The Last Of Us HBO Show: All Episode 1 Easter Eggs & References To The Game

The first episode of The Last of Us on HBO is out and it features tons of Easter eggs and references to the games. Here's everything we found in the show premiere.

The Last of Us HBO Show
The Last of Us premiered on HBO. Here's every reference to the original game in episode 1. | © HBO

HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us is finally here, with the show's premiere episode having aired on January 15. While the show is changing things up in many ways, there were of course still a bunch of references to the original game. Here are all Easter eggs and nods to the Naughty Dog titles in episode 1 of the show.

The Last Of Us Show: All Episode 1 Easter Eggs & References To The Game

We'll show you some of our favorite Easter eggs and references in the first episode of the HBO show. We'll try to stay as spoiler free as possible, but we will show some images from the show.

Halican Drops

This was one of the coolest Easter eggs in the episode, and it appears very early on. When you see Joel's daughter Sarah at the beginning of the episode, she wears a beautifully-made recreation of the shirt that Sarah is wearing of the game, which is merch for the fictional band Halican Drops.

The Last of Us Show Sarah
They did a perfect job with the costuming in this one. | © HBO

The crew did an absolutely perfect job with this, it looks just like in the game. Even though Sarah was deliberately changed quite a bit from how she appears in the game, it's cool to see this attention to detail put into it and to see the game being realized this accurately.


Did Marlene in the show seem familiar to you? If you just said yes, but are not sure why; it's because she is played by the same actress as in the game, Merle Dandridge.

If you want to play through the first game again before watching the show, then click here to get the PS5 remake!

The Last of Us Show Episode 1 Marlene
Marlene is literally the same actress in the game and the show. | © Sony / HBO

I personally loved to see Dandridge back, as her performance as Marlene is so iconic to me. It's super cool to see her in the show and kill it again as Marlene.

When You're Lost In The Darkness, Look To The Light

The set design in the show is insane, and it is also filled with tons of details picked straight from the game. One of the most noticeable ones is the graffiti with the phrase "When you’re lost in the darkness, look to the light".

The Last of Us Grafitti Show
The Fireflies were here. | © HBO

This motto of the Fireflies, the revolutionary group at the center of the story in The Last of Us, is featured heavily in the game – and the show. I always really enjoyed this phrase as one of the first, and most prominent things the player sees about the Fireflies. The ominous, but hopeful message shines through again in the HBO adaptation.

Curtis and the Viper 2

This is just a small one, but we loved it. Sarah gets a movie to watch with Joel called 'Curtis and the Viper 2'. This is of course a fictional film, and fans will know it from The Last of Us Part 2. Ellie talks about watching this flick with Joel, before... you know, stuff happens.

Wait, This Scene Looks Exactly Like The Game!

While the show takes a fair amount of liberties in adapting the story of The Last of Us Part 1, some scenes felt like 1-to-1 recreations of their counterparts in the game. My favorite ones were the two major escape scenes in episode 1.

There's of course the escape from Austin, which literally feels like a video game. It's filmed in almost exactly the same way as in the game, with the camera kind of taking Sarah's point of view while still showing her in the third person. Super good job in recreating the tension of the original here. And that ending; we won't say anything, but that was maybe the most impressive part of the episode.

And I obviously also loved the super intense escape scene at the end. In the game, this is one of the stealthier parts, as you need to avoid the soldiers and their lights to get out of the Boston quarantine zone. It's dark, tense, and scary as heck. The show's visuals are on par here with the game's original sequence and brought back all those memories from this awesome part of the story.

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