The HBO TV adaptation of the hit game series The Last of Us is a welcome viewing experience and has presented a fresh take on the story while ensuring it never strays too far from the source material. It doesn’t stop there though, as the creators of The Last of Us have made sure to include a bunch of Easter eggs in the TV series that are a nod to the game series, starting with episode one, and a lot of people who have played the game will be excited to spot them. Be warned that there are spoilers for the first episode, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” as well as both games below!
The Last of Us TV Series Episode 1 Easter Eggs
Sarah’s T-Shirt — The T-shirt that Sarah wears in this episode features the band “Halican Drops,” which fans of The Last of Us Part I will recognize as a replica of the shirt that Sarah wears in the game. The T-shirt in itself is an Easter egg in the game as it details on the back of the shirt the destination stops of the band, all of which are locations visited by Joel and Eillie throughout the game.
Joel’s Birthday Card — The birthday card that Sarah picks out to give Joel in the TV show is exactly the one that features in the first game’s prologue as well. We get a good look of the card on Sarah’s desk in the show and can see that it’s the same one you are able to inspect in the game while playing as her.
The Movie — In the TV show Sarah picks out a copy of a movie from the neighbors’ house titled Curtis and Viper 2, to bring back with her to watch with Joel on his birthday. This is actually a reference to The Last of Us Part II, where this movie holds a lot of significance to Joel and Ellie.
Sarah’s Wake-Up — In the TV show after falling asleep watching the movie with Joel, Sarah wakes up to worrisome sounds outside; this is the turning point where the show really kicks into gear and the impacts of the outbreak reach Sarah and Joel’s town. The same wake-up moment occurs in the game, and fans would have recognized that as the moment things were about to go down.
Joel’s Wrench Toss — In the show, Joel helps Sarah out of a sticky situation with the now fungi-filled grandmother from next door by clocking her infected face with a solid wrench, which he then tosses aside. The speculation here as to why he would toss away a perfectly good infected-bashing wrench is that it is actually an ode to the games’ survival mechanics, where weapon durability is quite low and when out of durability weapons break and are disposed of.
Family Car Escape — One of the most famous scenes from The Last of Us Part I’s prologue is the car scene where Sarah, Joel, and brother Tommy try to escape from their town as the world around them descends into madness. In the game you play as Sarah in the prologue so the point of view in the scene is hers. In the TV show they’ve done their best to emulate the scene using different angles during the scene to cleverly nod to Sarah’s perspective being the way the scene is experienced.
Got to Be Stealthy — Stealth is a mechanic utilized heavily in the game, and one of the first introductions to this is when Joel, Ellie, and Tess are escaping the quarantine zone together avoiding spotlights and guards. This scene also featured in the TV series and did a great job of highlighting the importance of stealth to the series.
Marlene’s Actor — As a fan of the game, you may have noticed that, unlike the other characters, Marlene’s voice sounded exactly like it did in the game. That’s because Marlene’s voice actor is none other than Merle Dandridge, who also plays the character in the TV show.
Those are all the Easter eggs that we spotted in episode one of the HBO The Last of Us TV series, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness.”