By Laura Hertzfeld
February 25, 2013 at 01:42 PM EST

Inside the Dolby Theatre, the array of dresses, tuxes, champagne flutes, Hollywood chatter, and discussion of which commercial break is best for making a run to the bar sometimes overshadow watching the show itself. Sunday night was no exception, as the audience from our vantage point in the first mezzanine reacted positively to host Seth MacFarlane and screamed loudly for winners like Life of Pi and Argo. But what happens when the show takes a break? Who’s hanging out with whom in the lobby? Here are a few of our favorite insider scenes from Sunday night’s Oscars.

The commercial breaks seem so fast. You may be longing for the DVR when you watch the Oscars at home, but inside, the breaks feel faster than you can say “and the Oscar goes to.” Commercials are the only time you can move into the lobby or back to your seat — and in floor length gowns, that’s no small task.

The Master reunion. We spied Joaquin Phoenix chatting with Phillip Seymour Hoffman at the bar, joined by Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell. Flirting with greatness?

The flood. There was a flood in the first floor bathroom, causing water to leak all over the Dolby’s lobby area, not to mention a distinct smell. Ewww! Lynette Rice snapped the photo of the cleanup crew below.

You can tell who’s worked on what film. Judging on where the clapping was strongest, we were clearly surrounded by the Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild fan club.

Cute couples. We couldn’t keep our eyes off Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton ordering drinks at the bar, and Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux making the rounds in the lobby lounge.

Networking. Stars, they’re just like us. Reese Witherspoon was chatting with Jeffrey Katzenberg before the show got underway.

Meeting legends. Lori Singer — Ariel in the original Footloose — introduced herself to Jane Fonda in the lobby.

Snacks! Mid-way through the show, candy girls dressed in turquoise cigarette girl outfits made their way through the crowd, passing out popcorn, Reese’s pieces, Jelly Bellys, and Altoids. Phew, we were starving!

The surprises were still surprises. Based on the excited gasps heard around us, no one in the audience saw Barbra Streisand’s moving Marvin Hamlisch tribute or the Michelle Obama satellite feed coming.

Additional reporting by Lynette Rice

Read more:

Special coverage: Oscars 2013

Oscars 2013: The full winners list