Memeing the Unmemeable President: Dark Brandon Takes on The Right

The Dark Brandon memes are a good distraction from a very normal presidency — but reveals a new tactic against the conservative meme machine

Jamie Cohen
5 min readOct 10, 2022
“Dank Brandon” edit by u/The_Michelin_MANiac on the r/DarkBrandon Subreddit

But what is Dark Brandon?

This is now the meme question I’m getting most often. (The second most is about NAFO, but that’s another story.) Typically, I’m hesitant to explain the Dark Brandon — now Dank Brandon — meme because it means so much and so little at the same time, but the meme’s secondary power inspires me.

In a standard analysis, Dark Brandon is a nuanced, layered, reappropriated meme, combining visual meme clusters from the far-right, the right, and the very online. Secondarily, it provides a tactic in disarming a wide-spread grift. Dark Brandon is also just a celebration of a President doing his job.

President Biden promised a boring presidency and he’s kept that promise pretty well. The downside is that the previous president was a walking, talking, grifting, human meme who made policy choices like he was reading an internet comments section.

Systems shifted to adapt to that reality — social media changed its profit model, the news became more tolerant of the far-right, and citizens saw…



Jamie Cohen

Digital culture expert and meme scholar. Cultural and Media Studies PhD. Internet studies educator: social good, civic engagement and digital literacies