But over on social media, it wasn't just that now-famous photo of Barack Obama and his wife embracing after claiming victory that went wild. Plenty of other action from the big day was given the online spoofing treatment. Here is a round-up of the best election day internet memes:
President Obama was in danger of being upstaged during his victory speech by a woman behind his left shoulder with a flag in her hair.
Actress Rashida Jones was quick to point out 'Hair Flag Lady', as she has come to be known, on Twitter. "#flaghead so distracting', she tweeted.
Erin Andrews of Fox Sports also appeared somewhat annoyed by the flag. "I want the guy in the grey sweatshirt to pull it out of her head..I know it's bugging him too," she wrote.
But the woman who got her own theme song on Twitter with "I whip my #hairflag back and forth" was not the only meme sparked by election night.
The iconic 'HOPE' poster from Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, originally designed by Shepard Fairey, got a do-over for Mitt Romney:
New versions of the popular 'Texts from Hillary' meme emerged, as the Secretary of State offered words of wisdom to both winner and loser. In the first, the always-slick Hillary alludes to her expected presidential campaign in 2016, though neither image was made by the original Texts from Hillary gang.
Big Bird had the last laugh against Mitt Romney, who stated during the first presidential debate that while he "loved Big Bird", he would cut funding to PBS - the US television network that airs Sesame Street.
A fake narrative was even conjured up about first lady Michelle Obama and Joe Biden's wife Jill:
Cat lovers also got a look in, as their feline companions were able to join in and vote, at least in cyberspace:
Comedy icon Joan Rivers lost her shoes, tweeting: "Why oh why is this patriotic American citizen still single?"
Meanwhile, Twitter said in a blog post that people sent more than 31 million election-related tweets throughout the day, with up to 874,560 tweets being posted per minute.
Social networks emerged as key tools in the presidential campaign, with both Obama and Romney staging major pushes on Twitter, Facebook and others to draw in supporters and get them to vote.
Fairfax Media with agencies
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