Don’t Ever Use The Word Smart With Me is a quote spoken by Donald Trump to Joe Biden during the first” 2020 U.S. presidential debate”:https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/2020-us-presidential-debate. The quote, as well as the clip of Trump saying it, went viral on social media, particularly shared by Trump supporters.
On September 29th, 2020, the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump took place on live television (shown below). At one point, Joe Biden is talking about COVID-19. He says, “a lotta people died, and a lot more are going to die unless [Donald Trump] gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker.” Trump then cuts Biden off, saying, “Did you use the word smart? So you said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State, you graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me.”
It’s not known exactly when the clip was first used as a meme, but the earliest examples can be traced back to that night. Both Trump and Biden supporters use the clip to make pro and anti-Trump memes out of it, as the line can be misinterpreted as Trump calling himself dumb.
On September 29th, 2020, Twitter user selfdeclaredref tweeted out a photoshopped image of Trump with purple skin and glowing eyes attached to the titular quote (shown below). The tweet received over 160 likes and 50 retweets in two days.
— Maria🎃Viti (@selfdeclaredref) September 30, 2020
Over the next few days, social media users posted more memes based on the clip. On September 30th, Reddit user Anurag2199 posted an anti-Trump version of the meme to /r/dankmemes, using a screenshot from the debate (shown below, left). The post received over 37.5 thousand upvotes and 35 awards in a day. On the same day, a now-deleted Reddit user posted a variation of the meme to r/MemeEconomy, garnering over 26 thousand upvotes and 15 awards in a day (shown below, right).
/r/dankmemes users continued to meme the event. On September 30th, Reddit user 69Epic69Gamer69 uploaded a version of the meme, receiving over 13 thousand upvotes in one day (shown below, left). The quote itself has also been applied to older Trump-centric formats, including the Trump’s First Order of Business format (shown below, right).