Best Met Gala memes: AOC's 'tax the rich' dress, Kim Kardashian as Darth Vader and more

The Met Gala is back, and so are the memes.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
4 min read

German singer Kim Petras really did dress like a horse.

Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

The Met Gala returned Monday night with a big, fashionable bang. The memes, of course, were almost as good as the wild celebrity looks themselves. Here are some of our favorites...

AOC's tax the rich dress


AOC's dress at the Met Gala.

Ray Tamarra/GC Images

When the New York congresswoman and leading progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a dress with "tax the rich" written on the back, she either forgot or was incredibly self aware about one of the cardinals rules of existing online: Never give the internet a blank canvas to work on.
Almost immediately, people started replacing the "tax the rich" text with some of their own.

Some people, on GameSpot, took things way too far.

I think this dress meme is gonna be a permanent mainstay of our online lives for a long time.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye as dementors?

There's fashion, and then there's, uh, what Kim Kardashian and her estranged husband, Kanye West, wore Monday night. Both of them covered themselves in black, with Kardashian wearing a Balenciaga bodysuit and West in what appeared to be a black sweatsuit. The two were quickly compared to everything from the hideous dementor prison guards of Harry Potter fame to the queen alien from Aliens to Darth Vader himself.

One person pointed out that the outfits were so concealing, anyone at all could be in there. 

"I bet this isn't even Kim Kardashian," the tweet read. "Kim's at home in her pyjamas eating pizza."

Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend did what?

Singer Nicki Minaj wasn't at the Met Gala, but she did tweet about the event requirement that attendees be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"They want you to get vaccinated for the Met," she said, "if I get vaccinated it won't for the Met. It'll be once I feel I've done enough research. I'm working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one."

Minaj later tweeted that she will get the vaccine, writing, "A lot of countries won't let ppl work w/o the vaccine. I'd def recommend they get the vaccine. They have to feed their families. I'm sure I'll b vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour, etc."

But it was another Minaj tweet that really lit up Twitter. "My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent," Minaj said. "His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding."

Fans were quick to point out to Minaj that the vaccine doesn't cause impotence (though getting coronavirus can), but they also couldn't resist the jokes.

"Your cousin's friend prolly just picked up an STD but please keep going," said one person.

Megan Rapinoe's red, white and blue look

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe lived the America theme, wearing a red, white and blue pantsuit and carrying a matching clutch that reads, "IN GAY WE TRUST."

"Finally. Someone understood the assignment," wrote one Twitter user.

Kim Petras is horsing around

Singer Kim Petras saddled up for the event, wearing a 3-D horse head bodice and a long braided hairpiece that could pass for a horse tail.


Billie Eilish takes an anti-fur stand

Billie Eilish wore a princessy, poufy pink Oscar de la Renta gown with a 15-foot train. Eilish has never worn de la Renta before and only agreed to do so if the brand agreed to stop using fur. The singer told The New York Times she found it "shocking that wearing fur isn't completely outlawed at this point in 2021," adding that she was "honored to have been a catalyst and to have been heard on this matter."

At 19, Eilish is the youngest ever co-chair of the event.

Dan Levy maps it out

Actor Dan Levy wore a map-print outfit with gigantic puffy sleeves and an image of two men kissing.

"This is what it looks like to come prepared," tweeted writer Rachel Syme.

Levy's outfit stirred up Seinfeld jokes, with one Twitter user noting, "It's a Puffy Shirt!" in reference to the unfortunate fashion piece Jerry Seinfeld wore in one episode.

And there was more serious commentary, too. E! confirmed that Levy's look pays tribute to the late David Wojnarowicz, an American artist who died from AIDS in 1992.

"Love the risk Levy took and that he brought San Francisco to the #MetGala2021," wrote one fan.

Sister Pete Davidson

SNL comic Pete Davidson wore a black and white dress, joking that he was dressed as a "slutty nun," but one Twitter user joked that he looked more like one of the three blind mice from the old nursery rhyme.

Davidson told E! that his jewelry was specially designed to honor his late father, Scott Davidson, a firefighter who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and to honor others who died on that day.

Iman goes for the gold

Model Iman went for the opposite look of the Kardashian-West duo, instantly recognizable in a stunning gold gown with an impressive headpiece.

"Everyone else just go home," wrote one Twitter user, declaring Iman the fashion winner of the night. "Turn the limo around and go hit up a drive-thru."

Baby love

Musician Frank Ocean won attention less for what he was wearing and instead for what he was carrying: a green, animatronic baby.

O say can you see

Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook carried off the America theme in his star-spangled hair.