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"My name is Phil Miller. I'm alive! Hope you are too!"
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The Last Man on Earth is a FOX Network television series that ran for four seasons between 2015 and 2018. It stars Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman, January Jones, and Mary Steenburgen. The series was created by Forte himself, with Phil Lord & Chris Miller producing.

After a mysterious virus wipes out humanity some time around 2019, Phil Miller (Forte) spends two years looking for survivors. Failing to find anyone, he returns home to Tucson, Arizona, and occupies a mansion. The crushing loneliness drives him to despair, and Phil is about to kill himself, when he finally finds another human being, fellow plague survivor Carol Pilbasian (Schaal), who has come to Tucson after seeing the signs Phil left up. In spite of their extreme incompatibility, they forge a relationship of necessity. However, once a second woman (Jones) comes along, Miller falls head over heels for her. Of course, Hilarity Ensues, and things get even more complicated. The show then ultimately becomes an ensemble piece as more survivors join the group.

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(After a second character also named Phil Miller joins the group, the original Phil reluctantly goes by his middle name, Tandy. Entries below may use either name for him.)

Not to be confused with the 1964 Vincent Price film of the same title.


The Last Tropes on Earth:

  • Aborted Arc: A minor example, but a large part of the second episode is devoted to Carol's tomato plants. They must have all died horribly because no mention of them is ever given again, despite ending with a hopeful implication.
  • The Ace: Phil #2. He's a handsome and handy ex-special forces soldier with a host of useful skills. He's even good at Jenga! Phil does not measure up in any way. Even Todd gets insecure. Season 2 introduces an element of Broken Ace, in that his lust for Carol and his dislike of Phil (albeit hardly unjustified in the latter case) hint at a much darker character than the perfecter-than-perfect champion he appeared to be in Season 1.
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  • Actually Pretty Funny: Pamela thinks Tandy's jokes are a laugh riot, which causes some tension with Carol.
  • Adam and Eve Plot:
    • Carol just assumes that she and Phil have to mate in order to repopulate the human race. Like most other instances of this trope, this ignores a lack of genetic diversity. Until episode 5 it also ignores the fact that their children would have to have sex with each other. Phil finally realizes this while brainstorming ways to convince Carol to let him have sex with Melissa.
    • On "A Real Live Wire", the subject of repopulation is brought up again, with Carol trying to convince the other women that having children is a good thing. The episode ends with the revelation that Erica is pregnant.
  • Affably Evil: Karl might be a cannibal serial killer, but he's very friendly and low-key.
  • After the End: In 2018, a virus wiped out the human race. After spending two years wandering around North America looking for survivors, Phil returns home in 2020.
  • Alien Lunch: Carol is a terrible cook, and her limited resources make it much worse.
    • Her spaghetti and raisinballs look and sound pretty gross.
    • In season 2, she makes cricket casserole. Some of the bugs are still alive.
    • In season 4, she makes imitation guacamole with very strange ingredients, which is supposed to be eaten with uncooked lasagna noodles in place of tortilla chips.
  • All Women Are Lustful: All four female characters show a definite ongoing interest in sex. Especially after Phil Miller #2 arrives in town.
  • The Aloner: Phil, until he finds Carol. And again near the beginning of season 2, until Carol finds him.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Todd is better at everything than Phil is and a much nicer guy overall. His one flaw (his weight and general unattractiveness) is completely compensated by his great personality and the fact that looks don't matter as much when there are only six people on earth. And then the ultra-handsome and skilled Phil Miller #2 shows up...
    • Phil's brother Mike was the more successful sibling, while Phil was constantly living under his shadow. When Mike arrives in Malibu and charms his way into the group, the old resentments Phil has for him bubble up again. Not to mention Mike is insanely good at archery compared to Phil and stays one step ahead of him consistently during their prank battle in "Fourth Finger".
    • The situation between Phil and Mike is later reversed in "The Blob". Despite Mike's advantages, he's jealous of Phil because he now has a wife and kids, while Mike doesn't have those things. Which is why he goes off to find the source of the heat signature, to see if there are other survivors that he can find happiness with.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Since the show was cancelled at the end of season 4, the show ends on a Cliffhanger. Moments after Mike drives away to parts unknown, Tandy's crew are completely surrounded by a huge group of survivors who just emerged from an underground bunker. It'll never be revealed what their intentions are.
  • Answer Cut:
    • Phil asks God for a do-over. Enter Gail and Erica.
    • In the early days of the virus an increasingly paranoid Pamela asks her husband if he really believes "the president of the United States doesn't have a vaccine? Yeah right!". Cue President Pence's funeral.
  • Apocalypse How: Almost all animal life was wiped out by a virus. Not only are there no people, but there are no dogs, cats, birds, and even bugs. Phil and the gang are shocked when they find a random cow, and more shocked when they find crickets.
  • Apocalyptic Logistics: Through season one, the survivors don't have much trouble getting food or fuel even after two years of it all just sitting around, which contributes to their Cosy Catastrophe. In season 2, their electricity is justified by their solar panels, though they seem to have an inexhaustible supply of candles for nighttime. Season 2 also introduces the gang dealing with the fact that their canned food and fuel have started to expire.
  • The Artifact: After season 2, Erica rarely has any bearing on the plot, to the point that she barely has any lines in some episodes. Many fans suspect that the writers aren't sure what to do with her.
  • Artifact Title: By the end of the first season there were enough survivors (including two other men) to form a small society. An October 2017 Jeopardy! clue even acknowledged this.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • In "Mooovin' In" the gang finds a random cow, and after a short period of debate, they use the cow for milk and cheese. In Real Life, cows, much like humans or any other mammals, only lactate and produce milk when they birth offspring and are nursing. That cow shouldn't be able to produce milk any more than Carol or Melissa can.
    • Mike Miller suffers no ill effects upon returning to earth after three years in microgravity. No one has ever spent three years in space in Real Life but if they did they'd almost certainly be bedridden upon returning to Earth.
    • Mike lives with a batch of caterpillars that have been slowly dying off over the course of three years. However, caterpillars only live for a few weeks or months before turning into moths or butterflies.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: In the series, we see nuclear reactors blow up due to disuse. In real life, they have fail-safes to prevent this exact scenario, called the SCRAM system. If a reaction was to go into meltdown (due to a lack of maintenance), inert lead rods drop between the active radioactive material while the chamber itself floods with a combination of deuterium and bromide known as "heavy water." The nuclear disasters of the age (Chernobyl and 3-Mile Island) occurred because the SCRAM system was taken offline to test different solutions. The last thing to consider is that when reactors run out of fuel, they simply shut down, not explode.
  • As You Know: Defied in "The Big Day" when Tandy appears to address the six month Time Skip and alludes to momentous events taking place then, but doesn't go into any detail because they all went through it.
  • The Atoner: Phil in Season 2 spends much of his time trying to make up for all his bad behaviour in Season 1.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • It took until season 3 for one of these moments to involve the entire group. They had a group hug to console Todd, who was incredibly guilty over accidentally running over Pat.
    • Phil and his brother Mike have always been at each others throats, but the season four episode "The Blob" shows that they still manage to find ways to bond and have fun together.
  • Baby-Doll Baby: In "Mama's Hideaway", Melissa takes a doll she names Aldon and carries it in a baby carrier as she demands to be impregnated. Subverted in that she is aware that it's just a doll, and she treats it rather carelessly, fishing it out of a pool at one point.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In "Dunk the Skunk", a man speeding toward Tucson in a sportscar is presented as some sort of ominous badass. When he finally arrives, it turns out to be Todd, who is goofy, kind and completely nonthreatening.
    • In the second season, Todd is implied to be having an affair. In reality, he's hoarding bacon. This leads to a Harsher in Hindsight moment later in the season, as he actually does end up two-timing both Melissa and Gail.
    • In "The Big Day", Tandy seems surprised when Jasper speaks for the first time in the series. Turns out he was just excited that Jasper painted his toy car, suggesting that Jasper had been speaking for some time.
  • Balloonacy: To get rid of all the soiled diapers, Tandy has been tying balloons to them and letting them float away.
  • Beard of Sorrow:
    • Phil lets his beard grow because there's no one to look at him and he doesn't care anymore. Even after discovering Carol, he can't be roused to shave. Only when Melissa arrives does he bother to clean up. He then gradually regrows the beard simply because the ladies prefer him with it.
    • Todd grows one in "Release the Hounds" after Erica refuses to have his baby.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Phil expects this after finding the cow, but Todd gets it instead for knowing how to take care of it.
    • During his solitary confinement, Phil puts out the house fire when everybody else is asleep.
    • Phil tries to force this on Todd when he gives the last of the bacon to the group, under Todd's name. It would have worked better if he disposed of the evidence properly.
    • Phil tries to let Phil #2 get this chance by releasing him from the stocks to go find the bull. He does find the bull, but the group poisons it with tranquilizer.
    • In the Season 3 finale, Pat finds the group and is about to shoot them when he's shot by Pamela.
  • Big Little Brother: Mike is a good few inches taller than Phil and much better built. He is also far more mature, competent, and successful. We don't actually learn that he's Phil's younger brother until they're finally reunited (although this could be inferred because Jason Sudeikis is younger than Will Forte).
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Phil #2 seems like a cool, sensitive, capable and all-round perfect guy, but there are several suggestions that this trope might be in play. In the Season 1 finale he ultimately proves ruthless and cold-hearted enough to abandon Phil #1 in the desert with barely any supplies instead of driving him to another town and leaving him there. This is in direct contrast with Phil #1, who plotted to do the same thing to Todd but ultimately couldn't go through with it. Carol decides that for better or worse she'd rather be with the Phil who couldn't do something like that to someone no matter how big a jerk he might be on the outside rather than the Phil who would do something like that, no matter how perfect he otherwise seems. In season 2, his Jerkass tendencies have been ramped up to contrast with Phil #1 trying to atone for his previous bad behavior. Phil #2 even turns out to have lied about having no middle name: his driver's license shows it's "Stacy".
  • Black Comedy: It's a comedy set after an apocalypse that has wiped out most of humanity.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Phil tells Carol he doesn't know who took her tomatoes even though he is the other half of the known human race and has tomato on him.
    • After lying about being horribly lactose intolerant, Phil gobbles up some milk and cereal claiming that it's his "cheat day."
    • When Phil meets Gail and Erica, he lies about there being other survivors and claims that Carol was his late wife. When the lie is found out, he claims that it was all a prank. It was after this that he realized how much lying he's done and decides to come clean about everything.
    • After Phil #2 arrives, Phil falls back into his lying ways to make himself more competitive, such as having been in the military and being the son of Jessica Tandy. Melissa casually shoots down his claims.
    • Carol gets in on the act when she claims that Phil is dead in order to get back with the group. Even Phil realizes this is a bad idea.
    • Phil tries to cover for Todd's transgression by painting Todd as a hero and himself as a villain, but he tells such a fanciful tale that the gang ignores him and asks Todd for the real story.
    • Phil and Carol's flimsy scheme to make Todd feel better after running Pat over with the A-Team van: Phil fights a mannequin dressed as Pat on the beach while Carol gives over-the-top color commentary to the group through binoculars. At this point in the story, no one buys it, with Gail flatly telling Lewis, "Just let it play out. I like to see where these things go."
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Thanks to cancellation, the fourth season ends on this note, with the survivors stopping midway on their journey to Cancun and getting surrounded by a colony of other survivors.
  • Booby Trap: In "Barbara Ann", the group discovers that the house they moved into used to belong to a crime cartel, filled to the brim with cocaine and various explosives. Gail decides to check the piano for trap before Carol continues playing. It was trapped with dynamite.
  • Bookends: The pilot episode features a montage of Phil's shenanigans alone, fittingly set to "Apeman" by The Kinks. Season 1 ends with another appropriate Kinks song: "Supersonic Rocket Ship".
  • Bottle Episode: "Sweet Melissa", episode 3. No one goes anywhere, Phil doesn't destroy things for no reason as he has done in each episode so far, it's just the three of them doing mostly interior, talky scenes.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Mike doesn't want Phil to watch him die, so he gives him a ruthless The Reason You Suck speech in an attempt to drive him away.
  • Brick Joke:
    • One of the ways Carol irritates Phil in the second episode is by insisting he continue to stop at stop signs. In the third episode, Phil crashes into Melissa's car after failing to stop at a stop sign.
    • Blink and you'll miss it: In the first episode we see Phil put the rug with the Presidential seal in his new house. In the first episode of season 2 we see a shot of the Oval Office. Guess what's missing?
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • After mostly comical uses of guns throughout the series, such as breaking into stores, Phil #2 threatens Tandy with a real gun. Tandy needs new pants, underwear, and shoes.
    • Referenced when Karl is about to be shot dead by Phil, and mentions that he wore brown underwear for obvious reasons.
  • Brutal Honesty: The comedy derived from Melissa's character is how much of a straight man she plays compared to other actors. She doesn't sugar coat or mince words when explaining anything to Jasper in season 3. He asks what a prolapsed anus is, and she blurts out the truth. Even when she was off her meds, she said what she felt like saying.
  • Bubble Boy: Mike in "Smart and Stupid", when the others fear he might have the virus.
  • Butt-Monkey: It's a running theme in the first two seasons of the series that everything bad that happens to Phil is a result of his own actions:
    • Because Melissa arrived first in Tucson, she would have found him before Carol if he had thought to write his address on his "Alive in Tucson" signs.
    • Phil shamelessly tries to seduce Melissa with fireworks, which allows Todd to locate them and break up the sex arrangement Phil had worked out.
    • Phil suggests playing "shirts versus skins" in tennis to embarrass Todd in front of the women over his obese frame, but by taking his shirt off Todd reveals the scar from his donated kidney, endearing him to them.
    • Phil steals the cow and blames Todd for tying the tether incorrectly, but Todd ends up finding it again, making him the big hero.
    • Phil lies to Gail and Erica about being alone, then almost immediately runs into his other friends, alienating both groups.
    • When Phil realize that his good graces with Gail and Erica hinge solely on other men not showing up, he modifies one of his "Alive in Tucson" signs and gets stuck, which causes Phil #2 to spot him and bring him back to the group.
    • Phil's Season 2 punishments go from bad to worse because he keeps pissing everybody else off.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: In the Season 1 finale, it's revealed that one astronaut, Phil's brother Mike, is still alive on a satellite orbiting Earth.
  • Cake Toppers: Carol glues a beard on the groom for Phil.
  • Call-Back:
    • One of the first things that Tandy asks Gail is if the food they cooked is made from raisin balls - Carol's "specialty".
    • When pretending that Tandy is dead, Carol returns to the trailer and tells him she has diarrhea,
  • Captain Obvious: Phil and Carol have a habit of blurting out the subtext of conversation or insisting on stating what doesn't need to be said.
    • Carol uses the dinner she made as a metaphor for her and Phil's lives together, explaining each metaphor in-line. "We might as well dig into the raisinballs — parentheses, life — we've been given."
    • Phil shows Carol the irrigation system he built for her and humbly pretends not to know who did it. As Carol is walking away, he announces unnecessarily that he built it, and it was totally selfless, and he should be rewarded for his efforts.
    • Carol and Phil talk about repairing their marriage and Phil repairing Carol's door. As Phil is walking away, Carol calls him back to make it clear that the door represents their marriage.
    • When Melissa shows off her bracelet that "someone" gave her, Carol insists on getting confirmation that it was her boyfriend Todd who got it for her.
    • Notably averted when Carol uses her ugly quilt as a metaphor for their failed marriage. Phil says that he understands.
  • Casting Gag: Darrell, The member of Pat's crew who is shot and killed by Melissa, is played by Jon Hamm, who starred on Mad Men with January Jones, who plays Melissa.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • Phil's sex dream about Melissa turns into Carol on the toilet carping about diarrhea. Cue catapult wake-up.
    • Phil has another one in "She Drives Me Crazy", this one involving a Dream Within a Dream.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Phil says "boom" every time he makes a painfully unfunny pun. Carol gets in on it in season three when she makes a pun and "booms herself."
    • In addition, he says "Oh, farts!" whenever things go wrong. His brother Mike also uses it. Even Gail has adopted it.
    • Finally, whenever he is jealous of another man, Phil mutters "Friggin'" and then the name of the man. Todd joins him in saying "Friggin' Phil!" when Phil #2 becomes popular among the ladies.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In season 3, Phil drives around in one of the modified DeLoreans from the Back to the Future films. If he were to watch Back to the Future Part 3, he would find that Doc's love interest Clara Clayton looks exactly like Gail.
  • Celebrity Survivor: Subverted. Ads for "The Wild Guess Express" try to set this up a little bit. Unfortunately, Cher is very much dead.
  • Character Development: Word of God has stated the focus of the show is Phil using the apocalypse to grow into the man he never could be before it happened. He spends most of the first season trying to sleep with an attractive woman. In the second season, his goal is to bring the group together and reestablish trust with them. He's achieves this by the end of the season; in the third season premiere, the group only has mild qualms from Pat and Lewis' assumption that Phil is the "leader" of the group. At the end of Season 4, it's Phil who convinces the gang that they should lead a sustainable lifestyle, finally proving his worth as a leader.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When the group moved to Mexico, a sidestory played out about a Mexican crime gang from before the plague. A bomb was placed in a puzzle box, which found its way into Tandy's hands, but he was never able to open it. As a last request before Tandy would execute Karl for being a cannibal who admitted he wanted to kill everyone, Karl was allowed to toy with the puzzle box. When he figures it out, he explodes just before Tandy shoots him.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Subverted. While alone, Phil plays with an enormous Jenga tower. When he and Phil #2 compete in a challenge to see who will be free to go by "Phil", Phil suggests Jenga, claiming that he's never played the game. He still loses.
  • Chirping Crickets: The group are ecstatic when they hear crickets because it means there are more animal survivors... and a new source of food. Phil invokes the humorous use of the trope while hunting crickets and trying to lure them into the open by telling a bad joke.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • The midseason finale of Season 2 has Mike hurtling toward Earth, and Phil #2 flatlining during his appendectomy.
    • Season 2 ends with Pat and two other men with guns arriving outside the house in Malibu.
    • The midseason finale of Season 3 ends with an apparently deranged Melissa locked in a focus group room for her own protection and Gail on the edge of suicide by playing Russian Roulette.
    • In Season 4, a huge group of survivors surround Phil and the gang after Mike drives off to parts unknown. The show's cancellation means that this will be forever Left Hanging.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Erica becomes this in "Crickets". Phil #2 is surprised to find that the cricket dishes Carol cooked up were actually not horrible. He gives her compliments that are nothing more than acknowledgements of the improving of her cooking skills. Erica is disgusted by his behavior, and thinks he's flirting with Carol. She gets called out on this.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Phil is a mild case, as he tends to speak to inanimate objects when he has no one else to confide in (which is frequently). Carol is even worse, to a point where Phil is often left speechless by her bizarre behaviors and hobbies.
    • Melissa has become a "danger to herself and others" type Cloud Cuckoo Lander in season 3.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Phil does this three times in "Hair of the Dog":
    • First, when Melissa leads him and Todd to what she claims is her apartment, they notice that all of the family photos are an African-American family with no sign of Melissa. Todd immediately realizes they've been duped, but Tandy concludes that Melissa was adopted by the family and left out of their pictures.
    • Second, after Melissa disappears, Tandy and Todd start driving around Akron looking for her. Todd stops and points to a billboard with one of Tandy's "Alive in Tuscon" messages on it. Tandy thinks Todd's complimenting him on it before Todd points out the billboard is for a realtor's office with Melissa's picture on it.
    • Third, they look for clues to Melissa's home at the realtor and find a magazine. Tandy suggests using the subject of the magazine to determine where Melissa's house may be. Todd ignores this and suggests going to the address on the subscription label.
  • Companion Cube:
    • After mocking this trope while watching Cast Away, Phil winds up with a whole crowd of Companion Cube balls with drawn-on faces, keeping him company. He always goes to them for advice whenever something doesn't go his way, which is to say, at least Once per Episode. In the second season finale, he bequeaths the balls to Mike so that, if Mike dies of the virus, he won't die alone. Then, in "The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Deaths", when Phil almost checks to see if Mike is alive, he chooses not to enter Mike's childhood bedroom and takes his volleyball friend "Gary" with him back to California.
    • Mike, Phil's astronaut brother, has the worms in the space station to talk to. Pat adopts Mike's last one at the end of "Pitch Black", where he is seen asking it if it likes tennis.
    • Gail has taken to talking to a CPR dummy that she dresses up in Gordon's old clothes.
    • Pamela has her dog Jeremy to keep her company in the bunker. At least until he runs away at the end of "Got Milk?", kicking Pamela's Sanity Slippage into full gear.
    • In season 4, Tandy sticks a toy dog head onto a remote control robot, and finds joy in treating it like it was real. When its batteries die, he even starts to dig a proper grave. However, he does knows it's just a toy.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Pat from "Pitch Black." He still thinks the virus has contaminated the land and believes the government is somehow behind it.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Played With in "Pitch Black" (episode 11 of season 2), where Mike's re-entry to Earth has him land smack dab in the middle of a derelict ocean cruise liner. The ship begins to capsize from the impact.
  • Cool Car: Todd cruises into town in an Audi R8.
    • Due to the earth being depopulated, the characters can drive virtually any vehicle they want. The A-Team van, ZZ Top's Eliminator coupe, a Delorean DMC-12, and even a stealth bomber are notable examples.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The show does not dwell on the harsh realities of living in a world where almost every animal suddenly died from a virus. There are no bodies or signs of destruction. No cars littered around the roads (in fact, the roads and highways are completely empty). It's as if everyone simply disappeared. The survivors don't have to expend much energy on their survival either. They have plenty of food and fuel to sustain themselves. Only in the second season does at least one character start to point out that their lifestyle isn't sustainable. The lack of bodies is also addressed and handwaved in season 2. In the series finale, the survivors finally resolve to live a sustainable life, but the show was canceled before we ever see them start to do the hard work.
  • Cousin Oliver: Jasper, Erica's baby Dawn, and Tandy and Carol's twins.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Phil and Carol meet Melissa when their cars crash into each other in an intersection. Phil is instantly enamored with her, to the point of not caring that his vehicle is on fire (with Carol still inside).
  • Crocodile Tears: Phil uses these twice in attempts to get laid, first when pretending that he's horrified by the revelation that he will have to have sex with Melissa to repopulate the Earth, and once when lying that his wife died.
  • Crying Wolf:
    • In "Wisconsin", practical jokes over walkie-talkies get out of hand when Todd suffers a heart attack. He has to say his designated Safe Word to Melissa for her to realize the joke had gone too far.
    • No one believes Tandy, and later Todd, that Karl is really a creepy weirdo until they catch him eating part of a corpse. He comes out and admits it when they confront him about it.
  • Cut Short: Due to being cancelled after the end of season 4, several questions were unanswered:
    • What happens to the main characters?
    • What happens to Mike, Jasper, Pamela, and Glen?
    • Who were the individuals that surrounded the group in the final episode?
    • What was the origin (if any) of the virus that nearly ended humanity?
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 takes a darker turn. Even though the first one occasionally shows a darker side of other survivors, it's mostly Phil being dumb and trying to get laid vs. the morally superior rest of the group. In season 2, the rest of the group turns out to not be particularly good people either. They all burn down Phil's house out of spite; Phil #2 turns out to be an intimidating and lying dick... and then dies of appendicitis; Todd hides food from the rest of the group and has an affair; Melissa starts to go crazy; a new member dies immediately after Carol frightens him and Gail breaks down due to the new member's death. Also, Mike learns the first man he meets upon returning to Earth is a paranoid loner who fears catching the virus from anyone and ditches the astronaut in Miami. The second season also starts acknowledging some of the hard realities of a post-apocalyptic life, such as the non-sustainability of their lifestyle and lack of proper medical care.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Carol asks Phil to masturbate for a fertility test in "Fish in the Dish". The dialogue implies that Phil pretty much does it constantly.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Pitch Black" is one for Phil's brother Mike as he lands back on Earth.
    • "Got Milk?" introduces Pamela, a survivor who hid in a bunker to escape the virus.
    • "Karl" gives the backstory of serial killer cannibal Karl.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Carol names one of her twin daughters Mike after Tandy's brother. Later subverted when it turns out Mike is still alive.
  • Dead Star Walking: The show has turned this into a Running Gag. Introducing a big name actor (Will Ferrell, Jon Hamm, Jack Black etc.) and killing them before their first scene ends.
  • Depopulation Bomb: There is no one else to be seen, no bodies, stores are left as if they were just stocked up before opening.
  • Description Cut:
    • Carol tells Phil that "a man's home is a reflection of his soul." Cut to Phil showing her the pool he uses as a toilet.
    • In "The Boo", Phil mentions how beautiful the beaches in Malibu are. Cut to the beach littered with whale corpses.
    • In "No Bull", after the gang hit a bull with a dozen or so tranquilizer darts, Phil claims that he'll be fine. Cut to the group eating beef.
    • In "The Wild Guess Express", Phil finds Pat's dead body and muses that even though he tried to kill them, he still deserves a proper burial. Cut to Phil dumping the body in with the garbage.
  • Didn't Think This Through: This is Tandy's entire existence.
    • Put up Alive in Tucson signs all over the country, but didn't think to include an address, so it takes the rest of the survivors a while to actually find him once in Tucson. Melissa actually arrived first but didn't find him until after he met (and married) Carol.
    • Turned his pool into a toilet pool with no attempts at sanitation. This bites him when the rest of the group forces him clean the noxious waste out.
    • Tells Todd that it would be easy to kill Phil #2 by leaving him out in the desert without remembering he tried and failed at that exact same thing with Todd.
    • He finds the cow and immediately wants to kill it for meat rather than milking it.
    • He steals the cow away in order to find it again and be the hero. It didn't work out the way he intended. He didn't secure the cow so it wandered off. Todd finds it, but gives him credit anyway.
    • After being separated from Carol, Tandy writes his location on party balloons in an attempt to send them across the US to find Carol. Apart from the obvious problems with this plan, he doesn't even fill them with helium.
    • In season 2, Tandy discovers that Todd was hording a freezer full of bacon. After enjoying most of it for themselves, Tandy thinks it'd be a good idea to share the rest. In an effort to get rid of the evidence, he took a jet ski, tied the trash bags to it, and sent it out to sea. He didn't expect it to get turned around and head back to shore, where everyone found it.
    • One for Carol: She tells the rest of the group Tandy is dead, thinking they'd remember him fondly. She plays up his alleged heroism, but the rest of the group are unimpressed.
    • Another for Carol: Jumping out and surprising Gordon, which causes a fatal heart attack.
    • Tandy holds the group at gunpoint to apologize, just as they were ready to forgive him.
    • A subversion happens to Tandy in "Baby Steps". He attempts to use a surf board as a stretcher to bring the unconscious Phil back up to the house from the beach, but the fin on the bottom got in the way. He grabs a gun and prepares to shoot it off, but then realizes that Phil's feet are right next to the fin. He didn't want to shoot his feet off, so he moves the board away to another angle before shooting the fin off.
    • In season 3, Carol tells Tandy he could have pretended to kill Pat instead of telling a remorseful Todd that Pat is alive and creating a whole mess of confusion over whether the paranoiac is alive or dead.
    • Later on in the same season, he tries to calm Carol by putting scented candles in her makeshift home attached to the end of the group's RV, but an uneasy drive makes the candles tumble and set the house on fire.
    • In Season 4's "Señor Clean", after Gail reconciles with Tandy and the two begin bonding with each other, he mistakes her putting her hand on his own and saying they're more than friends as Gail coming onto him (as opposed to Gail implying that the two were like family). He later accuses her of trying to have sex with him, ruining all of the good will he built up with her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sure the first season was Tandy being a manipulative bastard the whole time so the rest of the group had good reasons to not like him, but after seeing him become a much more caring, likable person at the start of season 2, forcing him into a pillory, solitary confinement, and ultimately wearing a shock collar and staying in a tiny patch of lawn and a tiny shed for weeks as punishment was a bit much. The thing that makes it worse is Melissa's constantly torturing him for laughs and the fact that nobody even acknowledges that he's trying to prove himself. Even after putting out the house fire despite immense pain from the shock collar they take off the collar but still shun him.
  • Drawing Straws: In "Hamilton/Berg", the group draws drinking straws to see who has to kill Karl. Carol draws the short straw, but Tandy cuts his own straw shorter to spare her.
  • Dream Sequence:
    • In the pilot Phil is being woken up by an insanely gorgeous woman. It turns out to be a dream, and he's really being revived by the decidedly more average-looking Carol.
    • Just before he and Carol get married, Phil dreams that after the wedding they are surrounded by well wishers, and are not the last two people on earth after all. This is presented as Phil's worst nightmare.
    • In "Sweet Melissa", Phil dreams that Melissa is inviting him to have sex. Then he finds Carol in the toilet instead. He wakes up with a start.
    • "She Drives Me Crazy" opens with Phil having sex with Melissa, then waking up with Carol. He then wakes up from that and finds himself in bed with Melissa. And Todd. Then he wakes up screaming.
    • In "The Boo", Phil dreams that Carol went to live with the others in Malibu, and as he drives after her he's attacked by Phil #2. He wakes up, then finds himself with Melissa, who shoots him dead. Then he wakes up for real.
  • Dream Within a Dream:
    • "She Drives Me Crazy" has the dream within a dream within a dream version.
    • After Phil has another in "The Boo", Carol Hangs A Lampshade on it.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Tandy ends up attempting suicide due to his despair over being alone as the last man, but he's interrupted by seeing a sign that someone else is alive, and stops himself at the last minute.
    • Mike tries to throw himself into the vacuum of space after the last worm in the space station dies. As with Phil, he stops himself at the last moment when he sees one last surviving worm.
    • This appears to be the case with Gail in the season 3 midseason finale, after being trapped in the elevator and realizing that she'll never be found. She picks up her gun with one bullet in the chamber and we hear a shot, but it turns out she's OK and escapes the elevator when the power comes back on.
    • Karl is about to hang himself after being in prison alone when he sees Tandy and Phil looking for Jasper. Later, when he realizes that he cannot help being a cannibal, he asks the gang to kill him.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • In the season 1 finale, after Phil gets confronted about his plan to get rid of Phil #2 in front of everyone, he runs off and locks himself in his room. Only, instead of drinking his sorrows away with alcohol, he goes right for the toothpaste.
    • In season 2, Phil #2 gives up on trying to save the group and gets rebuffed by Carol, so he has nothing left to live for and drowns his sorrows. Tandy finds him passed out on the beach, about to get washed into the ocean.
  • Dwindling Party: Inverted. The cast continually grows over the course of the first season.
  • Dying Alone: After several years of worrying that he would die alone in space, Mike willfully chooses to die separate from the rest of the group in his family's old house in order to avoid making them grieve for him.
  • Elevator Failure: Gail gets stuck in an elevator after Tandy and Lewis cut off power to the other buildings on the office complex. Since she's not on the main building, it takes a while for her to be found.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name:
    • Phil's is Tandy, and he gets involuntarily rechristened with it. By season 3, he starts calling himself Tandy.
    • In "Valhalla" Tandy discovers that Phil #2 has a middle name after looking through his driver's license after he dies, even though he specifically said that he didn't have one. It's Stacy.
    • In "Falling Slowly", Tandy reveals that Mike's middle name is Shelby.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Erica, who comes from Australia, has the last name of Dundee. The first thing Tandy does upon this revelation is reconfirm the Australian stereotype.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: When the Miller brothers were younger, Mike started calling Tandy "Skidmark" due to Tandy's former habit of accidentally dirtying his underwear after using toilets.
  • Engineered Heroics:
    • In "Mooovin' In" Phil finds a cow and hopes that will make the others think he's indispensable, but when Todd shows him up yet again, he takes the cow in the middle of the night with the intent of making the others blame Todd, then bring it back to make himself look like a hero. It fails when the cow runs away from Phil and Todd finds it again, but then Todd claims that Phil found it because he felt sorry for him.
    • In "Crickets" Phil tries to do this for Todd regarding the bacon that Todd has been hoarding, but just ends up making things look worse for both of them.
    • In "The Wild Guess Express", Phil fakes killing Pat, using a dummy in a hazmat suit, to cover up the fact that he didn't tell Todd that Pat was dead.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Lewis does not understand why the others in the group tolerate Phil and Carol's unusual behavior or Phil's ridiculous "fight" against a Pat proxy filled with foam. Afterwards, he verbally dresses down Phil for wasting his time.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Karl has long telephone conversations with his mother. While he's on the run in Mexico, he takes the time to call her and try to prep her for the shock of discovering that he's a killer.
  • Exact Words: In "The Blob", Tandy tries to hide Mike's keys in the chimney, and then claims he was cleaning it when Mike confronts him. After Tandy rubs his finger on the inside and gets soot on it, Mike asks to see his index finger to prove he's lying. Tandy shows him the index finger on his other hand.
  • Extinct in the Future: A virus wipes out not only most of humanity but almost all animal life as well. This is really brought home when Phil and Carol go to Malibu and find dozens of dead whales washed up on the beach.
  • Fake Twin Gambit: After Carol won't speak to him for lying about meeting Gail and Erica, Phil tries to pass himself off as his twin brother Mike. Carol doesn't buy it and just slams the door in his face.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Phil and Carol have a "getting used to each other" montage in which Carol participates in Phil's various recreations.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: No, Phil isn't the last person on Earth.
  • First Girl Wins: Carol for Phil, despite the fact that Phil spent the entire first season trying to get in bed with any of the other women in the group, especially Melissa. By the end of the first season, they've developed real feelings for each other and ultimately become the show's happiest couple. When Carol and Phil return to the group, Phil's attraction to Melissa is completely gone, but she remains incredibly hostile and suspicious of him for nearly the entire second season.
  • Flashback: Phil has one when he marks his birthday off on a calendar. The show cuts to a brief flashback of a pre-Virus birthday party for Phil with his family and friends.
  • Flipping the Bird: Mike does a childish variant of this by flipping off Phil with his fourth finger instead of his middle one, pretending that Phil should not feel insulted because it's the wrong finger.
  • Foreshadowing: The first thing Phil does in his new house is place the carpet with the Seal of the President of the United States of America (presumably taken directly from The White House) in his foyer. In the second full episode, Carol and Phil hold an election naming him President.
  • For Want of a Nail: It's been pointed out a few times that one small change in Phil's actions might have resulted in him not meeting one of the other survivors, or else meeting them sooner. If Phil had listened to Carol when she insisted that he stop at stop signs, he wouldn't have crashed into Melissa's limo. Melissa would have found Phil before he found Carol if only he'd thought to write his address on the billboards. Todd would have given up on finding anyone in Tucson and driven straight on through to Mexico if not for the fireworks Phil used in his attempt to seduce Melissa.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The second edition of Carol's handwritten newspaper in "Spirit of St. Lewis" appears on screen closely enough to be read if paused at the right moment...and it's absolutely hilarious.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Phil, for the first two seasons. The other survivors just barely tolerate his antics.
  • Funny Background Event: In "Double Cheeseburger", Tandy and Gail are arguing about what to do to make Carol give birth to her second baby, while in the background, Carol is quietly giving birth to said baby.
  • Gag Haircut: Phil gets the whole right side of his head and body shaved clean as a prank by Mike.
  • Gasoline Lasts Forever: The story takes place two years after a virus wipes out most life on Earth, yet the main characters are shown driving cars constantly. There is at least one mention of how long gasoline can last, but it never becomes a serious problem.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The show has kept the gender ratio almost even as more survivors come trickling in over the course of the first season. The order goes male (Phil), female (Carol), female (Melissa), male (Todd), female (Erica), female (Gail), male (Phil #2), male (Mike), male (Lewis). There is always a slight leaning toward the female side, however, as the men have a higher tendency of dying and are frequently living separate from the group.
  • Gigantic Gulp: In "Valhalla", Gail tells Todd that she wants to have sex with him, and she reaches for a bottle of wine in preparation, only to have Todd politely turn her down, saying he already had plans with Melissa. Her response is to open the wine and pour the whole thing into a 32oz cup.
  • Gilligan Cut: Notable in that when Carol demands they go to the hardware store, Phil only gets as far as "We are n-" before the cut happens.
  • Going Critical: At the end of Season 3, it's revealed that nuclear power plants across the country are going to melt down due to lack of maintenance.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation:
    • To the point that Phil has a whole array of faces drawn on sports balls that he talks to, almost goes on a date with a mannequin, and finally attempts suicide. Even after meeting other survivors, he sneaks off to talk with his ball friends.
    • Pat, the man Mike meets after landing on Earth, has been living at sea since the virus hit and has become paranoid about getting infected.
    • Pamela has spent years in a bunker and tries to get her dog Jeremy to say the word "milk", getting mad when he doesn't do so.
  • Grammar Nazi:
    • One of the ways Carol irritates Phil is her pedantic belief in not ending sentences with prepositions. This makes some of her statements almost incomprehensible. Indeed, this "rule" is actually spurious.
    • In "Find This Thing We Need To", Carol is convinced there's a wild "Yoda" walking about near the complex, aptly named after the shape the creature she ended up taking pictures of looked like. When Phil starts talking like Yoda, she corrects his grammar.
  • Grave Robbing: Tandy and Todd look for cadavers for Gail to practice operating on Phil's appendix, but when the ones at the local morgue have long deteriorated into bones, they have no option but to dig up Gordon. They are about to tell her what they did when they find that she has found a practice dummy, so they hastily put Gordon back.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Phil's immediate responses to almost all men who join the group are jealousy and annoyance. The only exceptions so far have been Mike, who he was initially overjoyed with being reunited with until their Sibling Rivalry kicked back in full force and Pat, who Phil got along with almost instantly before he turned on the group. He seems to have finally overcome this by the time he begins forging a relationship with Lewis, who he consistently (to the point of annoyance) attempts to bond with throughout the third season.
  • Groin Attack:
    • At the end of "Fish in the Dish", when Mike finally makes it to Malibu and Phil greets him with a punch to the nuts.
    • Phil explains to Carol earlier in the episode that he and his friends made a game of punching each other in the nuts when he was young. Which might have explained his possible infertility.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The group has a hard time keeping any male members besides Phil and Todd in it for more than a few episodes.
    • Phil #2 joins at the end of the first season, and sticks around with the group for several months before dying in the middle of the second.
    • Gordon (Will Ferrell) joins the group in the interim between seasons 1 and 2, only to die of a heart attack when Phil and Carol reunite with them in season 2's second episode.
    • Mike joins near the end of season 2 and only manages to stick around for three episodes before realizing that he is dying of the virus and choosing to leave the group in order to avoid forcing them to watch him die. However, he is revealed to still be alive and temporarily returns to the group in Season 4.
    • Pat joins in the first episode of season 3, only to attempt to kill the group at the end of the same episode. He is supposedly killed by Todd, but escapes. He returns at the end of the season, but is finally killed by Pamela.
    • Darryl arrives with Pat and is immediately killed by Melissa.
    • Lewis also arrives with Pat and stayed a while longer, but was killed in a plane crash in the second half of the season.
    • Rear Admiral Roy Billups (Jack Black) is killed off literally 2 seconds after he shows up on camera.
    • Glenn is discovered on a deserted island in Season 4, but leaves with Pamela in the next episode.
    • Karl is freed from prison by Tandy and Todd, but is later discovered to be a cannibal who wants to kill the group. Before Tandy tries to execute him, Karl inadvertently blows himself up using a booby-trapped puzzle box.
  • Happily Married: Phil and Carol go from barely standing one another, even divorcing at one point, to having the single most healthy relationship in the entire show. The A.V. Club even went as far as calling them "one of the better marriages on television" due to their exceptionally close bond, shared quirks and how they have changed one another as people.
  • Heel Realization:
    • In "Pranks For Nothin'", Phil realizes what a big liar he is.
    • Todd has two. First when he's sneaking around to eat bacon without sharing with the rest of the group, then when he has sex with both Melissa and Gail behind each other's back and kisses Erica to boot.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: While Phil initially only pretended to be "bros" with Todd as a way of sabotaging his relationships with the women of the group, Character Development on Phil's end has caused them to become this for real. By the third season, Todd is Phil's strongest and most consistent form of moral support after Carol, and Phil is repeatedly shown to value preserving their friendship over improving his own reputation within the group. In Season 4, they even share a "friendship kiss."
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being a crazy conspiracy theorist, Pat is extremely talented at tennis and customizing designer jeans.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Done In-Universe in "Release the Hounds", when Carol keeps hiding her pregnant belly from Todd, who is depressed because Erica won't have a baby with him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Basically every one of Phil's schemes backfires on him.
    • Phil's schemes to get Melissa to like him, make Todd look bad, and/or put some distance between himself and Carol always have the opposite of the intended effect.
    • His attempt to drive away any other men by painting over a billboard leaves him stranded and definitely not having sex with Gail or Erica. It gets worse when the charismatic Phil #2 saves him.
    • He disposes of his and Todd's bacon evidence by way of a loose jet ski. It turns right back around and spills on the beach when everybody is watching.
    • His attempts to get back at Mike alone fail most of the time during their prank battle.
    • After telling Todd that Pat is alive and then telling the others the paranoiac is dead, everyone is confused over Pat's actual status. To make matters worse, Phil tries to resolve this by staging a brawl between him and a fake Pat, but everyone can see through this ruse.
  • Homage
    • To Night of the Comet where at the end of the movie a character points out that you don't have to pay attention to traffic signals after the world has ended.
    • To The Quiet Earth, where another last man on Earth fills a mansion with stuff (and finds out he isn't alone).
  • Hope Spot: In "No Bull", Mike sends messages through shortwave radio in the hopes that someone will answer him. He thinks he's found someone when he hears talking through the radio, but it just turns out to be recordings of his previous messages.
  • House Squatting: Phil and the other survivors move from one abandoned house to another, leaving as soon as supplies run out or something else drives them away.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Phil watches Cast Away and berates Tom Hanks for talking to a volleyball, while talking to a movie. Five months later, he's put faces on dozens of various balls and talks to them.
    • Phil talks about how selfless his act of irrigating Carol's garden was and states that he'll be rewarded for his selflessness later in the evening.
    • Phil spies on Melissa milking a cow and moans with lust. When Todd approaches her and says that he enjoys seeing a woman milk a cow, Phil snorts "Oh, gross, Todd!"
    • In "Wisconsin", Todd (dressed in fetish gear) tells Tandy (dressed in a diaper) that he looks ridiculous.
  • I Am a Monster: Todd calls himself a monster for having affairs with both Melissa and Gail and considering having one with Erica, and then later for hitting Pat with a van.
  • I Drank WHAT?!: Invoked. Tandy keeps trying to trick Mike into drinking his pee, claiming it's lemonade, but Mike never falls for it.
  • I Have to Go Iron My Dog: Lampshaded in the season 4 episode "Karl". The titular character's date makes an excuse to get away from him by faking a phone call that her dog is sick and at the hospital. She says her dog really is sick, and she's not doing the "fake a phone call to get out of a date" type of thing.
    Karl: I am so sorry to hear that... What's your dog's name?
    Woman: ... I don't know.
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: In "Moved to Tampa", Todd gets depressed when Melissa answers his "I love you" with "Thank you."
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Karl is a wanted serial killer, who was microwaving one of his victim's heads and preparing to eat it when the cops showed up at his house. He fled to Mexico, was caught, and spent the rest of his time in prison when the virus wiped out humanity.
  • Important Haircut: Phil finally shaves his beard to impress Melissa. Ironically, she and Carol think he looks silly without it.
    • When Tandy gets half of his body shaved as a prank, Todd does the same as a sign of solidarity, but after Tandy lets Mike have sex with Carol to get pregnant instead of Todd like they agreed, Todd shaves his whole head to show that he's no longer taking Tandy's side.
    • Mike makes amends to Tandy for shaving half of his body by shaving down the other half to even it out.
    • When Mike returns, he shaves half of Tandy again. He also shaves the other half again, only this time he leaves a rat tail.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Mike coughs up blood while he's tending to the cows in "Smart and Stupid". The others start to fear the worst, and so does he when he hears the mother cow has died.
  • Infinite Supplies: The gang can simply loot nearby stores for whatever supplies they desire. In season 2, however, they start having to cope with the fact that perishable items like food and fuel are going bad.
  • Informed Attractiveness:
    • It's a plot point that Carol is the least attractive female survivor. Phil jumps through hoops to have sex with anyone instead of Carol.
    • All of the women except Carol lust after Phil #2. The fact that he's into Carol makes everyone confused.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Phil almost kills himself by driving into a rock, but stops himself when he sees the smoke from Carol's camp. Later, Karl is about to hang himself when he hears the car which Phil and Todd are coming in.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: When Gail is accused of regularly being drunk by 10 AM.
    Gail: How dare you! I get up at 11 AM!
  • It's a Small World After All: Played with according to what the writers want. Tucson is big, and Melissa says she was there a while before running into Phil and Carol (literally), and Todd says he was almost ready to give up searching and leave when he saw Phil's fireworks, and the two new girls have been there long enough to set up a house. They had evidently not seen the stores Phil and company have raided for supplies over the course of the show, nor run into each other when they searched the whole city for the cow in a previous episode. However when they do run into each other by accident, thanks to the aforementioned fireworks display/seduction attempt, spitefully burning a shopping cart full of trash, passing each other on the same dark road, it is a small world.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Gail and Erica arrive, Carol accepts that either of them would probably be more compatible with Phil, so she divorces him, even knowing she may never find another man.
    • Subverted when Phil #2 arrives and he and Carol hit it off. Phil #1 realizes he misses her and tries to get back together. Carol makes it clear that he missed his chance.
    • Double Subverted when Phil #2 banishes Phil #1 from Tucson. Carol chooses to leave with Phil #1.
    • In Season Two the Tucson gang has moved to Malibu and left a note for Carol to join them, but not to bring "Tandy" because it could be dangerous for him. Phil finds the note first and hides it from her, but after seeing how much Carol misses them, he gets her drunk and drives her to Malibu while passed out so that she could be with them, risking trouble for himself.
  • Jerkass:
    • Phil in season 1, when he is obsessed with getting an attractive woman to have sex with him instead of Carol. He undergoes some Character Development in season 2.
    • The later seasons paint Melissa as one more and more. Her cold, scornful treatment of Phil even after he makes it clear that he is genuinely attempting to improve himself, as well as her complete lack of inhibitions with killing another person make her come off as almost unsettlingly cruel, which is noted by Todd in universe.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Despite not liking Tandy, the others (apart from Phil #2) concede to his point that if they were willing to lock him and Todd in the stocks for hoarding bacon, then Phil #2 should also spend time in the stocks for committing assault on Tandy.
  • Kavorka Man: Played with and deconstructed with Todd. He's overweight and unattractive, but his Nice Guy personality leads to Melissa taking an instant liking to him. By the second season, every single woman in the group besides Carol enters a relationship with him based on his being a nice, reliable guy when in reality he's cheating on all of them. To his credit, he is shown to be deeply guilty about it, though it still hardly makes his behavior justifiable.
  • Kick the Dog: Melissa has fun torturing Phil during his punishment in season 2.
  • Kilroy Was Here:
    • When he's about to kill himself, Phil paints an "RIP Phil Miller" message that dates his death to "Novemberish 2020".
    • While traveling across the country looking for survivors, Phil leaves messages reading "Alive in Tucson", which is how other people begin to find him.
    • In a desperate attempt to keep more people from showing up, Phil rewrites one of the "Alive in Tucson" billboards to read "Moved to Tampa". Unfortunately, he gets stuck up there and is rescued by Phil Miller #2.
  • Lady Drunk: Gail, who has chosen to cope with the destruction of the human race by drinking a lot, a habit which gets pronounced after her lover Gordon dies in Malibu. Afterwards, she's got a glass of wine attached to her most of the time.
    • Pamela is seen constantly drunk after the second year inside the bunker. Her drinking gets worse after Jeremy runs away.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Phil is prone to making very bad jokes or puns and then congratulating himself. The others usually endure them stoically.
  • The Last Man Heard a Knock...:
    • Phil is about to kill himself when he sees a campfire in the distance.
    • In "Pitch Black", Mike splashes down to Earth and is alone at sea for three days before he encounters a yacht.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Phil is the last human on Earth for a single episode. All the other survivors are so integral to the plot that the show runners couldn't hide their existence even if they wanted to.
  • Lawful Stupid: Carol insists on obeying the laws of civilization, even though, as Phil points out, they no longer apply. She insists on stopping at stop signs and not using the handicap parking spots, and demands that Phil marry her before they have children, and criticizes him for "stealing" the artifacts in his home that obviously no one owns anymore. On a more sympathetic note, it's implied that this is how Carol tried to cling to her sanity for two years when she thought she was the last human alive (in contrast to Phil, who just regressed into a semi-feral state for a while).
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Carol wants to have children desperately, if only to repopulate the Earth, while the other women don't think raising children in a post-apocalyptic world is the best idea. The first couple to get pregnant is Erica and Phil #2, the latter of which has doubts about being a good father. Later, Phil takes a male fertility test and it comes out negative. He blames it on the test being past its expiration date, but after Todd takes the test and it comes out positive, he has to come to terms with the fact that he's infertile. Then he manages to get Carol pregnant despite this.
  • Leader Wannabe: Phil's attempts at taking charge generally result in some combination of scorn or mockery from everyone who isn't Carol or Todd. Part of the reason he and Pat bond so well at the beginning of season 3 is that Pat immediately assumes that he is the leader of the group.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "Pranks for Nothin'," Phil accuses God of playing a cruel joke on him by timing various events to make his life hell, saying sarcastically, "Haha, really funny!" Of course, these events were written this way because it would be funny.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Martinez gives Karl a noose to hang himself with if he doesn't want to wait until the food runs out.
  • Left Hanging: With the show's cancellation, what happens to the main gang after the bunker group runs in to them is left unkwown. The viewer will never know if they would even be friendly or not.
  • Lethal Chef: She does her best, but Carol's not a stellar cook even accounting for the lack of resources. Although with the arrival of Phil Miller #2, she suddenly shows the ability to at least make a decent-looking apple pie. It comes back in force in season 2 with her crickets.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: How Jasper got his name. Tandy sees his Jansport backpack and comes up with the name based on that.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Glenn, introduced in season 3 episode 2 "Stocko Syndrome", has been stranded on a deserted island since just before the virus spread and wiped out humanity.
  • Logical Latecomer: By the time Lewis joins the cast in season three, the group has gotten used to Phil/Tandy's peculiar logic. Lewis grows exasperated not only at Phil's antics, but also by the others' blasé attitude towards it. It takes Tandy forcing Lewis to travel to Seattle and then Tucson with him to give them enough time for Tandy to explain to him why he is the way he is, and for Lewis to finally warm up to him as a person.
  • Low-Angle Empty World Shot: One of the reasons the main character's homes are on a hillside is distance shots behind characters are over the city, thus not showing any cars or activity in the background.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In the aftermath of Karl getting blown up, the gang holds a funeral for him with two caskets. One had his legs still intact, and the other had what was left of his glasses and a "bag of human brickabrack" that they scrounged from the immediate area.
  • Make a Wish: The whole cast makes a wish upon a shooting star at the end of "Name 20 picnics... Now!" They actually wished upon a satellite that decayed from its orbit.
  • Malaproper: In spite of being a Grammar Nazi, Carol often gets expressions wrong or twists existing expressions in confusing ways.
    • Carol believes the expression is, "I was holding my breast" instead of "breath," reasoning that holding her breath would cause her to die.
    • She tells Todd, "I'm watching you like a hog," instead of "hawk," then oinks at him.
    • She says that her family members were all avid walkers, calling them "pedophiles," confusing the Greek prefixes of "ped" meaning "foot" and "pedo" meaning "child."
  • Manchild: As a 41-year-old temp, Phil was apparently not a very mature person before the apocalypse, but his years of isolation have made him regress even further. He lives in heaps of his own trash, amuses himself with juvenile destruction, and his idea of romance doesn't seem to have evolved since his teens. The introduction of a mute kid the gang named Jasper leads to Phil trying to connect with him in any way he can. This leads to his own childish behavior completely coming right out of the woodwork.
  • Mask of Sanity: While Pat is pretty clearly unstable from the outset, he comes off as a genuinely well-meaning eccentric who suffers from Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold syndrome. That is, until his paranoia causes him to try to kill you.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Phil discovers Carol's camp, and as he faints of exhaustion and surprise, Carol is visible (out of focus) in the background.
  • Meaningful Rename: Phil #1 starts being referred to by his middle name Tandy after Phil #2 enters the group. While it at first is used as a way of showing that the group prefers the new Phil over him, it ends up marking the moment Phil #1 makes his largest and most consistent amount of Character Development and becomes a better person. He continues to call himself and be called Tandy following Phil #2's death, cementing that he has moved past his old self. Interestingly, Mike, who never knew Phil #2 (or Stacy), continues to call his brother Phil, possibly as a reminder that Mike symbolizes past issues Tandy needs to resolve so he can grow into the hero he never could be before the apocalypse.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: After the virus wipe-out, only men have died in the series. Unless one counts the cow.
    • Gordon, a survivor living in Malibu, dies of a heart attack in "The Boo" when Carol surprises him.
    • Phil #2 dies after a failed appendectomy in "Silent Night".
    • When Mike starts coughing up blood, a sign of the virus, in "Smart and Stupid", he leaves for Tucson, believing that, if he will die, he should die in his childhood home there. However, he is revealed to still be alive in Season 4, so he has subverted this trope.
    • In "General Breast Theme with Cobras", Melissa shoots Darrell, one half of Pat Brown's crew. The other half, Lewis, joins their group...
    • ...and dies in "The Spirit of St. Lewis" when he tries to pilot a plane and crashes seconds after taking off.
    • Finally, Pat himself is killed by Pamela in "Nature's Horchata" before he can kill anyone else.
    • Rear Admiral Roy Phillips (Jack Black) is killed off by a Not Quite Dead Pat literally 2 seconds after he appears on camera.
    • Karl blows up while holding a booby-trapped puzzle box.
  • Middle Name Basis: After a second Phil Miller appears, Phil has to go by his Embarrassing Middle Name Tandy. The others keep calling him Tandy even after the second Phil dies.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Tandy accidentally burned San Francisco to the ground after he lit up an entire fireworks factory there and left.
  • Minimalist Cast: The whole point of the show is that these characters have no choice but to interact with each other because there's no one else on Earth. Outside of flashbacks, hallucinations, and dreams, there have been 17 human survivors introduced so far (not including the numerous gas-mask-wearing individuals introduced at the end of season 4). In order, they are Tandy, Carol, Melissa, Todd, Gail, Erica, Phil #2, Mike, Gordon, Pat, Daryl, Lewis, Pamela, Jasper, Roy, Glen, and Karl. Only 7 have been in the main cast at the same time, with Mike finding the group a couple episodes after Phil #2 dies, Lewis joining up two episodes after Mike leaves, and Jasper joining after Lewis' death. The group limit is soon broken, however, as Erica's daughter Dawn, and Tandy and Carol's twins, are born.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Todd's arrival just as Phil is about to bang Melissa.
    • Tandy lets an insensitive, borderline racist remark out when dining with Gail and Erica. He recovers enough that they decide to bang him anyway.
    • Carol's idea of dirty talk during sex isn't what most people have in mind.
    • In the opening of "Crickets", the group seems on the verge of accepting Tandy again but he can't resist making a terrible pun. Commence synchronized eye rolls.
    • Melissa proposes to Todd, but before he can respond, Phil #2 suddenly collapses.
    • Tandy mends his relationship with Mike upon asking him to be the godfather to his child, but Mike then gets sick of what might be the virus.
    • Pat finally gains the courage to take off his hazmat suit on dry land, but he turns against everyone as soon as he learns Tandy and Mike, the latter he thought was carrying the virus, are brothers.
    • Lewis crashes his plane and dies just as he attempts his fist real flight.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series finds perfect moments to switch between light-hearted comedy and serious examples of when Reality Ensues, including characters dieing and disasters taking place. For example, Season 3 ends with the birth of Carol's baby, a beautiful moment immediately ruined by a nuclear meltdown. After having no choice but to go back to Los Angeles, Pat tracks them down, only to be immediately killed by Pamela.
  • Mundane Solution: After Phil and Todd spend most of "A Real Live Wire" trying and failing to contain the titular wire, Phil #2 simply turns the solar panels off.
  • Mundane Utility: "Is There Anybody Out There?" starts with Tandy and Carol casually taxiing a B2 stealth bomber through the city streets of Washington D.C, with the intent of getting some tequila from a liquor store.
  • Never Found the Body: When Phil learns that Lewis never saw his partner die, he drives him to his home in Seattle with the intent of leaving a note saying where he lived, in case he happens to be alive. This inspires Phil to drive over to his old home in Tucson to do the same for Mike, since he never saw him die either. In Mike's case, it turns out that he didn't.
  • Never Heard That One Before: The Australian Erica is forced to admit that her last name is "Dundee," and shows annoyance at the obvious jokes that follow.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Everyone grieves for Gordon despite him being (apparently) a racist Jerkass. This gives Carol the idea to fake Phil's death to get the others to admit he was a good guy. It fails miserably.
  • Nice Guy: Todd is such a nice guy that even though Phil hates him for breaking up his sexual contract with Melissa, they wind up best friends.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: In "Find This Thing We Need To", Tandy goes to investigate a house to check for survivors and tells Carol and Erica that he'll do a bird call to signal them. Carol points out that birds were wiped out by the virus, so he wouldn't be fooling anyone.
  • Non-Indicative Title: As soon as the end of the first episode, we find out there are more survivors. And soon as Todd shows up, we know Phil is definitely not the last man.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • In the season 3 opener, Pat finds the group and wants to settle down and start a new life after a sudden misunderstanding with the hazmat suits and the guns. After finding out that Mike is Tandy's brother, he goes psycho. The group hops into a van and tries to get away, running him over in the process. Tandy comes back and assumes he's dead, dragging his body out to the trash behind the house. After Carol wonders what happened to the boat, they find his body is no longer in the trash. Cue the Oh, Crap! moment.
    • At the end of the Season 3 midseason finale, Gail is implied to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot after being trapped in an elevator. In "The Spirit of St. Lewis", the elevator is started again when Phil turns the power back on for his rainbow tribute to Lewis, and the final shot is of Gail's fingers twitching back to life. The next episode, "Hair of the Dog", begins with her stumbling out and being greeted by the others, who had no idea of her ordeal.
    • In the season 4 opener, Pamela introduces herself and her lover, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Roy Billups. Then, Pat, whom she thought she'd killed, springs back to life and kills Roy, so Pamela finishes off Pat with more gunshots.
    • In the season 4 episode "Designated Survivors", Mike comes back and explains that his immune system must've needed some time to adapt to Earth's environment after being in space for so long, because he made a full recovery.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Todd, the nicest guy in the whole group, is the one who hoards a freezer full of bacon all to himself, despite the others having to eat bugs and expired canned food, and gets uncharacteristically angry when Phil suggests sharing it with the group. Of course, given his obesity there is quite possibly a food addiction to blame for this.
    • Season 2 has consistently showed the other survivors to be much more mean-spirited and petty than they previously seemed, and aren't as morally superior to Phil as they may like to believe.
  • No Dead Body Poops: Subverted. In Season 4 Episode 11, while Karl is getting ready to be shot and killed by Phil, he mentions that he put on some brown underwear "for obvious reasons," to which Phil replies "Of course."
  • No Social Skills: At the beginning of the show, Phil has spent two years in complete isolation, so he's incredibly bad at dealing with people.
  • Odd Couple: Phil and Carol, with the whole world as their apartment.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Todd discovers some bodies hidden behind a wall and decides to break the news to everyone else by posing and dressing them up.
  • Off with His Head!: After Pamela [[spoiler: shoots Pat in the back of the head, he still wasn't quite dead. After pumping him full of holes, they decide the absolute best way to make sure he's dead is to take a shovel and decapitate him.
  • Oh, Crap!: "Oh, farts!" has been said by at least three characters when something goes horribly wrong.
  • One-Person Birthday Party: Phil gives himself one. This is accompanied with a sad flashback to a birthday party for Phil in happier days prior to the Virus. It's after this that Phil decides to kill himself.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with the other Phil Miller. The other survivors promptly start using Phil #1's middle name. Averted again with the newborn caterpillar on the space station, whom Mike names Phil.
  • One-Way Trip:
    • Phil attempts to abandon Todd on the road three hours from Tucson. He has a change of heart - several, in fact - and eventually drives him back.
    • Played frighteningly straight when Phil #2 pulls it on Phil #1 in the Season 1 finale. The latter certainly would have died had Carol not intervened.
  • Once a Season: Just about every season ends with the group moving away from their current home.
    • They moved out of Tucson and burned Phil's home just to spite him after the end of season 1.
    • The moved away from the coast in California early in season 3 because they feared that Pat was going to hunt them down.
    • They moved away from the secret testing complex because of a nuclear meltdown in season 3.
    • They chose to move away from their home in Zihuatanejo in season 4 after discovering that it used to belong to a drug cartel, and there was still plenty of cocaine, hand grenades, dynamite, and guns stashed all over.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Melissa fills this role in the first season. While Carol's Lawful Stupid tendencies make her no better than Phil most of the time and Todd's Nice Guy attitude pushes him into Extreme Doormat territory, she is the only one who seems capable of calling Phil out on his bad behavior. This continues even after Gail and Erica are introduced, as they, like Todd, are quite a bit more willing to give Phil the benefit of the doubt than they should be. This gets played with at the beginning of season 3, where her detached and condescending calm in the face of everything starts to enter The Sociopath territory, to the point where Todd worries for her mental health.
    • Phil #2 quickly takes charge when he arrives and is the only person to suggest moving out of Tucson, as it's too arid for growing food. Later in season 2 he's the only one who who cares at all about the food and fuel expiring. His characterization is zigzagged, however, as he grows increasingly obsessed with Carol and alienated by the rest of the group.
    • Lewis takes over this role in Season 3, by virtue of being the Naïve Newcomer. He calls Phil out for pretending to kill an obvious dummy of Pat, thinking it's a bad prank and insulted that Phil thinks they're all idiots, while the others take it in stride, recognizing it as one of Phil's ill-conceived yet well-intentioned plans. He finally warms up to the group in the middle of the season, while remaining the most grounded-in-reality character.
    • For a man who's been stranded on a deserted island since just before the virus wiped out humanity, Glenn has managed to maintain a healthy mind. Learning about it came as a bit of a shock to him, but he continued to maintain a rational and healthy outlook on the current situations, focusing on goals that are within reach. It was only when he saw a beach filled with countless bodies that he started to break down from it all.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Phil and Carol avert their usual Captain Obvious tendencies when Carol makes an extended metaphor about their failed marriage. Carol doesn't explain it, and Phil simply says that he understands.
    • In season 2, it's made clear that the group as a whole really doesn't want Phil back when Nice Guy Todd casually calls him "human garbage."
  • Order vs. Chaos: There's Carol, who wants to maintain morals and decency, and Phil, who takes advantage of the world essentially being a giant playground.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: In episode 2, Phil is unanimously (but rather pointlessly) elected President of the United States, since the government has apparently been wiped out by the virus along with everyone else, and he and Carol are the only voters.
  • Out Giving Birth, Back in Two Minutes: Carol gives birth while sleeping, only finding out when she wakes up in the morning. And then she has another painless birth shortly after when the second twin comes out while Gail and Tandy are arguing on whether to induce labor or not. Erica is greatly annoyed at this.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: A very sore point for Gail in season 3, who revealed to Carol that she used to have a son. It wasn't the virus that took him.
  • Out of Focus: The cow is mostly unseen and rarely mentioned in season 2, though still important to the plot.
  • Overly Long Gag: Phil driving back and forth as he considers whether to leave Todd on the side of the road in "She Drives Me Crazy". We even get to see it from Todd's perspective.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Mike takes a "wild guess" at Phil's lockbox combination being "6969".
  • Perverted Sniffing: Before he even meets her, Phil grabs Carol's bra off a clothesline and smells it.
  • The Pig Pen: Phil descends to this level. When Carol goes to confront him about stealing her tomatoes, she catches him with chunks of tomato stuck in his bushy, filthy beard.
  • The Plague: No details given as to exactly what the nature of "the Virus" was, but it seems to have wiped out humanity almost completely. Phil criss-crossed all of the Lower 48 as well as much of Canada and Mexico and did not find anyone alive. Episode 4 establishes that it also wiped out all animals (though as with humans, there are one or two survivors out there, revealed when they find a cow).
  • Please Wake Up: Pamela does this with one of her friends after finding her dead of the virus.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: When Phil accidentally leaves without her, Carol tries to draw his attention by firing shots in the air. Unfortunately, Phil is listening to M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes", and the shots on the song match Carol's shots exactly.
  • Popping Buttons: In "Name 20 Picnics... Now!", Erika mentions that her pants button popped due to her baby bump. Carol, who has yet to show, feels jealous and overcompensates by dropping a bunch of random buttons from under her skirt.
  • Prank Date: Todd was voted Prom king, and when they brought out the "queen", it was a pig.
  • The Precarious Ledge:
    • While altering a billboard in "Moved to Tampa", Phil gets stranded up there when the ladder falls. He is rescued by Phil Miller #2, who points out that there was a ladder on the back of the billboard all along.
    • After her Sanity Slippage, Melissa starts wandering off, and at one point balances herself on top of a tall building. It's after this that she gets locked away for her protection.
  • Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Carol the Grammar Nazi rides this non-rule right into the ground, castigating Phil every time he ends a sentence with a preposition. She also will occasionally torture sentences beyond belief in order to avoid ending them with a preposition.
    Carol: For what do you need that gun out?
  • Proportional Article Importance: While looking for clues to where Melissa lived in "Hair of the Dog", Todd and Tandy find a travel magazine at her old office desk. While Tandy guesses that she came from one of the places mentioned on the cover, Todd points out that her home address is on the mailing label.
  • Put on a Bus: Jasper decides to leave the group and live on his own.
  • The Quiet One: Jasper spends a long time as The Speechless, but once he starts talking, he still doesn't talk very much.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In "The Wild Guess Express", Tandy spends most of the episode trying to convince Todd that is did NOT kill Pat by running him over just to spare his feelings, but at the same time tried to convince everyone else that he really was dead. Lewis, the newest survivor to join the group, hasn't even been with the group for a full day yet, and gets completely pissed off with Tandy's back-and-forth behavior on the issue. He yells at Tandy to shut the hell up, look him straight in the eye, and tell everyone the truth about the situation at hand.
  • Rail Enthusiast: In "Release the Hounds", Todd goes into a deep depression after Erica rejects his offer to have his baby, and Melissa gives him a train set to occupy his time. Over time, Todd fills the entire first floor of the house with model trains, watching them silently as they go by. He destroys them all after finding out that Carol is pregnant again.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Tucson's a big town, so it turns out a sign saying "Alive In Tucson" doesn't guarantee that the survivor will find Phil. Melissa was actually in town before Carol, but just hadn't run into Phil yet. Todd was on his way out of town when he saw Phil's fireworks.
    • Zigzagged by the gasoline starting to go bad in season 2. It looks like their vehicular days are numbered, but it's never acknowledged again after being introduced.
    • The mid-Season 2 finale shows what would happen if one of the survivors got a life-threatening ailment. Phil #2 ends up dying because there are no doctors around to perform an operation.
    • Phil convinces Lewis to fly a plane before he feels ready. Cue everyone cheering and showing support as Lewis takes off...and immediately crashes. He wasn't ready.
    • In Season 4, the cast finally starts to acknowledge that their canned food has almost all gone expired and their life of simply living on scavenged luxury items is not sustainable.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: As the canned food supply starts to expire, the group is forced to feed on crickets.
  • Retcon: Although the first season takes place around late 2020 to early 2021, the series changes its date in the second season by skipping two years ahead to the latter half of 2023 even though Phil and Carol have been away from Tucson for only six months between the two seasons. This sudden date change is further evidenced in "Five Hoda Kotbs" when the gang learns Phil accidentally burned San Francisco two years prior to Season 3's current year, 2024, meaning he was still a loner in 2022.
  • The Reveal: In season 4, the giant heat signature that Mike was monitoring turned out to be a massive underground bunker where dozens of survivors lived.
  • Rule of Funny: It's not likely that Mike would be able to shave half of Phil's whole body down to the skin without him or Carol waking up, but it makes a good joke.
  • Running Gag:
    • Phil's collection of priceless artifacts that he picked up on his travels. He has a collection of famous paintings, he has an Apollo spacesuit, he lounges around the house in Michael Jordan's Bulls jersey, he uses the U.S. Constitution as a napkin, etc.
    • Firing guns into the glass windows of retail stores before raiding them.
    • Carol's aversion to ending sentences with prepositions.
    • Phil performing his one terrible song "Closure" for a wide variety of occasions, modifying it only slightly by changing a few lyrics and leaving the chorus intact.
    • Phil having weird hair. In the first season, he has his Beard of Sorrow, which he shaves and eventually grows back. Then he has the right side of his body completely shaved for a while. Then he regrows his hair and beard, but gets his eyebrows shaved and replaced by fake eyebrows made of felt.
    • Cameo actors dying immediately after they appear. This starts with Will Ferrell, who has a heart attack when Carol jumps out. It's followed by Jon Hamm, who is fatally shot while pointing a gun at the survivors. It's next followed by Jack Black, who is shot while introducing himself. Then a flashback shows Martin Short getting killed by Karl.
    • In Season 4, Phil repeatedly tries to get Mike to drink his urine by presenting it as lemonade. Mile always calls out all of the obvious inconsistencies in Phil's offer but never actually acknowledges that it's urine, causing Phil to keep trying.
  • Sanity Slippage: Melissa gets this in the second half of season 2, only for it to get even worse in season 3. It's eventually revealed that she needs to take antipsychotic medication.
  • Sarcasm Failure: In "The Spirit of St. Lewis", after Lewis dies in a plane crash, Phil asks Todd if he prepared a song he'd like to sing in tribute.
    Phil: Todd, do you have a song prepared that you'd like to sing?
    Todd: Yeah, Phil. My girlfriend is locked up in a cell that I put her in, and I just stayed up all night writing lyrics for a song.
    Phil: So that's a no on the song then?
    Todd: No, I have one. I just spent all night preparing it.
  • Satellite Character: Throughout the first season, Erica has done very little on the show without Gail. Erica only takes action separate from Gail when she is competing for sexual partners with her. Even in season 2, she continues to be defined by others, this time in her jealousy of Phil #2's crush on Carol. Only in "Smart and Stupid" does she finally get some character development of her own: she tells Mike, who starts dating her as Phil and Carol celebrate the conception of their first child, that she was incarcerated for an armed bank robbery before moving to the U.S. and getting a job at the State Department under an assumed name. She also lampshades this by remarking to Mike that the only thing the others really know about her is that she's Australian.
  • Scenery Gorn: In "Five Hoda Kotbs", a shot of a completely burned-down San Francisco is shown.
  • Screaming Birth: Erica ends up giving birth in traditional fashion at the end of season 2. It was a long and painful process. Carol, on the other hand, ends up giving birth in her sleep and only realized it when she woke up. When talking about this with Gail later on, Erica is extremely annoyed that Carol didn't have to suffer the same way she did.
  • Serial Escalation: In "Fourth Finger", Phil's prank war with Mike escalates as they try to one up each other. Mike shaves Phil's entire right half of his body, and Phil responds with poison oak in his sleeping bag. Before he can fall for that, he leaves Phil a gift box full of money. As soon as Phil touches it, he is sprayed with ink. Trying to get him back for that, Mike plays headgames and gets Phil to cover himself with poison oak, then sets him up with another prank while he is sleeping. He finally calls it off when Phil convinces Todd to follow through with shaving the right half of his head and body to try and set a trend, but Phil insists that things are just going to continue getting worse.
  • Series Fauxnale: The first season ends with Phil and Carol leaving Tucson for parts unknown, and we're introduced to Phil's astronaut brother.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Cast Away. Phil rigs up a DVD player to a generator, watches the movie, and mocks the idea of talking to a volleyball. Sure enough, pretty soon he is doing just that, and conceding that the makers of Cast Away got it right.
    • Phil tells Mike that he's going to be a godfather too, to which Mike responds, "Better than being a ''Godfather 3." Phil gets it, but when Mike quotes the first film doing a Marlon Brando impression, Phil has no idea what he's doing.
    • In "The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Deaths", Melissa tries to seduce Todd by acting out a scene from The Shawshank Redemption.
    • When Erica gives birth, Phil tries to calm everyone down by singing Enya's "Orinoco Flow" using improvised lyrics.
    • Erica's last name turns out to be "Dundee." Phil is unable to contain his mirth that she's Australian and has a name "like the movie."
    • Jasper wears a number of costumes of popular children's characters, such as He-Man and the Hulk.
    • While painting Gail's portrait, Karl listens to "Goodbye Horses", a song that was liked by another serial killer, Jame Gumb.
    • Todd destroys his trains à la Godzilla in "Release the Hounds".
  • Sinister Shades: A person driving a Cool Car across the country in episode 4 sports these. He turns out to be the not-sinister-at-all Todd.
  • Situational Sexuality: It's implied that Gail and Erica had a physical relationship when they were alone with no men around, but are both otherwise heterosexual.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Gordon is only on screen for a few seconds before dying, but his death is what causes Gail to nearly completely give up on caring about anything and fall even deeper into alcoholism.
  • The Sociopath: Melissa is implied to be heading in this direction at the beginning of season 3. Her response to being asked whether killing another person had distressed her at all was to say "Yeah, sure," in a bored tone of voice without looking up from the book she was reading.
  • Sole Survivor: All of the characters are this individually, as they all believed they were the only person left alive until meeting another survivor.
  • Stag Party: Phil's includes his Companion Cube(s), wigs and a flamethrower.
  • Stock Punishment: Phil #2 builds a pillory and uses it to punish Tandy, and later Todd. When Phil #2 strikes Tandy, the others agree that Phil #2 should be put on the stocks as well, but Phil #2 refuses. Phil #2 eventually does end up on his own pillory, after Tandy finds him unconscious after a suicide attempt. Melissa and Carol also wind up in the stocks at different points in season 3.
  • Stopped Caring: Having failed to find anyone, Phil reverts to an essentially feral existence, turning a swimming pool into a giant latrine and allowing the mansion he occupied to fill up with garbage. Carol starts to bring him out of this, as shown when he rigs up an irrigation system to water her tomato garden.
  • Straight Gay: Lewis reveals that he is gay in "Five Hoda Kotbs". Tandy, once again giving in to immaturity, doesn't drop the subject about how he's happy to have a gay person among their growing population and makes numerous stereotypical remarks, such as about how Lewis should be happy they're going to San Francisco, assuming he's already been there before (he hasn't).
  • Stun Gun: In "You're All Going To Diet", Tandy decides to start teaching self-defense courses, and asks Lewis to volunteer for his demonstration on using a taser. He reassures Lewis that he will NOT shoot him, but accidentally hits the fire button anyway. He wonders how to make it stop, and the others suggest he removes his finger from the firing trigger.
  • Sudden Name Change: Melissa's last name was thought to be spelled "Shart" throughout the first season because it had never been seen on screen. By the start of season 2, its true spelling, "Chartes", is revealed.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Jasper finally starts talking in "The Big Day". After the gang found him living by himself for who knows how long, it took a few episodes before he finally starts to bond with Melissa and relaxes around everyone.
  • Supreme Chef: In sharp contrast to Carol, former professional chef Gail is able to make delicious meals out of the odds and ends the survivors have access to.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy
    • After laughing at Tom Hanks' talking to Wilson in Cast Away, Phil creates a whole menageries of inanimate friends drawn on sporting balls. He continues to sneak off to talk to them even after finding survivors.
    • Mike spends three years talking to silkworms in space.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Phil seems to be experiencing some after Mike's possible death, as seen when he talks about it during his conversation with Pat at the beginning of season 3.
    "He was an amazing guy. He should've survived, not me."
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When the gang travels to San Fransisco, they find that the whole city has been completely burned to the ground. Tandy says that whatever caused the fire must've been from natural causes like a lightning strike or fire ants, and leaves it at that. Cut to two years ago, Tandy is randomly setting off fireworks with blatant disregard and driving out of the city while he was roaming the country.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Season 3's "Got Milk?" shows us the POV of the drone that spied on the group in Season 2.
  • Table Space: While Todd and Melissa are broadcasting their constant lovemaking, Phil and Carol sit down for dinner on opposite sides of Phil's dining table. They have to lean sideways to even see each other past the giant Tyrannosaurus rex skull centerpiece.
  • Take That!:
    • The news montage of Republican government figures who ascended to the presidency and immediately died of the virus in "Got Milk?".
    • Donald Trump is listed by Carol as one of America's fattest presidents, along with Taft and Cleveland.
  • The Talk: Phil tries to give this to Jasper at the start of "Name 20 Picnics... Now!", but he's extremely vague in the explanation of how things actually work, and the conversation quickly turns towards zombies.
  • Tempting Fate: Since this universe exists to torment Phil, any prediction he makes falls squarely into this category;
    • His reassuring Todd that no one will show up to take Melissa away from him.
    • The season 3 finale "Nature's Horchata" has two in a row. When the gang has to move back to Los Angeles, Phil reassures them that there is no way Pat could find them, while his and Carol's house, hitched behind the RV, is on fire, leaving a conspicuous trail of smoke. Then, when they're ready to set sail, Phil gives a long speech about how they'll be safe from now on... which is interrupted by Pat wielding a shotgun. Fortunately, he is immediately killed by Pamela.
  • Time Skip:
    • Six months pass between "Name 20 Picnics... Now!" and the next episode, "The Big Day".
    • In "Release the Hounds", Carol goes from having just had the twins two weeks ago to being about seven months pregnant.
  • There Was a Door: Carol subverts this trope by taking a gun and shooting out the glass panes on the door of a liquor store. She made a door through a door.
  • Titled After the Song: The episode "She Drives Me Crazy".
  • Token Minority: Lewis, who joins the main group in the third season is this for two reasons. Not only is he the only Asian American member of the group, but he's also the only gay member, and a Straight Gay at that.
  • Tomboyish Name: Carol's middle name is "Andrew," a name so masculine that it literally means "man." She provides no explanation.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As Phil gains maturity, the personality flaws of other members of the group become more apparent. Melissa becomes an ice queen, Gail becomes a lush, Erica becomes a spiteful woman scorned, and Phil #2 becomes a bully. These characterizations wax and wane as each person struggles to acknowledge and rectify their shortcomings.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: As part of his Character Development, Phil takes a big one in season 2. Compared to season 1, where he is only interested in having sex with the women and sabotaging the men, he becomes dead set on bringing the group closer together.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • A short commercial bumper spoiled Carol's existence about a week before the show premiered.
    • A third survivor, a twist at the end of third episode, is spoiled by the fact that the character is featured prominently in ads for the fourth.
  • Trash of the Titans: Five months after settling into a new home, Phil has filled it to overflowing with garbage. He even has a nearby pool as a personal dumping ground. That is, he turned it into a "toilet pool" by cutting a hole in the diving board. In his defense, he does point out that there is no in-door plumbing anymore, so he thought it was a functional solution for disposing of his waste. The problem is that after several months it really starts to stink.
  • Trash the Set: In the second-season premiere Phil returns to the cul-de-sac to find it abandoned and the house he formerly occupied a burnt-out shell.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Phil after his failed first attempt to clean up the toilet pool.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The series begins in the summer of 2020, about two years after a mysterious virus wiped out the human race and five years after the pilot episode itself was filmed. For reasons not fully explained, the series is retconned at the start of the second season to 2023.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
    • Melissa and Todd become a couple not long after meeting. Phil attempts to drive them apart by emphasizing how unattractive Todd is, but to no avail. Todd is such a nice guy (and the only other man around except Phil) that Melissa is quite willing to cohabitate with him.
    • A one-sided inverted example can be found in the dashing Phil #2's fixation on the plain-looking and bizarrely dressed Carol.
  • The Un-Reveal: "The Big Day" takes place six months after the previous episode, where Jasper is speaking, Melissa is acting normal again and Gail and Erica are dating. Tandy sets up an explanation of the events during that time while officiating Todd and Melissa's wedding, but doesn't give one because everyone already knew and didn't need it explained.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Two years on his own has left Phil seriously lacking in social graces. As the series progresses, Phil is shown to be a selfish liar whose actions alienate him from all the other survivors. Character development in the second season has him genuinely trying to make amends to the group, but often failing due to terrible judgment.
  • Unwanted Harem: Todd gets a bad case of this later in Season 2, when he starts hooking up with Gail, who falls for him in the wake of her grief over Gordon, Melissa can't let go after he turns down her marriage proposal, and even Erica gets in on the act when he kisses her during a tender moment when she asks him to serve as the father of her baby. Naturally, every attempt he makes to come clean with the women just digs him in deeper.
  • Viking Funeral: The gang tries to give a proper sendoff for Phil #2 with a traditional Viking funeral. Key word: Tries.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Phil loses his lunch and throws up behind a gravestone after him and Todd witness Karl digging up a corpse and savoring a bite.
  • Walking Spoiler: The fact that there are more people besides Will Forte in the cast spoils the fact that he's not really the last person on earth.
  • Webcomic Time: It was over a year in real-time between the episode where Erica announced she was pregnant ("A Real Live Wire"), and the episode where her pregnancy was actually noticeable ("Name 20 Picnics... Now!").
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • Gordon is on screen for about ten seconds before Carol accidentally gives him a heart attack.
    • In season 3, Darrell arrives in Malibu with Pat and Lewis before Melissa accidentally shoots and kills him.
    • In season 4, Pat shoots and kills Rear Admiral Roy Billups seconds after Pamela introduces him to the group.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack":
    • In Season 2, when Phil's brother Mike backs out of suicide, he names his newborn worm friend "Phil."
    • In Season 3, Carol names a catfish she caught alive after Gail.
  • Wham Line: Two in "Baby Steps". When the group is shunning Phil #2 for his assault on Tandy, Erica reveals that she's pregnant. This is pretty hard on Phil #2, who was planning on leaving the group. Later on when Tandy talks to him, Phil #2 tells him that meeting Tandy was the worst thing to ever happen to him, because everyone's life got worse when they met him.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The Season 2 finale ends with Pat and two other men in hazmat suits arriving at Malibu with guns.
    • "Five Hoda Kotbs" ends with the group discovering a large office complex with electric power.
    • "Got Milk" has an In-Universe one for Pamela. While she's hiding in the bunker, she uses the drone to look over the countryside. At one point, she flies the drone over a city and comes upon a football stadium. When she sees the rows upon rows of body bags, she realizes the magnitude of the virus.
    • "The Spirit of St. Lewis" has two. The first is Lewis dying in a plane crash moments after taking off on his first flight, and the other is the final shot, where the elevator where Gail is trapped starts working again, and a seemingly dead Gail starts moving her fingers.
    • "Hair of the Dog" has Carol finding a person in the background of the photos she took of her and Gail.
    • "M.U.B.A.R." ends with the group headed towards an island... as someone spies on them from the bushes.
    • "Not Suitable For Miners" ends with Tandy and Phil looking for Jasper in an abandoned prison, with a prisoner watching them from the inside.
    • "Release the Hounds" ends with someone finding one of the balloons Tandy has been using to disposed of dirty diapers.
    • "Special Delivery" has Tandy wake up and look in the mirror. Finding his hair and beard half shaved off. The calling card of...
    Tandy:Mike?
    • At the end of "The Blob", Todd is painting a room to use as a nursery when he makes a hole in the wall and discovers a dead body inside.
    • "Barbara Ann" ends with a large number of survivors emerging from an underground bunker and heading in the direction of the group, all the while implying Pat was right all along. The next episode, "Cancun, Baby!", ends with those same individuals completely surrounding the group.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:In-Universe
    • In "Whitney Houston, We Have A Problem", everyone wonders where Gail went because they haven't seen her in days. She's still trapped in an elevator after Lewis and Tandy cut power to the complex's other buildings. At the end of "The Spirit of St. Lewis, Phil returns power to the building, and the elevator stops at its floor and opens the door. We see Gail is still just barely alive.
    • At the end of season 3, when the gang is evacuating from a nuclear meltdown, Jasper asks where the cow is, only for everyone to admit they forgot to take it in their haste. The cow hasn't been shown or mentioned since the middle of season 2.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The show makes a Running Gag out of the characters using guns to shoot out the glass doors of stores to get supplies. Once Gail left her gun and she had to drive her car through the door.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Things tend to begin looking like they're going well for Phil before immediately getting worse.
    • Hooray! Phil meets another survivor! Turns out she's incredibly annoying, and actually ruins his odds with the girl of his dreams.
    • Hooray! Phil gets to have sex with Melissa! Oh wait, no he doesn't and Todd shows up and destroys any chance of it ever happening.
    • Hooray! Phil meets two more attractive women after requesting a do-over. Then he ruins everything by trying to keep them ignorant of the other survivors.
    • Hooray! Phil finally unshackles himself from Carol, and Gail and Erica both show definite signs of interest. Then Phil #2 shows up and it's a repeat of the Todd situation to the nth power.
    • Hooray! Phil and Carol have a happy life together away from Tucson, with Carol's influence turning Phil into a much better person. But she's miserable without other human contact, which leads to the chain of events that convinces Phil that they have to go back to the group, for her sake instead of his.
    • Hooray! The group is finally willing to give Phil a second chance. And then Phil holds them all at gunpoint in a desperate attempt to get them to listen to his apology, which gets him put on the stocks.
    • Hooray! He's mended Erica and Phil #2's relationship. And then Phil #2 dies of appendicitis that night.
    • Hooray! He's finally mended his relationship with Mike. Mike promptly gets sick of what might be the virus.
    • Hooray! Phil has finally found a friend who immediately likes him for who he is and respects him as a man! Too bad he's a psychotic lunatic who tries to murder Phil and the rest of the group, convinced that they lied to him about not having the virus. And previously tried doing the same to Mike.
    • Hooray! Phil convinces Lewis to try flying a plane for the first time. He crashes and dies moments after takeoff.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: No one believes Gail when she claims to have seen a drone, chalking it up to being drunk. It doesn't help that she doesn't know the correct word and her attempts to describe it sound completely ridiculous.
  • You're Drinking Breast Milk: Pamela uses Erica's breast milk to make White Russians. Tandy seems to enjoy them.

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