10 Biggest The Last Of Us Game Moments Missing From The TV Show (So Far)
10 Biggest The Last Of Us Game Moments Missing From The TV Show (So Far)

The first season of HBO’s The Last of Us made a lot of changes to the game’s story without comprising the themes or emotional throughlines, but it meant skipping a lot of great moments. Some scenes from The Last of Us made it into the TV adaptation unaltered, like Joel and Ellie’s dramatic conversation about Sarah and their beautiful encounter with a giraffe in Salt Lake City. Other parts of the game were changed drastically, like replacing Joel and Ellie’s adventure in Bill’s town with a standalone episode about Bill’s touching love story with Frank.

While The Last of Us season 1 followed the basic beats of the game, starting off with the same tragic inciting incident and ending with the same shocking massacre, but a lot of the details got changed along the way. There are nowhere near as many infected in the TV show as there are in the game, and Joel never once picks up a brick or a bottle to use as a distraction/melee weapon. The Last of Us season 1 is a near-perfect adaptation of a classic video game, but it’s missing a lot of the game’s best moments.

10Joel Gets Caught In One Of Bill’s Traps

This action scene showcases Joel and Ellie’s teamwork

Joel dangles upside down in The Last of Us

The Last of Us’ third episode, “Long, Long Time,” telling the beautiful love story of Bill and Frank, is arguably the best episode of the TV show, but it meant cutting out all the exciting action that takes place in Bill’s town. When Joel and Ellie first arrive, Joel is caught in one of Bill’s traps and dangles upside down, shooting at an approaching horde of infected, while Ellie tries to cut him down. Not only is this a thrilling action scene; it showcases the teamwork that will get Joel and Ellie through this grueling journey.

9Ellie’s Banter With Bill

Bella Ramsey and Nick Offerman would’ve nailed Ellie and Bill’s bitter dynamic

Bill talks to Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us

Another casualty of the TV show’s decision to tell Bill and Frank’s love story was that Ellie never got to meet Bill. In the game, they have a hilariously bitter dynamic, constantly hurling insults and curse words at each other. If the TV show had adapted this portion of the game, Bella Ramsey and Nick Offerman surely would’ve nailed that dynamic with a ton of laugh-out-loud moments – they’re masters of comic timing and they’re great at building on-screen chemistry with their co-stars.

8The Bloater Fight In The School Gymnasium

This was a frightening introduction to bloaters

The bloater at the school gymnasium in The Last of Us

Bloaters got a jaw-dropping introduction in The Last of Us TV show as one showed up amongst a horde and ripped Kathleen’s right-hand man limb from limb. But they got a great introduction in the game, too, as Joel, Ellie, and Bill tried to escape from the school through the gymnasium. The first bloater seen in the TV show doesn’t pose an immediate threat to Joel and Ellie, but the first bloater seen in the game charges right at them.

7Joel Gets Trapped In The Hotel Basement

This is the scariest sequence in the game

Joel fights a bloater in The Last of Us

The scariest sequence in the game is when Joel and Ellie are making their way through a dilapidated hotel and Joel falls down the elevator shaft and gets trapped in the basement. In the pitch black, Joel has to find a keycard and figure out a way to get the electricity back on in order to escape, all while being chased by a pack of stalkers and an angry bloater. The TV show was pretty short on infected action, and the terrifying hotel basement set-piece would’ve gone a long way towards fixing that.

6Ellie Covers Joel With A Rifle

This scene shows Joel starting to trust Ellie

Ellie with a rifle in The Last of Us

While Joel hops down into a courtyard to deal with some armed hunters, he gives Ellie a rifle to cover him. When the encounter is over, after being impressed with her sharpshooting, Joel gives Ellie her own handgun. This scene shows Joel starting to trust Ellie in a really beautiful way. It would’ve been nice if the TV series had found a way to incorporate it. But it was also important for the show to use Ellie’s first on-screen kill to foreshadow the “Left Behind” episode.

5Joel & Ellie’s High Five

The high five at the dam is an adorable father-daughter moment

Ellie tries to high-five Joel in The Last of Us

It made sense that the TV adaptation of The Last of Us cut out the scene at the dam, since it’s a puzzle that works better in gameplay form. But it also meant cutting out one of the sweetest father-daughter moments between Joel and Ellie: the high five that Joel gives Ellie after they figure out a way to cross the dam. The TV show could’ve utilized the high five elsewhere – it’s too adorable to skip.

4Tommy Tries To Give Joel A Photo Of Sarah

This scene shows how deep Joel’s denial goes

Joel talking to Tommy in The Last of Us

Joel demonstrates just how much he’s closed himself off from the trauma of losing Sarah when he arrives at Tommy’s hideout and Tommy tries to give him a photo of Sarah. Tommy went back to Texas to see what he could salvage and he found the photo intact, so he held onto it to eventually give to Joel when they reunited. But Joel just says, “I’m good,” like Tommy is offering him a slice of pizza, not a picture of the daughter he lost 20 years ago. This is such a powerful yet subtle moment in the game.

3Ellie Helps An Injured Joel Out Of The University

This intense sequence shows just how much Ellie has come to care about Joel

Joel in a fight at the university in The Last of Us

The Last of Us TV show does adapt the sequence in which Joel and Ellie seek out the Fireflies at a university and end up running afoul of some scavengers. But in the show, Joel is injured right next to the horse; in the game, Ellie has to help Joel out of the building. It’s a really intense sequence that shows just how much Ellie has come to care about Joel, and gives Joel even more reason to save Ellie at the hospital.

2David & Ellie Fight Off A Horde Of Infected

This scene makes David seem trustworthy

In the TV show, nothing happens while Ellie and David are waiting for James to return with the medicine. But in the game, they have to fend off a massive horde of infected. Not only would this action-packed set-piece bring more infected into the TV show; it also makes David seem trustworthy, which makes the revelation of his true intentions all the more shocking.

1Ellie Gives Joel The Picture Of Sarah (& This Time He Accepts It)

This beautiful full-circle moment completes Joel’s emotional journey

A photo of Joel and Sarah in The Last of Us

In the last leg of the game, with the Salt Lake hospital in sight, Ellie reveals that she stole the picture of Sarah from Tommy and gives it to Joel. This time, Joel accepts, admitting that he can’t outrun his past and bringing his emotional journey full circle. Since The Last of Us TV show didn’t set up the photo at Tommy’s place, it didn’t have this payoff, either. This is a crucial moment in Joel’s character arc, and in the development of Joel and Ellie’s relationship, so it would’ve been great to see it in the TV show.