You know interest in a presidential debate is high when HBO releases its Sunday-night shows two days early so debate watchers can get their fictional fix before tuning into the real-life drama and comedy. The second presidential debate delivered plenty of both.

We updated this post with social media reaction to the political theater throughout the Sunday evening event moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz. The often tense showdown featured a town hall format, with some of the questions coming from the moderators, and some from the (supposedly) undecided voters attending the event at Washington University in St. Louis.

Even before the 90-minute debate started, some on social media were undecided about how they felt about voters still being undecided.

Once the debate started, the internet couldn’t type fast enough.

Punching the ticket

Many were surprised when Donald Trump said he hasn’t spoken to running mate Gov. Mike Pence on military intervention in Syria and “I disagree” with him. Shortly after the debate ended, Pence tweeted his support and congratulations.

Off to the movies with ‘Lincoln’

When Hillary Clinton mentioned the 2012 Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln,” movie buffs took notice.

What are we watching anyway?

The debate got personal fast, and issues seemed to slip behind Trump and Clinton’s personal attacks, leaving viewers disturbed.

Word up

The folks behind the Merriam-Webster dictionary helpfully tweeted out hot words from the debate as they made the news.

Back to the ’80s

When Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton “acid-washed” her emails, Americans had a flashback to the 1980s.

The sniffles are back

In the first debate, Donald Trump got teased for sniffles (which he denied having), and the internet noticed the sniffs has returned, turning #sniffles and #sniff into Twitter trends.

Shake it off

The candidates didn’t shake hands, and that didn’t go unnoticed, as the trending hashtag #nohandshake demonstrated.

Originally published at 6:24 p.m. PT.
Update, 6:39 p.m. PT, 6:50 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. PT, 7:20 p.m. PT, 7:44 p.m. PT, 8:45 p.m. PT: Added more hot topics being discussed on social media.

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Presidential debate memes: No handshake, lots of sniffles – CNET