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Zingers, surprises and special tributes: Here are the biggest Oscars moments

The 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, was full of buzzed-about moments.
/ Source: TODAY

The 89th annual Academy Awards were filled with tributes, zingers —and one seriously shocking moment.

The ceremony, televised live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, got off to a hilarious start when host Jimmy Kimmel took to the stage and urged the country to unite despite a heated political climate. Kimmel even vowed to "bury the hatchet" with his faux nemesis Matt Damon.

"I've known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one," Kimmel said, recalling the years they've spent sparring. But funnyman Kimmel just couldn't make peace with his rival, and roasted Damon for allowing Casey Affleck, and not himself, to star in "Manchester By The Sea," which Damon produced.

“He handed what turned out to be an Oscar-caliber role over to his friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead,” Kimmel quipped. “And that movie, "The Great Wall," went on to lose $80 million. Smooth move, dumba--.”

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello / AP

Kimmel takes on Trump — and Streep

Kimmel praised President Donald J. Trump for taking the heat off the Academy. "I wanna say thank you to President Trump. I mean, remember last year when people thought the Oscars were racist?" he quipped.

Meryl Streep stands for applause at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello / AP

The host then began poking fun at other stars in the room, most especially the "highly overrated" (sound familiar?) Meryl Streep, who "phoned it in" throughout most of her career. Streep hilariously rose to accept applause. (Streep's fans recall that after she gave a Golden Globes speech denouncing Trump's policies, the president tweeted about what a lousy actress the 20-time Oscar nominee was.)

Later in the ceremony, Kimmel whipped out his phone to tweet the president directly. "U up?" he asked Trump before tweeting him again: "Meryl says hi."

Singer/actor Justin Timberlake (C) performs onstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards.Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Justin opens the show

The ceremony kicked off with Justin Timberlake singing and dancing to the Oscar-nominated "Can't Stop The Feeling," from "Trolls," a performance that found him and a team of dancers grooving among the stars, including his wife, actress Jessica Biel, in the Dolby Theatre's aisles.

Kimmel thanked Timberlake for starting the show with pizazz. "On your behalf, I really hope the other guys from NSYNC were watching that performance because if they were, I think there’s a really good chance they’re going to let you back in the band."

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Actor Emma Stone attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards.Christopher Polk / Getty Images

"La La Land" wins big

"La La Land" entered the ceremony as the film to beat, with a whopping 14 nominations — tying with 1997's "Titanic" and 1950's "All About Eve" as the most nominated film in Oscar history.

The Old Hollywood-style musical, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and directed by Damien Chazelle, won six awards overall — Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Original Score and Best Song.

Stone tearfully accepted her Best Actress award by heaping praised on director Chazelle and her co-star Gosling, whom she called "the greatest partner on this crazy adventure."

"I still have a lot of growing and learning and work to do and this guy," she said holding up her Oscar, "is a really beautiful symbol to continue on that journey, and I'm really grateful for that."

With his win, 32-year-old Chazelle became the youngest director to ever win an Oscar.

'Moonlight' actor Mahershala Ali hugs Emma Stone after it was discovered 'La La Land' was mistakenly announced as Best Picture.Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Best Picture goes to — whoops!

In the night's most shocking — and awkward — moment, Hollywood icons Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty erroneously presented the night's biggest award for Best Picture to "La La Land."

As producers and cast members for "La La Land" took to the stage to pour their hearts out in acceptance speeches, they were notified that a mistake had been made and Best Picture honors actually belonged to "Moonlight," Barry Jenkins' tender coming-of-age story about a young gay black man.

Shaken but thrilled, Jenkins took to the stage and announced, "Even in my dreams this could not be true. But to hell with dreams."

'La La Land' producer Jordan Horowitz (L) holds up the winner card reading actual Best Picture winner 'Moonlight' with actor Warren Beatty onstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California.Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Afterward, screen legend Beatty returned to the microphone to explain that when he opened the envelope for the night's big winner, he found a card for Emma Stone's Best Actress win inside. Confused, he handed the card to Dunaway, who saw "La La Land" on the card, and believed the film had won Best Picture.

Casey Affleck nabs Best Actor

Casey Affleck took home the Best Actor award for his portrayal of a troubled janitor in "Manchester By The Sea." The actor took to the stage and revealed that watching his fellow nominee Denzel Washington perform "taught me how to act." It was Affleck's first Oscar win. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 2007's “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for "Fences" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello / AP

Third time's the charm for Viola Davis

Three-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis finally took home a statuette for her riveting performance in the Denzel Washington-directed "Fences." Davis accepted the Best Supporting Actress award with a powerful, tear-filled speech about the need for artists to tell the stories of forgotten “ordinary people," stories found "in the graveyard," she said.

RELATED: Viola Davis becomes first black star to win Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting

“Exhume those bodies," said the actress. "Exhume those stories, the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost."

Janelle Monae, left, Taraji P. Henson, second right and Octavia Spencer, right, introduce Katherine Johnson, seated, the inspiration for "Hidden Figures," as they present the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello / AP

NASA hero Katherine Johnson 'Hidden' no more

"Hidden Figures" star Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Butler, and Janelle Monaé brought real-life NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson to the stage, where the 98-year-old American hero received a standing ovation.

"Hidden Figures," nominated in three categories, tells the story of a group of brilliant African-American women working behind the scenes at NASA in the 1960s.

Actor Mahershala Ali, winner of Best Supporting Actor for 'Moonlight' poses in the press room during the 89th Annual Academy Awards.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Big week for new dad Mahershala Ali

"Moonlight" star Mahershala Ali took home Best Supporting Actor award just four days after he and his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Bari. The first-time Oscar winner thanked his wife, whom he called "a soldier" for forging through awards season with him while in her third trimester of her pregnancy.

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Denzel Washington and Jimmy Kimmel chat with a group of tourists who were taken to the Academy Awards ceremony as a prank.Reuters

Jimmy's tour bus prank

About two hours into the ceremony, Kimmel pranked passengers on a Hollywood tour bus by having the bus drop them off smack dab in the middle of the ceremony. Starstruck fans ignored the host completely and began snapping selfies with their favorite stars.

When Kimmel learned two of the tourists would soon be tying the knot, he offered up Denzel Washington to serve as their best man, and then implored Jennifer Aniston, just rows away, to dig into her purse to find a wedding gift for the couple. Aniston obliged, and the lucky couple walked away with a new pair of designer sunglasses.

Ben Affleck, left, and Matt Damon present the award for best original screenplay at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello / AP

Matt and Ben bring laughs

But the tour bus was hardly Kimmel's only prank. When Matt Damon and his old pal Ben Affleck presented the award for Best Screenplay, Kimmel pretended to be conducting the orchestra to drown out Damon with thunderously loud music each time he opened his mouth to speak.

Actor Jennifer Aniston speaks onstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California.Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Jennifer Aniston mourned stars we lost

Jennifer Aniston choked up when she introduced the massive montage of stars who died in the past year. "Each and every one was a cherished member of our Hollywood family," said the actress, who made a special mention of actor Bill Paxton, who fans learned had died earlier that day. The reel highlighted Mary Tyler Moore, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Prince, Garry Marshall and far too many more beloved entertainers.