Bizarre Things That Happened On The Set Of The Walking Dead

Few shows have more dedicated fans than those of The Walking Dead. When we aren't using apps to dead ourselves, we're binge-watching zombie makeup tutorials and counting down the days until Sunday. But not even the most diehard of fans know everything that goes on behind the scenes. We're left in the dark on some of the most bizarre things that have happened on set, but not anymore!

The S.W.A.T. team interrupted filming in season one

Before the actors on The Walking Dead were making headlines regularly and their characters became household names, few people were aware of the show being filmed. This included the residents of Atlanta, Georgia, which is not only where the show is said to take place, but also the location of most of the show's filming.

During the filming of one of the first episodes, one particular Atlanta resident saw actor Michael Rooker, dressed head-to-toe in his Merle garb, seemingly shooting a rifle off the rooftop of a local building. The concerned citizen understandably called the local police, claiming a sniper was on the roof, and a SWAT team was sent to the location.

Filming came to an halt, interrupting the show's second episode "Guts." The scene that alarmed the public was when Merle decided to use the dozens of walkers in the street below him as target practice, shooting at them from the roof. Most regular, everyday people get understandably concerned when crazy-looking people shoot from the rooftop, and so panic ensured. Luckily, the production crew was able to clear things up with the local police and SWAT team, and no one was hurt.

A cast member asked to be killed off

The Walking Dead and AMC made headlines when co-creator Frank Darabont was unexpectedly fired during the second season of the show. It seemed to have created conflict between the cast and some of the network executives, whom Darabont referred to as "sociopaths who don't give a s*** about your feelings or the feelings of your cast and crew" in an interview with Variety. But tell us how you really feel, Frank.

It seems that some of the cast agreed, and Jeffrey DeMunn, who played Dale on the show, felt strongly enough to ask to be killed off. In an interview with IGN, Darabont spoke highly of DeMunn, saying, "He's a very good and decent man that way; which is absolutely no reflection on anybody else who ... were actually obliged to stay with the production." Darabont goes on to say that DeMunn wasn't the only cast member who considered leaving, and he claimed to have received several phone calls asking him what they could do to change things.

While Dale did indeed meet his untimely (and gory) demise on the show, some speculate that he had actually changed his mind and asked to stay on the show, but the script had already been written so there was no going back. Because backstage conflicts or no, hungry zombies are still hungry zombies.

Someone had a run-in with the police after leaving the set covered in blood

We've all had those days where we've had a long day at work and just can't wait to get home, but most of us aren't driving home after work covered in blood and zombie guts. Lauren Cohan (Maggie) has though, admitting on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that occasionally she hops in her car after work without washing up, leaving the set looking like she's fleeing the scene of some kind of horrendous crime scene.

After one particularly rough day on set, she was pulled over while speeding home by Georgia police. Naturally, she covered in dirt, blood, and guts, which is always how you want to approach the police. As any of us would in her shoes, Cohan panicked, thinking "he's either going to stop me and run away himself because I look like a psycho, or I might get away with this if he knows I'm from the show."

Cohan attempted the latter, making sure to have her script visible and her explanation ready before the officer got to her window. Lucky for her, the man was more interested in scoring a date than fining her, or even asking why she looked like Carrie. While it doesn't sound like it was love at first sight, for the gorgeous Ms. Cohan at least, the situation could have been much worse, considering her attire.

Steven Yeun found something bizarre in his pants

A lot of Walking Dead filming requires the cast to trek through wooded areas, making them prey to the elements. It seems Steven Yeun (Glenn) experienced this first hand, and detailed his horrific run in with a tick on the CONAN show. It seems that running around in the woods all day means the crew must go home from the set each day, to check for ticks. Yeun felt he was tick-free after a quick check at home, but he soon realized that one of the little buggers had accompanied him home from set that day. And it was getting personal.

"I went to go in the shower and I pulled my pants down, and uh, I had a guy ... on my guy," he explained. Lovely. What makes this even more bizarre is that the tick latched itself to the tip of his, uh, manhood, and as Yuen struggled to get it off, apparently his "guy" mimicked a marionette puppet. While he was able to eventually use a lighter to burn the little guy off, well, his guy, he finished his story understandably saying, "It was horrible. It was the worst experience."

As are most experiences that end with "and then I lit the tip of my penis on fire."

Local homeowner interrupts filming by trimming his trees

Many people don't realize that some of the show's best scenes are being filmed in the backyards of everyday people, and not all of them are fans. Some of the residents of towns like Senoia, Georgia are growing increasingly tired of having such a hit show filmed so close to home. One resident expressed his frustration to Good Morning America after he was asked to stop trimming the trees in his yard. Apparently the noise was interfering with filming, but this resident certainly didn't feel that this was his problem, explaining, "They come out of there saying I need to stop because they're filming. I said, 'Well, no, you just carry your happy butt right behind the wall, that's where you do your stuff. This is my home'."

While his opinion almost certainly isn't shared by everyone in the town, it's understandable he'd feel this way. However, many residents actually receive $400 a month for their inconvenience, as well as incentive to stay quiet about anything they see that might spoil the storyline. Perhaps next season they'll include an additional stipend for those who let their trees overgrow while The Walking Happy Butts is filming.

Daryl's bike ended up in the middle of a lake

You know it's been a rough day at work when your bike is floating on a boat in the middle of a lake, seemingly being ridden by an inflatable sex doll. As bizarre as this scenario might sound, it's exactly what happened to Norman Reedus, AKA Daryl Dixon. While it might sound cruel, it was just one of the latest pranks between Reedus and Andrew Lincoln, likely something they do to make light of some of the heavier days on set. This particular prank occurred while Lincoln was busy filming a scene, and not busy guarding his bike. Oopsie.

Lincoln has been the victim of many Reedus pranks according to NME, including a trailer full of chickens, a new license plate with Reedus' name on it that went unnoticed for months, and perhaps most hilariously, he taught Lincoln how to say "where's the toilet" in Japanese, telling him it meant "thank you." Then there's the prank reported by the Daily Mail, where Reedus placed glitter inside Lincoln's car. Inside his air conditioning vents, to be specific. The tiny colorful specs shot out of the vents, covering Lincoln head to toe, just as Reedus expected. Clearly, Lincoln's due a win — the only real question is, when.

Steven Yeun passed out on his first day of filming

When the Dead cast paid tribute to Steven Yeun, sharing their favorite memories of him after his character Glenn was met his end, the public got more of an inside look at some of his behind-the-scenes antics. One of the most bizarre memories came from creator Robert Kirkman, who told us a story reported by Entertainment Weekly, from Yeun's first day of filming. We'd summarize it, but Kirkman's words speak loudest, and best:

"The first thing that Steven ever shot was doing a pickup shot for episode 4 in season 1 because we wanted him to go back to the tank and grab Rick's hat that he had left behind. But we didn't want to pay to have that tank back on set, so we did some pickup shots of him running and grabbing that hat for the later episode. And I guess he didn't anticipate how much running he was going to be doing because we ended up having to do a few takes, and he hadn't eaten anything, so he kind of blacked out on his first day of shooting. So we always used to make fun of him for that and he was always a good sport about it."

Talk about an embarrassing first day on the job!

Norman Reedus ran around naked on-set

Walking Dead fans might hold Reedus on a pedestal, but it turns out that he's just like any of of us. Or, at least, some of us. Specifically, the ones who tend to oversleep and sometimes get to work late. This is exactly what happened when Reedus' alarm failed to go off, forcing him to rush to set. According to Entertainment Weekly and Nicotero, "Norman's alarm didn't go off and we put a [stunt] double in his wardrobe. And Norman refused and got to set, stripped his clothes off on his way to set, and got in the shot before we were ready."

This wasn't the only time Reedus bared his, um, assets on set, as we all remember his big scene in Negan's cell, in the buff eating nothing but dog food. In an interview with, Reedus was asked about the experience, and he left no detail to the imagination. "I walked in, and wardrobe was like, 'do you want to wear a sock over your junk?' and I was like, 'nope'. I just went in, naked ... I sat down naked in front of the whole camera crew, and everyone's head just moved to the right. It was like they were watching Wimbledon."

And now you'll never watch tennis the same way again.

Sonequa Martin-Green had a stomach virus while filming

Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Sasha, was recently shown saving The Hilltop with just Maggie by her side, after an incredibly shady attack from the Saviors. You would never notice it while watching the scene, but apparently Martin-Green had a pretty bad stomach virus while filming that day. She talked about it with Yahoo!, saying that it hit her on her way to the set:

"Right before we pulled into base camp, I had to pull off and throw up. Then I just continued to throw up every 30 minutes for the rest of the day and night ... in a very weird way it almost became a personal challenge just to make it through the shooting day."

While Martin-Green did wind up going to the emergency room after they finished shooting, she chose to stick it out for the day, so the shoot wouldn't have to be rescheduled. Hilariously, the rest of the cast and crew felt comfortable working around her vomiting, even having a puke bucket available for her at all times. She would apparently just announce "I've got about 15 minutes before I throw up again. Now I feel OK, let's get it done." At least she wasn't trying to surprise anybody, because nobody likes that kind of surprise.

Norman Reedus keeps a bizarre memento from set in his freezer

Reedus is known for his strange personality and bizarre antics, and it's safe to say his fans don't always understand his decisions. This certainly applies to that time the hunky actor admitted to hoarding Andrew Lincoln's beard. As he confessed at at the 2014 Walker Stalker Con, after Lincoln's character, Rick, finally shaved, Reedus stored the hairs in a baggie and stuck it in his fridge. Because why not.

Lincoln confirmed the story, but many were doubtful until Reedus shared an image of the notably gray clippings in an Instagram post. Apparently, Reedus plans to clone the British actor using the hair's DNA, which might not be possible, but at least it isn't as creepy a motive as it could've been. He also has Scott Wilson's ponytail, sent to him after Hershel's death by beheading. He keeps that one in his freezer, so if you ever eat at the Reedus house, expect hair in your food.

Josh McDermitt's hair starts to melt

Josh McDermitt, who plays Eugene, apparently uses temporary hair dye to get the color of his mullet just right, a factor that apparently gave Lauren Cohan the giggles during filming one day. Cohan spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her favorite day on set, which was back in season 5, when a school bus crashed and went up in flames in the episode "Self Help." Cohan and a few other members of the crew were apparently being roasted while they filmed. "I couldn't keep it together, the fact that my whole backside was literally getting scorched. And Josh's was as well."

Cohan then describes how what happened next made it pretty hard to hold in the laughter, something that she says can actually been seen on the show. "The rain started coming down and melting the hair dye out of [McDermitt's] hair and I just started laughing." To try and stay in character (and to prevent being burned), Cohan nudged McDermitt away from the fire as she grimaced, holding in her laughter. She does a pretty good imitation of the face in her interview, likely inspiring fans to go back to that episode, just to see how bad it all really was. Likely, McDermitt's hair meltdown doesn't register on film as anything more than a bit of dirt, because Cohan is an actress, so why not act like something is just as funny to us as it was to her?