It's the kind of nightmare that causes famous people to wake in the middle of the night screaming.
You're up on stage, in front of the power brokers of your industry and millions more at home, and you hear your name announced. But you're nowhere near the stage -- and every second it takes you to get there feels like an hour. On Saturday (Jan. 30), that exact nightmare played out for "Brooklyn" star Saoirse Ronan.
As the SAG steadicam wandered the stage for an awkward 24 seconds looking like Sam Raimi's Projectile Cam from "The Evil Dead" movies, the stage was emptier than a meeting of the Bill Cosby fan club. Mercifully, Ronan finally came scampering out to the podium, sheepishly smiling at the assembled stars.
"That didn't go well!" she apologizes, as seen in the clip above. "I was having my water backstage, having a great time looking at 'Straight Outta Compton.' Um ... anyway! Hi, gang."
Don't feel bad, Saoirse, you aren't the first celebrity to miss a cue on live TV and you won't be the last. To help, and to remind us all of some awkwardly awesome moments, here are five other instances where audiences were left playing hide-and-seek with a missing celeb.
Christine Lahti at the 1998 Golden Globes
The most famous (and perhaps, most embarrassing) missed cue occurred when Michael J. Fox announced that the winner of Best Actress was this "Chicago Hope" star. After word arrived that she was in the bathroom, the live broadcast became deliciously awkward -- and even more-so when Robin Williams ran on stage and started making Southern cousin jokes to fill the time.
Emerging out of breath and with paper towels still in hand, a flustered Lahti took the award. She offered: "I was in the bathroom, Mom!"
Renee Zellweger at the 2001 Golden Globes
First off: Renee Zellweger won a Golden Globe for "Nurse Betty?" That information might surprise you today as much as it did her in 2001 -- because as the Best Actress in a Comedy announcement was approaching, Zellweger apparently felt confident enough to make a bathroom run and risk pulling a Lahti.
Right in front of Sting and Juliette Binoche and the whole world, she finally emerged with her hand over her mouth, saying "Oh, my God!" as she took her statue. Luckily for her, it turned out to be the second strangest thing of the night, behind Hugh Grant calling "Small Time Crooks" a "very good film."
Lady Gaga at the 2016 Producer's Guild Awards
On Sunday (Jan. 24), Lady Gaga was supposed to make a musical performance at this stop along the awards trail. Her name was announced by America Ferrera -- who then realized she wasn't coming to the stage.
The "Ugly Betty" actress was left to stammer: "So, actually, she's not here. Yet. Um ... So, I guess I'm singing the song." As the audience laughed nervously, Ferrera continued to kill time. "She's going to be here, they tell me imminently," the actress said. "Any questions? Oh, she's here!"
Being a musician, Gaga is certainly allowed some diva behavior -- and fortunately for everyone, her long-awaited performance was so good that it eclipsed the rambling preamble.
Ricky Gervais at the 2009 Golden Globes
The British comedian actually didn't miss his cue at all. He was on stage in plenty of time -- it was just his coherence that seemed to be lost in the auditorium somewhere. Sauntering out with a glass full of beer and a slur in his speech, Gervais began chastising the crowd like Richard Pryor at the Hollywood Bowl.
"Shush!" he said to the crowd. "How rude are you?" It took Gervais a minute and 57 seconds to do what he was supposed to do -- introduce a film clip. As punishment for his transgressions, the Globes made him host four of the next seven ceremonies.
Hillary Clinton at the December 2015 Democratic Debate
Just to show Hollywood's celebs that they aren't the only folks who miss their cue, Clinton was late in returning from a commercial break at the Dec. 19 debate in New Hampshire.
The absence was particularly noticeable since she was positioned in the center, leaving Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley to awkwardly stand there with an empty podium between them. Midway through a question to Sanders, the former First Lady strolled out onto the stage to applause, offering a quick "sorry" into the microphone.
It is believed that she had been in the bathroom, which would make sense because just a few weeks earlier she nearly missed a cue at another debate, citing the difference between her own situation and those of the men on stage. "You know," she smiled. "It does take me a little longer. That's all I can say."