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7 most memorable Golden Globes moments from over the years

From risqué jokes to awkward encounters

golden globes moments
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
10 January 2023
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From scandalous gags to poignant speeches and awkward encounters, the Golden Globes annually provides some of the most talked-about moments in Hollywood.

The event, which is considered to be a rowdier version of the Oscars, is back in full swing this year. With the show returning to its regular format following 2021's private event, we can't wait for more risqué jokes and awkward run-ins. Ahead of the ceremony, take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from over the years. 

WATCH: The Golden Globes' most memorable moments

Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio's awkward moment 

This now-iconic interaction between Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio from the 2016 awards quickly became a meme when the singer brushed past the Titanic actor on her way to collect an award for best actress in a miniseries.  

In a short clip that quickly went viral, the actress walked towards the stage and sweeped past Leonardo – who was caught pulling what seemed to be a startled expression at seeing the Just Dance hitmaker as she continued to make her way through the crowd.

MORE: Golden Globes nominations: who made the cut?

MORE: Who were the winners at the 2022 Golden Globes? 

The Inception star later addressed the moment in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "Oh lord – that's trending huh," he laughed when shown the video. "I just didn't know what was passing me, that's all!" 

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lady Gaga

 This moment went viral after the show

Jodie Foster comes out

Back in 2013, Jodie Foster publicly addressed her sexuality for the first time, coming out as gay.  Accepting the Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award, she announced that she was single before adding: "Seriously, I hope that you're not disappointed that there won't be a big-coming-out speech tonight. I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the stone age." 

She continued: "In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met. 

"But now, apparently I'm told, that every celebrity is expected to honour the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo child."

Jodie Foster

Jodie publicly addressed her sexuality in her speech

Michelle Williams' speech on reproductive rights

Who could forget Michelle Williams' empowering speech about women's reproductive rights during the 2020 show? 

After picking up the gong for best performance by an actress in a limited series, the actress delivered a powerful message - which is perhaps even more poignant today following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade last year. 

"I'm grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I've made, and I'm also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists. Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice," she said before reminding women to "vote in your own self-interest. It's what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them."

Michelle Williams© Photo: Rex

Michelle gave a powerful speech 

Renée Zellweger's unfortunately-timed bathroom break  

Renée Zellweger proved that anything can go wrong on live television in the 2001 awards ceremony. The Bridget Jones star was in the bathroom when Hugh Grant announced her as the winner for best actress in a musical or comedy for her performance in Nurse Betty.

MORE: Renee Zellweger shares secret to incredibly toned body at 53

It was only after the Notting Hill actor began to accept the award on her behalf that she finally rushed to the stage, admitting: "I had lipstick on my teeth!"

Renee Zellweger© Photo: Rex

Renée won the award for best actress in a comedy

Seth Myers calls out Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen

In his 2018 opening monologue, Seth Myers called out sexual harassment, directly referencing Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen.  

"It's time to address the elephant not in the room: Harvey Weinstein," he began. "But don't worry, he’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the 'In Memoriam'.

He later made a dig at Woody when commenting on The Shape of Water: "When I first heard about a film where a woman falls in love with a hideous monster, I thought it was a Woody Allen movie." 

He also took on Kevin Spacey, who had recently been replaced by Christopher Plummer in the film All the Money in the World after accusations of sexual assault surfaced.  

"They're going to do another season of House of Cards. Is Christopher Plummer available for that, too?" Seth asked. "I hope he can do a Southern accent because Kevin Spacey sure couldn't."

Seth Myers

Seth addressed Hollywood's history of sexual harassment

Ricky Gervais aims a jibe at Leonardo DiCaprio

There are countless memorable moments thanks to Ricky Gervais' stints as host from over the years, but one of his best jibes has to be the one he made at Leonardo DiCaprio's expense in 2020.  

MORE: Ricky Gervais' most risqué jokes at the 2020 Golden Globes

Referencing the Revenant star's reputation for dating younger women, he said: "The Irishman was amazing … It wasn't the only epic movie. Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood was nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere and by the end, his date was too old for him."  

Ricky Gervais

Ricky has hosted the ceremony five times

Jack Nicholson accepts award whilst high on valium

While accepting his award for best actor in a drama for About Schmidt in 2003, Jack Nicholson admitted to taking a valium before the ceremony. 

"I don't know whether to be happy or ashamed because I thought we made a comedy… Dermot Mulroney, his haircut alone should have let you know it was a comedy," he said, before later adding: "I took a Valium tonight."

Jack Nicholson

Jack took valium before the ceremony

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