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Cyclopes Leonardo Knee

Know Your Meme: I Took an Arrow in the Knee

Dan is triggered by any depiction of violence or injury to knees onscreen.

The Incident[]

Because of Dan's stoic reticence[1] toward discussing the circumstances of his harrowing knee injury, only the broadest outline is known: during an ill-fated Vermont ski trip, some type of devastating trauma was visited upon Dan's left knee, whereupon the anterior cruciate ligament was torn asunder.
Is it reasonable that this was nothing more than a random sports accident, or is it instead more likely that it was something sinister? Lacking an official account, speculation naturally abounds. Did Dan altruistically sacrifice himself in order to protect some innocent child by maneuvering his own body between the unsuspecting youngster and a looming danger? Or maybe it was a blind person? Or an elderly nun?
What we do know is that the injury was severe enough to necessitate surgical intervention. In nothing less than a modern medical miracle, on 15 February 2013[2] he received an ACL harvested posthumously from an anonymous donor. Only a few decades ago, such tissue transplants were merely the fever dreams of syphilitic madmen.
It is not yet known whether Dan has become clairvoyant or even perhaps even homicidal due to the spirit of the harvested tissue's former host asserting itself over Dan's personality, however it is not totally unreasonable to assume that he has. Accordingly, those closest to Dan should maintain vigilance for any signs that he is fighting to maintain motor control over his own body. For instance, does Dan's mouth ever attempt to pronounce two totally different words simultaneously? Should such a thing ever happen, this could be the first indication of an existential struggle for Dan's very soul.[3]



Dan at work, soothing a depressed a dog (Parker), in spite of his hobbling leg brace.

A great many knee injury victims, facing a future of relentless physical pain and crushing social stigma, choose to live out the remainder of their wretched days hidden in the shadows. But not Dan. Unwilling to suffer the woeful fate of so many in his dire situation, Dan marshalled the vast force of will necessary to keep his excruciating physical therapy appointments, maintain a grueling home exercise regime, and endure the debilitating side effects of his various prescription medications.
Even if one somehow manages to reach the other end of this gauntlet, it is a well-established fact in the medical literature that this type of injury takes a full year to heal. In spite of this, Dan determinedly returned to work and kept his public appearance schedule. In doing so he not only made public his own personal struggle, but he also gave voice to the teeming millions who suffer through life bearing the scars of their own brutal destinies.
Today more than two million ACL injuries occur worldwide each year and four million Americans have undergone total knee replacement. Thanks to Dan's one-man public awareness campaign to spark a national conversation, there is now a face for this silent healthcare crisis. Finally these victims have a champion.

Mentioned In[]

­Dan was like, 'You know what? I kinda like this Matthew Fox.' And then he shot the guy in the knee, and he went: 'Whoa. You have just broken the unwritten law.'
       —Elliott @30:45

20141019 Reddit AMA knee

Other Notable Victims[]

  • Bobby Brown, who was shot in the knee while attending a block party at age ten.
  • Shun Fujimoto, gymnast from Japan who scored a 9.7 on the rings at the 1976 Montréal Summer Olympics despite a broken knee.
  • Henry Cavill, late 2016.
  • Daniel Craig, who suffered a knee injury in April 2015 while filming a stunt for the movie Spectre.
  • Nancy Kerrigan, Olympic hopeful figure skater, is ambushed in Detroit by a masked man and clubbed in the right knee with a police baton in January 1994.
  • Anthony Kiedis, who broke his kneecap in 2016.
  • Evel Knievel, legendary daredevil who during his career broke just about every bone in his body. And then he broke his knee in a February 2004 hot tub accident.
  • Chrissy Metz, who sustained a torn meniscus in the left knee while hiking in Florida with her family.
  • Ken Reeves (fictional character), basketball coach on The White Shadow (1978 television series).
  • Britney Spears, who blew out her left knee during a June 2004 video shoot (for the song "Outrageous") which required surgery and forced her to cancel a summer tour. Spears later sued her insurance carriers after they balked at her $9.8 million claim.
  • Neels van Jaarsveld, during the filming of The Bang Bang Club.

Knee Injuries in Cinema[]

­Give me the biggest guy in the world, you smash his knee and he'll drop like a stone.
       —Dalton (Patrick Swayze), Road House @50:35
Dan's personal story, coupled with his prominence in the entertainment industry, opened a lot of eyes to Hollywood's irresponsible handling of our national knee injury epidemic. On the big screen, they are often portrayed in a callous—sometimes even comical—fashion, which is plainly contrary to the grim reality faced by actual victims.
If you happen to be a person for whom vivid depictions of knee trauma is a PTSD trigger, these films may be difficult to watch. Viewer discretion is advised.
  • 2 Guns (2013) Earl shoots a veterinarian in the knee.
  • 5 Days of War (2011) An old lady is shot in the knee.
  • Alex Cross (2012)
  • Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) Annie is stabbed in the knee.
  • Beast (2022)
  • The Book of Eli (2010)
  • Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (TV) (2007) Thematic resonance abounds.
  • Child's Play (1988) Chucky is shot in the left knee, but this does not impede him since he is a magical doll.
  • Creature (2011) Niles is shot in the knee.
  • Curse of Chucky (2013) Chucky lodges a hatchet in Nica's knee.
  • The Departed (2006) Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) shoots a guy in the knee.
  • The Descent (2005) Sarah stabs Juno in the knee with a pickaxe.
  • Desperado (1995) During a gang initiation, the applicant's kneecap is crushed.
  • Django Unchained (2012) Django shoots Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) in both knees.
  • Dream a Little Dream 2 (1994) Corey Haim shoots someone in the knee.
  • Drive Angry (2011)
    • (see: Episode 82: Drive Angry)
    • John Milton (Nicolas Cage) blasts a guy with a shotgun in the right knee, and then threatens to blow off the other one. @02:45
    • Later, after another guy gets kneecapped during a gun battle, The Accountant (William Fichtner) jabs a knife into that dude's kneehole. Again, the right knee. @1:01:45
  • Dumbbells (2014)
  • Dweller (2002) Somebody gets hit in the knee so hard that he coughs up blood.
  • Eyes of Crystal (2004) In the opening scene, a cop shoots an apprehended rapist in the knee.
  • Face/Off (1997) Archer shoots a cop in the knee.
  • The Firm (1993) Gary Busey shoots a hitman in the knee.
  • Friday Night Lights (2004) Boobie takes a hard hit during a game, breaking his left knee with an audible crunch.
  • Funny Games (1997, 2007) Paul strikes somebody in the knee with a golf club.
  • The General (1998) Martin shoots Gary in the knee.
  • Get the Gringo (2012) During a protracted gun battle, Barnes (Mel Gibson) shoots a hitman in the right knee. @59:45
  • Header (2006) A woman gets both kneecaps shot off.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Kili the dwarf takes a poisoned arrow in the knee.
  • Homefront (2013) Undercover DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) shoots a biker named Jojo Turrie (Linds Edwards) in the right knee with a revolver, pulverizing it.
  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) Heiter severs the knee ligaments of his victims.
  • The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011) Same deal.
  • Inception (2010) Mal shoots Arthur in the knee.
  • The Invasion
  • The Island (2005)
  • Joint Security Area (2000) Sergeant Lee is shot in the knee by North Korean guards.
  • The Karate Kid (1984) During competition, Bobby delivers a disabling jump kick to Daniel's knee and is immediately disqualified.
  • The Killer Elite (1975) Gerry Hansen shoots Mike Locken in the knee.
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990) Cullen Crisp shoots Detective John Kimble in the knee.
  • Labyrinth (1986) Sir Didymus strikes Ludo in the knee with his staff.
  • Live Free or Die Hard (2007) The guy from those old Mac commercials (Justin Long) gets shot in the knee.
  • Machete (2010) Padre is shot in the knee.
  • Mad Max (1979) Max is shot in the left knee.
  • Meet the Feebles (1989)
  • Miami Vice (2006) Zito is shot in the knee.
  • Next (2007)
    • (see: Episode 9: Next)
    • Casino security chief Roybal is shot in the left knee. @20:45
  • Nobody Will Speak of Us When We're Dead (1995) Under torture, the protagonist's knee is reportedly "corkscrewed."
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) Both of General Marquez's knees are blown off with a shotgun.
  • One Hit from Home (2012)
  • The Orphanage (2007) Laura runs and falls, breaking her leg and suffering a bloody knee.
  • Out for Justice (1991) NYPD detective Gino Felino shoots a guy in the knee.
  • Overcome (2008)
  • Payback (1999) Porter (Mel Gibson) shoots Val Resnick (Gregg Henry) in the right shoulder and left knee. @58:20
  • The Raid: Redemption (2011) Rama (Iko Uwais) stabs a guy in the knee and twists the knife.
  • The Raid 2 (2014)
    • Rama torques a prison inmate's left knee grotesquely outward more than 90 degrees. @27:15
    • A guy gets his left knee kicked sideways. @1:00:30
    • A guy is struck with an aluminum baseball bat to his right knee, which hyperextends with an audible crunch. @1:33:15
    • A guy gets his left knee knocked sideways with a claw hammer. @1:34:40
    • Eka (Oka Antara) gets shot in the right knee, which immediately buckles under his weight. @1:47:55
    • Rama gets the rear tendons of his left knee sliced open with a serrated hook. @2:16:05
    • Rama gets payback against the guy who sliced him, by inflicting the same wound upon his attacker. @2:19:25
    • Bejo (Alex Abbad) sustains a shotgun blast to the right knee. @2:21:00
  • Ricochet (1991) Denzel Washington shoots a gang leader (John Lithgow) in the knee.
  • Road House (1989)
    • During a fight, Dalton (Patrick Swayze) kicks a dude in the right knee so that it bends sideways with an audible crunch. @50:20
    • During a fight, Wade (Sam Elliott) kicks a dude in the right knee so that it bends sideways with an audible crunch. @1:10:00
    • During a fight, Dalton torques a guy's right knee so that it bends sideways with an audible crunch. @1:34:00
    • During the climax, Dalton kicks Brad Wesley's (Ben Gazzara) left knee so that it bends sideways with an audible crunch. @1:46:40
  • RoboCop (1987) OCP junior executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) is shot in both knees before getting blown up with a grenade. @1:00:15
  • Savages (2012)
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) Kirk kicks an alien in the knee.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) An entire squad of SWAT team members is shot in the knee.
  • The Thin Red Line (1998) An American GI is shot in the knee.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Scout kicks a guy in the knee.
  • Trespass (2011)
  • Turn Around (2007)
  • Undead or Alive: A Zombedy (2007) A zombie is shot in both knees.
  • Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) Kelly is shot in the knee.
  • Undisputed III: Redemption (2010)
  • Varsity Blues (1999) Lance takes a hard hit during a game, breaking his knee.
  • Welcome to the Punch (2013)
    • In the opening scene, fleeing robber Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) shoots Detective Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) in the right knee with a pistol. @07:10
    • Later on, Lewinsky is repeatedly shown draining fluid from his knee using a large syringe.
    • Sternwood elbows Lewinsky in his bad knee. @1:05:25
    • Flashback of Lewinsky getting shot in the knee. @1:30:35
  • White House Down (2013)
  • The Wicker Man (2006) The villagers hold down Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage), and bash in both of his knees with a sledgehammer. @1:31:25



  1. The Flop House Facebook Group, 4 September 2014:
    20140904 dan facebook
  2. ­My one year anniversary of my knee surgery was this February the 15th, though I recently had follow up surgery to remove the pin in my leg (it had moved and was irritating some nerves), which I didn't mention on the podcast because in spite of certain asshole co-host's beliefs (which they then infected flop nation with) I don't talk about this all the time.
           —Dan, The Flop House Facebook Group, 19 March 2014
  3. The Flop House Facebook Group, 19 April 2014:
    20140419 zombie acl