Explainer: What Is The “Dark Brandon” Meme?

By Guest Post

August 23, 2022

Cross-posted story from our sister-site friends at Arizona’s Copper Courier

Have you heard the right-wing phrase “Let’s go, Brandon”?

Count yourself lucky if you haven’t. The phrase became a conservative rallying crying after a news anchor at a sports event mistook the crowd’s chants of “Fuck Joe Biden” for “Let’s go, Brandon.”

Republicans and other opponents of President Joe Biden have been using the euphemism to deride the president ever since.

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But out of the shadows of the people too afraid to say “the f-word” came another meme: Dark Brandon.

Normally pictured as a confident Biden with laser-beams for eyes, the Dark Brandon aesthetic was first seen on Chinese social network Weibo, according to Know Your Meme.

It was then used ironically by right-wingers to mock what they saw as Biden’s incompetence in doing his job.

Know Your Meme says the term Dark Brandon came from a mix of references to “Let’s go, Brandon,” the Batman movie “The Dark Knight,” and the “Dark MAGA” aesthetic used to picture former President Donald Trump as a powerful, authoritarian leader.

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Over time, as Biden racked up some wins—starting with the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—the meme began being used by the left as a way to express appreciation and praise for the president.


After the US Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which featured pieces of Biden’s Build Back Better campaign agenda he campaigned on, supporters and members of the Biden administration shared Dark Brandon memes to celebrate.

The Dark Brandon memes continued after the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to investigate whether he removed classified items from the White House.

Apparently, Dark Brandon can save the country from anything—including the end of the beloved ice cream treat, the Choco Taco.


Editor’s note: tacking on Pat Rynard’s favorite Dark Brandon video, largely for the final quote here:



by Jessica Swarner

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