Kaiba And JoeyThis character’s antagonistic relationship is well known to many fans of the original. Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, but even those fans may be surprised by the brutal pettiness of Seto’s best burn. They may also be surprised to learn that this insult didn’t even occur in the original series and instead appeared in the sequel Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. But this really took the insult to a new level.
Despite being a direct sequel to the original series, Yu-Gi-Oh! The GX is largely its own thing. However, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has many connections to its predecessor as most of the characters from the original show are implied to be still alive as important figures in GX’s world. Kaiba is especially important as the president of Kaibacorp, the company that owns the school where much of GX takes place. So even when Kaiba doesn’t appear directly on the show, his presence can often be felt very much. Nowhere is this more evident than in episode 13, which contains his most powerful insult to Joey.
Kaiba named the monkey after Joey from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
In this episode, a monkey that Kaibacorp was training for dueling escaped from its testing facility and kidnapped a student at the dueling academy. This is an absurd premise but hardly surprising to Kaiba, who is so obsessed with dueling that he later sends cards into space to try to teach the aliens to duel. The best part about this is that the monkey’s name is actually Wheeler, Joey’s last name. While this is an easy detail to miss, it’s still a hilarious putdown of Joey, since Kaiba essentially calls him a dueling monkey. What makes this even better is that Joey is unlikely to encounter this monkey or learn its name, meaning this burn exists purely to please Kaiba.
This is a fun petty decision that highlights Kaiba’s cruelty towards Joey. Although Joey has lost his fair share of duels, he has also repeatedly proven himself to be a skilled duelist. However, Kaiba continues to put him down, to the point of implying that by the end of the anime it was based more on personal grudge than reality. Wheeler’s complete separation from Joey shows that this hatred is not primarily to cause pain but to satisfy Kaiba’s petty ego. On a lesser character, this might make them look pathetically haunted but on an overachiever like Kaiba it fits perfectly and works as a great Easter egg for fan.
This isn’t the only great moment Yu-Gi-Oh! GX brought up Kaiba, but it was subtle at best, since he didn’t actually appear in that episode. In fact, the burn did not appear in the original Japanese version of the episode, giving the monkey a different name. But fans can be grateful for the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX gave Kaiba it was a great insult even after his series was over.