Renata Klein hive, assemble. Laura Dern, one of the greatest actresses to ever bless screens both big and small, is having a relentlessly meme-able season on Big Little Lies. She’s a GIF machine! During the recent Sunday night episode of BLL, it became instantly obvious that she would walk away with at least one timeless clip, a worthy follow-up to her Diana Ross lip-synching moment from last week.
On the second episode of Big Little Lies season 2, “Tell-Tale Hearts,” Dern delivered a line reading that was immediately iconic. In a scene where Renata visits her idiotic husband, Gordon, in jail (he shorted stocks? Or something? Financial crimes are confusing), she learns that he has lost all of their money, including her hard-won earnings. She, quite fairly, loses it. Tapping at the glass barrier between them, she bellows at her husband, hissing the line, “I will not not be rich.” And thus the memes were born.
A few scenes later, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) asks if Renata needs a Xanax. She needs a bottle. After she picks Gordon up from jail, she switches off a song on the radio (“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” a heavy-handed if appropriate choice). “You used to like that song,” he says.
“I used to like to sit on your face, too,” Renata replies. “You think that’ll happen again?”
She goes on to stop her car and kick her husband out as they drive down the highway, causing a honking traffic jam. She throws a middle finger up through her car’s open roof, screaming, “Will somebody give a woman a moment?” To quote DJ Khaled, another one!
Renata’s wealth is important to her; she both wields it as an instrument of power and views it as a cudgel that makes people hate her. She needs it, she craves it. In “Tell-Tale Hearts,” she tells Madeline that her family was poor when she was growing up. There are some deep-seated issues there. Renata Klein will not not be rich!
Here’s a selection of the very best Renata memes and reactions.