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I Took an Arrow in the Knee


“I Took an Arrow in the Knee” is a catchphrase from the role-playing video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which inspired the snowclone phrasal template “I used to X, then I took an arrow to the knee.”


In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the town guard non-player characters (NPCs) have several stock lines they will repeat when the player walks near them, including a bewildered statement about “curved swords”, a patronizing statement about “sweetroll” theft, and the melancholy confession “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.” The restating of such a specific story over and over again by so many different guards caused it to be noticed by players, who then proceeded to post about it in gaming forums and image boards. Along with the game itself, the video below helps give the idea that almost every guard in Skyrim became a guard due to the life altering results of receiving an arrow to the knee.

On November 11th, 2011, the same day Skyrim was released, the phrase was referenced on the site GameFAQs in a Skyrim forum thread titled “I used to be an adventurer like you.”


On November 18th, 2011, a thread reached the frontpage of the r/skyrimsubreddit, titled “‘I was an adventurer too, until I took an arrow to the knee.’ Pfft, pussies.” The earliest known image macro using the phrase was uploaded to FunnyJunk on November 26th. On November 30th, Memebase published a Y U NO Guy derivative with the caption “Skyrim soldiers / Y U NO get better knee armor?!” Posted November 25th, 2011, Urban Dictionary gives a definition of the term “Knee-arrow”, which is “The affliction of taking an arrow in the knee”.



The phrase even developed it’s own website, “www.arrowtotheknee.com”.[11] The page is currently under development, therefore it only contains a single image providing information on the progress of the site. According to said image, a fan made podcast is currently in the works, and will be launched this holiday season along with the complete fansite.

Notable Examples

Several fan arts referencing the phrase have been submitted to art sharing community deviantArt.Additional derivatives using the phrase, and various snowclone variations, can be found on Reddit and FunnyJunk. A related Facebook  fan page has 413 likes as of December 2nd, 2011. A SoundCloud user named Eledium posted a track entitled “Arrow To The Knee” on December 3rd, 2011.





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