Bernie Sanders, Lady Gaga and 'How it's going': Here are the best inauguration memes

As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as president and vice president Wednesday, the internet was at the ready to capitalize on every funny or strange moment in an otherwise serious and storied event.

With attendees abiding by Covid-19 guidelines and social distancing, the images of the inauguration differed from years' past, leading some to pounce on an opportunity to joke about politicians looking cold and alone at the event.

Others teased the appearances and performances of singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

While most of the memes were meant to be humorous, some used a format popularized in 2020 to create heartfelt memes, showing just how far some at the inauguration had come.

First came the debate memes. Then came the election memes.

Finally, here's our list of the best inauguration memes.

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is no stranger to being memed and had a major moment in 2020 with the rise of his, "I am once again asking for your financial support" meme — a viral still from a 2019 campaign fundraising ad.

On Wednesday, an image of Sanders at the inauguration sitting cross-armed and wearing a puffy, brown coat and oversized patterned mittens captivated social media. While many attendees wore suits and lavish gowns, Sanders opted for the more humble look, including the mittens made by a teacher from Essex Junction, Vermont, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Ruby Cramer.

In the image, Sanders appears to be almost scowling — although much of his face is obscured by a mask — as if he would rather be anywhere else.

"when I’m early for a movie but didn’t bring a book," tweeted user Marc Snetiker.

Twitter user Drew Olanoff tweeted, "my past 12 months in one photo."

Some joked that Sanders looked like he planned to run errands after leaving the inauguration.

"Bernie dressed like the inauguration is on his to do list today but ain’t his whole day," wrote Twitter user Reeezy.

Later in the day, as the memes piled on, Sanders addressed his inauguration day attire.

"In Vermont ... we're not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm. That's what I did today," Sanders said during an appearance on CBS News.

Lady Gaga

On the opposite end of the fashion spectrum was Lady Gaga, who performed a soaring rendition of the national anthem while wearing an enormous golden dove brooch. Adding to the look, Gaga, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, wore her blonde hair up in a Dutch crown braid.

The Oscar- and Grammy-winner also used a golden microphone and golden ear piece during her performance.

Almost as soon as she appeared, the singer, known for her often avant-garde fashion sense, was being memed online.

Many pointed out that Gaga looked straight out of "The Hunger Games" series, while others asked why there were so many "speeches at this Gaga concert."

Images of Gaga at the Capitol on Tuesday, showing the singer wearing the same Dutch crown braid and a white cape, were also turned into memes as social media users likened the photos to scenes from "Star Wars."

'Let's Get Loud'

Toward the end of her performance of "This Land Is Your Land," singer and actor Jennifer Lopez belted out a line from her Grammy-nominated song, "Let's Get Loud."

While the lyric seemed slightly disjointed from the rest of the song, it was a perfect moment for memes.

On Twitter, users imagined J.Lo adding other lyrics from her iconic songs to the inauguration performance.

"'This land is your land, this land is my land from Brazil, Morocco, London to Ibiza, straight to LA, New York, Vegas to Africa,'" one user tweeted, referencing Lopez's song "On The Floor."

Another user suggested that Lady Gaga should have added lyrics from her songs to the national anthem in the same way Lopez added a lyric.

"Now I’m disappointed that Lady Gaga didn’t yell out “Poker Face” in the middle of The Star Bangled Banner," wrote user Jamie B. Golden.

Others tweeted in disbelief that Lopez decided to add the lyrics into the performance.

"I just SPIT laughed at her singing LETS GET LOUD," tweeted user Tiffany Vazquez.

However, others noted the lyric is a call to the Latinx community to make their voices heard and not to remain silent, thanking Lopez for including the reference in her performance.

"'Lets get loud' is a call to latinos to be heard. To fight for OUR voice to be heard. She wasn't plugging her song," user NettySnow1978 explained on Twitter.

Lopez also took a moment during her performance and spoke the final line of the pledge of allegiance in Spanish, saying, "“Una nación, bajo Dios, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos!” or “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

How it started/How it's going

Oftentimes, memes are biting or snarky satire but occasionally a meme can be a way to elevate a heartfelt moment.

During the inauguration, many noted just how far many attendees had come to be where they were Wednesday.

Emily's List, a PAC that works to elect Democratic female candidates, tweeted out an image of Vice President Kamala Harris as a young girl and another of her prior to the inauguration with Joe Biden and the words, "How it started" and "How it's going."

A similar tweet remarked on the journey of the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, Amanda Gorman, 22, who read her poem "The Hill We Climb." Many remarked that Gorman stole the show with her reading of the poem.

The Los Angeles Public Library tweeted an image of Gorman holding an award that reads, "Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate," next to an image of her speaking at the inauguration. The image was captioned "How it started" and "How it's going."

In another tweet, one user put a side-by-side image of Capitol police Officer Eugene Goodman, the officer who is credited with diverting a mob of rioters who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, and potentially saving the lives of numerous members of Congress.

In a tweet, one user put an image of Goodman defending the Capitol from the mob next to him at the inauguration with the words, "Started. Going. Strong.