Let Them Eat Cake meme

Let Them Eat Cake

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Updated May 10, 2024 at 02:50PM EDT by Owen.

Added May 10, 2024 at 08:54AM EDT by Owen.

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About

Let Them Eat Cake refers to an alleged quote from the former queen of France Marie Antoinette who purportedly said it in response to the plight of the peasants who had no bread to eat. Historians have debated whether or not she said the quote. The catchphrase was included in the 2006 film Marie Antoinette. In memes, "Let Them Eat Cake" became a notable TikTok sound in 2023 and 2024. TikToker Haleyybaylee also gained controversy for her usage of the "Let Them Eat Cake" sound at the 2024 Met Gala.

Origin

"Let them eat cake" is a quote attributed to Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. It was allegedly the queen’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread.[1] However, historians have questioned whether Marie Antoinette said the phrase. The first record of the phrase was in French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Book VI of his Confessions (1767), attributed to an unnamed "great princess." Antoinette would have been 12 at the time.[1]

On October 20th, 2006, the film Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette premiered in American theaters.[2] In one scene, the voice of a revolutionary is heard talking to a crowd about Marie Antoinette saying, "Let them eat cake," using a clip of Dunst in a bathtub saying the phrase (YouTube[3] upload shown below).



Currently, the first known meme to use "Let them eat cake" was a Rich Raven meme uploaded by GotFunnyPictures[4] user Chris Menning on April 3rd, 2009 (shown below).


Let them eat cake. It's a lie anyway

Spread

In 2017, viral usage of "Let them eat cake" surfaced en masse, predominantly coinciding with Donald Trump's presidency. For instance, on May 28th, 2017, Ivanka Trump's lifestyle brand account @ivankatrumphq posted a tweet (since-deleted) that, according to CNN,[5] read, "Make champagne popsicles this #MemorialDay" (shown below, left).

On May 29th, 2017, X[6] user @SarahThyre quoted the tweet, writing, "We have our official 'let them eat cake,'" gaining over 3,100 likes in seven years (shown below, right).


Ivanka Trump HQ ❤ @Ivanka TrumpHQ Follow Make champagne popsicles this #Memorial Day: bit.ly/2r2bNmg 5:00 PM - 28 May 2017 Weekly Clicks: Memorial Day Turn the music up-it's a three-day weekend. ivankatrump.com << 620 476 Sarah Thyre @SarahThyre Follow We have our official "let them eat cake" x.com/ivankatrumphq/... • 1:31 PM May 29, 2017

On September 26th, 2019, Redditor[7] lubomir42 shared a "Let them eat cake" meme to /r/HistoryMemes, using an object labeling template with Greta Thunberg staring at Donald Trump, receiving over 3,400 upvotes in five years (shown below, left).

On March 11th, 2022, Redditor[8] Dusty_Bookcase shared a meme to /r/dankmemes that compared Marie Antoinette's quote to an alleged quote from Kim Kardashian, receiving over 3,400 upvotes in two years (shown below, right).


"Let them eat cake Imao" Starving french citizens "If the people have no bread, let them eat cake." OXY GE "I have the best advice for women in business. Get your f------ ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days." imgip.com

On TikTok

On March 23rd, 2022, TikToker[9] @vibeyvidzz posted a "Let them eat cake" edit with scenes from the 2006 film Marie Antoinette. The edit also used the song "Deceptacon" by Le Tigre.[10] Over two years, the video gained roughly 2 million plays and 101,500 likes (shown below, left).

The video inspired a viral TIkTok sound,[11] used by people like TikToker[12] Dylan Mulvaney (@dylanmulvaney) on December 9th, 2022, showing herself cosplaying as Antoinette, receiving over 5.6 million plays and 1 million likes in two years (shown below, right).

@vibeyvidzz Marie Antoinette (2006) Directed by: Sofia Coppola #marieantoinette #kirstendunst #sophiacoppola #marieantoinettemovie #marieantoinette2006 #perioddrama ♬ Let Them Eat Cake – vibeyvidz

@dylanmulvaney Cute photos comin soon @RagDoll Pink Palace ♬ Let Them Eat Cake – vibeyvidz

Cosplay videos and other videos with the sound continued to be posted to TikTok[13] in 2023 and 2024. By May 10th, 2024, the sound[11] had amassed over 112,900 posts.

"Let Them Eat Cake" Haleyybaylee Controversy

On May 7th, 2024, TikToker[14] @haleyybaylee posted a video of herself before the 2024 Met Gala wearing an elaborate dress with flower details. She used the "Let them eat cake" TikTok sound[11] as her video's audio. Over three days, the video received roughly 21.5 million plays and 3.6 million likes. The video was deleted by @haleyybaylee on May 10th, 2024.

Her video gained mass backlash online, evident in a repost of her original video shared by X[15] user @JoshuaPHilll on May 7th, 2024, who wrote, "An influencer straight up making a 'let them eat cake' video at the met gala last night. No self awareness at all. None." The post received over 19,000 likes in three days (shown below).


Various Examples


trand 18888 Marie Antoinette in movies Let them eat cake Marie Antoinette in reality Funds home for unwed mothers and buys grain for those in need Also decadent like most monarchs Any last words? I never f------ said "let them eat cake" so if future historians could not attribute that quote to me, that would be great. lol nope "let them eat cake" memes about modern politicians imgflip.com Rousseau stealing wine from his employer

@hollyaustin_makeupartist LET THEM EAT CAKE 🧁🍰🎂btw these were made by me & they were sooo delicious! I promise you I don’t usually eat like this haha 😂🤍 #marieantoinette #marieantoinettemakeup #marieantoinettestyle #bridgerton #letthemeatcake #cupcakes #pinkcupcakes #pinkmakeup #fyp ♬ Let Them Eat Cake – vibeyvidz

@alicedicksonnn Your halloween costume inspo 🧁💕 #maryantoinette #maryantoinettemakeup #halloweenmakeup #halloweenlook #halloweeninspo ♬ Let Them Eat Cake – vibeyvidz

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