Oscars 2014: What Went Viral

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In case you missed it, the 86th Academy Awards happened last night, and there was a fairly high quotient of intentional (and unintentional) hilarity. We’ve listed our favourite moments here, but the thanks to Twitter, tumblr and the rest, little pieces of internet immortality soon floated to the surface. Scroll on for selfies, photobombings, and, of course, Jennifer Lawrence falling over.

Poor Leo

One of the internet’s favourite movie-related jokes has to be the continued refusal of the Academy to bestow poor Leonardo DiCaprio with an Oscar of his own. In particular, his reaction shots at every ceremony have been mined for any hint of tears or heartbreak, and this year was no exception. It’s simultaneously hilarious and really, really sad. He’ll just have to cry himself to sleep on his bed of supermodels and money.

Last year’s winners also had a good laugh about it:

  • **J-Law hits the floor

Still Jennifer Lawrence shouldn’t get too smug. She’d barely got out of the car when she repeated last year’s trick and tripped over her impressive gown. At least she was helped up by a nice motorcycle cop/member of Daft Punk.

Most likely furious from this embarrassment and her failure to win Best Supporting Actress, the notoriously vengeful and humourless Ms Lawrence then pretended to wrestle Lupita Nyong’o’s Oscar from her hands.

The uber-selfie*

  • Last time Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Oscars, she was determined to leave with a picture to remember, and ended up with this snap (courtesy of Steven Spielberg’s nifty camerawork).

This year, she meant to outdo herself, and orchestrated some pictures immediately destined for greatness. First was a selfie with Liza Minnelli, who held onto Ellen to counteract her chronic vertigo.

#Besties #Oscars2014 pic.twitter.com/gpg9PX5i2H

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014

But that had nothing on the greatest selfie of all time.

of Daft Punk.

So from right to left, that’d be Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Ellen, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey (looking oddly toothless, and slightly like Pee-wee Herman), Bradley Cooper (on camera duty – presumably Spielberg’s rates have gone up), Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Peter Nyong'o (making the most of his sister’s A-list friends – wouldn’t you?), and Angelina Jolie (either waving or trying to avoid being papped).

To their credit, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Watson made a go of it, but Ellen has the record books on her side. Hers was officially the biggest selfie ever: it quickly became by far the most retweeted tweet of all time, easily beating Barack Obama’s “Four more years” re-election tweet, and actually crashing Twitter. At the time of writing, the selfie is approaching two and a half million retweets. Of course, by the time you read this, it’ll be roughly eight squillion.

Here's the same picture from another, sadder angle. Poor Liza Minnelli. First, Ellen compares her to a man in drag, then there's this unfortunate selfie, and now... it's to painful to put into words.

That said, in the internet’s hive mind, there’s another tweet that was far more popular last night.


Perhaps the most instantly brilliant moment of the entire evening didn’t happen in the theatre, but out on the red carpet, where one Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed a sincere looking U2. To everyone but the most hardcore of Bono fans, it was a glorious moment.

And just like that, we have a new meme.

Let’s just hope he was jumping, rather than falling to his apparent death from a rooftop.

On the Cumberbatch note, he also revealed to Buzzfeed his surprising flexibility…

Ellen delivers
Not content with providing the world’s best selfie, Ellen pulled out all the stops as host to ensure her guests stayed happy, even bringing in some pizzas for sustenance. For the record, they were real pizzas that really got eaten, as Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep can attest:


— Yahoo Celebrity UK (@YahooCelebUK) March 3, 2014

Pharrell hits the floor*

  • The man with the hat went for broke with his Oscars performance. Apparently determined to beat Tinie Tempah’s high five with Prince William at the BAFTAs, Pharrell had a shimmy first with Lupita Nyong’o and Amy Adams and then with Her herself, Meryl Streep.

Steve leaves the floor*

  • After a heartfelt speech accepting the Oscar for Best Picture, director Steve McQueen demonstrated his athleticism onstage with some impromptu leaping.

We can’t confirm, but it may have been in homage to Danny Boyle’s homage to Tigger.

Jared Leto is Buddy Jesus

It wasn't a statue in Kevin Smith's Dogma - it was Jared Leto all along.

Then there was his attempted Anna Hathaway photobomb, which didnt quite go to plan as the Les Mis star quickly busted him. Jesus, Buddy Christ, you can do better than this.

Travolta’s tongue-twister

Ok, there are always some names that presenters find tricky to pronounce, but you’d think they’d practice, surely? Not so in the case of John Travolta, it would seem: he was meant to introduce Idina Menzel but seemed to be expecting someone else. Any guesses what he’s trying to say?

*The McConaissance is complete

Matthew McConaughey seemed like a sure thing for Best Actor, and he didn’t disappoint on the night (right down to his speech, which had a charming twinge of Southern preacher to it). Still, his possession of a little golden man doesn’t mean anyone’s going to forget his golden rom-com past, leaning and all.

In fact, his past came back to haunt him in more ways than one: Leah Pickett celebrated the win by revealing that McConaughey once took her aunt to prom. He really should’ve worn that tux on the night.

My aunt's high school prom date just won an Oscar. Congrats, Matthew McConaughey! #oscars pic.twitter.com/B4nhrau9sk

— Leah Pickett (@leahkpickett) March 3, 2014

Samuel L. Jackson - or is it Lawrence Fishburne? - joined forces with this A Time To Kill co-star to create the most awkward hug of all time. It looks... dangerous. Watch your back, alrightalrightalright?

In Memoriam

Bill Murray was also on hand to offer a poignant moment. While Harold Ramis was included in the In Memoriam video, Murray made sure that when he announced the nominations for Best Cinematography with Amy Adams, he got another nod in: “Oh, we forgot one: Harold Ramis, for Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.”

So, all in all, a very busy evening for the internet. And while Ellen may have two million retweets and counting, Empire’s very own selfie is nipping at her heels…

Ellen and her A-list pals aren't the only ones who can take Oscar selfies. Let's beat that RT record, people! pic.twitter.com/9JkwzJbCpB

— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) March 3, 2014

In short, well done, everyone.