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Oscar Party Ideas

Updated on February 22, 2013

Try these tips to make your Oscar Party Night memorable

The big night is coming! You and your friends are preparing for the big night. What do you need to host a successful Oscar party?

  • Music to set the mood
  • Ice-breaker games and other fun activities
  • Delicious food with a Hollywood flair
  • Party favors, prizes and other fun extras

Oscar Party
Oscar Party | Source
Oscar Statue in Hollywood
Oscar Statue in Hollywood | Source

Music to Set the Mood

If you are hosting a party, it makes sense that the music you have playing in the background come from the movies. You can burn a CD with songs that have won (or at least h been nominated) for the Academy Award for Best Picture in past years, or feature the songs nominated this year. If you like, you can even put together different music collections of Oscar-worthy songs based on genre. For example:

Romantic Songs:

  • "Falling Slowly" from Once
  • "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic
  • "After All" from Chances Are
  • "Storybook Love" from Princess Bride
  • "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from The Woman in Red
  • "The Last Time I Felt Like This" from Same Time, Next Year

Novelty Songs

  • "Blame Canada" from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
  • "Ghostbusters" from Ghostbusters
  • "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie
  • "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" from Little Shop of Horrors
  • "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin

Dance Songs:

  • "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire
  • "That Thing You Do" from That Thing You Do
  • "The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing
  • "Footloose" from Footloose
  • "What a Feeling" from Flashdance

If you are feeling a little rebellious, you might even throw in a dance track or two from a soundtrack that most people agree should be on this list, but is not. Although Saturday Night Fever is one of the most famous dance movies of all time, none of the songs on the multiplatinum soundtrack by the Bee Gees got nominated. And another amazing snub: despite their success with such fillms as A Hard Days Night and Yellow Submarine, the Beatles were never nominated for Best Original Song. Paul McCartney earned a nomination on his own years later for the title track to the Bond film Live and Let Die.

Oscar Night Meals Inspired by the Movies

What should you offer your guests to eat at your Oscar party? Well, you could try to take some ideas from Oscar-nominated movies. Here's some ideas I've seen from around the web:

Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes from Simply Recipes

Movie: Babette's Feast (1987)

Recipe: Babette's Cailles en Sarcophage from the New York Times

Movie: The Godfather (1972)

Recipe: The Godfather's Spaghetti Sauce from

Movie: Julie and Julia (2010)

Recipe: Roast Chicken - created by Julia Child, herself! from Food and Wine

Movie: Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Recipe: New York Style Thin Crust Pizza from Tastebook

Movie: Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

Recipe: Shrimp and Water Chestnut Croquettes from Things Asian

Movie: Amelie (2001)

Recipe: Cre'me Brulee from Diamonds for Dessert

And top it all off with these wonderful Oscar Statuette Sugar Cookies from Bakerella!

And of course, you could always... make some popcorn.

Academy Award Ticket
Academy Award Ticket | Source

Games and other Activities

Rules for the "Who Am I" game

  1. As each guest comes in, give him or her a 3X5 card containing the name of a person nominated for an Oscar this particular year. Tape it to your guest's back so that he or she can't see it, and then tell your guest that the challenge is to figure out the name of the assigned celebrity by asking questions that can be answered with a "yes" or a "no." As each guest correctly identifies his or her secret identity, offer up a party favor of some kind as a reward.
  2. Play an edition of "Scene It".
  3. Pass out ballots listing nominees in each of these categories:
  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress

Give the night's grand prize to the person who correctly identifies the highest number of winners.

Play Oscar Bingo!

1. Locate a printable blank bingo card, such as this one from Holidays Central

2. Each card has 24 spaces. Fill each of those spaces with one of the following events, randomly, so that each card is different and unique. No event should appear more than once on each card:

  • Somebody thanks the Academy
  • A winner doesn't show
  • The music starts playing while the winner is still talking
  • An announcer flubs
  • Political jab
  • Jab at a celebrity
  • Somebody kisses somebody
  • Somebody cries
  • Somebody stumbles
  • Pan to winner in a category
  • Pan to loser in a category
  • The host's joke - epic fail
  • Montage
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Best Song Nominee performed
  • The host sings
  • Somebody cracks up on stage
  • Somebody thanks their husband or wife
  • Somebody thanks their lifetime partner
  • Somebody speaks to their children
  • Somebody mentions their parents
  • Somebody thanks their director
  • Somebody thanks their fellow cast members
  • Somebody thanks the crew
  • Memorial Montage
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Director
  • Best Foreign Film

3. When somebody gets five in a row, they shout Bingo! to get a prize.

Offer an Oscar Movie Quiz

Try out some of the questions below, or make up some of your own!


Prizes and Party Favors

Prizes and party favors need not be expensive. A lot of what you need can be bought at the dollar store. Buy some small metallic party bags and fill them with:

  • A pair of inexpensive plastic sunglasses
  • Mardi gras beads
  • Plastic statuettes, such as the one advertised at Partycheap. (Most local party stores will have something that works just as well.)
  • Ziplock bags with party mints

When it's time to present prizes to the winners, try these inexpensive ideas:

  • DVDs of past award-winning movies
  • CDs of past movie soundtracks
  • The original books from which nominated movies were taken
  • A book about the history of the movies
  • Roger Ebert's annual film guide

Most of these can be found at your local Half-Price Books store.


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