The 90 Day Fiance franchise may be the single largest meme-generating machine in all of reality television right now, and this week’s episode was no exception! For fans like me, it’s just as fun (if not more) to see all the creative and hilarious reactions to the episodes as it is to actually watch the episodes themselves. With that in mind, I thought I might take a creative approach to the usual episodic “recap” by gathering together what I believe to be the most meme-worthy moments from Sunday night’s episode — which is no easy task given that there were SOOO many!
OK, let’s just get right to the countdown…
5. The return of Colt’s cousins John and Lea, and more importantly, the return of Lea’s love for floral headwear!
“Accessories are everything. To me, they’re more important than the clothes.” – Rachel Zoe
This quote is SO appropriate here, and not just for the obvious reason that it is referencing Cousin Lea’s smile-inducing passion for putting flowers on her head, but I think it also applies to how important the peripheral characters are in the 90 Day Fiance franchise. Whether it is a woke daughter(s), an over-the-top, mind-blowingly eccentric Dutch artist mom and step-dad, a completely “nootral” peace making mutual friend, or a red-headed smoker with a knack for investigating evuhdense — the secondary cast members on all of the 90 Day Fiance shows do SO much to enrich the viewing experience and provide an unbelievable level of depth and meme-ability.
Colt’s cousin’s John and Lea are a wonderful addition to this rich history, and Sunday night’s episode allowed them both a chance to shine. First, Lea accompanied Larissa and Debbie to the wedding dress shop as Larissa tried to find the right balance between sexy and classic-y. Unfortunately, Lea was almost unrecognizable without her trademark ? headwear. To her credit, her daughter was sporting a flower on her cute little noggin, so this could have been an instance of Lea not wanting to outshine her daughter.
Lea would later redeem herself in the infamous scene at their house in which she could be seen wearing a large red flower behind her ear — perhaps foreshadowing the angry outbursts to come from both Larissa and Cousin John.
I also want to point out a moment from the episode that isn’t getting talked about much (yet). When Cousin John is talking to Colt and Larissa about respecting Colt’s mother Debbie, Lea chimes in: “as an elder.” Maybe this scene was filmed before Angela and Michael’s infamous on-screen tussle over the use of that term, but maybe not. Could Lea be one of us?
4. Leida somehow becoming even awfuller, like more than once
Eric’s Indonesian fiancée Leida was already this season’s biggest villain, but on Sunday night’s episode she took things to an entirely new level and has clearly put herself in the conversation for biggest 90 Day Fiance villain of all time! In addition to flat out telling Eric that she wanted him to surrender his parental rights to his daughter to save on child support (and give that $1,000 a month to her instead), Leida confronts Eric’s daughter Tasha and throws one of the most unpleasant and cringe-worthy petty fits in reality TV history! And let’s not forget that it is apparently Tasha’s name on the lease, and she was the one that reportedly asked her dad to move in because he was living in his car at the time.
Leida’s antics on the episode would merit a higher ranking, but they weren’t necessarily suited all that well to creating memes. Despite being the most talked about person on social media after the episode aired, fans didn’t seem motivated to find humor in her actions, and instead they just wanted to state as clearly as they could how horrible a person she is.
90 Day Fiance producers are very adept at story-telling, and they seem even more talented than Real Housewives producers at fluctuating cast members from zero to hero (See: Anfisa), but I just don’t know how they will be able to do that with Leida. Of course, one of their greatest tools is the reality show villain theory of relativity, which states that anyone can be a hero as long as they share the screen with someone worse. So, I suppose we could see public opinion shift in favor of Leida if Eric breaks bad. Like, really bad. We still have the Tell All, right?
3. Asuelu gets emotional over cuddling
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Asuelu is a Samoan kid in a man’s body who desperately wants everything to be sunshine and lollipops. And to top it off, his use of English is perfectly imperfect and might as well be called Memenglish. He is a screen cap gold mine, and this week was no exception! Kalani was scolding Asuelu for not wanting to talk about their problems and pushing for physical affection like cuddling instead — even when tensions are high between the two. Here is how an eventually tearful Asuelu defended himself:
I want to be close to you every time. I want to be touching you every time. When we go to bed, I like cuddle you because when I’m in Samoa I cuddle my own pillow and my own sheet. So in me, I can’t wait to cuddle my wife in person. So, when I came here, my dreams come true. I’m so happy like every time I sleep I’m happy to cuddle you.. When you go to bed without cuddle me, I fell like, “Why? Why she do this?!”
Screen cap, post, repeat…
2. Steven’s doppelganger Russian immigration attorney Michael
As I mentioned above, there is a rich history of 90 Day Fiance side characters — and outside of relatives and friends, there is no subset of side characters with a richer meme history that the attorneys featured on the show! Most of them have been immigration attorneys, but we have also met some wonderfully charismatic and memorable divorce attorneys as well.
The latest inductee into the 90 Day Fiance Lawyer Hall of Fame is Michael, a Russian immigration attorney who knows exactly which online forms to print out for any situation! There is one thing more suspicious than usual (and, of course, more hilarious than usual) about Michael, though — he looks A LOT like Steven with a wig, glasses, and a beard. (And my apologies to Paul D. Dolce, Esq. for using the term beard loosely.) Social media had a field day with the likeness, and has inspired the conspiratorially humorous to ponder whether or not the notoriously thrifty show producers simply had Steven play the part. (A joke of course. Or is it?)
UPDATE – Here’s video proof that Steven and Michael must be twins!
In addition to being Steven’s long lost twin, Michael was also the prototypical 90 Day Fiance immigration attorney in that his office was much less Olivia Pope and more Lionel Hutz:
A potential 90 Day Fiance lawyer spin-off series has been a running joke for a couple years now, but I think it is 100% a fantastic and viable concept! Just imagine a reality series documenting, ummm, very affordable immigration attorneys! Or any kind of inexpensive lawyers. I can’t begin to fathom the kinds of characters and stories that walk through their doors every week!
1. Larissa’s highly anticipated “Who is against the Queen will die!” moment
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What needs to be said? This moment has been on viewers’ radars since the scene was featured in a preview clip in the very beginning of the season, and the moment DID NOT DISAPPOINT in the least! (And let’s remember, this show has had some highly anticipated previews that never actually happened. Remember that scene with someone throwing furniture off a balcony? Who was that, I forget?)
I don’t feel as though I need to say anything more about Larissa’s perfect meme moment (mement?), but I do want to talk a little bit about reality TV villain theory. Larissa has a very similar villain resume as Leida. She has at least two children back in Brazil, and she wants to kick Colt’s disabled and retired mom out of their house — all while maintaining a sense of entitlement that might be even greater than Leida’s. Oh, and she has been arrested twice for domestic violence! And yet, fans LOVE Larissa! Or at least, a lot of fans enjoy watching her on the show.
So what’s the difference? Larissa is entertaining, plain and simple. She has charisma, or flair, or whatever else you want to call it. Her actions might make people shake their heads, but they are smiling and virtually high-fiving their fellow 90 Day Fiance fans while doing so. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Larissa is always smiling and laughing — often at herself.
Leida is an Indonesian Grumpy Cat with glasses, a nine-year-old pageant sash, some sort of Indonesian medical degree, and a HUGE chip on her shoulder. Well, that’s not really fair to Grumpy Cat, because her Debbie Downerness was infectiously charismatic.
The difference between Leida and Larissa can also be observed via their social media accounts. Although Larissa is quick to clap back against negativity, she keeps her attitude positive and is constantly smiling and laughing. And most of her stories are filled with silly clips watching the show, or of her and Colt’s cats doing cute stuff.
Leida, on the other hand, has been SUPER defensive with her responses to the critics — and she even had her Instagram account suspended for bullying for a day or two! Her bitter defensiveness has only fed into the negativity, and it has escalated to the point where she, Eric, and even her child are receiving death threats.
Anyways, I think it is absolutely fascinating to see two reality show cast members with almost identical villain resumes who inspire COMPLETELY different reactions from viewers — both on the show and on social media.
So, what meme-orable moments from this past episode did I leave off?