15 Oscars Trivia Facts You Can Award Yourself With

Even if you don’t really care for movies, you probably end up hearing about them all the time because they’re advertised everywhere. Plus everyone else probably has some hot take you catch wind of and have to kind of pretend you understand but you didn’t watch the movie so you just kind of nod along while staring wistfully into your coffee. Anyway, every now and then a council of movie critics get together and then give some golden statues to movies for different reasons. They’re called the Oscars (well technically the Academy Awards), and even if you’re not watching, here are some Oscars trivia facts so you can either win at bar trivia or pretend you know what’s going on.

Oscars Trivia Facts

1. Nobody really knows why the gold statuette trophies are called Oscars. The most popular story, though, is that the name “Oscar” was given by accident, and the Academy Awards ran with it because they realized how snobby “Academy Awards” sounded. 

2. If you won an Oscar after the 1950s, you don’t actually own the trophy (legally). The Academy Awards requires winners sell the trophy back to the Academy Awards for the princely sum of a single dollar. This is to prevent people, mostly, from reselling their awards. 

3. The 2023 Oscars ceremony cost $56.8 million dollars. The red carpet alone cost almost $25 thousand. 

4. Only three films have ever won the “Big Five” awards. That’s sweeping Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay. The three are It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

5. Four movies have the most Oscar wins as of 2022. That’s Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1994), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). They each have won 11 times. 

6. Anthony Hopkins and Tatum O’Neal are the oldest and youngest Oscar winners at 88 and 10 respectively.

7. The longest Oscar ceremony was the 74th one in 2002. It ran for four and a half hours. 

8. Of the 2023 Oscar nominees, Everything Everywhere All at Once (2023) has the most nominations, at 11.

9. Heath Ledger and Peter Finch are the only individuals who have posthumously won an Oscar.

10. As far as nominations go, three movies are tied at the most nominations, with 14 each. They’re All About Eve (1950), Titanic (1997), and La La Land (2016). 

11. Oscar acceptance speeches are supposed to be like 45 seconds, but Greer Garson spoke for seven minutes in 1943. She had won Best Actress in Mrs. Miniver (1942). 

12. Only three people have ever refused an Oscar. George C. Scott in 1971, Marlon Brando in 1973, and Dudely Nichols in 1936. 

13. Speaking of, Brando’s 1973 Oscar was declined on his behalf by Sacheen Littlefeather. This was a statement of protest against the American government for its treatment of Native Americans following the Wounded Knee Occupation. 

14. Two movies were nominated 11 times but came out of the award ceremony empty handed. The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985).

15. Remember that time La La Land (2016) was announced incorrectly for best picture? Well Moonlight (2016) was a lot of other, more significant firsts for the Oscars. It was the first mass-market films with LGBTQ themes and an all-black cast to win Best Picture. Joi McMillion is the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar in editing for her work on Moonlight. More specifically, she was nominated for best editing. Mahershala Ali won best supporting actor and is the first Muslim person to win an acting Oscar. 

See if you know your Best Picture winners here.