#2: Everything Adele did, period.
It's hard to have gotten this far in pop culture without adoring Adele, but between her mega-sweep at the Grammys last year and her return to perform "Skyfall" last night, she managed to make us miss her so much that her comeback felt like the cure to a disease we didn't even know she had. She slayed her performance of Skyfall, of course, but then gave a bubbly and wonderful acceptance speech for her Best Original Song Oscar just a few moments later. I think what we're saying, basically, is will Adele be our best friend?
#3: The tie! No b.s., a tie!
Mark Wahlberg's surprise said it best-- there have only been six ties in the history of the Academy Awards, and it happened again last night when Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall tied for Best Sound Editing, of all things. People who otherwise never pay the slightest bit of attention to the sound categories were suddenly riveted by the big surprise, and two movies that really deserved far more Oscars got the chance to shine in a single category. Makes you wish there could be more ties just so more people get moments like this.
#4: Every musical number that didn't involve Seth MacFarlane.
I honestly expected more singing from MacFarlane-- he has his own album of jazz standards, after all-- but it was all the better that he ceded the microphone, allowing the cast of Les Miserables, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand and Norah Jones all to take the spotlight. Bonus points to the massive Les Miserables cast, who managed to assemble a huge group of voices for a really polished-sound number that couldn't have come with that much rehearsal. Even Russell Crowe sounded good! Yes, I said it!