23 Things That Don't Exist In "The Last Of Us" Because The Outbreak Started In 2003
If you've been watching The Last of Us, you know that the show follows the survivors of a nearly world-ending pandemic that turns humans into fungus-controlled "Clickers."
You might also know that the show — which is based on a bestselling video game — made a slight change from the source material: Namely, it's set about 10 years earlier, which means that in the show, the deadly pandemic starts in 2003.
Naughty Dog / Sony
That means that poor souls like Ellie and Joel not only have to deal with hordes of Runners, Clickers, and other Infected, but they ALSO missed out on everything that happened post-2003. Here are some of the things that don't exist in The Last of Us's universe:
Yes, sadly Shrek 2 premiered in 2004, which is after the Cordyceps infection took over the world in The Last of Us. So not only have the characters in the show never seen the beauty of Shrek 2, but they've also never heard "Accidentally In Love" by the Counting Crows. Thankfully, the original Shrek came out in 2001, so maybe Joel and Sarah watched that together 😢.
3.And Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and TikTok, for that matter
4.All of Rihanna's music
5.Taylor Swift's entire career, too
6.Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch
Remember this moment? It was in May of 2005. What a pop culture moment to miss out on, right?
7.The Office (the American version, anyway)
While the British version of The Office premiered in 2001, the American version was a few years later. So Joel has never heard of Michael Scott, Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, or Dwight Schrute.
8.The entire National Treasure franchise
9.Jonah Hill's whole film career.
This one's a heartbreaker. "Mr. Brightside" hit the airwaves on September 29, 2003. In the show, the outbreak starts on September 23, 2003. They would've missed it by less than a week. On the bright side (ha), the song was written before then, so presumably, some people out there have heard it in TLOU's universe.
xxsilverspades / Via tenor.com
The earliest known use of this text emoticon dates back to 2005. So — blessedly — at least the survivors in TLOU never had to hear anyone say "uwu" out loud.
Yes, TLOU's universe is one where the movie Anchorman was never released. So there isn't a single person in TLOU walking around a quarantine zone yelling "I'm in a glass case of emotion!" Those people could, however, potentially be yelling Borat quotes instead, as long as they came from Da Ali G Show and not from the Borat movie, which never existed.
15.Game of Thrones
The books would have still existed up to A Storm of Swords, which was published in 2000. So, theoretically, Joel and Ellie would know about the Red Wedding if they had picked up the books, but I wouldn't count on it. Joel doesn't strike me as a high fantasy reader.
No Meredith and Derek, no "choose me, love me," no Izzie cutting the LVAD wire, none of it! We wouldn't have even gotten Sandra Oh in Sideways, either! The world of The Last of Us is generally unaware of Sandra Oh's genius, and that's worse than a zombie apocalypse.
19.Ashley Simpson lip-syncing on SNL
For us, it was all anyone could talk about. In The Last of Us universe, Ashlee and the entire SNL staff were probably infected by the time October of 2004 rolled around.
20."Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
What a bummer for this song to never have existed, especially since it's one of the funniest uses of parentheses in a song title ever, IMO.
21.The entire MCU
Iron Man, the first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, premiered in 2008. So for Joel and Ellie, there's no "America's ass," "I love you 3000," or any of that. However, the Ang Lee Hulk would have come out just a few months before Outbreak Day, so there's that.
22.Every single YouTube video, ever
YouTube launched in 2005. So for The Last of Us, that means no "Charlie Bit My Finger," no Sophia Grace and Rosie, no Jenna Marbles, NO BO BURNHAM!