* ActorAllusion: At one point in the game, Joel mentions that he wanted to become a singer. His actor, Troy Baker, was once the lead singer for an indie-rock band called Tripp Fontaine.
* ApprovalOfGod: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6Vx6aML-cE This]] reimagining of the opening to ''True Detective'' by way of ''The Last of Us'' got [[https://twitter.com/Neil_Druckmann/status/454276575010095104 an approving tweet from the game's creative director]].
* AscendedFanon:
** An inversion of sorts, while the original concepts for Joel and Ellie had their last names as "Miller" and "Williams", respectively (see WhatCouldHaveBeen below), Naughty Dog eventually decided to scrap all last names from the game. This hasn't stopped [[http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcWwh4iPAOjWhBV8TD8FX7g some]] [[http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWdAsGtHpPYdHelo42zOjLA fans]] from running with the scrapped names, however.
** Coupled with ThrowItIn: The decision to make Riley Ellie's love interest came when talking to the writer of the ''American Dreams'' prequel comics, they said that "Ellie was attracted to Riley." The writer stopped them and asked if they meant attracted as in a "digging her personality"-way, or in a "sexually attracted"-way. They then spent a couple of weeks looking back at Ellie from the game, realized that there were nothing about her that leaned one way or the other and, after a go-ahead from Ellie's actress, decided to go with it.
* DoingItForTheArt: Naughty Dog had to stand its ground to have Ellie feature on the game's cover, since the popular idea among publishers is that games with a female on the cover might alienate wider audiences. More about it can be read [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121064-Naughty-Dog-Flat-Out-Refused-to-Change-Last-of-Us-Cover here]].
* DuelingGames: Has parallels to a number of games, including:
** ''VideoGame/IAmAlive'': WeaponForIntimidation, DisasterScavengers, platforming-climbing around the RuinsOfTheModernAge, influences from TheRoad, CombatPragmatism, an older guy escorting a young girl, and so on.
** ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'': Both are AAA games with a heavy focus on narrative featuring guitar playing, UnscrupulousHero protagonists voiced by Creator/TroyBaker, [[spoiler:who both lost their daughter 20 years ago]] and are now charged with escorting a MacGuffinGirl named Elizabeth or a derivative of such, teaching her the ways of the world, [[spoiler:and eventually turning against a black woman leading a revolutionary force]].
** ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'': Man takes care of a young girl in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
** ''{{VideoGame/Metro2033}}''/''[[VideoGame/MetroLastLight Last Light]]'': Post-apocalyptic SurvivalHorror story set in the ruins of a former superpower nation 20 years AfterTheEnd, heavy use of {{Improvised Weapon}}s, hostile environs that require a gas mask and a rechargeable flashlight, ability to choose between stealthy or loud approaches to combat, and even more guitar playing.
* EnforcedMethodActing: For one take of the final cinematic (which was turned into an interactive scene in the final game), Merle Dandridge was told to deliver her lines in a certain way and Troy Baker was independently told to keep going no matter what (he had been fumbling the prop gun during most takes). You can see the result in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8XN7eoZr0Y this]] behind-the-scenes video.
** When acting out the cutscene during Fall where Ellie confronts Joel about leaving her, Ashley pushed Troy while saying "...everyone - fucking except for you [have left her]." The push was unscripted, but Druckmann thought it fit well and let it stay.
* FanNickname: The infected are often jokingly referred to as the "mushroom people".
** Some people have taken to calling the time before the infection outbreak as...well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Before.]] With a capital B.
** In [[http://lparchive.org/The-Last-of-Us/ this]] LetsPlay, Geop and Skippy Granola take to calling Joel "Solomon Grumpy."
* HeyItsThatVoice:
** Creator/TroyBaker is Joel.
*** And it's not the first time he's played a guy who laments his inability to [[spoiler:[[FinalFantasyXIII save a girl named Sarah/Serah]]...]]
**** Or the first time he's asked to watch over a [[BioshockInfinite very special girl]].
*** In the Japanese version, [[KoichiYamadera he's]] [[Anime/CowboyBebop Spike Spiegel]] and Disney/WreckItRalph.
** Creator/AshleyJohnson is Ellie. Try imagining [[WesternAnimation/{{Recess}} Gretchen]] going on an journey like that!
*** In the Japanese version, [[Creator/MegumiHan she's]] [[Manga/HunterXHunter Gon Freecss]].
** Creator/AnnieWersching is Tess.
*** In the Japanese version, [[Creator/AtsukoTanaka she's]] [[Series/GhostInTheShell the Major]] and [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Lisa Lisa]].
** RobinAtkinDownes is Robert.
** Creator/LiamOBrien and Creator/LaniMinella provide vocal effects for the infected.
** Creator/ReubenLangdon is James.
** Merle Dandridge ([[VideoGame/HalfLife2 Alyx Vance]]) is Marlene.Its not the first time she voiced a head figure of a Resitance movement.
** Creator/SteveBlum and YuriLowenthal both provide voices for {{mooks}} and MP characters.
** Creator/NolanNorth is David.
** W. Earl Brown ([[{{Series/Deadwood}} Dan Dority]]) is Bill.
** Creator/LauraBailey and Creator/JenniferHale are both present as minor characters. Most notably, the former is Ramirez, the female military operative from near the start of the game who tests Ellie.
* IKnewIt: There was a RunningGag on [[ImageBoards /v/]] that Ellie was [[StraightGay gay]] after the opening scene of the ''Left Behind'' DLC was shown in a preview, where we see Riley biting her neck to wake her up. This ended up being completely true.
* LyingCreator: [[EnforcedTrope Enforced.]] Naughty Dog felt the need to insist that [[spoiler: you only play as Joel and never as Ellie]] in interviews because they felt the twist was so crucial to the story.
* PlayingAgainstType: Creator/NolanNorth as David.
* ProductionPosse: Seeing as Creator/NolanNorth is to Creator/NaughtyDog what John Ratzenberger is to Creator/{{Pixar}}, it's inevitable that he'd show up.
* ShoutOut: The trophy for unlocking all shiv doors is [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil1 "Master of Unlocking"]].
** A lady running a food stand near the beginning makes it clear that she'll only take ration cards, and that she's "not interested in [[{{VideoGame/Metro2033}} bartering for bullets]]".
** One concept art has [[http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2861285130 an old man in the background]] who is a flipped-over repaint of famous Chinese homeless "Brother Sharp".
* ThrowItIn: Creative director Neil Druckmann revealed in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deuVinwv1os an interview]] that Creator/AshleyJohnson improvised some of Ellie's quirky humor.
* TruthInTelevision: The ''Cordyceps'' here are a mutated form of the actual fungal infection. Real ''Cordyceps'' are either endoparasites of arthropods or other fungi.
** In fact, this is even referenced in a document in-game, saying that the ''Cordyceps'' fungus originally only infected insects and some arthropods.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Tess was originally conceived as a major antagonist, harboring a grudge against Joel for betraying her in the past. More about it can be read [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/126687-The-Last-of-Us-Originally-Cast-Tess-as-a-Villain here]].
** An [[http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jg952/hi_were_neil_druckmann_creative_director_and/ AMA on reddit.com]] with game director Bruce Straley and creative director Neil Druckman revealed some interesting things:
*** Early in development, Joel's last name was given as "Miller" and Ellie's as "Williams," but [[WordofGod Neil Druckmann]] [[http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jg952/hi_were_neil_druckmann_creative_director_and/cbecr5b revealed]] that the decision was made to cut all last names from the final product. These names are still listed in the Japanese [[AllThereInTheManual manual]], however.
*** Joel was originally going to be named "Ethan". [[DevelopmentGag There is a mook that Joel will kill in a cut-scene, who a pair of other mooks who come to investigate refer to as "Ethan."]]
** Joel [[spoiler:rescuing Ellie from the operating room]] was originally going to be a cutscene, which can be seen parodied [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8XN7eoZr0Y here]] (spoilers, obviously) with Troy Baker and Merle Dandridge singing the dialogue in the ending.
*** A fan actually made [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z8P_RoKDho&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D6Z8P_RoKDho&app=desktop an orchestral accompaniment]] to it, which [[ApprovalOfGod got tweeted by Troy Baker]].
** Instead of [[spoiler:giraffes, Joel and Ellie were going to encounter a herd of deer, but the developers figured giraffes would make it more special.]]
** "Left Behind" has its share of ideas which either didn't make it or were heavily reworked. Some of which were revealed in [[http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/02/14/the-last-of-us-left-behind-spoilercast-podcast-beyond-episode-329 this interview with Druckmann and Straley on IGN]]:
*** They toyed with the idea of including a note written by [[EnsembleDarkhorse Ish]]; but eventually decided not to, as it would've been little more than PanderingToTheBase.
*** Originally, the DLC wasn't even going to show the moment where [[spoiler: Riley and Ellie get bitten.]]
* WordOfGay: Neil Druckmann [[http://gaygamer.net/2014/02/is-ellie-gay-naughty-dogs-neil-druckmann-weighs-in-on-the-last-of-us-left-behind/ on Ellie and Riley's relationship]]:
-->''“Now when I was writing it I was writing it with the idea that Ellie is gay, and when the actresses were working they were definitely working with the idea that they’re both attracted to each other. That was the subtext and intention that they were playing with from the opening cinematic when they’re holding each other’s hands for too long, or when Riley bites her on the neck; there’s that chemistry there from the get go that was important for us so that we earned that moment when they kissed each other. So that it wasn’t just out of the blue but also wasn’t so overt that you’re like “Oh of course. Just get on with it.”''
----
!! Misc. Trivia
* Both Neil Druckmann and Troy Baker have shown interest in Creator/JoshBrolin to play Joel in the movie adaptation, while Ashley Johnson's own personal choice for Ellie is ''Series/GameOfThrones'' actress Creator/MaisieWilliams, to which said actress has stated that she "wouldn't say no" to playing her. Whether these are the actors that will actually end up in the roles however remains to be seen.
** Creator/HughJackman is rumored to be considered for the role of Joel as well.