20+ Hilarious Bernie Sanders Memes Inspired by His Iconic Appearance at the Inauguration

Among the history-making moments at the 59th presidential inauguration came a delightful meme care of Bernie Sanders. Like the other attendees, the Vermont senator was dressed for a cold day in Washington, D.C. (where it even snowed for a moment). He sported a sensible insulated coat with a pair of patterned “smittens”—part mittens, part sweater—made for him by a Vermont school teacher. Compared to the long, colorful coats worn by other attendees, Sanders stood out for his practicality. But he stood out for another reason, too. As he sat alone and socially distanced from others, Sanders folded his hands over his legs and the internet instantly recognized him as a whole mood.

Shortly after the now-iconic picture of Sanders appeared, people got to work placing his seated, surly-looking portrait into all sorts of funny memes. In one iteration, he’s riding the NYC subway. In another, he’s sitting alongside Guy Fieri on their way to Flavortown. But some of our favorite memes are the art-centric ones that place Sanders in Edward Hopper’s famous Nighthawks painting as well as opposite artist Marina Abramović during her famous performance called The Artist is Present.

It’s clear that by the quality, quantity, and diversity of these memes, Sanders can go anywhere. Scroll down to see our favorite iterations of the Sanders sitting meme…so far.

Bernie Sanders became the meme king of the 59th presidential inauguration when a picture of him sitting alone in a practical winter outfit. The internet went wild putting Sanders in all sorts of situations:

Even classic gifs were brilliantly meme-ified.


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Some of our favorite iterations of the memes include Sanders with an art history twist.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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