Red carpet events are back

Welcome to the Friday edition of Internet Insider, where we dissect the week online. Today:

  • Red carpet events lit up the internet
  • The ‘Bella, where have you been, loca?’ meme is everywhere
  • Woman shares alarming voicemails from date who stood her up

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nicki minaj


Red carpet events lit up the internet this week

Despite the fact that we’re still very much in the middle of a pandemic (deaths from COVID-19 sharply rose in September), there were moments this week that felt strangely close to the Before Times. My Twitter feed was filled with images of celebrities and influencers walking down red carpets, a gaggle of photographers documenting their every step. We had not one but two big events that captivated the internet: The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday and the Met Gala the following day. 

Both events led to plenty of discourse and memes in the past, but that was no guarantee that anyone would care about them after a year of staying home. Yet it appears that people were eager to offer commentary on live events again, especially after a rather dull 2021 Oscars ceremony. People memed Doja Cat’s chicken feet boots and Megan Fox’s sheer dress at the VMAs; during the Met Gala, they created numerous Photoshopped edits of both AOC’s and Cara Delevingne’s outfits that bore political messages. But Nicki Minaj, who didn’t even attend the Met Gala, received the most attention all week.

The singer began the week by saying, “If I get vaccinated, it won’t [be] for the Met” before tweeting a now much-discussed story about her cousin’s friend becoming impotent from the vaccine. It led to government officials in Trinidad and Tobago speaking out against her claims, as well as the White House offering a phone call to discuss Minaj’s questions about vaccines. Meanwhile, some people have pointed out that the singer may be causing this distraction with vaccine misinfo on purpose—Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Perry, currently face a harassment lawsuit from a woman whom Perry was convicted of attempting to rape. He also failed to register as a sex offender in California.

—Tiffany Kelly, culture editor

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teenage boy with long hair


A throwaway line from ‘Twilight’ is now a meme

The Twilight Saga is something of a goldmine for memes, whether it’s Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) facial expressions, the WTF factor that is the Renesmee doll, or our collective fixation on vampire baseball. But a throwaway line from the 2009 film New Moon is spawning cakes, shirts, tweets, memes, and plenty of remixes on TikTok.

In the film, when Bella arrives at Jacob’s house, he runs toward her and gives her a big hug; he hasn’t seen her in ages. “Bella,” he says as he runs up to her. “Where the hell have you been, loca?”

It’s silly and cringe-worthy, but for whatever reason, it’s endured among Twilight fans and even got a shoutout a couple of months ago from the official Twilight Twitter account. On TikTok, the riffs on “Where the hell have you been, loca” are even more creative. TikToker @yeehawgabrielle performed a cover of “Hey There, Delilah” that quickly morphed into a New Moon parody.

—Michelle Jaworski, staff writer

woman looking increasingly dismayed


‘A walking red flag’: Woman shares alarming voicemails from date who stood her up

Dating is bad right now, but what’s happening to one Dallas radio host is truly a nightmare. According to her initial TikTok, which now has more than 6 million views, Mason (she prefers just a first name) explains she had a first date planned for last Friday night. But after waiting for her date for 30 minutes at a restaurant, she realized she’d been stood up.

The man later called to say his father was in the hospital, then called again to say that was a lie, then left her an increasingly concerning series of voicemails. In subsequent voicemails, the man gets angrier. Then, something even crazier happens: The man’s mother calls and also leaves a voicemail, inviting Mason over for dinner.

Her TikTok followers are very invested in the story. “This is my new favorite show,” said one. 

—Audra Schroeder, senior writer


This Devil Wears Prada meme is coming for your fashion choices.

Now Playing: “Texas Sun” by Khruangbin & Leon Bridges 

*First Published: Sep 17, 2021, 4:52 pm CDT

Tiffany Kelly

Tiffany Kelly is the culture editor at Daily Dot. Previously, she worked at Ars Technica and Wired. Her writing has appeared in several other print and online publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Popular Mechanics, and GQ.

Tiffany Kelly


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