The Last of Us Themed Tattoo Ideas

Tattoos are a great way to express yourself and your passions to others. They can serve as a visual reminder of the past and give you encouragement for the future. Anything you imagine can be turned into a tattoo, and your body is a blank canvas to store memories and solidify bonds with others. If done professionally, tattoos are special, no matter what the size.

They used to be more taboo, but times are changing for the better as more people are mustering up the courage to take the plunge and live a little. I’ll admit I don’t have tattoos because going under the needle is distressing, but I am fascinated by what the medium can do. Looking at other people’s tattoos is fulfilling, too, and I was even friends with a tattoo artist once, who almost convinced me to get one.

Art is one of my passions, and I love recognizing video game tattoos in public. I’ve seen different ones from friends, including the Triforce from Legend Of Zelda, various pokemon, Super Mario, and the Last Of Us, which are the ones we will discuss here. As a former member of a Heavy Metal band, I’ve seen my fair share of tattoos and had discussions with many about the subject while appreciating their ink. 

I will explore some of the best Last Of Us Tattoo ideas for passionate fans who desire eye-popping results! You’ll also learn about the subtleties behind the process and what to consider before making this permanent decision. These ideas are infectious, and you’ll leave this article feeling inspired to consider a tattoo from an endearing and masterful game!

last of us tattoo

Considerations before Getting One

You need to understand some things before getting a tattoo so you’re in the loop and not caught off guard. Things go smoother when you know the various styles, placement possibilities, sizing, color scheme, and where to get a professional tattoo. Ultimately, it’s about recognizing what you want personally instead of opting for what others might like.

After all, this is your canvas, and you should do what makes you happy. There are many reasons why a tattoo might seem viable at first and then turn out to be undesirable. The last thing you want is for this to happen after the fact. Let’s explore the details more closely together!

Discerning Stylistic Differences

Remember that continuity is something to consider when committing to getting multiple tattoos. Most people who get the first tattoo tend to get more because it’s a fulfilling exciting experience. Looking at examples of each style is prudent before getting any tattoo. They are highly distinct from each other, and it’s subjective to individuals. Your opinion is what matters most. There will always be some who like your style and others who don’t, so no one can fully win in that regard.

Who is going to be looking at it the most? You, of course, so if you’re happy with a particular style, then don’t change just because you know someone who isn’t fond of it. If you get a sleeve over time, the best decision is to have an even flow in style, from the traditional sailor-like appeal with bold lines to meticulously modern artistry with indiscernible realism. Below is a list of common types, but you’re sure to discover more when researching.

  • Traditional Style(Also known as “Old-School”)
  • Neo Traditional(A more modern form of Old-School)
  • New School(Highly details but a more cartoon-like appeal)
  • Black & Grey(No colors, which can sometimes be more effective)
  • Extremely Realism(Life-like precision)
  • Japanese Style( Bold Colorful & Cultural style)
  • Tribal Tattoos(Has a good flow on the human body)
  • Script/Lettering(Places emphasis on words with complimenting designs)
  • Dotwork(Highly detailed and precise with multiple dots)

Sizing & Placement Matter

I’m not going to sugarcoat things, tattoos are painful, but the degree will vary across individuals. Different variables will influence the pain, like sizing, placement, and pain tolerance. Try not to be over-ambitious when getting your first tattoo because it’s better to get a feel for it. Larger tattoos may need to be accomplished in multiple grueling sessions, like when working on an intricate back piece. The skin has degrees of sensitivity on your body, and getting one on the arm vs. the neck is a huge difference.

The size of your tattoo and the amount of work based on the style will factor into the final price. Naturally, highly detailed larger tattoos will be far more expensive than smaller, less complicated ones. It’s also more accessible for the artist to accomplish designs on a flat skin surface than wrapping around the shape of your arm.

There is always an element of risk when getting a tattoo, so it’s best to make it easier for them your first time. Temporary tattoos are an option to see if you like the placement of a particular design without committing.

endure survive last of us tattoo

Considering Color Scheme

Your personality has unique colors that should be reflected in your tattoo, but they can be equally impressive and impactful without any color. Deciding between blackwork and color should be considered in light of the theme. For instance, The Last Of Us is a darker horror game, so it might be more profound to utilize the black & white style, as they are known for in promotional photos.

For the most part, color adds more to the final result, in my opinion, but blackwork can have a more ominous vibe that could be more suitable.

The most important thing is you establish what is best for yourself and stick to your guns! One of the most breathtaking color options I’ve ever witnessed is glow-in-the-dark tattoos. These work incredibly well with breathtakingly refined geometric patterns. They can also accent a theme and make it more impressive.

For instance, if you get a tattoo that features electricity, it would add so much for it to glow as if it were electrocuting your forearm. Remember that they now incorporate a safe ink that is reactive to UV light instead of using toxic ingredients like phosphorus. I like to wear temporary luminescent tattoos to enjoy for a time before fading. It’s a good test before getting the real thing.

Choosing an Artist Experienced with Horror Game Tattoos

Choosing your tattoo artist is the most critical consideration before making this life-long commitment. They should be someone skilled in the style you’re looking for with years of experience using the needle. If I were to get a Last Of Us tattoo, I would want them to have completed the game and love survival horror.

Genuine passion fuels good work, and they should focus on the final result through the right lens. Raw talent is always good when selecting an artist, and viewing samples of their work will give you perspective.

Getting to know your artist before starting the process is also good. Most tattoo artists know that the first time can be daunting, to say the least, with countless needle injections. I’ve seen people get their first tattoos, and it was fun to see their reaction when the final result was complete. No matter how good your artist is, there will always be some butterflies, and having someone familiar can make it easier.

Selection Criteria

  • These are Tattoos from The Last Of Us
  • They range from small & straightforward to extensive & detailed
  • These tattoos consider placement & size
  • They capture the essence of the Last Of Us for fans

The Last Of Us Tattoo Ideas

Let’s put on our spore respirators and safely explore these Last Of Us tattoos to consider! These art ideas capture the most iconic characters and symbols. You will discover enticing options here, whether you’re a tattoo enthusiast or a blank canvas waiting to break into the world of intriguing body art! I know you have the strength to “Endure & Survive” through the process of getting any of these tattoos, so here we go!

Character Tattoos

Joel and Ellie In Space

Joel and Ellie In Space

This is one of the most captivating Last Of Us Tattoos I’ve ever seen and captures the endearing nature of the relationship between Joel and Ellie. This is a unique artwork because it has two different characters that come together to form the whole scene. It’s a Last Of Us Part II tattoo. It highlights one of the most memorable moments they spent together while mentally escaping from the grueling post-apocalyptic world in a flashback.

Detailed Colored Ellie with Closed Eyes

Detailed Colored Ellie with Closed Eyes

This great chill tattoo depicts Ellie taking it easy with a tranquil expression not often portrayed in her tattoos. It has a unique blending effect into the skin, so it looks more natural and appealing. The coloration is exquisite, and you can see the subtle red firefly emblem peaking out in the background. Her shirt is tropical and eye-catching while also showcasing the game theme, “Endure & Survive.”  It looks surreal as if she’s melting through the skin.

Ellie Peaking Through A Shiv

Ellie Peaking Through A Shiv

This is a neat concept with a craftable shiv and some extra detailing with a white wrap and subtle details of the cordyceps infection growing on the hilt. This is a unique tattoo with her classic aggressive expression that has more depth because it’s a design within another. It’s complete with the firefly logo, which blends seamlessly into the tip and gives the creative impression of a shine.

Ellie And Giraffe With Color & Details

Ellie And Giraffe With Color & Details

The Giraffe cutscene is considered one of the most iconic and magnificent moments in survival horror gaming history, establishing an essential contrast from the dark and terrifying environment. It is potently symbolic of the light within the darkness and makes for a stellar tattoo. I like this tattoo for its colors and precise details. This tattoo can be accomplished with color or black & white. I suggest color, though, because It’s best for this expressive nature scene.

Dina & Ellie About to Kiss

Dina & Ellie About to Kiss

This is a Tattoo from Part II, and it’s an intriguing design with a photographic style that you don’t see very often. It captures the sweet moment they share on the dance floor amid the creeping chaos and judgment ensuing around them.  The shading is done nicely and has depth making you wonder who took this photograph.

Ellie Wearing a Deer Hat

Ellie Wearing a Deer Hat

Ellie is a skilled hunter in the Last Of Us and saves her and Joel’s life through the challenges of a bitter and scarce winter. This fantastic colorful tattoo depicts Ellie with a deer hat and a captivating sunset. It’s remarkable how the horns extend to the outer skin beyond the canvas to give it more character. The details of Ellie’s hair and the background trees are genuinely unique.

Detailed Ellie Unique Expression

Detailed Ellie Unique Expression

Ellie’s expression is excellent in this work, and the meticulous details are breathtaking. The shading makes it look beyond real, while the highlights make it stand out with a real-life quality. It also is a good middle-ground between an overly aggressive or happy expression. The eyes looking up are a unique idea of this tattoo, and I also like how it incorporates her shirt.

Deep Shaded Ellie & Joel With City Background

Deep Shaded Ellie & Joel With City Background

This is one of the best-executed blackwork Last Of Us Tattoos I’ve come across! I love the shading on Ellie’s face with a much darker appeal. The way Joel is captured in the background with a rifle and the accompanying details of the environment makes this a masterpiece. It’s also fascinating how Ellie’s hair blends right into the tree. This is a tattoo for true fans passionate about the main characters.

Ellie Aiming her Bow

Ellie Aiming her Bow

This tattoo is a big commitment, but it shines with impeccable blackwork that contrasts nicely between light and dark. Her expression is reminiscent of the game with a meticulously crafted bow and the light shining through trees in the background. It’s a hyper-realistic modern tattoo that will take a highly skilled artist to accomplish and many hours of pain, like Ellie had to endure in the wilderness while hunting.

Epic Colored Joel Tattoo

Epic Colored Joel Tattoo

This is an ambitious tattoo Of Joel, but it’s awe-inspiring. The facial details are exquisite, and I love the red coloration of his face. It is intimidating but also endearing, with quotes subtly placed. It’s highly realistic and has an imposing presence that can’t be denied. This tattoo does Joel justice, and the hair is done well. There are some fascinating flowing designs hidden in this art that you will admire for hours.

Ellie & Joel In The Car

Ellie & Joel In The Car

Ellie and Joel are heading towards their next adventure with this tattoo of them in the car. This scene brings back memories of fun conversations they had along the way. Ellie is looking casually out the window while Joel takes the wheel to get her safely to the fireflies. A fun idea would be to put on the tape they play in the car while getting this tattoo.

Ellie with A Rifle

Ellie with A Rifle

I like this cartoon style Ellie design because it reflects her childish character. The way she’s holding the rifle is casual instead of aggressive or alert. The added details like ripped jeans and a stray book make this unique and it wouldn’t take long to accomplish it. The cool part is that you’re getting a “tattwo” because it features her iconic forearm design.

Black & White Joel Sideview

Black & White Joel Sideview

This is a more menacing blackwork of Joel from the side and I find it very interesting because of how dark it’s portrayed. The surrounding nature theme brings it together and adds an intriguing element. You can barely see his facial expression, and that’s what makes this tat more unique than other ones of Joel. The hair looks really good with impeccable flowing detail.

Classic Hyper Modern Joel & Ellie

Classic Hyper Modern Joel & Ellie

This is a colored tattoo that depicts Ellie taking solace in the comfort of Joel’s protective presence. It has a nice red background that adds to the emotion of this artwork, and highlights the determination of Joel to get her to the destination safe and sound. You can also see the distinctive fireflies logo on the side. It’s neat that Ellie has her eyes closed and Joel’s are open and alert.

Abby & Ellie Leg Tattoo

Abby & Ellie Leg Tattoo

The struggle between Ellie & Abby in the Last of Us is perhaps the most potent of all characters in either game. Here they are depicted well through blackwork in a more minimalistic design. This tattoo lets the skin do more of the expression instead of covering the entire area. I appreciate the surrounding lines that give the impression that Ellie is pursuing Abby, as you witness in the Last Of Us Part II.

Joel, Ellie & Abby Anime Style

Joel, Ellie & Abby Anime Style

If you’re going to get a Last Of Us anime Style Tattoo, then this one is a viable option. I love how the characters are portrayed here with elements of nature to bring it all together. The unique ink splotches are also a nice touch. The eyes are executed in the anime style and makes for a unique tattoo to thrill your friends with if they like anime!

Infected Tattoos

“Clicker” Tattoo Female

Infected Tattoos

The most iconic mutated enemy of the cordyceps fungus in the Last Of Us is known as a “Clicker,” mainly for its distressing clicking noises to locate prey. These are unsightly and make for a work of art with high shock value. These are most effective when portrayed on the larger side, and it’s recommended to go the black & white route due to the darker theme. Above you’ll see the female version of a clicker.

Extremely Scary & Realistic Clicker

If I were to get a clicker tattoo, it would be this one because of the charmingly grotesque details that speak to their heinous appearance. The details of this black work are simply impeccable and extremely impressive. It fades perfectly into the skin and gives a haunting vibe with saliva in the mouth. It looks like you could get bitten by just touching this tattoo. It doesn’t get much scarier than this; what a masterpiece worth considering for hardcore fans.

Clicker Skull

Clicker Skull

This is a straightforward clicker tattoo, but I found it distinct because it portrays a skull instead of the live version. It’s simple and has subtle notes of color that make it pop. If you’re looking to get a skull tattoo and are a Last Of Us fan, then this is the way to go. I like how only the fungal part is colored because it makes for a nice and logical contrast between life and death.

Cordyceps Infected Lion

Cordyceps Infected Lion

This one is definitely a creative idea that isn’t seen in the game, and I’m surprised they didn’t do something like this, considering they are all about animal concepts. It’s an intimidating infected lion with the cordyceps growing from it’s head. The details are very cool, and I like the shading and realistic colors.

Last Of Us Symbols

Ellie’s Moth/Butterfly Tattoo: The Most Popular

Ellie's Moth/Butterfly Tattoo: The Most Popular

Ellie’s moth Tattoo is actually from the second game, but it has become the most popular because it’s in the game itself. It has a unique moth with extensive branching and meticulous details. Because this tattoo is blackwork in the game, most people decide to get a mirror image of it. However, if you wanted to get creative with the colors, that might be interesting, especially with the wing pattern.

The “Fireflies” Logo with Optional Text

The

Who could forget the memorable fireflies references and characters throughout the Last Of Us? They are iconic figures who tread the fine line between good and evil. The game constantly shows you the recognizable firefly logo, and sometimes it’s accompanied by varying texts. It’s up to you whether lettering is necessary, but if you do, consider the words “Look for the Light,” “Endure & Survive,” or “RISE!”

Dagger, Roses, & Firefly Emblem Symmetrical Blackwork

Dagger, Roses, & Firefly Emblem Symmetrical Blackwork

I appreciate the symmetry of this tattoo, and it has a moderate size. Everything about this piece is vividly precise, and the highlights are spot on. The knife looks heavy and durable, while the roses have incredible depth and beauty that is hard to beat. The contrast between hollow and detailed leaves is also notable.

Firefly tag with circled barbed wire

Firefly tag with circled barbed wire

I like this tattoo because it has good color and a unique concept. The shading is amazing and makes you think about what you’re looking at first. The circular continuity makes this an appealing option if you’re a fan of the fireflies and want to express the bitter-sweet reality of their role in The Last of Us.

Joels Watch, Fireflies, & Moth

Joels Watch, Fireflies, & Moth

With this tattoo, you get three in one with an incredibly versatile design. First, you have Joel’s broken watch in the background that he keeps after Sarah’s death because it was a present. Then you have the symbolic nature of light and dark, with the burnt side being the firefly and Ellie’s moth symbol on the right. This is a wonderfully unique blackwork tattoo that covers multiple bases.

Unique Endure & Survive With Arrow & Moth

Unique Endure & Survive With Arrow & Moth

This is an excellent design that isn’t a colossal ink commitment. It features the moth with a tail that trails off into an arrow with the words “Endure & Survive” on top and bottom. The placement here is a wise spot because it’s symbolic across the heart if you love the Last Of Us. I like it because it gives the impression that the moth is flying like an arrow

Hollow Geometric Firefly Tattoo

Hollow Geometric Firefly Tattoo

I like the interesting geometric approach to this firefly tattoo because it’s scarcely seen anywhere else. It almost looks like stained glass; you could easily accomplish that by adding color to this design. I must say that the lines add significantly to the wings with more impressionable details.

Spaceshop Pin Tattoo

Spaceshop Pin Tattoo

The Last Of Us Part II has some memorable flashbacks with Joel and Ellie, but this is by far the best one in my opinion. This is the space pin logo you find during that scene, and here it’s the simple design. A good idea might be to add some color to this artwork and optional script text other than what’s shown. For example, you could use the common firefly word “Rise” instead to match a rocket flying off into space.

Ellie Strumming Guitar In The Woods

Ellie Strumming Guitar In The Woods

Ellie is a guitarist thanks to Joel’s lessons, and this tattoo is a reminder of him. I enjoy the wooded background and you can choose to add some more nature details or color if desired. The oval shape is ideal and makes it more aesthetically pleasing. The lighter soft shading is ideal with this tattoo along with Ellie’s soft and focused expression while playing.

Museum Dinosaur Tattoo From Part 2

Museum Dinosaur Tattoo From Part 2

There’s a fun museum scene in the Last Of Us Part 2 and it’s fun to take a trip through the world of dinosaurs. It features a quote from the game, and a comical hat. The Last Of Us always highlight interesting nature elements, and this is a prime example. There is also a scene where Ellie climbs on top of a T-Rex statue, so that’s another idea that incorporates dinosaurs.

The Last Of Us With A cordyceps Rose & Blade

The Last Of Us With A cordyceps Rose & Blade

This is a unique work of art that would make an incredible tattoo. The most interesting detail is that it appears to be a rose on the hilt at first, but if you look closer it’s the cordyceps fungus. This is one of the best script tattoo ideas because it uses other ideas instead of just the text. I like the coloration of the knife and it has good highlights that make it realistic.

These Tattoo Ideas Are Creative & Flexible

These unique tattoo ideas from The Last Of Us give you a large spectrum of emotions that will cater to all styles. They range from small to large and have different emotional contexts. Weighing the options is essential before settling on your Last Of Us tattoo, but I’m confident it won’t be your last! Getting your favorite character is common, and you should follow your heart when deciding which one to get.

My goal here was to give you some popular options found in the fanbase while also encouraging you to think outside the box. There are advantages to having tattoos that no one else has, and if I were to get one, It would be unique to myself and my experience with the game. Taking screenshots from the game can give you more inspiration, and you can show these to your artist, so they understand your desires.

last of us tattoo idea

FAQ Section

Question: What Does Ellie’s Butterfly Tattoo Mean?

Answer: Notably, the moth symbolizes death, but the developers have stated that it signifies Ellie’s relentless thirst for revenge. Think of a moth continually flying towards a mesmerizing light, and that’s what Ellie does in part two.

Question: Should I consider temporary tattoos before settling on a permanent one?

Answer: Some temporary Last Of Us tattoos are an excellent idea to experiment with before getting the real thing. When I wear temporaries, I get the same reaction from people and can enjoy it for a time before returning to normal. Think of it as training wheels and a time to determine if the placement is desirable.

Question: What is the most popular Last Of Us Tattoo?

Answer: The most popular Last Of Us tattoo is the Moth/butterfly one from part 2. It has exquisite detailing and is highly aesthetic.

Question: Who are the Fireflies In The Last Of Us, and what does their symbol mean?

Answer: The Fireflies are an antagonistic rebel militia group seeking to liberate themselves from military oppression and forge a cure. Their main goal is to restore government control and establish an order that fights for emancipation.

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