The Internet is having a field day analyzing Chris Christie's pained expressions as he stood behind Donald Trump giving a victory speech last night, with many in the media and on Twitter speculating about the dark thoughts he must have been thinking.

In recent history, there have been many memorable instances of someone giving a speech while the person standing next to them appears to be hating life.

It's happened with several political wives whose husbands have been caught in affairs, including Silda Wall Spitzer standing next to former New York governor Eliot Spitzer in 2008…

… Sen. David Vitter and his wife, Wendy, in 2007…

… and then-governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey, and his wife Dina in 2004. While some spouses have refused to do it, many quite literally stand by their man. A fictionalized version of these affairs inspired the first episode of "The Good Wife" in 2009, and is the catalyst for much of the series' action.


Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of public communication and an affiliate professor of history at American University, says Silda Wall Spitzer is the classic case. "She took stoic to a new level — and thus we projected what we were imagining onto her notwithstanding what she actually may have been thinking or feeling," he says via email. "Christie is different because he chose to be there. Who knows what he was actually thinking, but as with…Spitzer's case his look becomes a canvas for our imagination and projection."

Sometimes these awkward moments happen at even more high-profile events, such as President Obama's State of the Union addresses. Many articles and videos focused their attention on the reactions of then-Speaker of the House John Boehner sitting behind him, though Boehner has been known to show awkward reactions to Obama in other instances as well. (Current Speaker Paul Ryan practiced his poker face in advance.)

And don't forget about Mike Myers standing next to Kanye West during the latter's surprise "Bush doesn't care about black people" rant after Hurricane Katrina.


Kanye also famously took the microphone from Taylor Swift when she won best female video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and said, "I'm sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time," while Swift was left to stand idly by.

Keeping a straight face when bad things happen is part of the normal course of events at awards shows, as the camera continually (and rather cruelly) cuts to the losers during the winner's speech. (One video even appeared to capture Michael Keaton tucking away his unused speech in 2015.)

When Anne Hathaway hosted the Oscars, she spent a lot of the time trying to be chipper, but it was easy to assume that she was having a "why did I sign up for this?" internal monologue, especially since she later called the gig one of her most embarrassing moments.

At last Sunday's Oscars, it happened in a different way: Sacha Baron Cohen reportedly was told not to go on the Oscars stage as his alter ego Ali G, but did it anyway, thus altering the script and leaving co-presenter Olivia Wilde with nothing to say.

Are there any moments that we forgot? Add them in the comments.

This post has been updated.