E! Red Carpet & Award Shows

10+ Awkward Moments From The 2021 Oscars

Sarah Kester

Now that the 2021 Oscars have come and gone, it's time to process everything we saw.

In addition to epic wins and gorgeous red carpet designer fashion, we were left cringing from a slew of awkward moments.

We're talking awkward pre-show interviews, bizarre acceptance speeches, and so much more (can we talk about Glenn Close twerking?).

Without further adieu, here are 10+ awkward moments from the 2021 Oscars.

Oh, the Oscars.

While it was an odd show this year because of COVID, we look forward to it every year.

We always get tons of great moments (like this Jason Momoa scrunchie moment from 2019) to get us through the days until the next ceremony.

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However, with award shows comes tons of awkward moments, like this one at the Grammys.

I mean hey, people are bound to mess up on live TV, am I right?

Now, we're going to dive into the most awkward moments of the 2021 Oscars. There are plenty so buckle up!

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1. The natural lighting, which made the stars look so out-of-place in their suits and ball gowns.

Without dim lighting, the Oscars venue looked like it was being hosted in a gym auditorium.

Designer fashion deserved better than that!

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2. Those socially distanced red carpet interviews.

E! Red Carpet & Award Shows

While kudos are in order for the Oscars for being so Covid-safe, these interviews were still cringe-worthy.

Thank goodness for those mics or else people would have had to shout.

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3. The awkward pauses during the back-and-forth between the preshow hosts, Nina Parker, Karamo Brown, and Giuliana Rancic.

Giphy | HiHo Kids

You know the awkwardness you feel when you accidentally interrupt someone on Zoom? Yeah, it felt a lot like that.


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4. When Regina King tripped after she got on stage.

Instagram | @iamreginaking

Yikes. The nerves must have been fresh when she went to present the first award of the night. Or, it could have been her custom Louis Vuitton dress, which took 140 hours to make!

Where was Chris Evans when we needed him?!

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5. When Viola Davis took a fake shot on the red carpet.

We have no clue why she did this, which makes it awkward.

But it's also kind of amazing how real she made it look. Give her the Oscar!

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She wasn't even the only celeb to do it.

Maria Bakalova, the actress from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm also took an air shot.

We're not sure where this trend came from, but we're all for getting drunk on life.

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6. When Daniel Kaluuya gave the sex talk to millions of viewers, including his parents.

TMI, Daniel!

During his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Judas and the Black Messiah, he said we need to "celebrate life."

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True, but this is where things got really weird. "My mom met my dad. They had sex. It's amazing."

Giphy | The Academy Awards

Um, more like traumatizing. Just look at his mother and sister's reaction!

They were really wishing to disappear at that moment.

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7. When Reese Witherspoon tried to do a Robert De Niro Taxi Driver impression... and failed.

Instagram | @reesewitherspoon

What, like it's hard?

Well, in this case, it clearly was and not well-received either, as there was silence after she spoke.

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8. When Brad Pitt mispronounced Yuh-Jung Youn's name.

It's John Travolta all over again.

Thankfully, when she gave her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress for Minari, she forgave him by saying that it's often mispronounced.

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He also mispronounced Maria Bakalova's name.

Twitter | @etnow

Get it together, Brad!

While announcing her as a nominee, he pronounced her last name like Ba-la-ka-va, which is more similar to the Middle Eastern pastry called baklava. It's layers of phyllo dough filled with honey and nuts.

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9. When one of the winners from Soul revealed that they shouldn't be talking.

Dana Leigh Murray had gone up with the movie's co-director, Pete Doctor when they won Best Animated Feature.

But after she thanked some of her family members, she silenced herself.

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10. When Andra Day called out the Academy over their Prince snub.

Giphy | BET Awards

During a game of trivia, Lil Rey Howery asked Day about whether "Prince Rain" by the late Prince had been nominated for an Oscar.

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In her answer, she ended up calling out the Academy by saying, "It's a brilliant song, but it probably wasn't even nominated."

The shade! Unsurprisingly, she was censored pretty quick after that. Justice for Prince!

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11. Joaquin Phoenix's speech while presenting the Best Leading Actor.

He started off his speech by saying, "I'm supposed to talk about acting," and character embodiment, but then says, "I don't really know anything about that."

Where's the punchline?

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12. When Halle Berry mispronounced Erik Messerschmidt's name.

Instagram | @halleberry

To be fair, Messerschmidt is a pretty hard name to say.

But Halle messed up by mispronouncing it not once, but twice. Practice makes perfect, girl! Guess she was too focused on her new hair.

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13. Halle's haircut in general.

I'm sorry, but this is just a MESS. A lot of folks on Twitter agreed:

"no hate to halle, i love her and she looks amazing but oh my god she looks like farquaad and dora had a child," wrote this user.

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14. When Anthony Hopkins wasn't present to win the Best Actor award for The Father.

Where was he instead? In bed sleeping!

He had apparently "pleaded" with the Oscars to accept his award via Zoom, but the Academy reportedly refused.

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15. When Glenn Close twerked to "Da Butt" from Spike Lee's School Daze soundtrack.

Now this is an image that won't soon leave our brain!

As chaotic as it is, we also sort of love it. Living for that energy, Glenn!

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16. Florian Zeller's wife.

Okay, this one is only a bit awkward, but in fairness, it is also so freaking cute.

While Zeller was giving his acceptance speech, his wife walked over and kissed his back. An odd place, but so cute.

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17. Supernatural star Misha Collins appearing.

This wasn't awkward, but it did leave so many people confused that it ended up trending throughout the entire evening!

Misha Collins' best friend Darius Marder directed Sound of Metal and was nominated for an Oscar. Misha was the date everyone was talking about!

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18. Marlee Matlin getting cut off.

While Marlee Matlin was presenting an award in sign language, but the broadcast cut away from her.

They showed a graphic on the screen instead, and so you could not see her signing.

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Now, we want to hear from you.

Giphy | The Academy Awards

Did you have a favorite awkward moment?

Let us know down below in the comment section. We would love to see what part had you cringeing!

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