- In The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon episode 2, the kids use the phrase “Nanu Nanu” at their teacher’s funeral, referencing a sitcom from the 1970s called Mork & Mindy.
- The kids’ fascination with Mork & Mindy shows their limited exposure to pop culture and their connection to the past, as it appears to define their understanding of the English language.
- The Mork & Mindy references also hold personal meaning for Daryl, as it reminds him of happy memories shared with his brother before the zombie apocalypse.
Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon episode 2
“Nanu Nanu,” a phrase that had a presence in pop culture in the 1970s, made a surprising return in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon episode 2. The second episode of Daryl’s Walking Dead spinoff series saw the titular character and his new traveling companions come to the aid of a group of French children looking to help their ailing teacher. Following their teacher’s death, the kids said the words, “Nanu Nanu,” at the funeral, seemingly as a way of honoring their former caretaker.
The usage of the phrase in the final scene referenced an earlier moment in the episode. After being welcomed by the kids, Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon was brought into a room to watch a VHS tape of an old sitcom series. Among the lines heard from the show was “Nanu Nanu,” which was repeated by the children, who were clearly enamored with the characters and the humor in the show. However, the name of the series, as well as the meaning of the phrase, was never specified in The Walking: Dead Daryl Dixon.
Daryl Dixon’s “Naru Naru” Scene Is A Mork & Mindy Reference
The show the kids were mimicking in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon episode 2 was Mork & Mindy, a popular ABC sitcom that aired for four seasons between 1978 and 1982. Remembered as the show that introduced comedy legend Robin Williams to mainstream audiences, Mork & Mindy was a story about an eccentric, pacifist alien named Mork who shares an apartment with a woman in Buffalo, Colorado. Mork’s catchphrase was “Nanu, Nanu,” words that had multiple uses in the series but no exact definition. When communicating with his leader, he would say “Nanu Nanu” when signing off. He would also use it as a greeting, usually to the confusion of Mork & Mindy’s human characters.
Daryl Dixon’s Mork & Mindy Tape Serves A Deeper Purpose
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’s focus on Mork & Mindy underscored a comment made by Isabelle, who lamented about how sad it was that the kids never got to know what the world was like before. Their fascination with a single sitcom from the 1970s was indicative of their limited exposure to pop culture. Their Morky & Mindy VHS tape looks to be their only real connection to the past, hence why It appears to define their entire understanding of the English language. How much Mork & Mindy has influenced the way they talk, as evidenced by them saying “Nanu Nanu” at the funeral, says a lot about how little they know of the world.
In addition to the insight it provides into the lives of the children, the Mork & Mindy references hold personal meaning for Daryl as well. As The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon reveals, Daryl and Merle enjoyed watching the series when they were kids. Though Daryl has been part of the Walking Dead franchise since its first season, Daryl sharing happy memories about his life before the zombie apocalypse is hardly a common sight, but a welcome one that helps expose a rarely seen side of his character.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon releases new episodes on Sundays on AMC.