Although the comedy movie is over 20 years old, Zoolander has gone down in history as something of a cult classic. Starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, the ‘2000s movie follows the journey of male model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and his rivalry with the latest hot young talent on the scene, Hansel McDonald (Wilson).
One of the most iconic moments in the film, which also stars Will Ferrell in a movie villain role, involves the now-infamous “Blue Steel” pose — which, in short, involves intently staring at the camera as you suck in your cheeks and pursing your lips.
Zoolander thinks he is destined to win a fourth consecutive Male Model of the Year award, but as McDonald pushes past him and eventually trumps him to the accolade, the pair share an extended, pout-filled moment of prolonged eye contact that makes Zoolander realize that maybe he’s not the only one who has mastered the Blue Steel.
Naturally, the awkward moment has become the perfect template for memes on TikTok, with the clip being slowed down and paired with a remix of the I, Monster song ‘Who is She’.
Examples of the meme, which take advantage of the awkward moment of eye contact include relatable moments like, “When I’m leaving my therapy appointment and I see my therapists’ next client,” “Me when I see my younger sibling in the school hallway,” and “When the movie I’m watching says the title of the movie in it.”
The meme has become so popular, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon making their own versions, and in a matter of days, the TikTok hashtag has amassed 135.3 million views and counting. If you enjoy movies and TV series full to the brim with meme opportunities, check out our guides to The Boys season 4, White Lotus season 3, and Minions 2.