When Joe Biden agreed to be Barack Obama's running mate in 2008, he probably didn't expect his memeability to become one of the most notable aspects of his vice presidential legacy. But that's precisely what happened: To say Biden has been the source of memes over the last eight years would be an understatement. Rather, he's become the source of no less than fifteen different varieties of meme. To bid farewell to America's Uncle, here are the best Biden memes — ranked.
Why exactly has Biden become so heavily memed during his time in office? It's not entirely clear. His folksy good-nature and congeniality surely have something to do with it. His penchant for harmless gaffes is probably a big part of it as well. And don't forget about his flamboyant mannerisms, which have brought much-needed comic relief to tense political situations more times than one. Perhaps most of all, his brotherly friendship with President Obama continues to charm America, even as both men are on their way out of the White House.
Whatever the reason, Biden's memes have been one of the great joys of the Obama presidency, and we can only hope they continue long after he leaves office. Here's the definitive ranking of the best Biden memes in descending order from the last eight years.
15. Hair-Swapped Biden
The “what if Paul Ryan & Joe Biden switched hair” meme from the 2012 VP debate still cracks me up. pic.twitter.com/9ClTImKiEn— Cindy Wilkinson (@CindyWilki) October 11, 2016
This was a thing after the 2012 vice presidential debate between Biden and Paul Ryan. While funny, it's sort of a one-time gag, and is thus one of the lesser Biden memes.
14. Christmas Biden
We will miss the Biden child memes pic.twitter.com/inTgOmKMxk— Daytona_675 🐢 (@DaytonaTV) December 26, 2016
Christmas Biden memes are great, and they'd be higher on the list if only there were more of them. As it stands, they only come around once a year.
13. The Onion Biden
Biden Asks White House Visitor If He Wants To Check Out Roof http://t.co/287VIuHn— The Onion (@TheOnion) September 26, 2011
Whether The Onion's caricature of Biden technically counts as a meme is debatable, but it would be criminal not include it on this list. The satirical newspaper's depiction of the vice-president has played an enormous role in shaping the public's perception of Biden, and we can all agree that this was for the best.
12. Hot, Young Biden
Young Joe Biden could leave me on read at 4:30 and text at 8:47 and I would reply at 8:46 pic.twitter.com/0Tz38Eau48— ॐ (@_naidacielo) November 12, 2016
yes boss I'm sorry I'm late I got caught up screaming to my entire sorority about how hot Joe Biden was in college— jerica meme (@JericaBean) November 11, 2016
Did you know Biden was super hot when he was young? Well, you do now. This meme should have become more popular than it was.
11. Meta Biden
Biden: These memes are just an illusory escape from the public's feelings of utter powerlessness and uncertainty right now— lord crunkington III (@postcrunk) November 14, 2016
Obama: Joe... pic.twitter.com/ozIoctMfpg
Biden: I can be your Vice President— Jimmy Lundquist 🤙🏼 (@jlund44) December 11, 2016
Trudeau: We don't have that here
Biden: Think of the memes Justin!
Trudeau: Welcome Vice Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/EPwIeTBuo0
Occasionally, meme-world Biden references the fact that he's in a meme. It's clever, but sometimes a bit too clever.
10. Hip Hop Biden
REPORTER: Mr. President, what's your favorite Wu Tang album?— Joe Bluppin (@blippoblappo) April 26, 2014
OBAMA: What kind of question is --
[biden grabs podium]
BIDEN: LIQUID SWORDS
"I uh...just want to apologize. Whether it's true or not, Joe shouldn't have yelled 'you ain't real hip-hop, bitch'. He's just passionate." pic.twitter.com/aUbZS0VrwX— Ol' QWERTY Bastard (@TheDiLLon1) October 10, 2016
A Biden meme of indeterminate origin, this one is centered around the idea that the vice-president is secretly a huge hip hop fan. Let's just not think about it too much and assume that yes, he is.
9. Football Biden
"Please"— Ol' QWERTY Bastard (@TheDiLLon1) September 27, 2016
"No, Joe the debate is on"
"Just turn to ESPN real quick. I wanna see the score"
"You have your own TV"
"It's scary in my room." pic.twitter.com/RAz6cv5Q7v
Biden: So when Trump walks in, you duck and I'll sock him wit-— Omar (@TheOmarGosh) November 11, 2016
Obama: No Joe pic.twitter.com/Mzzuzqm8OO
Whether it's the slightly cautious look on Biden's face or the fact that he's holding a football for no apparent reason, this picture quickly became a prime source of Biden meme-age.
8. Medal Of Freedom Biden
Biden: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall...— Savage Biden (@SavageBiden) January 17, 2017
Obama: This doesn't make you the Green Lantern, Joe. pic.twitter.com/C1mZDPLdni
Biden:<whispers> not Slytherin ... not Slytherin— Caleb Gardner (@calebgardner) January 13, 2017
Obama: Joe, this isn't--
Biden: ... not Slytherin ...
Obama: you know what, Gryffindor pic.twitter.com/Dfeqvlkohe
When Obama surprised Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in January, the vice-president's tears flowed. So did the memes about his tears.
7. Punny Biden
Joe: I hid all the pens from Trump— The Hashtagonist (@TheHashtag0nist) November 12, 2016
Joe: Because he bringing his own.
Joe: HE'S BRINGING HIS OWN PENCE pic.twitter.com/uni3WUd4X3
Joe: Hey Barack, why does Trump wanna ban preshredded cheese— sav (@sameverlark_) November 13, 2016
Barack: Joe please
Joe: TO MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN
Barack: I swear to God pic.twitter.com/fLWWQfJSmv
Biden: Barack how great would it be if your middle name was Lee— Emma (@politics_n_prep) January 15, 2017
Biden: Baracklee pic.twitter.com/IEdtz0ZFEP
Every now and again, Punny Biden makes an appearance, treating Obama to some wordplay with varying degrees of success.
6. Ice Cream Biden
"I'm a genuine lover of ice cream...I don't drink, I don't smoke. But I eat a lot of ice cream." - Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/g1q2wLqK5D— Claire Green (@clairagreen_) January 6, 2017
"My name is Joe Biden, and I love ice cream," the vice president once said, and he was not kidding. Biden has been photographed eating ice cream countless times, and the picture of him licking a scoop in sunglasses while holding two ten dollar bills is one of the greatest pictures of any American politician, ever. Ice Cream Biden has been known to intersect with Medal of Freedom Biden (see below).
*Biden thought bubble* I hope he takes me for an ice cream cone after this pic.twitter.com/Eu2mGBoHMO— Fun_Beard (@Fun_Beard) January 12, 2017
5. Mildly Irritating Biden
"Mr. President on behalf of Shake Shack we just wanna thank you for stoppin..."— Matt Kiebus (@mjkiebus) October 13, 2016
Biden: "Imma have 4 more burgers"
Obama: Wave at the people, Joe.— Reverend Scott (@Reverend_Scott) November 29, 2014
Biden: IMMA POINT AT'EM
Obama: Please just wave.
As in any solid friendship, meme-world Biden sometimes pushes Obama's buttons for the fun of it. But he knows it's all in good fun.
4. Needy Biden
Obama: I'm busy. Stop asking, Joe.— Reverend Scott (@Reverend_Scott) February 27, 2015
Biden: BUT I WANT A LLAMA
Obama: Please don't cry.
Barack: Sign here, and here— Jill Biden (@JillBidenVeep) November 13, 2016
Joe: And then the adoption is final & you and Michelle are my parents?
Barack: No, Joe pic.twitter.com/M5yf2SDuFG
The flip side to Mildly Irritating Biden, Needy Biden just wants a little bit of support from his boss. What's wrong with that?
3. Biden Gazing Out A Window
Nobody upvoted my reddit post about that three-bladed lightsaber pic.twitter.com/5Qz7w1ZzeU— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) December 8, 2014
V.P. Joe Biden Stares Out Window, Wondering if Dogs Can Think.— Politics 101 (@howtopolitic) April 29, 2016
BIDEN: "I mean, my dog, he LOOKS thoughtful, right?" pic.twitter.com/wDrtus9Czz
"People ask me: 'Hey, Joe, are you staring out of a window?' You bet I'm staring out of a window." ~ Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/MJYj3Ffuhr— mbc (@MoonbatCatnip) December 8, 2014
This picture of the vice president staring contemplatively out the window instantly became one of the most popular Biden memes. Is he sad? Pensive? Determined? All three? The ambiguity behind his expression is surely part of why this meme took off the way it did.
2. Prankster Biden
Biden: What if we paint the Mexican flag in the office— dan #1 oikawa stan (@kusoaikon) November 11, 2016
Obama: Joe, no
Biden: I already ordered the paint
Obama: Joe pic.twitter.com/mCCh6OPQRk
Obama: "Joe, why are you still holding my hand?"— thomas moore (@Thomas_A_Moore) November 12, 2016
Biden: "I wanna freak Mike Pence out"
Obama: "But why?"
Biden: "Just roll with it" pic.twitter.com/o5KZZ0Ysgz
Biden: I tinted all the mirrors orange— Zandarkest Timeline (@ZandarVTS) November 13, 2016
Biden: He won't be able to see himself
Biden: He'll think he's a vampire pic.twitter.com/IbZ8tr1m1m
Biden: Hillary was saying they took the W's off the keyboards when Bush won!— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 13, 2016
Obama: Joe put-
Biden: I TOOK THE T'S, THEY CAN ONLY TYPE RUMP pic.twitter.com/D6Vh7Zu429
Some of the best Biden memes came about in the twilight of his vice-presidency, shortly after Trump's shocking victory in the 2016 presidential election. In order to cope with the impending Trump White House, America turned to Uncle Joe. While the prospect of Biden playing pranks on the incoming president will not prevent Trump from taking office, it sure makes that pill a lot easier to swallow.
1. Bromantic Biden
"barack please don't leave me with them"— Heather (@witchyvibe) September 27, 2016
"joe you're leaving when I leave"
"oh right lmao love u" pic.twitter.com/zfIt3Bv0wl
Obama:tell the world were bros— Mitchie (@kylhoerenn) March 28, 2016
Biden:*whispers* were bros
Obama:bro why'd u whisper
Biden:ur my world bro
This is it, really. The friendship, bromance, brotherly love — whatever you want to call it — between Biden and Obama has become the stuff of legend. These two guys really, really like each other. At his farewell speech, Obama said that he and Michelle's friendship with the Bidens "has been one of the great joys of our life," and it shows.
Seeing Biden and Obama leave the White House will be tough, but don't despair: Imagine all of "Obama and Biden hanging out as buddies" memes we'll see once the two are no longer in government.