Title: The Last of Us S1 Wrap-Up
Released: 2023
Series:  The Last of Us

Previously: Season 1 is over, and we are not OK!

The first season of The Last of Us might be over, but we’re still not done thinking about it! (And talking about it, and obsessing over it, etc.) Which is why we’re revisiting all of the stand-out moments that made us laugh, cry, shriek in terror, and did we mention CRY?

But first! A drinking game. (For drowning the sorrows that the show gives you. But, like, responsibly.)

The Official FYA The Last of Us Season 1 Drinking Game

Take a sip whenever:

  • An actor you recognize is introduced
  • You’re marveling at how sad this mushroom zombie show is
  • You spot good material for a Pedro Pascal fancam
  • For gamers: you’re watching with a non-gamer and you want to say something spoiler-y SO BADLY
  • For anyone familiar with Alberta: you recognize a set location
    • Make it a double if it’s somewhere you regularly visit

Take a drink whenever:

  • Someone says any of the following words:
    • cordyceps
    • clicker
    • Bloater
    • FEDRA
    • Fireflies
  • Someone talks about music
  • Someone tells a punny joke
  • Joel gives Ellie an order
  • Joel uses an asshole voice
  • Ellie is amazed by an ordinary-in-2003 item
  • Ellie asks to use a gun
    • Make it a double when she actually gets to use one

Take a shot whenever:

  • Someone gets infected
  • Someone kills an infected
  • Someone promises to stay awake
  • Someone says they’ve never asked for anything other than what they’re asking for now

Chug for the duration of:

  • Something scary happening that you don’t want to (re)watch

Pour one out… down your throat (i.e., finish your drink) whenever:

  • A character who you care about dies

Here are the Season 1 highlights of The Last of Us, according to The Two of Us (Stephanie and Mandy). We’ve narrowed down our top picks, but the winners will be up to YOU!

Best Joel/Ellie Moment

1.1 “When You’re Lost in the Darkness”

1.4 “Please Hold To My Hand”

1.6 “Kin”

1.8 “When We Are in Need”

Joel: “It’s okay, baby girl.”
GIFs from stevenrogered

Mandy W. and Stephanie: BABY GIRL 😭😭😭

Which is your best Joel/Ellie moment?

  • 1.8 Joel finds Ellie outside of the burning lodge in Silver Lake (56%)
  • 1.4 Ellie tells the diarrhea joke that cracks Joel up, in Kansas City (28%)
  • 1.6 Joel and Ellie bond after leaving Jackson (17%)
  • 1.1 Joel saves Ellie for the first time in Boston (0%)
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Best Guest Star in a Single Episode

Mandy W.: This might be the most difficult category?! I could make a case for practically everyone, so I’m going with a personal fave who has a very low chance of showing up again (and therefore ineligible for future seasons – hoping to see everyone from 1.6 again!): Storm Reid!

Stephanie: Um, making me pick is inhumane and why are you doing this to me?

Mandy W.: I mean, technically, we’re doing this to ourselves.

Who is your best guest star in a single episode?

  • 1.3 Nick Offerman as Bill (33%)
  • 1.4,* 1.5 Keivonn Woodard as Sam (17%)
  • 1.3 Murray Bartlett as Frank (11%)
  • 1.4,* 1.5 Lamar Johnson as Henry (11%)
  • 1.9 Ashley Johnson as Anna (11%)
  • 1.1 Nico Parker as Sarah (6%)
  • 1.6 Elaine Miles as Florence (6%)
  • 1.6 Rutina Wesley as Maria (6%)
  • 1.6 Graham Greene as Marlon (0%)
  • 1.7 Storm Reid as Riley (0%)
  • 1.8 Scott Shepherd as David (0%)
  • 1.8 Troy Baker as James (0%)
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* They both appeared for like a second in 1.4, so we’re going with the spirit of the category, and also our arbitrary rules lol.

Best Guest Star in Repeat Episodes

Mandy W.: UNSUNG SHERO THERESA SERVOPOULOS. Putting respect on her name because Joel Miller sure as hell won’t!

Stephanie: Mandy’s right; no notes.

Who is your best guest star in repeat episodes?

  • 1.1, 1.2 Anna Torv as Tess (41%)
  • 1.4, 1.5 Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen (35%)
  • 1.1, 1.6 Gabriel Luna as Tommy (12%)
  • 1.1, 1.9 Merle Dandrige as Marlene (12%)
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Saddest Death

Mandy W.: RIP Henry and Sam! Those last few minutes of that episode were utterly devastating.

Stephanie: Sarah and Henry/Sam both just stayed with me.

Which is your saddest death?

  • 1.5 Henry and Sam (67%)
  • 1.1 Sarah (17%)
  • 1.3 Bill and Frank (11%)
  • 1.7 Riley (6%)
  • 1.2 Tess (0%)
  • 1.9 Anna (0%)
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Biggest Feels (Non-Death or Otherwise Mentioned)

1.3 “Long, Long Time”

1.6 “Kin”

Joel: “You’re right. You’re not my daughter. And I sure as hell ain’t your dad.”
GIFs from billy-crudup

1.8 “When We Are in Need”

1.9 “Look for the Light”

Mandy W.: Only one of these moments has spawned LEGIONS of dedicated shippers and fanart upon fanart. ‘NUFF SA(I)D.

Stephanie: It was instant tears with those damn strawberries, because in a world without the infected, Bill’s fears are honestly the real terror that keeps me up.

What gave you the biggest feels?

  • 1.3 Bill and Frank share strawberries (47%)
  • 1.9 Anna spends her last moments with Baby Ellie (29%)
  • 1.8 Ellie rests her head on injured Joel’s shoulder (18%)
  • 1.6 Joel and Ellie argue (6%)
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Scariest Villain

Mandy W.: I thought Kathleen would run away with this category after her speech about kids being destined to die, but then David… really dragged the bar to the depths of hell.

I’ve also been increasingly not joking about putting Joel on the villain list, and now ESPECIALLY after 1.9. I could also argue for Marlene, who didn’t see her best friend’s orphaned baby even ONE TIME in 14 years?!?!? (It’s fine that Marlene wasn’t parental, but to have ZERO PRESENCE in Ellie’s life?!?! JAIL.)

Stephanie: If this were the game it’d have to go to the infected because they caused ALL my stress, but since they aren’t quite as prevalent in the show (of which I heard the showrunners have taken the frequent note and plan to self-correct, lol) I’m gonna have to go with David too, because his part in the game AND the show broke me.

Who is your scariest villain?

  • Predator Pastor David and the Colorado cannibals (76%)
  • Cordyceps (all varieties -- Infected, Clickers, Bloaters) (18%)
  • Kathleen and the Kansas City resistance (6%)
  • FEDRA (0%)
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Scariest Moment

Mandy W.: David almost got my vote again over the tendril kiss, but the visual creepiness won out.

Stephanie: Tendril kiss, *barfs* Also I feel like I should’ve known the internet would find a way to sexualize the Bloater (see: all the “I want a big boy” fan edits on TikTok), but I guess my mind still has some innocence left in it.

Which is your scariest moment?

  • 1.1 Infected Grandma/Sarah checking out the neighbour’s house (47%)
  • 1.2 The Tess tendril kiss (27%)
  • 1.5 Infected fight in the cul-de-sac when they pop out from the ground (13%)
  • 1.8 David stalking Ellie through the restaurant (7%)
  • 1.9 Joel’s rampage in the Firefly hospital (7%)
  • 1.7 Infected fight in the mall (0%)
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Best Quote/GIF

1.2 “Infected”

Tess: “Are you all right?”
Ellie: “Well, I didn’t shit my pants.”
GIF from Forever Young Adult

1.3 “Long, Long Time”

Bill: “The government are all Nazis!”
GIF from maxbegone

1.4 “Please Hold To My Hand”

Ellie: “Hold your horses, I wanna see what all the fuss is about. .
..Why are all these pages stuck together?”
GIFs from counterspelling

1.5 “Endure and Survive”

1.6 “Kin”

1.8 “When We Are in Need”

Mandy W.: I have a soft spot for the “Well, I didn’t shit my pants” because I loved the line so much that I asked Steph to GIF it, despite less than optimal GIF-ing conditions. But I’m split between Antifa Bill and Commy Tommy.

Stephanie: The “Asshole tone” was a “new” line only in the show and really made me laugh, as someone who often struggles with sarcasm and “monitoring” their tone.

Which is your best quote/GIF?

  • 1.5 Joel's asshole voice (47%)
  • 1.6 Commy Tommy (20%)
  • 1.3 Antifa Bill (13%)
  • 1.8 Ellie the little girl (13%)
  • 1.2 Surviving the Clickers (7%)
  • 1.4 Sticky pages (0%)
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Best Music Cue

Mandy W.: “Long, Long Time”, except I’m choosing Frank’s version to be chaotic.

Stephanie: I think “Take On Me” will hold more weight in future seasons, so I’m going purely on the “holy shitballs that was awesome” vibes I felt when Depeche Mode popped on and we closed out a first episode that wildly exceeded my expectations.

Which is your best music cue?

  • 1.3 “Long Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt (46%)
  • 1.1 "Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode + 1.6 cover by Jessica Mazin (38%)
  • 1.7 “Take On Me” by A-ha (15%)
  • 1.4 "Alone and Forsaken" by Hank Williams (0%)
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Best Game Nod

Stephanie: That driving scene was such a huge love letter recreation to the game and gamers. Everything about the clickers was just spot-on perfect.

Which is your best game nod?

  • All: Using all the video game voices as guest stars (56%)
  • 1.1 The opening driving scene through Austin with the same exact shot-for-shot POV and camera angles (33%)
  • 1.9 Ellie running to the giraffe and finally being able to laugh after what happened with David (11%)
  • 1.2 The Clickers design / movement / sounds (0%)
  • 1.5 The tunnels where Ish’s group lived (0%)
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Best Adaptation Change

Stephanie: Obviously Bill and Frank were the runaway surprise, but I also loved that we saw Jackson this season.

Which is your best adaptation change?

  • 1.3 Bill and Frank's history (91%)
  • 1.1 Making Tess a more sympathetic and fleshed-out character (9%)
  • 1.6 Moving the Tommy meet-up from the hydroelectric dam to Jackson proper so we get to see the town earlier (0%)
  • 1.7 Having Ellie and Riley fight one infected instead of a horde at the mall, making it a lot more intense and personal (0%)
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Best Set Design

Mandy W.: I’m obviously biased and inclined to choose my city Edmonton, which was the set for Boston, but I also loved Canmore as Jackson. No matter which choice gets the most votes, ALBERTA WINS. (You can read about all the filming locations here.)

Stephanie: I geeked out at basically every new scene with how crazy cool everything looked, and after watching the Making Of special I have even more respect for the set designers. Taking city streets and putting down so many practical set pieces for bombed-out is quite a feat, but they literally created that cul-de-sac from the ground up in a parking lot, even using a real truck to plow through all those cars AND real fire (with some CGI fire, but still), so I gotta give it to that one.

Which is your best set design?

  • 1.7 The abandoned mall in Boston (44%)
  • 1.2 Bombed-out downtown Boston (22%)
  • 1.5 The cul-de-sac of infected in Kansas City (22%)
  • 1.6 The commune in Jackson (11%)
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Best Will Livingston Pun

(Dis?)Honourable Mentions

  • 1.4 No Pun Intended: Volume Too
    • It doesn’t matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
    • What did the mermaid wear to her math class? An algae-bra.
    • I stayed up all night wondering where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
    • Why did the scarecrow get an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.
  • 1.7 No Pun Intended: This Otter Be Good
    • What did the triangle say to the circle? You’re so pointless.
    • How does a computer get drunk? It takes screenshots.
    • What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator.
  • 1.9
    • People are making apocalypse jokes like there’s no tomorrow.
    • What did the green grape say to the purple grape? Breathe, you idiot.

Mandy W.: These are all… so, so bad. I actually do like This Otter Be Good, and hereditary diarrhea is the sentimental fave for a breakthrough Joel and Ellie moment. BUT throwing in a cannibal joke in the episode right before the actual cannibals showed up 💀

Which is your best Will Livingston pun?

  • 1.4 Did you know that diarrhea is hereditary? It runs in your jeans. (69%)
  • 1.9 Moon rocks taste better than Earth rocks. Why? Because they’re meteor. (31%)
  • 1.7 What did the frustrated cannibal do? He threw up his hands. (0%)
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What do y’all think of our picks? Are there any egregious snubs that were overlooked? Or anything else about Season 1 that you want to share? Have your say in the comments below!

Thanks for hanging out with us for the past nine weeks! And now our long wait until Season 2 begins, SOB.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.