A momentary cutaway at the Oscars on Sunday night showed Billie Eilish with a puzzled expression, and it has completely stolen the show. For all the discussion about the winners, the snubs and the celebrity fashion at the Oscars 2020, Eilish's face seems to be the main story. People online are still testing the applications of this new meme.
Eilish was seated up front at the 2020 Academy Awards on Sunday night, but she may not have expected the cameras to focus in on her. Whether she knew it or not, they caught her expression just as presenters Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph sang a duet of "Lady in Red" by Chris De Burgh.
Wiig and Rudolph introduced the categories of production design and costume design at Oscars on Sunday, but they took a few minutes on stage for some dry, dead-pan comedy. They joked that there were a lot of directors in the audience, so they wanted to showcase the range of their acting skills, from fake anger to crying on cue, and even singing.
Without a hint of shame, Wiig and Rudolph sang a medley of songs a capella, with a few half-hearted dance moves. The audience laughed at the prolonged bit, and it may have even worked — director Martin Scorsese was rocking in his seat as he cackled, so Wiig and Rudolph clearly left an impression on him.
Not so for Eilish. The teenage pop star wrinkled her nose in a look of uncomfortable confusion just as the cameras panned over to her. viewers everywhere agreed this teenage expression summed it all up, and they got to work immortalizing it on social media.
Here is a sampling of what people are saying about Eilish's viral Oscars moment.
As soon as Eilish's expression hit the airwaves, Twitter users began claiming it for themselves. They declared it "a mood," seeing its universal applications even outside of the 2020 Oscars.
Me remembering tomorrow is Monday https://t.co/kjBC9Qoz9a— Emma Korynta (@emmalikesnews) February 10, 2020
On a night of star-studded pageantry and lavish Oscar parties around the country, Eilish's expression summed up many viewers' feelings about going to work on Monday. It was like a sinking moment of clarity in an otherwise good time, but fans still appreciated having it there for reference.
Me reading all the Jojo Rabbit hate on my timeline https://t.co/TfNrEIpxxA— Nick Parco (@nick_parco) February 10, 2020
There were plenty of ways for Eilish's expression to be applicable to this year's Oscars, even outside of Wiig and Rudolph's harmonizing. For example, sports journalist Nick Parco thought it was a perfect reaction for those criticizing best picture nominee Jojo Rabbit before the award was presented. Best picture ultimately went to the horror film Parasite.
* billie’s face when she hears me singing to her songs at the concert * pic.twitter.com/n60h4nl3Qg— ᴛᴏʙʏ is SEEING BILLIE❍◌❍ (@billiesfantasy) February 10, 2020
Just because Eilish's expression was relatable did not mean it had to be condescending. Some fans turned the baffled gaze on themselves, imagining it was how Eilish might see them if they were ever to meet.
The definition of “OK BOOMER” pic.twitter.com/sBXHAnMNAa— lenguas de gato (@itsdaniux) February 10, 2020
Many people agreed that Eilish's expression was the embodiment of the phrase "OK Boomer" that so rattled inter-generational discourse late last year. Eilish is famous for her youth, having risen to fame at the age of 14 when she posted her original music on SoundCloud. To some, she is emblematic of Generation Z.
I think it was more, why are they showing me? Not hating on the two ladies...— Anna Kirsch (@anajkirsch) February 10, 2020
Likely reacting to seeing herself on the giant screens that are on either side of the stage showing the camera feeds.— Dave Cohen (@imdavecohen) February 10, 2020
Some fans were worried that Eilish would be criticized for her expression, and did not want it to be misconstrued. They did not think Eilish was mocking Wiig and Rudolph. Many even pointed out that Eilish likely saw herself on the big screen before she made the face, so she might have been reacting to that, not the performance.
Of course, others turned Eilish's ire back on her, using it to poke fun at the young singer. One person joked that this was their exact expression when Eilish won four Grammy Awards last month.
Finally, some fans thought that this was not even Eilish's most iconic and relatable expression of the night. For example, they pointed out her apparently bored look while rapper Eminem was giving a surprise performance on-stage, and Eilish watched with a frown.