Couches, eggs, and cultural appropriation!
The Met Gala should really be called the Meme Superbowl. Twitter users might get digital reps in during more buttoned-up award ceremonies, but it’s all leading up to the one event every year where celebrities are encouraged to dress their strangest. The Met Gala, or the “Costume Institute Gala,” as it’s officially known, is truly unlike any other event.
While no one wants to make a fool of themselves at the Oscars or Grammys, the Met Gala practically necessitates such foolishness. Celebrities can’t help but fuck up when they receive an invite asking them to come to events with outfits themed around China: Through the Looking Glass and Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. You can’t send Zayn an invite like that and expect him to not show up with robot arms. (Not to mention the former theme led to some pretty racist and tone-deaf outfits that caricatured the culture way more than it honored it.)
While others events have certainly had their moments (Pharrell + Grammys + Vivienne Westwood hat = meme immortality), the Met Gala has birthed some truly memorable memes. So may we present to you, the Met Gala: In Memeorium, ranked objectively by its importance in the annals of meme history. (Apologies in advance for the manual RTs; it appears that after hitting the viral jackpot, several of these users dropped off the Twitterverse).
All Met Gala meme discussions should start with Rihanna’s iconic yellow dress by Chinese designer Guo Pei. Content creators must have been hungry by the time Rihanna strolled down the runway, because they saw visions of pizza and omelettes in the singer’s gown.
Kim Kardashian (2013)
Robin Williams Kim Kardashian memeMore
Kim Kardashian’s first Met Gala look was instantly dubbed The Couch Dress. Everyone with a Twitter account in 2013 made fun of this dress, including Robin Williams.
When the outfit’s so memeable you just start shouting “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Not Jason Derulo (2015)
I personally really like this one because there’s a whole story behind it. Some jokers started passing around a photo of a man falling down the stairs, claiming it was Jason Derulo. It was not Derulo. I mean, it was so clearly not Jason Derulo. The man falling down the stairs was some goofy white dude with a mop top that makes Lloyd Christmas’s bowl cut look fashionable.
Kim, again (2016)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at Met GalaMore
Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Ki
Kris Jenner (2015)
Cue thousands of Twitter trolls typing “Pull the lever, Kronk!”
The whole squad (2016)
Props to John Drops for starting a meme moment with just himself and the trash he had laying around. He recreated the Met Gala outfits and earned a bunch of blogs.
Sarah Jessica Parker (2015)
Horrible cultural appropriation aside, this meme is super yawn. It kept showing up in my…. research… though, so it felt like a disservice not to include it.
Of course sometimes shit goes down when there's a billion dollars on an elevator (2014)
Curveball, but did you know that the Met Gala after-party was the site of the elevator fight between Solange and Jay Z? On its face, it was a pretty serious incident, but when has that ever stopped the internet from getting these jokes off?
The grand tradition of Met Gala memes will surely continue tonight when celebs come dressed around the theme of Comme des Garçons and its designer, Rei Kawakubo, who has designed plenty of wild/meme-able fashion.