The 12 most shocking moments in Oscars history, from Will Smith's slap to Adrien Brody's kiss

Anything can happen at the Academy Awards.

Just ask comedian Chris Rock, who was unceremoniously slapped by Will Smith during last year's show after cracking a joke about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Another literal smackdown is unlikely at this year's event, although plenty of contenders will figuratively duke it out in too-close-to-call races such as best actor, best actress and best original screenplay.

With just a week out before Jimmy Kimmel returns to host the Oscars on March 12 (ABC, 8 EDT/5 PDT), here's a look back at some of the wildest, most unexpected moments in the awards show's history:

12. Cher turns heads in a see-through dress (1988)

Cher wearing Bob Mackie in 1988.
Cher wearing Bob Mackie in 1988.

Bjork had her swan dress and golden eggs at the 2001 awards, while Celine Dion wore a backward tuxedo and diamond-studded sunglasses to the show in 1999. But no one has made bolder fashion statements at the Oscars than Cher, who has unforgettably donned feathered headdresses and belly-baring gowns. Her jewel-encrusted naked dress may have been her most daring, which she wore when she won best actress for "Moonstruck."

11. John Travolta butchers Idina Menzel's name (2014)

The "Grease" actor launched a thousand memes when he introduced the "Frozen" star's performance of "Let It Go," unintelligibly pronouncing her name as "Adele Dazeem."

10. Chris Rock takes no prisoners in his blistering opening monologue (2016)

The stand-up comedian made for a searing Oscar host amid outrage over the second year of #OscarsSoWhite, taking aim at the lack of diversity in the acting nominees, and stars such as Smith and Pinkett Smith, who boycotted the ceremony because of it. "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties," he jabbed. "I wasn't invited!"

9. Rob Lowe opens the show with a bizarre duet (1989)

The actor was endlessly lampooned for his participation in this campy opening number, in which he performed a duet of "Proud Mary" with "Snow White"-clad newcomer Eileen Bowman. Stars including Paul Newman and Julie Andrews slammed the disastrous 10-plus-minute number as an "embarrassment" in an open letter, and Disney filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Academy for using its character.

8. Angelina Jolie shares an uncomfortably intimate moment with her brother (2000)

Taking best supporting actress for "Girl, Interrupted," Jolie uncomfortably thanked her older brother, James Haven, saying, “I’m in shock and I’m so in love with my brother right now." They were later photographed briefly locking lips at the event, fueling speculation about their curiously close relationship.

7. A streaker crashes the awards (1974)

Shortly before Elizabeth Taylor was set to announce best picture, gay rights activist Robert Opel stripped naked and ran across the stage behind Oscar co-host David Niven. He was not arrested, and merely explained that it was "one of those one-time things."

6. Marlon Brando refuses to accept his Oscar (1973)

Instead of walking to the stage when he won best actor for "The Godfather," Brando sent Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather up to protest the misrepresentation of American Indians in Hollywood. It's one of the earliest instances of actors getting political during their Oscar speeches, with Patricia Arquette singling out the wage gap and Leonardo DiCaprio addressing climate change in more recent years.

5. Adrien Brody lays an uninvited kiss on Halle Berry (2003)

In a move that's become even more cringeworthy to watch in light of the sexual harassment allegations that have rocked Hollywood in recent years, Brody brings Berry in for a long, awkward kiss when he takes the podium to accept best actor for "The Pianist." The unplanned moment came just a year after Berry became the first Black woman ever to win best actress for her performance in "Monster's Ball."

4. Marisa Tomei upsets with best-supporting actress win (1993)

After Tomei beat out veterans Vanessa Redgrave and Joan Plowright for her comedic tour de force in "My Cousin Vinny," conspiracy theories began to circulate in entertainment publications that presenter Jack Palance couldn't read the winner's card and called the last name on the teleprompter. The rumor has since been debunked by the Academy and footage from the ceremony, which shows Palance reading the card.

3. 'Crash' takes best picture over 'Brokeback Mountain' (2006)

In what's considered one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history, Paul Haggis' race drama beat out Ang Lee's critically favored front-runner, making it only the second film ever to win the top prize without a Golden Globes picture nomination.

2. 'La La Land' is erroneously awarded best picture in an infamous envelope mix-up (2017)

"La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz shows the envelope revealing "Moonlight" as the true best-picture winner at the 2017 Oscars.
"La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz shows the envelope revealing "Moonlight" as the true best-picture winner at the 2017 Oscars.

"There's been a mistake." Those four words changed the course of Oscars history in 2017, when 2½ minutes into the "La La Land" team's best-picture acceptance speeches, producer Jordan Horowitz informed the crowd that "Moonlight" had actually won. The jaw-dropping gaffe – which was met with stunned disbelief by those in the room and at home – was the result of a mix-up by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who mistakenly handed presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty the wrong category envelope.

1. Will Smith slaps Chris Rock (2022)

We all remember where we were during "The Slap." While presenting an award, Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith's bald head, saying that he can't wait to see her in "G.I. Jane 2" (a reference to Demi Moore's shaved scalp in the original movie). Smith made a beeline for the stage, smacked Rock and returned to his seat, shouting, "Keep my wife's name out of your (expletive) mouth!" The unscripted moment was initially greeted with laughter inside the room, but stupefied onlookers such as Lupita Nyong'o quickly realized: This was definitely not a bit.

Get ready for Oscars 2023:

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Oscars most shocking moments ranked: Will Smith, Moonlight, more