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Western Animation / The Last Kids on Earth

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June: You are a dinosaur-sized doofus.
Jack: Maybe, but I'm telling you June, the apocalypse is better with friends.

The Last Kids on Earth is a Netflix Animated Adaptation of the book series of the same name by Max Brallier. Scott D. Peterson, the story editor for Phineas and Ferb and Milo Murphy's Law, is the showrunner.

The story follows a 13-year-old boy named Jack Sullivan, an orphan, who lives in Wakefield, Massachusetts, when a strange phenomenon causes portals to open in the sky, dropping monsters on the city and causing zombies to appear. Left behind by his foster family, he survives for six weeks by living in his tree house and turning the whole apocalypse into a game to enjoy himself. Later on, he's joined by a number of people to help him survive the apocalypse: his best friend Quint, their former bully Dirk, his school crush June, and a dog-like monster they name Rover.

The series was released on Netflix on September 17, 2019, with the first book adapted into a one hour movie.The second book was adapted into a second season (with ten episodes) of the series and was released on April 17, 2020. The third book was adapted into a third season (also 10 episodes long) and was released on October 16, 2020. The last entry in the show was an interactive special called The Last Kids On Earth Happy Apocalypse To You, after which the show was however cancelled.

An action adventure game, The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom, came out on June 4, 2021 for PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

Provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: June, full stop. In the first season, she survives living in a school infested with zombies for six weeks, all by herself. In the second season, she is shown holding her own against monsters and zombies alike.
  • Action Survivor: Jack isn't the best fighter, but he manages to survive the apocalypse. June is one, though, with Dirk having shades of this as well.
  • Actor Allusion: Keith David voices Thrull, who's similar to his other role as Malcolm Kane in how they're both Reasonable Authority Figure characters who initially appear to be allies to the main characters before it's revealed that they're bad guys.
  • After the End: The series begins about six weeks after the apocalypse.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • The exact extent of the apocalypse. Monsters are only seen dropping out of the sky and attacking the city where the show takes place. While utilities are working, there are no news reports shown or heard that document how far-reaching the event is. Many people, such as Jack's foster family and June's parents are seen escaping, while many other residents have become zombies or implied to have been eaten by monsters. Quint believes his parents are safe, because they were away on a cruise when it hit, but this is just him not giving up hope that things could return to normal.
      • It is revealed in season 3 that this is far more widespread (with a survivor group in New York signalling survivors).
    • Also, while the cause of the monsters is shown, the cause of the zombies is not. The civilians are just shown to be zombies without showing how they became zombies. There is no mention if the sky portals unleashed a zombie virus or simply caused random civilians to become zombies.
      • It is revealed in Book 2 by Thrull that the zombie virus was also brought to Earth due to the portals and that the monster (Both sentient and not) are survivors after their previous world was destroyed by Rezzoch.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Evie Snark and Meathook appear at the end of season 3, which adapts the book before their debut. Meathook also appears as a boss in the video game The Staff of Doom and the characters act like they've fought him before, even though his book premiere has not been animated.
  • Apocalypse How: Seen at least at the "City" level, but the true extent is unknown.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Jack records one for posterity when he's alone, which helps keep him sane.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Dirk mentions that aliens abducted the zombies. June doesn't believe in aliens, despite living in an apocalypse filled with inter-dimensional monsters, zombies, and killer plants.
  • Arch-Enemy: Blarg for Jack in season 1. He also counts as the Final Boss of Book 1.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: After the initial scarring, Blarg's right eye(s) are attacked specifically. Also, if unknowingly, using the sharp broken baseball bat to impale Blarg at the top of his skull, killing it.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Any of the monsters that wreck havoc, with Rover being the exception.
  • Batter Up!: Jack uses a broken baseball bat as his weapon of choice. He even ends up saying the trope word for word. He ends up using it to kill Blarg in season 1.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted with Thrull and Bardle, the two most human looking monsters. While Thrull isn't attractive by human standards, he does have many heroic qualities like the muscular build, badass beard and deep voice but he's really a servant of Rezzoch who pretends to be a Reasonable Authority Figure in order to manipulate others for his evil schemes. Bardle, by contrast, is a Lean and Mean sorcerer with a raspy voice and a tendency to come off as sinister, but is a heroic individual who saves the protagonists.
  • Big Bad: Rezzoch is this. Her awakening caused the rifts to open and the monsters, zombie virus, and killer plants to appear.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Well, monster, really, but Rover fits all the requirements: big enough to ride on, overly eager to play and run all the time, and loves giving slobber baths to his newfound friends.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Jack has these.
  • Black and Nerdy: Quint.
  • Brain Food: The Tree of Entry eats zombies' brains to grow strong enough to be a portal for Rezzoch.
  • The Bully: In a flashback, Dirk is one towards Quint. In the present, he's willing to put it aside because being lonely sucks, though he's not above mocking both Quint and Jack whenever they act like dorks.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Thrull teaches Jack an attack called "Rising Anguish" that Jack calls out whenever he uses it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the flashback to the day the apocalypse started, Quint shows Jack his blueprints for a bottle-rocket launcher he's been developing. It comes in handy as a monster-fighting weapon.
  • Compelling Voice: The loud shrieking heard throughout Book 2 comes from the Tree of Entry. It uses the shrieking to bring zombies to eat to eat their brains. It can also use the shrieking to control the zombies to attack others.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Book 1 has Blarg, an Obviously Evil rampaging Kaiju that can't talk aside from roars, with a personal vendetta against Jack. Book 2 has Thrull, a clearly intelligent and humanoid monster who secretly manipulates the kids in his plan to summon Rezzoch, who he and Blarg both served.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Jack Sullivan is a foster kid, and when the apocalypse happens, his most recent foster family takes off and leaves him behind.
  • Cool Car: Big Mama, a SUV owned by Quint's parents, that Quint has decked out with features to deter monsters and zombies.
  • The Corruption: Rezzoch. She has the ability to raise the dead as zombies and as season 3 shown, is able to corrupt monster into her heralds.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Despite the town being completely evacuated (save for a few kids, rampaging monsters, and a zombie horde), utilities continue to function just fine. A quick montage of Jack's activities during the six weeks between the apocalypse and the present day are mostly light-hearted hijinks and scavenging.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite their clearly inhuman apperance and apparently Blood Knight society, the intelligent monsters are reasonable beings who are perfectly fine interacting with our protagonists, the main exception being Thrull. It's also shown and stated that the animalistic monsters from the same dimension are just panicked animals that are lashing out after being suddenly plucked from their homes.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Despite being a TV series, it's first ever pilot "Book 1" has the length of a feature film which revolves around Jack Sullivan's origin story, how the world became the way it is, and how our four protagonists met, soon working together to fight the giant monster "Blarg" before turning into an official series starting from "Book 2".
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Random portals in the sky open, unleashing monsters and causing humans to become zombies.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Rezzoch, an Energy Being who seems to lack a physical form that travels from world to world in order to eat their inhabitants.
  • Equipment Upgrade: June's lacrosse stick/spear gets upgraded during the kids' battle with the monster inside the diner. June's stabbing of it results in the chiselled spearhead getting crystalized and strong enough to crack concrete ground with no damage.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Everything from monsters, zombies, and killer plants are constant dangers to the kids whenever they leave their tree house.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Jack comments that Blarg smelled like evil. Conversely, he constantly mentions Thrull smells great, reminding him of pleasant smells. After The Reveal that Thrull is evil, Jack comments on why that is why Thrull wore cologne, to hide his evil stench.
  • Fetch Quest: Thrull gives the protagonists one he calls the "Ultimate Quest": to collect monster essences to fill in a bestiary Thrull gives them. Monster essences can be things like skin, monster breath, or other monster body parts. It turned out to be a trap as part of a ritual to bring Rezzoch to their world.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Before the apocalypse happened, Jack and Quint were the only ones out of the four main kids who were friends; Dirk was the school bully, and June knew Jack since they were on the school paper together, but they hardly interacted outside of that despite his huge crush on her. Dirk and June end up joining forces with Jack and Quint so they can all survive in their post-apocalyptic town.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Jack notes that some of the monsters prey on zombies, though they will also prey on humans given the chance.
  • Foreshadowing: When the kids first meet Bardle, he tells them how Rezzoch was defeated before but has somehow reawakened. While telling the story the camera briefly focuses in on Thrull, who turns out to have been serving Rezzoch the entire time.
    • Before that, Thrull (as he was still spying on them) used what look likes cologne, Jack mention he thought he could tell the difference if monsters are evil or not via smell.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Talkative and energetic Jack is the Sanguine.
    • Hotheaded yet task-oriented June is the Choleric.
    • Blunt and slightly introverted Dirk is the Melancholic.
    • Introverted and nerdy Quint is the Phlegmatic.
  • Freudian Slip: Jack begins referring to Quint, Dirk, and June as his family. This is especially sad because he is an orphan and has been bounced from place to place with no real family of his own.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Happens several times in the first season.
    • The first time, Jack uses the broken baseball bat to seriously scar Blarg over his right eye.
    • The second time, Jack shoots an acidic chemical at Blarg, seriously injuring both pairs of right eyes.
    • The third time, Jack uses the broken baseball bat again to impale Blarg in what seemed to be its brain, killing it.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The overarching plot of Season 2 involves the four kids being sent on a quest by Thrull to track down a number of monsters and collect their essence for a magical bestiary.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: After his first run-in with Blarg in Book 1, Jack's trusty baseball bat more or less resembles a sword. He even brandishes it as such repeatedly, and a sword often takes its place in his Imagine Spots.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jack enters one after finding out Thrull serves Rezzoch and has been manipulating them.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: When discussing the disappearing zombies, Bardle mentions it is related to the shrieking. June comments she never mentioned the shrieking, only guessing some monster was taking the zombies. Bardle fumbles over an excuse, saying he misheard.
  • Improvised Weapon: All of the kids are Combat Pragmatists who often use whatever's lying around to help them defeat the monsters.
    • Jack has his broken baseball bat.
    • June has a lacrosse stick with the tip snapped off and sharpened to a fine point.
    • Though Dirk often prefers his bare fists and raw strength, he sometimes uses sturdy items-such as a ping-pong table or a door-to create a shield. This way, he can run ahead of the group and plow through obstacles.
    • Quint, being more of a Science Hero and inventor, prefers using chemicals to create bombs and painful acids.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: In Season 3, there's the Scrapken which is giant kraken-like monster living in Big Al's junkyard. At the end of season 3, the Scrapken gets into a fight with the 3-headed King Wretch and Scrapken wins by fair margin.
  • Light Is Not Good: Rezzoch is blue and white in color and emits a bright light but she's a world devouring interdimensional being.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: Though not (or explicitly said) in the books, June DOES have a reciprocating crush on Jack (as he always wore his heart on his sleeve for her). This is best shown in the series' 2nd book episode of "Stay on Target" and the 2nd season finale episode, she even hugs him wherein the two of them pull away shyly.
  • Magic Versus Science: During the building of their community, Quint and Bardle butt heads a little with Bardle dismissing Quint's inventions as trivial and Quint lashes back in reaction. This gets inverted when Quint is amazed as seeing Bardle using some stronger magic and Bardle admiring Quint's inventions to the point that Bardle makes some wretch-proof armour for Rover as his attempt to try "science".
  • Meaningful Echo: In a flashback to the last normal day, Jack defends Quint from Dirk, telling him to "Pick on someone your own size!" Dirk then uses the same retort against Blarg in the final battle, right before braining him in the face with an improvised football gun.
  • Monster of the Week: Book 2 features this. While there might be more than one monster per episode, each episode mainly focuses on one specific monster they need monster essence from.
  • Mythology Gag: The pictures that June finds in Bardle’s secret hideaway match the art style of the books' illustrations.
  • Nobody Poops: None of the protagonists are seen going to the bathroom or ever needing to go. Only June is mentioned to even bathe. This is inverted later as it's shown that the kids have a toilet bucket that has to emptied every so often.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: It is implied that many of the monsters the kids encounter are not "evil", simply angry and confused over being involuntarily dragged out of their dimension and trapped in another. Blarg is the exception.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Bigg Un is a friendly monster so huge that he can carry the kids on a howdah backpack that they made. Bigg Un is also so strong that he was overpowering the King Wretch that was possessed by Rezzoch.
  • Parental Abandonment: Given the premise is about a group of middle-school kids surviving by themselves in a post-apocalyptic world, it's unsurprising they wouldn't have any parents around:
    • Jack grew up in the foster care system, and it's implied he never knew his birth parents because he sometimes laments on how he never had a family. The foster family he was living with (who were implied to be neglectful) evacuated Wakefield without him, leaving Jack to fend for himself.
    • Quint’s parents happened to be on a cruise when the Apocalypse happened, and he holds onto the hope that they’re hiding out somewhere safe.
    • Dirk was surviving the Apocalypse on his own before Jack and Quint nearly ran him over with their Big Mama car. In "Bestiary Master", Dirk tells June that "when she was still around," his mom told him about some "alien encounters" she had around his age, but it's unknown what happened to her.
    • June’s parents unintentionally did this. June happened to be at school when the apocalypse occurred and she survived the initial chaos by hiding inside the vacant building, surviving with her lacrosse skills, and raiding the vending machines. On the fourth day of the Apocalypse, while camping out on the school roof, she spotted her parents being evacuated on one of the rescue buses, and they saw her as well. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get to each other because there were too many monsters and zombies around the school and Mr. and Mrs. del Toro couldn't get the bus to be stopped because another monster was chasing the bus. It’s also why June wanted to keep living at the school; if her parents return to Wakefield they’ll know where to find her.
  • Parental Neglect: Considering how Jack's current foster family didn't wait for him before they evacuated Wakefield, it's heavily implied they didn't care too much about him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jack and June. Jack is impulsive and adventurous; June is much calmer and pragmatic.
  • Secret Test of Character: Dirk experience in his third trial to be an honorary monster. the monster presented a living creature to Dirk to eat. When he refuses he learns he passed the test as it was to show he can act mercifully.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Jack's "feats" are a reference to "achievements" and include a similar chime sound.
    • When defending the treehouse from Blarg, Dirk looks just like the Heavy from Team Fortress 2.
    • Taking Big Mama out on the road, Jack drives through the Bakers’ garage door saying “Where we’re going, we don’t need doors.”
    • When Jack, Quint, and Dirk come across a giant zombie ball, Jack and Quint note that it’s just like Indiana Jones.
    • Later, Jack, June, Quint, and Dirk dance in their school in vein of The Breakfast Club.
    • In his video for the Scream Machine, Quint mentions they accept "all kinds of currency, including Atomic Cola caps". This is probably a reference to the Fallout video game series, which is also set in a post-apocalypse world, where the main currency is Nuka-Cola soda bottle caps.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Of a sort. Jack and Quint document the monsters they encounter and rate them based on how lethal they are. When Quint sees Rover, he calls him a "Level Delta', with Jack saying Rover is below a level Delta. Zombies are the lowest.
  • Super-Persistent Predator:
    • Averted with the zombies, which are realistically (for zombies) only interested in chasing prey that they can get to. When Jack escapes a zombie by climbing into the treehouse and pulling up the ladder, the zombie seems to consider its options for a few moments before deciding to hunt elsewhere.
    • A zombie exception is the "zombie ball" encountered in the school. A mass of zombies rolled into a ball, it chases Jack, Quint, and Dirk throughout the school. When they try to escape up a flight of stairs, the zombies work together and use their arms and legs to get up the stairs, too.
    • Blarg the monster is hellbent on finding and killing Jack after Jack slashes one of its eyes with a broken bat.
  • Team Pet: Rover, a friendly monster that acts like a dog, who immediately befriends Jack.
  • This Is Reality: June has this reaction when she reads Jack's list of feats. Jack counters by saying it's his way of coping with the apocalypse.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Rover, when compared to other non-humanoid monsters.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dirk points out to Jack that yelling through a megaphone is going to attract monsters, which it does. Jack makes the same mistake later when he angrily yells at Blarg from the school, allowing Blarg to find him even faster than it already would have.
  • Training from Hell: Thrull puts Jack through one, improving his skills.
  • Trapped in Another World: Earth is this for the monsters, both humanoid and non-humanoid. Bardle states that when Rezzoch was awakened, she caused the rifts to appear, sucking the monsters in and leading them to Earth, where they are now all trapped.
  • Truce Zone: Joe's Pizza, a pizza place that kids from Jack's school used to frequent, has become this for the humanoid monsters and the protagonists.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For the kids, seeing all the zombies. They used to be people they know, like Quint's babysitter or their teachers, but because zombies are commonplace they don't seem to care. While scoping the school, Jack sees their former gym teacher, now a zombie, and comments that at least he won't have to run laps anymore. However, this doesn't mean they aren't scared of the zombies; they're just more commonplace-and easier to defeat-than the monsters.
    • This becomes a plot point in Book 2 when June notices all the zombies are disappearing from their usual areas.
  • Unwanted Rescue: While most utilities are still working, their main issues are access to food and water supplies. June held up in the school and had access to both, and she is seen rationing water for different days of the week. When Jack and the others break in to rescue her, she berates them for blocking her access to the cafeteria, where she had been getting most of her food and water.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: June says this to Jack, Quint, and Dirk, but specifically Jack. Her yelling at them includes barging in on her safe haven (the school), releasing the zombies she spent weeks corralling and thereby blocking access to her food supply, and berating Jack for treating the apocalypse like a game when she discovers his feat list.
    • Jack is most often the target of this by the other characters. It is mostly due to either his well-intentioned but poorly thought out plans or him keeping secrets from the other kids, such as Thrull telling him the bestiary book will protect their world from Rezzoch, with Jack keeping that fact a secret.
  • When Trees Attack: After Thrull merges with the Tree of Entry, he becomes a mobile humanoid tree person.
  • You Are Not Alone: Explore in a interesting way in season 3 when the others discovered a radio with a transmission from other survivors. June, Quint and Dirk being elated as that means they aren't the last humans alive (June even flat out state that transmission gave her hope). Jack was apprehensive for a long while as he worried that the others will leave and he'll be all alone again. It only till the near end when the other learn of this and assure that no matter what, they will stick together and that finding more human will just mean he will just have a larger quasi-family.