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The Academy Awards: a night known for gorgeous stars, dreams coming true and, of course, awkward moments. From stumbles onstage to cringe-worthy performances, the Oscar ceremonies have included their fair share of the bizarre and unexpected. This year’s show could be no exception. But will the 87th annual Academy Awards top the most awkward Oscar moments of all time? Check out the 10 that made the cut (so far).
Most Awkward Trip: Jennifer Lawrence Takes a Tumble (2013)
Poor J.Law: That stunning Dior Haute Couture gown was too much to handle. While walking up the stairs to accept her best actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, she took a tumble. Seconds after tripping, she walked up to the microphone and said, “That was embarrassing!” The following year in 2014, she tripped again on the Academy Awards red carpet. For her sake, we hope she doesn’t stumble into a three-peat this year.
Most Awkward Outfit: South Park Creators “Dress” Up & Drop Acid (2000)
From one ‘”trip” to the next: The South Park creators have at this point made fun of everyone and everything in their adult animated sitcom. So should we really be surprised that Trey Parker and Matt Stone would make a joke out of Hollywood’s biggest night? In 2000, the pair showed up wearing dresses resembling outfits formerly donned by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez. In 2011, they revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that they were also on acid.
Most Awkward Performance: The Weirdest Snow White of All Time (1989)
During the 1989 Academy Awards, a cringe-worthy performance by Rob Lowe and the Disney princess Snow White was drubbed by audience members, critics and viewers around the world. The New York Times said the show acquired “a permanent place in the annals of Oscar embarrassments.” Eileen Bowman was the 22-year-old actress who played Snow White. She thought the Oscar performance would be a springboard to stardom. Instead, the act made her part of Oscar infamy.
Most Awkward Political Moment: Marlon Brando Rejects His Oscar (1973)
The man known for the line “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” was bold enough to refuse an Oscar. When Brando won the 1973 Academy Award for best actor for The Godfather, he asked Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to go onstage for him. Littlefeather announced Brando was rejecting the award in protest to Hollywood’s misrepresentation of Native Americans.
Most Awkward Speech: Angeline Jolie Is “So In Love” With Her Brother (2000)
Jolie could not get enough of her brother in the year 2000. No, really. Before she was announced as the winner for best supporting actress for her role in Girl, Interrupted, Jolie and her brother James Haven share an intimate hug and kiss. Once onstage, Jolie said, “I’m so in love with my brother right now … he just held me and said he loved me … I have nothing without you. You are the strongest, most amazing man I have ever known.” The speech certainly raised some eyebrows.
See more awkward moments on the next page.
The Most Awkward Hug: Liza Minnelli Just Wants Some Love (2014)
Last year’s Academy Awards ceremony was not Minnelli’s best night. After failing to make it into Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie that famously went viral, Minnelli just wanted to feel a little loved. So, when Lupita Nyong’o won the award for best supporting actress, Minnelli aggressively grabbed her to give her a giant bear hug. (The moment begins at the 1:01 mark.)
Most Awkward Red-Carpet Moment: Dictator Dumps Ashes Onto Ryan Seacrest (2012)
Sacha Baron Cohen arrived at the Academy Awards dressed in character as the dictator from his 2012 comedy. During a red-carpet interview, Baron Cohen told Ryan Seacrest that he was holding an urn with Kim Jong Il’s ashes. He then “lost” his grip and dumped the ashes onto Seacrest’s tuxedo. Seacrest laughed it off with a huge grin, but it looks like he was probably thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Most Awkward Hosts: Anne Hathaway and James Franco Bomb (2011)
From the opening monologue to the curtain drop, Hathaway and Franco didn’t seem comfortable hosting the ceremony, and their performance was met with a wave of negative reviews. On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hathaway later admitted her hosting gig was one of her most embarrassing experiences of all time.
Most Awkward Flub: John Travolta Butchers Idina Menzel’s Name (2014)
On Oscar night in 2014, Travolta had one job: to announce Menzel’s performance of the song “Let It Go” from Frozen. Instead, the actor announced the Broadway star and Frozen voice actress as “Adele Dazeem,” which continues to spur jokes even a year later.
Most Awkward Moment of All Time: The Streaker (1974)
And the Oscar for Most Awkward Moment goes too … the 1974 streaker! As David Niven introduced Elizabeth Taylor, a man named Robert Opel let it all hang out as he ran across the stage in the nude and flashed a peace sign. Opel pretended to be a journalist in order to sneak backstage for the stunt. Apparently, he had to literally cut through a background curtain to reach the stage and show off his birthday suit. But Niven got in the last word with his famous quip: “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?” (The moment happens at the 0:20 mark.)
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