15 Saddest Moments of “The Last Of Us” Season 1!


The first season of The Last Of Us concluded last week, and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do so. It’s excellent if you’re a fan of catastrophic end-of-the-world nonsense.

Here Are 15 of the Saddest Scenes Throughout the Series, From Least to Most Terrible in My Opinion:

15. When Joel Builds a Tombstone for Tess

After Tess’s death at the end of Episode 2 (more on that later), at the beginning of Episode 3, we witness Joel stacking some rocks along the river edge, the closest he can go to offering Tess a tombstone.

Saddest Moments of The Last Of Us season 1

14.  When Joel Flashes Back to Sarah’s Death Before Protecting Ellie

At the end of Season 1, as the guard is about to shoot Ellie, Joel is reminded of the guard who killed his daughter Sarah 20 years ago. Of course, he can’t bring Sarah back, but in a sense, this is the start of Joel’s second chance, even if he doesn’t see it yet.

13. When Ellie Confronts Joel About Abandoning Her and Discloses Her Knowledge of Sarah

Ellie doesn’t learn about Sarah until Episode 6, but once she does, it clarifies a lot of things about Joel, as she puts it. Ellie informs Joel that she is not Sarah after he tells her he will be staying behind and sending her off with his brother Tommy. Their exchange is especially upsetting because Joel’s words, “you’re not my daughter,” plainly hurt Ellie but were a defensive measure on his part, as he does think of her as a daughter at this point.

12. When Bill Gets Shot

Saddest Moments of The Last Of Us season 1

Bill is terrified enough to persuade Frank to call Joel because he will take care of him after he is shot by raiders in Episode 3, which was an emotional disaster in and of itself. Bill isn’t terrified of death, as he tells Frank early in the episode, “I was never afraid before you showed up,” and as he says again when he calls Frank his “purpose.” Instead, he fears the prospect of life without Frank.

11. Professor Pertiwi Says That There is Neither a Vaccine Nor a Cure for the Condition.

The first several victims of the cordyceps virus are revealed to mycology professor Ratna Pertiwi in the opening minutes of Episode 2. As she learns more, however, it becomes increasingly apparent that nothing can be done; seeing her come to this realization is almost unbearable, especially when she suggests bombing the city “and everyone in it” to stop the spread of the infection and then begs to be taken home to be with her family in her final hours.

10. When Joel tells Tommy about his struggles, Tommy is shocked.

In Episode 6, Joel asks Tommy to take Ellie the rest of the way to the Fireflies, and he breaks down as he expresses the dread he’s been feeling and how terrified he is that he’ll get Ellie killed. Joel hasn’t been able to (or hasn’t felt able to) confide in anyone about how he’s been feeling, and it’s evident that he has a hard time opening up even to his brother.

9. When Tess sacrifices herself so that Joel and Ellie may flee, she allows them to escape

Saddest Moments of The Last Of Us season 1

Tess chose to spend her dying minutes terrified and alone to aid Joel and Ellie, even if we didn’t get to spend much time with her and her sacrifice might not have been as significant because she was going to change soon anyway.

8. When Ellie defeats David and kills him, she is reunited with Joel

This youngster has gone through hell and back. Having been born into a fungus-ridden dystopia is awful enough, but she has also had to witness and experience many things that no one, much less a child, should. David’s assault and near-sexual assault in Episode 8 were merely the most recent in a long line of traumatic experiences that had left her with PTSD.

7. When Sarah died

Sarah’s death in the first episode of the pandemic means she didn’t have to see what was to come, which is cold comfort at best, but it doesn’t make watching the rest of the series any easier, especially because we see the misery she’s under in her final hours and the toll it takes on Joel.

6. When We Witnessed Ellie’s Birth and What Happened to Her Mother, Anna, We Were Moved

Saddest Moments of The Last Of Us season 1

After spending a whole season growing attached to Ellie, it was devastating to witness her first moments with the world and her mother’s unconditional love, only for Anna to be bitten and die shortly after. Ashley Johnson, who played Anna, also voiced Ellie in the video games, adding an extra layer of pathos to an already heartbreaking scene.

5. As Joel Goes to Save Ellie, Despite Knowing It Could Spell the End of the World, He Nonetheless Does So

As the season comes to a close, Joel’s love for his surrogate child has completely clouded his judgment. Once he makes up his mind, nothing can stop him from carrying it out, and he proceeds to shoot his way through the hospital like Rambo. While the music undoubtedly played a large role, it was still difficult to watch Joel murder a large number of people, an event that has had a profound effect on him over the past two decades.

4. When He Then Lies to Ellie About It

Tragically, he lies in the hopes that she’ll do the right thing and insist that he take her back to the hospital, but she doesn’t believe him and is probably pleased that he didn’t. Nonetheless, the truth will out sooner or later, and the repercussions could be devastating to their relationship.

3. Henry Kills Himself After Shooting Sam After Sam Has Been Infected

Saddest Moments of The Last Of Us season 1

As Sam admitted in Episode 5 that he’d been bitten, I had a feeling about what was going to happen, but wow. It’s hard to blame Henry for what he did immediately afterward, considering all he did to save his brother’s life.

2. When Ellie and Riley Are Both Bitten by an Infected, We Know That Only One of Them Has a Chance of Survival, Even Though They Do Not

Episode 7 was incredibly bittersweet since you know how the story will finish even as you watch Ellie and Riley have a lovely evening together. To make matters worse, the infection can take hours to fully kick in, so Ellie and Riley had to sit there and wait to “lose their minds together” — except Ellie never did, so she had to watch it happen to Riley, before killing her (which thankfully, we don’t see, because I would have been an even bigger mess if we had).

1. Bill and Frank Shared Their Final Day

I anticipated Episode 3 was going to be very upsetting because of Twitter, but this part caught me completely off guard. Even before “On the Nature of Dawn” started playing, I was in tears after Frank told Bill about his final day’s plans. (I’d like to have a chat with the person who suggested that tune.)

It wasn’t a surprise that it was Bill’s last day, but it was nonetheless devastating to hear him say as much after he and Frank had already exchanged rings and I was sobbing so hard my cat looked at me like I could be dying.


The Last of Us Season 1 feature 15 sad scenes, ranked from least to most terrible. They include Joel building a tombstone for Tess, flashbacks to Sarah’s death, Ellie confronting Joel about abandoning her and knowing about Sarah, Bill getting shot, the first victims of the cordyceps virus, Ellie killing David, Joel lying to Ellie, Henry killing himself and Ellie and Riley getting bitten. The series is excellent for fans of end-of-the-world stories.

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