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Top 10 Unscripted Award Show Moments That Went Viral

VO: RB WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp

Script written by Nathan Sharp

The best moments in award shows are the unexpected ones! From Natalie Portman calling out the all-male nominees at the Golden Globes to Madonna wiping out at the Brit Awards, award shows are full of unexpected, hilarious and just plain weird moments. WatchMojo is counting down the most memorable unscripted award show moments.


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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Unscripted Award Show Moments That Went Viral

The best moments in award shows are the unexpected ones! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unscripted Award Show Moments That Went Viral.

For this list, we’re looking at the best, most surprising moments from award shows that became extremely popular on the Internet. To be eligible, the moment has to have been unscripted – prepared speeches aren’t included, unless something unexpected happened during the speech.

#10: Natalie Portman Singles Out Male Nominees

“75th Golden Globe Awards” (2018)
One of the biggest moments of the 2018 Golden Globes was Natalie Portman’s off-the-cuff stinger regarding the abundance of males in the Best Director category. After the category’s scripted introduction, Portman went off-script, to the visible surprise of many in the audience. Reception to this remark was split: some felt it was in keeping with the night’s theme of empowerment, while others felt that it was an immature jab that ruined the nominees’ moment. It certainly gave us all something to talk about, that’s for sure.

#9: Adele False-Starts the George Michael Tribute

“59th Annual Grammy Awards” (2017)
Like the overly-scripted speeches and jokes, the musical performances at award shows can be painfully boring and creatively stifled. So it was extremely refreshing to see Adele taking her art so seriously at the 2017 Grammys that she was willing to stop her tribute to the late George Michael and start again in order to get it right. It showed that Adele truly cared for Michael and his legacy, and wasn’t just going through the motions. Of course, some people called her out as unprofessional, untalented and immature, but hey, that’s the Internet for you; you can’t please everyone.

#8: Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban Fail to Kiss

“75th Golden Globe Awards” (2018)
It seems as if Nicole Kidman can’t help herself from going viral at award shows: first it was her infamous kiss with Alexander Skarsgård at the 2017 Emmys that got everyone talking. Then, her botched kiss with husband Keith Urban at the 2018 Golden Globes got them talking again. After winning the award for Best Actress in a Limited Series, Kidman stood up and tried kissing her husband. However, Urban wasn’t quite ready, which resulted in Nicole kissing the air and various parts of his head before finally reaching his mouth. And let us tell you: it didn’t take long for the internet to scrutinize every second of this failed kiss.

#7: Madonna Wipes Out at the Brit Awards

“35th Annual Brit Awards” (2015)
Musical performances of this caliber take a lot of preparation and practice. That being said: there’s always the chance for something to go wrong. This performance marked Madonna’s first appearance at the Brit Awards in 20 years, but rather than talking about her brilliant return, everyone was talking about her brilliant wipeout. While performing “Living for Love,” the dancers yanked on her cape with the intention of theatrically ripping it off. However, because it was secured too tightly, it pulled Madonna off the stage instead. She continued the performance like a trooper, although it didn’t even matter – everyone already had their topic of discussion.

#6: Brendan Fraser Claps

“67th Golden Globe Awards” (2010)
This probably isn’t how Brendan Fraser wanted to become a meme, but hey, viral is viral. This incident took place at the 2010 Golden Globes. After speaker Robert De Niro made a joke, the camera cut to Fraser, who laughed and did the most awkward clap in the history of clapdom. The brief clip instantly took off, as the Internet created gifs, parodies, musical remixes and movie edits with the clip. To Fraser’s credit, at least he has a sense of humor about the whole thing, cause not every celebrity is able to keep an even keel about this sorta thing.

#5: Lady Gaga Bumps into Leonardo DiCaprio

“73rd Golden Globe Awards” (2016)
Who knew that a simple bump could cause so much controversy and discussion? After winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries, Gaga bumped into Leonardo DiCaprio, whose arm was slightly protruding into the aisle. This immediately caused a firestorm of interpretations. Did Gaga intentionally bump him? Was Leo laughing at Gaga, which caused her to bump him in retaliation? Was Leo sticking his arm out as some sort of prank? Was Leo’s reaction funny or immature? Then again, it could just have been an accident that was blown massively out of proportion. The possibilities are endless!

#4: Winona Ryder Reacts at the SAG Awards

“23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards” (2017)
Just when we thought Winona Ryder was back to normal… Not too many people pay attention to the Screen Actors Guild awards (not mainstream audiences anyway), but the awards went viral in 2017 thanks to Winona Ryder’s baffling reactions. The cast of “Stranger Things” had won the SAG for Best Ensemble, prompting actor David Harbour to lead the acceptance speech. Despite the fantastic speech, everyone’s eyes were on Winona Ryder, who was making faces showcasing varying degrees of bafflement, excitement, confusion and happiness throughout the speech. We don’t know what was going on, but it was intense.

#3: Tommy Wiseau Stands on Stage at the Golden Globes

“75th Golden Globe Awards” (2018)
When this moment is written about in the history books, we will proudly look back and declare: “I watched that live.” When James Franco took the stage to accept his award for his work in “The Disaster Artist,” he surprised everyone by inviting Tommy Wiseau, the subject of the movie, to join him. Seeing Wiseau on stage at the Golden Globes was a moment none of us could have ever predicted, yet here it was in all its glorious magic. While some were upset at Franco for not allowing Wiseau to speak, others thought it was enough to simply have him stand onstage and bask in the spotlight for the first time in his life.

#2: The Wrong Best Picture Is Announced

“89th Academy Awards” (2017)
The Oscars are typically the most stringent, safe and scripted of all the award shows. That being said, some surprising and unscripted moments still make it into the show, like John Travolta infamously butchering Idina Menzel’s name by somehow saying “Adele Dazeem” instead. But the biggest unscripted blunder in Oscars history has to be the infamous 2017 Best Picture disaster, where “La La Land” was declared the winner despite the fact that “Moonlight” was truly the Oscar winner. What followed was pure pandemonium and confusion, and the Internet lapped up every second of it. Forget going viral – we’ll be talking about this disaster for decades.

#1: Kanye West Ruins Taylor Swift’s Night

“26th MTV Video Music Awards” (2009)
Regardless of how awkward the rest of the moments on this list may’ve been, they all pale in comparison – in viral terms, anyway – to the infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards debacle. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, the incident took place while Taylor Swift was accepting her award for Best Female Video. To the surprise of everyone, Kanye West hopped on stage, took the mic, and voiced his opinion that Beyoncé should’ve won. It resulted in Swift reportedly “hysterically crying” backstage, and even the President of the United States called West a “jackass” for his actions. It remains a hot topic even all these years later, and is the most surprising and viral moment in award show history… so far.

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