Mr Trump did his best to remain calm and measured but that didn't last long. He often repeated himself and didn't appear to have a plan for anything accept cutting taxes.
Ms Clinton had a solid debate. One of the most memorable things she said was "just listen to him". That comment got a few laughs. She talked up her record in foreign policy, saying she stopped Iran's nuclear ambitions without a shot being fired.
Plenty of shots were fired in this debate, but Mr Trump appeared to shoot himself in the foot when he stated he didn't know much about NATO.
Ms Clinton easily claimed the points in this first of three debates. It will be very interesting to see how Mr Trump approaches the second. Will he have more answers?
All he appeared to produce tonight was more of his hate-filled rhetoric, but in a slightly calmer and less manic approach.
The final word has to go to Jerry Springer:
3:34 Another personal attack from Mr Trump: Hillary doesn't have the stamina to be a US president. (That's nasty given her recent health woes)
3:33 Mr Trump wants US allies to pay more for the right to be protected by the US.
3:30 Ms Clinton: Wants to assure US allies "our word is good". Warns Mr Trump would start wars. (Some not so subtle sub-text there: would you want his finger on the nuclear trigger?)
3:29 Mr Trump playing the fear card "we're not keeping up with Russia's nuclear build up". Accuses China of not doing enough to stop North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
3:27 Ms Clinton says Mr Trump has a cavalier attitude towards nuclear weapons.
3:24 Ms Clinton talking up the importance of NATO. Brings up the tough sanctions she imposed on Iran regards nuclear arms.
3:22 Mr Trump says he's been misquoted over his support of the invasion of Iraq. He was against it, apparently.
3:20 Mr Trump again accuses Obama and Ms Clinton of helping the rise of IS by running too easily out of Iraq.
3:19 Mr Trump admits he doesn't know much about NATO, because he's been running his business.
3:17 Ms Clinton again stating the US must work more closely with its allies to fight IS and terrorism. Claims Mr Trump has constantly offended Muslims world wide.
3:15 Mr Trump accusing Ms Clinton of helping the birth of IS after the second Iraq War. Crikey!
3:14 Ms Clinton: We are making strides in the fight against IS, but we need to work more closely with the Kurds (that won't please key US NATO ally Turkey, will it?)
Bernie Sanders weighing in on the state of US prisons:
New Topic: Foreign Policy
3:08 Ms Clinton says she will come down hard on the likes of Russia and China who cyber attack the US
3:05 Ms Clinton says Mr Trump chased a "racist lie" with his Obama birth certificate claim. She says he's been a racist since the 1970's. This is gritty stuff.
3:02 For years Mr Trump accused president Obama of having a false birth certificate. He says: "I was the one who forced him to produce a birth certificate".
3pm Mr Trump says the African-American community has been let down by politicians. They've been "used and abused' for left wing politicians to gain votes.
2:58 Mr Trump wants to take away guns from the youth and gangs, but wants to protect the second amendment. I would ask him: "how do you do both?"
2:55 Ms Clinton wants to retrain police officers in dealing with Black Americans.
2:54 Ms Clinton says the US needs a plan to deal with too many mandatory prison sentences. There's too many Black Americans in jail. There's too many guns on the street to perpetuate violence.
2:53 Ms Clinton now accusing Mr Trump of painting a negative picture of Black Americans.
2:51 Moderator Lester Holt accuses Mr Trump of racial profiling. You'd have to say he was doing just that a minute or so ago!
New topic: Race relations
2:48 Mr Trump: "We need law and order". Claims Black and Hispanic Americans are living in a gun violence plagued hell.
2:46 Ms Clinton: race determines too much, education and your place in the criminal justice system.
2:44 Mr Trump again talks up his company and his success as a businessman. He's touting this as his key strength as a future president.
2:42 Ms Clinton claims to have met many people who have not yet received payment for work they have done for Mr Trump. His response "maybe they didn't do good work".
2:39 Mr Trump: "I am not Bragadocious", our airports are from a third world country.
2:38 It's starting to get personal. Ms Clinton accuses Mr Trump of hiding something. She says she made a mistake using a private email server.
2:36 Mr Trump says he will release his tax returns once Ms Clinton releases her 30,000 'lost' emails
New topic: Taxation
2:35 Mr Trump says the US is being ripped off by every country in the world regards trade and tax
2:33 Mr Trump accused of not releasing his own tax returns
2:30 Ms Clinton: The wealthy have the 'Trump loophole'. Trickle down economics doesn't work. Build up the middle class, tax the people at the very top.
2:28 Mr Trump: The wealthy will create the jobs, but they pay too much tax. Taxes are too high. The wealthy are leaving the country.
2:26 Ms Clinton wants to raise the taxes on America's most wealthy.
2:23 Ms Clinton: Donald, I know you live in your own reality. Mr Trump: Hillary, you have no plan!
Donald Trump begins the insults Check out his greatest insults here
2:20 Mr Trump: Hillary, you've been doing this for thirty years, and you haven't worked it out, you haven't brought the jobs back.
2:18 Ms Clinton: Donald Trump thinks global warming is a fabrication invented by the Chinese.
2:11 Employment Mr Trump: jobs are leaving the US for Mexico, China, promises millions of new jobs
2:09 Employment Ms Clinton: wants equal pay, a raise in the minimum wage, new jobs in innovation and technology. Touts an "economy for everyone"
US presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are going head-to-head in the first of three highly anticipated television debates (2pm NZ time).
It's expected up to 120 million Americans will tune in to watch Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump duke it out in front of the cameras.
Audience numbers will shatter the previous record of 80 million who watched nominees Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan debate back in 1980.
The race for the White House couldn't be much tighter, with Republican nominee Mr Trump slightly ahead in the latest polls.
With 270 electoral votes needed, the polls have Mr Trump claiming 275 votes to Ms Clinton's 263.
The debate will last for 90 minutes, and comprise six topic segments of roughly 15 minutes each.