Thanks to Twitter, presidential photo ops these days can quickly turn into minefields -- witness President Donald Trump sliding behind the wheel of a giant truck in March and the internet driving it into the ground.
And then came the Orb. On Sunday, the Saudi Embassy tweeted out a photo of President Trump, Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi with their hands on a glowing globe.
Trump is of course in Saudi Arabia as part of his first trip abroad as president. The tweet explained that the men were inaugurating a new center meant to combat extremist ideology in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh.
But the photo itself, with the eerie glow of the orb casting a strange light on the faces of the three leaders, was too reminiscent of every science-fiction/fantasy story ever, and Twitter jokesters couldn't pass it up.
Some minds immediately went to Tolkien.
Not googling this and just assuming Trump has gone full Saruman evil wizard. pic.twitter.com/l3xenG5BQ0— Nick Amadeus (@NickAmadeus) May 21, 2017
Others took a Star Trek path.
Some went Star Wars instead.
Harry Potter was mentioned.
Why does this look like the scene in Harry Potter where the death eaters find the prophecy orb in the department of mysteries pic.twitter.com/VYW5LfpUly— CMC (@ChaseClynch_) May 21, 2017
What you're telling me:— Ann Bransom (@annbransom) May 21, 2017
1. Harry Potter jokes are overdone
2. World leaders stood around touching a glowing orb
*Vein bursts in forehead*
the new TWIN PEAKS looks lit pic.twitter.com/IlC1pTGjhx— Mark Berman (@markberman) May 21, 2017
As did the classic "Space Jam."
big deal some guys put their hands on a glowing orb it's not like they're going to get super powers oh my god this is how space jam started pic.twitter.com/3rGPNr4yPD— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) May 22, 2017
Everyone already made the Trump orb Space Jam jokes already, right? Just checking in— Stephen Lurie (@luriethereal) May 22, 2017
The Trump orb is too reminiscent of the monstars getting their powers from the basketball in Space Jam. pic.twitter.com/ox6OxHvIWv— lauratellsjokes (@lauratellsjokes) May 22, 2017
And some just had fun with it.
Look, do I agree with the Orb's entire agenda? Of course not. But I do trust that the Orb has humanity's best interests at heart.— Matt Christman (@cushbomb) May 21, 2017
tfw you and your friends unearth an ancient alien hell orb and combine your powers inside it to stop superman >>>>> pic.twitter.com/kzsYEKC4R0— jon hendren (@fart) May 21, 2017
trump 100% made a wish when he touched the orb pic.twitter.com/S0TlxgxtBY— KRANG T. NELSON (@KrangTNelson) May 21, 2017
SUNDAY It's just an orb, no big deal— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) May 21, 2017
MONDAY Vice President Orb breaks tie in Senate
TUESDAY President Orb signs EO outlawing rectangles
It was unfair to show the orb photo cropped. Here it is with full context and it is not weirder at all. pic.twitter.com/JZ9HXvC0Gf— Comic Sans Defender (@TibiusReynolds) May 21, 2017
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