'The Walking Dead': 16 memorable 1-episode characters

Kimberly Potts
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of  The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo Entertainment will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.

With a deep bench of talent like the cast of The Walking Dead, it’s no small feat to make an impression with just one appearance. But that’s exactly what these TWD characters did, leaving us thinking about them seasons after, in some cases, they stole a scene. From the last real scientist (sorry, Eugene) the survivors meet to the endearing woman who’s smart enough to be afraid of a damn tiger, here are 16 characters who made a lasting impression with just the briefest amount of screen time.

The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich)

Season 1, “TS-19”
The last surviving employee of the Center for Disease Control after the apocalypse began, kind, well-intentioned Jenner worked until there was nothing more he could do to try to reverse things. He offered Rick and his group food and shelter, and a chance to die peacefully with him inside the about-to-detonate CDC headquarters. When they decided to flee and take their chances in the new world, Jenner dropped this bombshell in Rick’s ear: Everyone carries the disease that will turn them into a walker when they die, whether they’ve been bitten by a walker or not. (Photo: AMC)

Dave (Michael Raymond-James)

Season 2, “Nebraska”
Dave is one of the first examples for Rick that his fellow surviving humans are going to prove to be just as, if not more so, dangerous as the undead. Dave and his pal Tony meet up with Rick, Hershel, and Glenn at a bar near Hershel’s farm. Dave pretends to be friendly, trying to bond with the fellas about the horrors they’ve all experienced. But Rick and the others aren’t fooled, and when Dave tries to get them to share the location of the farm, things turn deadly — for Dave and Tony. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Zach (Kyle Gallner)

Season 4, “30 Days Without an Accident”
A college student who joins Rick’s group at the prison sometime before the beginning of Season 4, Zach becomes Beth’s boyfriend, and develops a bond with Daryl. He accompanies Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Glenn on a supply run to the Big Spot, where he continues the game he’s been playing to guess what Daryl’s pre-apocalypse job was; when Daryl tells him he was an undercover homicide cop, the sweet, naïve Zach believes it. Later, when Bob gets trapped under a fallen shelf inside the big box store, Zach saves him, only to be eaten by a walker. His death is finalized by the helicopter that crashes through the store’s ceiling and crushes him. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Clara (Kerry Condon)

Season 4, “30 Days Without an Accident”
Clara is so dirty and disheveled from her travels that Rick at first mistakes her for a walker. When she speaks and asks him to help her get food back to her husband at their camp, he cautiously accompanies her and is moved by her tales of the things she and her husband have had to do to survive. Once at her camp, though, Rick learns the truth: Her husband, Eddie, has been zombified, and she was bringing Rick back to feed him. Horrified by her own actions, Clara stabs herself, and begs Rick not to kill her so she can become a zombie with Eddie. In “Too Far Gone,” the mideason finale, we see a zombified Clara — alone — shuffling along in the field outside the prison. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Patrick (Vincent Martella)

Season 4, “30 Days Without an Accident”
A sweet teen who hangs with Carl, but also likes to attend the children’s storytime at the prison, Patrick is friendly and eager to be a part of the community. He calls Carol ma’am, and, after thanking Daryl for hunting a deer and providing the camp with a tasty meal, asks if he can shake Mr. Dixon’s hand. Daryl, bemused by Patrick’s hero worship, sticks his hand out… after he licks it. Later, Patrick gets sick and starts coughing; he goes to the shower late that night and tries to cool himself off, but he passes out and dies on the shower floor, the first victim of a flu that threatens to wipe out the prison population. We see him briefly in “Infected,” as a zombie who noshes on another prison dweller. (Photo: AMC)

Sam (Robin Lord Taylor)

Season 4, “Indifference”
Rick and Carol meet Sam and his girlfriend Ana when Rick takes Carol out for a drive to banish her from the prison after she kills Karen and David. Sam and Ana are the only survivors from the camp they were living in, which was overrun with walkers. The four split up to look for supplies in the neighborhood they’re in — Rick even gives Sam his watch so he’ll know when it’s rendezvous time — but when Rick and Carol happen upon Ana being eaten by a walker, and Sam’s nowhere in sight, we don’t know what happened to him. Until… in the Season 5 premiere, as Rick and company are learning that Gareth and his Terminus gang are cannibals, Sam is brought in, clubbed with a baseball bat, and his throat is slit. (Photo: AMC)

Terry (Brandon Fobbs) and Mike (Aldis Hodge)

Season 4, “After”
They appear as Michonne’s pets in other episodes, but this is the only time we see Mike — Michonne’s boyfriend — and his pal Terry as living humans. The reason she was able to cut off their arms and mouths and drag them around as her walker shields: The three were staying at a survivor camp, along with Michonne and Mike’s son, Andre. While Michonne was on a run, walkers attacked the camp, and Mike and Terry were so high they were unable to defend themselves, or baby Andre. (Photo: AMC)

Joan (Keisha Castle-Hughes)

Season 5, “Slabtown”
Joan refuses to go along with the hypocrisy of life at Grady Hospital, but when she tries to escape, she gets bitten. She’s dragged back inside, where she wants to be allowed to die. Rapist Grady cop Gorman and power-mad leader Dawn force Dr. Edwards to save her by amputating her bitten arm. Later, Beth’s humming comforts the dejected Joan, who clues Beth into what Dawn allows Gorman to get away with. Joan later kills herself in Dawn’s office, and when Gorman tries to assault Beth right beside Joan’s corpse, she reanimates just in time to take a bite out of Gorman and his attempted crime. (Photo: AMC)

Carter (Ethan Embry)

Season 6, “First Time Again”
Carter is an Alexandrian with a big chip on his shoulder when we first meet him: He doesn’t see Rick and his group as the, ahem, saviors other townsfolk might believe them to be. He becomes so angry about Rick’s plan to deal with the newly discovered quarry herd of walkers, in fact, that he tries to convince his neighbors they should assassinate Rick… and Eugene, when Eugene overhears Carter’s plotting. A good threat of execution by Rick squashes all that, and after getting a peek at Rick’s plan in action, Carter changes his tune and signs on… just in time to have his face eaten by a walker while he’s helping carry out Rick’s plan in the woods. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Eastman (John Carroll Lynch)

Season 6, “Here’s Not Here”
He’s the goat cheese-makin’, cabin-in-the-woods dwellin’ forensic psychiatrist who befriended Morgan, taught him Aikido, and shared his hard-won experience that revenge killing doesn’t help you find peace after a traumatic loss. Eastman had lost his wife and children when one of his patients, Crighton Dallas Wilton, murdered them. Eastman kidnapped and starved Wilton to death, and when that only made him feel worse, he vowed not to kill again, because, as he convinced Morgan, “all life is precious.” Eastman died — protecting Morgan from a walker — and Morgan’s commitment to honoring his friend’s philosophy is a big part of what propels him forward. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Leader of the Saviors Bike Pack (Christopher Berry)

Season 6, “No Way Out”
He is introduced in the post-credits scene in the previous episode, but it’s here that we get to spend some truly quality time with this unnamed Savior, who steals the scene with a precious few moments of nuanced screentime. It doesn’t end well for him and his crew of motorcycle-ridin’ Saviors when Daryl brings out the RPG Abraham found, but Berry’s delivery of this line to a ticked off Abe is perfection: “If you have to eat shit, best not to nibble. Bite, chew, swallow, repeat. It goes quicker.” (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Paula (Alicia Witt)

Season 6, “The Same Boat”
Savior Paula lost her husband and four daughters when the apocalypse broke out because she was stuck at work with her hapless boss who refused to allow her to leave (she had to kill him to escape). She’s bitter about it, but she’s also resolved to survive no matter what, meaning she has no sympathy for Carol or pregnant Maggie when she captures them after Rick’s group attacks the Saviors’ satellite station outpost. As Paula points out, Rick’s people are killers, too. (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Molly (Jill Jane Clements)

Season 6, “The Same Boat”
Molly is Paula’s chain-smoking sidekick, another tough lady who has little sympathy for Maggie or Carol, especially when she realizes Rick’s group had previously killed the motorcycle-ridin’ Saviors crew before they attacked the satellite post. Molly utters one of the all-time great lines in TWD history: When Carol pretends to hyperventilate so her captors think she’s scared and underestimate how formidable she really is, Molly tells her, “Honey, you need to take some yoga breaths and calm your a** down.” (Photo: AMC)

Winslow (Gino Crognale)

Season 7, “New Best Friends”
This spiky walker dude, a cohort — or former one — of Jadis and the Heapsters is pitted against Rick in a bottom of the garbage pile fight, all in the name of convincing the Heapsters Rick is capable. Rick survives, of course, happily, but we still can’t help wonder why Jadis and her crew haven’t made a whole army of Winslows… (Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Nabila (Nadine Marissa)

Season 7, “Bury Me Here”
We certainly hope to see this Kingdom-ite again, but if we don’t, she made a lasting impression as the citizen who’s nervous to tell King Ezekiel that a weevil problem means his royal garden and the rest of the community’s crops have to be destroyed. It’s not that she’s afraid of the kind Ezekiel; it’s his BFF, the beautiful, but intimidating Shiva the tiger who has Nabila shaking. Especially when Shiva growls, prompting Nabila to excuse herself: “OK, I think I just pissed myself,” she tells the King. “I’m gonna go.” (Photo: AMC)