'The Walking Dead': A history of Norman Reedus and Andy Lincoln's prank war

Photo: AMC

To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of  The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo Entertainment will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.

In the world of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes has been and remains — at least starting out in Season 8 — the clear leader of his group’s efforts to survive the brutalities of life in the apocalypse… “Ricktatorship” isn’t a word that came about by accident, after all.

But in the world of the infamous TWD prank war between Andy Lincoln (Rick) and his co-star/BFF Norman Reedus (Daryl), things — “thangs,” as Rick would say — are in a dead heat. Thanks to more glitter than one might expect to be in the possession of two primetime action heroes, the history of Lincoln and Reedus’s pranking currently puts them in a tie, with each pal pulling off an impressive series of elaborate jokes on each other. Here, a history of the jokesters’ pranks:

License to Prank
During a February 2016 appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Reedus told the host he fired the first shot in the prankapalooza. “Someone sent me this license plate that was like an ’80s, airbrushed Daryl Dixon, with his hair flying,” Reedus told Corden. “And I put it on [Lincoln’s] car, and he never noticed. For months, he drove around with this on his car.”

Lincoln vowed revenge, but according to his friend, he’s just not very good at it. So before Lincoln had a chance to retaliate for the license plate, Reedus was already on to prank number two: He filled Lincoln’s TWD trailer with live chickens. “You were trying to get him back for something he hadn’t done yet?” Corden asked.

“You have to hit them quick,” Reedus said. “Good offense.”

SCORE: Reedus 2, Lincoln 0.

Zombie Attack
With some help from TWD executive producer (and Reedus’s Nic & Norman’s restaurant partner) Greg Nicotero, Lincoln struck back for the Daryl Dixon license plate by scaring the bejesus out of Reedus. During a 2014 press junket in Tokyo, Lincoln and Nicotero enlisted the help of TWD fan and zombie prankster Nick Santonastasso, who was made up as a zombie, and jumped out of a hotel room service cart to frighten Reedus when he was sitting alone in the room.

SCORE: Reedus 2, Lincoln 1.

Toilet Humor
During that same trip to Japan, Reedus also took his pranks international. Lincoln had asked him if he spoke any Japanese, and Reedus taught him a phrase which Lincoln thought would allow him to thank people. But when he said it in a room full of reporters, the reaction on their faces immediately clued him on that he had been led astray by Reedus. The phrase his co-star had taught Lincoln to say: “Where is the toilet?”

SCORE: Reedus 3, Lincoln 1.

Glitter Boy
While filming Season 7 of TWD in the hot Atlanta summer, Reedus pulled his most infamous, and most elaborate, prank yet: He filled the air conditioner in Lincoln’s car with glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. When his friend — his hot, sweaty friend — got into his car at the end of the day and cranked up the AC, he was immediately hit with a big burst of glitter, which not only covered him, but his car.

“I put so much in there,” Reedus said, as he cackled at his friend’s reaction to the sparkly stunt. “Have a nice ride home in the heat, bro.”

Lincoln: “I’m sweating.”


SCORE: Reedus 4, Lincoln 1.

Glitter Boy, Part II: Revenge of the Glitter
Reedus posted video of his car prank on Instagram shortly before TWD cast’s appearance at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2016, and since it was sure to be a topic of discussion during the show’s SDCC panel, Lincoln came with a plan. After sharing with the fans his tale of being called “Sparkles” and “Glitter Boy” after Reedus’s prank, Lincoln said he’d promised his children he’d get back at “Nanny Norman” for humiliating him, and he then leaned over and blew a hidden handful of glitter right into his friend’s face.

Or, well, he tried to. Some of the glitter blew right back into his own direction, leaving Lincoln with a beard full of glitter and panel moderator Chris Hardwick making creepy jokes about Lincoln and some unsavory acts with a clown.

Still, it was a fine effort, with a good buildup, so…

SCORE: Reedus 4, Lincoln 2.

A Doll, a Boat, and a Bike
Lincoln’s last prank didn’t go quite as seamlessly as he’d hoped, so he hopped right back on the gag wagon while in production on Season 7’s “Sing Me a Song,” the episode in which Rick and Aaron have to cross a lake to get to a stash of supplies. A stunt boat in the episode provided him with the main weapon: he put a blow-up doll on Reedus’s motorcycle, put the motorcycle on the boat, and pushed it out into the middle of the lake for Reedus to retrieve.

PS: If you are in the possession of photos of that doll on that bike on that boat in that lake, please, share your pics with the group.

SCORE: Reedus 4, Lincoln 3.

Glitter Boy, Part III: The Glitter Returns
And, in the latest shot fired — or rather, balloon popped — in the glitter campaign of the prank war, Lincoln pulled off a fully successful bit during a photo shoot with Reedus for Entertainment Weekly last month. While the duo, clad in formal wear, posed for pics, Lincoln popped a glitter-filled balloon over his co-star’s head, fully covering Reedus’s head and shoulders with the sparkly stuff.


SCORE: Reedus 4, Lincoln 4.

That leaves the score tied, and us wondering who will land the next prank… and if it will once again involve a Michaels craft aisle full of glitter.

The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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