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The Walking Dead's F-Bomb Rule Changed Thanks To An Unexpected TV Series

Keeping in line with its comic source material, AMC's "The Walking Dead" has never been afraid to push the boundaries of violence. Throughout the original program and its now-numerous spin-off titles, viewers have witnessed no shortage of mutilation and gore from humans and walkers alike. At the same time, unlike Robert Kirkman's comics, the series has historically held back when it comes to language. Despite being allowed to do so, the minds behind the franchise elected to avoid overly colorful verbiage, like the F-bomb, but that has begun to change thanks to a rather unlikely series.

During a chat with ComicBook.com, showrunner Scott M. Gimple shared that the FX miniseries "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" from 2016 paved the way for the language on "The Walking Dead" to get a bit more vulgar. Gimple recalled a conversation about it with fellow showrunner Angela Kang, saying, "Courtney B. Vance, he plays Johnny Cochrane, and he drops an F-bomb directly to camera that's extended. It lasts like ten seconds. And it hit us each other immediately, like, 'Wait, how can they do it and we can't?'" Following that epiphany, the "Walking Dead" rule on profanity eased up a bit.

Of course, this isn't to say that "The Walking Dead" avoided dropping F-bombs in the past, even though they didn't make it to TV.

F-bombs have been a part of The Walking Dead for years, you just had to seek them out

In the final few seasons of "The Walking Dead," audiences hear many of their favorite zombie-killing survivalists drop the F-bomb. The likes of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and frequent F-word user in the comics, Negan Smith (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), to name a few, let the word fly. However, these aren't the first instances of the word being used on "The Walking Dead." Home media releases from earlier on in the series' tenure include instances of F-word use that many fans likely never knew about.

For instance, the "Walking Dead" Season 4 finale, "A," is technically the show's first use of the F-bomb. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) drops it when he and the group are trapped by the residents of Terminus, declaring that their enemies have "f***ed with the wrong people." This version was only available on Season 4 DVD and Blu-Ray release, with the cable version featuring the word "screwed" instead. He also famously drops it in Season 6's "The Next World," though this too never made it to TV. Another DVD exclusive was Negan's over 20 uses of the word in Season 6's "Last Day On Earth" as he toys with Rick's captive group.

Though it took time and required some home media-exclusive test runs, the "Walking Dead" universe seems to be fully embracing the use of the F-bomb. It stands to reason fans can expect to hear the word more often as the franchise continues to expand.