On September 7th, 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone 7. Among the features unveiled were the "AirPods," wireless earbuds that would pair with the new phone.
One of the earliest known usage of AirPods being used as a flex was posted by Twitter  user @camosweg on September 25th, 2018. They wrote, "me walking on campus: person with AirPods: yeah I'm RICH" (shown below).
Over the next few weeks, AirPods became the subject of jokes online. On November 21st, 2018, Twitter user @CandaceTheAngel reposted a tweet by @GrantCantEven featuring the Miley Cyrus's Blue Eyes photograph. They captioned the post, "Me: H- Person with AirPods." The tweet received more than 41,000 retweets and 179,000 likes in less than two months (shown below, left).
Later that week, on November 27th, Twitter user @VonDeNiro tweeted an image of a person wearing the AirPods and the caption "it smells like broke in here." The post received more than 29,000 retweets and 89,000 likes in less than one year (shown below, center).
The following month, on December 25th, Instagram  user @ masipopal posted a painting of a man being knighted by a queen. They captioned the image, "airpod users welcoming new members who received them for christmas." The tweet received more than 37,000 likes in three days (shown below, right).