The most annoying things to hear in an Oscars speech

Watch out for these classic acceptance speech clichés at this year’s Academy Awards.

This year's Oscar race is the most open competition in ages, but one thing is certain: whoever wins, they'll deliver a speech peppered with the same old stuff we hear year in, year out. Maybe it's the billions of people watching at home, maybe it's the icy glares of their peers, or maybe it's just the orchestra itching to play them off after their allotted few seconds, but acceptance speeches almost always include one of these annoying clichés...

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Natalie even thanked her make-up artist (Credit: Wenn)
Thanking the Academy/Mum/Dad/director/agent/God

Why it's annoying: Politeness costs nothing, and no one likes a bad winner. It'd be bad form to stand at that heralded Oscar podium and neglect the people who helped get you there, but winners usually waste their brief moment in the spotlight by rattling off a list of loved ones. That's taken as read, you guys – if you don't love your Mum or Dad, chances are we've already read about it in the gossip columns. Just once, we'd like to see an Oscar-winner thank themselves. Careful though: too much bravado and suddenly you're James Cameron, King of the World (and the twerps).

Example: Natalie Portman individually thanked each and every one of the seven billion souls on Earth when she won for ‘Black Swan’ – okay, maybe it just felt like that. She thanked her makeup artist, for goodness' sake. (She didn't, however, thank the ballerina who allegedly did "95%" of her dancing. Awkward.)

'Carey Mulligan? Your talent makes me sick!' blurted Bullock (Credit: Wenn)
Brown-nosing the losing nominees

Why it's annoying: Again, it's a given that you have the utmost respect for your fellow nominees – Lord knows you've spent the entire awards season telling us just that. This is unnecessary information that everybody already assumed. What's that you say? You adore Meryl Streep? Oh my gosh, THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION. This is your time to shine – don't spend the 60 seconds you have at the top of your game sucking up to the losers. It's their problem if they feel snubbed; you'll be too busy polishing the head of your Oscar to care.

Example: Sandra Bullock thanked all four of her fellow nominees in intimate detail. Gabourey Sidibe? "You are exquisite". Carey Mulligan? "Your talent makes me sick". Helen Mirren? "I feel like we are family". And Meryl Streep? "You're such a good kisser". TMI, Sandy. TMI.

Gwyneth gave an infamously emotional speech (Credit: Rex)
Crying / Lip-wobbling

Why it's annoying: Ugh. Euuuchh. Eye-roll. To be clear, none of us mind the odd tear rolling down an A-list cheek or a trembling voice in an acceptance speech – it's the wretched sounds of sobbing that's such a turn-off. Compose yourself, dammit – you're an actor, it's your job! As the lucky winner wipes their snotty nose on the sleeve of their $480,000 dress and bawls their way through their speech, it's hard to feel any sympathy at all – because you know they've practised each and every weep in the mirror a thousand times already.

Example: Oh, Gwyneth Paltrow. What an unfortunate time to get over-emotional. Perhaps our dislike of Gwyn's gushing was due to the combination of the excessive tears, her ridiculous pink tutu and the fact that, in no way was Gwyneth Paltrow the Best Actress of the year. ‘Elizabeth’ star Cate Blanchett is the one who should have been crying.

Catherine blamed her reaction on her pregnency (Credit: Celebizz)
Feigning shock

Why it's annoying: The odds are, like, 1 in 5. No one is winning the lottery here. You have not just been informed of life on other planets. There is a very good chance you probably already knew you were going to win. A smidgen of humility goes a long way, but the Taylor Swift-esque 'hands clamped to face' award-winning gawp is doing you no favours, trust us. Also, the fact you already won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG award and an armful of other gongs in the last month should have been a pretty good indicator of what to expect.

Example: Catherine Zeta-Jones laid it on pretty thick in 2003 after winning Best Supporting Actress for Chicago. "I can't believe it. Oh my gosh. This is too... I mean, my hormones are just too way out of control to be dealing with this." WE GET IT.

Michael Moore took the chance to take a pop at George Bush (Credit: Rex)
Making an ill-advised political statement

Why it's annoying: You know why people watch the Oscars? To goggle at celebrities wearing clothes that cost more than Belgium's GDP, to wince at Ryan Seacrest's latest attempts at red carpet 'banter' and because there's a slight chance Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie might finally kick-off that cat fight the tabloids have been talking about for the past ten years. You know why people don't watch the Oscars? To be educated about deforestation in Djibouti. Oh, and newsflash, genius: we ALL love the troops.

Example: When Michael Moore won the Best Documentary Oscar for Bowling Columbine in 2003, he took it as an example to rattle off a rant on President Bush: "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons!" Not sated by his Academy soapboxing, he later made a whole movie out of Bush-bashing. Fahrenheit 9/11 won zero Oscars.

Sorkin wouldn't be rushed (Credit: Rex)
Talking over the orchestra

Why it's annoying: To be fair, the Academy's orchestra conductor wields his baton like Obi-Wan Kenobi did a lightsaber, cutting down chatty winners with a series of vicious swipes, directing a swell of jubilant music that sweeps them from the stage, whether they're finished or not. But like it or lump it, brevity is part and parcel of winning an Academy Award, and every extra 'thank you' that's snuck in before the music starts extends the ceremony even longer. And it's already twice as long as it needs to be.

Example: Aaron Sorkin – never a chap to say one word when two dozen will do – talked over the orchestra for a full minute after he won Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘The Social Network’. To be fair, he did have to address his daughter's guinea pig.

Sally Field's infamous 'You like me!' speech (Credit: tumblr)
Being unnecessarily bolshy

Why it's annoying: This is the flipside of cliché #1 – forgoing humility to concentrate on how awesome you are for winning. There is nothing wrong with pride – it's easily the least deadly of the seven sins – but there's a line marked ‘idiot’ on that stage, and buddy, keep talking about yourself and you're close to crossing it. If you're having trouble figuring out just how confident to be, just think to yourself: would Jack Nicholson do this? If the answer is no, don't do it. If the answer is yes, still don't do it – he's Jack Nicholson.

Example: We've covered James Cameron's titanic blunder, but equally vomit-inducing was Sally Field's exclamation: "You like me, you really like me!" Yes, we did – for about twelve seconds until you ruined it by talking.