[ darhk bran-duhn ]
What does Dark Brandon mean?
Dark Brandon is a nickname (or alter ego) applied to US President Joe Biden in memes and social media posts. Although the name was initially (and is still sometimes) used in a mocking way based on the anti-Biden phrase Let’s Go Brandon, it later came to be used positively (and often with humorous intent) by supporters of Biden, such as a way of celebrating what they view as his political victories or policy achievements.
Supporters typically use Dark Brandon as a way of depicting an edgier, more combative Biden (often paired with real-life catch phrases associated with Biden, such as no malarkey).
In Dark Brandon memes, Biden is often depicted as a powerful being with supernatural powers, such as having glowing eyes capable of shooting laser beams. This style of intentionally over-the-top imagery is thought to be based on (and often to be a response to) imagery used in “Dark MAGA” memes used by supporters of former president Donald Trump to depict or promote political retribution. (Read more about the origin and evolution of the term Dark Brandon and its use in memes in the next section.)
Where does Dark Brandon come from?
In the term Dark Brandon, the name Brandon comes from the euphemistic anti-Biden phrase Let’s Go Brandon, which was popularized by critics of US President Joe Biden in 2021 as a coded way of saying “Fuck Joe Biden.”
One of the first uses of the name Dark Brandon in reference to Biden is thought to have been in a tweet that incorporated the name Brandon into titles of Batman films (with Dark Brandon being modeled on The Dark Knight). Although early use was anti-Biden, the name was adopted by supporters as a way of depicting Biden as edgier and growing in strength. Later uses that noted this “rise” used phrases like Dark Brandon rising or The Dark Brandon Rises (a reference to the The Dark Knight sequel The Dark Knight Rises).
The word dark in Dark Brandon is also often associated with the earlier use of the word in the “Dark MAGA” concept used in far right memes depicting former president Donald Trump and his allies in acts of political retribution. Such memes sometimes depict Trump as a supernatural being with glowing eyes—and similar imagery became common in Dark Brandon memes.
Dark Brandon memes emerged around mid-2022 and grew in popularity afterward. Awareness and use of the meme significantly increased in August 2022 after White House staff members posted Dark Brandon-related memes on Twitter in celebration of Biden’s political achievements, with some explicitly using the name Dark Brandon. Although use of Dark Brandon became primarily pro-Biden, the phrase and its associated memes are still also sometimes used in critical and mocking ways.
Examples of Dark Brandon
Who uses Dark Brandon?
Dark Brandon is most often used by supporters of Joe Biden, but it is also used in critical and mocking ways.
“Sleepy Joe” has morphed into “Dark Brandon” and it’s driving Republicans insane!
— Being J Wood (@BeingJWood) September 1, 2022
MAGA Republicans don’t like it when Biden calls them “Semi-Fascists.” Luckily, Biden doesn’t care what they think, and he will call them fascists again — because they are. Biden’s approval rating has skyrocketed in the past 2 weeks. Dark Brandon is going to deliver the blue wave.
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) September 2, 2022
Dark Brandon added 528,000 jobs in July – dropping the unemployment rate to a 50 YEAR low of 3.5%.
— Tomthunkit™ (@VippusaO) September 6, 2022
Remember Trump’s 2016 RNC speech? All of the media got the memo to call it “dark.”
No such memo last night for Dark Brandon Rising. In fact, they loved it – especially when Biden declared war on his political opponent and half the country. pic.twitter.com/Uhu4hBxcGv
— John LeFevre (@JohnLeFevre) September 2, 2022
Somehow, you just make him look cooler. Dark Brandon is now in control. pic.twitter.com/0AVaTnUMZw
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) September 2, 2022
This is not meant to be a formal definition of Dark Brandon like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Dark Brandon that will help our users expand their word mastery.