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The 20 Weirdest Oscar Nominees In The History Of Cinema


1. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

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Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay in 2007.

Sacha Baron Cohen, along with four of his collaborators (including Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover), were the odd men out in an otherwise very serious year for adapted films. The award ultimately went to William Monahan for The Departed.

Fun Fact: Cohen has had a tumultuous relationship with the Oscars, almost being banned for walking the red carpet as his character from The Dictator in 2012 and for dressing up as his Ali G character in 2016 without permission.

2. Eminem

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Winner: Best Original Song in 2003.

The award went to Luis Resto (pictured right), Jeff Bass and Eminem for "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile and was presented by Barbra Streisand. They beat out big names like Bono and Paul Simon.

Fun Fact: Eminem didn't even go to the ceremony.

3. Seth MacFarlene for Ted

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Nominated: Best Original Song in 2013.

It's unclear which is stranger, the fact that Seth is an Oscar-nominated person or that a movie starring Mark Wahlberg and a sexually-charged CGI bear is a nominated movie. Seth was co-nominated with Walter Murphy for the song "Everybody Needs A Best Friend". The award ended up going to Adele and Paul Epworth for "Skyfall".

Fun Fact: Seth also hosted the Oscars that year.

4. Three 6 Mafia

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Winner: Best Original Song in 2006.

In one of the best moments in Oscar history, a hip-hop group known for a song titled "Slob on My Knob" won for the song "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" from Hustle & Flow.

Fun Fact: Despite having just won the Oscar, Prince wouldn't let the group into his after-party.

5. Bret McKenzie

HBO / Via, Disney / Via, Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Winner: Best Original Song in 2012.

Best known for starring in The Flight of the Conchords, this musically inclined funny man has an Oscar for writing "Man or Muppet", a song performed by Jason Segal and a dang MUPPET in, you guessed it, The Muppets. The only other song up for the award was "Real in Rio" from Rio.

Fun Fact: It was recently announced that Flight of the Conchords is returning to HBO for a one-hour special!

6. Click

Columbia Pictures / Via, Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Nominated: Best Achievement in Makeup in 2007.

Bill Corso (right photo, left) and Kazuhiro Tsuji (right photo, right) were both nominated for this undeniably poor Adam Sandler movie. The award ended up going to David Martí and Montse Ribé for Pan's Labyrinth.

Fun Fact: Bill Corso won the award in 2005 for A Series of Unfortunate Events and Kazuhiro Tsuji is nominated again this year for his work on Darkest Hour.

7. Nicolas Cage

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Winner: Best Actor in 1996.

One of the biggest debates in cinema history is whether or not Nic Cage is a good actor, but he's got the statue for Leaving Las Vegas to prove the answer is a RESOUNDING YES. Nic beat out some big names that year, including Anthony Hopkins for Nixon.

Fun Fact: Nic Cage was nominated AGAIN in 2003 for Adaptation, further proving that he's one talented lunatic.

8. Fifty Shades of Grey

Universal Pictures / Via, Mike Windle / Getty Images

Nominated: Best Original Song in 2016.

That's right, folks. It started out as Twilight fan fiction and ended up an OSCAR NOMINEE for "Earned It". At least we got a great (but also slightly weird) performance by The Weeknd. The award ultimately went to Sam Smith and James Napier for "Writing's On The Wall" from Spectre.

Fun Fact: The movie's score is by Danny Elfman, who has composed over 100 film scores, including Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

9. Norbit

Paramount Pictures / Via, Noel Vasquez / Getty Images

Nominated: Best Achievement in Makeup in 2008.

Another bizarre nomination for Kazuhiro Tsuji, this universally-hated Eddie Murphy film will forever be known as an Oscar nominee. The award ended up going to Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald for La Vie en Rose.

Fun Fact: Tsuji shared the nomination with Rick Baker, who has won the award seven times.

10. Kobe Bryant

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Nominated: Best Animated Short Film in 2018.

The sports legend is nominated this year for writing the animated short Dear Basketball. He shares the nomination with director, Glen Keane. This is also his first ever writing credit!

Fun Fact: He recently played himself in the movie Daddy's Home.

11. Suicide Squad

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Winner: Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling in 2017.

That's right, the D.C. failure is actually an OSCAR WINNER. The award went to Giorgio Gregorini (right photo, left), Alessandro Bertolazzi (right photo, middle), and Christopher Allen Nelson (right photo, right). Honestly, the amount of people who have dressed up as Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn in the past two years is proof that they were doing something right.

Fun Fact: This was the first nomination for all three winners, who have collectively worked on over 230 films.

12. Michael McKean

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Nominated: Best Original Song in 2004.

From Laverne and Shirley to Better Call Saul, McKean has had a lucrative acting career, so it's a little bizarre that his Oscar nomination is for writing "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" from the Christopher Guest mockumentary A Mighty Wind. He shared the nomination with Annette O'Toole, but the award ultimately went to Annie Lennox, Fran Walsh, and Howard Shore for "Into the West" from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (which, honestly, is also a little weird).

Fun Fact: Michael McKean has never been nominated for an Emmy, which is almost as shocking as the fact that he HAS been nominated for an Oscar.

13. Babe

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Winner: Best Visual Effects in 1996.

Not only is this movie about a talking pig an Oscar WINNER, but it was nominated for SIX other Oscars, including Best Picture. It beat out Apollo 13 for the effects award, which is completely bonkers.

Fun Fact: The sequel, Babe: Pig in the City, was ALSO nominated for an Oscar. This time, for Best Original Song for Randy Newman's "That'll Do."

14. Roderick Jaynes

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Nominated: Best Film Editing in 1997 and 2008.

It's no surprise that Fargo and No Country For Old Men were nominated for Oscars. However, Roderick Jaynes is not a real person! He's just a pseudonym used by the Coen Brothers. It's too bad the films lost to The English Patient and The Bourne Ultimatum, because those would've been interesting speeches.

Fun Fact: Tricia Cooke (Ethan Coen's wife) co-edited The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Man Who Wasn't There after assistant editing four other Coen Brother films.

15. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius €“

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Nominated: Best Animated Feature in 2002.

Any fan of early 2000s Nickelodeon should be weirded out by the fact that Jimmy Neutron is an Academy Award nominee. The movie didn't stand a chance, though, as it was up against Monsters Inc. and Shrek, which won.

Fun Fact: The movie was based on 12 three-minute animated shorts that aired on Nickelodeon from 1999-2001. The television show, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, first aired three months after the movie's Oscar loss.

16. Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder

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Nominated: Best Supporting Actor in 2009.

RDJ is a great actor and Tropic Thunder is a funny movie, but this nomination was BIZARRE. Ultimately, the award went to Heath Ledger for his performance in The Dark Knight, making him the only actor to win in this category after passing.

Fun Fact: RDJ was also nominated for an Oscar in 1993 for playing Charlie Chaplin, which was much less controversial.

17. Jim Rash

NBC / Via, Fox Searchlight Pictures / Via, Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Winner: Best Adapted Screenplay in 2012.

Best known for playing the flamboyant dean on Community, the comedic actor shared his win for The Descendants with director, Alexander Payne, and Nat Faxon. They managed beat out the king of dialogue, Aaron Sorkin, who was nominated for Moneyball.

Fun Fact: Jim recently appeared in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

18. The Boss Baby

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Nominated: Best Animated Feature in 2018.

This one is still raw. The cartoon, which features an all-star cast of voices, is up against four other animated features, including Pixar's Coco. The movie is currently streaming on Netflix, so go judge for yourself.

Fun Fact: The voice of THE baby, Alec Baldwin, has been nominated for one Oscar... Best Supporting Actor for The Cooler in 2004. He lost to Tim Robbins in Mystic River.

19. Donald Kaufman

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Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay in 2003.

This one is might take the cake for strangest nomination. The film Adaptation was written by Charlie Kaufman and starred Nic Cage, who played Kaufman trying to adapt a real book by real author, Susan Orlean, who was played by Meryl Streep. In the movie, Charlie seeks help from his identical twin brother, Donald, to complete the script. Ultimately, both were nominated in real life for the movie about the movie about the book. BUT DONALD ISN'T REAL. In the end, it didn't matter because the award went to Ronald Harwood for The Pianist.

Fun Fact: Chris Cooper won an Oscar for portraying John Laroche, who is an actual real person.

20. And, finally, 3/5 of the Transformers movies.

DreamWorks / Via, / Via DreamWorks, DreamWorks / Via

Nominated: Best Sound Mixing in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Best Sound Editing in 2008 and 2012. Best Visual Effects in 2008 and 2012.

The first three Transformers films will forever be Oscar nominees. The first movie lost to The Bourne Ultimatum and The Golden Compass (which was also an odd choice), the sequel (Revenge of the Fallen) lost to The Hurt Locker, and the third film (Dark of the Moon) lost to Hugo.

Fun Fact: You can expect to see a sixth and seventh addition to the franchise in 2018 and 2019. Sigh.

Did we leave out any weird Oscar nominees or winners? Tell us in the comments!

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