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He talked Abraham into protecting him all the way to Washington, D.C., then talked his way out of being cast out of the group once he revealed his deception about knowing of a cure to the zombie virus. And he talked Abraham into supporting his vision of operating a bullet factory, then talked Negan out of killing him when the Saviors’ leader doubted he really had the knowledge to run such a production.
The Walking Dead‘s Eugene Porter may not be an alum of the Human Genome Project, he may not be a real scientist, and he may not be a spiritual man, but one thing we do know: He has a way with words. And whether he’s using that gift of gab to talk his way into something good or out of certain danger, he always does it with a flair that never fails to leave us amused. Here, 12 of our favorite Eugene-isms, with big shout-outs to the killer words of The Walking Dead writers and Josh McDermitt’s perfected, giggle-inducing Eugene delivery.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
The Human Eugene Project
Season 5, “No Sanctuary”
While the gang was stuck in that train car in Terminus, Sasha asked Eugene to explain further about the cure for the walker apocalypse that he claimed to know about. “I was part of a 10-person team at the Human Genome Project to weaponize diseases to fight weaponized diseases. Pathogenic microorganisms with pathogenic microorganisms. Fire with fire,” he said. “Interdepartmental drinks were had, relationships made, information shared. I am keenly aware of all the details behind fail-safe delivery systems to kill every living person on this planet. I believe with a little tweaking on the terminals in D.C., we can flip the script. Take out every last dead one of them. Fire with fire … All things being equal, it does sound pretty badass.”
T. Brooks Ellis, the Boss
Season 5, “Self Help”
Eugene once again brought up the Human Genome Project when Glenn asked him about his hair, which has become one of the most famous mullets in pop culture. “The smartest man I ever met happened to love my hair,” Eugene insisted. “My old boss, T. Brooks Ellis, the director of the Human Genome Project. He said my hair made me look like, and I quote, a fun guy, which I am.”
Season 6, “First Time Again”
Eugene is very proud of his business-up-front, party-in-the-back hairstyle, and he showed that he can appreciate the complex locks of those around him too, like when he met Alexandrian Heath and let it be known that he admired his new neighbor’s cool dreadlocks. “I fully respect the hair game,” Eugene told a somewhat amused, somewhat confused Heath.
Eugene Porter, Man of Science
Season 6, “JSS”
Eugene shared his opinions on the expansion of Alexandria, and perhaps his personal thoughts on religion, when he explained to Tara how he felt about the plan to make the largest new building in the town a church. “It hams my biscuits is all,” he said. “Going by cubic feet, the biggest building in the expansion, and we’re gonna waste it on a church. Take out the benches, that could be a lab, a machine shop, very least a sweet-ass game room. Walled-in real estate is at a premium here. Thumpers just shouldn’t get dibs.”
Eugene Slays Us
Season 6, “Heads Up”
Rosita was giving weapons lessons to the Alexandrians, so she thought it was time her old pal Eugene learned some self-defense skills too. His, er, her, weapon of choice for him: a machete. But he was feeling pretty unsure of himself, especially when Rosita startled him during the class. “I’m a weapons novice holding a significant blade here,” he told her, “and there are people in my immediate proximity with open-toed shoes.”
Season 6, “The Next World”
The facial reactions of Daryl and Rick in this scene were priceless, as was Eugene’s discourse on sorghum as he gave the two pals tips on what to look for as they were about to embark on a supply run. “I mapped out some of the agricultural-supply places in the area. Even if they’ve been cleaned out, my bet is that the sorghum would be untouched,” Eugene said. “Now, that there is a criminally underrated grain that could change the game of our food situation from scary to hunky-dunky. I’m talking standability, drought tolerance, grain-to-stover ratio that is the envy of all corns. Think about it.”
Those Are Fightin’ Cookies
Season 6, “Not Tomorrow Yet”
The “Virginia Is for Lovers” T-shirt nearly stole the scene, but we did also thoroughly enjoy Eugene’s review of Carol’s beet and acorn cookies, delivered to a crushed Rosita, who’d just been harshly dumped by Abraham. “You try one of these?” Eugene asked, snacking on one of Carol’s sweets. “They’re chewy. They, uh, got some fight in ’em.”
Yep, the Mullet Again
Season 6, “Twice as Far”
Abraham and Eugene were chatting while on a scouting mission to a potential bullet factory when Abe commented on Eugene’s new confidence and his choice to tie back his “Tennessee waterfall” hairdo. “I won’t lie, I liked it,” Eugene said. “I may very well miss it … the feeling of the billowy curtain catching the breeze some days was straight-up bliss. But brass tacks: The hair doesn’t make the man, the man makes the man.”
Eugene Porter, Anchorman
Season 6, “Last Day on Earth”
With his newfound confidence and machete training, Eugene was anxious to contribute to Alexandria’s efforts to fight against the Saviors, and, in this instance, to help Maggie get the medical care she needed. Which is why he convinced Rick to let him go along on the ill-fated RV mission to the Hilltop in the Season 6 finale. “I know I can be of some help,” Eugene told Rick. “Now’s the time and here’s the place. Don’t shine me. I’ll be your anchorman, yes, I damn will.”
Season 6, “Hostiles and Calamities”
Negan had taken Eugene back to the Saviors’ homebase with the hopes that Eugene really was a smart guy who had figured out a way to manufacture bullets. But as a terrified Eugene stood before him, shaking and clinging to a jar of pickles, Negan began to wonder if Eugene might have been faking his “smartypants” ways. Eugene, realizing he needed to kick into self-preservation mode pronto, assured Negan he had not been wrong about him. “I am indeed a smartypants,” he said. “If knowledge is dropped, I do indeed pick it up.”
Eugene Porter, Gamer
Season 6, “Hostiles and Calamities”
Negan rewarded Eugene’s ingenuity in suggesting melted metal could be poured on walkers to keep them intact as Sanctuary yard guards by arranging for a few of his wives to hang out with Eugene for the evening. Mr. Porter’s idea of entertaining the Mrs. Negans: popcorn and playing Yars’ Revenge on Atari. Well, watching him play Yars’ Revenge on Atari. “Videogames are all about me showing all of you a fun time,” he cluelessly explained to the women.
Season 6, “Hostiles and Calamities”
Eugene didn’t seem to enjoy his party evening with Negan’s wives as much as he simply got through the uncomfortable gathering. Which explains why they didn’t receive the friendliest greeting when they came knocking on his door the next day, preparing to ask him for one very dangerous favor. “I was given to understand that last night’s shinny was supposed to be a singular incident,” Eugene said when he opened his door, and before he even knew the women were plotting to get him to help them try to kill Negan.