Surprisingly, there have been bigger flubbed moments in Oscar history than Jennifer Lawrence's now-famous trip up the stairs. (And only by the grace of J. Law could such a moment be turned from embarrassing to endearing.) But, hey, acceptance speeches are intimidating. There's only so many times you can practice your dream speech into a bar of soap in the shower. Celebs, they're just like us!
Oscar speeches have been responsible for some of the biggest catchphrases and moments in our cultural lexicon — from Sally Field's "You like me, you really like me!" to Cuba Gooding Jr.'s ecstatic "WHOOOO!" But some have been memorable because of their awkward nature. Whether the winner forgot to thank his or her spouse or made a political statement, these seven speeches had us all loosening our bowties and nervously zhooshing our gowns.
Hilary Swank for 'Boys Don't Cry'
When Swank won her first Oscar in 2000 for her starring role in Boys Don’t Cry, she kiiiiiiiinda left ex-husband Chad Lowe out from her acceptance speech. I’ve never won an Oscar, so I would imagine a newcomer to Hollywood would probably be super duper nervous. She made up for it in 2005 when she won another Oscar for her performance in Million Dollar Baby, but split with Swank soon after in 2007.
Ben Affleck for 'Argo'
OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH BEN. You get to join our acceptance speech shit list for this one. When accepting the little golden man for Best Picture, Affleck referred to his marriage as “work” and caught a lot of flack for it. He meant well and of course his delightful wife Jennifer Garner took it as a compliment.
Sean Penn for 'Milk'
Penn and Robin Wright have been divorced for three years now. However, when Penn won Best Actor in 2009 for Milk, he and Wright were still married… and he didn’t thank her. Yeeeesh.
Sandra Bullock for 'The Blind Side'
Sandy totally didn’t thank her then-husband Jesse James in her acceptance speech AND GOOD FOR HER. Because you know, that guy is terrible and she’s the absolute best. (In fact, far more awkward in retrospect is Bullock’s Golden Globes speech, during which she thanked James, telling him, “There’s no surprise that my work got better when I met you, because I never knew what it felt like for someone to have my back.” Yeesh.) They split soon after the ceremony and we all say good riddance. Here’s to many more golden moments for Sandra Bullock.
Angelina Jolie for 'Girl, Interrupted'
Well before Angelina’s leg was making meme history, she was making plenty of other Oscar controvery. She won best supporting actress in 2000 for her role in Girl, Interrupted. And it’s not so much that she forgot to thank anyone…it’s that a lot of people thought she thanked her brother too much. When her name was announced she planted a kiss on her bro and said in her speech, “I’m so in love with my brother right now. He just held me and said he loved me.” Oh early 2000’s Angelina…how the times have changed.
Julia Roberts for 'Erin Brockovich'
You’d think the first person Julia Roberts would thank for her Best Actress Oscar would be the woman she portrayed, the real life Erin Brockovich. She totally didn’t and BOY, WAS THAT A GLARING OMISSION. She did thank “everyone I’ve ever met in my life,” but that technically doesn’t count.
Elinor Burkett and Roger Ross Williams for 'Music by Prudence'
Sheesh, that was uncomfortable. In 2010, Williams won the Oscar for best short documentary and just moments into his speech, Burkett, a journalist who also worked on the project, ran on stage and interrupted. She grabbed the mic and said, ”Let the woman talk. Isn’t that the classic thing? In a world in which most of us are told and tell ourselves that we can’t.” Everyone was puzzled and it was awkward.