Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is so handsome, charming, and loyal that he could get away with murder — and he does, multiple times throughout Netflix's Spoilers ahead for YOU Seasons 1 and 2. at various points throughout the show's two seasons, but through a combination of luck, clueless detectives, and his own charisma, he's been able to walk free thus far. YOU. Joe should have been caught
It's baked into
the premise of the show that even though Joe is a clear psychopath, some implicit part of you still wants to root for him, similar to the way viewers backed the deeply flawed Tony Soprano or Walter White. So when his ex-girlfriend Candace (Ambyr Childers) tracks him to Los Angeles — where he's been hiding out under the assumed name of Will — you kind of don't want her to blow his cover. After all, Joe has been working on being a better person; he actually locked someone in his creepy glass box and let them go! The restraint! The trust! It's like he's a new man!
Ultimately, though, Joe is an unequivocally bad person who uses love as an excuse to commit violence, and
YOU does a lot to parody the problematic romantic tropes that we buy into as a culture. One of the more amusing ways it does this is through all the times Joe comes hilariously close to getting caught (like, so close that if someone so much as looked up from their phone, he would be screwed). Here are the 14 best examples.
When He Buried. Candace. Alive!!!!
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 2, Episode 5. Although viewers don't find out what happened between Joe and Candace until Season 2, this all took place before the events of the first season. After Candace told Joe she was leaving and had never loved him, he tied her up and took her out into the woods, where he accidentally hit her head. Thinking Candace was dead, he buried her and left her to rot. After digging herself out, Joe's ex-girlfriend immediately went to the police...but he got away with it on a technicality: there wasn't enough evidence.
When He Hid in Beck's Shower
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 1. Joe broke into Beck's apartment to snoop through her things, but when she suddenly came home, he had to to hide behind her shower curtain. She entered the bathroom and turned on the water, moments away from getting in and finding him. But fortunately for Joe, Beck received an invitation to go to Greenpoint and left.
When the Police Questioned Him the First Time
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 3. After Joe murdered Beck's boyfriend, Benji, with a fatal dose of peanut oil, he enlisted the young, impressionable Paco to buy some incriminating supplies at the store. As a result, the police questioned him outside of his building, but he sweet talked them by saying he was trying to start a garden out back. Benji's decomposing body was still in the trunk of Mr. Mooney's car, by the way!!
When He Almost Killed Peach in Central Park
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 5. They were in the middle of the park! How did no one see him bludgeoning her head!
When The Police Questioned Joe a Second Time
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 6. On his way to Greenwich, Connecticut, Joe hit a deer and got into a car accident. After he came to, a cop stopped him. He explained his injuries by saying that he was robbed by some kids, then invited the officer to come on his yacht, The Guinevere, next summer. The policeman let Joe go without running his plates.
When He Peed In a Jar...and Left It Behind
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 6. When Peach, Beck, and Raj visited the Salinger's estate in Connecticut, Joe secretly followed them (hence being pulled over). While spying on Peach spying on Beck, Joe peed in a nearby jar...then promptly forgot about it and left his urine sitting out in the open. So far, the DNA evidence hasn't come back to bite him.
When He Hid Under The Bed
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 6. While Peach tried to initiate a threesome with Beck and Raj, Joe was lying directly under the bed beneath them. One wrong move, and his whole charade could have been up.
When Peach Confronted Him
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 1, Episode 6. Once Peach realized what Joe had done, she could have called the cops. But instead, she chose to try and deal with the situation herself...which meant Joe got away with it again.
When He Let Will Go Free
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 2, Episode 4. Poor, gaslit Will. He could have gone to the cops and told them everything, but out of loyalty to Joe, he fled town and headed to Manilla to be with his true love, Gigi.
When He Snuck Into Henderson's House
Season 2, Episode 4. He! Is! Literally! Right! Behind! Ellie!
When the Cops Questioned Joe a Third Time
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 2, Episode 4. After Joe killed Henderson (Chris D'Elia), he was caught taking some trash out in the middle of the night, which he told the officer he was going to donate to Goodwill. The policeman just happened to be Delilah's f*ck buddy, the hilariously named David Fincher (Danny Vasquez), who realized how suspicious Joe looked but let him go because Joe gave him an expensive pair of headphones he was going to "donate." Only later did Fincher realize how guilty that made Joe look.
When He Broke Into That Airbnb
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 2, Episode 6. Joe figured out where Candace, aka Amy Adam, was staying in L.A. and proceeded to break into her Airbnb. Unbeknownst to him, however, Candace's host (and apparent krav maga master) was home. She tied him up in an elaborate series of knots, but he was able to convince her that the rope he brought was a part of he and Candace's sex play.
When He and Delilah Were Arrested
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 2, Episode 7. After Joe and his landlord were arrested for having sex in an alley, Delilah explained that the police would take their fingerprints. Realizing that would reveal he wasn't who he said he was, Joe called Forty to get them out. Mighty convenient that he just so happens to have such a rich, gullible friend. Screenshot courtesy of Netflix Season 2, Episode 10. When Forty confronted Joe and Love at Anavrin, he was this close to shooting Joe and ending this whole saga. But the cops got there just in time...to shoot Forty and pin everything on him while the real culprit miraculously walked free.