18 Film & TV Award Upsets That Shocked Everybody (PHOTOS)

Rebecca Deczynski | Jan 25, 2016 Movies

Each year, awards show season draws in audiences who have undoubtably strong opinions about the television shows and films that capivated, bored, or intrigued millions. While the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes can award favorite actors and actresses with well-deserved honors, sometimes it can seem like voters simply messed up, resulting in some major awards show upsets. After all, the Academy doesn't always favor public opinion.

These 18 awards show upsets prove that things don't always go as expected. Which of these award show moments shocked you the most?


Photo via Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis


  • Upset: Gwyneth Paltrow"s Best Actress Oscar Win


    Photo via GARY HERSHORN/X00129/Reuters/Corbis

    While Cate Blanchett was widely praised for her portrayal of the British monarch in Elizabeth, it was Gwyneth Paltrow who surprised audiences by snagging the Oscar for Best Actress in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love.

  • Upset: 'The Hangover's' Golden Globe Win For Best Picture - Comedy


    Photo via Phil Ramey/RameyPix/Corbis

    At the 2010 Golden Globes, The Hangover beat both Julie and Julia and It’s Complicated — not one, but two, films starring Meryl Streep — for Best Comedy, in a twist no one expected.

  • Upset: Matt LeBlanc's Golden Globe Win as Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy


    Photo via LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Corbis

    This Friends actor didn't win a Golden Globe for his work on the beloved TV show, but rather for his work on the Showtime series Episodes — beating John Galecki in the massive primetime hit The Big Bang Theory.

  • Upset: Andy Samberg's Golden Globe Win for Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy


    Photo via LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Corbis

    Andy Samberg's cop comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, was still quite new when the actor was nominated for the Golden Globe in 2014, so audiences did not anticipate his win over fellow nominees Jim Parsons, Jason Bateman, Don Cheadle, and Michael J. Fox.

    More from The Stir: 17 Youngest Acting Award Winners & Nominees Ever (PHOTOS)

  • Upset: Juliette Binoche's Oscar Win for Best Supporting Actress


    Photo via Frank Trapper/Sygma/Corbis

    Silver screen legend Lauren Bacall was nominated for the Academy Award in 1997 for The Mirror Has Two Faces, but in a shocking Oscar night twist, she was beat by Juliette Binoche for her role in the wildly popular film The English Patient. Bacall later won an honorary Oscar in 2010.

  • Upset: Katherine Heigl's Emmy Win for Best Supporting Actress


    Photo via Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis

    In 2007, Katherine Heigl beat out two other Grey’s Anatomy actresses to win Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, but the following year Heigl withdrew her nomination, famously saying she wasn't given good material to work with. She left the series shortly thereafter and has had moderate success on the big screen with films such as Knocked Up

  • Upset: Jim Parsons's Emmy Win for Best Actor in a Comedy


    Photo via LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Corbis

    This quirky actor won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy in 2010 for his role as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. Hence, it came as a surprise when he won for a second year in a row in 2011, shockingly defeating Steve Carell in his last year on The Office.

  • Upset: 'Crash's' Oscar Win for Best Picture


    Photo via Phil Ramey/RameyPix/Corbis

    In 2006, Brokeback Mountain was an exceptionally revolutionary film, and most people predicted it to take home the Oscar for Best Picture. Yet somehow, the crime drama Crash won the honor.

    More from The Stir: 13 Movie Stars Who Were Almost Unrecognizable Onscreen (PHOTOS)

  • Upset: Adrien Brody's Oscar Win for Best Actor


    Photo via Reuters/CORBIS

    At age 29, Adrien Brody became the youngest male to win the Oscar for Best Actor. He won in 2003 for his role in The Pianist over fellow nominees and Hollywood heavyweights Daniel Day Lewis and Jack Nicholson.

  • Upset: Renee Zellweger's Golden Globe Win for Best Actress


    Photo via Phil Ramey Agency/RameyPix/Corbis

    This Nurse Betty actress was so convinced she wasn't a winner at the 2001 Golden Globes that she was in the bathroom when her category was announced — and she eventually accepted after Hugh Grant began her speech.

  • Upset: Marisa Tomei's Best Supporting Actress Oscar Win


    Photo via Steve Starr/CORBIS

    When Marisa Tomei won Best Supporting Actress for her role in My Cousin Vinny at the 1993 Academy Awards, many thought the win was a mistake. Fellow nominees Judy Davis, Joan Plowright, Vanessa Redgrave, and Miranda Richardson were all film critic darlings, and the film itself was released over a year before the awards show. Nonetheless, Tomei took home the Oscar, though she's not been nominated for any major awards since.

  • Upset: 'Mozart in the Jungle's' Golden Globe Win for Best Comedy Series


    Photo via Michael Owen Baker/ZUMA Press/Corbis

    Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle was not expected to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy Series in 2015 — much less since it was up against critically acclaimed competitors like Orange is the New Black and Transparent.

    More from The Stir: 20 Stars Who Dissed Their Own Movies (PHOTOS)

  • Upset: Anna Paquin's Oscar Win for Best Supporting Actress


    Photo via Steve Starr/CORBIS

    This True Blood actress was only 11 years old when she won the 1993 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her part in The Piano. She even beat out Rosie Perez and Winona Ryder for the award.

  • Upset: Bobby Cannavale's Emmy Win for Best Actor in a Drama Series


    Photo via MIKE BLAKE/Reuters/Corbis

    Although Boardwalk Empire was considered a critical success, Bobby Cannavale faced stiff competition when he unexpectedly won the 2013 Emmy over Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones and Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad.

  • Upset: 'Arrested Development's' Emmy Win for Best Comedy


    Photo via Frank Trapper/Corbis

    Although Arrested Development eventually became a cult favorite, it was not at all well-known when it won the 2004 Emmy over mega-hits Sex in the CityCurb Your Enthusiasm, and Will & Grace.

  • Upset: Mira Sorvino's Oscar Win for Best Supporting Actress


    Photo via Frank Trapper/Sygma/Corbis

    She even seemed shocked when she stepped onto the Oscars stage in 1996 to accept the award for Best Supporting Actress for Mighty Aphrodite. Mira Sorvino went on to star in the cult hit Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, but while she continues to appear onscreen, her fame has dramatically tapered off since then.

    More from The Stir: 20 Awesome Actors Who've Earned Major Award Noms But Never Won (PHOTOS)

  • Upset: Helen Hunt's Oscar Win for Best Actress


    Photo via Frank Trapper/Sygma/Corbis

    Helen Hunt not only shockingly beat Kate Winslet in Titanic, but also famed actress Judi Dench, to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1998 for her role in As Good As It Gets.

  • Upset: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel's' Golden Globe Win for Best Comedy


    Photo via PAUL BUCK/epa/Corbis

    Wes Anderson has a cult following as a director, but he has not always achieved critical acclaim. His film The Grand Budapest was not predicted to win at the 2014 Golden Globes, yet it even beat out critical darling Birdman.


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