Angela Merkel becomes the star of G20 with epic eye roll at Putin.

Merkel Becomes the Star of G20 With Epic Eye Roll at Putin

Merkel Becomes the Star of G20 With Epic Eye Roll at Putin

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July 8 2017 7:30 AM

Merkel Becomes the Star of G20 With Epic Eye Roll at Putin

GERMANYG20SUMMIT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Russia's President Vladimir Putin prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7, 2017.

AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the unlikely viral star of this year’s G20 conference when she unleashed an epic eye roll at her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two leaders were caught on camera right at the moment Merkel’s patience appears to have worn thin. When Putin appears to wag his finger at her, Merkel evidently rolled her eyes impatiently, a moment many women on Twitter immediately related to in what appeared to be an evident case of mansplaining.

A slightly longer video of the encounter appears to show that the two were discussing the flight pattern of ballistic missiles, an issue that was clearly front and center at the meeting following North Korea’s launch on Tuesday. Merkel appears to illustrate the flight pattern of the missile with her hand when Putin suddenly stops, shakes his head, wags his finger, and does his own hand motion. Cosmopolitan notes that is when her eye roll conveyed “in a single second, ‘omfg will this man stop explaining to me things I already know’.”   

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The Putin moment was clearly the highlight, but Merkel also got lots of social media attention for another caught-on-camera expression, this time with President Donald Trump. Photographers shot a picture of Merkel holding her head in her hands as she encountered Trump. Although the context for that action isn’t clear, many were eager to describe it as a moment of despair at the U.S. president that the rest of the world could clearly relate to and understand.  

A day earlier, Merkel had already won over the internet with her hilarious facial expressions during the highly anticipated handshake with Trump.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.