- Everything changes eventually. That's just the way life is and you have no control over it.
- —Joey to Dawson[src]
Joey is smart, studious and earns the prestigious honor of class valedictorian upon graduating from Capeside High. At the same time, she lacks world experience as a result of never really having set foot outside provincial Capeside. She begins the series as a tomboy with a passionate spirit, who slowly becomes more careful and quiet as she begins her life outside of Capeside.
When she was 13, Joey's father got arrested for drug trafficking and sent to prison, while her mother dies of cancer. Joey has to work to help provide for her family, while grieving her mother and lives in her childhood home with her older sister, Bessie, and sometimes Bessie's boyfriend, Bodie. This tragic experience makes Joey a very guarded and cynical teenager, who doesn't feel like she has anyone in her life who cares about her — except for Dawson Leery.
When Joey is 15 she has started to develop feelings for her best friend and who she feels is her only family, Dawson Leery, but is scared of how it may change their relationship. Dawson jokes about it, but Joey never lets on how she really feels about him and may regret it when a new girl, Jen Lindley, shows up in Capeside and instantly earns Dawson's attention and infatuation.
When she breaks up with Dawson she starts a search to find herself and starts to paint and draw again, she hadn't painted since her mothers death. Senior year, she even paints a mural in the school, later vandalized but repainted by her with Pacey's help.
- Main article: Dawson and Joey
Dawson and Joey met as kids and spent a lot of time together, Dawson being an only child and Joey at times wanting to escape the chaos in her home life. As they become teenagers, Joey finds it difficult to keep her romantic feelings for Dawson at bay, though following their multiple breakups, Dawson becomes the chief pursuer of a romance with Joey, which never ends up becoming a fully fledged, long-term relationship. Their romance also involves the rivalry with their other childhood friend, Pacey, for Joey's affections. Joey and Dawson refer to each other as soulmates.
Jack applies for a position at the Ice House, sort of through Andie, and slowly he and Joey realize they have a lot in common. Jack becomes romantically interested in her and ends up kissing her one night under the full moon. This eventually leads to Joey's break-up with Dawson and she soon starts exploring a romance with Jack. Their relationship is sweet, albeit tentative and they even get close to sleeping together. When Jack later realizes that he is gay, he has to break up with Joey. She is devastated by the news, but later on glad that she has Jack in her life as a friend. The two continue to have a special closeness throughout the remainder of the series. Joey and Jack are also very clear in their communication and call each other on their stuff.
- Main article: Pacey and Joey
Pacey and Joey meet as children as well, presumably through Dawson, although they all seem to have gone to the same schools as kids, given that they all know Will Krudski from childhood as well. They share a passionate love/hate relationship, bickering and bantering at all times, which eventually, naturally, reveals itself as a mutual attraction. The demerit to their romance is the effect this has on their friendships with Dawson, which becomes the root of their conflicts in their teen years, but they reunite as adults.
- Main article: Joey and Eddie
Appearances in other media
- Joey Potter makes a cameo appearance along with Pacey Witter in the 1999 film Muppets From Space.
- Joey was given the name Josephine in honor of Jo March, the heroine from her mother's favorite book, Little Women.
- When Joey was younger she had a friend named Melissa Berry who, when Joey's Dad was arrested in 1996, was spreading rumors about them at school and laughing at Joey and her family
- Joey is the only character from the show to appear in every episode of the series.