This is a strictly objective analysis. There is no account given for political correctness, ethics, or sentimentality. The zombies won’t care about such constructs, so we mustn’t either.
What does matter is how strong, fast, and skilled at fighting a character is. As such, the men generally have higher survival odds than the women, and the women generally have higher odds than the children. Other relevant factors may include house layout, number of available exits, and known facts about the character’s fitness/state of mind.
Let’s be honest: the Tanner home is a death trap. Lots of soft targets, very few fighters. Danny is going to squirt Windex in the eyes of the first few zombies, and that will buy him a couple of seconds, but I don’t think it helps too much. Joey is codependent and will throw himself and Mr. Woodchuck into the advancing undead, but again, that’s only going to buy you a moment or two at best. Aunt Becky is quite thin, but she could also have pent up rage from being a successful TV personality and having to live in an attic, which was always kind of weird. Uncle Jesse is fairly fit, and probably has more fighting experience than anyone on the show, but where is he going to go? Down into his basement studio? Have mercy.
Perhaps the best hope is DJ’s boyfriend Steve, who is a jock and possesses good upper body strength, which we know because he throws the football really hard in the opening credits. At some point Steve is going to fight his way into the Tanner home looking for DJ. Perhaps Steve and Jesse can link up and create an escape corridor for any remaining children, but this is probably a long shot.
Uncle Joey 7%
Mr Woodchuck 8%
Uncle Jesse 23%
Kimmy Gibbler 5%
Aunt Becky 11%
The Twins 2%
Much like the Tanner house, the Winslow’s home is going to damper everyone’s survival chances. There are only two exit points for the family to use, both on the ground floor. And the Winslow family has several members who are a liability to any potential group escape.
In some ways Steve is the fulcrum upon which the battle balances. If Steve can transform himself into Stefan, that would give the Winslows another capable fighter to put at the front of the defense. Such an upgrade might mean the difference between, say, getting Grandma Winslow downstairs and to the back door instead of leaving her at the top of the stairwell.
In any case, the Winslows will put up stiff resistance. Carl will have his service revolver and can be reasonably expected to shoot down 3-6 zombies as the family moves to get Grandma and Richie and the phantom younger Winslow sister to safety. Eddie is large, muscular, and in his prime. Waldo, while not bright, will follow orders, and very likely possesses Forrest Gump-like simpleton strength. Aunt Rachel will be a significant asset, as the high stress experiences of managing her restaurant will have equipped her to be calm in the heat of battle.
Ultimately, though, it seems unrealistic to think that the family won’t take casualties. Carl’s weight issues probably preclude him from any sustained escape attempt. Harriet has a sort of irrational confidence about her, and will probably fall alongside Carl as she thinks she can singlehandedly fight off multiple zombies. Grandma likely won’t get far. The sheen from Richie’s oiled up mullet curls will give away his hiding spot. Some Winslows will fall, but there is also a very good chance that Eddie will break out the back door with a few survivors in tow.
Phantom younger sister 4%
Aunt Rachel 37%
Grandma Winslow 1%
Every single one of them will die, and every single one of them will deserve it.
Saved By the Bell
The building makes a difference in survival odds. Case in point: when the zombies attack Bayside High they will be attacking a sprawling building with many exits. It will be impossible for the zombies to completely surround the campus, so breakout should not be a tactical difficulty. However, the inherent confusion of hundreds of Bayside teens will present the need for strong leadership.
There are two very good leaders in the group in Mr. Belding and Zack. Mr. Belding has character, a strong sense of duty, and a decent-sized frame for hand-to-hand fighting. He could almost certainly save himself easily, but his actual chances for survival are quite low, as he will invariably remain in the halls trying to save as many students as possible. This leaves Zack. While not Slater’s equal in combat, Zack at least held his own during their legendary brawl at the lockers. Zack’s weakness will manifest in facing an enemy that does not respond to charm or time outs, which are his primary coping mechanisms.
Slater has the second-highest survival chances of anyone in this scientific study. He is extremely strong, extremely athletic, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and he has the internal discipline of a military upbringing.
Somewhat ironically, Slater’s chances for survival are inversely related to Jessie’s survival. As long as Jessie is alive Slater will prioritize her survival above his own. Conversely, the moment Jessie goes down is the moment Slater goes Lone Wolf, leaves any remaining stragglers, and sees his personal survival odds climb significantly.
As for the others. Let’s not kid ourselves: Screech will be eaten immediately. Lisa’s odds are significantly better, but she is pampered and soft and likely not prepared for what lies ahead. As for Jessie and Kelly, there are reasons to believe that either or both of them could survive. Twitter, though, seems intent on placing Jessie a bit higher, which seems reasonable. She is tough, she is not afraid of conflict, and a relapse onto caffeine pills would seem to add 5-10 percentage points to her survival chances.
who would be more likely to survive a zombie attack at Bayside High?
— matthew pierce (@ongreenmountain) November 18, 2015
Mr. Belding 18%
Jessie (sober) 43%
Jessie (caffeinated) 49%
Boy Meets World
[BMW is a sprawling universe with a fluid cast and settings that changed from season to season. For our purposes, we will assume the zombies attack the Matthews family home, and that main characters from other locations (Mr. Turner, Mr. Feeny, Jack Hunter) are also present.]
The Matthews’ family is faced with a tactical option that other, smaller sitcom families do not have: they do not necessarily have to run. The Matthews brothers, the Hunter brothers, Mr. Turner, Topanga, and the rogue’s gallery from John Adams High (Harley, Frankie, Joey, Griff) present enough able bodies that the group could conceivably defend every entry point on the ground floor and wage a stationary battle. This is not necessarily a poor strategy, and Mr. and Mrs. Matthews will likely choose this path over fleeing.
Should the zombies breach the perimeter and disrupt the chain of command, there are several contingencies in play. If Mr. and Mrs. Matthews go down, Mr. Turner would then likely take charge of the survivors. If Mr. Turner falls, succession becomes murky, with the logical candidates being Harley or Eric. At this point Mr. Feeny is almost certainly dead, as his only weapon is that Mid-Atlantic accent, which does not faze the undead in the slightest.
Attempting a breakout should likely only be done as a last resort, because at that point you cede tactical control of the battleground. While the individual members of the Matthews/Hunter/John Adams group are young, they are also mostly small, and would quickly be annihilated out in the open. If the group becomes splintered, it would seem that the hardened members would have the best chance at survival, and this bodes well for Shawn and Mr. Turner, and bodes very poorly for Cory and Topanga. It has also been posited that Eric might survive regardless, as he does not have what the zombies are looking for:
Mr. Matthews 41%
Mrs. Matthews 35%
Cory Matthews 37%
Eric Matthews 69%
Shawn Hunter 64%
Jack Hunter 63%
Mr. Feeny 5%
Mr. Turner 66%
Step By Step
Oh I’m sorry
Guess you hadn’t heard
Cody Lambert 97%
Everyone else: pretty doggone good, thanks to Cody