Awkward Melania Trump Moments That Were Captured By Millions

Melania Trump is no stranger to the public eye and has been on the scene since the late 1990s. As noted by Cosmopolitan, she met Donald Trump at a party in September 1998 while she was still a model. Her life with him expanded her public life tenfold and taught her how to exist in front of the camera.

Melania Trump has had a stunning transformation over the years, and as first lady, she had some pretty major standout moments. Whether it was her great fashion choices, a scary all-red Christmas tree theme, or her "I really don't care, do u?" jacket, Melania has surely made a name for herself, and she's consistently stayed in the headlines.

But perhaps the moments we saw most often had been the former first lady's awkward interactions, the less-than-subtle frowns, and eye rolls on the job. Unfortunately for her (but fortunately for us), most of these clunky moments had been caught on camera. Have you ever wondered which Melania Trump moments went viral? Why have there been so many tense interactions between her and the president? Well, wonder no more — here are all the awkward Melania Trump moments that were captured by millions.

Melania Trump's smile while her husband was being sworn into office caught major attention

Donald Trump's inauguration caught the attention of the nation, but an on-camera moment he and first lady Melania Trump shared had the internet buzzing. The temperature between the couple was ice cold when Melania smiled at Donald during his swearing-in ceremony and then completely dropped the smile, frowning intensely when he turned his back to her, as Marie Claire noted.

After the video was deemed authentic (there were some rumors that it had been edited), the internet went crazy, with some calling the first lady "Sad Melania" and speculating that she was trapped in an unhappy marriage. According to body language expert Patti Wood, Melania's smile-to-frown reaction was the result of being let down by the president during what could've been a moment between the two of them. "[Melania] read it as: He's looking at me. What created her facial expression is that she was expecting a moment, because he looked back, but he didn't connect with her," Wood told Cosmopolitan, according to Harper's Bazaar. All we can say is that it was certainly an awkward way to start off life in the White House.

Melania Trump's body language at the inaugural ball dance made us all a little uncomfortable

Donald Trump's inauguration continued with another awkward Melania Trump moment when the first couple danced at the inaugural ball. In the five-minute video of the dance, which ABC News posted on X (formerly Twitter), it's clear that the first lady was rigid in her posture, often pulling away from her husband's face. Millions of onlookers took to social media to point out her awkward body language. "Melania's face while dancing with Trump reminds me of the first time I went to the gynecologist," one X user said about the dance. "[Melania] looks beautiful in her dress but they look awkward dancing together," said another tweet.

Expert Patti Wood broke down their body language, as Harper's Bazaar shared, saying that "[t]hey didn't seem to have intimate moments during the dance, it didn't seem to be about them as a couple." During the inaugural dance, the newly sworn-in president started to sing along to the music and engaged with the audience, another factor in the awkward tension between him and Melania. "He was happy in the moment, but it didn't seem to be a shared, intimate moment," Wood said.

The first on-camera hand-holding drama between Donald and Melania Trump

Maybe you thought Melania Trump's awkward moments had only started at the swearing-in ceremony. But then the first lady kicked off her and Donald Trump's 2017 arrival in the nation's capital with an awkward hand-holding moment that truly made us all cringe. While exiting their plane in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration, then-President-elect Trump reached for his wife's hand, only for her to quickly grab his hand and drop it away from her.

The tense moment was caught by CNN and viewed by millions of people. At the time of the incident, the internet quickly weighed in. "She is trapped," wrote one X user. "I think he needs to sign an Executive Order to force her to hold his hand," tweeted another.

Body language expert Patti Wood weighed in on the caught-on-camera moment (via Harper's Bazaar), saying that the very brief time the first lady's hand brushed up against the president's was a sign of normalcy and that holding hands could be a daily habit of theirs. But the internet sure didn't agree with that assessment and pointed to the very obvious awkwardness shared between the pair. However, Wood noted, "The brevity showed me that they're making a decision not to show intimacy in the public eye."

While rushing to talk to reporters, Donald Trump left Melania Trump in the rain

Donald Trump was known for stopping to talk to reporters and photographers while exiting the White House to talk about his administration. In 2018, he was joined by Melania Trump and, in classic fashion, he stopped to talk to the press. But this time, he left Melania not only by herself but without any protection from the rain, and the whole awkward encounter was captured on video. 

As Vanity Fair noted, "[T]he president couldn't help but interrupt their walk to the helicopter to go directly up to the news cameras" because he wanted to speak on his and Melania's latest television interviews. But unlike Donald, Melania was not keen on speaking to the press and waited in the rain for him to wrap up. 

And not only did Donald not try to share his umbrella with his wife, but he also didn't make any effort to reciprocate her hand holding. In a moment that is often rare for this couple, Melania finally walked up to a press-ogling Donald and tried to hold his hand, only to find that he was holding a USA hat instead. All in all, the whole interaction was a tense state of affairs.

Melania Trump swatted away Donald Trump's hand on a trip to Israel

As first lady, Melania Trump took numerous international trips. The president joined her during a trip to Israel in 2017, and unfortunately, the trip conjured up one of the most watched awkward interactions between the pair. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife greeted the Trumps when they arrived, even rolling out the red carpet for them as they exited Air Force One. 

As the Trumps descended the stairs and walked with the Netanyahus, Donald reached for his wife's hand, only for her to visibly swat it away from her. It was, indeed, the swat heard around the world, and the video capturing the awkward flick of the wrist was quickly uploaded to Twitter by Haaretz, a Middle Eastern media outlet. 

"Well this is [embarrassing]," Haaretz posted on Twitter along with the video. According to CNN, Melania Trump later reciprocated her husband's efforts, and she and Donald were seen holding hands during their visit at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But hand holding is temporary, and videos on social media are forever.

Practice makes perfect: Melania Trump made avoiding holding hands look effortless

After some high-profile hand-swatting and subsequent viral videos, first lady Melania Trump appeared to avoid her husband's hands more slyly. Even so, she awkwardly got out of locking fingers with Donald Trump in 2018, obscuring her available hand with her clothing and hiding the interaction from the cameras. Luckily for us, X (formerly Twitter) is home to some eagle-eyed viewers, and the moment quickly found its way to the internet. 

The video of the interaction NBC News shared appeared to show Melania using her coat to tuck her hand away from her husband, ultimately resulting in his failure to grasp his wife's fingers. He then moved to the other side of her and put his hand on her back, a move that guys do in clubs that make us ladies very uncomfortable. 

As People noted, the president then led Melania to Air Force One, but the moment had already resulted in one of the most awkward Melania interactions caught on camera. That the news of Donald's alleged 2006 affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels had (at that point) just made it to the headlines probably didn't help.

Remember the time that Melania Trump shook hands with Donald Trump onstage?

Ah yes, nothing says natural, intimate romance like a handshake. At a 2017 event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Melania Trump went to the stage in front of military members and introduced her husband, who was set to address the audience. After said introduction, The Donald made his way to the stage, and, instead of giving his wife a light hug or a kiss on the cheek, he gave her ... a handshake. 

To make matters worse, he then gestured, with no subtlety, for her to get off the stage. Oh boy. And like many awkward Melania moments, it was caught on video and stirred up quite the response on social media. After all, it has been viewed millions of times. 

"Nothing says I love you my wife like a firm handshake and false pleasantries," one X user posted. "Did he give a slight push out the way?" another tweeted. Either way, the interaction left the internet with yet another awkward first lady moment.

Melania Trump's inaugural meeting with the Obamas had the internet shook

Donald Trump's inauguration gave us so many awkward Melania moments that it's hard to keep track of them all. Nevertheless, here's another one. When the president-elect and Melania Trump went to the White House and met with Barack and Michelle Obama, the newly minted first lady gave us yet another viral moment, this time due to her husband's departure of their vehicle and subsequent walk up the White House stairs without her. 

Melania, holding a gift for the outgoing Obamas, was left on the far side of the car while The Donald made his way to his new home and office, not waiting so much as a beat for Melania to join him. As such, body language expert Patti Wood weighed in on the tense exchange. "He's not looking back, he's not waiting for her, he's not looking for her, and he's decided he wants to be introduced by himself rather than as a couple unit," Wood said, according to Harper's Bazaar. "He's saying, 'I'm on my own, I am singular, I am president.' That would be one way he shows his power." All we can say is yikes.

Melania Trump made an awkward social media slip-up

Donald Trump and X (then Twitter) once felt synonymous due to his consistent messaging and retweeting — that is, of course, until he was banned from it. But despite her own comparatively mellow social media presence, Melania Trump had been known for some jaw-dropping Twitter moments, and one moment in 2017 turned a lot of heads. As People noted, the first lady's personal Twitter account @MELANIATRUMP liked (and then unliked) a tweet about her not being a fan of Donald. Because it was only one of two favorited tweets on her account, and it was her personal account instead of the @FLOTUS Twitter account at the time, it was easy to spot. 

The tweet in question that Melania liked was posted by writer Andy Ostroy and read, "Seems the only #Wall @realDonaldTrump's built is the one between him and @FLOTUS #Melania #trump." Along with his grim assessment of the first couple's relationship, he included a viral GIF of Melania's infamous frown at Donald's presidential inauguration. We didn't know if Melania's liking of the tweet was a slip-up, the result of an account hack, or a purposeful showing of her true feelings toward her husband, but the internet quickly picked up on the awkward situation and speculation ran wild.

Did Melania Trump roll her eyes at Ivanka Trump at the 2020 Republican National Convention?

The 2020 Republican National Convention really was the event that just kept giving. From Kimberly Guilfoyle's loud, slightly scary speech to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that Democrats want to limit the amount of hamburgers people eat (via The Cut), the whole affair was pretty wild. But no moment caught the internet's attention more than Melania Trump's greeting of Ivanka Trump onstage and what appeared to be an eye roll that accompanied it, which seemed to suggest Melania Trump's relationship with Ivanka Trump may be rather cold.

As Business Insider noted, the president's daughter had introduced him to the (not socially distanced) audience before his speech accepting the Republican nomination for president for a second time, and she was met with an awkward facial expression from the first lady. Standing next to her husband and wearing a green dress (which social media used as a green screen for a variety of images, as Vanity Fair reported), Melania smiled at Ivanka, but immediately seemed to widen and roll her eyes with a certain sense of grief. We don't know exactly what the first lady was thinking or why she awkwardly reacted to Ivanka the way she did, but the video, which is still up on X, sure is worth watching.

Cameras were rolling when Poland's first lady greeted Melania Trump first

This may be one of the only viral awkward Melania Trump moments that worked in her favor. While visiting Warsaw, Poland in 2017, the president and first lady met Poland's first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda and her husband, Andrzej Duda, in a highly publicized introduction, as reported by The Washington Post. After shaking Duda's hand, The Donald extended his hand to Kornhauser-Duda, but instead of taking it, she promptly walked past him and greeted Melania first, much to the former model's shock. The president's expression clearly showed disappointment, and subsequently, the internet had a blast with the viral footage. 

Poland's first lady eventually shook Donald's hand, but the awkward exchange and Melania's surprised expression regarding the whole incident quickly took the internet by storm. "Who knew that Poland was savage AF," wrote one YouTube user about the viral moment. "The Polish First Lady knows what's up, Ladies first," wrote another.

Melania Trump nudged Donald Trump to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem

If Donald Trump is known for anything, it's his apparent love of the national anthem and the American flag, which he has hugged and kissed in the past. But his love for all things patriotic suffered a bit of a slip-up in 2017. During the 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Melania Trump had to awkwardly nudge Donald to put his hand over his heart during the anthem, and like many of their clunky interactions, the on-video nudge went viral. 

As Time noted, the first lady and Donald Trump's youngest son, Barron, put their hands over their hearts when the anthem began, but the president did not. After seconds of the song had passed, Melania subtly nudged The Donald, and he quickly realized the error of his ways. But even with her sly maneuvers, Melania's awkward interaction and her correction of her husband's behavior was picked up on, and it quickly made its way to the internet. Blink and you'll miss it, but the awkward nudge is there ... and it's a little painful to watch.

Melania Trump asked her husband where his glasses were during a solar eclipse

It seems like Melania Trump has a habit of correcting Donald Trump's behavior, and because of her high-profile life, most of those moments have been caught on video. So in another awkward interaction, Melania asked Donald where his sunglasses were as he looked at the sun during the 2017 solar eclipse. It was, make no mistake, one of the most awkward Melania moments to date, due, in part, to the audience witnessing the interaction first hand. Remember: When you watch the eclipse without special glasses, you risk going blind.

The painful moment showed the first lady asking, "Where are your glasses?" The president responded by saying, "I have them," and he produced a pair from his pocket. But that, of course, hadn't stopped Donald from peaking at the eclipse without protection, and the internet had a field day over the awkward exchange between him and Melania. The Guardian's Ben Jacob, as noted by CNN, wrote, "At approximately 2:39, the President initially gesticulated to the crowd below and pointed at the sky. As he did so, one of the White House aides standing beneath the Blue Room Balcony shouted, 'Don't look.'" It's an awkward moment for the books, that's all we can say.

Melania Trump's copycat speech left her fishing for an explanation

In one of her first viral awkward moments, Melania Trump's 2016 Republican National Convention speech was subject to pretty intense criticism, and it's no wonder why. Her speech, given the first night of the convention, was nearly a carbon copy of a 2008 speech given by Michelle Obama, and as such, the internet went wild. Videos of the two speeches played side by side are still up on YouTube, with the two women using almost the exact same language. But of course, one was made eight years before the other. 

After the viral speech and its subsequent backlash, the Trump Organization shouldered the blame and eventually blamed staff writer Meredith McIver for the errors. According to NPR, McIver stated that Melania Trump had "always liked" Michelle Obama and thus she incorporated some of Michelle's sayings in Melania's speech. But the backlash over the copycat verbiage was pretty severe, and McIver publicly apologized for it. "This was my mistake and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant," McIver wrote in a statement.

Melania Trump's departure from the White House left no doubt that she was ready to go home

Living in a proverbial fishbowl can't be easy, but when you are the first lady of the United States, having your every move scrutinized comes with the job description. Even so, the glare of the spotlight can be harsh and take a toll, especially when it's not always flattering. The Trumps were no strangers to controversy while in office, and never more so than in the days following the 2020 election. While former President Donald Trump publicly disputed the result, his wife, Melania Trump, seemed ready and willing to return to her former life. 

Unbeknown to her husband, the former first lady was already quietly packing in preparation for their January 2021 exit from Pennsylvania Avenue. And although the former president dug in his heels and fought to stay in office, a White House official confirmed to CNN that "[Melania Trump] is not sad to be leaving." Who could blame her? The president's term was fraught with discord and divisiveness. In this YouTube video clip from The Guardian, you can see that the former first lady was eager to move on. After leaving D.C. and landing at the Palm Beach airport, she beat a hasty retreat to a waiting car without a backward glance at her husband, who was courting photographers. Clearly, she was ready to get home and put the past four years behind her. 

Melania Trump smiles as baseball fans jeer her husband

Former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were all smiles at Game 5 of the Nationals-Astros World Series as they waved to the noisy crowd. But the president's Cheshire cat grin quickly turned into a more dour expression as he realized that the crowd was not cheering but rather jeering. Amid loud booing and chants of "Lock him up," President Trump became visibly unhappy, while his wife appeared to struggle to maintain her composure. In this clip NBC posted to YouTube, the first lady doesn't seem too disturbed by the crowd's less-than-warm reception. In fact, she appears to be trying unsuccessfully to stifle a smile, leading some to wonder if she was delighting in her husband's public embarrassment. 

Perhaps the first lady was simply putting on a happy face to appear unruffled and professional. That excuse might be plausible this time, but what about a different World Series game where she was caught rolling her eyes and appearing frustrated with the leader of the free world? In this clip posted to Twitter, you can see Melania's smile morph into something more exasperated as she turns away from her husband. Maybe she just doesn't like baseball, but given the consistent talk about the disconnect between the Trumps throughout the president's four-year term, it's easy to see why some might see this as another personal reaction akin to her repeated refusals to publicly hold her husband's hand. 

Melania Trump turns a blind eye to her husband's alleged infidelities

As the third wife of President Donald Trump, it couldn't have come as a huge shock to Melania Trump that monogamy might not have been her husband's strong suit. She admitted to Barbara Walters in a 2015 ABC News interview that when she met her future husband, he asked for her number while he was on a date with another woman. She also acknowledged that "he was known as kind of a ladies man." And while she may have chosen to overlook those red flags, the first lady couldn't ignore the 26 women who claimed to have been victims of Trump's unwanted advances, or the highly publicized hush money payment he made to a porn star. She also couldn't seem to care less. 

In an interview with ABC News, the first lady seemed oddly nonplussed about her husband's supposed extramarital activities. "I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do," she said. "It is not a concern and focus of mine." She took it a step further, telling ABC News that the women accusing her husband of sexual misconduct had better be able to show "really hard evidence," adding, "You cannot just say to somebody ... 'I was sexually assaulted' or 'You did that to me.' Because sometimes the media goes too far, and the way they portray some stories, it's not correct. It's not right."

Melania Trump draws criticism for her appearance at Rosalynn Carter's funeral

It's not uncommon for the remaining first ladies and former presidents to gather for the funerals of one of their own. However, some found Melania Trump's presence at former first lady Rosalynn Carter's tribute service a bit odd. Not because of anything she did or said, but because of disparaging comments President Donald Trump had made about the Carters over the years. One of the most insensitive occurred at a rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the day after Mrs.Carter was admitted to hospice. In a clip shared by Des Moines Register, President Trump said, "And the happiest person anywhere in this country right now is Jimmy Carter because his administration looked brilliant compared to these clowns."

In light of her husband's rudeness, Melania was wise to have attended the service alone, but some questioned why she attended at all. The Carter family insisted that it their the matriarch's decision to include her. "My mother was a gracious person and she would treat everybody with respect, including a former first lady," Rosalynn's son Chip Carter said in an interview with The Washington Post. Perhaps that's a lesson the Trumps could learn given neither has publicly apologized for the former president's rude, untimely comment. At the end of the day, however, this was a no-win situation for Melania, who would've been as criticized for not attending as she was for showing up.

Melania Trump proves she's no Grinch with strange holiday side hustle

First, there were the bizarre decorations that included eerily lit white branches one year, and deep red trees the next. Then, there was the unfortunate "Who gives a f*** about Christmas" comment. Now, it seems that the Grinch who stole the White House Christmas is determined to convince people that she gives at least several f***s about the holiday. In a move that's even stranger than that White House holiday decor,  Melania Trump launched the "American Christmas Collection" line of festive, handcrafted ornaments. 

Each ornament is available through USA Memorabilia and comes with her signature and a redeemable NFT. While this may seem like an odd side hustle for the former model, one could argue that it's designed to give her Scrooge image a makeover. Ever since her comments regarding Christmas were released, Melania has been defending herself, saying she was unfairly misrepresented and that her comments were taken out of context. "Christmas is an important time for me, my family, and the American people, and my devotion to the holiday is personal and profoundly serious," she said in an exclusive statement to Breitbart News

A portion of the ornament sales helps to fund scholarships for children in the foster care system. "Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, celebrated with our families and loved ones," Mrs. Trump told Fox News Digital. "This holiday will be a season filled with hope and inspiration."