Joker Arc slang term depicting Joaquin Phoenix from the Joker movie transforming into the character.

Joker Arc

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Updated Oct 21, 2021 at 06:54PM EDT by Zach.

Added Oct 20, 2021 at 01:27PM EDT by Philipp.

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Joker Arc is a slang expression implying that a person is undergoing a metaphorical transformation from a functioning member of society into an anti-social maniac, with society being at fault. The phrase is often used in combination with images of a certain unfair occurrence that served as a trigger point for one's "Joker arc." The expression references comic book villain Joker, particularly his possible origin story from the 2019 film of the same name.


The phrase "joker arc" in its memetic sense is a simultaneous invention, with several users coming up with the expression independently in October 2019 following the premiere of the 2019 film Joker. In the film, character Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, undergoes a transition from a maladapted social reject into a violent psychopath as constant mistreatment by society pushes him towards this path.

On October 17th and 22nd, 2019, Twitter[1][2] users @ElMeIloi and @gamefreakyoshi posted the two earliest tweets using the phrase, with neither of the posts gaining traction (shown below, left and right).

chris ... @EIMelloi never woulda thought i'd go through a Joker arc but here we are 5:56 PM · Oct 17, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone MixFeratu @gamefreakyoshi Why is joji so f------ to me Imfaooooo is this how my joker arc starts, just laughing at the thought or tune of joji 7:20 PM · Oct 22, 2019 · Twitter for Android


In late 2019 and early 2019, more unconnected posts using the phrase were posted on Twitter; for example, on November 27th, 2019, Twitter[3] user @nm_GRUNT posted a video of YouTuber Onision rambling erratically, captioning it, "Onisions Joker arc has officially begun." On April 28th, Twitter[4] user @arizonablueme tweeted, "you’re not on your joker arc she’s just fucking someone cooler and better looking than you," with the tweet gaining 23 likes in one year (shown below, left).

The expression experienced its first uptick in use in August 2020, when multiple tweets containing the expression were posted. For example, on August 15th, Twitter[5] user @Shlimeszn1 posted a tweet that gained 5 retweets and 47 likes in one year (shown below, right).

az @arizonablueme you're not on your joker arc she's just f------ someone cooler and better looking than you 5:33 AM · Apr 28, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone Shlime @Shlimeszn1 Joker arc starts today, next time someone tells me they an empath ima just get real f------ sad right then and there just to spite them 6:32 PM · Aug 15, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone

On December 14th, 2020, Twitter[6] user @riplimewire posted the earliest found tweet containing the expression to break 400 likes (shown below, left). Starting in 2021, the expression saw further spread on Twitter,[7][8] with multiple tweets posted in January – March period receiving over 100 likes (example shown below, right).

shaddai ... @riplimewire All of you are witnessing my Joker arc there's no going back 1:00 PM · Dec 14, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone Ben cornflake high school arc @benjflakes Georgenotfound entered his joker arc this George lore stream #georgenotfoundfanart #quackity Log in no 6:03 PM · Feb 26, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

On March 22nd, 2021, Twitter[9] user @WilburSoft posted the earliest found tweet containing the slang expression to break 5,000 like. A tweet[10] posted by user @girlpowertbh on June 18th, 2021, received over 3,700 retweets and 25,200 likes in five months (shown below, left). In August 2021, the expression saw a burst in use after rapper Kanye West leaked a screenshot a group chat in which he dissed Drake and posted an image of Joker from the 2019 film went viral, with social media users commenting that West entered his "joker arc." For example, an August 21st tweet[11] by user @CrypticNoHoes gained over 2,300 retweets and 43,200 likes in three months (shown below, right). A tweet[12] posted by user @flackospurity on the same day received over 1,000 retweets and 15,400 likes in the same period.

simoné ... @girlpowertbh taylor swift putting wildest dreams (taylor's version) in a horse movie trailer starring jake gyllenhaal as an easter egg for RED (taylor's version) instead of 1989 (taylor's version) is the beginning of my joker arc 2:05 PM - Jun 18, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone cryptic incognito @CrypticNoHoes ... Kanye on his Joker arc now kanyewest 12:32 l 5G 8 People Where my green watch I want you to make my diamonds do Today 12:28 PM You added Pusha to the conversation. I live for this I've been f----- with by nerd ass jock n----- like you my whole life You will never recover I promise you IMessage Liked by whosbreezyuk and 47,445 others 3:47 PM · Aug 21, 2021 · Twitter for Android

In late August 2021, the phrase achieved wide recognition on social media. On August 23rd, 2021, Twitter[13] user @gilb3er101 posted a Your Honor meme that gained over 15,900 retweets and 145,700 likes in three months (shown below), with more viral posts with the expression being posted in the following months.

Gilberte @gilb3rt101 "Your honor, my client was simply just going through his joker arc" 6:43 PM · Aug 23, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone ........

Various Examples

you're not on your joker are she's just F------ someone cooler and better looking than you "so you're saying you did this to complete your 'joker arc'?" HallowRonnier @communistxcutie Some of y'all are too quick to say you're starting a joker arc after a girl rejects you...have we tried a deodorant arc? Non-3-in-one shampoo arc? Dare I say therapy arc? 11:47 PM - Mar 16, 2021 · Twitter for Android
Mattt 2 ... @MatttGFX a girl says "nope" and dudes immediately enter their joker arc trixlspookr O is now on fanhouse! @_pixlsugr · Oct 13 Normal and rational reactions to women not wanting to talk at the gym mid- cardio about Street Fighter Show this thread Been at the gym for 15 minutes before some dude approached me as l'm trying to get cardio in, waved & pointed at my Street Fighter shirt until I yanked my earbuds out & loudly asked him w. SomE uuue approacneuE aST trying to get cardio in, waved & pointed at my Street Fighter shirt until I yanked my earbuds out & loudly asked him w. ♡ 33 ♡ 19 ayybates @ayybates · 9h Women have a weird habit of wearing t- shirts of music or games they don't even like and then getting mad when people ask if they like them because a dude dared to walk up to you and ask a harmless question. ... amogus @sus_amogus · 10h Tone it down just a smidge, sweetie. YOU NO GO It's good you tweeted this since people now know what type of a individual you are. FUN ZONE @ NG N Spacecake § · 1d HOT AXIS @ NG N *Spacecake § ·1d Been at the gym for 15 minutes before Been at the gym for 15 minutes before some dude approached me as l'm trying to get cardio in, waved & pointed at my Street Fighter shirt until I yanked 5:37 PM · Oct 13, 2021 - Twitter Web App Xploshi @Xploshi ... Nikocado origin story movie where he has a Joker-esque insanity arc as he gets fatter and fatter and it ends with him eating the universe 11:58 PM - Apr 25, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone DaBaby currently in his Joker arc after seeing his head as a car thousands of times POLICE

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – @ElMeIloi

[2] Twitter – @gamefreakyoshi

[3] Twitter – @nm_GRUNT

[4] Twitter – @arizonablueme

[5] Twitter – @Shlimeszn1

[6] Twitter – @riplimewire

[7] Twitter – @ab0lishICE

[8] Twitter – @benjflakes

[9] Twitter – @WilburSoft

[10] Twitter – @girlpowertbh

[11] Twitter – @CrypticNoHoes

[12] Twitter – @flackospurity

[13] Twitter – @gilb3rt101

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