It’s easy to forget Rick’s history of violence and climb to the top after Negan knocked him back down so publicly. However, over the series, Rick Grimes has grown from a tough guy sheriff to the ultimate leader and apocalypse survivor.

Over Rick’s story arc, his gruesome, yet necessary murders have defined who he is and what he can be. Just last season, Rick punched a decapitated walker head to make it appear to be Gregory. When compared to the Saviors, one of Jesus’ men said,” The Saviors, they’re scary, but this prick has got nothing on you.”

For those who have forgotten about Rick’s badass-ness, here are three examples to remind you how the gang got this far in the first place.

walking-dead-rick-grimesThe Walking Dead’s Rick | Photo Credit AMC

Vatos Standoff

In the episode titled, ‘Vatos,’ Rick (in police uniform), Daryl (with short hair), and the gang are headed back to Atlanta to rescue Daryl’s no-good brother, Merle, and to gather up Rick’s ammunition, along with the hat that Carl eventually wears.

In somewhat of a gangster-style standoff, the guns fall prisoner to Miguel and Glenn, the leader of the Vatos. Guillermo tells Rick to “go get my bag of guns or come back locked and loaded and we’ll see which side spills more blood.” Rick comes back, shot gun in hand to reply, “You said come locked and loaded. Okay then, we’re here.”

In the background, Daryl and T-Dog are prepared to kill every member of Vatos in order to rescue Glenn. During the scenes leading up this moment, we learn more about Rick’s power and Guillermo’s bluff falls short, which another pivotal point in Rick’s history of violence.

Tony and Dave

As things begin to escalate on the farm, the beloved Hershel, which we learn has been fighting alcoholism in the past, makes his way to town for a drink. Rick and Glenn find Hershel drinking in a local tavern, trying to cope with his surroundings. Two strangers appear, claim to have ridden in from the north, where they tell Rick and Hershel about the outbreak in that direction.

Dave (Terrier’s Michael Raymond James) and Tony (Aaron Munoz), the strangers, are desperate to find shelter. In the bar, they begin a conversation about Nebraska being a potentially safe zone for those who have survived. Rick, sensing their eventual question, steered away from questions about the farm and their safe zone.

Eventually, the strangers suggest combining their assets and asking if they can join Rick and Hershel on the farm. Rick bluntly advises them to look elsewhere. Rick even throws their response back at them by saying, “I hear Nebraska’s nice,” which is another badass move and fixture in Rick’s history of violence.

Things escalate from his turn down and eventually Tony yells, “Don’t tell me to calm down! Don’t ever tell me to calm down! I’ll shoot you three assholes in the head and take your damn farm.” Once the threat becomes real, Rick kills both men (there is also a theory he shoots both in the head so they don’t become walkers, even though one of the shots is off screen).

Rick Takes AimThe Walking Dead’s Rick | Photo Credit AMC

Rick Kills Shane

In the episode ‘Better Angels,’ Rick has to make one of his toughest decisions, where he kills his best friend, Shane (Jon Bernthal). A pivotal moment for Rick’s character, the decision to kill Shane happens after Rick has decided that his former friend has reached a breaking point, and it’s a kill or be-killed decision.

Due to Rick’s coma, he started off in the apocalypse with more of an open view of the world. Since Shane watched it all fall into place in front of him, he became evil with the new world. The two argue more and more about how the group should be led and Shane begins to question whether Rick’s life is worth saving.

In the end, Shane lures Rick into the woods by lying about a potential threat. Rick figured out the trap and confronted Shane. Eventually, he rushes him, blade in hand, and stabs Shane to death. This is one of the defining moments of Rick’s history of violence that shaped who he is today. 

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