18 The Last of Us 2 Easter eggs and where to find them

The Last of Us 2 Easter eggs
(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

The Last of Us 2 Easter eggs litter the game with nods to everything from Jak and Daxter to Uncharted and some unmentionable Crash Bandicoot porn (we've mentioned it). Plus there are just good ol' callbacks to previous Last of Us games and plenty more. 

Some of these are obvious, some are well-hidden, and a few require a bit of context or awareness to realise they are Easter Eggs in the first place. Not to mention that with all the The Last of Us 2's clickers and survivors trying to kill you, it's easy to miss some of the smaller details. So here's a guide to all the best The Last of Us 2 Easter eggs we could find. 

Spoiler warning: There's nothing directly spoilery here but the last couple of entries do have minor character spoilers. 

1. The Last of Us 1 Rabbit

The Last of Us 1 Rabbit

(Image credit: Sony)

The first Easter egg in the whole game is subtle but the way it's set up makes it clear it's intentional - the framing of a rabbit in the window within seconds of taking control of Ellie is a clear call back to the Winter chapter in the original game, where you first played as her looking after a wounded Joel. 

2. A PS3 with some familiar games

The Last of Us PS3 easter egg games

(Image credit: Sony)

In Ellie’s home you’ll find a PS3 with a copy of Jak and Daxter and Uncharted 2. Crucially, these games and console are both pre-Outbreak Day (September 26th, 2013, the day the Cordyceps Brain Infection brought civilization to an end). That's why you won't find a PS4 or 5, or any more modern games, despite the story taking place in the 2030s. You'll find a few PS3s with games scattered around various locations in the game. 

Interestingly, while you'll find Jak and Daxter, Uncharted and Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3 seems to be missing despite being made before Outbreak Day. Now it might be because that game has a The Last of Us newspaper Easter egg in, so would create a weird meta paradox by existing in the world it references. Or it could be that it’s the one Uncharted director Neil Druckmann wasn't involved in because he was making The Last of Us. 

3. Remember the giraffe? 

The Last of Us 2 giraffe

(Image credit: Sony)

When you get out of the storm with Dina you’ll find a children’s area with a stuffed giraffe. It’s obviously a reference to the classic moment in the original game which is confirmed when Ellie gets out her journal and makes a note. 

4. Crash Bandicoot porn - yes, really

The Last of Us 2 Crash Bandicoot porn

(Image credit: Sony)

When you find Eugene’s weed den there are some video tapes you can examine. The titles give you a clue as to what they’re about with ‘Dong of the Wolf’ the first name read out loud. That’s actually an internal The Last of Us Easter egg, referencing the Dawn of the Wolf movie that exists in the first game. One of the other videos however is called Smash Brandi’s Cooch which sounds familiar and... is best not thought about too much. 

5. Sarah’s photo

Sarah's photo in The Last of Us 2

(Image credit: Sony)

When you go to Joel’s house you can find the original photo of him and Sarah from the first game framed and prominently displayed. What’s perhaps more important here than just being a call back is that it’s displayed proudly alongside a picture of Joel and Ellie, making it clear he finally sees her as a daughter as well. 

6. Joel’s Watch and gun

Joel's watch and gun in The Last of Us 2

(Image credit: Sony)

You can’t really miss this Easter egg as it’s a scripted party of the story but it’s worth pointing out that Ellie stops to pick both Joe's old gun and broken watch from the previous game, up before she sets out on her journey.

7. Infection scanner

The Last of Us 2 infection scanner Easter egg

(Image credit: Sony)

While exploring downtown Seattle you can get into an old military checkpoint where you’ll find an old FEDRA infection scanner on the shelves. Interestingly, Ellie mentions that she hasn’t seen one in a while suggesting the centralized government that used to manage checkpoints or organisation has either collapsed, or doesn’t come anywhere near Jackson.  

8. Pearl Jam poster

The Last of Us Pearl Jam poster

(Image credit: Sony)

In the music shop you can visit in downtown Seattle you’ll see a poster for the 2013 Pearl Jam album Lightning Bolt. The song both Joel and Elie play that opens “If I ever were to lose you” is actually Pearl Jams’ Future Days song from that album. In the music shop it’s labeled ‘coming soon’ because in the real world the album was due to be released on October 15, 2013 over a month before Outbreak Day in The Last of Us which happened on September 26, 2013. So the album never actually came out. Future Days had, however, debuted live on August 23, 2013 so it does exist in Ellie and Joel's world without the album's release. 

9. The classic Deus Ex door code

The Last of Us 2 Deus Ex door code

(Image credit: Sony)

While exploring downtown Seattle you’ll find a safe at Gate West 2 that uses the code 0451, one of the many Last of Us 2 safe codes and combinations. This, famously, is the first door code in Deus Ex and is a common Easter egg in many games. Although it actually appeared in earlier stuff like System Shock 1 and 2, as well as the Thief games. It was the real life door code of developer, Looking Glass Studios’ Cambridge office, the studio that made Thief and System Shock, and whose various team members went on to work on games like Deus Ex, Bioshock and more.  

10. The Creepy Halloween statue from Left Behind

The Left Behind Halloween statue

(Image credit: Sony)

After you move on from downtown Seattle you can find a toy shop with some Halloween gear in. There’s a very obvious statue that previously appeared in Left Behind, The Last of US DLC that told the story of a younger Ellie losing her friend and first love Riley, while getting the bite that exposed her immunity. When Dina comments that some of the Halloween stuff is “funny looking“, Ellie responds by saying “I’m not a fan”.  

11. Hail Yourself, Hail me

The Last of Us 2 Last Podcast on the Left Easter egg

(Image credit: Sony)

While looking for Staci’s phone number as part of a safe combination, in an area full of trip mines, you'll find "Hail Yourself. Hail me!!!" written on a toilet wall in a thrift shop. It's a nod to the usual sign off from crime/weird shit podcast, The Last Podcast on the Left. Megustalations.

12. A familiar pallet

last of us 2 last of us pallet easter egg

(Image credit: Sony)

During a flashback for Ellie’s birthday you discover she has finally learned to swim - while she’s splashing about we see an old pallet caught on a step. “Want to give me a ride?” she shouts to Joel who replies, “those days a long gone kiddo”, referencing the levels in the first game where you have to carry Ellie across some water, floating on identical bits of wood. 

13. Hotline Miami

The Last of Us 2 Hotline Miami Easter egg

(Image credit: Sony)

When Ellie is tracking down Nora and infiltrating the WLF base you’ll meet a guard playing a PS Vita. She’s actually playing Hotline Miami which is very obvious from the music, but after she’s been... taken out you can see the game clearly on the screen. 

14. The Velveteen Rabbit 

The Last of Us 2 Velveteen Rabbit Easter egg

(Image credit: Sony)

In a Seattle bookshop you can find a page from the 1922 children's book The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a story about a toy rabbit who hopes his owner’s love will make him real. However, after the child becomes ill with scarlet fever he’s bagged up to be burned along with other contaminated possessions. Then a fairy rescues him and turns him into a real rabbit. I’m guessing its a fave of a developer? 

15. The Turning arcade machine

The Last of Us 2 The Turning arcade machine

(Image credit: Sony)

While travelling by boat you’ll end up in an arcade that has a The Turning arcade machine with the main character Angel Knives on the front. It originally appeared in The Last Of Us with Ellie explaining the game to Joel, and later took a more prominent place in the Left Behind DLC.

16. Jak X Combat Racing arcade machine

The Last of Us 2 Jak X Combat Racing

(Image credit: Sony)

In the same arcade where you find The Turning arcade machine, you can also find a Jak X Combat Racing arcade machine. Again, this also appeared in The Last Of Us’ Left Behind DLC, this time with Ellie having the option to get in and pretend to play it. 

17. Jak and Daxter Collection on PS Vita

The Last of Us 2 Jak and Daxter PS Vita

(Image credit: Sony)

While you’re exploring the WLF base you’ll find another person playing a PS Vita. This time it looks a lot like they’re playing the Lava Tube level of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. 

18. The Strange Relic 

The Last of Us 2 strange Relic

(Image credit: Sony)

When you’re exploring the Chinatown street in Hostile territory you can find a ‘strange relic’ in one of the upstairs rooms. It’s actually a Precursor Orb, a collectible from Naughty Dog’s old Jak and Daxter games. They're a reoccuring Easter egg for Naughty Dog and have turned up in every Uncharted game so far, but this is a first for The Last of Us. 

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.