Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was the Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France. Married to Louis XVI, Antoinette was tried and convicted of treason and executed by guillotine during the French Revolution in 1793.
Over two hundred years after her death, Antoinette is still remembered for her extravagance and her death. References to her have continued to appear in popular culture over the decades, from a portrait of the Queen hanging above Scarlett O'Hara's bed in Gone with the Wind, Wednesday Addams dressing her baby brother Pubert as Antoinette before carrying him to a guillotine in Addams Family Values, and verbal barbs regarding the Queen in television shows such as Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City.
The most famous reference in popular culture, the phrase "Let them eat cake", is actually incorrectly attributed to Antoinette. There is no evidence to support that she ever uttered this phrase, and it is now generally regarded as a "journalistic cliché."
- Miss Piggy, dressed as Marie Antoinette, sings "Stayin' Alive" with a group of French Revolution-era pigs as the opening number in episode 313 of The Muppet Show. After the number, the pigs follow her backstage begging, "let us eat cake!" paraphrasing a quote often (potentially erroneously) attributed to the queen.
- The special Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake borrows from the "journalistic cliché" often attributed to Antoinette.
- In The Muppets, FOX's 9:30 Sunday evening show is titled "Let Them Eat Cake". Despite being a reference to Antoinette, the format referenced was likely intended to be a parody of reality series Cake Boss.
- In a Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures episode, Ernie and Bert (and Rubber Duckie) are The Three Ducketeers. They help King Louie-Louie gain access to his castle to present Queen Marie-Marie with a new birthday cake (spoofing both Marie and Louie XVI, as well as referencing "Let them eat cake.").
- Joely Richardson played her in the 2006 film The Affair of the Necklace.