When Joey arrives, he punches Derek Branning, then reveals he is his son. He makes it clear he wants nothing to do with Derek. Later, he meets his cousin Lauren Branning and takes a liking to her friend Lucy Beale. He tricks Derek into giving him money, which he gives to Lucy, as Derek has been stealing money from her.He tries to bring Alice home but she insists she is staying, and Joey accepts work from Michael Moon as Derek does not like Michael. He then decides to show Alice what Derek is really like, so invites several friends to a family dinner, leading to Derek trying to punch Joey. However, Alice is just angry at Joey for ruining her day. He later helps Lucy when she is being pestered by someone, and they end up kissing. Joey manages to con Derek out of more money for Lucy, and she invites him to stay with her. When Derek gains ownership of the emporium, he gives it to Joey. He later kisses Whitney Dean, angering her. Lauren notices that Whitney is unhappy around Joey, and Whitney tells her Joey kissed her. Lauren confronts Joey but he insists he does not need to tell Lucy. Lucy, Whitney and Lauren decide Joey needs to be taught a lesson so they get Lucy to call Joey to the park and then handcuff him to a gate and leave him, Lauren later returns and frees him but Joey says to her that she's jealous that he kissed Whitney and not her so Lauren slaps him and leaves. Joey later ends his relationship with Lucy, no longer having feelings for her. He later moves in with his uncle Max much to Derek's dismay, he then begins a sexual relationship with Lauren, and they quickly fall in love, Derek finds them kissing and informs Joey, worried he will tell Max they attempt to run away, stealing Derek's car, Lauren had been drinking and crashes the car, Derek saves them, however Joey still has no feelings for him, Joey also takes the blame for the crash, but calls off his relationship with his cousin as Derek threatens to tell the police that Lauren was the real driver.