It’s impossible to predict a meme’s life span. Some last hours, others years. The “Let’s Go Brandon” meme is proving to have staying power.
Now, liberals are trying to co-opt a newer iteration of it, “Dark Brandon.” Though it appears to have originated among conservatives, Dark Brandon has recently been shared by liberals to praise President Joe Biden.
On Monday, the Biden administration announced it killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike over the weekend, which prompted a flurry of “Dark Brandon” posts praising the president, using the ominious wording to project force.
Let’s Go Brandon began last September after a newscaster mistakenly thought a crowd at a NASCAR race was chanting “Let’s Go Brandon” when in fact they were chanting “Fuck Joe Biden.” Overnight, the former became code for the latter.
It’s not clear precisely who created Dark Brandon or when. The first instance the Daily Dot found of someone using the term “Dark Brandon” to refer to Biden was in November 2021.
Over the following months, Dark Brandon gradually became a meme to disparage the president.
“2024: Dark Brandon vs. Dark MAGA,” wrote one conservative account in March.
Liberals appear to have started co-opting this meme in March. Many versions give Biden the glowing eyes of a superhero—or supervillain, depending on your perspective.
To the chagrin of some of the president’s detractors, Dark Brandon has really picked up steam with Biden supporters in the last month as gas prices have finally ticked down. “Dark Brandon has been coopted by the libs it’s over,” wrote one.
“At some point, Republicans will internally regret starting the Let’s Go Brandon thing because Dark Brandon has taken on a life of its own,” commented @TonyMoonBeam.
Deep-fried Brandon posts filled the timeline when news broke that a drone strike killed al-Zawahiri, a key plotter of the September 11 terrorist attack and Osama bin Laden’s successor. The memes highlighted the fact that Biden is currently quarantined with COVID-19.
“Here for Dark Brandon—kicking ass for his country while isolated with COVID,” wrote one of the news.
Many of the posts praising Biden have upwards of a thousand likes and hundreds of retweets.
Biden supporters are highly amused with themselves for appropriating the meme for their purposes.
“I can’t believe we fucking memed Dark Brandon into existence,” @What46HasDone tweeted.
“If Dems win the midterms we gotta find the guy who made Dark Brandon and make sure he never pays for another drink for the rest of his life,” tweeted a person whose screen name includes “Dark Brandon Supporter.”