Entertainment

The Best 'Tiger King' Memes

tiger king
'Tiger King' | Netflix
'Tiger King' | Netflix

Hey all you cool cats and kittens, but specifically those of you who spent last week and this weekend watching Netflix's newest docuseries Tiger King, all about a bunch of maniacs obsessed with big cats and one man's doomed attempt to murder a fellow tiger enthusiast he started an online flame war with. At only seven episodes and about a million twists and side-plots, the series leaves us wanting so much more by the time we see James Garretson jet ski off into the sunset. For those of us who just can't get enough (all of us), luckily the citizens of the Internet have been making Tiger King memes like mad, trying to preserve the last droplets of escapism in this increasingly uncertain world. 

Hey all you cool cats and kittens 

Carole Baskin's catchphrase is so funny and weird it has gained a life of its own. Baskin, like her nemesis Joe Exotic, had a video series where she would post updates on her big cat reserve on their Facebook page, always beginning each video with the welcome, "Hey all you cool cats and kittens." It's honestly very cute that she would start all of her videos this way, and calling people "cool cats and kittens" is just a very funny thing to say. It also provides a perfect jumping-off point for an excellent Carole Baskin impression -- something that Saturday Night Live castmember Chloe Fineman is scarily good at. 

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Carole Baskin #workinprog #tigerking #carolebaskin

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Carole Baskin (allegedly) murdered her husband 

Before he managed to take his cats to Costa Rica and leave Carole Baskin for good, her second husband Don Lewis quite literally disappeared without a trace, leaving many to believe that she killed him and fed his body to her tigers. It's the conspiracy theory that launched a hundred Joe Exotic videos where he angrily shoots bullets into a lake. There are about five or six insane side-stories in Tiger King that could use their own documentary series, and Carole Baskin's alleged murder plot is definitely one of them. Tigers have been known to eat people, and throughout the course of Tiger King we've seen multiple people get mauled or nearly mauled by the dangerous cats, so it wouldn't be… that crazy? 

Let's put it this way: Carole knows that if you want someone to get eaten by tigers, you have to slather them in sardine oil first. Innocent people don't know stuff like that.

Big cat fashion 

The clothing worn by the subjects of Tiger King is by no means traditionally "nice" or "good." But since the show dropped on Netflix it has become an unexpected source of fashion inspiration. We honestly should have seen it coming. From Joe Exotic's bomber jackets to Carole Baskin's closet full of cat prints, these nutty feline-obsessed folk have become style icons in their own right. I mean, when you think about it, is Carole's look that far off from Beyoncé's? Is Joe Exotic mimicking Diplo or is Diplo mimicking Joe Exotic? And where does Wario fit into all of this? Truly the people of Tiger King are tacky-fabulous incarnate. We have to respect. 

James Garretson on the jetski 

No spoilers or anything, but in one of the final moments of Tiger King, we see James Garretson, a Joe Exotic and Jeff Lowe associate and former strip-club owner turned FBI informant, ride off on his jet ski. It's an instantly iconic sequence (and one that people aren't certain he didn't persuade the filmmakers to shoot and include) that's oozing massive Kenny Powers, or toppled Fyre Fest organizer Billy MacFarland, energy. 

Joe Exotic is quarantine king 

Tiger King couldn't have have been released at a better time. Dropping in the midst of everybody's self-isolation where we have little to do besides watch Netflix, the docuseries is like a shared experience for everyone stuck at home… and Joe Exotic is like the unsung (anti)hero, or Quarantine King, of COVID-19. Not only is he and the rest of the Tiger King pride giving us bountiful crazy/questionable/cringe-worthy moments to experience as one, the chaos he embodies sort of mirrors how people are feeling right about now. 

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Sadie Bell, Leanne Butkovic, Emma Stefansky, and Esther Zuckerman contributed to this story.