Award shows are known for their glitz, glamor, and memorable moments, but sometimes those moments take an unexpectedly awkward turn. The world of award shows has seen everything from bizarre clapping techniques to cringe-worthy acceptance speeches. Join us as we revisit some of the most uncomfortable and unforgettable moments in award show history.
1. Nicole Kidman's Strange Clapping
When it comes to clapping, we all have our own style, but Nicole Kidman's clapping technique at one award show left audiences back home feeling weird. It wasn't long before the internet created a meme out of it.
2. Tommy Wiseau Gets Snubbed
James Franco's win for Best Actor at the Golden Globes left everyone talking, but what stole the spotlight was Tommy Wiseau's apparent snub. Wiseau, famous for creating the cult classic The Room, had his moment to shine stolen by Franco, leaving us all wondering what Tommy would have said.
3. Joaquin Phoenix and the Beyonce Standoff
All eyes were on him during Joaquin Phoenix's Best Actor acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards. However, fans couldn't help but notice that Beyonce remained seated while others gave him a standing ovation. Perhaps the dress was too uncomfortable to get up?
4. John Travolta's Taylor Swift Mishap
In a hilarious turn of events, John Travolta almost gave Taylor Swift's award at the 2019 MTV Music Video Awards to her impersonator, Jade Jolie, on stage. Taylor had brought her team with her on stage as a sign of gratitude, leading to an uncomfortable moment of mistaken identity.
5. Jennifer Lawrence “Beats” Meryl Streep
Jennifer Lawrence's endearing, unfiltered personality won her many fans, but her 2013 Golden Globe acceptance speech raised eyebrows. She famously exclaimed, “I beat Meryl!” referring to Meryl Streep, which some interpreted as a dig at the legendary actress.
6. Leonardo DiCaprio's High-Five Fall
Leonardo DiCaprio's moment at the Golden Globe Awards took a hilariously awkward turn when he misread a high-five cue as a fist bump. This happens to us all the time! Except this time, there were cameras zoomed in on him to keep this memory on the Internet forever.
7. Chrissy Teigen's Memorable Crying Face
Chrissy Teigen is known for her candid and relatable personality, and at the 2015 Golden Globes, she gifted the Internet with an unforgettable meme that has become a global sensation. Her crying face, captured at the right moment, became one of the most beloved and enduring award show moments.
8. Rami Malek's Oscar Stumble
After winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek had an unfortunate stumble while leaving the stage. As he tried to reunite with his co-star and girlfriend, Lucy Boynton, the world cringed in collective sympathy.
9. Nicki Minaj vs. Miley Cyrus
Nicki Minaj never shies away from speaking her mind. When Miley Cyrus commented about her in an interview, Nicki took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to call her out. Was it a real-life feud or just a PR move? While we can't be sure, one thing is for certain: it will forever remain an iconic moment.
10. Kristen Stewart's Award Mishap
Known for her portrayal of Bella in Twilight, Kristen Stewart's award moment at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards mirrored her character's clumsiness. She dropped her Golden Popcorn award, leading to a hilariously embarrassing moment.
11. Kanye West's Interruption
One of history's most infamous award show moments occurred when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards. This incident marked the beginning of “bad blood” between the two artists.
12. Leonardo DiCaprio & Lady Gaga's Strange Encounter
At the 2016 Golden Globe Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio's reaction to Lady Gaga brushing past him went viral. You must have seen endless GIFs on it. His surprised expression and raised eyebrows as Gaga moved past him are unforgettable.
13. Dave Letterman's Cringe-Inducing Opening
In 1995, Dave Letterman hosted the Academy Awards and began the telecast with a bizarre and unfunny joke about celebrities with unusual names. His introduction of Oprah Winfrey to Uma Thurman and Keanu Reeves left the audience cringing in disbelief.
14. Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve's Meltdown
While not an award show per se, Mariah Carey's performance during the 2016 New York Rockin Eve celebration deserves a spot on the list. As the clock ticked down to midnight, she faced technical difficulties with her live singing. Unable to hear the music or her cues, she struggles to sing, leading to an awkward and off-key performance.
15. Will Smith's Slap at the Oscars
Chris Rock's ill-advised joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head at the 2022 Oscars didn't sit well with the audience or her husband, Will Smith. He especially walked onto the stage to slap him across the face, leaving everyone shocked.
16. Madonna's Cape Mishap
The 2015 BRIT Awards did not go so well for this artist. While in the midst of a cape-ridden performance, her backing dancer was supposed to puff off the cape as a dramatic effect, but due to a malfunction led to her falling backward.
17. Naomi Watts' Near Fall
During the 205 SAG Awards, Emma Stone's tuxedo-inspired dress with a long train nearly caused Naomi Watts to tip and fall on stage. Luckily, she was able to regain her balance and, thus, avoided an accident.
18. Steve Harvey's Miss Universe Mix-Up
Steve Harvey made headlines during the 2015 Miss Universe pageant when he announced the wrong winner. His awkward correction on live television made for an uncomfortable moment that will forever remain a core memory for most.
19. Adele's Grammy Breaking
Even award-winning artists like Adele can experience awkward moments. She accidentally broke her Grammy in half during her Album of the Year acceptance speech at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Her candid creation of this mishap only made it more endearing.
20. Jacqueline Bisset's Long-Winded Speech
When Jacqueline Bisset won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Golden Globes, her acceptance speech was anything but ordinary. It soon veered into embarrassing territory, leaving listeners bewildered by its length and unconventional content.
21. Nick Jonas' Spinach Debacle
Despite delivering a captivating performance at the 2020 Grammys, this artist became the subject of discussion due to a piece of spinach visibly stuck in his teeth. No worries, though; it happens to the best of us.
22. John Travoltas’s “Adele Dazeem” Flub
John Travolta found himself at the center of an amusingly weird moment during the 2014 Oscars when he introduced Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem.” His mispronunciation became an instant online sensation and provided plenty of comedic content for late-night talk show hosts.
23. The La La Land-Moonlight Mix-Up
The 2017 Oscars witnessed one of the most surreal moments. During the Best Picture announcement, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner, only to error moments later and declare Moonlight as the actual victor.
24. Kanye West's Presidential Announcement
At the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West delivered a rambling and impromptu speech after receiving the Video Vanguard Award. During his speech, he announced his intention to run for the President of the United States in 2020, surprising everyone. What a plot twist!
Entertainment and Lifestyle Writer
- Expertise: Lifestyle, Politics and Gaming
- Education: Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science with a Minor in Political Science
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Saad Muzaffar is an entertainment, lifestyle, and gaming writer at Wealth of Geeks. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science with a focus on Cyber Security and Data Science with an accompanying Minor in Political Science. When not writing, Saad enjoys playing the latest exclusive on his PS5 while trying to maintain his authority as the best Smash player in his group of friends. Community work is his passion, and he tries to help out whoever he can to the best of his abilities. He has one cat, Riki, and loves talking about his latest scratches. At WealthOfGeeks, Saad writes contributing lists focusing on entertainment, lifestyle, and politics.