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Trivia: The Last of Us
  • Actor Allusion: 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.
  • Approval of God: This reimagining of the opening to True Detective by way of The Last of Us got an approving tweet from the game's creative director.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • An inversion of sorts, while the original concepts for Joel and Ellie had their last names as "Miller" and "Williams", respectively (see What Could Have Been below), Naughty Dog eventually decided to scrap all last names from the game. This hasn't stopped some fans from running with the scrapped names, however.
    • Coupled with Throw It In: 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.
  • Doing It for the Art: 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 here.
  • Dueling Games: Has parallels to a number of games, including:
  • Enforced Method Acting: 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 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.
  • Fan Nickname: 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, Before. With a capital B.
    • In this Let's Play, Geop and Skippy Granola take to calling Joel "Solomon Grumpy."
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • I Knew It: There was a Running Gag on /v/ that Ellie was 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.
  • Lying Creator: Enforced. Naughty Dog felt the need to insist that you only play as Joel and never as Ellie in interviews because they felt the twist was so crucial to the story.
  • Playing Against Type: Nolan North as David.
  • Production Posse: Seeing as Nolan North is to Naughty Dog what John Ratzenberger is to Pixar, it's inevitable that he'd show up.
  • Shout-Out: The trophy for unlocking all shiv doors is "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 bartering for bullets".
    • One concept art has an old man in the background who is a flipped-over repaint of famous Chinese homeless "Brother Sharp".
  • Throw It In: Creative director Neil Druckmann revealed in an interview that Ashley Johnson improvised some of Ellie's quirky humor.
  • Truth in Television: 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.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 here.
    • An AMA on reddit.com with game director Bruce Straley and creative director Neil Druckman revealed some interesting things:
    • Joel rescuing Ellie from the operating room was originally going to be a cutscene, which can be seen parodied here (spoilers, obviously) with Troy Baker and Merle Dandridge singing the dialogue in the ending.
    • Instead of 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 this interview with Druckmann and Straley on IGN:
      • They toyed with the idea of including a note written by Ish; but eventually decided not to, as it would've been little more than Pandering to the Base.
      • Originally, the DLC wasn't even going to show the moment where Riley and Ellie get bitten.
  • Word of Gay: Neil Druckmann 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 Josh Brolin to play Joel in the movie adaptation, while Ashley Johnson's own personal choice for Ellie is Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, 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.
    • Hugh Jackman is rumored to be considered for the role of Joel as well.

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