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I Used To Be An Adventurer Like You: Arrow In The Knee Meme & Jokes

Updated on January 22, 2013

I used to be an adventurer like you but then I took an arrow in the knee.

Within few days of launching Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V this catchphrase became very popular among players. Very soon this internet sensation reached people who even had no idea what Skyrim is. During the couple of months since the release of Skyrim there have been created hundreds and thousands of Arrow In The Knee jokes, pictures, videos and songs. A girl had even chosen to get a tattoo that depicts this meme. If you'd like to know how did it all begin and see the funniest examples, please read on.

>>>------ Arrow In The Knee ------->

Origins Of The Arrow In The Knee Meme

In Skyrim when the player approaches a NPC (non playable character), the NPC will say a phrase. When wandering in cities the most common NPCs are guards and traders. Guards have several phrases which they say such as "My cousin is fighting dragons outside of the city but what do I get? Guard duty" or "Let me guess, someone stole your sweetroll?" and some more. Some of these phrases are specific to the city you're in but "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee" is said everywhere in all Skyrim. This fact drew the attention of players since no matter where in the story you were the guards everywhere were repeating the phrase over and over. That leads to thinking that ALL guards in Skyrim used to be adventurers killing dragons or other monsters until someone shot them in the knee. Some of Arrow In The Knee jokes are based on that while most of them just slightly change the catchy phrase by saying "I used to (insert an action) but then I took an arrow in the knee".

At the end of the November, 2011, this phrase appeared on Reddit webpage and soon spread to FunnyJunk, UrbanDictionary and Y U NO Guy who gave a simple and brilliant solution to the arrow in the knee problem - supply all adventurers with better knee armor.
Soon after the meme spread wider on Reddit, Facebook, YouTube (where the meme is usually voted up to the top comments even on videos which are not related to Skyrim at all) and deviantArt and now is found even on ladies legs. The tattoo artist Nikkisny made an arrow in the knee tattoo based on this phrase and posted the picture of it on FunnyJunk.

Epic Arrow In The Knee Song

As it happens with a lot of things that draw attention, a strong opposition of the meme appeared soon after (and took an arrow in the knee, sorry couldn't resist). Some of the opposition believes that the meme is overused and loses its value, others say that the joke is used when the time is not right.

In spite of this, the arrow in the knee meme is still out there and kicking. Check out this song by Rameses B, it's epic.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I used to make blogs like this. then i took an arrow to the knee

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Fun fact: arrow in the knee is Old Norse slang for getting married u wu

    • Naboo profile image


      5 years ago

      Really cool history, new follower. also check out my hubs :)

    • johndnathan profile image

      John D Nathan 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas. USA

      "I used to be a writer then I... OW MY KNEE!!"

      Nice article. I have no idea why I didn't follow you before, with all these fabulous gaming articles.

      I found a mod on the Steam Workshop called "Divine Retribution for Mention of an Arrow to the Knee", which causes the guard to get struck by lightning every time they mention the arrow to the knee. It works indoors too for some reason.

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Europe

      Haha, this one's classy. Thanks for the comment, Dallas Matier.

    • Dallas Matier profile image

      Dallas Matier 

      6 years ago from Australia

      I used to complain about overused memes... but, then I took an arrow to the knee.

      Heheh... couldn't resist.

      Alright, alright... I'll get my coat.

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Europe

      Thank you, JohnGreasyGamer. Yeah, I wasn't sure whether I should pick up the topic since it's not really fresh anymore but I'm glad now that I did and glad that you liked it.

      Thank you so much for your follow and your feedback, such things inspire me to write more and rock my writing world. :))))

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 

      6 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Excellent guide on the meme, didn't expect so much history to go on behind it.

      It was funny at first, perhaps even cute (much more humorous before it even became popular) but it's said so many times in quick succession that it makes my teeth grind.

      Still, nice read! If I'm not following you already, then congratulations - you've earned another! ^^


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