We’re still a month away from the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, and the anticipation is building for the mayhem-filled advancement of the last episode. But while you’re waiting, you’re probably thinking about how your closet is severely lacking an armful of Walking Dead T-shirts. It’s something that a lot of the population suffers from, so don’t worry that it’s a problem you can’t talk about publicly.
Here are ten Walking Dead shirts that every fan should want in their wardrobe, from pop culture tie-ins to character-specific art. Next week, pants! (Not really.)(Well, maybe.)
Perfect for: The Daryl Enthusiast
Daryl is arguably the most popular character on The Walking Dead, which makes him one of the most popular characters on TV. The fan attachment is basically what has kept him alive for all these years, and even though every season brings with it rumors of his demise, he’s still kicking and getting into scraps. Like this Hot Topic shirt suggests, his death would indeed cause people to want to riot, but it remains to be seen just how many torches, pitchforks and crossbows will be needed.
Perfect for: The Cannibal Gourmand
Foodie culture continues to grow and grow as the years go by and new restaurants keep popping up, and the obvious next step on the culinary chain will be consuming people. Sure, Gareth and his Terminus underlings were looked down upon because they feasted upon their victims, but high-end cannibal-friendly restaurants are just over the horizon. And when they get here, you can say you saw it coming by owning this BustedTees offering. Or maybe none of that will happen, and bacon will continue to reign supreme.
Perfect for: The Algebraic Adventurer
What would Adventure Time’s minimalist theme song sound like if Walking Dead composer Bear McCreary got a hold of it? How easy would the zombie apocalypse be to survive through if you had a dog that could grow different sizes and contort himself into crazy shapes? Which one of the Alexandrians would Marceline pair with the best for a musical duo? These questions and more will come to mind when you wear this shirt from TeePublic. And you’re the only one that can answer them, so have fun with it.
Perfect for: The Parched
You know what you’re not going to find? A shirt with Daryl Dixon promoting peach schnapps. Because who would waste their taste buds on that nonsense? Not a Dixon man. No, sir or ma’am. As far as I’m concerned, The Walking Dead has had too few moments where people get master-blasted on alcohol. But once the world-building kicks up, a more permanent existence might allow some distilling and brewing to happen, which this 80sTees shirt certainly promotes. And then maybe everyone’s anecdotes will get a little more interesting.
Perfect for: The Barnlovers
You know what shirts don’t do enough of? Multitask. This shirt from OpenSky is a callback to Season 2, when Hershel’s farm seemed like the best place possible to hole up and survive. Except for the fact that he was keeping his undead family and other folk locked up inside the barn. Extra points if you draw (or tattoo) a walker body on your torso, so when you lift the shirt over your head, it looks like you’re a real zombie. And then your one friend is going to put a sword through your head, and we won’t be to blame.
Perfect for: The People Who Still Blame Carl for Everything
Few characters on The Walking Dead are as polarizing as Carl Grimes. I’ll admit that a better shirt for Carl would be one that magically featured a different Coral meme each day, but this one is almost more perfect, since actor Chandler Riggs is to tee-tiny on it. This shirt from Amazon references what was a major launch pad for rampant Carl criticism, and one that even inspired a song. Okay so maybe this isn’t good for the Walking Dead fans who adore Carl, but…just, never forget, people.
Perfect for: The Imaginary Friends
I feel comfortable saying that every single thing in the entirety of history is made much cooler by being turned into a Calvin and Hobbes parody, as this TeePublic shirt proves. Absolutely no one on The Walking Dead is truly comparable to Calvin, whose thought process and depth of imagination isn’t present in AMC’s post-apocalypse. But I can easily believe that Calvin would want to grow up to become Daryl Dixon. He would probably want to have a weaponized appendage like Merle, too. The undead part might bother him, though, so Merle can remain a mental figment.
Perfect for: The Favorite Deputy
There hopefully aren’t any toys around to come alive in The Walking Dead when no one is looking, as it would be a pretty awful existence for them. Well, maybe Lotso Huggin’ Bear would have been a good addition to the Woodbury crew. In any case, Toy Story’s Woody is a perfect stand-in for Rick Grimes here on this TeePublic shirt. Both are members of the law (to a certain extent) and both are fearless leaders. We certainly hope that Bo Peep isn’t the comparable character for Lori Grimes, because that would be bad. As well, hearing the aliens’ “Ooo” would be more enjoyable than the walkers’ unending groaning.
Perfect for: The Burgeoning Buddhist
Season 6 took an episode-length detour back into the past for a flashback to Morgan’s transitional period between near-psycho and existential bo-swinger. The reason for this switch was a fellow named Eastman, who shows Morgan that all life is precious, with a side of aikido. Unfortunately, Eastman’s future classes have all been canceled, as he was killed by the walker of that one guy that Morgan previously killed. But celebrate Eastman’s accomplishments – or at least the one that we saw – by repping him through this TeePublic shirt. And leave a nice review on Yelp.
Perfect for: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr
Yes, I realize that not all of us are surviving members of one of the most successful rock bands of all time. And even though we aren’t, that doesn’t mean we can’t promote a Beatles-ish crossover with The Walking Dead through this TeePublic shirt that spoofs the iconic Abbey Road cover image. Do we all agree that Michonne is the correct person to represent John Lennon? And do we also agree that McCartney, Starr and George Harrison are basically just hungry for brains and will do anything to get them? Abraham is the walrus. Goo goo g’joob.
The Walking Dead will return to AMC for the remainder of Season 6 on Sunday, February 14. To see when the rest of your favorite shows will be returning, check out our midseason TV schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.