Tech mogul Elon Musk, most known for being Tesla Motors CEO and SpaceX founder, is no stranger to the spotlight, frequently using Twitter — which he recently bought out for a whopping $44 billion — to share memes and his hot takes, some of them quite controversial and divisive.
His bold presence on the "town square of the Internet" has not only made him a consistent source of headlines but also a rich source of memes. Here are the top 10 instances where Musk's larger-than-life social media persona has turned him into a walking meme.
Elon Musk shirtless pictures go viral
Elon Musk yacht trip in Greece became a source of numerous memes after some rather unflattering shirtless photos of him surfaced online. Although his exceptionally pale and overweight complexion caused quite a stir on Twitter and some of the comments were pretty nasty, to say the least, the tech billionaire didn't take any offense. Instead, Musk joked that memes of his torso are "good motivation" to hit the gym more often, despite his busy schedule.
“Haha damn, maybe I should take off my shirt more often … free the nip!! (already back in the factory btw),” Musk tweeted.
Interestingly, the luxury yacht Elon Musk vacationed aboard doesn't actually belong to him, unlike his $70 million superjet. Instead, the vessel — called Zeus — was chartered from SamBoat, a European online boat-rental company that operates in the Mediterranean Sea. The luxurious 24-meter superyacht rents for over $7,000 a day and has a capacity for 20 people.
Elon Musk meme became the most popular on Twitter
Musk's June 18 meme became the most popular tweet in 2023 in terms of likes and retweets, overtaking the photo of Rihanna's and A$AP Rocky's baby son. The meme posted by the billionaire is a photograph of a man smoking a cigarette and watching relaxedly a crowd of people from a dais. "People who have Twitter but never post anything," the caption for the image reads.
As of July 24, the photo has garnered 1.5 million likes, more than 127,000 retweets, and nearly 80 million views. Many users commented under the post that they themselves may belong to the category of read-only visitors who rarely engage in Twitter spats. In that sense, the meme posted by Musk seems to have tapped into a largely silent group of Twitter users, spurring numerous reactions and further memes from this predominately quiet community.
Elon Musk hair sets the Internet ablaze
In December 2021, Musk once again became the meme material for his odd haircut, which many speculated was either a "breakup cut" after ending the relationship with Canadian singer Grimes, or signaled the beginning of the billionaire's "supervillain" arc.
The hairdo sported by Musk prompted a whole lot of roasts, including comparisons to rapper Macklemore, Gen Z TikTok stars, and even to Jean-Baptiste Zorg of Luc Besson's iconic movie The Fifth Element.
Interestingly, the tech CEO's eyebrow-raising hairdo also renewed speculations about Elon Musk hair transplant that he presumably had a few years ago. The main focus of nosey netizens is Musk's natural hairline, which in his early career was visibly receding, a common sign of male pattern baldness. Early images of Musk reveal a broad forehead, indicative of this common form of hair loss. However, in more recent years, the billionaire has been seen sporting a much fuller head of hair, prompting many to wonder whether Tesla and SpaceX CEO may have undergone a hair transplant. While Musk himself has never confirmed these rumors, the drastic change in his hair density and hairline is hard to explain without surgical intervention.
Elon Musk quotes make you both think and laugh
Elon Musk's wit and a special blend of humor show off during his numerous interviews and public appearances, often prompting both laughter and reflection. Here are a few that genuinely made the Internet WOW:
"People often mistake technology for a static picture. It's less like a picture and more like a movie. it’s the velocity of technology innovations that matters. It's the acceleration."
"I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future."
"There are some important differences between me and Tony Stark, like I have five kids, so I spend more time going to Disneyland than parties."
"When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, 'Nah, what's wrong with a horse?' That was a huge bet he made, and it worked."
"I'm actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger's to host SNL. Or at least the first to admit it. So I won't make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But don't worry, I'm pretty good at running human and emulation mode."
Elon Musk weight loss leaves Twitter impressed
In November 2022, Musk shared the details of his weight loss journey, revealing on Twitter that he lost nearly 30 lbs (13 kg). The billionaire admitted that besides the combination of fasting and the absence of tasty food, his formula for a toned physique also includes Ozempic, a diabetes medicine that quickly became popular among celebrities as a weight loss drug.
While many Twitter users applauded Musk's commitment to getting into better shape, some people questioned whether the use of Ozempic for weight loss is a morally acceptable choice, since it may deprive actual diabetes patients of a life-saving treatment. Others also jumped into the conversation to express their concern about potential side effects or the long-term use of such medication.
Elon Musk bedside table is terrifying
In November 2022, challenged by absolutely no one, Elon Musk shared a bizarre photo of his bedside table, which has a video game gun replica, a vintage pistol, diet Coke, a Tibetan Buddhist amulet, and a painting of George Washington.
While many might have been left scratching their heads at the eclectic mix of items, those familiar with Musk's eccentricities might not have been as surprised. The billionaire, who moved to Texas last year, is known for his pro-gun rhetoric and has recently announced that he plans to vote Republican.
Elon Musk dancing at a Shanghai event amuses netizens
Tesla boss' sloppy dance moves at the launch of Tesla's Model Y in Shanghai went viral on the Internet. In a one-minute clip, Musk danced enthusiastically on the stage and then took off his jacket to reveal a T-shirt with a cartoon print of the factory. In a tweet from the event, the billionaire labeled his performance as "NSFW" - not safe for work.
"He’s not dancing, he’s sending a message to the aliens," one YouTube user joked.
"He dances exactly how you’d expect someone who designs rockets to dance," another user opined.
Elon Musk cowboy hat makes a statement during Tesla presentation
In April 2022, Elon Musk made a grand entry at the "Cyber Rodeo" party that celebrated the opening of Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory. The epic event treated invite-only visitors with an impressive slew of attractions, including food trucks, live music, Tesla prototypes, and a spectacular light drone show. Still, the most eye-catching spectacle was no one other than Musk himself.
The eccentric billionaire made an effective appearance wearing a black cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses, capturing the crowd's attention with his unconventional cowboy attire. After all, this is Texas — where everything is big and bold.
You can see Elon Musk in Iron Man 2
Often labelled as a real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk actually made a cameo in the 2010 Iron Man 2 movie. "I've got an idea for an electric jet," Elon Musk tells Robert Downey Jr's character in a 10-second clip. "You do? Then we'll make it work," responds Stark.
It's noteworthy that Musk's persona has reportedly partially inspired the character of Tony Stark. Jon Favreau, the director of "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2," has stated in interviews that he sees a lot of Stark's character in Elon Musk, particularly in their shared innovative spirit and courage to challenge the status quo.
“It’s not based on him, it’s based on the comic book,” Favreau told Vox, adding, “But Robert Downey, when we were prepping ‘Iron Man,’ said, ‘There’s somebody we should sit down and talk with. This is a guy who can give us some insight into what it’d really be like to be Tony Stark’.”
Besides Iron Man, Elon Musk has made nearly a dozen of cameos in films and TV series since 2010, including The Simpsons, South Park, Rick and Morty, and The Big Bang Theory.
Elon Musk look-alike from China becomes TikTok sensation
Elon Musk's doppelganger from China went viral on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, standing next to a luxury car and sporting a similar haircut to a billionaire. Nicknamed Yilong Ma by netizens, a man from the eastern China province of Jiangsu – whose name isn’t known – made waves on the Internet due to his uncanny resemblance to a tech mogul.
The short clip generated so much social media buzz that even Musk himself couldn’t ignore the resemblance, replying jokingly, “Maybe I’m partly Chinese!”
When did Amber Heard and Elon Musk date?
Actress Amber Heard and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were romantically involved for about a year, from around August 2016 to August 2017. At the time, their romance garnered massive attention as both were finalizing a divorce from their respective ex-partners: Heard from Johnny Depp and Musk from Westworld actress Talulah Riley.
The two briefly dated on and off in 2018 before ultimately parting ways. Musk publicly stated that there was no bad blood between him and Heard and that they split on great terms. As Amber Heard put in her Instagram post, they “care deeply for one another and remain close.”
How much does Elon Musk make a day?
Musk's compensation plan with Tesla is tied to the company's performance in the market and to reaching specific financial milestones. This means the value of Musk's earnings fluctuates dramatically with the stock price of Tesla.
That being said, estimating how much Elon Musk "makes" per day is challenging as it varies based on Tesla's stock performance. Additionally, most of his wealth is tied up in his ownership stakes in Tesla and SpaceX, so it's not as if he's receiving this money as liquid income. However, some approximate calculations can still be made: at the height of his wealth, Musk amassed a net worth of $273 billion, which translates into an astronomical $432 million per day.
Are Elon Musk parents rich?
Elon Musk's father, Errol Musk, is a wealthy man by most standards. Born in South Africa, Errol is a trained engineer who made his fortune in various fields. He owned an emerald mine in Zambia and was also involved in property development, consulting engineering, and other businesses.
On the other hand, Maye Musk, Elon's mother, has had a successful career as a model, dietitian, and author. While not as wealthy as her son or her ex-husband, Maye has been financially successful in her own right. She made a name for herself as a model in South Africa before moving her family to the United States. Later in life, she enjoyed a resurgence in her modeling career and has worked with various high-profile brands. Maye has also authored a book sharing her life's story and experiences.
Does Elon Musk own Instagram?
No, Elon Musk does not own Instagram. Instagram is owned by Facebook, which was rebranded as Meta in October 2021. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012.
What is Elon Musk Instagram account?
Elon Musk doesn't have an official Instagram account, which can be partially attributed to his ongoing feud with Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO. In 2018, Musk even ordered to remove Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
What are Elon Musk height and weight?
Musk reportedly weighs between 185 and 200 lbs. He is 6 feet 1 inch or 1.86 meters tall.