The Dark Brandon Meme Isn't Just a Funny Internet Joke Anymore

President Joe Biden has started using the Dark Brandon meme in his presidential campaign for re-election.

Sara Belcher - Author

Jul. 8 2024, Published 2:16 p.m. ET

Trying to discern any real news from social media and other corners of the internet can be incredibly tricky — and finding the source of a meme seems doubly as difficult. As the 2024 election creeps closer, there are plenty of memes running around the internet pertaining to the different presidential candidates, and the Dark Brandon meme is a particularly confusing one.

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Active President Joe Biden is the focal point of these Dark Brandon memes, but what does "Dark Brandon" actually mean? Here's what to know when you see another one of these memes come across your social feed.

Qondi Ntini and Joe Biden with the Dark Brandon meme format
Source: X/@qondintini

Qondi Ntini and Joe Biden with the Dark Brandon meme format

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What does "Dark Brandon" mean? Explaining the meme.

The Dark Brandon meme originated from the "Let's Go Brandon" slogan that was used by conservatives to say "F--k Joe Biden" covertly. Though "Let's Go Brandon" was never successfully reclaimed by Democratic voters, it didn't take long for the Dark Brandon meme to hit with the audience.

Dark Brandon is often shown online by a photoshopped image of President Biden, usually with glowing red eyes or lasers shooting out of his corneas.

These memes were quickly co-opted by his supporters, resulting in a series of hilarious ways to clap back at the hate and conspiracy theories the president was receiving online.

Dark Brandon is supposedly President Biden's edgier alter ego, who is capable of smiting his opponents (and the Republican Party, specifically). When he's not shooting eye lasers at enemies, he's shown carrying jugs of "Republican tears" or harnessing the power of lightning.

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In a time where things aren't looking great for the Democratic party as election day creeps ever closer, memes like this are a great way to relieve some of the looming doom that hovers over voters (though it does little to remedy the problems). Dark Brandon is just one of the many evolving memes that President Biden has found himself at the center of, though it's one of the only ones stolen from a right-wing attempt to tear the president down.

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President Biden has made fun of the Dark Brandon meme on X.

Though President Biden may not seem as though he's fully in-touch with a lot of things happening in the country, he's up to date on the Dark Brandon meme. Following the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win in February, he made a post on X referencing the right-wing meme.

"Just like we drew it up," he wrote, attached with a photo of himself, arms crossed and red lasers coming from his eyes — the exact photo that often circulates with the Dark Brandon conspiracies online.

Leading up to the Super Bowl, there were rumors and conspiracies circling that the football game was rigged in favor of the Chiefs, only to present an opportunity for Taylor Swift (who showed up to support her boyfriend quarterback Travis Kelce) to endorse the current Democratic candidate in his run for re-election. There's no evidence to back up this conspiracy.

Since then, President Biden's re-election campaign has leaned into the Dark Brandon meme, using it to appeal to younger voters.

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