Two images from the 2021 Met Gala depicting AOC's tax the rich dress and Kendall Jenner next to Kim Kardashian in an all-black outfit.

2021 Met Gala

Updated Apr 15, 2022 at 08:25AM EDT by Owen.

Added Sep 13, 2021 at 11:19PM EDT by Owen.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.

Featured Episode


The 2021 Met Gala or the 2021 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit was a formal event held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to raise money for the Costume Institute, the only department of the Met that must fund itself. The festivities are mostly known for the elaborate formal attire worn by the Gala’s celebrity guests, which often become the subject of memes each year, including 2021's event.


Held on the first Monday in May every year, the Met Gala is a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume department.[1] However, the 2021 Met Gala was instead held on Monday, September 13th, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first Met Gala hosted since the pandemic, which was skipped in 2020. To celebrate the festivities, it is generally expected that the high-profile celebrity guests of the event wear some of the most elaborate and outrageous costumes from the fashion world’s biggest names.

The theme of the 2021 Met Gala was, "American Independence,"[2] and the co-chairs assigned to oversee the ball were exclusively Gen Z celebrities including Billie Eilish and Timothée Chalamet, among others.[2] Another notable co-chair of the event was Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri who was named an honorary chair.


Online Reactions

People on Twitter before the event began cracking jokes about the Jason Derulo lookalike's fall at the 2011 Met Gala. For example, Twitter[3] user @kattenbarge shared a tweet (shown below, left) that received roughly 3,700 likes in approximately four hours. Twitter[4] user @ItsTheBrandi also tweeted about Jason Duerulo's fall (shown below, right), receiving roughly 1,300 likes in approximately four hours.

Kat Tenbarge @kattenbarge I know the internet poisoned my brain because I literally can't look at the met gala steps without thinking about jason derulo 6:09 PM · Sep 13, 2021 · Twitter Web App 296 Retweets 5 Quote Tweets 3,772 Likes Encyclopedia Frown @ltsTheBrandi ... Jason Derulo tripped on Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's vaccinated balls and fell down the stairs at the Met Gala. A 7:14 PM · Sep 13, 2021 · Twitter for Android

Users on Twitter also began to photoshop PNGs of people not present at the event, inserting cartoon characters like Hank Hill and K-pop stars from BTS onto the red carpet (examples shown below).


S @superskrong #SahBabii at #MetGala 2021

AOC's "Tax the Rich" Dress

A stand-out meme of the event was sparked by U.S. House Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, who wore a dress that read "Tax the Rich" on its back (shown below).


The dress stirred up controversy on Twitter, with users like @zei_squirrel[5] and Barstool Sports' @stoolpresidente[6] tweeting about the contradiction of wearing the dress at the event. For example, @stoolpresidente's tweet (shown below) received roughly 94,000 likes over the course of two hours.

Dave Portnoy @stoolpresidente "Tax the Rich"...But first l'm gonna go have the time of my life partying with them all at the most extravagant over the top party of the year that is essentially a celebration of richness. 99 ...... HE CH

Many people across both platforms also noted the font similarity between AOC's dress and the Chick-Fil-A logo, such as @k80way[7] on Twitter, whose tweet noting the similarity earned roughly 27,000 likes in one hour. Twitter users and Instagrammers began re-editing AOC's dress to say different things on its back, like the Chick-Fil-A logo.[8] Other phrases and logos were layered over AOC's backside like, "ASS SAVES LIVES,"[9] Damn Shawty, OK [10] and "Vote For Pedro,"[11] among other things (examples shown below).


AOC's dress began to get heavily photoshopped on Instagram as well. Instagram meme pages like @neoliberalhell[12] and @juggalofamilyvalues,[13] among others, began editing in their own text (examples shown below).

MY COUSIN IN TRINIDAD WONT GET VACCINE CUZ HIS FRIEND GOT IT & BECAME IMPOTENT. HIS TESTICSLES BECAME SWOLLEN. HIS FRIEND WAS WEEKS AWAY FROM GETTING MARRIED. NOW THE GIRL CALLED OFF RN WEDDING. SO JUST PRAY ON IT & MAKE SURE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE WITH UR DECISION, NOT BULLIED Me : mom can we have class ? consciousness Mom : no, we have class at home consciousness class consciousness at home : JUST THE SHEER DUPLICITY VOGUE OF THIS MOMENT. MAKE THE RICH PA NO SMOKING アッぐ she was fearless and crazier than him. she was his queen, and god help anyone who dared to disrespect his queen. @neoliberalhell Ask the Rich to Pay their Fair Share and Hope that they Comply so we can Pacify the Proletariat and Sustain Capitalism for as Long as Possible without Revolt Have her wear a tacky dress with "Tax the rich" OCCUPY WALL STIL written on it to Met Gala STOP CORPORATE GREED PIG PIE FAT CATS

The morning after the event on September 14th, 2021, AOC responded to the meme attention and backlash for wearing the dress at an event that costs up to $30,000 to attend. In a tweet[16] and an Instagram post,[17] AOC revealed that she was invited for free to the event and championed the sentiment, "The Medium is the Message," in her tweet (shown below).

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC · 9h The medium is the message. aoc The medium is the r Proud to work with @au focused, Black woman i from starting her dream market in Brooklyn to wi odds - and then work to at the Met. THE The time is now for child action for all. Tax the Ric 5K 2I 14.5K 105.3K Tip Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC · 8h And before haters get wild flying off the handle, New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city's cultural institutions for the public. I was one of several in attendance in this evening. 3.3K 2] 4.5K 69K Δ Τip

Designer Of AOC's Dress Is A Rent Deadbeat

On September 18th, 2021, @nypost, the Twitter account for the New York Post, tweeted[29] a link to an article[30] written about the designer of AOC's "Tax the Rich" dress. The tweet received roughly 1,314 likes across two days. According to the article, Aurora James, the dress's designer, "… is a notorious tax deadbeat with unpaid debts dogging her in multiple states." Twitter users like @eve6[31] reacted to the news in a quote tweet (shown below), which received roughly 643 likes. Another news outlet, @Mediaite, also tweeted[32] about the dress on September 18th and received roughly 6,000 likes. Their tweet (shown below, right) was also reposted across Instagram, such as Instagram user @gerontosexual,[33] for example, who received roughly 115 likes for their post.

aoc do u like alternative rock ME @Eve6 VE6 i'm gonna have a rich person who doesn't pay their taxes make me a dress that says tax the rich person who made the tax the rich dress and see how long this meta irony can play out New York Post @nypost · Sep 18 EXCLUSIVE: AOC's 'Tax the Rich' dress designer Aurora James owes debt in multiple states

Cara Delevingne's "Peg the Patriarchy" Dress

Similar to AOC's "Tax the Rich" dress, actress Cara Delevingne was photographed on the red carpet wearing an outfit that read "Peg the Patriarchy" on its front (shown below, left). Twitter users like @MintcakeTime[16] remixed the front of her dress in the same vein as AOC's. @MintcakeTime's tweet (shown below, right) received roughly 94,000 likes in less than 24 hours.


Kim Kardashian's All-Black Outfit

Kim Kardashian was seen early on at the event sporting an all-black outfit from head-to-toe, covering her face and body entirely (shown below, left). The most memed photo of her outfit was of her standing with Kendall Jenner, who in the photo is wearing a noticeably contrasting outfit to Kardashian's. People on Twitter and Instagram began to joke about the contrast between the two (shown below, right).

what I want my closet to look like What it actually looks like

People on Twitter and Instagram also began to joke about Kim's outfit in regards to her relationship with Kanye West, like Twitter[14] user @KirkWrites79. Instagram[15] users like @nocontextkathandkim also began to edit in people next to Kim on the red carpet.

Rihanna and ASAP Rocky Arrive at the Met Gala

Musicians Rihanna and ASAP Rocky arrived fashionably late to the event, both sporting large outfits. People on Twitter began posting memes about waiting for Rihanna to take off her large, black coat, like Twitter[18] user @cowboyrryswhore whose tweet (shown below, left) received roughly 8,800 likes in less than 24 hours. Twitter users also posted memes about Rihanna's all-black outfit in relation to Kim and Kanye's (shown below, right).

summer @cowboyrryswhore Me refreshing the page to see if Rihanna took off the coat #MetGalao Kanye Kim Rihanna

ASAP Rocky's outfit also received meme attention, notably more than Rihanna's. He showed up to the event covered in a multi-colored comforter that many Twitter users, like @dykedotorg,[19] related to the same composition as Cap'n Crunch Berries breakfast cereal. Her tweet (shown below, left) received roughly 17,000 likes in less than 24 hours. Twitter[20] user @Velocijoey also likened Rocky's outfit to the aesthetic of Candy Crush. His tweet received roughly 500 likes (shown below, right).

Joey Castillo:) @Velocijoey Okay but why is ASAP Rocky out here looking like Candy Crush at the #MetGala o ?!

Twitter users like @xsnowchildx0[21] also tweeted about Rocky's outfit in relation to looking like he just got out of bed. His tweet (shown below, left) received roughly 2,200 likes in less than 24 hours. Twitter user @KailSovl[22] also tweeted an image of him in his own patterned comforter (shown below, right) that received roughly 50,000 likes in less than 24 hours.

snowchild @xsnowchildxO Me on my way to get another grilled cheese in the kitchen downstairs at 03:00 AM #MetGala O Sun Ra @KailSovl Ate him right on up

Elliot Page Shows Face

Elliot Page also showed up at the Met Gala and received meme attention mostly for dressing more subdued than other attendees. People on Twitter, like user BurnerDontask,[23] joked about how Page looked ready to sell insurance (shown below, left). Instagram[24] account @incellectuals36 also posted an image of Page side by side with comedian Nathan Fielder in an oversized suit. The post (shown below, right) received roughly 850 likes in less than 24 hours.

Burner @BurnerDontask Eliot page at the met gala looks like it's his first day selling insurance 37 35

Grimes' AR-15 Sword

Grimes showed up at the Met Gala with a sword made out of an AR-15 assault rifle. Most people on Twitter joked about her and AOC fighting in the bathroom about communism[25] (shown below, left), as well as her showing up by herself with a sword, possibly having killed Elon Musk. [26]

sonter ... @ketchuu_p hope grimes and aoc get in a fight about communism 8:07 PM · Sep 13, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone 775 Retweets 40 Quote Tweets 6,731 Likes san @zsoichiro grimes has finally murdered elon

Lil Nas X's Golden Outfit

Lil Nas X also received meme attention across Instagram and Twitter with his outfit at the event. He showed up wearing a long cape looking like a king, only to remove it and reveal a golden, metal armor suit underneath. People on Instagram like the account @ninasayersapologist[27] compared his outfit to Star Wars' C-3PO (shown below, left) while others on Twitter[28] compared him to Steve from Minecraft wearing all-golden armor (shown below, right).

@ninasayersapologist mans really said: JL

Meme Correspondent For The Met Gala

The 2021 Met Gala stood out from previous Met Galas because it was the first one to have hired a "Meme Correspondent" for the event. Instagrammer, @sainthoax,[34] was hired by Instagram to create memes directly on the red-carpet of the event as part of a conscious effort to give viewers a more behind-the-scenes look at what was bound to be viral.[35] On September 13th, 2021, Saint Hoax was quoted by NBC News in regards to how they were preparing for the event, "With an event like this, it’s not really about preparing, more like anticipating who will steal the show and help create a moment that will be recognized and celebrated by internet culture."[36] Saint Hoax posted multiple Instagram stories[35] (shown below) before the event toying with the absurdity of their new position.[35]

5:05 .· X •.. sainthoax 4h Me covering the Met Gala red carpet tonight GO GIA Memes Send Message 4:34 sainthoax SAINTHOAX sainthoax Literally me 2 years ago I was meme-ing the Met Gala while sitting on my couch O = O Can't believe we're actually covering it live tonight. Thank u to the IG team who made this happen @rickysans @fana.yohannes @cjhernandez7

Sain Hoax was also accompanied by other Instagram influencers at the event, those being: @Mytherapistsays, @ideservecouture @Mufashdia, @juliancookies and @eljosecriales.[36] Overall, the hired position of a "Meme Correspondent" at an event like the Met Gala foreshadows similar positions at other, notoriously-memed events in the near future, like the Super Bowl or the Oscars, for example.

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 1 total

Recent Images 84 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (136)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

'lo! You must login or signup first!