It was a night when most nominees who had been expected to win an Academy Award, did.
And with the official acceptance speeches out of the way and the initial shock of their success wearing off, the winners brought a more relaxed presence to the army of journalists waiting backstage.
Daniel Day-Lewis, the first man to win three lead acting Oscars, said he needs "to have a lie down for a couple of years" after the effort of portraying Abraham Lincoln.
"It's really hard to imagine doing anything after this," he said.
Skyfall singer Adele, who won best song along with Paul Epworth, took the chance backstage to dispel rumours that they had penned the tune in just 10 minutes.
"We're good but we're not that good," she said.
With half of the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) set already under her belt, the multiple-Grammy winner joked she might pursue "an HBO special like Beyonce did".
Best actress winner Jennifer Lawrence was so shaken when her name was called that she tripped on her way up the stage steps.
Visibly more relaxed, she later told reporters she had just had a drink backstage, and when asked about her stage stumble said: "What do you mean what happened? Look at my dress. I tried to walk up stairs in this dress, that's what happened."
Anne Hathaway, winner of best supporting actress for Les Miserables, gave an emotional explanation of her acceptance speech comment: "It came true."
Apologising for ineloquence, Hathaway said: "I had a dream, and it came true. And that can happen and that's wonderful. So that's all I was saying, was that it can and it did."
Best director winner Ang Lee, who took home the top prize for Life Of Pi - maybe the night's only big upset over Lincoln's Steven Spielberg - was understated as he described his reaction.
"Coming here tonight, I thought, 'It's all good.' And this is more than good," he said, clutching his Oscar.
It was his second best director win without taking home the best picture gong, after his 2006 win for Brokeback Mountain.
He joked that after this year, he may not have to choose between big budget and small budget projects in the future.
Ben Affleck said even as his film, Argo, gained momentum throughout awards season, he never felt any certainty that the film would take home the best picture Oscar.
"When they gave us the trophies, I was confident that we would win," he said.
He added that the big surprise of the night - First Lady Michelle Obama presenting the best picture award - came as just one more aspect of an already surreal evening.
"It just seems like it's natural, because the whole thing is so unnatural," Affleck said.
Moments following his best supporting actor win for Django Unchained, Christoph Waltz was still grasping for the right words.
"I was on a list with greatest actors around, with Robert De Niro, with Alan Arkin, with Tommy Lee Jones with Philip Seymour Hoffman," he said.
"How do you think someone feels when all of a sudden his name is called in that context? I can't tell you. I'm sorry."
One absent face was that of singer/songwriter Rodriguez, the subject of best feature documentary winner Searching For Sugarman.
"He genuinely doesn't want to take the credit for this film. He doesn't regard it as his film. He regards it as [director Malik Bendjelloul's] film," said producer Simon Chinn.
He added: "He's genuinely a humble man, and he wanted to stay at home in Detroit watching television."