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19 Oscar Moments We Remember For All The Wrong Reasons

The Oscars is a smooth-running display of prestige, class, and talent — except for when it's not!

While the Academy Awards have brought many meaningful moments to our screens, they've also gifted us with a whole bunch of moments that were memorable for a totally different reason!

1. Stairway stumble

2. Wrong winner announced

A man holds a piece of paper with "Moonlight" written on it up to the camera, looking serious

3. The Kidman Clap is born

4. That John Travolta/ScarJo kiss

5. John Travolta renames Idina Menzel

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Jimmy Kimmel Live / ABC / Via youtube.com

John makes his second appearance on this list in a moment no one can forget. When announcing Idina Menzel's win, Travolta called her Adele Dazeem!

John explained to Jimmy Kimmel what had caused the awkward gaffe, saying that he was shoved onstage 15 minutes early, and the assistant told him at the last second that Idina's name had been changed to the phonetic spelling on the card. When John got onstage to announce, he hadn't been able to rehearse and stared at the card thinking, What is this name? I don't know this name!

Luckily, Idina found it hilarious, and even introduced John as "Glom Gazingo" at the Oscars the following year as a joke!

6. Floors? Where we're going, we don't need floors!

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtu.be

Back in 1999, Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. On his way to the stage to collect the award, he took a questionable route, balancing and leaping from the back of one chair to another. Roberto, the floor is right there next to you, just calling your name!

7. A display case for your Oscar, perhaps? Nah, the floor will do.

Frances McDormand wears a long black and gold dress and speaks into a microphone onstage, her Oscar statue on the floor in front of her

8. When Sam Smith made some questionable claims

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtu.be

When Sam Smith won an Oscar for their song "Writing's on the Wall," they said they'd read an article by Sir Ian McKellan that said no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar before.

To be fair, they did say, "If this is the case, even if it isn't the case," so they didn't outright say they were the first to win, but you'd think you'd do a quick Google search before saying it on a world stage and snubbing the likes of Elton John, Dustin Lance Black, and Howard Ashman, all gay men who won Oscars before Sam!

9. Streaker onstage!

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtu.be

Back in 1974, David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor to present the award for Best Picture when a naked man ran across the stage behind him! Left to try to move the show along during a totally unexpected and shocking moment, Niven simply laughed and quipped: "Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"

10. When a person who was very much alive was included in the "In Memoriam" section

Jan Chapman smiling in a black jacket with gold details

11. When Angelina Jolie kissed her brother on the lips

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Oscars / Via youtu.be

I mean, loving your siblings is one thing, but kissing them on the lips is quite another! Angelina made headlines worldwide when she kissed her brother on the lips on the red carpet, shortly after saying, "I'm so in love with my brother right now. He just held me and said he loved me, and I know he's so happy for me," when accepting her award.

All a bit odd...

12. When eight major awards were given offscreen

Riz holds his Oscar, with the wall behind him covered in black and gold Oscars posters

13. When Daniel Kaluuya told us all his parents had sex

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtu.be

When accepting his award for Best Supporting Actor, Daniel went off on a bit of a tangent and said: "My mum, my dad, they had sex! It's amazing, do you know what I'm saying? I'm here!" The camera then cut to his mother and sister in the audience, and his mum can be seen mouthing: "What's he talking about?!" while his sister cradles her head in her hands!

14. When Rebel Wilson and James Corden presented in full-body furry cat costumes

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtu.be

Following the ridicule around the CGI-heavy movie Cats, castmates (or should I say Catsmates?!) Rebel and James rocked up onstage in full-blown furry cat costumes to present the visual effects category at the Oscars. 

A self-deprecating joke from the pair who said, "Nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects," the joke might have been less awkward if they didn't start batting the mic stand like cats for a straight 12 seconds before announcing the winner...

15. Regina Hall straight-up gropes a bunch of men

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ABC / Via youtube.com

In a surreal moment at the 2022 Oscars, Regina called a bunch of famous men, including Jason Momoa, Simu Liu, Timothée Chalamet, Bradley Cooper, and Tyler Perry, to the stage for "COVID patdowns." She said the actors were to come backstage, take their masks and clothes off, and then she would "swab the back of (their) mouths with (her) tongue" and "do some other freaky stuff which (she would) record."

She frisked Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa pretty heavily onstage, and it was all just a little awkward. Plus, I can't help but think of the weird double-standards presented here — imagine the righteous outrage if a male presenter had called up a bunch of women and frisked them onstage. Perhaps it's a weird flex for the Academy Awards, showing they're not just sexist against women after the Seth MacFarlane boob song, which we'll look at next!

16. Seth MacFarlane's song about boobs

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtube.com

When Seth MacFarlane presented the Oscars, his routine was described as "hostile, ugly and sexist" by the New Yorker amongst many others. His opening song was all about — yep, you guessed it – boobs. Specifically those of the actors in the audience that he'd seen onscreen. 

The routine was lambasted, especially as some of the scenes he referenced were rape scenes, and some, such as in the case of Scarlett Johansson, were only seen due to hackers releasing intimate private photos without consent.

MacFarlane later said the song came from reading press in the run-up to his hosting gig, which implied they knew the type of content he'd put out, and they didn't want it. He said his original idea was a "very tame, old-style song and dance," but that it was "the idea of creating an alternate Oscars that was exactly what they were afraid would happen" that enticed him, and said that, "In a way, (the public) helped create what (they) despise." 

So basically, he read an article where someone predicted what he was going to do, and he decided to really show them by erm...doing exactly what they predicted he would do??

17. When Elinor Burkett seized her Kanye moment

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) / Via youtu.be

In a moment reminiscent of Kanye's infamous Taylor Swift stagebombing, Elinor Burkett interrupted director Roger Ross Williams as he began his acceptance speech for Music by Prudence. She shares the award as producer, but nonetheless, it was mega awkward when she barged onstage and said, "The man never lets the woman talk; isn't that just the classic thing?" and then totally took over, not letting Roger get a word in edgeways!

18. When Chrissy Teigen fell asleep

An audience shot showing Chrissy asleep on John Legend's shoulder in the corner of the frame

19. And finally, THAT Will Smith/Chris Rock moment

Collage of photos showing Will Smith walking up to Chris Rock and slapping him

What's a super-awkward Oscars moment that sticks out in your memory? Let me know in the comments!