The Walking Dead: What Are the Rules For Using Curse Words on the Show?

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: What Are the Rules For Using Curse Words on the Show?

The Walking Dead is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic of the same name, and at times the comic gets dark both in subject matter (Carl’s attempted rape) and the language used. For example, in the Season 4 finale Rick says of the Termites: “They’re screwing with the wrong people,” but in the comics that line was actually, “They’re f—king with the wrong people.”

Since the show airs on AMC there are rules in place established by the network’s Standards and Practices department that dictate what words they can and cannot say. During a recent Producer’s Guild of America panel, TWD producer David Alpert revealed via, “We get four s—ts,” In addition to the s—ts, David also noted that there are other not-so-nice words available for them to use, but they must be used in a certain context. “We can use 'dk' and 'py' in nonsexual context, and we get as many 'douche bags' as we want,” he continued.

“Douche bag” is always a solid insult to have at your disposal, but one of the funniest (and nonsexual) uses of dk has to be when Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) said “son of a dk” during Season 4. The phrase is easily identifiable with his brash character and has already become a favorite expression among fans who have even made shirts with this memorable gem on them.

We get that Standards and Practices needs to ensure that the show is suitable to air on AMC, but shouldn’t they be more concerned with TWD’s violence instead of the occasional curse words? Turns out S&P has guidelines for violence as well.

“We can shoot a six-year-old girl zombie in the face, but we can't shoot a human and show it the same way,” he explained. We suppose this makes sense since the walkers are technically dead already, but it’s certainly an interesting caveat to note.

Are you surprised by the rules Standards and Practices imposes on TWD? Tell us how you feel below!

The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.