Photo via The White House/Flickr Joe Biden/Twitter | Remix by Jason Reed

The deeper meaning of Biden and Obama’s adorable friendship bracelets

Cue the 'Golden Girls' theme song.


Nayomi Reghay

Internet Culture

Published Aug 4, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 8:11 am CDT

Barack Obama celebrated his 55th birthday on Thursday, and his BFF, Joe Biden, sent out a celebratory tweet that launched a thousand awwws.

Oh man. It’s. Just. The. Best. It gave us all the feels.

And we mean all of them.

So where did this beautiful display of masculine affection come from?

A simple Google search is all you need to reveal that the bracelets originate from a June 2016 BuzzFeed video, in which Obama demonstrated five simple tasks that are harder than registering to vote.

But anyone who’s been to summer camp knows friendship bracelets always carry a deep and special meaning. Let’s take a closer look at the magic within.

The “Joe” bracelet features a slice of pie and a happy face. The pie is an obvious reference to Biden’s famous trip to Costco, where he was “looking for pies.”

And the happy face? On the surface it seems like a random charm, but if you do your homework, it’s clearly a wink to Obama’s 2012 victory speech, a key moment in the duo’s friendship: Obama called Biden “America’s happy warrior,” a reference to the famous Wordsworth poem.

The “Barack” bracelet features two charms: a blue flower and a blue star.

Let’s start with the star. It’s no secret that Obama is a political superstar, and he frequently wears blue ties. But we think the charm carries deeper significance. Could it be the star is a coded reference to the commander-in-chief’s love for all things Star Wars? Possibly, even, a reference to this gloriously happy moment he shared with Michelle earlier this year?

Yes. It must be.

And the blue flower is a clear reference to Obama’s home state of Hawaii. A July New York Times feature revealed that Obama once dreamed of “moving to Hawaii to open a T-shirt shack that sold only one size (medium) and one color (white). [The] dream was that [he] would no longer have to make decisions.”

Now that Obama’s term is coming to a close, might the dream become a reality?

If so, Barry, we’ve got a suggestion. We know you want to live a simple life, but please include a rack of friendship bracelets. We have a feeling customers will scoop them up like fresh pieces of pie.

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*First Published: Aug 4, 2016, 4:47 pm CDT