Former President Trump and President Biden have spent weeks in preparation leading up to their center stage appearances tonight for the highly anticipated CNN Presidential Debate.

The debate is the first of the 2024 presidential election cycle to include both men, and millions of Americans across the country are seeking answers to questions about critical issues important to voters.

However, Americans are also awaiting viral moments brought on by both the remarks and facial expressions of each presidential candidate, especially as neither nominee is a stranger to social media virality.


Biden/Trump split

President Biden and former President Trump will go head-to-head tonight in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A few times since Biden began his presidency, the incumbent has attracted hundreds of thousands of clicks for a number of speaking gaffes and a few falls.

In 2022, Biden was recorded falling off his bike while cycling in Delaware, which quickly circulated across social media platforms.

Last summer, Biden drew social media attention when he tripped and hit the stage floor during an Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.

Last weekend, Trump went viral during a moment shared with a young fan in Philadelphia where the child was wearing a Trump-like suit and wearing a wig. The kid met the former president, who signed and gifted him with a $20 bill, and the exchange was captured on video. It garnered nearly 900,000 views on X at midday on Sunday.

“I like that kid! So, if your parents don’t want you, I’ll take you,” Trump said in the video.


Biden falls on Air Force graduation stage

Biden has gone viral for falling down several times since becoming president. (Fox News)

In 2023, following his arrest in Fulton County, Georgia, Trump’s mugshot immediately went viral and has since been used to decorate coffee mugs, sweatshirts and T-shirts, including those sold on his own campaign website.

While there will be no audience present tonight in Atlanta at CNN’s Midtown studio, and microphones will be controlled by media personnel, viewers everywhere will be looking at the candidates for clashing reactions to one another, especially the usually unabashed expressions provided by Trump.

Here are some of the most memorable facial expressions by the former president during previous presidential debates.

Trump reacts to Biden saying he has no COVID plan

During the Sept. 29, 2020, presidential debate between Trump and Biden, hosted by Fox News, Biden said of Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, “He went on record and said to one of your colleagues, recorded, that in fact he knew how dangerous it was, but he didn’t want to tell us, didn’t want to tell us because he didn’t want us to panic.”

He added, “He didn’t want us. Americans don’t panic. He panicked,” and went on to say that Trump “still doesn’t have a plan” regarding next steps to combat the disease at the time.

Trump reacts to Biden saying he "doesn't have a plan" during a 2020 presidential debate.

Trump reacts to Biden saying he “doesn’t have a plan” during a 2020 presidential debate. (Fox News)

Trump reacts to a question about paying $750 in federal income taxes in 2017

During the same presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020, Trump was asked by the moderator if he would tell Americans how much he paid in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, to which he responded, “Millions of dollars.”

He added, “And you’ll get to see it.”

In late 2022, Democrats revealed Trump’s tax returns and made his finances public to the American people, though Trump worked to stop them in court.


Trump reacts to tax question

Trump reacts to a question about his federal tax filings during a 2020 presidential debate. (Fox News)

Trump’s reactions during debate with Hillary Clinton

During a 90-minute CNN-hosted presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016, in St. Louis, Hillary Clinton and Trump went head-to-head on topics including taxes, a travel ban on Muslims, Syrian refugees and two-faced politicians, among other topics.

Early in the debate, Clinton said, “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” 

Trump responded ominously, “Because you’d be in jail.”

Later in the debate the former Secretary of State said, “Well, everything you’ve heard from Donald is not true. I’m sorry I have to keep saying this, but he lives in an alternative reality and it is sort of amusing to hear somebody who hasn’t paid federal income taxes in maybe 20 years talking about what he’s going to do, but I’ll tell you what he’s going to do.”

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    Donald Trump listens as Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate. (Reuters/Rick Wilking/File)

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    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are shown during their second presidential debate. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump reacts to energy policy statement from Biden

During the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden on Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, the former president and incumbent disagreed over energy policies when Biden said he wanted to move away from fossil fuels.

Biden said of Trump, “He won’t give federal subsidies to the gas, excuse me, to solar and wind,” to which Trump subsequently reacted with “Oooh!” a couple of times.

Trump 2020

Trump reacts to Biden’s remarks during an ABC-hosted presidential debate in 2020. (ABC)

Trump reacts to Clinton and climate change remark

The first presidential debate between Clinton and Trump drew over 84 million viewers.

During the debate on Sept. 26, 2016, Clinton said of the former president, “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” to which Trump subtly raised his eyebrows and followed with “I did not. I do not say that.”


Trump 2016

Trump reacts to remarks made by Clinton regarding climate change during an NBC-hosted presidential debate in 2016. (NBC)

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