The Met Gala has long been recognised for producing the most talked-about designer moments and celebrity selfies of the year. These days, however, fashion’s most important red carpet is also the most fertile ground for the ultimate irreverent internet compliment: memeification.
For the past few first Mondays in May, just as stylists have created looks for their famous clientele, the creative geniuses of Twitter and Instagram have taken to Photoshop during red carpet arrivals to hilariously (and affectionately!) roast the night’s most eye-widening creations. There are dozens of memes to choose from, but only a few are as clever as they are celebratory—the perfect balance of love and snark. Check out our very favourites below:
Rihanna (and her eyelash sunglasses) shut down the red carpet
Rihanna is the definition of a star worth waiting for, and when she made her entrance at the 2023 Met Gala with partner A$AP Rocky by her side, eagle-eyed viewers delighted in the details of her playful, eyelash-affixed sunglasses.
Me looking for Rihanna #MetGala
— 𝓡𝓸𝓼𝓱 (@XuKaifangirl) May 2, 2023
— Alex (@alexr_241) May 2, 2023
Even the dog is mesmerized by Rihanna pic.twitter.com/UeJovnVPCz
— ᴹᴵᴹᴵ’ˢ ☈ᴱᴵᴳᴺ ᵂᴼᴺᵀ ᴸᴱ☥ ᵁᴾ (@TheMimiReign) May 2, 2023
RIHANNA’S EYELASHES ON HER SUNGLASSES IS SO pic.twitter.com/ZnmevCn8Yl
— 🍒 (@daydreamdaisyy) May 2, 2023
Choupette was the fabulous feline of the moment
What better way to pay tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, the honouree of the 2023 Met Gala, than by dressing up as his beloved cat Choupette? That’s what Doja Cat and Jared Leto did, and of course, the internet had plenty to say about it.
DOJA DOESN’T HAVE A SERIOUS BONE IN HER BODY LMAO pic.twitter.com/uCyU5gLazY
— 𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗻𝘆💚 (@beyoncegarden) May 2, 2023
— Lena (@lenagondel) May 1, 2023
— Kristine (@__kristine_h) May 1, 2023
An uninvited insect walked the carpet
You might be surprised that a cockroach dared to brave the 2023 Met Gala red carpet, but hey, that’s New York City for you, am I right?
— 𝕆 ℝ 𝔼 𝕃 (@OrelBryanG) May 2, 2023
— Variety (@Variety) May 2, 2023
Olivia Wilde and Margaret Zhang wore similar dresses, and good-natured comedy ensued
The Don’t Worry Darling director and Vogue China EIC each showed up in interpretations of Chloé’s famous “guitar dress,” and the temptation to meme-ify the similarity simply proved too great.
My 2012 Facebook prom group would never have let this happen pic.twitter.com/Oiits0HAF1
— 1984’s George Whorewell (@EwdatsGROSS) May 1, 2023
When the full Kardashian-Jenner clan hit the carpet together…
From Kim’s Marilyn dress to Kylie’s bridal tribute to the late Virgil Abloh, the Kardashian-Jenners made the most of their first time attending the Met Gala en famille in 2022, and the memes spoke for themselves.
this how fifth harmony used to show up to events pic.twitter.com/JpfbbAdO36
— k ✰ (@wrstbhavior) May 3, 2022
Who can forget Lady Gaga’s “Notes on Camp” entrance?
2019 was a pretty stupendous year for Met Gala memes, but Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (a.k.a. Lady Gaga) took things to a whole new level in a hot-pink Brandon Maxwell number with three looks layered underneath it. We all learned a powerful lesson that night: Never underestimate Gaga when it comes to camp.
Gaga fans: I miss Lady Gaga’s wild outfits she’s not the same anymore
— Phillip 🏳️🌈 (@PhillipLikesTV) May 7, 2019
— The Onion (@TheOnion) May 7, 2019
— Natalie (@Nat_G4) May 6, 2019
— TabloidArtHistory (@TabloidArtHist) May 6, 2019
Billy Porter being carried in on a litter was everything.
The Pose star doesn’t do anything halfway, and that extended to his 2019 Met Gala entrance, for which he wore a custom “Sun God” ensemble by The Blonds that included a bejewelled catsuit outfitted with 10-foot wings and a 24-karat gold headpiece and was carried in on a litter by six shirtless men. And just like that, a million memes were born:
— H² (@hharmonyrose) May 6, 2019
Receiving our bronze medal, Priyanka Chopra’s Ralph Lauren trench dress.
The best memes are the ones that even their own subjects can’t resist. Such was the case for Priyanka Chopra, who seemed genuinely entertained by the Internet’s take on her custom Ralph Lauren trench in 2017.
This is the 3rd time I’m removing malai from my chai and it’s getting out of hand now. pic.twitter.com/kdeVf151Fj
— Pranav Sapra (@pranavsapra) May 2, 2017
While Chopra and Lauren were inspired by Katharine Hepburn–era elegance, the meme-makers saw the train of her oversize trench as fertile grounds for all kinds of khaki-toned joke images— including the pyramids—which Chopra thought was funny enough to eventually ’gram herself.
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Runner up: Diddy on the Met steps.
Navigating the Met—with its phalanxes of paparazzi and legion of celebrity guests—can be as arduous as the New York City Marathon, so we don’t blame Diddy for taking a brief pause on the iconic Met steps in 2017. Of course, he did so as elegantly as is humanly possible, which is why snaps of Diddy regally lounging were ripe for meme-ing. People swapped the steps for luxury (and flying) carpets, but we loved seeing Diddy compared to a swooning woman from an old painting— because who else could so expertly rock a fainting-chaise-lounge look?
— Freya Drohan (@freyadro) May 1, 2017
Diddy chillin on the steps likes he’s singing in Force MD’s “Tender Love” video pic.twitter.com/FLX0pxVQjP
— Charles J. Moore (@charles270) May 1, 2017
— TabloidArtHistory (@TabloidArtHist) May 2, 2017
Y’all … pic.twitter.com/DedYfIA9wa
— ltl. (@_Tamsey) May 2, 2017
And the winner is (still!) Rihanna’s gold Guo Pei gown.
It’s fitting that our gold meme medal goes to Rihanna’s 2015 gold Guo Pei gown and its yellow, fur-lined cape with a 16-foot train. The extra-long dress turned out to be the most fruitful look ever in meme-terms, inspiring some very funny Internet reactions.
We’ll never forget Guo Pei’s incredible work, and we’ll never forget Rihanna looking like a gorgeous omelette either—the measure of a perfect meme.
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— tommylei.eth (@TommyLeiStudio) May 5, 2015
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.