See also: Zombies in popular culture

This list consists of cliches in zombie movies and other media. They are detected in many films that have to do with zombies and similar ghouls.


  • Older films depict zombies rising from their graves, which is a physical impossibility
  • A decayed body running as fast, or faster than, humans is also pretty illogical
  • Sometimes saying "BRAAAAINS!", expressing their endless hunger (e.g. Return of the Living Dead)
  • A group of zombies and one helpless victim
  • In certain media, special zombies such as exploding zombies, spitting zombies, etc.
  • Most zombie movies end with a large horde of zombies against the remaining survivors.


  • Most people are viewed as bloodthirsty, only trying to fend for themselves or the people that are with them. Their value of human life (or lack thereof) signifies their behaviors and habits as a human being, equally capable of being mindlessly slaughtered by the next psychopath in line
  • Spare bullets are always in supply. The viewer will almost never see the main protagonist or anyone else in a zombie movie run out of ammunition (Universal Pictures' Doom avoids this)
  • Honored characters die slowly
  • Screaming at a zombie
  • Eventually being bitten
  • Accidentally making noise, attracting zombies
  • The remaining survivors of the protagonist's group are about 3 or 4 people while the rest are either killed by zombies, other survivors or heroic sacrifice
  • Military personnel are almost universally useless and unable to fire their weapons with any degree of accuracy or capability and are usually portrayed as less effective than random civilians who've never had any sort of training or experience with a weapon at all
  • Perfectly healthy humans without disability or sensory handicap being unable to hear or otherwise detect a zombie at close range in quiet places, especially at night


  • Survivors eventually find a weapon stash.
  • Aforementioned absence of depleted ammunition
  • Survivors will often end up using a chainsaw


  • An armored bus or other large, modified vehicle is commonly seen with a plow or bumper with crudely spray painted teeth on them


  • Some zombie movies feature intelligent zombies
  • In modern media, the apocalypse/outbreak is caused by mainly an infection-themed method such as a virus. This is a cliche that since has been used in many popular media; films like 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake, and games such as Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead, DayZ, Dead Island, Dying Light, etc.
  • In WWZ, a zombie appears as though hiding (zombies don't hide).

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