|This article is about the Video Game dog. You may be looking for the Comic Series character, the Novel Series character, the TV Series character, the Alexandria resident, the unseen TV Series character, or the voice actor.|
Not much is known about Sam's life before or as the outbreak began. In "All That Remains", Clementine found a picture of Sam with a family shortly after they meet. The picture displayed Sam next to a man, woman and presumably their child. Clementine states that it looked like "they were a happy family once."
Clementine meets Sam after she treks from the riverbed she woke up on and through a passage in the forest. Despite Sam growling at her initially, Clementine manages to befriend him by giving him a friendly greeting. She can also choose to look at Sam's name tag to discover his name. After the two of them make an acquaintance, Sam leads Clementine back to its owner's abandoned camp.
The camp that was once a refuge for Sam's owners is shown to be the aftermath of havoc, with overturned and tattered tents, rotting food remnants and small, shattered fragments of who the family once was, such as a family photograph and a box full of children's toys. A flying disc lies nearby and Clementine has the choice to throw it. If she does, Sam will catch it and bring it back to her. The third time she throws the disk too far and Sam gives up the attempt to go after it.
While Clementine rummages through the camp in search of food, Sam begins to bark at a walker tied to a tree. Clementine "teaches" Sam how to kill and stay ahead of walkers in a manner similar to the way Lee taught her in his final moments.
With the walker dead and Clementine having procured a knife from its carcass in order to open a can of beans, the two of them settle down to eat. Sam longingly watches Clementine eat in hopes of receiving food, which Clementine can either give to Sam or continue eating for herself. If the player decides to give Sam food, Sam will knock the can out of her hands until Clementine takes it away from the dog in order to eat some herself. This action causes Sam to attack. If Clementine denies him food, Sam will attack her due to being rejected.
Either way, Clementine responds by either knocking the dog off of her bitten arm with the bean can, or stabbing its muzzle with the pocket knife before kicking Sam off of her when it retaliates once again. Sam lands from the kick on a set of metal tent poles, which impale Sam's chest and hind leg. If the player chooses to kill Sam, Clementine will stick her knife into the dog's neck. If the player chooses to leave it, Clementine will walk away and leave Sam to die.
- Killed By
- Clementine (Caused; Out of Mercy, Determinant)
- Himself (Caused, Accidental)
- Blood loss (Determinant)
Sam will attack Clementine after she refuses to feed him/takes the can away. After biting her arm, Clementine can beat him with the can or stab him with the knife, and kick Sam into some tent spikes, immobilizing the dog. Clementine has the option to put Sam out of his misery or to walk away, leaving him to bleed out. No matter what Clementine chooses, Sam will die either way.
- "Good boy, good boy."
- —Clementine to Sam after returning the flying disc. (Determinant)[src]
Though Sam and Clementine had a short relationship, Clementine initially enjoyed having Sam around, and Sam was fairly friendly to her, even chasing after a frisbee that Clementine throws. The relationship was short lived, however, as Sam attacks Clementine out of food aggression regardless of the choice the player makes in feeding him. Despite having bitten Clementine, the latter is still upset over Sam's death and has the option of putting him out of his misery.
As seen in "Done Running", the trauma of having being mauled by Sam stayed with Clem for several years afterwards and gave her severe anxiety around dogs.
- It is not an uncommon behavior for dogs to be food aggressive and snap at another animal or person who gets near or takes their food while eating. Food aggression will usually cause a dog to growl or snap, especially one that is very hungry.
- If player searches the camp, they will come across a flying disc which, when selected, Clementine will throw it for Sam to catch and bring it back. The player can do this three times before the disc is lost, hinting Sam was good natured and friendly at heart, but became aggressive when denied food.
- Sam is the first dog seen alive in the Video Game.
- If Clementine searches the grill, a dog bowl with "Sam" printed on the side can be seen.
- Sam is the first animal to die on-screen in the Video Game.
- He is also the first one known to be killed by a survivor.
- Sam, Walter, and Rosie are the only dogs seen within the game.
- Sam the dog shares a name and may be a reference to the protagonist of Sam & Max, an earlier series by Telltale Games.