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Joan of Arcadia
Format Family drama
Created by Barbara Hall
Starring Amber Tamblyn
Opening theme "One of Us"
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 45
Executive producer(s) Barbara Hall
Running time 45 minutes
Original channel CBS
Original run September 26, 2003 (2003-09-26) – April 22, 2005 (2005-04-22)
External links
Official website

Joan of Arcadia is an American television fantasy/family drama telling the story of a teenage girl who communicates with God and performs tasks she is given. The series originally aired on Fridays, 8-9 p.m. on CBS from September 26, 2003 until April 22, 2005.

On initial release, the show was praised by critics and won the prestigious Humanitas Prize and the People's Choice Award. It became one of the few television shows to be nominated for an Emmy Award in its first season, for "Best Dramatic Series". The title alludes to Joan of Arc and the show takes place in fictional Arcadia, Maryland.



Joan of Arcadia is about teenager Joan Girardi (played by Amber Tamblyn), who sees and speaks with God.

In the pilot episode, God appears to Joan and reminds her that she promised to do anything he wanted if he would let her brother survive a car crash that left him a paraplegic. God appears in the form of various people such as small children, teenage boys, elderly ladies, transients, passers by, etc. Joan is asked by God to perform tasks that often appear to be trivial or contrary, but always end up positively improving a larger situation.

One of the more obvious effects of Joan's actions occurs when she is asked to take a reclusive bully to the school dance. While both her mother and the assistant principal object, Joan follows through with God's task. At the dance, it is revealed that the bully has a bottle of alcohol with him, but Joan convinces him not to open it. Despite this, the assistant principal later reaches into his jacket, finds the alcohol and expels him. In his anger, the boy threatens the chief of police (Joan's father) with a handgun, and he is then arrested. Joan later finds out from God that, while this turn of events seems rather bleak, it was the lesser of two evils—without Joan's actions, he would have shot over a dozen students and teachers with a handgun, before turning the gun on himself. This ending is noticeably more direct than most episodes, since it is the only time God comments so clearly on "what would have happened" rather than primarily allowing events to speak for themselves.

The series starred actors Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen as Joan's parents Will and Helen, Jason Ritter as her paraplegic older brother Kevin, and Michael Welch as her younger brother Luke. The family relationships and plot situations were written more realistically than other shows with spiritual themes.[1] Various story-lines that spanned multiple episodes dealt with the consequences of Kevin's accident, Will's job as a police officer, Helen's career as an art teacher, and Luke's aspirations to be a scientist. No specific mention of any "true" religion is ever made, and God quotes Bob Dylan, Emily Dickinson and the Beatles rather than any scripture or verses. Furthermore, God is portrayed with a very human personality. In "Touch Move", he tells Joan that he has to send her "down there", and laughs when she becomes worried he means Hell, when he meant the school basement. Also, in one episode, he hands Joan a book from a store they have just left. When Joan accuses him of stealing, he remarks "Well, technically everything's mine".

Christopher Marquette also stars as Adam Rove, a close friend of Joan's who has an on-and-off romantic relationship with her. Another of Joan's best friends is Grace Polk, played by Becky Wahlstrom.


  • Amber Tamblyn as Joan Girardi - Middle child of the Girardi family. Teenage girl who talks to God
  • Joe Mantegna as Will Girardi - Joan, Kevin and Luke's father. Police chief of Arcadia PD, eventually chooses to return to detective work after he is kidnapped. Mantegna had a development deal with CBS and liked the script so agreed to be part of the show. He was also involved in the casting of the other characters.[2]
  • Mary Steenburgen as Helen Girardi - Joan, Kevin and Luke's mother. Secretary and eventually art teacher at Arcadia High School
  • Jason Ritter as Kevin Girardi - Eldest child in the Girardi family. Works for the local newspaper as a fact checker at first however eventually pursues a career in journalism. In the middle of the second season Kevin becomes a local news anchor. Became a paraplegic in a car accident while in high school. He was very popular in high school, being a sports star and good with talking and such to girls. He seems humbled now that he cannot walk.
  • Michael Welch as Luke Girardi - Youngest Girardi child. Science nerd, straight A student
  • Chris Marquette as Adam Rove - Only child of Elizabeth and Carl Rove. Joan's best friend/boyfriend, Grace's lifelong best friend. One of Helen's art students, talented artist
  • Becky Wahlstrom as Grace Polk - Only child of Sarah and Rabbi Polanski. Adam and Joan's best friend and Luke's eventual girlfriend.

Recurring cast

  • Aaron Himelstein as Friedman - Luke's best friend
  • Mageina Tovah as Glynis Figliola - Luke's friend and one-time girlfriend
  • Sprague Grayden as Judith Montgomery - Joan's friend from the summer psychiatric camp. Her parents are psychologists and she takes advantage of them frequently.
  • Mark Totty as Detective Carlisle - Will Girardi's junk food addicted partner on the Arcadia Police Department.
  • Elaine Hendrix as Ms. Lischak - Chemistry and Physics teacher. Shown to be overly dramatic for physics.
  • Patrick Fabian as Gavin Price - Assistant Principal, Arcadia High School. Very unpopular among students.
  • Annie Potts as Lucy Preston - Lieutenant, Arcadia Police Department
  • Derek Morgan as Roy Roebuck - Arcadia Police Department
  • Wentworth Miller as Ryan Hunter - a young, charming dot com millionaire who also talks to God, but with his own sinister agenda. Introduced at the end of Season Two in the episode Common Thread it was planned for him to be a recurring character in the third season.
  • David Burke as Fr. Ken Mallory - Helen's friend and pastor of a nearby church.
  • Constance Zimmer as Sister Lilly Watters, a former nun who helps advise Helen Girardi, also Kevin's girlfriend.

Guest cast

Incarnations of God

Some of the many incarnations included:


Theme song

The opening credits roll with the song "One of Us" by Joan Osborne, a hit single in the United States from her 1995 album Relish:

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home (repeated)

This was not the original version of the song, but was re-recorded by Osborne (with a noticeably less rough quality) specifically for the show. To fit the lyrics of the song, Joan first meets God as a teenage boy riding to school on the bus with her (although they don't actually speak to each other at the time).


Scenes of Arcadia's skyline and other outdoor scenes were actually the city of Wilmington, Delaware. Arcadia itself is set in Maryland.

Reception and cancellation

Joan of Arcadia debuted on the heels of Touched by an Angel, which had ended its nine-year run in April 2003.

While Joan of Arcadia was one of the highest rated new shows of the 2003-2004 TV season, its ratings declined in the second season, in spite of continued critical acclaim. The show was cancelled by CBS on May 18, 2005.[4] Fan campaigns were created in response, in an effort to have the show reinstated.[5] Only two episodes "No Future" and "The Rise and Fall of Joan Girardi" from the second season were repeated by CBS, and remaining reruns were pulled from the schedule. Near the end of the second season, a menacing character was introduced to the series, an amoral "tempter", seemingly destined to cause a significant amount of conflict in the show's characters. The show's cancellation left that premise unexplored. Ghost Whisperer took over the show's Friday time slot in September 2005.[4][5]

After the show's cancellation, props such as pieces of Adam's artwork and Joan's signature messenger bag and costume pieces belonging to cast members were sold on eBay. Grace's trademark leather jacket was not included as the jacket was brought in by actress Becky Wahlstrom from her own teenage years. [6]

Viewers by season

"During its first season, Joan of Arcadia averaged 10.1 million viewers, respectable numbers for Friday, a quiet night for television. The following year, viewership sank to 8 million, according to Nielsen Media Research."[5]

Nielsen Ratings

Season Episodes Premiere Season finale Viewers
(in millions)
1 2003-2004 23 September 26, 2003 May 21, 2004 9.9[7] #54[7]
2 2004-2005 22 September 24, 2004 April 22, 2005 8.0[8] #70[8]


Season 1: 2003-2004

Episode # Production # Original Air Date Title
1 100 September 26, 2003 Pilot
2 101 October 3, 2003 The Fire and the Wood
3 102 October 10, 2003 Touch Move
4 103 October 17, 2003 The Boat
5 104 October 24, 2003 Just Say No
6 105 October 31, 2003 Bringeth It On
7 106 November 7, 2003 Death Be Not Whatever
8 107 November 14, 2003 The Devil Made Me Do It
9 108 November 21, 2003 St. Joan
10 109 December 5, 2003 Drive, He Said
11 110 December 12, 2003 The Uncertainty Principle
12 111 January 9, 2004 Jump
13 112 January 16, 2004 Recreation
14 113 February 6, 2004 State of Grace
15 115 February 13, 2004 Night Without Stars
16 116 February 20, 2004 Double Dutch
17 114 February 27, 2004 No Bad Guy
18 117 March 12, 2004 Requiem for a Third Grade Ashtray
19 118 April 2, 2004 Do The Math
20 119 April 30, 2004 Anonymous
21 120 May 7, 2004 Vanity, Thy Name Is Human
22 121 May 14, 2004 The Gift
23 122 May 21, 2004 Silence

Season 2: 2004-2005

Episode # Production # Original Air Date Title
24 201 September 24, 2004 Only Connect
25 202 October 1, 2004 Out of Sight
26 203 October 8, 2004 Back to the Garden
27 204 October 15, 2004 The Cat
28 205 October 22, 2004 The Election
29 206 October 29, 2004 Wealth of Nations
30 207 November 5, 2004 P.O.V.
31 208 November 12, 2004 Friday Night
32 209 November 19, 2004 No Future
33 210 November 26, 2004 The Book of Questions
34 211 December 10, 2004 Dive
35 212 January 7, 2005 Game Theory
36 213 January 14, 2005 Queen of the Zombies
37 214 January 28, 2005 The Rise and Fall of Joan Girardi
38 215 February 11, 2005 Romancing the Joan
39 216 February 18, 2005 Independence Day
40 217 February 25, 2005 Shadows and Light
41 218 March 4, 2005 Secret Service
42 219 April 1, 2005 Trial and Error
43 220 April 8, 2005 Spring Cleaning
44 221 April 15, 2005 Common Thread
45 222 April 22, 2005 Something Wicked This Way Comes

DVD releases

Season Discs Release Date Episode # Additional Information
1 6 May 10, 2005 23 Deleted Scenes, Audio commentaries by the Filmmakers and Cast
Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes: The Creation of Joan of Arcadia and Joan of Arcadia - A Look at Season One
God Gallery
2 6 November 28, 2006 22 Audio Commentaries on selected episodes
A Look at Season 2 featurette
The Making of Queen of the Zombies
A Tour of Joan's High School
Common Thread Table Read

Note: each disc in the season, except the last, contains 4 episodes.

See also


  1. ^ John Binns (September 2004). "For God's Sake". TV Zone (180): 42–45. "Like Joan of Arcadia and unlike Touched By An Angel, Quantum Leap feels more like a drama in which God plays a role, rather than a piece of religious instruction in dramatic form.". 
  2. ^ Nathan Rabin (April 21, 2009). "Joe Mantegna".,26934/. Retrieved 2009-11-28. ""Ultimately, we ran two seasons, and it’s one of the proudest things I’ve done."" 
  3. ^ Episode "The Rise & Fall of Joan Girardi"
  4. ^ a b "Fans make last try to save ‘Joan of Arcadia’. Older audience demographic, low ratings led to cancellation". May 29, 2005. 
  5. ^ a b c "Fans demand 'Joan', fight CBS over cancellation". USA Today. 2005-05-30. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  6. ^ Buying TV Show Clothing Props
  7. ^ a b "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report: 01 Thru 210". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "Primetime series". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. May 27, 2005. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Joan of Arcadia is an American television fantasy/family drama, which aired on Fridays on CBS from 26 September 2003 until 22 April 2005. The title is a portmanteau of Joan of Arc and the fictional city of Arcadia, Maryland. The stories involve a teenage girl, Joan Girardi (played by Amber Tamblyn), who sees and speaks with God in the form of various people and is asked to perform tasks that often appear to be trivial or contrary, but always end up positively improving a larger situation.


Season One


Sammy: (on the phone) Is it breathing? It's moving? If it's moving and breathing then its not dead! It's hopping? If it's hopping then it's really not dead!

Sammy: (on the phone) This is why I didn't want to get a rabbit for a pet! They're not pets, they're food!

Luke: So, what you do is that you shoot these photons at this piece of paper...
Joan: There's a pervert in the yard!!
Luke: ..and a pervert appears in the yard.

Joan: What about my hair?
Luke: It's on your head.

Joan: Who are you?
Cute Boy God: I've known you since before you were born, Joan.
Joan: I'm going to ask you one more time.
Cute Boy God: I'm God.
Joan: You're what?
Cute Boy God: God.
Joan: Don't to me again.

Luke: As the great physicist Faraday once said, 'Nothing is too wonderful to be true.'

Joan: Let's... let's say you're God.
Cute Boy God: Joan, I am God.
Joan: Okay, well, let's see a miracle.
Cute Boy God: Okay. How 'bout that?

Camera pans to a large tree nearby. Cute Boy God stops beneath it.

Joan: That's a tree.
Cute Boy God: Let's see you make one.

The Fire and the Wood

Joan: So, my true nature is to be a catalyst? That is mad anti-climatic.
God: Anti climactic. Anti-climatic means you're against the weather.

Kevin: I remember normal. Back when I was normal, I wanted them to buy me a car. You know what they said? They said "No." they said "Be a man. Get a job, buy your own car." So, what's changed since then? Huh? Joan, what's changed?
Joan: You know what's changed.
Kevin: Yep. Nobody expects me to be a man anymore.
[Kevin leaves, Joan yells after him]
Joan: You stopped trying! You just sit around and smoke in the park like some subdefective!

Joan: Make Kevin walk, please? I just ask this one favor and then I'll never ask for one again. It's so easy for you. All you have to do is snap your fingers or blink your eyes. Just let Kevin stand up.
God: People ask me to do things - big things, little things - billions of times, every day.
Joan: What do you expect? You're God!
God: I put a lot of thought into the Universe; came up with the rules. It sets a bad example if I break them - not to mention, shows favoritism. Why should one person get a miracle, and not everybody else? Can you imagine the confusion? It's better when we all abide by the rules.
Joan: No miracles?
God: Miracles happen within the rules.

Touch Move

Will: [On the phone] Yes sir. I understand, but I assure you, my guys are on it.
Joan: Sir? Who does he call Sir?
Luke: His boss.
Joan: He doesn't have a boss.
Luke: Sure he does. The Commissioner, the Mayor, the Attorney General, Mom.

Woman: Joan Girardi? Sign Here.
Joan: Oh. I never get anything in the mail.
Woman: You owe eleven dollars and fifty cents.
[Joan turns around to call her mom for the money.]
Woman: Un uh. You have twelve dollars in you pocket you were going to use to buy a Frappuccino and a muffin when you skip history class after lunch. Which by the way. Do not do that.
Joan: Oh God. You're just a three ring circus aren't you?
God: Ok, price went up. Give me the whole twelve.
Joan: What are you going to do with money?
God: It's not what I'm going to do with it. It's what you're going to do without it.

Grace: Tell your brother to stop with the after-shave. First, he has nothing to shave. Second, it smells like picked eggs. And third, he sits behind me and I'm allergic. I have like, one working sinus left.

Grace: You smell that? It's like essence of pimp.
Joan: Yeah, it's pretty bad. It's really girly. Hard to believe he's straight.
Grace: Hard to believe and hard to care.
Joan: You know, I know he's not your type, I know he isn't mine. (Grace gives her a look) If he weren't my brother. I'm more into athlete type. You know that's my thing. Football players, wrestlers. Abs. Big forearms.
Grace: Small cerebral cortex.
Adam: (in a whisper) Wrestlers?
Joan: Mind your own business.

God: Oh Joan, it would have been so much easier if you just read the book. Now I'm gonna have to send you to the basement.
Joan: You mean like, Hell?
God: No, I mean, like, the basement. There's one in the school. Check it out.

Girl 2: You hit on Dax Hibbing?
Joan: I don't know Dax Hibbing.
Girl 2: Are you insane? They are like, such a unit. You can't get in there.
Joan: I don't know Dax Hibbing.
Girl 2: You're either a complete freak or my hero.

Joan's Chess Partner: Benjamin Franklin. (Joan clicks her timer) Interesting. Fianachetto.
Joan: I have no idea what I'm doing.
Joan's Chess Partner: Yeah, like I'm falling for that.
Joan: A horse can jump people right?
Joan's Chess Partner: That's funny.
Teacher: How's it going?
Joan's Chess Partner: Shes bold. Kudos for the Dresden variation, but I'm about take her queen.
Joan: Which one is the queen? This one?
Joan's Chess Partner: Oh yeah, you're psyching me out.
Joan: (makes a move) Can I do that?
Joan's Chess Partner: Wow. I should have seen that. I should have seen it. Crap. In six moves, by a girl.
Joan: (To the teacher who is looking shocked) What happened? Did I win?

Ms. Bloome: When I was 29 I was in a car accident and I died. And no, I don't remember a tunnel. I didn't see any dead loved ones, no angels. Nothing like that. It's just that when I woke up, everything was different. I was different. I asked the doctor, and he said this was not uncommon among near-death survivors. And then shortly after that, I began having dreams that came true. And weird visions. It was like I could hear peoples thoughts. I don't know the why of it, but I made the decisions that as long as I had this bizarre ability, I might as well use it to help people.
Will: And get paid for it. Help people for a price.
Ms. Bloome: Yeah, like you. Is it because of the tragedy? I mean that this makes you so angry and unwilling. You've had a tragedy.
Will: Who hasn't?

Helen: (To Charlotte) So, are you a detective?
Ms. Bloome: No. Actually I'm a psychic.
Helen: A psychic, that's interesting.
Ms. Bloome: Your daughter has a very special connection to the universe.
Joan: [Awkwardly] No I don't.
Luke: No, it's true. She is from another planet.
[Ms Bloome walks over to Kevin and whispers something in his ear that leaves him shocked.]
Ms. Bloome: [To Helen] It was nice to meet you. You have a lovely family.
Helen: Nice to meet you.
Will: [To Kevin] What did she say to you?
Kevin: Nothing.

Helen: It's just... I was raised Catholic and I was taught that you don't ask God for specific things, but there is this one miracle that I would really, really like to have. Like something you see in a store and you can't stop thinking about it, and you start to believe that it already belongs to you, and it's just misplaced, but is it wrong? Can it actually do harm to pray for something you want?
Priest: I think prayer can never hurt. As long as you understand you might not recognize the answer right away. Most miracles occur in hindsight.
Helen: Why don't I ever feel better after I talk to you?
Priest: I don't know.

Joan: Because my life is completely unraveling. I'm up to my eyeballs in the drama of the high school mating ritual, and now, thanks to you, I've been mistaken as the school chess champion. How did this happen to me?
God: Which part?
Joan: How did I beat that kid at chess?
God: He was using logic. You weren't. It's impossible to guard against chaos. It's rare, but it happens. Black's move.
Joan: I don't want to... I don't know how to play this game.
God: And yet you play the game.
Joan: Because I'm forced to.
God: Forced to? Your friends make a suggestion, which you follow up on, and then you're surprised at the outcome? It's a causal universe. Move.
Joan: Wait a minute, I'm being punished because I made a tiny little effort to fit in?
God: It's not about punishment. It's that actions have consequences, and to be in denial of that is to be disengaged from the laws of the universe, which renders you powerless and vulnerable to an inordinate amount of pain. Other than that, it's no big deal... move.... (She touches one of the pieces and then changes her mind)No....
Joan: No?
God: It's a rule called "touch move." Once you touch a piece, you have to move that piece.
Joan: I'm not allowed to change my mind? What kind of universe is that?
God: Oh, you can change your mind, but you still have to play that piece. So you should think before you move.
Joan: Wait a minute, this is a metaphor... Yeah, I looked up "metaphor" and that's definitely an example... Yep... took the bait. So now I'm in the game. How do I get out?
God: There are many ways to get out; surrender is one, losing is another. Winning, cheating, which I don't recommend, but you have to do something. You have to have a strategy. See the number one rule in chess is this; whatever you do, don't play the other person's game. Play your own... Your move.

Kevin: Joan, can I borrow your hair dryer so I can look extra handsome for my job interview at Wiener World? Joan?
Joan: [Springing up from under her blanket] WHAT?
Kevin: [Jumps] Don't scare the cripple, my fight or flight impulse is very confused. What were you doing?

Kevin: So, I was in the "in" crowd. I just got to see the jerks closer up. Why do you think I spent so much time playing sports? I didn't like that social thing so much. People were mean, it was boring. I wanted to play my own game.
Joan: Oh my god! Somebody just said that to me yesterday. About chess.
Kevin: Well, it's the basic rule of any sport. Otherwise you're always on the defensive posture, always reacting to the other guy.
Joan: You really weren't happy in high school? You really felt like a reject sometimes?
Kevin: Everybody does. Even the ones who claim they don't. You-- you are going to find some people who totally get what a non-repulsive, sub-defective you are. Trust in yourself a little bit, you'll figure it out. And if you need me to roll over anyone, let me know.
Joan: Sub-defective.

Girl 2: Back off, Pin Head.
Luke: That's Mister Pin Head to you.
Joan: You know what? I don't care about Dax Hibbing or Lynnie Charmichael, or my social resumé, or who's gay or who's not. I can't spend my time on this planet worrying about that stuff. There's other things to do.
Girl 1: Like what? Chemistry and chess?
Joan: Yeah, Like that. Now those guys might be nerds but at least they know what they're here for.
Luke: [After the girls walk away] You called me a nerd.
Joan: It was a metaphor.

Joan: Can I interrupt this moment of family tension to say that I will not be representing the school in the chess tournament.
Luke: Was that ever a possibility?
Joan: There was a brief moment of insanity.
Helen: Joan, that is such an honor. Why would you turn that down?
Joan: Because I don't know how to play chess. I keep telling everybody that but no one believes it.
Luke: I believe you.
Joan: Thank you. I don't understand it.
Luke: It's just strategy and a little bit of living in the future.
Will: Please, no more talk about the future.
Luke: That's how it works, Dad. I mean, you see four moves ahead, it's empirical. You see five moves ahead, it's still grounded in science. I mean, who knows where the demarcation is? Now, if you see twelve moves ahead, maybe you're crossing over into psychic phenomenon. And maybe that's what a psychic does. She just sees the board of life better then we do.
Will: There are a million people with white cars and dogs.
Kevin: [Interrupting to make a point] She said I'd dance at my wedding. That's what she told me. Then again, she said Joan has a special connection to the universe, so go figure.

The Boat

[Joan finds a wallet on the floor with lots of money in it]
Grace: You're going to turn it in, aren't you? The willing of the power elites.
Joan: More like: ever get the feeling you're being watched?
Grace: She's right. We are under surveillance 80% of the time.

[Joan has just returned a wallet to a Navy recruiter]
Navy Recruiter: Nice to find someone so honest.
Joan: Okay.
Navy Recruiter: An award is in order!
Joan: Oh, no. I support the troops.
Navy Recruiter: I insist.
[Hands a large wad of money to Joan]
Joan: Oh, that's way too much.
Navy Recruiter: That's exactly the right amount for what I'm about to ask you to do.
[Joan realizes that it's actually God]

Adam: I like your beautiful boat.

Just Say No

God: You should be nicer to your mother.
Joan: She's against me having a life.
God: She's against you getting hurt. She knows something about that.
Joan: Is this about those paintings?
God: Where do you think that kind of thing comes from in a person?
Joan: A mood?
God: You have a mood, you eat french fries. But when you have pain, it takes a little more work to deal with it.
Joan: She had to have done this before she had Kevin...
God: Before your father, even.
Joan: What happened to her?
[God doesn't answer]
Joan: Is that why she's so weird about me dating?
[God doesn't answer]
Joan: How bad was it?
God: It was evil, and I don't throw that word around.

Will: I need you to tell her. I don't know why, but I really need it, Helen. Maybe it's because I'm so afraid of her not knowing how close it is to her, all of the time. Please do this for me.

[Helen enters Joan's room to talk about being raped]
Helen: I have something to tell you.
Joan: I know.

Bringeth It On

Joan: Well I can't do any stunts. No, No, and how about the jumps? So, so. So why am I here, well it's really odd, but I'm here to cheer on a mission from God. So put me in the game or leave me on the bench, so you can go to heaven and I'll get out of French.

Go Eagles! Go Eagles!
Go, go, go Eagles!
We live to cheer,
we're so sincere,
unless you get in trouble,
then we're out of here.
It's such a royal pain
when friend gets arrested.
How could I have known?
How could I have guessed it?
It's not like she's my sister,
(Whoops, is that my beeper)
and even if she was,
am I my sister's keeper?
Sorry, got to go
tryouts are today
Tell them that we'll think of her
Every time that we say
Go Eagles! Go Eagles!
Go, go, go Eagles!
My name is Joan,
this cheer is my own,
so kiss my feathers
'cause this bird has flown

Luke: There's this moose. And the moose is telling this other moose that the other moose is really an elk and as such should be running with another herd.
Kevin: Uh huh?
Luke: OK? But the moose is basing his whole assessment on what appears to be questionable evidence.
Kevin: Like his horns are kinda small?
Luke: Actually, it's more of a behavioral observation. Like, say the moose in question was seen sniffing a flower, which according to the first moose is elk-like. But the second moose isn't so sure. I mean, he doesn't feel like an elk, he doesn't have elk thoughts. Does it make him an elk just because he likes this one flower?
Kevin: Did you want to try a science metaphor?
Luke: ...Does it mean I'm gay if I like a lesbian?
Kevin: Who have you been talking to?
Luke: I'd rather leave the moose out of it.
Kevin: Well, first of all, No. Liking a girl is liking a girl. And who says she's a lesbian?
Luke: That would be the moose again.
Kevin: Right, you know, usually this kinda thing you just know.
Luke: I know, but apparently there are all these indicators about me.
Kevin: Here's your only indicator. You ready? When you're alone, just kinda passing the time, what do you think about?
Luke: How to get past level five on Diablo. That kinda thing?
Kevin: No, I mean, OK, when you're in the shower?
Luke: OH! Right, well, sometimes I think about Condaleeza Rice. I mean, her influence is second only to Kissinger.
Kevin: :[Stares]
Luke: Um, and then there's Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Christina Ricci, Batgirl.
Kevin: Ok, stop. See, that's all you need to know.
Luke: So, I'm definitely a moose?
Kevin: Don't ever make me walk you through this again, OK?

Death Be Not Whatever

Mr. Price: Ahem. Pardon me, but the point of this afternoon is to pretend that you might one day make a valuable contribution to society. Perhaps you could play along. For example, Ms. Polk, you might want to look into journalism, which is a profession where they actually pay people to be cynical and disaffected.
Grace: Not since all the publications got consumed by media conglomerates who manipulate information and--
Mr. Price: Go. And what career would you like to explore, Mr. Rove?
Adam : I want to do something soulless and corporate, Mr. Price.
Mr. Price: Good choice.

Sylvia: Yeah, I need a baby-sitter. I need a cheap baby-sitter who's not a psycho.
Joan: I can do it. And I'm not a psycho.
Sylvia: Rocky, my kid, he's really a great kid. He mostly entertains himself. And you're really not a psycho?
Joan: No, I'm-- I'm totally normal. You can even ask my friend. [They both turn to look at Adam who is banging his head against the window.] Um, maybe you should just take my word for it.

Will: What you reading? [she shows him the book] Why?
Helen: Because for me, sometimes it's like Kevin died, and I need to deal with that.
Will: Helen--
Helen: I know. I'm the one who's always preaching gratitude and moving on, and I was clinging to that so hard, and then it-- it stopped working for me. I felt alone, and I, um... I talked to a priest. I didn't want to bother you.
Will: That was the deal we made a long time ago. You get to bother me. You don't have to do anything alone.
Helen: I'm sorry I lied to you about the priest. That's who I met on my lunch break.
Will: You come to me, not some stranger. Promise me.

The Devil Made Me Do It

Luke: You know, I'm not certain this magnet is powerful enough for my needs.
Kevin: Mm-hmm.
[He puts a little jar of paint in is pocket.]
Luke: See, 'cause what I want to do is make a rail gun that lessens the power requirements of the compulsator by increasing the magnetic field using ceramic magnets.
Kevin: Just give me the magnet!
[He puts the magnet and another jar of paint in his pocket.]
Luke: Oh. Well, Mr. Big bucks has a job and wants to show off. Thanks. What are you-- what are you doing?
Kevin: It's called the wheelchair discount.
[Kevin puts only 1 or 2 jars of paint on the counter. We know he has many more in his pockets.]
Clerk: Will that be all?
Kevin: Yeah.
Luke: Kev? What?
Kevin: Shut up.
Luke: Give me the magnet.
Kevin: Fine. Be jelly. I'm just trying to help you out here.
Luke: Be that as it may--
Kevin: [To the clerk] You want me to empty out my pockets or anything?
Clerk: No, it's ok.
Kevin: 'Cause sometimes my chair sets off the alarm.
Clerk: Uh, it won't be necessary. $3.87, please. See?
Kevin: [To Luke] It's like being invisible. Isn't that one of those geek powers you always used to wish for?
Luke: [To the clerk] Is this the strongest magnet you've got?
Clerk: Uh, yeah. $6.49.
Kevin: [To Luke] That's $6.49 you could have saved. [And he wheels out]
Luke: Keep the change.
Clerk: Out of a 20?
[Kevin rolls back up to the counter and puts the remaining paint jars on the counter and leaves.]
Luke: I'm sorry, um, I'll pay for these.
Clerk: Poor guy, right? I mean, he's got it tough. Poor bastard.
Luke: Ok. See, what you're doing right there, you might as well spit on him. It even makes me want to steal from you. I know you're trying to be a nice guy, here, but still, I'd like to smash your face.

Luke: [Knocking on the door frame] I brought you the stuff you needed.
Kevin: The stuff you bought for me, you mean? I don't need it. I'm getting rid of all my toys.
Luke: Well, scale models are not toys.
Kevin: It's time for me to grow up.
Luke: I wasn't aware that was something you could just decide.
Kevin: I was the perfect big brother. Come on, admit it. I'm stronger, faster, better-looking.
Luke: Well, not better-looking.
Kevin: It's a reality, kid. Face it. People were nice to you because you were Kevin Girardi's kid brother. Probably kept you from being beat up about a hundred times.
Luke: I do seem to attract threats of violence.
Kevin: Last night, the natural order was reversed. You were the Big Brother. You were smarter and stronger and tougher.
Luke: And better-looking?
Kevin: I'm the big brother in this family, in or out of the wheelchair, so get off of my cloud.
Luke: The cloud reference eludes me.
Kevin: Yesterday... that will not happen again.
Luke: Are you apologizing to me? No, no, of course not. Why--why would you? It's an explanation, and that's enough.
Kevin: If you can't get your money back, I'll reimburse you.
Luke: Well, that's ok. Of course. Yes, I can use the money. And you're fully capable.
Kevin: You're going to be proud of me again.

St. Joan

Book store owner: Joan, I have a Master's degree in English Literature. I could've done a number of things with my life.
[Joan gives him a look]
Book store owner: At least three things, and I chose to open a bookstore because I believe in the power of knowledge which comes from books.

Painter God: Here's what you need to know about the martyrs: they did it the hard way.

Kevin: For God's sake, I can't stand it. Can we - can we please just talk about the gigantic stain on the carpet? We've been dancing around it for almost two years now, and it's making me crazy and maybe it's why I'm pissed off all the time. 'Cause no one will say it out loud, so I have to. The accident: it was my fault. This is my fault. The guys and I were out partying after the game. My friend Andy was wasted. I tried to take his keys. He got pissed off. I was afraid of not being cool so I went for the ride. I went for the ride. So, here we all are. I did this. I did do it. The Universe didn't conspire; the planets didn't align against me. Can somebody just please say it out loud? I did this!

Drive, He Said

[Kevin is waiting for the bathroom]
Kevin: Ok, Joan, here's the thing: it's the face you were born with - there's only so much you can do.

Helen: First of all, Eminem's birthday does not count as a religious holiday, and second, his birthday was October 17th.

Joan: Adam!
[Adam turns around and walks away]
Joan: [Sigh] He's never going to forgive me.
Grace: The dude has a photographic memory. Everytime he thinks he might forgive you, the image of you smashing his artwork just pops into his head. Not that I've discussed it with him.

Man with gun: Thirteen bucks?
Will: I've got a wife and kids.
Man with gun: Oh, that changes everything, wife and kids. There's a free pass for that one.
Will: I'm not begging for mercy, I'm explaining why I only have thirteen bucks in my wallet.

Joan: I don't want to drive. Why are you making me?
God: Most young people want to drive. Why are you so hesitant?
Joan: Well you know everything. Why don't you tell me?
God: Perhaps your mother is correct. You're afraid of hurting yourself and ending up like Kevin.
Joan: Yeah, maybe she's right.
God: Balderdash! You've always been a headstrong, brave child not overly concerned with your own well-being - a trait you inherited from your father. What you fear is hurting someone else. You fear that one instance of bad judgement might entail consequences. Consequences like those...
Joan: Like Kevin? That's... that's why I don't want to drive. I mean, isn't that... isn't that a pretty good reason?
God: Being an adult isn't merely about risking your own well-being, it means risking others' - in cars, in love, in family - hurting others is always a possibility. That's what's difficult about being an adult: facing the harsh fact that you may hurt others even when you don't want to.
Joan: Then it's a flaw in the design, and who's fault is that?
God: It might help if you think of the Universe as an obstacle course. There's no flaw in the design, it's just -
Joan: Obstacles?
God: Time's up.

The Uncertainty Principle

Luke: So I asked Grace to do this thing with me, and, at the time, she said "yes". Sort of. But...
Joan: Wait, Grace Polk said yes to you?
Luke: It was somewhat contingent, but, essentially, yeah.
Joan: Huh, you're so gonna get it.
Luke: But see, I don't know if she actually remembers me asking, so do I - do I have to do the full reapproach, or...?
Joan: What is she going to wear, because they don't make gowns out of fatigues.
Luke: What are we talking about?
Joan: You asked Grace Polk to the semi-formal.
Luke: I asked her to be my partner in the science fair.
Joan: Wow. Science really is like sex to you.



State of Grace

Grace: Y'know, this whole debate is a joke.
Friedman: I have a very strong rebuttal.
Grace: Like it matters? No matter what happens in this debate, those metal detectors will still be there. They will still stop us and search us.
Mr. Price: I would like you to leave, Miss Polk.
Grace: Oh, gee, remember free speech, Mr. Price?
Mr. Enfield: Remember decorum? Manners? Civility?
Grace: Yeah, all the things that used to keep us down? Well guess what, today is about freedom.
Joan: You call what you are doing right now free speech?
Mr. Enfield: You're not debating this young woman, Miss Girardi. I suggest you not deviate from the rules.
Friedman: [In undertone to Glynis] We're so gonna win this debate.
Grace: That's right, Girardi. Party line - that's what it's about.
Mr. Price: Alright, out!
Joan: And what's it about for you, Grace? Your idea of freedom is a world where everyone agrees with you?
Grace: You believe in this crap?
Joan: I don't know what I believe. I know Ramsey came in here with a gun. I know people could have died - you, me. You said I think like this becasue my father's a cop? Like that's bad? Yeah, my dad is a cop and you may think that makes him some kind of bigot, but he deals with those guns every day. This is not some political thing for him, this is reality. He's had them pointed at him and shoved in his face and that makes it real for me too, because every time I hear that the cops are in someplace and shots are fired, I wonder if I'm ever going to see my father again. I don't think we should have to, like, live in some prison - that sucks - but I do know we have to deal with this. We have to work something out. Even if it's not what we sort of believe in in the first place. I know I'm mouthing off, Mr Enfield, and I can't cite some report to back up my theories. I - this is just how I feel.

Security Officer God: Do you know what grace is, Joan?
Joan: Yeah, pissed off.
Security Officer God: Do you know the meaning of grace? It's a touch of truth that let's you see the world in a new way. It's a gift that can only be felt when you are open enough to accept it.

Night without Stars

[After Will and Helen kiss]
Joan: I thought we established the Kitchen as a no PDA zone.

Joan: Do you even listen to music?
Grace: Nothing legal.

Joan: It's just that, I like Adam.
Helen: I know, honey.
Joan: Mom, please. I know you think I'm dating him but I'm not. I mean, we kissed once (and, please, never repeat that to me or anyone else because I'm already grossed out I told you,) but it was just a kiss. You know, just a one-time kiss.
Helen: Okay.
Joan: It doesn't mean we're dating, does it?
Helen: Well -
Joan: Right, I know, of course not. It's just I think Adam thought that it did and he was kinda ... y'know, about it. And I - I - I was sort of ... y'know, too.
Helen: Oh...
Joan: And now he likes someone else - this, Iris (huh) - and I don't know what he sees in her. I mean, she's all... y'know. I want him to be happy; I'm not one of those people who gets all perky when someone else is miserable (maybe I am), but - but I do think Adam should be happy. Just not before I'm happy. I mean, he can be happy with someone else after I'm happy with someone else. (Does that make me a total maggot? Whatever.) The real question is: should I try to get him back? I mean, what if he falls in love with her and I realize that I do like him and it's too late but if I break them up and get him back but realize that I really don't want to be with him then he's going to hate me again, which I could not stand because I really like him. [Sighs] There's just no good answer here.
Helen: Honey, you are dealing with a lot of emotions.
Joan: Mom, I can't have this conversation right now, okay?

Kevin: Maybe if learned how to shoot some hoops, we could turn you into a real man - put a smile on your face.
[Kevin punches Luke in the arm, playfully]
Luke: God, why don't you just cut out the cocky athletic crap, Kevin. You're not that guy anymore and never will be again. [Pause] I'm - I'm sorry.
Kevin: What's your problem? The more things that go my way, the more pissed off you get. What's that about?
Luke: I said, "I'm sorry," okay? It won't happen again.
Kevin: Yes it will. What do you and your science friends call that - Law of Inertia? What is it?
[Kevin punches Luke again]
Kevin: What's the problem, Luke?
Luke: THAT! Right there. Do you have any idea how much I hated you for shoving me and hitting me and making fun of me all the time? And no one would say anything about it because you were the big star and I was just a geek. You know, after your accident, when I heard you'd never walk again, I was happy.

[Kids Joan is supervising are beating a Piniata and Iris walks in]
Iris: Stop! Stop it!
Joan: Don't be such a drag, we're just having a little fun.
Iris: Fun? Swinging around a stick and beating things? My father thought it was fun too, just a little fun. Beating us with a stick, just like this. First my mother and then.... Why would you do this?

Double Dutch

No Bad Guy

Requiem for a Third Grade Ash Tray

Do the Math


Vanity, Thy Name Is Human

The Gift


Season Two

Only Connect

Joan: I just want to be a normal couple again. Do you remember normal?
Adam: Not really.

Cute Boy God: Crazy is destructive. It tears down. I'm all about building up.
Joan: Then I suggest you take up carpentry.

Will: What's wrong?
Helen: Nothing! I'm seeing a nun and a priest!

Helen: Luke, one breakdown a year is all we can handle. You'll have to wait.

God: It's a creation, Joan. It's not a destruction. And that's what I want you to do. I want you to be creative. I want you to build things.
Joan: I build lamps!

Joan: You stole that!
God: Well, technically, everything's mine.

Joan: You hurt me. Really bad. Why should I trust you again?
God: Why did you ever?
Joan: Look, we had some good times. And I'm fine with you being, you know, the divine "it." But I don't want to see you anymore. It's not you. It's me. I--I'm just-- I'm not the girl for you. I--I had... a taste of normal, and...I really liked it, you know? I really enjoyed being optimistic and... making my lamps.
God: Don't you miss me a little?
Joan: No... Please go.
God: Do you miss yourself? Because I do.

Out of Sight

Back to the Garden

The Election

The Cat

Wealth of Nations

Adam (incredulously): You stole from the homeless??
Joan: Yes, I am a horrible human being.
Adam: Yeah... huh.
Joan: Well, you weren't supposed to say that.


Friday Night

No Future

[after going into a shop with a sign saying Madame Marie: Fortunes told]

Joan: Hi, how much of my future can I get for five dollars?

The Book of Questions

Girl God: And that's what religions are -- different ways to share the same truth.
Joan: And the truth is...
[God leaves]


Game Theory

Queen of the Zombies

The Rise & Fall of Joan Girardi

Romancing the Joan

God as a six-year-old girl: Love is big. It's a bright light in the universe, and a bright light casts a big shadow.

Independence Day

Shadows and Light

Secret Service

Trial and Error

Spring Cleaning

Common Thread

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Joan: Just explain the electromagnetic spectrum to me.
Luke: Nope.
Joan: Luke,'s kind of personal.
Luke: [Staring at Joan; pencil falls from his teeth] You have personal issues with the electromagnetic spectrum?

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Joan of Arcadia is a CBS drama starring Amber Tamblyn. Tamblyn's characters is Joan Gerardi, a teenager with the ability to talk to God.

The show is in its second season, and has 8.5 million viewers per episode. However after declining ratings the show was cancled and a third series never made.

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