Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Carl Grimes Has Pudding on His Face on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 9: “After”

The Walking Dead’s Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) hasn’t had the easiest time post-apocalypse — the kid thought he lost his dad, had to shoot his mom, and is now separated from his new “family” — but he’s so irritating at times that we often forget his hardships and just wish he would crawl into a corner and eat pudding by himself.

Still, we have to hand it to the tween for keeping his dad, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) alive when he was barely clinging to life. Sure, Carl raced ahead of his pops in an angry huff and was generally cocky when he came in contact with walkers, (one almost bit his leg) but he also saved Rick’s butt when he shot a walker that almost attacked his dad.

Carl’s a tween, which means his moody and temperamental to begin with, and if you add in that whole end of the world thing it certainly doesn’t help the situation. In Season 4, Episode 9: “After” he told an unconscious Rick that he wouldn’t care if he died, but when he thought Rick had passed away in the middle of the night and turned into a walker, he couldn’t bring himself to shoot him and put him out of his misery.

Even showrunner Scott Gimple knows Carl can get on people’s nerves, and he explained the decision to do a very Carl-heavy episode in a post midseason premiere interview with Vulture. “There have been times that almost every character on this show has been sort of polarizing. People go, ‘Oh, I’m annoyed with them,’ and then they’re psyched about them,” Scott said. “I’m not going to mention any of those characters, but I will say whenever I’ve been on set and whenever I’ve talked to Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, I see him growing up. I think he does an amazing job, and he’s got amazing poise for his age. I knew this story was coming down the line for him, and I knew that he was ready for it. This was his graduation into being a young man on the show and not being a kid.”

Carl has stepped it up in this post-prison world, and even Rick has accepted that his son is becoming a man, but there are still more turns ahead in their relationship.

Do you think bossman Carl is more annoying now than he was before the prison fell? Tell us what you think below!

The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.