It’s been quite the wild ride. If, for some reason, you missed out on the craziness that has been the past 18 months of this election cycle, we’ve recapped some of the most meme-worthy moments of America’s long and winding road to Election Day.
Donald Trump’s epic escalator ride
It made Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure look tame by comparison. The current Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, formally announced his candidacy by riding down the escalator at Trump Tower in New York City while Neil Young’s “Rocking in the Free World” blasted in the background.
Hillary Clinton goes meta on SNL
Who says she’s not relatable? Clinton proved she was definitely someone you would want to have a beer with when she played the role of Val the Bartender on Saturday Night Live, utilizing her famous listening skills as Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton character unloaded her problems and anxieties.
John Kasich stumbles with lady voters
Ohio governor and Republican presidential nominee John Kasich had a tough time connecting with women voters, as evidenced by a trio of comments the candidate made — and that the Internet certainly took notice of. First, he told a female student at the University of Richmond, “I’m sorry — I don’t have any Taylor Swift concert tickets” in reply to her raising her hand to ask him a question during a campus town-hall-style event. Then he bragged about how many women “left their kitchens” to campaign for him when he first ran for state legislature. And then he attempted to explain budgeting and debt to a female voter at an Iowa town hall event by constructing an analogy he thought she would be able to best understand: “Have you ever been on a diet?” he asked the woman voter. And Twitter had some feels:
— ericswinderman (@ericswinderman) February 23, 2016
— Laura Lynn (@lauralynnval) February 22, 2016
Do you think @JohnKasich has any Taylor Swift tickets for me now? Bc your girl could really use some rn
— GB (@Gina_Barba_) October 29, 2015
Oh, and the young woman whose interest in the electoral process Kasich flippantly dismissed wrote a scathing op-ed clarifying that she cares a lot more about the future of our country than she does about Taylor Swift.
Solidifying his image as the ultimate hipster candidate, Bernie Sanders literally put a bird on it when a feather friend gracefully landed on his podium while he was speaking at a rally in Portland, Ore. Thunderous applause ensued.
Marco Rubio’s killer boots
Joe Scarborough may know about politics, but he clearly doesn’t know much about fashion. He was just one of many to mock Marco Rubio’s ankle boots, which the MSNBC host described as Austin Power-esque and “shagalicious.” Scarborough’s comments came on the heels (pun!) of those made by Rubio’s rival for the Republican nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose communications director tweeted, “A Vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties.” Harry Styles and One Direction references were also made. Media outlets across the country weighed in on Rubio’s footwear, and we were mainly disappointed to see a dearth of well-deserved references to the Michael Caine classic Alfie, which is the kind of comparison Rubio’s incredible boots deserve.
Marco Rubio is rocking some seriously fashionable black boots today in New Hampshire. pic.twitter.com/lwiSWuuCUt
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) January 4, 2016
“Delete your account”
The most retweeted tweet of the entire election? Clinton telling opponent Trump to “delete your account” this summer after he tweeted about her having been endorsed by President Obama. Turning an OG Internet meme into a new election-related meme is exactly what the Internet was made for.
Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2016
Ken Bone’s red sweater
Ken Bone-mania swept the nation after the second presidential debate was won by an undecided voter in a decidedly wonderful red Izod sweater.
— IZOD (@IZOD) October 10, 2016
The Hillary shimmy
After Trump argued that he had a “winning temperament” and that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, was the one who was “out of control” during the first presidential debate, Clinton readied herself to respond by letting out a Vicki Gunvalson-esque “Woo!” and doing an on-stage shimmy that was the symbol of women TCB (“taking care of business”) that we didn’t even know we needed. Many gifs soon followed.
Donald Trump: Bad hombres vs. bad ombre
During the third and final presidential debate, in Las Vegas, on Oct. 19, Trump concluded his initial remarks about his proposed immigration policies by saying, “We have some bad hombres, and we’re going to get them out.”
But as we previously noted, the Internet wasn’t so sure if Trump said bad hombres or bad ombre — as in the hair coloring technique that dominated trends the past few years.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 20, 2016
but seriously we need all the bad ombres gone this is just tragic pic.twitter.com/JVzZJp2gqu
— Bad Ombres gtfo (@tianarich03) October 20, 2016
— Amber Sakis (@ambersakis) October 20, 2016
"Bad ombre": when you have the right to not give your colorist a tip.
— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) October 20, 2016
Hillary Clinton just wanted to talk about her policies on Social Security during the third and final presidential debate. For whatever reason, this prompted her challenger, Donald Trump, to mutter under his breath, “Such a nasty woman.”
Clinton: "What we want to do is to replenish the Social Security trust fund…"
— CNN (@CNN) October 20, 2016
And the Internet lost its freaking mind, turning “nasty woman” into the ultimate declaration of being #WithHer, the must-have fashion statement of the election, an expression of empathy and unity, and the de facto rallying cry of contemporary feminism. Also, there were many Janet Jackson references made.
— Joe Braxton (@JoeBraxtonTouch) October 20, 2016