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! 🚨
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the very end of Episode 1, if you look closely, you can spot a clicker on the roof 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'”
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.
When Ellie explores the basement of Cumberland Farms, you’ll notice she finds 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.
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.
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.
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 truck that he leaves for Joel looks exactly like the truck Bill has in The Last of Us Part 1.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
And the truck that has “run” spray painted on the front is also seen in this sniper section of the first 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.
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!