An early sign of the Cordyceps infection was hiding in plain sight in The Last of Us episode 1

Nico Parker as Sarah Miller in The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

The Last of Us certainly isn't short of Easter eggs – the HBO video game adaptation is packed full of subtle nods and references to keep us guessing and theorizing. And one of these small moments occurs in some of the season's earliest moments, fans have noticed.

The season premiere opens in relative normality – the outbreak of Cordyceps, the parasitic fungal infection that goes on to devastate humanity, has yet to become apparent. In one scene, Joel (Pedro Pascal)'s teenage daughter Sarah (Nico Parker) is at school, sitting in a classroom. An eagle-eyed viewer on TikTok noticed that one of Sarah's classmates at a nearby desk is twitching – Sarah notices this as the student's bracelet keeps catching the light as their wrist subtly and seemingly uncontrollably spasms. 


♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs - Skittlegirl Sound

There's a poster on the wall in episode 2 that outlines the symptoms of the Cordyceps infection: coughing, slurred speech, mood change, and muscle spasms. While the first victim of the outbreak we see in the show is Joel and Sarah's elderly neighbor later in the episode, this moment shows that victims were hiding in plain sight all along. 

"The twitcher in the class also was wearing a medical alert bracelet so they'd get infected faster too," another viewer pointed out in the comments of the video, identifying the specific type of bracelet the student was wearing. "Anyone who's sick or infected, the infection spreads faster in them."

The Last of Us airs Sundays on HBO before following on Sky Atlantic in the UK. Make sure you never miss an episode with our guide to The Last of Us release schedule

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.