The Best of ‘American Horror Story: Red Tide’ Memes

In March of 2021, right around the time the tenth season of American Horror Story started filming, I decided to create an all-original American Horror Story inspired meme page on Instagram just for fun. Since then, AHSFXmemes has garnered over 6,000 followers and has had reposts and comments from actors from the show such as Naomi Grossman (Asylum, Freakshow, Apocalypse), Angelica Ross (1984, Red Tide, Death Valley), Spencer Novich (Red Tide) and Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Red Tide).

**Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen AHS: Red Tide yet.**

Red Tide, the first six episodes of the tenth season, takes place in Provincetown, a quaint yet mysterious seaside town at the northern most tip of Cape Cod. Harry Gardner (Finn Wittrock), a struggling screenwriter from New York City, along with his wife, Doris (Lily Rabe), and their young daughter, Alma (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), move to the town in the dead of winter. Searching for inspiration for his next screenplay, Harry is befriended by best-selling romance novel author Belle Noir (Frances Conroy) and award-winning playwright Austin Sommers (Evan Peters) who share with him their secret of success: a tiny black pill that makes naturally talented people achieve greatness. The pill has some ominous side effects including the need to drink human blood and those who are not naturally gifted, however, degenerate into pale, hairless, zombie-like creatures who share in the same bloody thirst. Harry and his daughter, a violin-playing prodigy, both become masters of their craft, while Doris discovers she isn’t talented after all.

The following are some of the most popular memes from the show that I’ve created and posted on my meme page, AHSFXmemes:

  1. The K.A.R.E.N. system

    Tuberculosis Karen (TB Karen) is a homeless drug addict who is seen around Provincetown eating out of dumpsters and stealing babies for Belle Noir. A spoof from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s D.E.N.N.I.S. system, the K.A.R.E.N. system captures everything we love about her.

  2. Before And After Ryan Murphy

    Surprisingly, I learned the hard way that co-creator and director of AHS, Ryan Murphy, has an itchy trigger finger when it comes to blocking fan accounts on Instagram. While I’m not entirely certain that this meme was the reason, it was right after I posted it that my page was blocked.

  3. Sarah Paulson’s Radical Transformation

    Most, if not all, of Sarah Paulson’s characters in AHS have been primed and polished, right up until her role as TB Karen. The contrast seen here between her first character as Billie Dean Howard in Murder House and TB Karen in Red Tide is ripe fodder for meme making.

  4. Smile!

  5. Taco Hell


  6. Don’t Take My Fries, Bro


  7. Difficult Difficult Lemon Difficult


  8. I Hate It When That Happens


  9. Eat The Rich

    A play on Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s dress from the 2021 Met Gala, which read “Tax the Rich” in big red letters. TB Karen would adorn something similar. At the end of the story, she ultimately would “eat the rich” when she rips out Mickey’s throat.


  10. They Did The Meme

    The classic “Woman Yelling at Cat” meme from 2019 was quite applicable to Harry’s first encounter with TB Karen in the supermarket.

  11. A Huge Missed Steak


  12. Those Aren’t Buffalo Wild Wings

    During Harry’s trip down Commercial Street, he meets one of the many untalented pale people of Provincetown feasting on something resembling chicken wings (spoiler alert, it wasn’t chicken wings).

  13. For Real

    After Doris gives birth to their new baby boy, she makes Harry promise that he will leave Provincetown and take Alma back to the city. As he had no intention of doing so, the classic Leonardo DiCaprio face fits perfectly in this scene.


  14. Feel The Softness

    During her time in Provincetown, Doris tries to build her career as an amateur interior designer. As this meme foreshadows, her career would ultimately go to shit.

  15. Just Girly Things


  16. How The Email Finds Me

    As the untalented lose their hair after taking the black pills, Doris got a jump on her balding process.

  17. Oh, Christmas Tree!

  18. Let It Go

    When they found out Doris wasn’t talented like them, Harry and Alma let her wander off into the street like a stray dog. As most AHS fans would say, #DorisDeservedBetter.

  19. The Future Is Female


  20. Looking For Memes In All The Wrong Places

  21. Hungry? Why Wait?

  22. Rabbit Rabbit

    Behind the scenes of when Doris finds her daughter munching on a dead rabbit in the Winthrop Street Cemetery.


  23. My Inner Child

    Making her AHS debut, Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s acting in this season is most impressive. Her character, Alma, starts off as a seemingly sweet and innocent fiddle playing eight-year-old but soon evolves into a sinister, murderous devil child with an insatiable appetite for blood and success after sneaking her dad’s black pills.


  24. Thanksgiving

    This original scene is actually Alma feasting on her newly murdered father rather than a delicious thanksgiving meal.

  25. Chickenshit

    Probably my favorite of Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s lines from this season as it’s applicable to situations other than day drinking.

  26. Nerd Porn

    Leslie Grossman’s role as Ursula, Harry’s foul-mouthed and greedy Hollywood agent, was by far one of her best roles in the AHS universe.


  27. Who Wore It Better?

    Making his first appearance in AHS, actor Spencer Novich played the first pale person of Provincetown, setting the trend for all the others to wear these fabulous black coats.

  28. Blood Buffet

    Episode four of Red Tide, “Blood Buffet,” was by far my favorite of the season as it provided back stories to most of the characters as well as how the little black pills became staples of Provincetown. Directed by Axelle Carolyn, the episode features real drag queens such as Eureka O’Hara as Crystal DeCanter who escaped Belle and Austin’s slaughter only to meet Provincetown’s first pale person in the Winthrop Street cemetery.

  29. Guess Who

    Returning AHS actress Angelica Ross plays the Chemist who manufactures the black pills. She pays Mickey, played by Macaulay Culkin, $50 for every test subject he brings her.

  30. If You’re Cold, They’re Cold

    In Provincetown during the winter, you’ll find Doris and her friends hanging outside your window looking for a warm meal.

  31. Bring Me To Life

    Austin Sommers was an unsuccessful drag queen before Belle Noir provided him with the black pill.

  32. Patty O’ Furniture

    Austin’s stage name, Patty O’ Furniture, did have a great head of hair. However…

  33. Try To Understand

    His rendition of Heart’s “Try to Understand” was definitely half-time show worthy.


  34. Mama Said…

    Interestingly enough, Kathy Bates was originally supposed to play Belle Noir, the best-selling romance novelist who spends her winters in Provincetown. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, she dropped out of the role, allowing AHS anthology actress Frances Conroy to step in. While Conroy did an amazing job playing Belle Noir, I can’t help but wonder what this season would’ve been like with Kathy Bates instead. The actress also played Mama Boucher (Boo-shay) in the 1998 Adam Sandler comedy, The Waterboy, from which this meme was inspired.


  35. Your Cranberry Sauce Offends Me


  36. What Do We Do Now?

    Like all great champions, why not go to Disney world after your first kill?


  37. Y’all Got Any More Of That Serotonin?

  38. When You Download The Wrong Thing…

    For Halloween last year, my husband and I decided to dress up as TB Karen and a pale person from Red Tide (upper left). I was intrigued by other Red Tide inspired costumes, including Scott Kaske’s Belle Noir (upper right), Paul Munster’s Austin Sommers, and Randy Kaufman’s Alma Gardner (bottom right).

  39. The REAL Person Of The Year


  40. And, Last But Not Least…

    Since FX Networks is owned by Disney, technically TB Karen is a Disney princess.

For more original American Horror Story memes, follow AHSFXmemes on Instagram!

About Maggie Riegel

Maggie Riegel is a first year PhD student of Communication, Culture, and Media at Drexel University in Philadelphia. An avid horror addict since childhood, her favorite horror genres include Stephen King books/movies, psychological horror, historical horror, and paranormal horror. Her research centers around American Horror Story and exploring intersectional identities of race, gender, sexuality, and disability within the show’s decade long canon. Her other research interests include gender and queer studies, critical race theory, feminist theory, horror studies, and other academic disciplines that challenges structures of power and hegemony. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Moravian University, a master’s degree in political science from Lehigh University, and a master’s certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies from Lehigh University. She is the creator and administrator of an all-original American Horror Story meme page on Instagram, AHSFXmemes, and will be presenting her essay “Goddess Don’t Speak in Whispers…They Scream: Queer Identity Construction and Visibility in American Horror Story” at the Popular Culture Association conference in April 2022. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, gardening, drinking wine, cooking elaborate meals, and taking care of her five cats.

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