The Brief: During the Vice Presidential debate on October 7, a fly landed on Mike Pence's head, and the internet immediately started buzzing.

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

Mike Pence fly memes started spreading online moments after a fly landed on his head (and stayed for two minutes) during the vice-presidential debate with Kamala Harris on October 7. While the average lifespan of a fly is 28 days, it seems that the lifespan of this meme is much shorter. In the minutes and hours after the fly landed on Pence’s head, dozens of fly-themed Twitter accounts were created, the Biden campaign started selling fly swatters, and almost every meme imaginable was shared online. Here are some highlights of this spot-on, but ultimately short-lived meme.

A distracted boyfriend meme straight from the fly’s mouth:

Buzz-Buzz from dankmemes

Of course, the fly made it to TikTok. Here’s an “and you would do it too for a check” meme:

@austin_maguire

The Fly really did that #thefly #debatememes

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

The fly’s publicist:

One of the most popular comments about this were variations of “flies are attracted to s**t,” or “flies love B.S.”

Before the debate was even over, social media users started declaring that this meme was “dead,” citing the over-saturation of Mike Pence fly content as its killer.

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At this point I believe that the Pence fly was a robotic insect invented by Professor Keenbean from the criminally underrated 1994 feel good family comedy Ri¢hie Ri¢h. It was engineered in a Russian funded laboratory to distract voters. Yeah it’s definitely amazing that a biblical harbinger of death and decay spent a solid 4 minutes on a rotting corpse / Vice President’s head. Don’t get me wrong I was just as in love with the fly as the rest of America. That fly was America’s Sweetheart! But also like hey haha yeah memes are fun and cool but can you please take time to research what the candidates say they’re going to do or not do? And not just the big ticket candidates. Please learn about all the choices on your ballot and vote for the people who at the very least don’t bleed from their eyes and have insects crawling on their soulless body on national television 🗳(@turnleftist)

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One factor that may have contributed to how quickly these memes got old were jokes that really missed the mark: