The Last of Us Part 2 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.
Updated on January 24th, 2022, by Hannah Saab: Although The Last of Us Part 2 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.
Updated on December 7th, 2022 by Jordan Iacobucci: HBO Max’s The Last of Us live-action series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey is speedily approaching, leaving fans excited and anxious to see how the beloved video game franchise will be adapted. As the series approaches, fans are revisiting the original two games, the most recent of which contains several memorable lines that elevate the overall story.
“You Can’t Stop This.”
The Last of Us: Part 2 shows Ellie become a complete force of nature in her quest for revenge against Abby’s group for the murder of her best friend and father figure, Joel. Upon tracking down and incapacitating one of the perpetrators, Ellie menacingly tells him that he “can’t stop this,” before brutally killing him.
In this moment, Ellie proves herself to no longer be the little girl that players knew from the first game. Instead, she has become a ruthless, perhaps unstoppable, killer with a penchant for revenge. This much darker version of the beloved character no longer had any qualms about killing, but instead ends the lives of anyone who gets in her way.
“You Don’t Get To Rush This.”
After years of pursuing Joel after his rampage at the hospital during the climax of The Last of Us, Abby and her group finally catch their quarry. As her friends hold Joel captive, Abby menacingly declares that he “doesn’t get to rush this,” before taking her time in brutally murdering him.
This moment still proves to be the most controversial scene in the entire franchise, dividing fans over whether the sequel should have killed Joel off so early. Nevertheless, there is no denying the power of this scene, which is only elevated by Abby’s bitter words toward the man who killed her father.
“If You Lie To Me One More Time, I’m Gone.”
Joel’s actions at the end of the first game were morally gray at best, choosing to save Ellie’s life rather than allow her to die in service of finding a cure for the zombie infection. However, Ellie eventually became suspicious of Joel’s lies regarding the Fireflies and, in one heated moment, she swore that she would leave for good if he didn’t tell her the truth.
The entire dynamic between Joel and Ellie in Part 2 hinges upon this monumental moment. Players witness a growing divide between the two beloved characters as Ellie comes to realize what Joel did to rescue her and, once the truth is revealed, things are never the same between them again.
“I Can Make It Quick. Or I Can Make It Much Worse.”
After ruthlessly pursuing Nora, one of Abby’s companions, Ellie corners her and threatens to kill her unless she discloses Abby’s location. When Nora wonders why she should even bother, having already breathed the infectious spores in the air, Ellie menacingly reminds her that her death can be quick and painless or the exact opposite.
This is truly one of Ellie’s more brutal moments, as she demonstrates just how willing she is to end someone’s life in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. She does eventually lash out in anger and kills Nora, bludgeoning her with a metal pipe.
“Oh Ellie, I Think They Should Be Terrified Of You.”
When discussing her plans for revenge against Abby and her companion with Dina, Ellie has a brief moment of self-doubt, wondering if there is really anything she can do to make them pay for Joel’s death. Ever Ellie’s supporter Dina chimes in, assuring her that Abby’s group should be utterly terrified.
As it turns out, Dina was absolutely correct in her assessment of Ellie’s skills, as she would tear through each of Abby’s friends until she finally got what she wanted. What Dina didn’t seem to see at the time, however, was just how lost Ellie would become in her hunt for revenge.
“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 2 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 2 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 at the end of the first game. 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…”
“Why Don’t You Say Whatever Speech You’ve Got Rehearsed And Get This Over With.”
Joel meets his end in the second game far sooner than almost anyone thought he would. However, he surely expected his past to catch up to him and, when Abby tells him to guess who she is, he boldly replies, “Why don’t you say whatever speech you’ve got rehearsed and get this over with.”
Joel knew that he made a lot of enemies as a result of his actions and that someone wanting revenge would inexorably find him one day. While Joel had found happiness in the years since the first game, he knew it would, unfortunately, come to an end, and was ready for his demise when it finally came for him.
“We Let You Both Live And You Wasted It!”
When Abby and her friends go to kill Joel, Ellie and Tommy both try to stop them. The attackers knock the two of them out but decide to spare them, 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 in order to get 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 were 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 2 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, including one notable example 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 seen as a good person. He’s done good things, but he’s also done plenty of bad things in contrast. Arguably his most morally gray action 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 in her revenge mission 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…”
“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.”
Like Joel, 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 always the best at expressing and communicating his emotions, but when he does it through song, he makes his feelings 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…”
“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.