A US president and a British prime minister munching on hot dogs and watching a basketball game together. Five Nordic prime ministers playfully posing with a football resembling a globe. And every year since 1947, a Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. Images of such diplomatic moments are not unfamiliar in international newspapers, and they tend to spread easily also in social media. Often, they are accompanied by a news article or commentary assessing the current state of the state-to-state relationships they epitomize. And every now and then, these relationships are referred to as ‘special’, ‘extraordinary’ or ‘one of a kind’.