Trumped-up sniffles and other presidential debate memes

During what was expected to be the most watched debate ever, a case of the sniffles and alternate candidates ranging from berries to quarterbacks dominated the discussion online.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
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Eric Mack
2 min read
Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Presidential Debate
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Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Presidential Debate

Oh, it's on.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dug into the issues during the first presidential debate Monday night, but the internet seemed more interested in Trump's sniffles and who else -- or what else -- might be more worthy of a vote.

Media experts predicted as many as 112 million would watch the debate across the many channels where it could be viewed, including television networks, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

We may not have viewership statistics right away, but it sure seemed like millions made their reactions to the debate known Monday night via a storm of tweets, memes and rants online.

'Trumped-up' hashtags

Right out of the gate, Clinton looked to mint a hashtag of her own with a groaner of a catch phrase, "Trumped Up Trickle Down" economics.

Donald's sniffs

Why was Donald sniffing so much? Who nose, but the candidate's sniffles even got their own parody accounts.

Berries for president

On the juicy side of the internet, #teamblueberry and #teamstrawberry fought it out on #debatenight to make America tasty again as part of the #berriesforpresident hashtag campaign.

Taken literally

The #literallyTrump hashtag is one example of a candidate's campaign successfully seeding a trending term into the discussion. The Clinton campaign set up a subsite on its campaign website that attempts to use some of Trump's own words against him.

On the gridiron?

While many Americans struggled to choose between watching the debate and Monday Night Football, one disgraced quarterback bridged the gap on Twitter, at least.

The public submitted several other respected football legends as possible alternative candidates on Facebook, where the posts have been shared thousands of times already.

Past election cycles and debates, of course, gave us memes still remembered today, like Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" or the "Invisible Obama" Twitter account that popped up after Clint Eastwood notoriously sat a fake Obama down for an awkward chat at the Republican National Convention in 2012.

While you may feel passionately about one candidate or the other, please remember, as the Lawrence, Kansas, police department reminded us on Monday afternoon -- and the internet gleefully shared around ever since, getting upset during the debate does not constitute an emergency:

Oh, and another safety reminder from the Lawrence PD as you prep for your debate-watching party:

Debate-related hashtags started trending as early as Sunday morning with #DebateSideEffects. Before the debate even kicked off Monday evening, one of the earliest hashtags to trend on Twitter suggested #UnlikelyDebateGuests. What type of guests? How about this blast from the past?

Last but not least, CNET's own Alfred Ng took part in the fun on Twitter, with a few choice additions to the conversation blowing up all of our feeds.

First published at 5:11 p.m PT.
Update, 6:40 p.m., 7:09 p.m., 7:28 p.m., 8:33 p.m PT: Adds additional memes and trending topics.