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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 Rei Kawakubo’s Commes des Garçons. You can’t send Katy Perry an invite like that and expect her to not show up dressed like a blood priestess. (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 other 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).
RT @Mr__Harlem: Rihanna showed up like a poured omelette pic.twitter.com/5zJeefWURI— FOH.™ (@_PettyCrocker) May 5, 2015
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)
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.
Kinda digging this Kim Kardashian designed couch. pic.twitter.com/yA0ov7rgP9— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) May 7, 2013
Lmaooo RT @mvriiie: Beyonce look like the rough endoplasmic reticulum with ribosomes attached to it pic.twitter.com/0DcOmQxnpT— Skoob (@SkoobSnakks) May 3, 2016
When the outfit’s so memeable you just start shouting “Is there a doctor in the house?”
my inner monologue: "remember, not everything is about you."— ChampagnePetty (@__Dutch) May 1, 2017
also me: pic.twitter.com/6C2pqGCCd1
For reasons originally unknown but that were later revealed to be “Diddy was tired,” Diddy eschewed the traditional walk up the Met stairs and instead laid down on them.
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.
Huffington Post — err, excuse me, HuffPost — to the rescue, though. The site found that the photo was actually from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The original Jason Derulo tweeter would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling bloggers.
Kim, again (2016)
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
C3pO really was the star of the Met Gala pic.twitter.com/zSxjqf9U9V— Nicole Motta (@nmotta03) May 3, 2016
Kylie Jenner (2017)
the original movie vs. the straight-to-VHS sequel pic.twitter.com/acAyNHpp06— Marc (@MarcSnetiker) May 1, 2017
Beyoncé didn’t show up last year, so a certain Kardasho-Jenner decided to arrive in cosplay. It was not great.
Kris Jenner (2015)
Yo Kris Jenner dead ass looks like Yzma from Emperors New Groove! pic.twitter.com/31Eq7Z5H4f— The Corner (@ThaaCorner) May 7, 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.
Priyanka Chopra (2017)
Priyanka arrived in 2017 ready to remind everyone that she starred in a TV show about being a cop.
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)
You guys, Twitter is just the best pic.twitter.com/NjY4ZQD5wm— Frazier Tharpe (@The_SummerMan) May 12, 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 this year when celebs come dressed to the theme of Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Oof, this one might get weird!