We’re used to watching the Academy Awards and the Grammys, laughing at our favorite celebrities get slimed at The Kids Choice Awards, and enjoying over the top performances at the MTV Music Awards but some awards and award shows really go overboard, rewarding the most outrageous discoveries and people with funny (and sometimes) offensive awards.
1. Ig Nobel Awards
Honoring the weird and oftentimes trivial scientific research each year, 10 Ig Nobel Awards are given out to honor research that “first makes you laugh and then makes you think.” These awards are given out at Harvard University and the presenters include many actual Nobel Prize winners. In 1997, the Ig Nobel Prize for Physics went to Robert Matthews of Aston University, England for showing that toast most often falls on the buttered side. Innovation at it’s finest.
2. Foot In Mouth Award
All right. We know that celebrities can say the darndest things and the Plain English Campaign is there to award them for their most impressively baffling speeches with their annual “Foot In Mouth Awards.” From politicians to movie stars, the Plain English Campaign takes no prisoners. In 1996, the award went to Alicia Silverstone, who noted, “I think that [the film] ‘Clueless’ was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it’s true lightness.” We totally agree, Alicia. (As if.)
3. Darwin Awards
This one is referenced a lot in pop culture but it seems like no one really knows exactly what makes one qualified to win a Darwin Award. No, your favorite YouTube star who missed the pool when he jumped off the roof probably did not win a Darwin Award if he lived to upload the video. To win a Darwin award, you must meet 5 criteria: be out of the gene pool (dead or sterile), be capable of sound judgement, have astounding misapplication of judgement, be the cause of your own demise, and the event must be true. One notable Darwin Award recipient “Cameron, 18, was joyriding in a shopping cart as he held onto a moving SUV” when both the car and cart hit a speed bump.
4. Rotten Sneaker Contest
This is one for those days you’ve been on your feet, in the rain, wearing no socks, for twelve hours straight. Everyday. For five years. Okay, that might be an exaggeration but the winners of this award given out by Odor Eaters have the smelliest shoes in the country. Sneakers are judged “on the conditions of the sole, tongue, heel, toe, laces or velcro, eyelets/grommets, overall condition and most important ODOR” according to the official contest page. The winners’ shoes are retired after the contest (luckily) and displayed in the Odor Eaters “Hall of Fumes.”
5. Loo of the Year Awards
Given out each year by the British Toilet Association whose objective is “to encourage the highest possible standards in all types of ‘away from home’ or public toilets.” Yes, that’s right, an award for the best public restrooms in the UK. This award is no joke, either. There are sixty different categories you can be nominated in for toilet of the year. Sixty! It’s very obvious that the British take their public toilets seriously.