47 "The Last Of Us" Details And Callbacks From The First Five Episodes That You Might've Missed

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We only have four new episodes left of The Last of Us Season 1, which means there have already been a ton of amazing details, Easter eggs, and callbacks to the video games that you might’ve missed. So, below are some of the very best from the first five episodes:

🚨 There are obviously MASSIVE spoilers ahead for The Last of Us Episodes 1 through 5! 🚨


First, on Sarah’s cork board in her room, you can spot a picture of her and Joel. When Episode 1 aired, Nico Parker, who plays Sarah, shared a photo of this exact Polaroid to her Instagram.

A close-up of Joel covering Sarah's eyes in a photo while both smile


On Sarah’s desk in her bedroom, you can spot that she’s making a dinosaur birthday card. This is a direct reference to the video game when Sarah makes the same card for Joel but forgets to give it to him.

A close-up of a card with a green dinosaur wearing a birthday hat


The Halican Drops T-shirt that Sarah wears on outbreak day is the same shirt she wears in The Last of Us Part 1 video game.

Sarah in a purple Halican Drops shirt in the show vs game


The movie Sarah borrows from her neighbor’s house, Curtis and Viper 2, is a nod to Joel’s favorite movie series in the video games.

Joel holding Curtis and Viper 2 DVD case vs Ellie looking at a poster for Curtis and Viper 4 in the game


Sarah jokes that she got the money to fix Joel’s watch from “selling hardcore drugs,” which is a direct line from The Last of Us Part 1.

Sarah telling Joel, "Drugs. I sell hardcore drugs" in the show vs game


When Joel, Sarah, and Tommy are escaping, The Last of Us brilliantly put the camera in the backseat of the car, so your view is the same as it is in the video game.

Tommy, Joel, and Sarah looking at street signs while driving


And while Joel, Sarah, and Tommy are driving, they pass several things they also pass in the first game, like Jimmy’s place burning and the family on the side of the road.

Joel telling Tommy to keep driving and not stop for a family with a child in the show vs game


In 2023, you’ll notice that Joel’s wearing the watch that Sarah had repaired for his birthday, except it doesn’t work anymore. The watch was broken the night Sarah died, meaning the time is likely stopped at Sarah’s time of death.

A close-up of Joel's broken watch


Merle Dandridge stars as Marlene in the TV show, and she voiced the character in The Last of Us video games as well. So far, she’s the only voice actor from the games to play the same role in the TV adaptation.

Marlene in the show vs game


When Ellie opens the book of Billboard Number 1 hits, you’ll notice “B/F” at the top of the note indicating what each decade of music means. We see the letters before Ellie overhears Tess and Joel talking about Bill and Frank.

A close-up of a note that shows 60 means nothing has come in, 70 means new stock, and 80 with a red X next to it


And the note is on the page with “The Long and Winding Road” and “For You Blue” by the Beatles at the top. Both songs were released in 1970, which means Bill and Frank got “new stock” if they played it.


The moment when Joel takes a nap and Ellie remarks on his watch being broken is taken directly from The Last of Us Part 1.

Joel trying to sleep and Ellie saying his watch his broken in the show vs game


At the very end of Episode 1, if you look closely, you can spot a clicker on the roof of a building.

A close-up of a clicker leaning on the top of a building


And the song that comes on the radio at the end of Episode 1 is “Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode, which was released in 1987, aka it’s Bill and Frank signaling danger and likely alerting Joel and Tess to their deaths. In Episode 3, Joel explains to Ellie that ’80s music would play if Bill didn’t reset the countdown every few weeks.


While Joel, Ellie, and Tess walk through the city in Episode 2, you can spot a giraffe stuffed animal. This is a nod to The Last of Us video games where giraffes can be found throughout too.

A yellow and orange giraffe stuffed animal in the show vs game


The scene with Joel, Ellie, and Tess in the abandoned hotel is a setting taken directly from The Last of Us Part 1, but in the games it happens in Pittsburgh after Tess’s death. And yes, Ellie pretends to book a room in both the show and game.

Ellie asking Joel and Tess if they've stayed in a fancy hotel in the show vs game


Ellie not knowing how to swim is a characteristic from The Last of Us video games that made it into the show.


Joel, Ellie, and Tess being attacked by clickers in the museum in Boston is also a scene taken directly from the video game — although, unlike the show, this isn’t the first time you encounter a clicker.

Ellie, Joel, and Tess crouching and hiding from a clicker in the show vs game


When Joel and Ellie are taking in the view of Boston, their conversation is from The Last of Us Part 1, when they do the same thing.

Ellie telling Joel, "You can't deny that view" in the show vs game


Tess’s line about their luck running out in Episode 2 is pulled directly from the game. And just like in the show, that line is what tips off Ellie that Tess is infected.

Tess saying, "Our luck had to run out sooner or later" in the show vs game


The lighter Tess uses to blow up the infected and herself in the capital building is a nod to Uncharted 4, another video game produced by Naughty Dog. The lighter was modeled after Sam Drake’s from the games.

A close-up of Tess's silver lighter


In the beginning of Episode 3, Joel stacking the rocks by the water is his way to honor Tess. In HBO’s The Last of Us Podcast, showrunner Craig Mazin said, “We thought it was important to show that Pedro — Joel — missed her, that he was mourning her and in his very simple way just making a small cairn of rocks to say, ‘I’m sorry, I blew it, I lost you.'”

Joel stacking rocks on the bank of a river


Similar to the show, in the game, Ellie also gets excited when she comes across an arcade game. In the TV adaptation, it’s Mortal Kombat, and in the video game, it’s The Turning. In both cases, Ellie mentions having a friend who knows everything about the game.

Ellie looking at an arcade game in the show vs game


When Ellie explores the basement of Cumberland Farms, you’ll notice she finds a box of tampons.

Ellie saying, "Fuck yeah" after finding a box of tampons


In Episode 3, Joel tells Ellie that the outbreak started when Cordyceps likely got into “a basic ingredient like flour or sugar” and how specific brands were sold everywhere, like pancake mix, and that’s also how it could’ve spread. Now, in Episode 1, Sarah is upset that they’re out of pancake mix for Joel’s birthday, but this could be why they weren’t infected from the start.

Joel explaining that pancake mix could've been how people were infected vs Sarah asking where the pancake mix is


When we first meet Bill, he’s wearing a gas mask when he exits his house for the first time after the evacuation. This is a nod to The Last of Us video games where the infection is spread through spores, so the characters wear masks.

Bill in a gas mask vs Joel in the game


For Frank’s final meal, Bill prepares the same meal he made when they first met and he welcomed Frank into his home. Also, you can see that this meal literally brought them closer together as they’re now sitting next to each other at the table.

Bill and Frank sitting across from each other vs next to each other


Unlike the show, Bill and Joel stumble upon Frank’s dead body when they’re trying to make it to Bill’s car in the game, and Frank leaves a note for Bill, which is similar to Bill leaving a note for Joel.

Bill's letter vs Frank's letter in the game


Also, if you read the very end of Bill’s note, you can see that he’s recommended a wine pairing for Joel and Tess. Basically, Bill gave this recommendation in the hopes that they find the same love he shared with Frank.

A close-up of Bill's letter that says, "I recommend pairing"


Bill’s truck that he leaves for Joel looks exactly like the truck Bill has in The Last of Us Part 1.

Bill's blue and white truck in the show vs game


When Joel gives Ellie the set of rules she must follow after bringing up Tess, it’s something he also does in the video game following Tess’s death. In the game, this conversation happens before they get to Bill’s house.

Joel telling Ellie never to bring up Tess in the show vs game


After Ellie and Joel shower at Bill and Frank’s house, you can see that they’re now wearing the same outfits they wear in The Last of Us Part 1.

Ellie wearing a red shirt and Joel in a green flannel in the show vs game


And the flannel shirt Joel chooses to wear is the same one Frank wore earlier in Episode 3 when he’s fighting with Bill in the street.

Joel and Frank wearing the same green flannel


The open window at the end of Episode 3 is similar to the window you see on the menu screen in The Last of Us Part 1.

An open window with sunlight coming through in the show vs game


In Episode 4, we’re introduced to Ellie’s hilarious book of puns, which is something she also carries around in The Last of Us video games.

Ellie saying, "It doesn't matter how much you push the envelope. It'll still be stationary" in the show vs game


Joel and Ellie listen to Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” in the car, which also happens in the video game. This chapter in The Last of Us Part 1 is named after the song.

Ellie handing Joel a cassette tape of Hank Williams and asking if it makes him nostalgic in the show vs game


Ellie looking through Bill’s porn magazine is a scene taken directly from The Last of Us Part 1 — literally, almost word-for-word the exact same scene.

Ellie saying, "Light on the reading, but it's got some interesting photos" in both the show and game


Joel’s love of coffee is a characteristic from the games as well. When Joel and Ellie enter a hotel in Pittsburgh in the game, he remarks on how much he misses it.

Joel drinking coffee in the show vs Joel saying he misses coffee in the game


Jeffrey Pierce, who plays Perry, was the motion capture actor and voice of Joel’s brother Tommy in The Last of Us video games.


When Henry is looking through a window and sees Joel and Ellie, the orange reflection on his eyes mirrors Sam’s orange superhero mask.


While in the underground daycare in Episode 5, Joel spots a drawing of Danny and Ish. In the games, there’s a character named Ish, who you learn about only through notes that Joel finds.

A close-up of a drawing of Ish and Danny that reads, "Our protectors" in the show vs game


The Savage Starlight comics that Sam and Ellie bond over are also from The Last of Us video games. In the game, Ellie finds her first issue at Bill’s house and becomes obsessed with it. Then, throughout the game, you can collect more issues.


Sam and Ellie bonding while playing soccer happens in The Last of Us Part 1, but it’s also important to note that Sarah played soccer before her death, which likely makes this moment of levity even more bittersweet for Joel.


When Joel acts as a sniper and tries to keep Henry, Sam, and Ellie safe while Kathleen and her group hunt them, it’s taken directly from The Last of Us Part 1. While Kathleen doesn’t exist in the games, this group of hunters is very similar in both the TV adaptation and game.

Joel shooting out a window in the show vs game


And the truck that has “run” spray painted on the front is also seen in this sniper section of the first game.

A truck with a sign reading "Run" in the show vs game


When Ellie is cornered in a car by a child clicker, you can see that she’s wearing a Blue’s Clues shirt. This clicker is supposed to be one of the children from the underground daycare that Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam stumbled upon earlier in Episode 5.


And finally, Ellie telling Sam that she’s afraid to end up alone is a line taken directly from The Last of Us Part 1. Unlike in the show, in the game, Sam doesn’t reveal to Ellie that he’s been bitten before they fall asleep.

Ellie writing and saying, "I'm scared of ending up alone" in the show vs game

Did you spot any other Easter eggs or details? Have a better theory for one mentioned above? Tell us everything in the comments below!

And non-game players, just be aware there could be SPOILERS in the comments below!

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