There was an abundance of memorable moments at today's inauguration of Democratic President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris--chief among them the conclusion of what for many was the long national nightmare of the Trump Administration.
That aside, America's first female, Black and South Asian Vice President taking office was probably the biggest milestone of the day. But in a close second place was a most unexpected—and hilarious—surprise.
It wasn't a speech, or a musical number, but rather Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders simply sitting—all by himself, bundled up, looking a bit like everyone's vaguely annoyed grandpa.
And instantly, a million memes were born.
Bernie is on his way to the post office. https://t.co/prPPlqprqs— Benjy Renton (@Benjy Renton)1611156598.0
It was a hilarious and refreshing departure from most of the rest of the inauguration crowd, who were impeccably dressed—often right down to the coordinated masks on their faces.
Not Bernie though. The former presidential candidate rocked a sensibly warm coat, a pair of knitted woolen mittens and, to complete the "your grandpa running errands" look, a manila folder under his arm that spawned a million "Bernie en route to the post office" jokes.
Sanders's mittens, in particular. delighted people on Twitter. Aside from their folksy, grandpa-y vibe, they were reportedly hand knitted for Sanders by a teacher named Jen Ellis in the Senator's home state of Vermont.
As BuzzFeed News' Ruby Cramer reported:
"... She gave them to him 2+ years ago and was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles."
Folksy, sensible and environmentally responsible?
You can't get much more Bernie Sanders than that.
But it was when Sanders took his seat and the ceremony began that the hilarity really ensued. Photographed in his socially distanced seat looking... well, cold and ready to leave, if we're being honest, the photo had everyone laughing.
In Jewish yoga this pose is: waiting for my wife at Loehmann's https://t.co/Qik7wsZ0ad— Chandra Steele (@Chandra Steele)1611159684.0
And, as always happens when something memorable tickles Twitter's funny bone, the memes of the 2021 Inauguration were born.
Your uncle Bernie stepped out to the bodega for a cream cheese and lox bagel and got trapped at an inauguration. https://t.co/ffqHGCejhS— Lester Kiewit (@Lester Kiewit)1611158484.0
bernie sanders’ thoughts on the events of today: https://t.co/7GJ6kze9us— brett (@brett)1611156841.0
And Sanders began sprouting up all over the place.
NYC Instagram is so quick https://t.co/Br6TarGXXb— Rania Said (@Rania Said)1611164790.0
Why do y’all play so much? Get Bernie down from there 😂 https://t.co/9ik2VMSoGN— 👑🖤 (@👑🖤)1611179428.0
I made this Bernie sitting meme to contribute to the cause https://t.co/kvHADLRFJI— DJ-KIMchi (@DJ-KIMchi)1611167964.0
The new Bernie meme is the gift that keeps on giving... https://t.co/O6WWwxJYx7— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@Rex Chapman🏇🏼)1611244683.0
https://t.co/7rLtqpTMrg— ca vs maturità;;⚜️ (@ca vs maturità;;⚜️)1611223739.0
you took the night train for a reason so you could sit there in this hurt https://t.co/bnR71J5HiQ— aashi 🦢 (@aashi 🦢)1611199041.0
https://t.co/vE5I7FMNCu— Paul Gale (@Paul Gale)1611170405.0
Bernie holdin’it down at the merch table. #berniemittens https://t.co/7hPbGYu2Mf— White Mystery (@White Mystery)1611177454.0
These Bernie Sanders memes are just too good. https://t.co/MC4g3ic68t— Leonard 'Emperor of Teaching' Taylor (@Leonard 'Emperor of Teaching' Taylor)1611214391.0
omg bernie sanders joined the League of Villains https://t.co/ASnmy9wwgj— ⤷Angel (💌)˗ˋˏaizawa simpˎˊ˗ (@⤷Angel (💌)˗ˋˏaizawa simpˎˊ˗)1611228045.0
That Bernie Sanders gets everywhere! #StarTrekDiscovery #GuardianOfForever @startrekcbs https://t.co/i26zCFhwdf— John (@John)1611228903.0
Bernie Sanders is the rightful Mandalorian ruler confirmed https://t.co/4uVlmAwI9N— Jake | poll in pinned | CEO of Cal Kestis ✿ (@Jake | poll in pinned | CEO of Cal Kestis ✿)1611230472.0
Democratica New album by Bernie Sanders https://t.co/bZGmKJMDhe— Mark 〄🍬 (@Mark 〄🍬)1611237217.0
Bernie “Third Wheel” Sanders over here https://t.co/tj4okiE1ph— The 7 Line (@The 7 Line)1611240175.0
“Soaked Sanders” a little piece I made for @BernieSanders #BernieSanders https://t.co/CYuRHC4wQD— Outhouse (@Outhouse)1611218115.0
The Berning (by Sanders Kubrick) #PoseTonBernie https://t.co/eyGeXNHVyp— Tournesol en viande (@Tournesol en viande)1611231660.0
Why are we like this???? 😭 https://t.co/32OKLJt2BH— Ti Princess MOST WHOLESOME TROLL🙏🏾 (@Ti Princess MOST WHOLESOME TROLL🙏🏾)1611191438.0
Uncle Bernie even hit the powwow trail.
Uncle was cold and no one brought him a blanket. So I did. #Bernie we love you. https://t.co/EzZ1QCuhYx— Dallas Goldtooth (@Dallas Goldtooth)1611182181.0
so did bernie just become our new uncle 🤧 https://t.co/dyRAhXjOFx— T 🍜🍃🥢🍥 (@T 🍜🍃🥢🍥)1611202234.0
Social Distance Powwow/Facebook
Social Distance Powwow/Facebook
A presidential inauguration where one of the stand out moments is Bernie Sanders looking hilariously cranky is such wholesome energy.
Uncle #Bernie trending lifted my spirits today for real. ☺️ https://t.co/OiYPTgmZr8— Dapo Adeola (@Dapo Adeola)1611220618.0
Maybe we should all write him a thank-you letter.