The Last of Us adaptation for television has done an exceptional job of presenting our favorite characters in ways that were not explored in the video game. The latest episode provides a closer examination of Joel’s vulnerability, as he battles with panic attacks brought on by the mental anguish he has endured over the course of his life and travels with Ellie.
Although the Last of Us TV series offers an opportunity to delve into Joel’s emotional vulnerability, the internet has done what it does best and turned his distress into a meme that resonates with many people.
The meme, composed of three images portraying Joel in various panic states, has gained widespread attention on social media. Users draw parallels between his anxiety and their daily experiences. Kotaku notes the meme’s popularity and how it resonates with people due to its relatability.
The panic attack images of Joel from the HBO series, The Last of Us, have gained immense popularity on social media. Users use them to create memes ranging from humorous takes on the show’s conclusion to everyday activities like sending emails or playing video games.
The versatility of the images makes it easy for people to come up with their jokes, leading to an inundation of such memes on social media platforms. It has become almost impossible to scroll through social media without encountering multiple instances of these memes.
“I’m sorry the ice cream machine is broken.” https://t.co/4RjWJiZ1tP pic.twitter.com/1bxTIX7ElM
— Chef Andy Lunique (@AndyLunique) February 22, 2023
When you step on your puppy’s paw and can’t explain to him that you didn’t do it on purpose pic.twitter.com/tcsqltnsMq
— rogue scone (@fckboyseatpizza) February 22, 2023
#TheLastOfUs Joel having anxiety attacks while the world collapses around him and while he’s trying to do a job is extremely relatable. pic.twitter.com/E7dAXKK6BV
— Tauriq Moosa (@tauriqmoosa) February 21, 2023
Although some viewers have been using Joel’s panic attack image as a humorous meme, others have commended The Last of Us for its sensitive portrayal of this issue and how it can occur unexpectedly. The show has adeptly handled many complex themes, and it seems poised to continue its success in the upcoming episode that will adapt Riley’s story from the Left Behind DLC. Given the show’s impressive track record thus far, it’s reasonable to expect another exceptional performance.
While the video game hinted at Joel’s emotional struggles and trauma, the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us reveals a more raw and exposed side of his character.
Moreover, the game’s recent remake introduces an official element that acknowledges Joel’s specific mental health challenges. Many fans of the game have noticed this change in the story.
Despite significant time since then, the show’s creators wanted to delve into the impact of the traumatic events Joel experienced after Henry and Sam’s death. Joel’s panic attack in the scene where he exits the cabin manifests his fear of losing Ellie, and he struggles to understand why he feels this way.
The episode focuses on Joel coming to terms with the fact that he is terrified of losing Ellie and blames himself for any harm that may come to her. Despite numerous efforts to protect her, he believes he has failed her multiple times. Joel’s experiences are relatable to those who have suffered from core trauma, as they tend to magnify their failures and tragedies while discounting their successes, which can lead to being consumed by their fears.