Quirky body language during leaders' debate sets Twitter alight

There were flailing limbs, zippy one-liners and plenty of intense television-camera stare downs as Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May faced off in the first leaders' debate of the 2015 election campaign.

'The meme possibilities in this debate are huge'

There was lots of talk online during the leaders' debate about New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair's stares into the camera. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

There were flailing limbs, zippy one-liners and plenty of intense television-camera stare downs as Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May faced off in the first leaders' debate of the 2015 campaign.

While the leaders' sparred, people took to Twitter to highlight the best and worst moments of the debate.

Almost as soon as the debate began, people started commenting on the leaders' body movements. Many tweeted about how the leaders were staring down the television cameras.

Though Harper and Trudeau were also guilty of camera staring, Mulcair might have gotten the most online reaction

Others wondered why Trudeau was using his arms to talk so much.

Harper and 'Let's be clear'

Each of the leaders' had signature quips they brought out many times throughout the debate. Conservative leader Harper is already well-known for using the phrase, "Let's be clear." Some decided to create a drinking game out of it.

Others used the phrase to poke fun at moderator Paul Wells.

May started off many of her rebuttals by saying, 'With all due respect' … but Twitter users pointed out that didn't necessarily mean 'respect.'

Trudeau's signature quip: Yelling 'That's not true' several times at Harper. Some thought it was the most heard phrase of the night. 

Mulcair chose to focus on himself. His signature quote was about fighting for Canada 'his whole life.'

There was also a lot of weird discussion about the number 9, prompted by Trudeau's response to a question from Mulcair about the threshold for recognizing a vote for Quebec's separation. 

So what did people think?

Thursday's debate, hosted by Maclean's magazine, was the first not to be organized by the broadcast consortium, of which CBC is a member. Some liked the debate and the revised format.

Others thought it lacked moderation...

And Jann Arden just found it downright boring. 

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