The Last of Us features an extraordinarily deep cut reference to The Last of Us Part 2

Pedro Pascal as Joel in The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

The first episode of HBO's The Last of Us contained an intricate reference to The Last of Us 2.

The Last of Us TV show debuted its first episode yesterday on January 15 for U.S. audiences on HBO, and fans have been quick to uncover references to the Naughty Dog games. One particularly deep cut, however, comes by way of Sarah (played by Nico Parker) gifting her father Joel (Pedro Pascal) a copy of Curtis and Viper 2.

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This movie is referenced by Ellie in Naughty Dog's The Last of Us 2. Near the beginning of the sequel, when the protagonist and companion Dina are venturing through Jackson, Wyoming, Ellie mentions inviting Joel over to watch a movie, the movie in question being none other than Curtis and Viper 2.

In the Naughty Dog sequel, Ellie highlights Curtis and Viper 2 as having been on her "radar for a while," given that the franchise is actually Joel's favorite from the 1980s. Ellie then mentions that Joel's really into his "cheesy 80s action movies," which looks like it would be a pretty good descriptor for Curtis and Viper.

Going forward, HBO's The Last of Us will debut new episodes every Sunday, with the same episode releasing the following Monday for U.K. audiences via Sky Atlantic and NowTV. Showrunner Craig Mazin just revealed how a note from HBO led to the series premier being so long, and how the debut episode of The Last of Us changed from how it was originally envisioned.

Head over to our guide on how to watch The Last of Us TV series online for less if you're looking for the best U.S. and U.K. deals. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.