Ah, award shows, our favorite nights to gawk at celebrity fashion on the red carpet, find out who's coupled up, and, of course, listen to what are usually awesome award acceptance speeches. From the adorably excited (Sally Field at the 1985 Oscars) to the outright odd (Angelina Jolie at the 2000 Oscars), and the remarkably inspiring (Jesse Williams at the 2016 BET Awards), in the history of award shows, the speeches rarely disappoint. So, we've rounded up a few of the greatest of all time, whether they be hilarious or heroic. Keep scrolling to relive the classic moments from behind the award show podium.
Halle Berry wins the Oscar for Best Actress
At the Academy Awards in 2002, Berry took home the award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster's Ball. She became the first African American woman to win the honor and her overwhelmed and emotional speech stole our hearts.
Taylor Swift wins the Grammy for Album of the Year
To the surprise of just about no one, Swift took home the award for Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys. To the surprise of everyone, she used her platform to not-so-low-key call out Kanye West in the wake of the release of his song, "Famous," which features a disagreeable lyric about Swift.
Cuba Gooding Jr. wins the Oscar for Supporting Actor
For his performance in Jerry Maguire, Gooding Jr. was awarded the Oscar for Supporting Actor at the 1997 Academy Awards. His excitement, best displayed in his repeated shouting of "I love you, I love you" at the crowd, was palpable. He ultimately set down his statue and proceeded to jump up and down on stage.
Patricia Arquette wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress
In an inspiring, but controversial speech, Boyhood star Arquette used her time to call out the wage gap issue in Hollywood. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America," she said as she accepted her Oscar in 2015.
Julia Roberts wins the Oscar for Best Actress
An excessively excited Roberts accepted the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2001 for her performance in Erin Brockovich. Before thanking just about everyone she knew, Roberts requested that music conductor, Bill Conti, not cut her off so quickly, saying "... you're doing a great job, but you're so quick with that stick. So why don't you sit, 'cause I may never be here again."
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Jeffrey Tambor wins the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy
In a touching moment at the 2015 Emmy awards, Tambor accepted his award for his performance in Transparent and subsequently dedicated it to the transgender community: "I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage."
Meryl Streep wins the Oscar for Best Actress
For her performance in The Iron Lady, Streep took home the award for Best Actress at the 2012 Academy Awards. When she arrived on stage, she hilariously awarded the world with a new phrase: "Streep fatigue," referring to her 16 previous nominations and two other Oscar wins.
Lupita Nyong'o wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress
In a sort of unprecedented occurrence because it was her first feature film, Nyong'o took home the award for her role in 12 Years a Slave. Her emotional and grateful acceptance speech rocked the nation, and placed the actress in full America's sweetheart position. "When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid," she said to close her speech.
Cate Blanchett wins the Oscar for Best Actress
For her performance in Blue Jasmine, Blanchett took home the top award at the 2014 Academy Awards. In another nod at the struggle of being a woman in Hollywood, the actress used her speech to remind the world that the film industry's starring women are a massive market: "... those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money."
Viola Davis wins the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama
Queen Viola became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy in the the lead actress in a drama category and she fittingly used her speech to bring up the issue of race in Hollywood. After quoting Harriet Tubman, Davis went on to say, "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."