Joseph "Joey" Wheeler, known as Katsuya Jonouchi (
Joey's character design was overseen by Kazuki Takahashi.
In the first seven volumes of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Joey's hairstyle changes drastically. Originally featuring two large fringes in front of his ears, the hairstyle changes to a sporadically arranged taper-like and unrealistic hairstyle. Joey's first color appearance depicts him with medium brown hair and black eyes. Subsequent appearances lighten the hair color to dirty blond and blond. His eyes are portrayed as brown or hazel.
In the first series anime, Joey's hairstyle does not change, and the sporadic hairstyle colored in a bright blond style is used. His eyes are brown.
In the second series anime, he has dirty blond hair in the sporadic hairstyle and dark brown eyes. His usual outfit from the second series anime consists of a long green open jacket with a raised collar, a white T-shirt underneath and blue jeans. Later in the series, his green jacket is replaced with a blue denim one. He often carries a KaibaCorp Duel Disk on his left arm.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Joey is seen in a flashback wearing a red version of his battle city shirt.
Joey started out as a bully, but becoming friends with Yugi Muto changes this. Joey can seem gullible, sarcastic, impulsive, and occasionally cocky; but he is also heroic, loyal, bold, kind-hearted, caring, good-natured, funny, brave, selfless and loving. Though portrayed as comic relief, he is essential to the plot and the series' overall theme. He is an enthusiastic Duelist, who firmly believes that Dueling is about fighting to help people you love. Like Seto Kaiba, Joey deeply cares for his younger sister, Serenity Wheeler and will do anything to make her happy. He is extremely protective of her, which he shows once by sacrificing his own life in order to ensure her safety. He also gets protective of her when boys like Tristian or Duke want to take her out on a date. He often gets freaked out or offended easily; he responds rather impulsively to insults, especially remarks about his outward appearance, such as his hair or his outfit, or his Dueling skills. In the dub, he also gets upset when people compare him to an animal, such as a monkey or a dog. He can get hasty once mad as evidenced with him attacking Odion as the latter had 4 Trap Cards.
The first syllables of Yugi and Jonouchi's names form Yūjō, which is Japanese for friendship, symbolizing the bond between the two characters. The card "Yu-Jo Friendship" is based on this connection.
In the Japanese version, Joey does not use honorifics, which means he has a "rude" speech pattern. When talking to people he doesn't like, Joey uses the word "teme" (a rude form of "you" in Japanese, often translated as "you bastard") instead of his normal "omae" (a form of "you" that in context is used between friends, but can imply that the person being spoken to has a lower status than the speaker does if used incorrectly), especially to Seto Kaiba, who does not think highly of Joey. The speech pattern translates into the dub, in which it is represented by Joey (voiced by Wayne Grayson) speaking with a Brooklyn accent. He refers to himself as "The Godfather of Games" in the movie. His contempt for Kaiba in the dub is symbolized by calling him 'rich boy'.
In the Southeast Asian dub, Joey (voiced by Dwayne Tan in this dub) noticeably lacks the Brooklyn accent he has in the dub.
In the European Spanish dubbing, he (voiced by Pablo Tribaldos) lacks the Brooklyn accent, he keeps calling Kaiba "ricachón" ("very rich guy"), he also tends to call people who doesn't like "cerdos" ("pigs") and tends to say "machaca a ese cerdo, Yugi" ("crush that pig, Yugi") while cheering Yugi in duels. When he makes a good move or draws the card he needs tends to say "¡toma ya!" ("booya" or "all right!"), always he successes with Time Wizard he says "¡toma ya! ruleta del tiempo" ("booyah...Time roulette") He called the Big Five "ejecutivillos" ("businessman-erinos" in a Ned Flanders-esque style).
In the Italian dub he instead has a south Italian accent.
He is known as Joseph "Joey" Wheeler in the 4Kids dub and video games as well as the Brazilian and Portuguese version of the manga, and called Joseph "Joey" Katsuya in the Funimation Uncut dub. In the Swedish dub of the anime his name is Katsuya Jonouchi, like in the original Japanese, but to fit 4Kids' edited script, he was given the nickname Jono. His name is sometimes spelled Katsuya Jyonouchi in the Japanese anime. His dub name could be based on the character of Wheeler from Captain Planet who also has a Brooklyn accent (and a voice actor named Joey). It may also be an homage to Joseph Wheeler, a commander during the American Civil War. In the manga when Ryo Bakura invited the protagonists to play the Monster World RPG, Jonouchi's character was named "Joey". Bandit Keith also nicknamed Jonouchi "Joey" as an insult.
Joey and his sister, Serenity Wheeler, were separated when their parents divorced when he was 10. Serenity was brought up by her mother while Joey lived with his father. Joey never said a word to his mother after that.
At some point in the past, Tristan heard Joey was getting into a fight with some gang members while standing up for a kid and rushed to his aid. Although they defeated them, Joey thought Tristan only did it because he saw Joey as a child who couldn't stand up for himself. Years later, Joey realized Tristan did this because he was a true friend who would never abandon Joey.
Joey and Tristan Taylor used to bully Yugi Muto at school. At one point Joey took a piece of Yugi's Millennium Puzzle and threw it into a swimming pool from a window outside of their classroom. However, when Ushio started beating up Joey and Tristan, Yugi stood up for them, saying they were his friends. Joey was inspired by how Yugi had tried to help him and came to care for Yugi. He retrieved the piece of the puzzle in the pool and gave it to Yugi. Yami Yugi then punished Ushio with a Penalty Game.
Joey became friends with Téa Gardner through Yugi.
After Seto Kaiba wins against Solomon Muto, Yugi's grandfather, and then rips up his "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" card, Joey spurs a bitter hatred of Kaiba. After taking up Duel Monsters, it becomes clear that Joey isn't very good at the game initially (as his Deck was full of Monster Cards and no Spells or Traps), so Yugi suggests that Joey take lessons from Solomon. The training proves rigorous, yet Joey copes and becomes a stronger Duelist. He makes the top eight in the regional tournament (nationals in the Japanese version).
Joey accompanies Yugi in the Duelist Kingdom tournament, to help Yugi rescue Solomon and so he can use the prize money, to pay for Serenity's eye operation. Yugi gives Joey one of his Star Chips allowing Joey to also enter the tournament. On the boat journey to the Duelist Kingdom, Yugi gives Joey a "Time Wizard" saying it can be useful in a tight situation. Here Joey meets Mai Valentine for the first time. At this point she claims he is not worth her time. After Weevil tosses Yugi's "Exodia" cards overboard, Joey dives in to the water to rescue them, he manages to retrieve two of the cards, before Yugi dives in to rescue Joey. Both of them are saved by Téa and Tristan, who managed to sneak onto the boat. Once safely back on board, Joey tells his friends of his sister and her condition.
Still an amateur, Joey manages to beat Mai Valentine with Yugi's help and support from Téa and Tristan. He later beats Rex Raptor in a Duel, where he is not allowed to accept help from Yugi. Here he wins Rex's "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" card by betting "Time Wizard", as well as his "Dragon Nails".
When the group meet Bakura, they end-up trapped inside Duel Monsters cards, by Yami Bakura. Using his friends as cards, Yami Yugi Duels Yami Bakura. Joey is trapped in the "Flame Swordsman" card, but appears on the field, when Yami Yugi Summons him. Joey offers to sacrifice himself for Yugi's "Horn of Heaven" so they can stop Yami Bakura's "Man-Eater Bug". Téa, who has taken the form of the "Magician of Faith", cries over Joey's sacrifice, activating her effect, returning "Monster Reborn" to Yami Yugi's hand. Yami then uses it to revive Joey. Yami Yugi defeats Yami Bakura, after using his Millennium Puzzle to switch Yami Bakura's place with the regular Bakura. Afterwards Joey believes the events of the Duel to have been a dream.
In attempt to get revenge, he has a Duel outside of the tournament, against Seto Kaiba, where he is brutally defeated. Joey loses confidence after this defeat and briefly leaves his friends before being forced into a Duel against Bonz. He manages to beat Bonz and later the Paradox Brothers in a tag Duel with Yugi. Joey then qualified to the semi-finals. Pegasus then mentioned that each Duelist must hold one of two entry cards or face disqualification. In order to keep Joey in the competition, Yugi gave him one of his entry cards. Although Bandit Keith steals Joey's card, Joey proceeds to defeat Keith in the semi-finals, because Mai gave Joey one of her entry cards after she loses to Yugi. In the final round Joey uses everything he learned from Yugi, throughout the tournament. Despite their friendship, neither of them hold back and Yugi wins after a close Duel. Joey remains on the sideline cheering for Yugi in the final. After Yugi defeats Pegasus, he gives Joey the prize money for Serenity's operation.
Shortly after Duelist Kingdom, Mokuba Kaiba comes to Solomon's shop to inform Yugi and his friends that Seto had been kidnapped and trapped in a Virtual World. The gang went to KaibaCorp to help Seto. Joey, Yugi and Mokuba entered the MMORPG-like Virtual World, where they completed tasks and met up with Mai Valentine. Mai reluctantly admitted it was her trying to avoid them thinking she was their friend. While Joey is helpful in saving Kaiba, Kaiba says he wouldn't ever consider Joey a teammate.
Dungeon Dice Monsters
After Duke Devlin transfers to Domino High, Joey becomes jealous of his popularity and challenges him to a Duel, where if Joey wins, Duke must shut down the game shop he'd just opened, since Solomon had been complaining about the loss of business his own game shop was getting as a result (in the original however, Joey would win over Duke's adoring fans and make them his own groupies). Duke sets the stakes so that if he wins Joey must do as he says. Despite Yugi's objection, Joey and Duke Duel using whatever cards they acquire in a bunch of Booster Packs. Duke wins, with Joey bitterly reflecting that the motivation to help his sister might have pushed him beyond what were otherwise his limits in Duelist Kingdom. Holding his end of the bargain Joey does as Duke tells him and wears a dog costume. He was later released of this embarrassment, after Yugi defeated Duke in Dungeon Dice Monsters, freeing Joey. Despite their conflicts, Duke becomes friends with Joey.
When Seto Kaiba hosted the Battle City tournament, he allowed Duelists to enter based on a rating he'd given them. At the enrollment, Yugi was allowed to enter based on the 5 star rating he was given, but Joey was given the minimum rating of 1 star. While Joey was ranting about Kaiba, the tournament official, notices "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" listed as Joey's rarest card, so he changes Joey's rating to 4 stars saying there had been a mistake. After Joey and his friends have left, the official phones a Rare Hunter, to inform him about the "Red-Eyes" card.
While heading to the hospital for Serenity's operation, Joey encounters a group of Rare Hunters. One of them, Seeker, Duels Joey and defeats him using "Exodia". The hunters beat-up Joey and take the Red-Eyes card. This makes him feel unworthy to be present at Serenity's operation. But Serenity refuses to take the operation until Joey arrives. Tristan manages to find Joey and talk him into coming to the hospital. Serenity is still angry at Joey for being late, but Joey manages to talk her into taking the operation. But while this on top of his loss to Duke Devlin, a capable but unranked Duelist, would effectively seem to be Joey's fall from grace, a comeback was in the near future for him.
Joey finds Seeker on the first day of the tournament in an attempt to get a rematch, but is denied, so Yugi Duels and defeats Seeker instead. He wins back the "Red-Eyes" card and offers it to Joey, but Joey insists that Yugi keep it. Despite losing the card, Joey goes on to defeat Espa Roba, who had just defeated the card's original owner, Rex Raptor. He then defeats Yugi's old rivals Weevil Underwood and Mako Tsunami, qualifying for the quarter-finals and gaining new cards that boost his Deck considerably. He decided that early on, he only wanted to defeat strong Duelists to qualify, rather than do things the easy way. This led him to go as far as challenging Seto Kaiba. Kaiba declined after he is informed of Yugi's location while hunting for the Egyptian God Cards. Although he is relieved about not facing Kaiba, he still acts tough and calls Kaiba a coward.
After his Duel with Mako, Marik Ishtar, the leader of the Rare Hunters, uses his Millennium Rod to possess Joey and force him to Duel Yugi, with both their lives on the line. They were both chained to an anchor which would drop after a time limit or when a players Life Points hit zero. Also once a player's Life Points hit 0, the opponent would be able to get a key, that could unlock him from the chains. Marik boosts Joey's Deck with powerful spell cards that have Yugi and Kaiba amazed. Yugi, to show Marik how strong his friendship with Joey is, Summons Red-Eyes and gives Joey his Millennium Puzzle. Yugi loses, but Joey breaks out of Marik's control and manages to force the Duel in a DRAW. He grabs the key to unlock Yugi's chain and dives into the water to rescue him. He is unable to unlock his own chains with Yugi's key. Serenity arrives in time to take the bandages off her eyes and take Joey's key and dive in to rescue him.
Joey along with his friends proceed on to the Kaiba's blimp, where the quarter-finals are held. He is paired against Odion Ishtar in the quarter-finals. At the time Odion was pretending to be Marik, while the real Marik pretended to be a boy called Namu, who earned their trust by pretending to have helped Bakura. After Odion obtains a clear advantage in their Duel Serenity begins to leave, saying she cannot bear to watch, but Joey calls her back, saying that she is his inspiration and he needs her to win. Despite a comeback, Odion attempts to claim victory, but Joey accused him of not being Marik. He claimed Odion was fighting fairly and proving honorable and didn't think he was the same guy who was controlling him earlier. Odion withdraws his winning move and tries to Summon "The Winged Dragon of Ra" to prove he was Marik. Since the Ra card was a counterfeit that Marik had put in Odion's Deck, the real Ra was angered and struck down both players. When this occurred, Odion's fake Millennium Rod shattered giving Marik away. Seto Kaiba announced that the first player to stand up within a time limit would be declared the winner, otherwise both players would be disqualified. While unconscious, Joey has a dream about his friends helping him to stand up and he ends up standing up for real, claiming victory. Odion then asks for Joey's forgiveness, and tells him that it had been an honor Dueling him, before falling into a coma, and watching as Yami Marik emerges.
Joey later thanks his friends, telling him they were there with him in the dream helping him stand up. Mai asked Joey if she was in his dream. Joey lies and says that she wasn't, which infuriates Mai. She stormed off claiming she didn't need friends, while Téa pulled Joey aside to tell him off.
Mai was paired against Marik in her quarter-final. Joey attempted to encourage her from the sideline, but she was still disgusted by what he had said earlier and claimed she didn't want or need his help. Marik set the Duel such that each time a player destroyed one of their opponent's monsters, the opponent would forget everything about someone they knew. This forced her to forget about Téa first, then Joey. Marik was about to win the Duel by attacking with "The Winged Dragon of Ra", while Mai was strapped to a wall by Marik's monsters, so Joey climbed into the arena and tried to unstrap Mai to save her from Ra's blast. He was unable to but Yami Yugi jumped in protecting both from the blast. Yugi and Joey survived, though Marik was able to send Mai to the Shadow Realm. He feels somewhat responsible for Mai’s loss. This further fueled Joey's hatred for Marik, making him want to face Marik in the next round.
After the quarter-finals, the blimp was sucked into a hidden area where Yugi, Joey, Téa, Tristan, Duke, Serenity, Seto and Mokuba were linked into a Virtual World apparently hosted by Kaiba's stepbrother Noah Kaiba. The party was split up and to defeat members of the Big Five, who would take their bodies to escape from the virtual world and live inside that body in the real world. Joey was able to construct his Deck using lists of given cards. He also included a few "Harpie" cards, remembering how Mai used to use them. He faced Johnson, who rigged Joey's luck-based cards to work in his favor. Noah threatens to disqualify Johnson, but Joey asks that the Duel continue, and he defeats Johnson. He later pairs up with Yugi as they Duel the Big Five combined. Working together they defeat the Big Five. After Yugi defeats Noah, the party is returned to the real world.
Battle City finals
On entering the Duel Tower Island, where the Battle City finals are taking place, Kaiba continues to mock Joey and asked how he managed to enter the tournament, saying somebody must have messed up on the computer systems. Despite his hatred for Kaiba, Joey hated Marik more and used the Battle Royale Duel, which would determine who faced who in the next round in his favor to pair him against Marik.
When Joey Duels Marik in the semi-finals, Marik links all monsters Summoned by a player to the player themselves, so that any pain the monster feels, the controller would also feel. Joey Duels surprisingly well against Marik, but when Marik Summons "The Winged Dragon of Ra", he uses its effect to destroy Joey's monsters, causing Joey immense pain. It appeared that Joey would not survive the blast. This even resulted in Yami begging Kaiba to call off the Duel, but Kaiba refuses, and insisted he had to witness Ra's special ability with his own eyes. But when Ra had finished, Joey was still standing. He struggled to draw his next card, "Gearfried the Iron Knight". He Summoned it and tried to attack Marik's Life Points directly for the win, but collapsed before the attack went through, leaving Marik the winner. After seeing Joey stand up after Ra's blast, Kaiba actually admits to himself that Joey's performance was actually quite impressive, and finally realizes that Joey isn't the third-rate amateur that Kaiba thought he was.
Joey remains in a coma for a while (In the dub, a few screen shots were cut that showed that in fact he was dead for a few minutes, and also dialogues were rearranged to show him simply as unconscious), leaving his friends worrying that he may have been sent to the Shadow Realm. However, he is not in the Shadow Realm and only in a coma because of his strong friendship bond with both Yugi and Yami Yugi protecting him. He is taken care of by KaibaCorp doctors on the Kaiba's blimp, until Yugi's Duel with Kaiba in the semi-finals, when Tristan drags him to the window to see Yugi's Duel claiming Yugi needs him (and Joey starts regaining consciousness after Yugi summoned his "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" against Kaiba). Joey slowly regained consciousness and afterwords dashes up the Duel Tower, catching the end of Yugi's Duel. After Kaiba gives Yugi "Obelisk the Tormentor", because of the ante rule, Joey challenges Kaiba to a play off to determine 3rd and 4th place. Though Joey plays rather well, managing for a short time to use Kaiba's own "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" against him, Kaiba wins and says that Dueling Joey was just a waste of time. However, Mokuba, who was one of the few spectators, is impressed by how Joey Dueled his brother.
Joey cheers on Yugi in the finals against Yami Marik and returns to Mai's bed to see if defeating Yami Marik had woken her up. He cries over her body, until he hears Mai and Serenity snickering, as they pranked him into admitting he would do anything to have Mai wake up, Mai having woken up before he even reached her room.
After the gang flew back to Domino City, they said their goodbyes and parted. Later on, Joey met up with Yugi for a Duel they promised each other. Joey claimed he was going to win back his "Red-Eyes Black Dragon". The Duel's result was not shown, but Joey did use that card in later arcs, which means he may have won it back.
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light
Takes place after the Battle City tournament, Joey and Tristan hold back a crowd of people who want to duel Yugi for his Egyptian God Cards. Joey begins dueling them to hold them back. He and Tristan later dash to Kaiba's duel dome to watch Yugi's duel against Kaiba and Anubis.
Waking the Dragons
In the Waking the Dragons arc, Joey accompanies Yugi in saving the world from Dartz and his organization, Paradius. When Arthur Hawkins tells of an alternate world where real Duel Monsters exist, Joey tells Arthur that he believes him after remembering all the experiences he and his friends have had previously.
He later finds out Mai is working for Paradius and is set on using "The Seal of Orichalcos" to strip Joey of his soul. Joey refuses to accept that Mai joined under her own free will and accused Paradius of brainwashing her. Mai Duels Joey in an attempt to take his soul. Joey, holding back at first for fear of losing Mai, struggles to avoid losing the Duel, until his mind is taken to another world, where he pulls a sword from a large dragon sealed in crystal. He uses this card to gain an advantage in the Duel. When it becomes apparent that Joey is about to win, Valon interrupts, using a fragment of the Orichalcos stone to remove "The Seal of Orichalcos".
Joey manages to catch the last glimpse of Yami's Duel with Rafael. He is astonished to see the symbol of the Orichalcos on Yami's forehead, since this must have meant Yami played the Seal on his own. This is nothing to his shock when he witnesses Yami lose the Duel and watches a soul be taken. Rafael began to make his escape in a helicopter, taking Yami's body with him. When Joey pursues and demands that Rafael give him back, Rafael flings the body down. After Yugi begins to show signs of life, Joey becomes excited thinking Yugi had found a way to avoid losing his soul. But Yami Yugi revealed that only he had survived while "regular" Yugi let his own soul be taken. Joey punches Yami for moping around and losing hope, and tells him to focus on saving Yugi.
Joey and Tristan get separated from Téa and Yami Yugi when the train they were riding split in two. Outside the train, Joey and Tristan meet Rex, who is now working with Paradius and looking to Duel Joey. Joey refuses to Duel, knowing one of them would lose their soul if the Seal of Orichalcos was played. But Raptor begins to Duel anyway, playing the Seal on the first turn and leaving Joey no choice but to Duel back. Throughout the Duel, Rex reveals his motive for targeting Joey. He and Weevil had been humiliated after their defeats to Joey and Yugi in Duelist Kingdom. They both suffered a mass loss in popularity and were now regarded as losers and a joke. He blamed Joey for all this, including going on to say Joey stole, not fairly won, his "Red-Eyes Black Dragon". Joey proceeds to win the Duel, causing Rex to lose his soul. He and Tristan are left carrying Rex's body through the desert after this.
Joey's Hermos card begins to glow, and he sees the three Legendary Dragons appear and guide an airplane to land safely nearby. Joey and Tristan rush to the plane, where they meet up with Yami and Téa, who had also seen the Dragons guide the plane. Kaiba emerges from the plane, and he explains how Paradius had hacked into KaibaCorp and began taking over. Kaiba gives them all a lift to Domino City, leaving Rex in the care of his remaining faithful staff. The City has become overrun with Orichalcos Soldiers. After being chased by one, Joey meets Valon, who takes off on a motorcycle. Joey grabs a motorcycle that an Orichalcos Soldier had caused someone to fall off of and chases Valon. After catching up, they Duel, and Valon explains his reason for targeting Joey; from hearing Mai constantly rant about him, he felt eliminating Joey would be a favor to her. However, Valon becomes impressed by Joey's Dueling skills and speech about how he felt Dueling was about fighting for people you love; he soon comes to respect Joey, and sees why Mai is so interested in him. Mai appears midway through the Duel, telling Valon off for Dueling Joey because she wanted to be the one to defeat him. Joey wins, and just before Valon lost his soul, he asked Joey to save Mai.
Unable to convince Mai that she has been brainwashed, Joey says the only way he could get through to Mai was to Duel her. But though he tries his best, he is again handicapped by the strain his battle with Valon put on his stamina. Through the course of the Duel, Mai comes to remember why she had once cared for Joey. She holds back from attacking him when she is able to declare victory, but Joey collapses from exhaustion from his Duel with Valon and the Seal of Orichalcos begins to take his soul. Mai rushes and hugs him to stop him from falling, telling him she was sorry and that he was "the closest friend she ever had". Shortly after, Joey pushes her safely out of the Seal while his soul gets taken. An image of him standing, fists at his sides, appears on a tablet in Dartz's temple to show his soul's capture. (It is noteworthy that he and Valon are the only two characters whose soul-carvings do not depict them panicking at their imprisonment.) Mai weeps over Joey, denouncing everything she did. Once she calms down, she takes the Hermos card and rests his body next to Valon's before dashing to Duel Dartz for Valon and Joey. Yami, Téa and Tristan arrive and take care of Joey's body.
Joey's soul returns to his body after Yami's Duel with Dartz. Yugi returns Hermos to Joey, and he helps Summon monsters to defeat The Great Leviathan. After the defeat of the Leviathan, he watches as the Legendary Knights and Dark Magician Girl return to their world. The Hermos card fades away as he does so.
Joey was invited to Seto Kaiba's Grand Championship tournament. He served as mainly a comic relief character in this arc. After Yugi said the card "Heart of the Underdog" reminded him of a friend, calling Joey an underdog became a running gag that day. In the first round, he defeated Yugi's grandfather, Solomon Muto, who entered under the identity Apdnarg Otum, to test how well he had trained Joey. Only Joey was fooled by his disguise. After putting up a good fight, he was defeated by Zigfried von Schroeder in the next round. When Yugi's grandpa was missing, Joey joined Yugi and the gang on a search to find Yugi's grandpa. They found him being bribed by Vivian who challenged Yugi to a Duel, which Yugi accepted and won.
Set between of the Grand Championship and Dawn of the Duel, Joey wins a trip for four to India. He invites Yugi, Tristan and Téa.
Just when the plane approached its final destination, the engines cut out and the aircraft crash lands in a mysterious forest. After Joey and his friends evacuate from the aircraft, they find a man who says his name is Dr. Alex Brisbane. When Yugi lets slip to Brisbane that he is Solomon Muto's grandson, Brisbane tells him that he's a colleague of Solomon, and on their latest expedition together he disappeared. Brisbane takes them to what he believes it to be the legendary pyramid of Alexander the Great.
Inside the pyramid, the four friends step on map, causing them to enter a strange world. Here, Joey unlocks a living Baby Dragon; together they find a treasure chest, containing a clue to a trial. Joey later meets up with his friends. Together they had to complete a series of trials to leave. The gang meet up with Alexander the Great on occasions, where he helps them out. They also find Yugi's grandfather.
Joey later separates from the gang. Next time they met him he was possessed and wearing Red-Eyes B. Dragon fashioned armor and he stops the party from acquiring the sword needed to complete the present trial. After Yugi brings Joey to his senses, Joey gets separated from the armor, which turns into Red-Eyes B. Dragon. Joey then removes the real sword from Red-Eyes, which had possessed both of them.
Together the friends complete the tasks and Shadi offers Yugi power as a reward. Yugi claims he doesn't want it. They are then confronted by Alexander the Great, who wants to take the power. Alexander and his followers have a face-off against the friends, who all summon monsters they acquired throughout the trials. Yugi, Joey, Téa, Tristan and Solomon are then returned to the Pyramid.
Dawn of the Duel
During the Dawn of the Duel arc, Joey, Yugi, Téa and Tristan go to Cairo, Egypt so that they might help Yami Yugi fulfill his destiny as Pharaoh. They were greeted at the airport by the Ishtars. After Yami Yugi entered the Memory World, his friends were shocked to see that he had left the Millennium Puzzle, so Shadi used the Millennium Key to open the way to the maze of Yugi's heart so that he might try to find the door to the Memory World. Once there, the four of them met up with Bobasa, who promised to help them. They were able to phase through other buildings and people unnoticed and remained invisible to the majority of people, but they could not pass through the palace gates. Joey, Téa, Tristan and Yugi manage to find Yami's real name, but are unable to read the hieroglyphics. When they meet up with Yami later, they are unable to tell him his real name. Together they Summon monsters to fight Zorc Necrophades. After Zorc defeats their monsters, they try concentrating on their memories of the hieroglyphics, and are able to make them appear on a cartouche. Yami read his name, Atem, from the cartouche allowing him to Summon The Creator God of Light, Horakhty, destroying Zorc Necrophades.
After returning to the real world, Joey offers to Duel Atem in the Ceremonial Battle. This is declined so that Yugi can Duel Atem himself. During the Duel, he explains Yugi's feelings to his friends. After the Duel, Joey and his friends fly back home to Domino City. He is last seen walking into the distance with Yugi, Téa and Tristan as the series ends.
His name is referenced in an episode in the dub when Jaden Yuki Duels a lab chimpanzee, the scientist says the ape's name is Wheeler. This is a reference to Kaiba once calling Joey a "Dueling monkey" in the dub.
A Duelist who looks like Joey is seen Dueling at Daimon Area against a Duelist who resembles Frost. Thunder, Frost's partner, also bears a resemblance to Joey. In the dub, someone asks if the Duelist is Joey Wheeler. Someone else replies that it is his cousin Jesse Wheeler. However in the Japanese version he goes by as an unnamed duelist.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time
Joey and Tristan used to bully Yugi, but after Yugi defended Joey and Tristan against Ushio, Joey and Yugi became very close friends. When Yami Yugi was unable to snap Joey out of Marik's brainwashing, Yugi took over - Yami Yugi conceded that Yugi was closer to Joey than he was - and succeeded in bringing Joey back to his senses. Shortly thereafter, each proved they were willing to die for the other, as Yugi chose to lose a Duel in which the loser drowned so as to save Joey, and as Joey then gave up his own chance to escape drowning to save Yugi from the same. When Joey is unconscious after his Duel with Yami Marik, Yugi only continues participating in the tournament because the Millenium Necklace tells him that's the way to save Joey. Similarly, after Yugi's soul is taken by the Orichalcos, Joey decides to challenge Doma himself in order to save Yugi.
Joey is close friends with Yami Yugi, and each risks his life to help the other countless times. In Battle City, Joey calls Yami Yugi the "true Duelist", and makes it his goal to become a Duelist worthy of Dueling Yami Yugi. When Joey is unconscious after his Duel with Yami Marik, Yami Yugi only continues participating in the tournament because the Millenium Necklace tells him that's the way to save Joey; Joey exhibits similar selfless behavior in return when he continues to support Yami Yugi after Yami Yugi's corruption led to Yugi's loss, choosing not to blame Yami Yugi for what had transpired and instead urging Yami Yugi to fight to get Yugi back. On the boat ride to the Pharaoh's tomb, Joey tells Tristan and Duke that although he doesn't want to see Yami Yugi go, he supports it because he knows it's best for Yami Yugi. As Yami Yugi leaves, Joey cries, but he encourages the others to let Yami Yugi go to the afterlife, while saying that, "Even in 1000 years, you're still our partner".
Although they were separated as kids when their parents divorced, Joey and Serenity care deeply for each other. When Joey learns that Serenity needs money for an eye surgery, he enters the Duelist Kingdom tournament to win the money necessary to perform the surgery. The first thing Serenity does after recovering her eyesight is save Joey's life. Serenity generally admires Joey, who in turn acts protective of his sister, becoming angry with Tristan and Duke when they flirt with her.
Joey and Tristan are close friends. While Tristan pokes fun at Joey and Joey is annoyed with Tristan's behavior towards Serenity, whom the latter has a crush on, their deep friendship can be seen in Tristan's horrified reaction both times Joey lost shadow games. In Yami Yugi's first duel with Yami Bakura, after Joey (Flame Swordsman) is sacrificed to destroy Yami Bakura's Man-Eater Bug via the effect of Yami Yugi's trap card, Horn of Heaven, Tristan (Cyber Commander) - along with Yugi (Dark Magician) and Tea (Magician of Faith) - is devastated and states: "My best buddy's gone"; this implies that while Yugi is his best friend, Tristan is Joey's second best friend. Tea jokingly compares the monster cards; Swamp Battleguard and Lava Battleguard to Tristan and Joey. Yugi states that the special ability of the battleguard monsters which allows them to defend each other from attacks symbolises how Joey and Tristan help each other out in reality.
Although Tea finds the immaturity of Joey and Tristan annoying, she values them just as much as she values Yugi, as they are all best friends. In Yami Yugi's first duel with Yami Bakura, after Joey (Flame Swordsman) is sacrificed to destroy Yami Bakura's Man-Eater Bug via the effect of Yami Yugi's trap card, Horn of Heaven, Tea (Magician of Faith) - along with Tristan (Cyber Commander) and Yugi (Dark Magician) - is devastated and cries; thus, showing that she cares dearly for Joey. Tea's tear activates the flip effect of her favourite card, allowing Yami Yugi to add Monster Reborn from the graveyard to his hand to bring Joey back just before the Reaper of the Cards steals his soul.
Despite getting off on the wrong foot initially, Duke Devlin and Joey are good friends, just like everyone else in the gang, although Joey despises Duke constantly flirting with Serenity, as does Tristan.
When Joey and Mai first meet, Mai cares only about winning and is rude to Joey. However, Joey and the rest of his friends soon become friends with Mai. After this, Joey and Mai grow continually closer, with Mai giving Joey the pass he needs to get into the Duelist Kingdom finals, and Joey breaking Yami Marik's hold over Mai and shielding her from Ra's attack. When Mai joins Doma, Joey makes it his goal to bring her back to her senses.  Over the course of the series they come to care deeply for each other's well-being.
At the series start, Joey and Seto dislike each other, neither showing any respect for the other. In particular, Joey dislikes Seto's arrogant behavior, and Seto considers Joey a weak Duelist. However, over the course of the series, each individual shows concern, empathy, and/or respect for the other several times. When Marik is controlling Joey into Dueling Yugi with the Duelists' lives on the line, Seto is worried that for the Duelists' safety; he works hard to call off the Duel. Later, when Noah offers Yami Yugi the opportunity to save all of Yugi's friends - including Serenity - if Yami Yugi lets Noah keep Seto trapped in the Virtual World, Joey insists that Yami Yugi keep fighting in order to save the Kaiba brothers and maintain the bond the Kaiba brothers share. Later, Seto considers respecting Joey as a Duelist after Joey withstands Ra's attack, although he is still rude both to him and when talking about him in the tournament, both when fighting for 3rd place and in his match with Yami Yugi, respectively. In Waking the Dragons arc, he was considerate enough to prevent Joey's soulless body from falling off of Tristan's back. Joey in turn gains enough respect for Seto to actively root for him in Seto's match against Zigfried.
During the Duelist Kingdom arc, Joey's Deck is comprised of mostly Warrior and Beast-Warrior-Type monsters. He uses few Magic and Trap Cards, the ones that do mostly allowing him to power up his monsters or weaken enemy monsters. His favorite card is "Flame Swordsman", but he rarely uses it after Duelist Kingdom. Joey's signature move during Duelist Kingdom was to use a combo of "Time Wizard" and "Baby Dragon" to weaken enemy monsters and aging "Baby Dragon" into "Thousand Dragon". Joey also uses "Graverobber" to steal enemy cards for his own usage (note that in the anime "Graverobber" can take any card from the opponent's Graveyard, not just Magic cards), and adds the "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" to his Deck after he wins it from Rex Raptor. With the exception of Battle City, when he lost the "Red-Eyes" to a Rare Hunter, Joey would make usage of the dragon throughout the series, gradually adding support cards for it to his Deck.
In the Battle City arc, Joey's Deck is more balanced. He relies on Warriors again and incorporates Gamble cards that rely on coin flips, dice rolls or other games of chance and luck, "Graceful Dice" and "Skull Dice" being two such cards that become a permanent part of Joey's Deck. His reliance on these cards contrasts the other Duelists in the series including Yugi and Kaiba, as Joey does not have access to the powerful cards they do and relies on luck to win. Other cards that become mainstays in his Deck include "Alligator Sword", "Swordsman of Landstar", and "Panther Warrior", and the Magic Cards "Scapegoat" and "Giant Trunade". As he defeats opponents Joey adds "Jinzo", "Insect Queen", and "The Legendary Fisherman" to his Deck, "Jinzo" becoming one of Joey's best monsters as the series progresses.
In the Virtual World arc, Joey uses Warrior monsters and raises their ATK with the ability of his Deck Master, "Flame Swordsman". He also uses "Cyber Harpie" and "Harpie's Feather Duster" as tributes to Mai Valentine when both he and Yami Duel The Big Five in an attempt to get Tristan's body back.
In the Waking the Dragons arc, Joey adds "Claw of Hermos" to his Deck, combining it with monsters to create unique Equip cards. He otherwise adds "Star Blaster" and "Roll of Fate", along with other gamble cards and "Red-Eyes Black Dragon".
During the Grand Championship arc, Joey's Deck is largely the same as in "Waking the Dragons". He expands on his "Swordsman of Landstar" in the form of other "Landstar" monsters and support cards for them, and uses more gamble cards, namely "Dangerous Machine Type-6" and "Maximum Six".
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Character Guidebook: The Gospel of Truth: Katsuya Jonouchi's profile
- "Character". 4K Media Inc.. July 7, 2015. http://www.yugioh.com/characters/joey-wheeler.
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