From the moment we first watched Justin Trudeau clench his butt and deliver the handshake felt around the world, we knew it was going to be fun to watch the Canadian prime minister squirm around US President Donald Trump.
But now that Trump has declared (a trade) war on Canada because the British burned down the White House in 1814, their fraught relationship is approaching David Brent levels of awkwardness.
That’s why this weekend’s G7 meetings in Quebec are so deliciously timed. Trudeau, who is a bit of a try-hard in the politeness department, is going to be forced to make small talk and smile for the camera with a rival who gives zero fucks when it comes to politeness.
And judging by today’s G7 leaders’ family photo, it’s going to be a glorious weekend for gifs.
Roll the tape, CBS News!
Wonderful stuff, but allow me to point out a few highlights.
0.15: Our first glimpse of Trudeau, already standing in a lineup with one space saved next to him. Can it be for anyone other than the president of the free world? It cannot.
0.20: Notice how Trump slows his pace as his fellow leaders fall from the pack and head toward their respective spots. Long, slow strides signal to his younger rival that he is the respected Elder and will show up when he damn well pleases.
0.23: Oh shit…..that was ice cold. Trudeau looks up and sees the (other) famous hair but he dares not look into his eyes. He quickly looks down, checking out Trump’s sock game. Trump purses his lips and sucks in a breath through his mouth, suggesting someone may have farted. Advantage Trump, unless Trudeau tooted, in which case, advantage Trudeau.
0.25: Trudeau steels his spine and remembers whose house this is. He throws on his most charming smile and looks ahead and says the magic words to the gathered photographers. “Alright,” he says, signalling he is in charge of the photographs now. With the selfie king’s words spoken our leaders get to work staring straight ahead and pretending to enjoy this farce.
0.27: Trump smiles like he’s never smiled before. It’s a nightmare.
0.32: “Wave like you are a robot that has just learned how to wave,” someone presumably says off-camera and some of our leaders follow suit. Trudeau is way too good at his robot wave and adopts a wide stance to emphasis his V-shaped torso. Angela Merkel, the true leader of the free world, has far too much dignity to participate.
0:45: The video now has no sound and Trudeau turns toward Trump and either says something to him or Merkel and quickly saunters off. He knows exactly how to pace away from an awkward conversation.
0:50: Trudeau notices he has left the party too early and has no one to talk to. He quickly ropes in EU President Jean-Claude Juncker with an single-arm hug. Immediately realizing their conversation is a bore, they compare watches and get as much distance between themselves and Trump as possible.
1:05: But wait! Trudeau returns and he instructs all the leaders of the G7 to look at their watches. “Follow me,” his body language suggests, “we have a very important place to be!” They all check their watches and comply. Trump and Merkel are deep in conversation and ignore young Trudeau.
1:16: Merkel and Trump are alone now. Merkel is doing the talking and trying to explain something. Trump appears to be listening. He points towards and he nods in terrific agreement. He is done with this conversation. Merkel makes a gesture that suggests she is describing something very round. Trump begins the long walk home.
Follow Josh Visser on Twitter.