Vice President Joe Biden smiles as he makes a call on the cell phone of Costco employee Ivey Stewart, left, after shopping at the a Costco store in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Joe Biden celebrated his 71st birthday Wednesday, and just like anyone's wacky 71-year-old uncle, there are some memorable moments to look back on, um, fondly.
While he was initially known for his gaffes, that's not what we enjoy about the man who might just be the most interesting vice president to watch in modern American politics.
Biden's not shy in public situations. He has an ability to turn an workaday campaign stop or speech into an internet meme, just by cuddling a biker or dropping an F-bomb within range of the press (whoops!).
In honor of his birthday, here are five unforgettable Biden moments:
Mr. Biden Goes to Costco
During what was possibly the most GIF-able event of 2012, Biden took a surprise shopping trip at the grand opening of a Northeast D.C. Costco. While wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses.
The veep snacked on samples, called his daughter to ask advice on a watch, and hugged employees and the Costco co-founder alike. (We've noticed he has a different view of personal space than most people.)
Highlight: When a hairnet-wearing worker felt comfortable enough to remove a crumb from the vice president's face.
Have Biker, Will Travel
Biden was chatting up customers in the Cruisers Diner in southern Ohio while on the campaign trail last year when he met a group of bikers clad in black leather vests and bandanas. Biden waved over a female motorcyclist, telling her, "I know who runs the show." (Did he?)
The woman had nowhere to sit, so Biden moved a chair in front of himself and, despite the fact that he did fetch said chair, he nearly pulled her into his lap. Because that's what you do with bikers sometimes. (Photo: AP)
The F-Bomb Heard Around the World
You'd think the shockingly close embrace would be enough. But Biden wasn't moving in for a hug so much as he wanted to mark the significance of a landmark moment: Shortly after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Healthcare Act into law, Captain Obvious leaned in and (in)famously told him, "This is a big f---ing deal."
The bleep-able moment "sullied" the passing of the legislation, said the editorial staff at the Hartford Courant, deflating "a significant moment for the president." But they weren't the ones who garnered YouTube fame.
Also, see what we mean about the personal space? (Photo: Getty Images)
Biden Celebrates End of Shutdown, With Muffins
The day after the government shutdown ended, Biden greeted returning EPA workers with muffins, setting down four plastic trays on the counter at the security desk. Still unknown: Whether he bought them at Costco.
The move was a part of the political choreography that top government officials used in an attempt to raise worker morale after the shutdown. But the only one we know of who brought food? Biden. (Photo: News4)
"The Most Beautiful Women in the World"
Well, OK. At a 2009 meeting with then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev, Biden gushed praise on the women of the country, telling Viktor Yushchenko, "You have so many beautiful women" in the country. (Above, he meets one of them: former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Photo: AP)
"I cannot believe that a Frenchman visiting Kiev went back home and told his colleagues he discovered something and didn't say he discovered the most beautiful women in the world. That's my observation," Biden said through a translator.