A fan theory about Joe Goldberg and Theo Engler suggests they have a lot more in common than being neighbors
The third season of You is wild, but this fan theory about Joe and Theo could make the already greenlit fourth season absolutely bonkers — and honestly, we’re here for it. Even though the Netflix show has been out for over a week and any fan of You has undoubtedly watched Season 3 on loop since its release, we’d be remiss to not warn of potential spoilers below. So you’ve be warned, you.
Alright, let’s dive into it.
We all know Theo, the 19-year-old, boy-next-door that lives next door to Joe and Love. He’s the stepson of Matthew Engler, who is married to Natalie, AKA the woman through the fence Joe started obsessing about at the end of the second season. We never learn who Theo’s biological mother is, which has led fans on Reddit to believe that Theo is actually Joe’s younger half-brother.
Hear us out! In a flashback, Joe sees his mother with a younger boy, whom she calls Jacob, after he has been in the foster care system for some time. It is never explicitly confirmed that this Jacob is her son, but it is heavily implied. Fans think that Jacob is actually Theo, making the flirty co-ed next door neighbor Joe’s younger half-brother.
As for the whole name difference? Fans have a theory for that, too
Glamma loves to call Henry “Forty,” his middle name that is a tribute to Love’s deceased twin. Who’s to say that Theo isn’t actually Jacob’s middle name, and he has opted to go by that moniker instead? Plus, if You has taught us anything, it is that anyone, especially a white dude, can get away with having a host of secret identities.
“The odds that his brother from New York would end up in the same LA suburbs with him and living next door is soap opera-level bullshit,” noted one Redditor. Another quickly pointed out how crafty Love is and said “Unless Love knew this all along and planned this specific house.” Honestly, with the way the third season of You unfolded, no amount of melodrama feels too big to us.
One fan even dug into name meanings of Theo and Jacob, adding even more depth to this wild fan theory
“I did a little research on the name Theo & I found THIS. Theodule Ribot was a French psychologist who is known as the founder of psychology in France. He was mostly known for his work in retrograde amnesia & memories,” starts Redditor Gingerblossom88.
“…What if the woman Theo thinks is his bio mom, isn’t actually his bio mom & Sandy (Joe & Theo/Jake’s mom) gave him up too just like Joe… but she gave Jake up at a reeeeally young age & he was adopted & renamed Theo?!? He wouldn’t necessarily have amnesia per se, BUT he wouldn’t know his original name was Jake either…”
“In addition, Jake comes from the name Jacob which means supplanter & one who deceives… in the Bible there is a story in Genesis about twins named Jacob & Esau. Jacob was the younger twin but usurped his older brother’s birthright as firstborn & took his inheritance. Obviously Joe & Jake/Theo aren’t twins but I’m sure Joe feels like his younger brother took what he thought should’ve been his birthright as the older son & ultimately his mother too… I think there’s definitely significance that shows some names were given to certain characters for a reason & I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Theo… not to mention he still has that USB to hang over Joe.”
Well, we won’t be able to stop thinking about this until Season 4 comes out. Oh, You!