Joe Biden’s 2024 Campaign Site Uses ‘Dark Brandon’ Meme

On April 25 2023, United States President Joe Biden formally announced his intent to seek re-election in 2024 — and author Eugene Daniels was among social media users noting the appearance of the “Dark Brandon” meme on Biden’s campaign website:

Although the claim itself was straightforward, it involved a small amount of context to understand its components.

Fact Check

Claim: President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign website uses the “Dark Brandon” meme for error pages and merchandise.

Description: President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign website is reported to use the ‘Dark Brandon’ meme for error pages and merchandise. The ‘Dark Brandon’ meme is a political meme that has evolved to be more favorably associated with Biden.


Rating Explanation: The claim was found to be accurate, as ‘Dark Brandon’ meme does appear on Biden’s campaign site, specifically on 404 error pages and on certain merchandise.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s 2024 Re-Election Bid

On April 25 2023, Associated Press reported:

President Joe Biden on Tuesday [April 25 2023] formally announced that he is running for reelection in 2024, asking voters to give him more time to “finish this job” and extend the run of America’s oldest president for another four years.

Biden, who would be 86 [in 2029], is betting his first-term legislative achievements and more than 50 years of experience in Washington will count for more than concerns over his age. He faces a smooth path to winning his party’s nomination, with no serious Democratic challengers. But he’s still set for a hard-fought struggle to retain the presidency in a bitterly divided nation.

While Biden’s announcement was not surprising, it was widely covered in the news.

What is ‘Dark Brandon’?

“Dark Brandon” is a phrase well-known among political memes, but its connotations and backstory weren’t necessarily clear to those encountering it on social media.

Meme encyclopedia KnowYourMeme maintained an extensively detailed entry analyzing the origin and evolution of “Dark Brandon” as a meme. It began with a summary, indicating that the “Dark Brandon” meme originated in early 2022:

Dark Brandon or #DarkBrandon refers to a series of memes depicting a darker, edgier Joe Biden. 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. The trend started in early 2022 on Twitter and in its original usage, Dark Brandon was highly ironic, with the memes mostly joking about Biden’s perceived senility and inability to act in the forceful, dramatic ways depicted in Dark Brandon memes.

As the meme trend evolved through August 2022, however, it increasingly expressed an unironic appreciation of Joe Biden and the accomplishments of his administration. The memes often feature deep-fried imagery and laser eyeballs borrowed from Dark MAGA, as well as many of Biden’s most meme-worthy catchphrases such as “Marlarkey” and “Listen here, Jack.” Many of the original Dark Brandon image macros were created by a Chinese WeiBo artist named Yang Quan (@插画杨权) and were labeled as propaganda. However, this claim is currently unfounded.

In late 2022, Joe 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 Biden’s speech was dark and red, resurfacing Dark Brandon memes and discourse. traced the origin and path of “Dark Brandon,” leading into a section labeled “Killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Unironic Dark Brandon Posting.” It described the meme’s evolution to something more favorable to Biden:

Following the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 31st, 2022, by an American drone strike with no civilian casualties, 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 … 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 [of 2022] …

… 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. also maintained an entry explaining the “Brandon” portion of “Dark Brandon,” as part of a separate meme: “Let’s Go Brandon.” An August 11 2022 explainer for “Dark Brandon” addressed its connection to the “Let’s Go Brandon” meme, and identified its growing use among Biden supporters:

In [August 2022], Democrats — including numerous politicians and White House staff members — have been using the meme, which began as an ironic take on the already-ironic “Let’s Go Brandon” meme from the right (in short, it’s code for “Fuck Joe Biden”). Attempts to reclaim “Let’s Go Brandon” for the left failed badly, but recently the “Dark Brandon” variant took off.

You may have seen Dark Brandon across the interwebs lately: a laser-eyed Joe Biden, usually presented via ancient lolcats-style image macro, probably with a reference to defeating malarkey somewhere. observed that the “Dark Brandon” meme “combines two subgenres of pro-Trump memes and attempts to subvert them both but from there, it’s very, very complicated.” The story then attempted to convey the spirit of the “Dark Brandon” meme through the lens of a brief history of Joe Biden memes through the ages:

By contrast [with former President Trump], Joe Biden’s image in internet culture has long been malleable. While serving as vice president during the Obama administration, the internet embraced him as a fun-loving, relatable sidekick. The Onion famously popularized a parodied, souped-up version of Biden colloquially known as “Diamond Joe” — an everyman in a ponytail who liked Dude Things like motorcycles, tinkering with his Trans Am, and cooling his heels in Mexico for a while.

If Obama-era Biden resided somewhere between a neighborly Dad and a dril tweet, during his election campaign, Biden’s public persona was so staid and buttoned-up it seemed to do nothing to inspire his supporters to memeify him. His detractors, on the other hand, easily beat them to it by depicting him as “Creepy Uncle Joe.” Although “Sexy Joe Biden” is a whole thing, it never truly reemerged as a meme in the post-Obama era. Not even Saturday Night Live could create a parody of Biden that didn’t sink under the weight of Biden’s own perceived blandness.

The folksy, homespun Biden who calls out “malarkey” and claims to have told Vladimir Putin he has no soul isn’t a persona that easily lends itself to a political meme culture that now, more than ever, relies on layers of irony. Biden’s longest-running pop culture image, that of an older gent enjoying a vanilla cone, barely offers a counter to the hyper-aggressive “America, fuck yeah!” vibes of the average Trump meme. Like Biden himself, it’s everything Trump and his memes are not.

In short, the “Dark Brandon” meme originated with the “Let’s Go Brandon” meme, and was eventually adopted by his supporters.

Dark Brandon 2024

In the Twitter example above, Daniels stated that a “Dark Brandon” meme appeared in place of a “404” or “page not found” error.

We visited, and added “error” to the end of the URL. The page indeed rendered with the “Dark Brandon” meme:

dark brandon 2024

Text on the page also referenced a Biden “meme,” referencing his tendency to call people “Jack”:




And buy my t-shirt while you’re at it.

“And buy my t-shirt while you’re at it” was hyperlinked. The link led to, with the following product information:


Best worn while vanquishing Malarkey. AMERICAN MADE | UNION PRINTED. Purchase is a donation to Biden Victory Fund.

Pre-Order Now to ship by Friday, May 12 [2023].


On April 25 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intent to seek re-election in 2024. Screenshots of Biden’s campaign website indicated the “Dark Brandon” meme appeared on 404 pages, as well as merchandise. The claim was accurate, and iterations of the “Dark Brandon” meme appeared on Biden’s campaign site.