By: Derek Palmer

I chose this meme because I play the game that it originated from, and it’s been one of my favorite games for the past year or so. The game was released on November 11, 2011, 7 days later the first evidence of the meme appeared in a forum with the title of the thread being “I was an adventurer too, until I took an arrow to the knee.” After this happened the meme went viral and can still be found in videos, on forums, in YouTube comments, and picture memes.

The “I took an arrow to the knee” meme is relevant because it was one of the first video game memes that I can remember. It was also so popular that people who didn’t play Skyrim knew of the meme because of its sheer virility of the meme. The meme was all over the internet, YouTube was where I usually saw most of the meme punch line.

There isn’t anything controversial with the meme other than when the meme was used too much people got sick of it and started creating videos combating the meme.


Vulgar language is within this video, but it really does get the point across.

I think that the identity of this meme is the most important aspect of it, while it may have just made sense to gamers to begin with, I know that people who never play games knew what the phrase was if you said it to them.

The general underlying meaning of the meme is primarily niche based, the reason it became a meme is because of how frequently the NPCs (Non-Player Character) say that phrase and how annoying it gets after the 10th time of hearing it when you walk into a town or village.


7 thoughts on “Arrow to the Knee

  1. I personally do not play Skyrim, but I do relate to the meme by association. I often find myself looking through sites like 9Gag at memes, and embraced this meme, then hated it, much like everyone else. It seems like every meme was the same, and the wave of “I took an arrow to the knee” sharply decreased thereafter.

  2. I am also interested in the underlying meaning. Maybe I just don’t understand it because I’ve never played Skyrim but I am definitely interested in the video and what they are actually referring to in the game.

    The game was released on November 11, 2011, 7 days later a thread with the title of “I was an adventurer too, until I took an arrow to the knee” was released? Or that was the title of the video that you posted I’m sorry I think that sentence was cut off without meaning.

  3. I think this meme is interesting and I have never played this particular video game however I would like to know what the underlying meaning is for the creators of the meme to create this meme. Why are they so obsessed with an arrow to the knee? is it just because they say it often in the game?

  4. My take away from this meme. Memes can be very niche based, as I can see from the popularity of this video. I guess you really have to be familiar with some of these topics to understand the mass appeal they do carry. How cool.

  5. This is fascinating in that it speaks to how a technology-savvy subgroup can readily create its own (annoying?) meme. Ultimately, I wonder if it doesn’t create a sense of bonding among those familiar with it.

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