The Walking Dead is relatively still in the early days of production for the upcoming Season 8, so it could still be a while before we get to see or hear anything overtly revealing or game-changing. In the meantime, though, executive producer, episode director, and effects extraordinaire Greg Nicotero teased fans with a brief first look at a member of the new season’s undead population. But what we’re really interested in is what’s written on the tree sign and on the clapboard. Callback or Looney Tunes reference?
For Walking Dead fans who have been watching the show for years, the subject of rabbits likely brings up two distinct moments from Season 4. The first major bunny moment happened in Episode 10, “Inmates,” when audiences watched as Lizzie, the future sister-killer, scooped up three young bunnies and killed each of them, hinting at her dark and immoral future. The second came in Season 4’s “Up,” in which Len the Claimer attempted to set Daryl up by blaming him for stealing his half of the rabbit that they’d both killed. The leader Joe had witnessed the double-crossing, though, and Len ended up badly beaten and with an arrow shot through his head.
It would admittedly be strange for this little walker-focused clip to specifically call back to those pretty sordid moments from Season 4, since the walker being shown clearly isn’t Len or Lizzie. And the current storyline that just kicked off the big war between Rick and Negan doesn’t really have any obvious openings for Season 4 references to come through. So what else can it be?
Well, Greg Nicotero is absolutely the kind of jokester and pop clture savant who would easily add Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to the list of easter eggs he’s brought in. And while odes to cartoons usually aren’t available at any point in The Walking Dead, it could very well be that the esteemed horror icon was just having some fun. For one, the clapboard at the beginning of the video also had “Rabbit Season” written on it, implying that this was filmed specifically for a social media post. Two, this show doesn’t usually have completely clean and unscuffed signs anywhere, least of all in outdoor settings. Plus, it pretty much looks exactly like the sign from Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck’s famed trio of shorts, “Rabbit Fire,” “Rabbit Seasoning,” and “Duck, Rabbit Duck!”
Now we’re going to have to go back and watch Looney Tunes episodes to see if Lizzie shows up at any point as Elmer Fudd’s daughter who’s just waiting until her daddy brings a big old rabbit home for her to experiment on. That wascally Wizzie
The Walking Dead will return to fans for Season 8 at some point this fall, likely during early October, and we’ll be sure to announce the release date once it’s revealed. While waiting, head to our summer TV schedule to find all the new and returning shows you can obsess over in the coming months.