered and left seemingly without a leader. Things got dicey for a while before the big bad emerged from the darkness to reclaim his throne, and remind everyone of just who was in charge.
Naturally, he did so with his typically dry sense of humor, even crafting a rhyme at the same time. Negan built up his own bravado for the sake of intimidating others into submission, and he never ceased to remind those around him that he was the top dog in the kennel.
Home Movie Hopes
“I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed For A Little Freaky Deaky!”
Life in the zombie apocalypse is a stressful time, with most days spent scavenging for supplies, taking over towns, or wasting hordes of the undead. However, when one of Negan’s minions found a camcorder hidden away in Alexandria, the gleeful Negan hoped it was something a little more spicy than the average home video.
Negan wasn’t above talking about sex in a way that made everyone around him very uncomfortable. The prospect of holding the lives of Alexandria’s residents in his hands, while hoping for an explicit recording on a camcorder was typical of how his mind operated.
Meeting Father Gabriel For The First Time
“Holy Crap! You Are Creepy As S***!”
Easily one of the most laugh out loud moments in The Walking Dead was Negan’s introduction to Father Gabriel Stokes. Far from a fan favorite, the cowardly priest turned begrudging hero ended up catching Negan completely off guard, and it isn’t yet known whether the scare was genuine, or meant as an insult.
What was especially notable about the scene was Father Gabriel’s big-smile reaction, which would be the start of a psychological tug-of-war between the two. It would later lead to something of a friendship, though a woefully imperfect and rather twisted one.
Offering Friendship To Eugene
“Eugene! I Was Goin’ For A Handshake.”
Negan and Eugene had a rather interesting relationship, especially given how the former convinced the latter to join his side, thanks to the promise of freebies and safety. However, it quickly became clear that the relationship frequently dangled on the edge of a knife, especially given Eugene’s uncertain motives.
When Negan tried to offer friendship by offering to shake his hand, Eugene mistook the gesture, and leaned in to kiss it. Negan pulled away in surprise before uttering this hilarious quote. He definitely wasn’t a priest, and there was no ring to kiss.
Laying Down The Rules
“Pissing Our Pants Yet? It’s Gonna’ Be Pee-Pee Pants City Here Real Soon!”
Negan’s live action introduction was a long-awaited moment for fans of the Walking Dead comics, and it had to make an impact. The profuse abundance of profanity wouldn’t cut it in an AMC show, which meant Negan had to rely more on humor in order to sell himself as an effective and chilling villain.
From the very first moment, it became clear that Negan was going to make audiences laugh, just as much as cringe and repulse in horror. This was a man who was king of his own little world, and those who crossed him would learn a lot about his character, from his humor, to his brutal lessons.
Negan & Rick Meet Again
“Is That You, Rick? Under All That Man-Bush?”
Negan is the king of backhanded compliments, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s jovial deliveries never seemed to fall flat. His favorite target was, of course, Rick Grimes, an altogether different kind of man than the one Negan was used to dealing with. Rick was a match for Negan in more than one way, which mean the insults had to come fast, and furious.
When he finds an old recorded interview of Rick while the Saviors plundered the neighborhood, he took one look at his unkempt apocalypse beard, and dropped this quote. It was rather hilarious to see Negan poking fun at Rick’s Grizzly Adams-style outdoors look.
When Olivia Slapped Him
“I Am About 50% Percent More Into You Now… Just Sayin’!”
While attempting to intimidate Olivia during a random visit to Alexandria, she dissolved into sobs after Negan made a joke about her weight. In typical Negan fashion, he apologized to her for his rudeness, before suggesting that they have some fun in the bedroom if she’s “agreeable” to it.
Olivia responded to his offer by slapping him in the face, but instead of shooting her on the spot, Negan looked rather pleased by the entire affair. Perhaps it was the way she stood up to him in the face of certain death, which was more than most of Alexandria’s residents would have dared.
Being Greeted By Spencer
“Oh, You Better Be Joking! Negan… Lucille… I Know I Had To Make A Pretty Strong First Impression!”
When the Saviors and Negan showed up to Alexandria’s doorstep, they were met by Spencer, the son of the original community’s leaders, and a man none-too-fond of Rick Grimes. He started off the wrong foot by actually having the audacity to question who Negan was when he arrived.
This was bad form, given the brutal murders Negan committed just a few episodes prior in the season debut, which still make Walking Dead fans nervous when re-watching. It would end up being the start of a rocky relationship between the two that would later end with Spencer bleeding out all over the street, courtesy of Negan himself.
Back From The Dead
“I’m A God Damn Cat!”
Negan was seemingly un-killable, especially when Rick and his group failed to take he and his Saviors out. With time to regroup, the two sides went at it in a battle of attrition for all the marbles. At several points throughout the war, it seemed like Negan might have gone down for good.
Yet, each time, he came back strong, with a dastardly plan in tow. When asked about his knack for escaping hairy situations, Negan responded with this quote, a reference to the number of lives cats seemingly have as they keep dodging proverbial bullets.
Confronting An Armed Carl
“You Are Adorable! Did You Pick That Gun Because It Looks Cool? You Totally Did!”
If there’s one thing Negan respects, it’s guts, and Carl Grimes had a lot of it. He failed to hide the genuine admiration he had for Carl, who took it upon himself to stow away in a Savior truck in the hopes that he could catch Negan off guard with an assault rifle pointed right at him.
Negan’s response was hilarious, and simultaneously patronizing. He knew that Carl lacked the courage to take him out, even if he had killed other men before. It was this type of bravado that made Negan see something in Carl, though his attempt to mold him into an apprentice ended up failing.
Playing Pool With Spencer
“I Could Never Do This With Rick. He Would Just Be Standing There, Scowling, Giving Me That Annoying Side-Eye He Gives Me.”
Spencer had big plans for himself, and they would begin by courting Negan onto his side. With an animosity towards Rick, Spencer was all-too-willing to sell him out in exchange for becoming Alexandria’s leader, and a much more faithful servant to Negan and his Saviors.
He tried to butter him up by dragging a pool table onto the street so the two could shoot a few games, and talk business. Negan began by dropping this funny quote, which was altogether obvious given their mutual hatred for another.
A Thank You Goes A Long Way
“He Hid In One Of My Trucks And Machine-Gunned A Bunch Of My Men Down, And I Brought Him Home, Safe And Sound. And… I Fed Him Spaghetti!”
When Rick and his group returned to Alexandria to find Spencer and Olivia dead by Negan’s doing, he was shocked and outraged. Negan, however, saw things quite differently, and started telling Rick about his son Carl’s attempt to assassinate him at the Savior compound.
Rather than get upset with Rick directly, he instead told him how he brought Carl back, and then fed him spaghetti in Rick’s own kitchen. It might have been hilarious, but it was also meant to send a message that Negan had Rick even more over the barrel than before, and he would come to collect. The Walking Dead episode in question remains one of the best for Negan fans.
Rating Zombie Women
“… She’s Clearly A Three.”
After his “escape” from his cell in Alexandria, Negan found himself being tailed by a shadow named Brandon. Eager to make a good impression on his chosen leader, Brandon spent their travels together talking up their old way of life in an attempt to gain Negan’s approval.
The old Negan’s morbid sense of humor came out again when the two began rating undead female walkers by their looks. Even Negan found it a bit odd, even though he participated in the joke. He’d spent quite a while alone with his own thoughts, and no Saviors to bounce stupid ideas off of.
Teasing Father Gabriel
“That Is A Very Mature Attitude, Father… Not The Father.”
Negan spent a lot of years in a lonely Alexandria jail cell with Father Gabriel serving as his jailer/part-time therapist. It wasn’t easy for either of them, with Negan stuck in a prison of his own making, and Father Gabriel being forced to contend with his stubbornness and rudeness.
Rosita’s accidental pregnancy gave him a lot of ammo. When Gabriel gave a group of survivors a rousing speech about friendship and respect, Negan decided to jump in and satirize it, before dropping the “father… not the father” scenario on him, just to rub salt in the wound.
Putting The Moves On Alpha
“This Isn’t Some Sort Of A Praying Mantis Situation, Is It? Cut Off My Head Afterwards? I’m Sorry. I Can’t Help But Notice You Didn’t Say No To That.”
Alpha led Negan out to the middle of the forest and commanded him to strip, which gave him mixed signals, to say the least. He must have been surprised to turn around and see that Alpha had done exactly the same thing. Clearly, she was interested in pursuing something with him.
Nevertheless, Negan knew who he was dealing with. His “mission” was to infiltrate and sabotage the Whisperers, and kill Alpha if she proved too large of a threat. Negan obviously didn’t count on her developing sexual feelings for him, which must have clouded his parameters.
Making Fun Of Gabriel’s Eye
“I’m Sorry, I Never Know Exactly Which Eye I’m Supposed To Look At. It’s A Little Bit Distracting.”
Negan spent a long time in jail, which little to do besides helping Judith with her homework, listening to local gossip, and doling out questionable “life lessons,” but this quote proved that he hadn’t yet lost his wicked sense of humor. It also showed that he was willing to play psychological games with anyone he perceived as a threat.
Despite all the help Father Gabriel attempted to give Negan over his long stay in prison, the latter couldn’t help but poke fun at him. This time, it was over his injured eye, which Gabriel must have known was distracting and noticeable to everyone.
Inquiring About The Pecking Order
“How Long Have You And The Boss Lady Been Together? Is This A ‘Beta With Benefits’ Situation? You Slide Her A Little Omega On The Side?”
Negan’s successful infiltration of the Whisperers came with a few unexpected challenges, not the least of which was Beta, the hulking, dangerous second in command to Alpha herself. His first few days in the Whisperer camp presented him with the opportunity to figure out the dynamics of the group, including the power players.
Naturally, Negan’s own ridiculous curiosity and sense of humor took over, prompting him to ask whether Alpha and Beta were more than just Captain and Commander. The way he introduced the Omega sign into the question was typically Negan, and quite funny when directed at a guy like Beta.
NEXT: The 10 Most Bone-Chilling Negan Quotes From The Walking Dead
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