Dark Brandon (Joe Biden) dark brandon meme.

Dark Brandon

Part of a series on Joe Biden. [View Related Entries]
[View Related Sub-entries]

Updated Feb 27, 2024 at 02:55PM EST by Aidan Walker.

Added Jul 15, 2022 at 07:57AM EDT by Owen.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

Related Explainer: Who And What Is 'Dark Brandon,' And What Does It Mean? The Alternate-Reality Joe Biden Meme Trend Explained

Featured Episode


Dark Brandon refers to a series of memes centering on a darker, edgier alter ego of US President Joe Biden. Defined by the use of laser eyes and deep-fried aesthetics, Dark Brandon memes frequently depict Biden as cunning, violent and all-powerful. The memes appropriate DarkMAGA imagery originally used by rightwing posters to depict Donald Trump as well as the Let's Go Brandon catchphrase used by conservatives to mock Biden and the media.

When Dark Brandon started in early 2022 on Twitter the meme was highly ironic, with posts mostly joking about Biden's perceived senility and inability to act in the forceful, dramatic ways depicted in Dark Brandon memes. As time went on, however, the meme increasingly expressed an unironic appreciation of Joe Biden and the accomplishments of his administration.

The Biden campaign and White House eventually decided to lean into the meme, using it in branded merchandise, mugs and t-shirts as an official piece of campaign imagery. Biden also made jokes and comments about the meme during public events and posted videos and memes referencing it on his official social media channels.


Dark Brandon emerged in the spring of 2022 on Twitter from a variety of sources and precursors, most notably Let's Go Brandon and DarkMAGA. The first posting of the phrase "Dark Brandon" online was in a tweet by Twitter[1] user punishedpope who was riffing "Let's Go Brandon"-themed movies based on Batman titles, two of them being "The Dark Brandon" and "The Dark Brandon Rises." Punishedpope's tweet received over 30 likes in four months (shown below, left). Twitter[2] user brent858 posted a quote retweet on March 10th, of a Joe Biden "Job Approval" poll that referenced punishedpope tweet,[1] earning five likes in four months (shown below, right).

Pope @punishedpope Brandon: The Movie Brandon Brandon: Mask of the Phantasm Brandon Returns Brandon Forever Brandon & Robin Brandon Begins The Dark Brandon The Dark Brandon Rises Brandon VS Superman: Dawn of Justice The Lego Brandon Movie The Brandon 8:54 PM Mar 7, 2022 Twitter for Android . brent loves Amtrak @brent858 THE DARK BRANDON RISES Political Polls @Politics_Polls. Mar 10 Biden Job Approval: Approve 45% Disapprove 51% .@MorningConsult/@politico, 2,005 RV, 3/4-6 morningconsult.com/2022/03/08/bid... 10:21 AM. Mar 10, 2022 Twitter for iPhone

However, despite this being the first utterance of "Dark Brandon" online related to the "Let's Go Brandon" catchphrase, the opposing "DarkMAGA" trend wasn't coined until March 12th, 2022, by Twitter[3] user conan_esq, two days after brent858's aforementioned tweet.[2] Therefore, the tweet that most notably spread the Dark Brandon trend is likely a since-deleted tweet from Twitter user KingOfIronyBros (suspended) posted just before March 25th. @KingOfIronyBros was suspended from Twitter at some point in 2022, but replies to this tweet[4][5] are still accessible.

Going into the remainder of March 2022, Dark Brandon and #DarkBrandon trended on Twitter, gaining more engagement. For instance, on March 27th, 2022, Twitter[6] user @guyofcumland tweeted a photoshopped photo of Joe Biden pointing a gun inside an old woman's mouth, captioning it, "dark brandon," and earning roughly 3,300 likes in four months.

Dark Brandon memes appeared en masse starting in April 2022. A prominent early post occurred on April 19th, when Twitter[7] user cityafreaks tweeted a Hyperborea meme that referenced Dark Brandon, gaining roughly 11,000 views in three months (shown below).

The aforementioned video was reposted to Reddit's /r/Bidenmeme[8] subreddit on April 22nd, 2022, where Redditor kapitaali_com told others to, "Check out #DarkBrandon on Twitter." On May 19th, the /r/DarkBRANDON[9] subreddit was created.

Precursor: Let's Go Brandon

Let's Go Brandon refers to a viral video of NASCAR racer Brandon Brown speaking to NBC about winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series while the crowd chants "fuck Joe Biden," which the newscaster claims is a chant of "let's go Brandon" instead, seemingly as a form of damage control. The video went viral in October 2021 following numerous reports of people chanting "fuck Joe Biden" at sports events began surfacing around September in protest of President Biden and often to show support for Trump. In early October people started using the phrase in place of "fuck Joe Biden" to criticize and joke about the President.

The popularization of "Brandon" as a name to refer to Joe Biden dates from this meme in 2021.

Precursor: Dark MAGA

Dark MAGA or #DarkMAGA refers to a hashtag and series of memes that depict a "punished," more unhinged version of Donald Trump running for reelection in 2024 who has abandoned all optics, replacing his slogan MAGA with "Dark MAGA." The memes became popularized on Twitter in March 2022 and often depict Trump and other Republicans with an edgy aesthetic implying they're done playing the "nice guy." The memes often share similarities with schizoposting.

Spring Seeker @_forest_seeker_ "the world will be made to see a darker shade of MAGA..." #darkmaga #Qisdead #longliveR #R

The "dark" prefix, deep-fried aesthetics, and laser eyes present in Dark Brandon memes echo those in DarkMAGA memes about Donald Trump. This trend was viral around the time in which the posting about Dark Brandon began on Twitter.

Precursor: Yang Quan Drawings

On May 21st, 2021, Twitter[24] user ne0liberal tweeted three illustrations from Chinese WeiBo [25] artist Yang Quan (@插画杨权), depicting Joe Biden as a warlord or king with glowing eyes. Ne0liberal's tweet read, "Apparently this is Chinese anti-Biden propaganda, but it kinda just makes Biden seem metal af," and over the course of 15 months, the tweet received roughly 10,700 likes (shown below, left). Meme creators started using the images, for instance, on May 21st, Twitter[26] user NineEightSix added, "No Marlarky" as a bottom caption, earning over 940 likes in 15 months (shown below, right).

TTS Neoliberal @neoliberal susum COL Apparently this is Chinese anti-Biden propaganda, but it kinda just makes Biden seem metal af femmin : 1:46 PM · May 21, 2021. Twitter Web App NO MALARKEY @#f[B]+3*X

These illustrations were later used as an image accompanying many Dark Brandon memes.


Summer 2022 Posting

Dark Brandon memes and references increased through June and July 2022, one of the most viral time periods for the meme. For instance, on June 11th, Twitter[10] user ne0scythian quote retweeted a video of the Patriot Front U-Haul militia being detained with the caption, "dark brandon public executions 🔜," earning roughly 8,200 likes in one month (screenshot shown below, left). On July 13th, Twitter[11] user TallBart tweeted a meme they made, showing Biden photoshopped in front of a graphic about the various issues his administration faced. The meme received roughly 8,700 likes in two days (shown below, right).

playful keith @neOscythian dark brandon public executions alissa azar @AlissaAzar Jun 11 h--------. patriot front detained Show this thread 0:40 12.6M views RECLAIM AMERICA 5:48 PM Jun 11, 2022 · Twitter Web App SOON FOR : SHINZO ABE NEUTRALIZED GAS PRICES NEUTRALIZED COVID-19 NEUTRALIZED ANTIFA ROE V WADE 2 GLOBO HO COMM MAND FULLY ARMED COMING SOON G SOON SOON SOON

An increase in Dark Brandon content surfaced in mid-July 2022 after the Hunter Biden iPhone Hack and some gaffes that followed the presidency in the weeks surrounding it, such as Biden saying "Repeat the Line" in a teleprompter blunder and his wife Jill Biden's breakfast taco comment.

Killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Unironic Dark Brandon Posting

Following the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 31st, 2022, by an American drone strike with no civilian casualties,[12] Dark Brandon memes were deployed en masse to praise Biden's administration. In particular, the new crop of pro-Biden Dark Brandon memes vaunted the President's capability as a military leader and emphasized the fact that Zawahiri was taken out while Biden was sick with coronavirus, comparing Biden's response to the virus with his predecessor's.

Twitter user Sebastian Loreti tweeted an August 1st meme (seen below left) comparing Donald Trump and Dark Brandon, receiving almost 3,000 likes in fourteen hours.[13] Other Dark Brandon memes followed, many including iconography familiar from the meme's earlier incarnations such as sunglasses, laser eyes, and high-contrast colors. Memes such as the one seen below right, posted by Twitter user @SundaeDivine on August 2nd, 2022, which received over 1,100 likes in three hours, further emphasized the comparison between Trump and Dark Brandon.[14]

GETS COVID CAN'T BREATHE GETS COVID KILLS TOP AL-QAEDA LEADER @Sundae_Girl @Sundae Divine It's pretty insane that Dark Brandon sniped Ayman al- Zawahri off a balcony with a drone while Trump was golfing with the Saudis. IT'S OVER 7:34 AM. Aug 2, 2022 · Twitter for iPad 237 Retweets 16 Quote Tweets 1,104 Likes JACK

Prior to the killing of al-Zawahiri, the Dark Brandon meme had already drifted away somewhat from the highly ironic critique of Biden that it represented earlier in the summer. For example, Twitter user @LL_CoolBeans in a meme that received over 600 likes in the course of a few days, depicted Dark Brandon accomplishing other outlandish feats such as saving the Choco Taco. [15]

gaba ghoul @LL_CoolBeans - Jul 26 Dark Brandon ripping the Choco Taco out of the heavens to bring it back to life 9 64 604

Many of the Dark Brandon memes in the aftermath of the al-Zawahiri killing also focused on Biden's lack of blinking during some official speeches. For example, a tweet (seen below) posted by @DaylightMoon_, which received over 600 likes in a week, attributed Joe Biden's lack of blinking to Dark Brandon's capacity to "see all."[16]

+ @DaylightMoon_ . Jul 27 dark brandon doesnt blink because there is no moment in which he doesnt see all Joe Biden @Joe Biden United States government official You can't be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. You can't be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can't be pro-insurrection and pro-American. 0:04 8.6M views 17 Jul 26 The brave women and men in blue all across this nation 1 94 631

Some grieved the loss of the meme's original meaning, such as Twitter user @vanillaopinions, who opined that the meme had "been coopted by the libs" and was over, receiving almost 3,000 likes over a day.[17]

VO @vanillaopinions dark brandon has been coopted by the libs it's over 5:45 PM - Aug 1, 2022 · Twitter for Android 61 Retweets 23 Quote Tweets 2,897 Likes : ...

Official Government Posting

On August 7th, 2022, following the Senate's 51-50 passage through budget reconciliation of the Democrats' large Inflation Reduction Act (which included key climate change provisions) many members of Joe Biden's administration and several United States Senators shared Dark Brandon memes, presumably to congratulate the President and cash in on the meme's continuing popularity.

First, White House Digital Director Rob Flaherty shared a Dark Brandon meme (seen below) on his Twitter account at 3:43 p.m. EST, earning over 16,000 likes over the course of a day.[18]

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) at 6:50 PM posted a Dark Brandon image without a caption and received around 30,000 likes and 4,000 retweets in less than a day.[19]

Chris Murphy @ChrisMurphyCT. 15h 1,104 4,195 29.8K :

Others who posted the meme on August 7th included Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates[20] at 7:35 p.m. on his Twitter (seen below left) and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Twitter account at 7:43 p.m.[21] (seen below right).

The meme received significant coverage in the mainstream press, with publications like Newsweek and Slate reporting on it. Both largely framed the story of the meme as Democrats turning an originally right-wing meme into a liberal one.[22] The mainstream outlets also interpreted the meme as capping off a "very good week" for Biden's presidency.[23]

Joe Biden's Red Background Speech

On the night of September 1st, 2022, Biden addressed the nation during a primetime slot to talk about what he deemed extremist "MAGA forces" in the country as the November midterm elections were inching closer. The background of the speech was dark red (shown below, left), which drew comparisons to Dark Brandon memes. The image macro of Biden with his fists raised during the speech was first posted by Twitter user What46HasDone on September 1st, captioning it, "Dark Brandon is real," earning roughly 5,600 likes in one day (shown below, right). The speech was later referred to as Joe Biden's 'Soul of the Nation' Speech.

RESIDENT OFFTEIL TO THE 46 Dark Brandon is real What Biden Has Done @What46HasDone NEC VES 9:24 PM. Sep 1. 2022. Twitter Web App OF THE STATES :

On September 1st, 2022, Twitter user ContraPoints quote retweeted What46HasDone, writing, "There’s no way this lighting isn’t deliberate Brandonification," earning roughly 11,000 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Also on September 1st, Twitter user johnntremain captioned the red panel from the Kramer, What's Going On In There? meme with, "It's Biden, Jerry," earning roughly 3,200 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).

Natalie Wynn @ContraPoints . 15h There's no way this lighting isn't deliberate Brandonification 46 What Biden Has Done @What46HasDone . 16h Dark Brandon is real L OF THE TV PRESIDENT OF THE UNITE *****S S.-S $3 ... John Tremain @johnntremain "It's Biden, Jerry" 11:37 PM. Sep 1, 2022. Twitter for Android 5B

Posting of Dark Brandon memes continued through the fall and into early 2023, with the meme becoming a standard part of discussions online about the Biden administration.

Recognition Of Meme By Biden

On April 30th, 2023, Biden spoke at the White House Correspondent's Association dinner, an event where the press and political figures traditionally poke fun at each other. Biden recognized the existence of Dark Brandon in his remarks, telling journalists "I'm going to be fine with your jokes, but I'm not sure about Dark Brandon," while slipping on a pair of dark sunglasses.[41]

Many posted about the joke, including X user @santiagomayer_, Executive Director of A Voting Rights Organization, who received over 33,000 likes in 10 months for posts (seen below) on X that claimed, "We memed Dark Brandon into existence oh my god."[42]

The White House Correspondents Dinner joke led to much commentary, including from newscaster Dan Rather, who received over 7,600 likes on April 30th for the post below which placed Dark Brandon in historical context.[43]

Dan Rather @DanRather In 50 years, a grandparent will try to explain "Dark Brandon" to a grandchild who will find the the entire process by which we got to this moment utterly incomprehensible. 5:23 PM Apr 30, 2023 155.2K Views . 821 Retweets 44 Quotes 7,649 Likes 18 Bookmarks

Merchandising Use By Biden Campaign

On April 25th, 2023, Biden's re-election campaign launched and included a merchandise section where users could purchase items with Dark Brandon memes.

Dark Brandon Mug

On August 3rd, 2023, Joe Biden announced the addition of a color-changing mug that makes the eyes on an image of Joe Biden's face glow red when hot liquid is poured into it through a video posted to X,[35] formerly Twitter, garnering over 36,000 likes in a month (shown below).

The mug inspired numerous memes, including video edits and photoshops. On August 3rd, X[36] user @grandoldmemes posted an edit that gained over 3,000 likes in a month (shown below). On August 5th, SportsKeeda[37] reported on the memes and the mug.


On September 15th, 2023, Joe Biden posted a video to X,[33] formerly Twitter, advertising the release of the mug, garnering over 35,000 likes in under a day (shown below). The mug is available on shop.joebiden.com.[34]

Dark Brandon Posting After Super Bowl LVIII

On February 11th, 2024, Joe Biden's X[38] account tweeted a Dark Brandon image, captioned, "Just like we drew it up." The tweet received roughly 447,000 likes in less than a day (shown below, left).

The Dark Brandon tweet inspired mass discourse and reactions after its upload. The post appeared to reference the NFL Script and Taylor Swift Psyop conspiracy theories, which argue that President Biden (as Dark Brandon) rigged the Super Bowl's outcome to benefit his presidency and campaign.

Viral reactions to the tweet surfaced, like on quote posted by X[39] user @fbgwayno on February 11th, 2024, reading, "nah purdy was really up against the government im sick," gaining over 18,000 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).

Joe Biden @JoeBiden Just like we drew it up. ALT 10:50 PM. Feb 11, 2024 115M Views : Mowgli @fbgwayno nah purdy was really up against the government im sick Joe Biden @Joe Biden 11h Just like we drew it up. ALT Follow 10:59 PM. Feb 11, 2024 593.3K Views

Joe Biden's 2024 campaign started an official TikTok account whose first post on February 12th, 2024, made reference to conspiracy theories surrounding the Super Bowl and to the Dark Brandon meme (seen below). The post received over 7.8 million views and 711,000 likes in one day.[40]


The posts were met with some criticism, with reporters pointing out that Biden appeared to be seeking the support of young voters with the memes.[44] His handling of the war in Gaza has proven unpopular among this demographic of voters. For example, on February 12th, @Julian_Rhmt (seen below) was one of many to criticize the timing of the Dark Brandon post, earning 25 likes in less than a day.[45]

Julian R - Pokemon X Monster Hunter Project @Julian_Rhmt Yea nobody can make this s--- up. Genocide Joe memeing while another atrocity is happening in Gaza. Dark Brandon is real, just not in the way some dumbasses imagine it to be. Joe Biden @Joe Biden Feb 11 Just like we drew it up.

Seth Meyers Appearance

On February 26th, 2024, the official TikTok account of the Late Night With Seth Meyers talk show posted a skit done by Meyers with Biden (seen below) which featured Meyers apologizing to Biden for a joke and then Biden shifting to his Dark Brandon persona (putting on sunglasses, which weren't traditionally a part of the meme's iconography) and instructing someone over the telephone to "take him off the list." The TikTok post (seen below) received over 47,000 likes and 540,000 views in seventeen hours.[46]


Joe Biden's "Soul of the Nation" Speech

Joe Biden's Soul of the Nation Speech refers to an exploitable meme template that takes multiple different images from President Joe Biden's September 1st, 2022, speech in which he had a red light behind him, which others took to be threatening and sinister. The viral speech went on to become associated with the Dark Brandon series of memes in early September 2022.


Dark Garland

Dark Garland refers to the "dark" version of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, referencing Dark Brandon. The nicknamed directly followed the FBI Raid On Mar-a-Lago in mid-2022. On Twitter and elsewhere, users photoshopped Garland's eyes to glow, among other visual effects.

Rick Wilson Based Merrick Garland. @TheRickWilson · Aug 8 162 DTLA Comix King @ResistandDesist 291 Replying to @TheRickWilson Dark Garland rising 4,738 11:17 PM. Aug 8, 2022 · Twitter for Android (→ Tip : : Travis Allen is @ DEFCON @TravisAllen02 Whatever you do, please DO NOT retweet this picture of Dark Garland raiding Mar-a-Lago. STAY OFF GRASS 7:31 PM. Aug 8, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone V :

Dank Brandon

Dank Brandon is a nickname given to President Biden following his executive order to pardon Americans convicted of simple marijuana possessions in October 2022. The name is inherently a play on Dark Brandon. It trended on Twitter and elsewhere in memes that mostly photoshopped the President with weed signifiers and made fun of Vice President Kamala Harris for her history of convicting minor marijuana possessors.

'Nobody Fucks With A Biden'

On October 5th, 2022, as Joe Biden visited Florida to tour the damage and relief efforts after Hurricane Ian, he met and spoke with many on the ground including the Mayor of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, Ray Murphy. While speaking with Murphy, Biden was picked up on a hot mic saying "No one fucks with a Biden."[27] Many users on Twitter and elsewhere reposted the video of the exchange as it went viral (seen below).[28]

The coarseness of the quip inspired a resurgence of Dark Brandon memery, showing how the theme persisted in posting and seemed to have become a long-term and widespread nickname for the President. A number of jokes and tweets, such as the October 5th post (seen below, left) by Twitter user @TheUSASingers that received just over 2,700 likes in a day, expanded the Dark Brandon lore.[29] Other posts, like an October 5th tweet by user @kevinwitvliet that received over 3,000 likes in a similar timeframe (seen below, right). expressed simple appreciation for Dark Brandon.[30]

THE USA SINGERS The USA Singers @TheUSASingers Dark Brandon fills his bong with MAGA tears. 2:21 AM - Oct 6, 2022 Twitter for iPhone . 397 Retweets 22 Quote Tweets 2,719 Likes : Donhammed Trumpistan @kevinwitvliet00 "Nobody f---- with a Biden" h-------- i love Dark Brandon 12:46 AM Oct 6, 2022 Twitter for Android . 280 Retweets 4 Quote Tweets 3,077 Likes

Other photos from Biden's Florida visit inspired Dark Brandon memes, especially those that showed him with rumored 2024 presidential rival Ron DeSantis. Posters such as Twitter user @SnuffyOHoulihan added laser eyes and speech bubbles to a picture of Biden and DeSantis (seen below, left), receiving just over 3,200 likes on October 5th.[31] Others like Twitter user @TheScottCharles (seen below, right), who posted on October 6th and received over 400 likes in less than a day,[32] captioned a photo that appeared to show Biden talking to Floridians as Governor DeSantis grumpily walked by.

Say it again champ, so everyone can hear you. My leadership is failing Florida. We need a socialist bailout to fix my broken state. made with mematic Scott Charles @TheScottCharles When Dark Brandon shows up and he and your neighbors make fun of your go-go boots PIN SH E FLORIDA CRACKER THE 3:02 AM Oct 6, 2022 Twitter for iPhone 47 Retweets 1 Quote Tweet 303 Likes

Much of the posts and memes referencing the "Nobody Fucks With A Biden" clip took on a partisan, pro-Democrat tone as the meme spread in early October 2022.

Various Examples

Sasha @tinywienerbabe dark brandon: legalize b---------- biden: but that's wrong dark brandon: there is no "wrong" here joey boy... NO GRADE S 9:11 AM Jul 14, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone ●●● IT'S OVER JACK THIS POST WAS FACT CHECKED BY REAL DARK BRANDON ACOLYTES TRUE


@插画杨权 A 6@插画杨权 T C

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – @punishedpope

[2] Twitter – @brent858

[3] Twitter – @conan_esq

[4] Twitter – @mericanBuzzsaw

[5] Twitter – @GlockChane

[6] Twitter – @guyofcumland

[7] Twitter – @cityafreaks

[8] Reddit – /r/Bidenmeme

[9] Reddit – r/DarkBRANDON

[10] Twitter – @ne0scythian

[11] Twitter – @TallBart

[12] CNN – How Joe Biden and his team decided to kill the world's most wanted terrorist

[13] Twitter – @SebastianLoreti

[14] Twitter – @SundaeDivine

[15] Twitter – @LL_CoolBeans

[16] Twitter – @DaylightMoon_

[17] Twitter – @vanillaopinions

[18] Twitter – @RFlaherty46

[19] Twitter – @ChrisMurphyCT

[20] Twitter – @AndrewJBates

[21] Twitter – @EPWCmte

[22] Slate – The Week Dark Brandon Died

[23] Newsweek – Dark Brandon Meme Reclaimed by Joe Biden's Supporters After Latest Wins

[24] Twitter – @ne0liberal

[25] WeiBo – @插画杨权

[26] Twitter – @NineEightSix

[27] Complex – President Says No One F*cks With a Biden on Hot Mic in Florida

[28] Twitter – @kylegriffin1

[29] Twitter – @TheUSASingers

[30] Twitter – @kevinwitvliet

[31] Twitter – @SnuffyOhuolihan

[32] Twitter – @TheScottCharles

[33] X – JoeBiden

[34] Shop.joebiden – Dark Roast Mug

[35] X – JoeBiden

[36] X – grandoldmemes

[37] Sportskeeda – Video of Joe Biden using Dark Brandon coffee cup sends the internet into a frenzy

[38] X – @JoeBiden

[39] X – @fbgwayno

[40] TikTok – bidenhq

[41] GotFunnyPictures – Joe Biden Officially Recognizes Dark Brandon…

[42] X – @santiagomayer_

[43] X – @danrather

[44] Axios – lol hey guys Biden campaign joins TikTok to reach young voters

[45] X – @Julian_Rhmt

[46] TikTok – @latenightseth

Recent Videos 4 total

Recent Images 92 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (226)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Namaste! You must login or signup first!