The Last of Us Creator Says Piano Frog Was a Mistake

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HBO and The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann have gone to insanely meticulous lengths to make the television series resemble its source material. For fans of the critically acclaimed game, The Last of Us is already the new gold standard for video game adaptations. Scarred audience members may remember when Sonic the Hedgehog’s harrowing live-action look first debuted. Instead of reinventing the wheel, HBO’s The Last of Us is giving us a near frame-by-frame recreation—but what the series does add as window dressing has only delighted fans even more.

In a viral transition shot from The Last of Us’s second episode, a tiny frog jumps on a piano as its hind legs accidentally press some keys. Think Looney Tunes’s Michigan J. Frog minus the ragtime singing. Or Crazy Frog minus the synths. After kicking some scary keys, the tiny green amphibian, now dubbed “Piano Frog” by fans, has won over the heart of the Internet. For a series about surviving a zombie apocalypse, the levity was certainly appreciated. As one Twitter user wrote, “He stole the show.”

According to Druckmann, however, we nearly never met Piano Frog. Sharing a behind-the-scenes image on Twitter of a bird being placed behind a fake frog, Druckmann revealed, “Piano frog wouldn’t be a thing… if piano bird did its job!” The bird was supposed to eat the frog in the transition, but “it never did!!!” he shared. “I guess everything happens for a reason.”

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Piano frog wouldn’t be a thing… if piano bird did its job! I guess everything happens for a reason. #TheLastOfUs

(And before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion… that’s a fake frog for the bird to eat — which it never did!!!)

— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) January 23, 2023

Fans will recall that playing guitar is actually a unique facet of The Last of Us’s additional gameplay—a strangely intimate and musical moment for the violent, dystopian series. While I won’t knock Piano Bird, I am glad that Piano Frog lived to tickle the ivories.

Headshot of Josh Rosenberg

Josh Rosenberg

Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his past work can be found at CBR, Spin, Insider, and on his personal blog at

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