The Last of Us Part II has become one of the most polarizing video games in recent history. While The Last of Us has been generally loved by everyone who’s played it, its sequel has been called both a masterpiece and a disgrace. One part of the game that’s been particularly divisive is its characters.
The sequel brings back some old characters while also introducing new ones. However fans feel about the characters and their choices, it’s undeniable that there are several quotes from them that allow the game’s writing to shine.
Updated on January 24th, 2022, by Hannah Saab: Although The Last of Us Part II continues to be as polarizing as ever, the sequel has managed to attract a considerably large fanbase who endlessly discuss and debate various aspects of the game. The best quotes from The Last of Us 2 are still being used to explain characters’ actions, motivations, and personalities. With a TV adaptation expected to debut this year, it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the most iconic lines from the post-apocalyptic title.
“My Friends’ Problems Are My Problems.”
One of the newest and arguably most wasted characters in TLoU2 is Jesse. Throughout the game, he rarely takes time to himself. Rather, he spends his time helping others. This is evident when he tells Ellie, “My friends’ problems are my problems.”
Jesse’s role in The Last of Us Part II is to help Ellie exact revenge on Abby. He travels by himself and takes on warring groups just to find Ellie and Dina. Jesse’s motto shows that he can’t relax unless his friends are okay, making him one of the best characters in the game.
“See, There Was A Sequel.”
There’s a point in the game when Joel talks to Ellie about Jurassic Park. When Joel says the dinosaurs he knows, Ellie asks if he saw them in the movie, too. Joel then tells her, “Actually, yeah. But a different one. See, there was a sequel. Wasn’t as good.”
Whether or not the Jurassic Park sequels are as good as the original, the quote is funny regardless. Since The Last of Us Part II is a sequel itself, the quote was always going to stand out as funny, ironic, or both.
“You Don’t Think Joel Deserved What He Got?”
Many people were impacted by Joel’s decision to rescue Ellie from the hospital. Fireflies died (including Abby’s father), Ellie lost her purpose, and a cure for the infected was lost forever. With everyone having a vendetta against Joel, Abby and her friends traveled for hundreds of miles to kill him.
Once they found him, Abby tortured Joel with a golf club. Later, when her friend Mel is disturbed by it, Abby asks, “You don’t think Joel deserved what he got?” She raises a thought-provoking question, and the answer would change depending on who she asked.
“Why Don’t You Say Whatever Speech You’ve Got Rehearsed And Get This Over With.”
Joel gets killed faster than almost everyone thought he would. However, he surely expected his past to catch up to him. When Abby tells him to guess who she is, he says to her, “Why don’t you say whatever speech you’ve got rehearsed and get this over with.”
Joel knew that he made a lot of people upset and that someone wanting revenge would find him eventually. In fact, someone could’ve already, given how he expected Abby to have a speech prepared. While Joel found happiness, he knew it would unfortunately come to an end.
“We Let You Both Live And You Wasted It!”
When Abby and her friends go to kill Joel, Ellie and Tommy try to stop them. They knock the two of them out, but decide to spare them both as they didn’t do anything wrong. When Ellie and Tommy wake up, they decide to go after Abby.
When they meet Abby again, she tells them, “You killed my friends. We let you both live and you wasted it!” Ellie and Tommy killed everyone Abby was close to, even though she let them go. As the quote suggests, they threw away everything they knew all for revenge.
“Don’t You Do It, Ellie!”
The Last of Us series features tremendous loss, with Tommy being a notable example. He lost his brother, his wife, his eye, and the ability to walk properly. Another thing he lost by the end is his sense of compassion.
When Abby is threatening to shoot Tommy if Ellie doesn’t come out, he yells, “Don’t you do it, Ellie! Get out of here!” Later in the game, when Ellie refuses to go after Abby again, Tommy scoffs at her and leaves. The quote is the last time Tommy shows that he truly cares about Ellie.
“What Is The Downside To Eating A Clock?”
Ever since he lost his daughter, Joel became stoic and afraid to get attached to anyone. But when he met Ellie, all that was thrown aside while an incredible bond was formed. One way they bonded in the first game is by Ellie telling him jokes, which definitely made Joel a more likable character.
Ellie’s jokes stuck with Joel, and he remembered that they’re an easy way to make her laugh. The second game starts with another joke, this time told by Joel. He says to Ellie, “What is the downside to eating a clock? It’s time-consuming.” Joel went from wanting nothing to do with Ellie to learning jokes just for her.
“Happy Birthday, Kiddo.”
The Last of Us Part II is significantly darker than the first game. There are more brutal deaths and harder choices the characters have to make. But with the dark moments also comes levity. An example is when Joel celebrates Ellie’s birthday with her.
Joel knows that Ellie likes space and dinosaurs, so he takes her to a museum filled with artifacts of them. He tops it off by giving her a tape recording of a launch to space and saying, “Happy birthday, kiddo.” Even in a world as cruel and unforgiving as The Last of Us, it’s nice to know that birthdays can still bring happiness.
“I Would Do It All Over Again.”
Joel isn’t meant to be a good person. He’s done good things, but he’s also done plenty of bad things. Arguably the most morally grey action he’s ever done was taking Ellie away from the Fireflies.
When Ellie finds out, she gets upset at Joel and feels her life can’t amount to anything now. He then tells her, “If somehow the Lord gave me a second chance at that moment, I would do it all over again.” Though almost everyone shows Joel they believe it was wrong, he still firmly believes it was the right thing to do.
“I Don’t Think I Can Ever Forgive You For That.”
When Joel tells Ellie he would save her all over again in a heartbreaking flashback in The Last of Us 2, she tells him, “I don’t think I can ever forgive you for that. But I would like to try.” Forgiveness is usually the ideal outcome, but it isn’t always possible.
Ellie might not be able to forgive Joel, but she still wants to. They’ve known each other for so long and have sacrificed so much, she doesn’t want to feel this way about Joel. Though he hurt her, she still loves him, and she wants to forgive him. This fact makes Joel’s death even more heartbreaking, as it takes away Ellie’s chance at reconciliation.
“Well, You’re A Burden Now, Aren’t You?”
Ellie realizes she has made a grave mistake when she finds out that Dina is pregnant. This complicates their situation and irritates her, even prompting an uncharacteristically hurtful line about Dina being “a burden.”
The jarring scene underscores how easy it is to make Ellie angry, as it’s her first reaction when she feels hurt, betrayed, or scared. Just like how enraged she becomes over Joel’s betrayal, she snaps at Dina, who is, thankfully, impossible to stay mad at for long. It’s an underrated line that should help players get to know the protagonist and her limits early on in the game.
“We Have A Family. She Doesn’t Get To Be More Important Than That.”
One of the most tear-jerking moments in the game happens after Dina and Ellie settle down on a quiet farm and start to build a life for their family. Ellie can’t enjoy the peace, as she’s haunted by Joel’s death and Abby’s unmistakable role in it.
When Dina realizes that Ellie needs to hunt down Abby to be truly content, she begs her not to go by reminding the protagonist that they “have a family” now. Even this fact isn’t enough to sway the traumatized Ellie, as she knows she’ll never rest until she closes that chapter of her life.
“You Made Him A Part Of This.”
Ellie is one of the best main characters in the franchise not because she is a good person, but precisely because of how she’s changed by the terrible events in her life. Fans could have never imagined Ellie holding a knife to an innocent and kind person’s neck before the sequel, but the way she threatens Lev to provoke Abby makes perfect sense.
For a while, it seems as if Ellie may actually be too far gone and would be willing to murder her weakened enemy in cold blood, but she thankfully realizes the horrific things she’s doing before it’s too late.
“If I Were To Lose You, I’d Surely Lose Myself.”
Joel isn’t the best at expressing and communicating his emotions, but when he does it through song, it’s crystal clear. A touching scene shows him singing a cover of “Future Days” by Pearl Jam, with its lyrics about losing himself almost certainly referring to Ellie’s anger towards him.
A sad callback to that scene happens later on after Joel’s death when Ellie plays the same song and sings those specific words. They mean something completely different with Joel gone, which makes the song even more poignant than before.
“I Was Supposed To Die In That Hospital. My Life Would’ve F*****g Mattered, But You Took That From Me.”
The main conflict between Joel and Ellie is a serious one, and although it’s frustrating to see them mad at each other, it’s difficult to pick sides considering how they both have justifiable reasons for their actions. The impossible decision Joel had to make would have haunted him either way, but he knew that by saving Ellie, he would at least have her by his side.
On the other hand, Ellie’s anger and confusion over surviving the situation when she was “supposed to die in that hospital” are understandable. She knows her patrols and contributions to a small community do little to nothing compared to what she could have done for the Fireflies. It’s disappointing to know that the two will never be able to properly work this conflict out, and Ellie’s anger towards Joel during those last days of his life is something she will regret forever.
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