In a night of surprise wins (looking at you, Mozart in the Jungle) and genre confusion (no, really, is The Martian a comedy?), not even veteran nominees were completely prepared to take the stage for acceptance speeches. Still, the following crop of winners not only impressed with how they thanked their casts and crews, but managed to deliver emotional appeals or graciously take their trophies in the face of the short talking time allowed by the producers. Ahead, the 12 most memorable speeches of the night.
Rachel Bloom, Best Actress in a TV Comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Rachel Bloom just happens to be a Golden Globe winner! The star of The CW’s musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend couldn’t celebrate her trophy with a song-and-dance number, but teared up as soon as her name was announced, leading to an emotional and touching acceptance speech. She spoke of how hard it was to get her project on screen — “We got six rejections in a day,” she recalled — and went on to thank her co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna and crew, before the music began. At the last second, Bloom punched the air, Judd Nelson-style, capping off a win in true Rebecca Bunch fashion.
Taraji P. Henson, Best Actress in a TV Drama, Empire
Taraji P. Henson embraced her inner Cookie Lyon at the Golden Globes. When the actress’ name was called, she grabbed a handful of cookies and passed them out to costars and nearby famous people — like Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Both Henson’s shock and her cookie delivery delayed her arrival onto the stage, but the actress — like many others — was not swayed by the 29-second countdown. “‘Please wrap up’? I’ve been waiting 20 years for this,” she said, brandishing her trophy. “You gon’ wait.”
Sylvester Stallone, Best Supporting Actor, Creed
Sylvester Stallone won his Best Supporting Actor trophy for Creed at the Globes on Sunday to roaring applause. It was his first win — he had been nominated in 1997 for Best Screenplay and for his leading role in Rocky. When his time came, he was humble, gracious, and admittedly “emotional.”
“I’m the sum total of everyone I’ve ever met, and I’m just lucky he absorbed some of it,” he said, adding that he was hit by a “tumbleweed” during his first round of nominations, but that “the view is so beautiful now.” Stallone lastly thanked his “imaginary friend Rocky Balboa, for being the best friend I ever had.” Aww.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Actor in a Drama, The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio was awarded his third Golden Globe on Sunday, but judging by the audience reaction, you’d have thought he’d just won his first Oscar. The stars got to their feet, delivering a thunderous applause that brought a smile to to the usually taciturn actor’s face.
“I’ve never had an experience like this in my entire life,” he said, going on to thank his costars and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Of particular note is the conclusion of his speech, in which DiCaprio said that he wanted to “share this with all the First Nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous people in this film. … It’s time we protect your lands, and it is time we heard your voice and protect this planet for future generations.”
Brie Larson, Best Actress in a Drama, Room
Though every winner thanks the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the Golden Globe, the breakout Room actress took the gratitude a step further, expressing awe at the ceremony and calling the HFPA “such an incredible bunch of people.” When it came to thanking child costar Jacob Tremblay, Brie Larson was just as eloquent, saying that he “is half of this, half of my award, half of my performance.” She even managed to figure out a solution to the short speech time: As she rounded out her list of people to thank, she told the camera, “I’m sorry to anyone I forgot. I’ll write you a thank-you card.”
Lady Gaga, Best Actress in a Limited Series, American Horror Story: Hotel
The singer-actress breathlessly gave a heartfelt acceptance speech about her success. “I feel like Cher from that John Patrick Shanley film Moonstruck right now,” Lady Gaga said, tearing up. “This is one of the greatest moments of my life.” The American Horror Story: Hotel star went on to thank creator Ryan Murphy and the cast, calling them “all so talented,” before revealing that she had always wanted to act. “Music worked out first,” she admitted, before concluding, “I really, truly am speechless.” (She wasn’t.)
Jon Hamm, Best Actor in a TV Drama, Mad Men
The actor, who last won a Golden Globe for the first season of Mad Men, bookended his run as Don Draper with a trophy for his performance in the final one. As he took the stage, Hamm seemed stunned at the achievement. “I really did not think I was going to do this,” he said, before praising Mad Men creator Matt Weiner. “Thanks to Mr. Weiner, who wrote this horrible person all the way through to the end of this incredible ride, and picked me to play him.” Cheekily, Hamm ended his speech with a proposal for an alternate ending he said Weiner rejected. “Thank you for not taking my suggestion and ending the entire series on Chumbawumba,” he joked, deadpan. “You picked the right song.”
Matt Damon, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, The Martian
Even with only 30 seconds to speak, Matt Damon managed to charm viewers and capture how he felt about winning a Golden Globe again, nearly two decades after he won his first, for writing Good Will Hunting. “It’s literally been 18 years since I was here doing this,” the actor said, gazing around the room. “With a little more context now, I know how lucky I am and how lucky I am to do this for a living.”
Gael García Bernal, Best Actor in a TV Comedy, Mozart in the Jungle
Amazon’s win for Mozart in the Jungle was the first big surprise of the night. The series beat out Netflix powerhouse Orange Is the New Black, as well as last year’s winner, Transparent. But none were more surprised than Gael García Bernal; when he took the stage to accept his award for Best Actor for his role in the series, he was visibly emotional and nearly breathless.
He went on to thank his Mozart team — his “family” — and dedicated the award “to music, to all the people that play their music, [the] common ground for communication, for justice, for happiness.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress in a Comedy, Joy
Of course, no list of memorable awards nights moments could be absent of Jennifer Lawrence, who spent the bulk of her time up on the Beverly Hilton stage thanking David O. Russell for allowing her to act as his muse. (Naturally, he had her lipstick print on his cheek the entire time.)
“Every time I’m up here it’s because of you,” she said. “Thank you for choosing me, thank you for your brilliance, thank you for teaching me so much professionally, personally,” Lawrence continued, adding, “David, I love you, I want us to be buried next to each other, I really do,” before hurrying off the stage, Globe in hand.
Oscar Isaac, Best Actor in a Limited Series, Show Me a Hero
The Show Me a Hero actor kept things short on stage — a fact he warned the audiences right away. (How Poe Dameron of him.) “Hello, thank you!” he said as soon as he leapt on stage. “I’m just going to make it very quick.” After thanking writer and exec producer David Simon for adapting the real-life tale of a New York City public housing development in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Isaac went on to express his gratitude for the real-life figures at the center of the series. “I want to thank Nay Wasicsko, who shared so much of her life and her pain and her generosity,” he said. “Thank you so much.”
Ridley Scott, Best Comedy or Musical, The Martian
The Martian director Ridley Scott earns his rightful place on this list not for simply ignoring the wrap-up music, as so many did, but for deliberately disobeying and talking back at it. “We’re nearly done, don’t worry,” he said at the tail-end of his speech, going on to thank his wife, throwing in a “screw you” at the ever-swelling music, and concluding on a heartfelt note: “My brother Tony would have been here tonight for sure, and I know many of you knew and loved him,” he said. “I miss you, Tony.”
Scott’s speech was also memorable for his mention of the especially successful 2015 box office — which cumulated a record-breaking $38 billion — saying that he was happy with The Martian‘s gross until Star Wars came along and decimated all competition in its path.