At the peak of its debut in 2021, the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” appeared on T-shirts, signs, socks, and even barbecue seasoning rubs. The expression also appeared in the form of online rumors, including one that claimed a zoo was forced to separate five parrots after someone taught them to mimic the phrase in front of zoo guests.
As The Associated Press reported in 2021, the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” entered popular culture as a mondegreen and instantly morphed into an inside joke by means of which Republican voters and politicians could express their displeasure with U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat:
It started at an Oct. 2 NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Brandon Brown, a 28-year-old driver, had won his first Xfinity Series and was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter. The crowd behind him was chanting something at first difficult to make out. The reporter suggested they were chanting “Let’s go, Brandon” to cheer the driver. But it became increasingly clear they were saying: “F—- Joe Biden.”
The parrot rumor originated in a post shared on Dec. 18, 2021, (archived here) to America’s Best Pics and Vids (ABPV), an online community where users can post memes and other content, either on the web page itself or through its related app. Here’s how the meme appeared at the time of this writing:
As is common with this sort of content, the original poster failed to include any identifying information to support the claim, such as the name and location of the zoo that supposedly separated the parrots or confirmation of the story in any legitimate publication or news article.
Snopes found no evidence anywhere to corroborate this claim, so we have rated it Unfounded.
Though it was not labeled as such, the original social media post appeared to be a satirical play on then-current events, combining the popular Republican-touted phrase with a popular story about “five foul-mouthed parrots” first reported by The Associated Press on Sept. 29, 2020, said to have been encouraging each other to share expletives at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in the U.K.
“The five parrots that came to our park were being introduced, so they were in their quarantine stages. They were not separated from the flock, they hadn't yet been put into the flock at that time,” a zoo spokesperson told Snopes in an email.
While the parrots did harbor a few phrases that warranted a mouthful of soap, the zoo confirmed to Snopes that the birds never said, “Let’s Go Brandon.”
Furthermore, the species depicted in the post shared to ABPV were large South American parrots, also known as blue-and-yellow macaws, not the grey parrots housed at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park.
The slogan "Let's go Brandon" has been the focus of several previous Snopes fact checks.